"Like many of us, I've been to numerous conferences, conventions, trade shows, etc. Most of what happened at them has faded away. Not so with Brink. Brink is, quite simply, far and away the most important such event I've ever been to."

  -  Paul Hynek, Co-Founder Giant Studios, Avatron Smart Park

Interested in who participates in BRINK Summits and Salons?

Browse some of our growing list of alumni speakers below, or click on the letter to search by name:

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

Monica Anderson

Monica Anderson | CTO, Sensai Corporation

Monica Anderson is CTO and co-founder of Sensai Corporation, where she is leading the development of a novel web-based tool for managing, exploring, and analyzing unstructured big data in the form of text from public, premium, or private sources.
Previously she was CEO and founder of Syntience Inc., a pure AI research company, where she conducted research into computer-based systems for human language understanding applications. She and her team created 20 experimental systems between 2001 and 2013 – all based on neural networks and deep learning which makes Ms. Anderson a pioneer of Deep Learning research using Unsupervised learning of text with about 15 years of experience in the field.
She was born in Sweden but has worked in Silicon Valley since 1982 and is a US citizen since 1995.
She has worked with traditional industrial grade Artificial Intelligence since 1980 and has specialized in expert systems for product configuration management (for Cisco), Natural Language Processing (for Kanisa, Google, Syntience, Kosmix, @WalmartLabs, Equilar, and Sensai), Lisp-like programming languages (for Dialogic Systems), and virtual worlds (for Electric Communities).
In 1998 she realized that traditional AI would never work and after a “crisis of faith” about AI she switched from Symbolic to Subsymbolic AI in 2001. Over the next 6 years, her research led her to start using deep learning in spiking-neuron modern connectionist networks. Recent progress in Deep Learning has not only justified her change of strategy but is now causing numerous other AI researchers to also switch from Model Based (Reductionist) methods to Artificial Neural Networks and “Connectome Algorithms” based on Model Free Methods.
She will not share algorithm level details of the Syntience experimental systems but she has shared a lot of her higher level insights in presentations at various conferences and at the Silicon Valley AI MeetUp, which she organized for five years and 115 MeetUps. Seven of her presentations about AI are available as videos athttp://videos.syntience.com . Most of her published work is reachable from http://syntience.com/links .
The core of her theory is that Intelligence is over 99% Intuition – subconscious experience and Understanding stored in the form of patterns that can be re-used nearly instantaneously without any time-consuming reasoning – and that this Intuition is an absolutely necessary first step in sensory input processing and that all Reasoning requires this kind of subconscious Understanding of the problem domain.
She has claimed that there are four popular main paths to AI : Model the World, Model Language, Model the Brain, and Model the Mind. The last one is the only possible path and her claim is that the majority of AI algorithms can be directly derived from Epistemological considerations and limits. Analysis and Modeling of the world at large or of the brain is unnecessary.
She has also lectured on various aspects of the Philosophy of Science and the Epistemology of AI. Central to her message is the concept of Reduction – the creation of Models, i.e. simplifications of Reality. All Reasoning and all Reductionist science relies on, requires, and produces such Models. But Model creation and use requires intelligence, which means Models cannot be used to actually implement intelligence. Instead, Understanding Machines must be created using Model Free Methods that assume nothing of the structure of the world but can perform the required Reduction from our rich reality to Models that can be used to describe and reason about it.
She also claims that the Frame Problem – the fact that the world changes behind our backs – sets a hard limit on the power of intelligence. Intelligence should not be measured by how much the agent knows; instead it should be measured by how many and how grave mistakes the agent makes in the performance of specific tasks.
Bill Andrews, PhD

Bill Andrews, PhD | President & CEO, Sierra Sciences LLC

Dr. Bill Andrews is the President and CEO of Sierra Sciences; a basic research company, in Reno, Nevada since 1999, that is focused on finding ways to reverse aging and declining health in humans. As a scientist, athlete and executive, Bill continually pushes the envelope and challenges convention. He has been featured in Popular Science,The Today Show and numerous documentaries on the topic of life extension.

Bill is presently a key focus, along with Aubrey de Grey and Terry Grossman, of a movie/documentary called The Immortalists.

In his 34 year biotech career doing cancer, heart disease and inflammation research, Bill has focused the last 22 years on finding ways to extend telomere lengths in human cells. As one of the principal discoverers of both the RNA and protein components of human telomerase, Bill was awarded 2nd place as “National Inventor of the Year” in 1997. Bill received his Ph.D. in 1981 and has served as Senior Scientist at Armos Corporation and Codon Corporation, Director of Molecular Biology at Berlex Biosciences and at Geron Corporation, and Director of Technology Development at EOS Biosciences, before founding Sierra Sciences.

He is also a named inventor on 46 US issued patents on telomerase and author of numerous scientific research studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

Bill is also an avid ultramarathon runner. At the age of 63, he regularly competes in 50 and 100+ mile races often finishing at the top of his age group. These grueling races have taken him all over the world to race in some of the most extreme environments, from Death Valley to the Himalayas.

