SXSW Interactive 2012 speakers

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Andrew Dinsdale


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Andrew Steele

Creative Dir, Funny or Die

Andrew Steele serves as Creative Director of Funny Or Die, and is the executive producer of HBO’s “Funny Or Die Presents,” and Comedy Central’s “Jon Benjamin Has a Van.” Steele spent 12 years writing for “Saturday Night Live,” the last four as head writer. During his tenure on the show, he won both Emmy and Writer’s Guild Awards.
Prior to his time on ‘SNL,’ Steele worked with John Stewart’s MTV and Paramount TV’s talk shows, as well as for MTV, Comedy Channel and Nickelodeon. Most recently, he produced and wrote the upcoming Spanish-language feature, “Casa de mi Padre,” starring Will Ferrell, Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal. It opens in theaters nationwide on March 16, 2012.

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Andy Dixon

Ex Con, ExConWithConvictions.com

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Anne Hubert

SVP, MTV Scratch At Viacom

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Brian David Johnson

Dir of Future Casting, Intel Corporation

The future is Brian David Johnson's business. As a futurist at Intel Corporation his charter is to develop an actionable vision for computing in 2020. His work is called “future casting” – using ethnographic field studies, technology research, trend data and even science fiction to provide Intel with a pragmatic vision of consumers and computing. Along with reinventing TV, Johnson has been pioneering development in artificial intelligence, robotics, and using science fiction as a design tool. He speaks and writes extensively about future technologies in articles and scientific papers as well as science fiction short stories and novels (Fake Plastic Love, Nebulous Mechanisms: The Dr. Simon Egerton Stories and the forthcoming This Is Planet Earth). He has directed two feature films and is an illustrator and commissioned painter.

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Brian Reich

managing director, little m media

Brian Reich is managing director of little m media. He helps individuals and organizations solve complex problems. Brian is the author of Shift & Reset: Strategies for Addressing Serious Issues in a Connected Society (Wiley, 2011) and co-author of Media Rules!: Mastering Today’s Technology to Connect with and Keep Your Audience (Wiley, 2007). Brian contributes as a Fast Company Expert, hosts a regular podcast discussion about the impact of media and technology on society and teaches consumer behavior and marketing strategy in the graduate school of communications at Columbia University. Brian began his career in politics – working on several campaigns around the country. He spent two years as briefing director to Vice President Gore in the White House and during the 2000 presidential campaign. He has spent the past decade providing strategy, analysis, and support to corporations, nonprofit organizations and charities, media companies and other groups that are looking to solve complex problems. He has held senior roles at leading digital, PR, and public affairs agencies, including Mindshare Interactive Campaigns, Cone Inc., and EchoDitto. He was most recently is senior vice president - global editor for Edelman, where he provided editorial vision and strategy for the company. He has led projects for many of the largest and most influential brands and nonprofit organizations, as well as media companies, start-ups, and political/advocacy groups.
Brian serves on the board of Investigate West, independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to the art and craft of investigative and narrative journalism. Brian served as an adjunct professor in the Graduate School of Political Management at George Washington University in Washington, DC and is currently teaching a course on consumer behavior and marketing at Columbia University in New York. Brian attended the University of Michigan and is a graduate of Columbia University. He and his wife, Karen Dahl, live in New York City with their son, Henry, and daughter, Lucy.

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Bruce Sterling

Futurist and Science Fiction Author

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Caroline Mauldin

Advisor/Speechwriter, US Department of State

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Chris Radcliff

Dir, SpaceUp Foundation

Chris Radcliff is an author, software engineer, citizen scientist, and technology speaker. He founded SpaceUp, an unconference for the space community, and helped to create the Space Travelers Emporium, a storefront for the San Diego Space Society. He lives in San Diego, CA with his lovely wife Karen and their geeklet.

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Dick Glover

CEO, Funny or Die

Dick Glover is President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Funny Or Die, the top destination for comedy on the web, and an award-winning production and distribution company. Under Glover’s leadership Funny Or Die has grown into a vertically integrated 21st century digital studio that produces high quality content over numerous platforms, operates a social media and marketing division with over 2.8 million Twitter followers, approximately 4 million Facebook fans and devoted followers on numerous social networking and sharing sites. Overseeing a growing staff of 73 employees, with offices in Hollywood, CA, Palo Alto, CA and New York, NY, Glover is one of the few CEO’s who continues to demonstrate that Hollywood and Silicon Valley can thrive together. Prior to Funny or Die, Glover was Vice President of Broadcasting and New Media for the National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and for NASCAR Digital Entertainment. At NASCAR, Glover ran the Los Angeles office overseeing all television, new media businesses, entertainment programming and promotion on behalf of the sport. A 20-year veteran of broadcasting and media, Glover was previously an Executive at the Walt Disney Company in various Senior Management roles in their ABC and Internet Groups. Glover also spent seven years with ESPN, most recently as Executive Vice President, Programming where he was responsible for all aspects of ESPN, Inc.’s domestic programming efforts, which included ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic and ESPN.com. He was the executive in charge of the planning, development and launch of ESPN.com in 1994 and was instrumental in the site’s impressive growth to its current position as an industry leader.