Bill’s motto is “Cure Aging or Die Trying”.

Jim Clark

Jim Clark | Founder, World Technology Network

James (“Jim”) Philip Clark is founder/chairman of the World Technology Network (wtn.net), a curated global community of over 1,000 of the peer-nominated, peer-elected most innovative people in science and technology elected annually through the World Technology Awards.

Clark is also the founder of the newly formed World Congress for a New Civilization, which will bring together delegations from every nation on earth to work together for a week to develop a shared set of principles for a politically and environmentally sustainable 21st Century.

Educated at Wesleyan University (CT, USA) and Cambridge University (UK), Clark has served in leadership roles across business, politics, technology, academia, and the non-profit sector. A serial entrepreneur, Clark’s first venture, a clearinghouse for professional careers in the non-profit sector, was green-housed by invitation, at Harvard University in the late 1980s, where Clark was appointed to the faculty at the age of 23.

In 1992, Clark served as Director the Non-Profit Sector & National Service for then-Governor Bill Clinton’s successful Presidential campaign. During the Presidential Transition period after the election, Clark co-developed the Presidential Transition Roundtable Series, bringing experts together to make recommendations on key policy issues.
In 1993, he started one of the country’s first Internet consulting firms, whose main client was another start-up called AOL, and which was focused on bringing online technology to the non-profit sector. That year, New York magazine named him a member of “the new media elite.”

In 1997, he founded the World Technology Network. Clark has appeared on CNN, CNBC, BBC, and in many print publications over the years, and speaks regularly to a wide variety of audiences, ranging from the United Nations to Burning Man.
He has consulted and advised a wide variety of organizations — including as a founding board member of Teach for America. A single father of two teen daughters, he makes sure to include dance in his life every week. He also writes and performs poetry to large and small audiences.

Jose Cordeiro MBA PhD

Jose Cordeiro, MBA PhD | Energy Advisor, SIngularity University

José Luis Cordeiro is a world citizen in our small planet in a big unknown universe. He was born in Latin America, from European parents, was educated in Europe and North America, and has worked extensively in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. He has studied, visited and worked in over 130 countries in 5 continents.

Mr. Cordeiro studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, USA, where he received his Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) and Master of Science (M.Sc.) degrees in Mechanical Engineering, with a minor in Economics and Languages. His thesis consisted of a dynamic modeling for NASA’s “Freedom” Space Station (the“International” Space Station of today). He later studied International Economics and Comparative Politics atGeorgetown University in Washington, USA, and then obtained his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) at theInstitut Européen d’Administration des Affaires(INSEAD) in Fontainebleau, France, where he majored in Finance and Globalization. During his studies, Mr. Cordeiro worked with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization(UNIDO) in Vienna, Austria, and with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, DC, USA. He started his doctoral degree at MIT, which he continued later in Tokyo, Japan, and finally received his PhD atUniversidad Simón Bolívar (USB) in Caracas, Venezuela. He is a lifetime member of the Sigma Xi (ΣΞ, Scientific Research) and Tau Beta Pi (ТΒΠ, Engineering) Honor Societies in North America, is also a honorary member of theVenezuelan Engineers College (CIV), and his name has been included in the Marquis Edition of Who’s Who in the World.

Following his graduation, Mr. Cordeiro worked as an engineer in petroleum exploration for the French companySchlumberger. For several years, he served as an advisor for many of the major oil companies in the world, including Agip, BP, ChevronTexaco, ExxonMobil, PDVSA, Pemex, Petrobras, Repsol, Shell and Total. Later, in Paris, he initiated his relation with the international consulting company Booz-Allen & Hamilton, where he specialized in the areas of strategy, finance and restructuring. In Latin America, he has served as an advisor for some of the most important regional corporations and has taken part in the transformation and privatization of a number of oil companies in the continent. His experience and studies in monetary policy, currency boards, dollarization and monetary unions have taken him to participate in several monetary changes in Latin America and Eastern Europe.

At present, he is chair of the Venezuelan Node of the Millennium Project, Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute of Developing Economies (IDE – JETRO) in Tokyo, Japan, and Founding Faculty and Energy Advisor at Singularity University (SU) in NASA Ames Research Park, Silicon Valley, California, USA. He is also an independent consultant, writer, researcher, professor and “tireless traveler”. He has lectured as an Invited Professor at several major institutions, from MIT in the USA and Sophia University (上智大学) in Japan to the Institute for Higher Studies in Administration (IESA) and the Central University of Venezuela (UCV), where he created the first formal courses of Futures Studies (“Prospectiva”) and the Austrian School of Economics in Venezuela.