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Geo Geller

Insultant, SocialSculptures.com

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George Friedman


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Janet Coats

Owner, Coats2Coats

Janet Coats is CEO of Coats2Coats, a consulting firm focused on helping clients realize a media future that is mobile, participatory and profitable. She also is the New Media Journalism Initiative Manager for The Patterson Foundation, an independent charitable grant-making foundation based in Sarasota, Fla. The New Media Journalism Initiative is exploring ways to enable innovation in the community-journalism arena. A graduate of the University of Missouri, she worked as a reporter and editor at papers in Texas, Florida, Virginia and Kansas. As executive editor of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and later The Tampa Tribune, she was a leader in building newsrooms that focused on multi-platform journalism.

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Smells like the writings of Carl Sagan. bio from Twitter

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Jessica Ivins

Sr Experience Designer, Happy Cog

I'm a senior experience designer for Happy Cog. I'm interested in the intersection of gender and technology. I've spoken about designing for women at multiple conferences and events. My interests also include nutrition, wellness, and the occasional glass of red wine.

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Jon Verville

Collaboration Architect, Nasa Goddard Space Flight Center

Jon Verville is a technical lead, software developer, and collaboration architect at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. He launched and manages the NASAtweet.com community hub for NASA Tweetup events. He is the lead for the NASA Advanced Collaborative Environment (a.k.a. AETD Wiki), a collaborative web system for NASA engineers. Previously Jon was a lead engineer for RF communications on the Magnetosphere MultiScale spacecraft, launching in 2014. He has also worked on the RF communication systems for LADEE, the next US mission to the moon; and the South Pole TDRSS Relay (SPTR), where he designed & installed radio equipment at the Antarctic Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. Jon has been an invited speaker at the Cisco Innovation in Government Forum and multiple aerospace conferences and symposiums. He received his Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering from Michigan Technological University, where he was the co-founder of the University Nanosat winning student organization, the Aerospace Enterprise.

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Lev Grossman

TIME Magazine

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Mel Exon

Founder, BBH Labs

Mel Exon is co-founder and Managing Partner of BBH Labs, Bartle Bogle Hegarty's global innovation unit. BBH is an independently owned, global creative ad agency with six regional hubs worldwide. BBH Labs is the agency's outwardly-focused, technology-driven innovation arm focused on ensuring the company is as smart as possible when it comes to change and the embracing of emerging platforms, processes and partners. She writes about this and more at http://bbh-labs.com and tweets @bbhlabs and @melex. Mel is a shareholder of BBH and has been a partner of the company since 2001.

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Mike Farah

Pres of Production, Funny or Die

Mike Farah is the President of Production for Funny or Die, overseeing the creative day-to-day operations for the premiere comedy site, along with Funny Or Die's television and feature projects. With Funny or Die for nearly four years, Farah has the produced the award-winning video "Prop 8: The Musical", the Ron Howard directed "Presidential Reunion", and Marion Cotillard's "Forehead Tittaes", among many others. Under Farah's leadership, Funny or Die's creative team produces over 20 original videos a month. He is also one of the executive producers of “Funny Or Die’s Billy on the Street,” airing on Fuse. Farah, 32, also produced the feature film "Answer This!”, starring Chris Gorham, Arielle Kebbel and Chris Parnell, written and directed by his brother, Chris Farah. "Answer This!" was acquired by Wrekin Hill is currently in its theatrical release. 

 Originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan, and a graduate of Indiana University, Mike began his career at United Talent Agency, and headed up feature film development for Craig Brewer and Stephanie Allain at their Paramount based production company. In November 2010, The Hollywood Reporter named Farah one of the top 35 Hollywood executives under 35.

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Nicole Hollway

GM, St Louis Beacon

Nicole Hudson Hollway is the General Manager of the St. Louis Beacon, a non-profit news organization that applies the values and tools of journalism to solving the issues facing the St. Louis region. Nicole has spent her career applying digital media to products in industries
ranging from Broadway to finance. In addition to her work at the Beacon Nicole serves on a number of local arts boards and is a co-founder of the St. Louis For the Love effort. Nicole is currently working on the book Token: Getting Real About Race in a “Post-Racial” America, a non-fiction semi-autobiographical look through the lens of the “other."