Mr. Cordeiro is founder and president emeritus of the World Future Society Venezuela Chapter (Sociedad Mundial del Futuro Venezuela); director of theSingle Global Currency Association (SGCA) and the Lifeboat Foundation; cofounder of the Venezuelan TranshumanistAssociation and of the Internet Society (ISOC, Venezuela Chapter); board advisor to the Brain Preservation Foundation (BPF) and Center for Responsible Nanotechnology (CRN); member of the Academic Committee of the Center for the Dissemination of Economic Knowledge(CEDICE), the Foresight Education and Research Network (FERN), the World Future Society (WFS) and the World Futures Studies Federation (WFSF); expert member of the TechCast Project andShapingTomorrow; former director of the World Transhumanist Association (WTA, now Humanity+), the Extropy Institute (ExI), the Club of Rome(Venezuela Chapter, where he was active promoting classical liberal ideas and the idea of “World Opportunitique” beyond “World Problematique” and “World Resolutique”) and of the Association of Venezuelan Exporters (AVEX), where he participated in the original negotiations of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). He has also been advisor to the Venezuelan Business Association (AVE) and other companies and international organizations.

Thanks to his extensive work in technological foresight, futures studies, globalization, economic integration, long-term development, energy, education and monetary policy, Mr. Cordeiro has authored and coauthored several books. El Desafío Latinoamericano, his first book, is a continental bestseller originally published by McGraw-Hill and is used in more than 100 universities in the hemisphere (see introductory pages). The second Spanish edition is now available completely free in electronic form by the author, who is also donating his book royalties. Arturo Uslar Pietri, the most universal and respected Venezuelan of the 20th century, described the other two books of Mr. Cordeiro with the following words: “as important to Venezuela as the independence battle of Carabobo” (The Great Taboo) and “an impressive work that describes the grave economic malady… of Venezuela” (La Segunda Muerte de Bolívar). He has authored other books about Ecuador (La Segunda Muerte de Sucre) and Mexico (¿Pesos o Dólares?), and about special topics like education (Benesuela vs. Venezuela), energy (Energía para el Desarrollo de América del Sur andCenários Energéticos 2020, in Portuguese) and transhumanism (2020: Transhuman & Economy of the Future, in Korean). His most recent books are Latinoamérica 2030 with the Millennium Project and Crisis 危機: (Financial) Danger and (Monetary) Opportunity with Spanish economist Ramón Tamames. He has written more than 10 books and co-written over 20 more in five languages, including sections of the State of the Future with the Millennium Project.

Mr. Cordeiro has a fortnightly opinion column in the largest and most prestigious Venezuelan general newspaper (El Universal) and has also written and has been interviewed in major media (press, radio and TV) including ABC,BBC,CNN, Chosun Ilbo (Korean Daily), El Comercio(Ecuador), El Comercio (Peru), El Tiempo (Colombia), El Universal (Mexico), El Universal (Venezuela), Los Andes (Argentina),O Estado de Sao Paulo (Brazil), Mainichi Shimbun (Japan Daily News),La Tribune (France), The New York Times, Univision and The Washington Times(USA). He has also filmed documentaries with Discovery Channel and theHistory Channel.

Aubrey de Grey PhD

Aubrey de Grey, PhD | Chief Science Officer, SENS Foundation

Dr. Aubrey de Grey is a biomedical gerontologist based in Cambridge, UK and Mountain View, California, USA, and is the Chief Science Officer of SENS Research Foundation, a California-based 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to combating the aging process.

He is also Editor-in-Chief of Rejuvenation Research, the world’s highest-impact peer-reviewed journal focused on intervention in aging. He received his BA and Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in 1985 and 2000 respectively. His research interests encompass the characterisation of all the accumulating and eventually pathogenic molecular and cellular side-effects of metabolism (“damage”) that constitute mammalian aging and the design of interventions to repair and/or obviate that damage.

Dr. de Grey is a Fellow of both the Gerontological Society of America and the American Aging Association and sits on the editorial and scientific advisory boards of numerous journals and organisations.

Chris Draft

Chris Draft | Founder, Chris Draft Family Foundation

Chris Draft is the Founder, President, and CEO of the Chris Draft Family Foundation (CDFF), a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering families to live healthy lifestyles.  He is a nationally recognized community leader and health advocate who serves as an NFL Ambassador, National Ambassador for the Parent Teacher Association, and a national spokesperson on many health-related issues, including the care and treatment of asthma, from which he suffers, and lung cancer, the disease that claimed the life of his wife, Keasha, late last year.

In 1998, Draft graduated from Stanford University where he earned a degree in economics while becoming a four-year letter winner in football and a two-year member of the Cardinal baseball team.  After college, He went on to a twelve-year career in the NFL, playing linebacker for the Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, St. Louis Rams, Buffalo Bills, and Washington Redskins.

In 2006, Draft established the CDFF, which focuses on several primary initiatives with overarching themes that stress the importance of education, healthy lifestyles, character development, personal responsibility, self-discipline, and physical fitness.  The CDFF’s newest initiative, Team Draft was created by Chris and Keasha during Keasha’s year-long struggle with Stage IV Lung Cancer.

As a former Charlotte Hornets Honeybee dancer and member of Clemson University’s Rally Cat dance squad, Keasha was an energetic vibrant young woman who had never smoked when she was diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer in December 2010.  At the time, her only “symptom” was a slight shortness of breath a few days earlier.  Despite the diagnosis and knowing the long odds they faced, Keasha and Chris decided to fight back.  On November 27, 2011, standing side-by-side, they launched Team Draft at their wedding.  One month later, Keasha lost her courageous fight and died at the age of 38.

Team Draft is dedicated to raising lung cancer awareness and increasing badly needed research funding by shattering the misconception that lung cancer is a “smoker’s disease.”  The fact is anybody can get lung cancer.  Yet, despite the fact that between 20,000 and 30,000 people who have never smoked—including Keasha—are diagnosed with lung cancer in the United States each year, the smoking stigma negatively impacts lung cancer research funding, which pales in comparison to funding for other major cancers and diseases.  Team Draft is out to change all that by using the unique platform available to Draft as a former NFL player and nationally recognized community leader and health advocate to lead a national campaign to change the face of lung cancer—a campaign that has, to date, taken Team Draft to more than 120 of the top cancer treatment and research centers in North America.

Team Draft partnered with lung-cancer survivor Jackie Archer to help the State of Georgia become the first state in the nation to issue a lung cancer-specific license plate. Draft was part of the ceremonies with Georgia Governor Nathan Deal when he signed HB 732 into law, authorizing the plates and has personally installed the first several plates. Draft participated as a rider and a keynote speaker in the Team LIVESTRONG Challenge Series in Philadelphia, and was recently named a LIVESTRONG Global Envoy in recognition of Team Draft’s work.

A leader both on and off the field, Draft has received a number of awards and honors for his tireless work in the community.  Draft has been honored by SCLC/W.O.M.E.N. Inc. at its  33rd Annual Drum Major For Justice Awards in recognition of the Foundation’s health awareness efforts.  Additionally, Draft was selected as the Man Of The Year by both the St. Louis Rams and the Carolina Panthers, and received the NFL Alumni Spirit, Ed Block Courage, and Rankin Smith Awards.  He was also a two-time finalist for the prestigious Byron “Whizzer” White Award.  In addition to his numerous accolades, Draft is also a published author.  His 2010 children’s book, Do You Want to Play Catch?, stresses the importance of family and physical activity.

Maria Entraigues-Abramson

Maria Entraigues-Abramson | Global Outreach, SENS Foundation

Maria Entraigues-Abramson spends her multifaceted life working towards extending healthy life, touring the world as a singer, composing music for Hollywood movies, and flying airplanes. Her interest in science and technology, combined with her skills in Public Relations, positioned her as Global Outreach Coordinator at Sens Research Foundation, co-founded by biogerontologist Dr. Aubrey de Grey. At the Foundation she is in charge of celebrity outreach, building new relationships with HNWI, spreading the word about its work, driving donations and other development work.
She is also a cryonicist and a cryonics advocate. Her main focus in life is facilitating radical exponential change and supporting disruptive technologies that will help the world.
Daniel Faber of Deep Space Industries

Daniel Faber | CEO, Deep Space Industries

From DSI:
As a serial entrepreneur in the aerospace and mining industries, Daniel has grown several high-tech companies from startup through to commercial success. He has acquired broad leadership experience, both at the management and technical level, while working on innovative space systems with the premiere spacecraft developers in Europe, Canada, Australia and the United States.

Daniel has held senior roles in many successful spacecraft projects, including a space telescope for locating and characterizing asteroids, a constellation of astronomy spacecraft, operational ship-tracking, pressurized habitation modules, and remote sensing systems. The satellite technologies he has developed span telecommunications, computing, radiation tolerance, propulsion, power distribution and spacecraft pointing. In the mining industry, he invented and brought to market a field-deployable geochemical assay instrument based on non-contact real-time nuclear measurement techniques. He is the recipient of multiple innovation awards and been granted a number of patents in the fields of mining, medical imaging and aerospace.

Daniel is a Professional Engineer with a degree in Mechatronic Engineering from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. He has a Postgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies from the University of Canterbury, where he studied international policy and regulation. He has served as a director and officer in several non-governmental organizations, including founding the Canadian Space Commerce Association.

Greg Fahy PhD

Greg Fahy, PhD | VP & Chief Science Officer, 21st Century Medicine


Dr. Greg Fahy received his PhD in 1977 and has been a full-time cryobiologist working on organ cryopreservation in one way or another, including as a graduate student, since 1972. He was responsible for introducing the idea of whole organ vitrification (slow cooling rate vitrification) using high concentrations of cryoprotectant in 1981. He designed, built, and programmed the first good automated devices for delivering cryoprotective agents to whole organs in the mid-1980s, and has been working on solving the problems of organ banking ever since. Some of his talks are on YouTube, and he has a Wikipedia page and an author page on Amazon.com. He has also been a student of aging since 1968 or before, and published a book, “The Future of Aging: Pathways to Human Life Extension”, a scientific contribution with 40 different authors, in 2010 as the lead editor and a chapter contributor. The purpose of The Future of Aging is to show a series of steps by which human aging can be gradually impacted more and more until, ultimately, it can be entirely overcome. (Good news: the program seems to be ahead of schedule!) Dr. Greg was made a Fellow of the Society for Cryobiology in 2014 and is also a Fellow of the American Aging Association. He has over 80 full scientific publications, has given over 110 invited scientific talks, and has been awarded over 30 patents. He is currently the Chief Scientific Officer of 21st Century Medicine, Inc., which is a cryobiological biotechnology company, and of Intervene Immune, Inc., which is spearheading a human clinical trial of thymus regeneration.