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Patrick Starzan

VP of Mktg, Funny or Die

Patrick Starzan is the Vice President of Marketing for Funny Or Die. He has been with the company for over 4 years and was hired to start Funny Or Die’s marketing department. Under Patrick’s leadership, Funny Or Die has become a social media leader within the entertainment industry with approximately 2.9 million Twitter followers making it a Top 15 brand on Twitter, 1.4M Facebook Likes and 150k Tumblr Followers. Patrick and his team work hand in hand with Funny Or Die’s production team, developing strategic marketing program for all content, including online videos, branded entertainment, television, and film. Born and raised in Port Jervis, NY, Patrick has an undergraduate degree from Hamilton College and an MBA from the University of Notre Dame. Twitter Handle is: @Starzan

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Peter Diamandis

Chairman/CEO, X PRIZE Foundation

Brief Biographical Sketch:
Dr. Peter Diamandis is the Chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation (www.xprize.org), which leads the world in designing and launching large incentive prizes to drive radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity. Best known for the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE for private spaceflight and the $10 million Progressive Automotive X PRIZE for 100 mile-per-gallon equivalent cars, the Foundation is now launching prizes in Exploration, Life Sciences, Energy, and Education.
Diamandis is also an international leader in the commercial space arena, having founded and run many of the leading entrepreneurial companies in this sector including Zero Gravity Corporation, the Rocket Racing League and Space Adventures.
As co-Founder & Chairman of the Singularity University (www.singularityU.org), a Silicon Valley based institution partnered with NASA, Google, Autodesk and Nokia, Diamandis counsels the world’s top enterprises on how to utilize exponential technologies and incentivized innovation to dramatically accelerate their business objectives.
Dr. Diamandis attended MIT where he received his degrees in molecular genetics and aerospace engineering, as well as Harvard Medical School where he received his M.D. Diamandis’ personal motto is: “The best way to predict the future is to create it yourself!”

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Rakesh Rajani

Head, Twaweza

Rakesh Rajani is the Head of Twaweza, meaning ‘we can make it happen’ in Swahili. Twaweza works across East Africa to enhance access to information, citizen agency and accountability in basic social service delivery. Until 2007 Rakesh served as the founding Executive Director of HakiElimu, Tanzania’s leading citizen engagement and education advocacy organization. He serves on several national and international boards, is a founding member of the Open Government Partnership, and has been a fellow of Harvard University since 1998, presently with its FXB Center for Health and Human Rights. Rakesh has written and edited over 300 papers and popular publications in English and Swahili. He studied at Brandeis and Harvard.

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Ray Kurzweil

CEO, Kurzweil Technologies

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Richard Garriott

Creative Dir, Portalarium Inc

Richard Garriott made history in October 2008 by becoming the first second-generation astronaut to fly to space when he traveled to the International Space Station. Today he’s one of the world’s leading experts on private/commercial space travel. Richard earned legendary status in the video game industry early in his career with his design of the Ultima role-playing games, one of the most successful computer game series ever. Today he is co-founder of Austin-based social and mobile game developer and publisher, Portalarium.

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S. Craig Watkins

Associate Professor, RTF, The University of Texas

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Sara Leblanc

Global Infotainment PM, General Motors

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Tim Kelsey

Dir of Transparency & Open Data, UK Government

Tim Kelsey, Executive Director of Transparency and Open Data, UK Government Tim Kelsey is the UK government's Executive Director of Transparency and Open Data. He leads on the development of national policy to promote Open Government. His appointment in January 2012 underlines Prime Minister David Cameron’s commitment to making Transparency a central priority for the British government.
Tim is a leading advocate of greater Transparency in public services and, in 2000, was co-founder of Dr Foster, a company which pioneered publication of patient outcomes in healthcare and became one of the UK’s top 10 fastest growing private businesses. Better data has led many NHS organisations to show demonstrable improvements in clinical performance.
In 2007, he launched NHS Choices, the national online health information service (www.nhs.uk) which now reports around 14m unique users per month.
In 2010, Tim joined McKinsey and Co to lead on the development of consumer information strategies for governments and public service administrations.
Tim was named a Reformer of the Year by the think-tank Reform in 2011. He received the award for 'Outstanding Contribution in Healthcare' from Health Investor magazine in 2008 and was awarded the annual award for 'Innovation' by Laing and Buisson in 2007. He is a member of the NHS National Quality Board and a trustee of the Nuffield Trust. Before Dr Foster, Tim was a national newspaper journalist and a television reporter. He worked for the Independent and the Sunday Times, as well as Channel 4 and the BBC. Among others, he has interviewed Col Qaddaffi, Timothy McVeigh and Miles Davis. He is author of ‘Dervish: the Invention of Modern Turkey’ (Hamish Hamilton; Penguin).

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Tom Uglow

Creative Lead, Google Creative Lab, Google Inc

Tom Uglow leads Google's Creative Lab in Asia, working on new ideas and global brand projects for Google, Android and YouTube. This includes launches for Chrome, Maps, Mobile, Google+ and campaigns such as Art Project, Life in a Day, the YouTube Symphony Orchestra, Space Lab, StreetView, and more... He tweets as @tomux, writes two blogs, has appeared on the BBC's Culture Show, is a member of the D&AD exec, the European Internet Week Council, and has judged, presented, and enthused globally. He is a Sunday-coder, a traditional creative, a strategist and a book-artist.