Jeff Garzik

Jeff Garzik | Founder, Dunvegan Space Systems


Jeff Garzik is a software engineer, blogger, futurist and entrepreneur. After helping to inaugurate CNN.com on the Internet in the early 1990s, Jeff worked at a succession of Internet startups and service providers, all the while, working on open source software engineering projects for over two decades. Involvement in one of the best known open source projects, the Linux kernel, led to an extended tenure at Linux leader Red Hat, during open source’s most formative years.

In July 2010, while reading slashdot.org, Jeff stumbled across a post describing bitcoin. Immediately recognizing the potential of a concept previously thought impossible — decentralized digital money — Jeff did what came naturally: developed bitcoin open source software, and started micro-businesses with bitcoin at their foundation. Almost by accident, Jeff found himself square in the middle of the global, disruptive, amazing hurricane of a technological phenomenon known as bitcoin.

Jeff Garzik is CEO of Dunvegan Space Systems the company that is designing and deploying the first BitSat — a private satellite constellation to process transactions off-planet. He is Bitcoin core developer, Senior Software Engineer at BitPay, involved with Bitcoin since July 2010. Jeff has spent almost two decades engineering open source software, including GNOME, Linux kernel and now Bitcoin. He is the author of picocoin, pynode, cpuminer, and many other Bitcoin related software.

Ann Greenberg

Ann Greenberg | Founder, ION, Gracenote, Sceneplay


Ann Greenberg is a serial entrepreneur and inventor. Ann co-founded Gracenote, the leading metadata and Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) service. Gracenote answers over ? a billion request for data daily and is embedded in over a billion consumer electronic and software devices, (Apple, Spotify, Pandora, Samsung, LG, Amazon, Xbox, Roku, Tivo, Syfy, Toshiba) and over 65 million cars (Mercedes, BMW, Ford, Hyundai, Toyota.) Gracenote was acquired by Sony in 2008 and is now owned by Tribune. At her new company, Sceneplay, Ann is building a cloud-based collaborative video storytelling platform, which takes script formats into the 21st century by merging them with code and making them accessible via a ScriptAPI.

Ann also runs the Hugging Company, a 21st Century TinkerTank to house her other work, including, a childrenÕs book VR adaption, an engine to automatically generate plotlines, and a fan-articulated data analytics system (Fanpulse.) Ann mentors KoreaÕs 1st accelerator, SparkLabs and she advises entertainment technology companies, including Busby.io, Fem-Inc. and (previously) 360-panorama company Spherical, Inc. Ann designed the original immersive story-mapping concepts for the documentary From the Four Corners of the Earth (Lost tribe of Jews living in Ghana, West Africa) and she produced BlaqstarrÕs SongPano for Interscope (her concept for immersive album covers.)

In 1992, Ann co-founded ION a pioneering digital studio to create Òomnidirectional, interactive and immersive entertainmentÓ which invented and patented early interactive cinema systems, enhanced CD formats and groundbreaking intelligent media players. ION partnered with BMG and published artists including: David Bowie, Brian Eno, The Residents, Todd Rundgren, Primus, and worked with companies including Apple, Sony, Microsoft, Macromedia, Phillips, Interscope, Disney Online, and House of Blues. Other projects developed included ÒRobecca a Digital FrankensteinÓ built from collective memory, ÒImmersive Digital DanteÓ and Ray ZoneÕs 3DWorld. Ann pioneered celebrity hosted chats, celebrity playlists, and worked on early Internet broadcasts via CUSeeMe for House of Blues and New Orleans Jazz Fest. Before founding her own companies, Ann headed marketing for Academy Award winning, Pressman Films where she oversaw all feature film marketing, festival participation and corporate publicity. Anne's father, Robert Kramer, was apprentice to 20th Century architecture luminaries, Bruce Goff and John Lautner, and Louis Khan asked Kramer to be his Òin-house poet.Ó AnnÕs brother was named after the radial architecture pioneer, Daniel Liebermann.

Some of AnnÕs earliest memories were watching Buckminster FullerÕs geodesic domes being built alongside the Charles River at MIT where her father was teaching at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies and Urban Design (which became the MIT Media Lab.) Spiral forms and domes have deeply influenced AnnÕs storytelling sensibility; she went on to study Architecture and Film, the combination that is often cited as the foundation of Virtual Reality. The current explosion of immersive experiences does not surprise Ann, just that it took so long to happen!

Terry Grossman MD

Terry Grossman, MD | CEO & Medical Director, Grossman Wellness Center


Terry Grossman, M.D., is the founder and medical director of the Grossman Wellness Center in Denver, Colorado. His longevity medical practice attracts patients, including many VIPs (such as coauthor Ray Kurzweil) from around the country and the world. He graduated from Brandeis University in 1968 and the University of Florida School of Medicine in 1979. He spent 15 years (from 1980-1995) working as a community family doctor in the Colorado mountains.

Dr. Grossman undertook the study of nutritional and anti-aging medicine in 1994 and in 1995 opened the Grossman Wellness Center in Denver, which quickly grew into one of the largest complementary medical centers in the country.

He is a member and board certified by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine as well as the American Holistic Medical Association. His special field of interest is nutritional medicine (the treatment of illness with nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and natural hormones) and anti-aging medicine. Dr. Grossman is a widely sought lecturer on longevity medicine throughout the United States and has presented keynote addresses at anti-aging seminars in Japan, South Korea, South Africa and elsewhere.

He is the author of the Baby Boomers’ Guide to Living Forever (2000), and coauthor with Ray Kurzweil of Fantastic Voyage (2004). and TRANSCEND: Nine Steps to Living Well Forever (2009). Arline Brecher, coauthor of Forty Something Forever, says, “I’ve met good writers and good doctors, but seldom are they one and the same. Dr. Terry Grossman breaks the mold and sets a new standard for physicians.” Dr. Herbert L. Jacobs, Chairman, Complementary and Alternative Medicine Task Force of the Colorado Medical Society describes Dr. Grossman as “one of a handful of modern-day physicians who are laying the foundation for a new paradigm in medicine, combining cutting-edge medical knowledge with the best evidence-based complementary therapies.”

W. David Hankins PhD

W. David Hankins, PhD | CEO, Concierge Research Medicine Consortium


Dr. W. David Hankins, PhD, is an educator and scientist who has served on the faculties of Vanderbilt University, National Institutes of Health, and Johns Hopkins University, where he is still active. He is the author/co-author of numerous articles/books/chapters, many published in (Nature, New England Journal, PNAS, Cell, etc). His research has focused in molecular and hormonal aspects of embryonic development, tissue regeneration, and cancer. He has developed many patient-relevant testing models and long been the strong advocate for the use of fresh, primary tissues (not cell lines and biochemical platforms) for target identification, drug discovery and testing, patient-based xenografts and for compassionate clinical trials for naturally occurring animal cancers (e.g. dogs, cats…).
In addition to his academic duties, Dr. Hankins has created two drug discovery biotechs, an innovative hands-on science company and two international non-profit foundations. He was a founder and has served as the volunteer Chairman for the non-profit International Cancer Alliance for Research and Education (ICARE.org).

Technology Development: Dr. Hankins has created a number of inventions and global firsts including:
The first in vitro transformation system in which oncogenes and the early events of mammalian oncogenesis could be studied completely outside the body; First gene transfer of an oncogene into a single hemopoietic stem cell; First gene transfer of chimeric receptors to reprogram lymphocyte hormone sensitivity from the toxic Interleukin 2 (IL-2) to nontoxic Erythropoietin (EPO); First FDA approved Glycosylated Hemoglobin clinical test for monitoring diabetic control; A unique transgenic technology that allows the simultaneous monitoring of the fates and regulation of multiple, congenic, clonal stem cell populations in vivo; An automated kinetic drug sensitivity assay for personalized drug evaluations.

Concept Development:
Three unexpected observations from our NCI oncogene studies led Dr Hankins’ lab to concepts which could have far reaching implications for cancer and developmental biology. First, many animal and human leukemia stem cells, even though malignant, retained many normal properties including a dependence on normal hormones for their very viability. Experimental measures that blocked certain of these hormones in vivo brought about a complete remission of the leukemia. Second, transformed multi-potential stem cells were not blocked in differentiation and therefore generated, and continually replenished, a heterogeneous clone of differentiating tumor cells. Third, phenotypic properties of the oncogene transformed tumors (metastasis, hormone requirements, etc) were more attributable to developmental position of the target cell transformed were not “instructed” by the transforming agent.

These and other studies let to the following testable hypotheses/concepts.
1) Anti-hormone treatment measures (already in use against certain breast and prostate malignancies) may be efficacious for all cancers if their respective hormone sensitivities/receptors can be defined.
2) If these lineage specific measures in #1 are targeted to stem cells, clonal eradication and cures could result.
3) Patient-derived xenografts allow identification of tumor stem cells which reproduce the developmental heterogeneity observed in human cancers. Precise developmental molecular mapping of lineage specific gene expression (hormone receptors etc) could lead to a plethora of new targets and therapies. Such molecular lineage fingerprinting complement/replace cellular morphology as the primary pathology tool for the detection, diagnosis, prognosis, treatment decisions and monitoring of all cancers.
Personalized Concierge Research Medicine and Patient-Based Drug Discovery. Recently, Dr Hankins accepted the challenge/opportunity to organize some well funded personalized investigative teams (I-Teams) — a type of customized Manhattan Projects — on behalf of individual cancer patients and their doctors. As a result, a 10-step I-Team collaborative process that triangulates the interests of patients, doctors and researchers has evolved. The 10-Step process allows participating investigators to systematically identify, evaluate, personalize and accelerate access to numerous additional FDA approved options, genetic or biological testing, or clinical trials, for consideration by the patients’ doctors.

In addition, more than 30 new therapeutic approaches have been discovered and many of these are currently in the pipeline for clinical development. For a long time laboratory researcher, these patient-centric, I-Team experiences have been transformative, painful, inspirational and frustrating. This led the Hankins group to initiate two public-private partnerships in an effort to increase patient survival. The first is a Concierge Research Medicine Consortium to offer the I-Team Process to patients, doctors and researchers on an expanded basis. The second is a strategic alliance among academic and corporate entities to facilitate “Patient-Based, Real-Time Drug Discovery”. Patient living tissue biobanks are being established to facilitate the application of genomic, bioresponse, and mapping technologies to primary, living tissues and xenografts derived from individual patients. Partners are being sought and collaboration will be welcomed.

David Hanson

David Hanson | Founder & CEO, Hanson Robotics


Dr. Hanson brings a strong history of innovation and leadership in robotics, arts, academia, and entrepreneurship. Envisioning, organizing, and executing renowned projects in cognitive robotics, AI, the arts, education, product design, and business, Hanson filled roles including PI, CEO, lead scientist, lead designer, and professor. For his projects, Hanson raised millions of $USD in funding and institutional development, and managed these funds efficiently to produce many of the most celebrated robots of recent years, and profitably commercializing the resulting products.

Along the way, Hanson’s work garnered many awards including the World Technology Award and recognition in the NY Times, Science, Business Week, Le Figaro, the New Yorker and many other publications. David Hanson invents robots as humans, matching the expressivity of the human face, with abilities to walk, engage in natural conversation, see faces, and remember these experiences to build relationships with people. His work earned awards from NASA, NSF and Cooper Hewitt Design Museum.

His robots serve in medical, psychology, autism, and artificial intelligence research around the world, including at Cambridge University, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, KAIST, JPL/Caltech, the University of Geneva, the Open Cog foundation, and in exhibitions at numerous art museums.

Hanson founded Hanson Robotics Inc to deploy these robots, and grew the company from startup through to cashflow positivity and steady growth. In 2009 Hanson founded the non-profit Initiative for Awakening Machines (IAM), dedicated to the realization of artificial general intelligence with wisdom (AGI-W). In applications from medicine to education to the arts, Hanson character robots help people today. Yet Hanson seeks to go further, pursuing radical breakthroughs in humanizing robots—for machines with human-level intelligence, creativity, and physical capabilities, as well as humanlike compassion and understanding, to enable them to truly care, become our friends, and collaborate with us towards a better future.

Ultimately, Hanson strives to go one step further, to achieve robots who exceed human brilliance, compassion and wisdom—robots which Hanson calls “Genius Machines”. Hanson believes that, in addition to science and tech, arts and aesthetics are key, both to inspiring humans to care about machines, and to enable robots to achieve human standards of social intelligence, relationships, and ethics.

To these pursuits, Dr. Hanson brings polymath talents including: classical sculpture, material science, cognitive science, AI software design, mechanical design, robotics, and fiction writing. A former Walt Disney Imagineer, Hanson’s large figurative sculptures stand prominently in the Atlantis resort, Universal Studios Islands of Adventure, and Disney theme parks around the world. As a fine artist Hanson exhibited at art museums including the Reina Sophia, Tokyo Modern, and the Cooper Hewitt Design Museums.

As a poet and fiction author, Hanson’s works have been published in numerous In engineering and science, Hanson holds several patents and published in many journals including IEEE Spectrum, Science, and Springer, and worked as PI on several NSF and other research awards. Hanson served several years as National Science Foundation panelist and Chair of IEEE and SPIE special sessions, and on the Committee of the International Journal of Advanced Robotics Systems. PC Magazine and WIRED described Hanson’s work in robotics research as “genius”, and Science Magazine labelled Hanson “head of his class” in social robotics.

Recently Hanson earned the 2013 World Technology Award in IT Hardware, and a Grand Award in the Hong Kong StartmeupHK venture competition. Hanson also received awards from AAAI, NASA, NSF, TechTitans, Tx State Emerging Technology Fund, and numerous best poster and paper awards. Hanson published over 32 peer-reviewed papers with IEEE, Science, Springer, Cog Sci, AAAI, SPIE, chapters in 4 books, authored a book with coauthor Yoseph Bar-Cohen, published with Springer Press.

Since 2003, Dr. Hanson taught numerous graduate and undergrad university courses, and designed several educational initiatives and curriculum in Industrial Design at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Computer Science and Engineering at UTA, and in fine arts at UNT. He delivered visiting lectures at Stanford, RISD, Brown, Oxford, MIT, Dartmouth, KAIST, and many other universities.

As a visiting student, Hanson studied C.S. at Brown, Cognitive Science at UCSD, and Graduate Fine Art under Paul McCarthy at UCLA. Dr. Hanson received his BFA in Film-Animation-Video from Rhode Island School of Design and received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Dallas in Interactive Arts and Engineering.

Roger Holzberg

Roger Holzberg | Founder, Reimagine Well & My Bridge 4 Life


Roger Holzberg is the co-founder, along with Leonard Sender, M.D., of Reimagine Well, a company that designs and builds immersive healing environments for hospitals and treatment centers. The Infusionarium™ empowers patients to receive treatment in the place they believe will best heal them. The first installation at Children’s Hospital of Orange Country was recently featured in the NY Times.

As the founder of My Bridge for Life™ Roger builds wellness networks for hospitals and support foundations internationally. He served as the first (consulting) Creative Director for the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The “evolution” of Cancer.gov, the NCI Facebook, Twitter, Mobile and YouTube channels are all projects that his creative team took from concept through launch.

Previously, Roger spent 12 years as an award-winning Creative Director / Vice President at Walt Disney Imagineering where he had the opportunity to lead the creative development for a broad portfolio of projects ranging from PlayStation® games to theme park icons and multiple Disney World Celebrations; from mass audience interactive experiences and rides to the MMOG Virtual Magic Kingdom. In “classic media,” he has written and directed feature films and television, but is genuinely proud of researching and writing “The Living Sea” (Academy Award nomination for best documentary – Imax).

Personally, Roger is a father; a 10-year cancer survivor; and a competitive triathlete (3 events yearly), using the sport to raise research dollars for causes he supports.

Paul Hynek

Paul Hynek, MBA | Partner, Avatron Smart Park


Paul Hynek is a Wharton MBA, an Adjunct Professor of Finance and Accounting at Pepperdine University, a seasoned international executive, veteran Board Chair, and a Small Business Grant Reviewer for the National Science Foundation. Paul is a seasoned executive and entrepreneur in high-tech and entertainment, and has worked in the US, Europe, and Asia. He has extensive experience in startups, intellectual property, finance, business development, and strategy.

Paul is the creator and President of EZ Numbers, leading financial projections software for startups that allows entrepreneurs to make their own business models in hours, raise money from investors and bankers, and learn the real financial drivers of their business. EZ Numbers works in over 70 countries around the world, and based on user reported figures, has helped raise over $1 billion.

Because Paul is constantly advising entrepreneurs, he’s known as the “Startup CFO,” and is currently working in that capacity with several startups. Previously, Paul was Director of Business Affairs of Giant Studios, the world’s leading motion capture company. Paul led the successful acquisition of the company’s ownership of Giant’s renowned software, and was behind the software license deals that powered Avatar 2, 3, and 4, The Hobbit, Dawn/Rise of the Planet of the Apes, etc. Paul successfully managed two of the company’s most important and profitable relationships as well as HR and marketing.

Previously Paul was the Chairman and CEO of Spitfire Ventures. He conceived and developed Fingertip Books, a line of credit card size magnet books that have been published internationally in 40 different styles. Paul traveled extensively in China, establishing a network of trusted factory relationships and obtaining unprecedented payment terms.

Paul conceived and produced Surf Monkey, the world’s first children’s online service, and introduced it with Bill Gates at the launch event for Microsoft Internet Explorer 4. Paul was instrumental in raising over $30,000,000, and positioning it for an IPO.

As Director of Business Development at Bandai Digital Entertainment, he produced the first online service for a set-top box, managing this multi-million dollar project with custom browser, chat, and e-mail, including relationships with over 100 developers.
Paul has also served as CFO of Departure Studios, CFO of Wild Sage Food, Principal in the venture catalyst consulting firm Venture Spark, Partner of Foglight Entertainment, Senior VP of Business Development for Fax4free, and Executive Vice President of The Princeton Review of Japan.

Paul holds a Master of Business Administration in Strategic Management from The Wharton School of Business, a Master of Arts in International Studies from the Joseph H. Lauder Institute of the University of Pennsylvania, and a BA in French from the University of Illinois. Paul is a popular speaker on entrepreneurship and startup financing. He is fluent in French, capable in Japanese, and speaks some Mandarin, Thai, Portuguese, and Spanish.

Paul has fourteen years of Board experience, eight as Chair. Paul serves on the Technology Committee of the Board of Trustees of Manhattanville College. He recently authored a paper entitled “The Hyper-Commons: How Open Science Prizes Can Expand and Level the Medical Research Playing Field” that was published in Rejuvenation Research.

Zoltan Istvan

Zoltan Istvan | Author, The Transhumanist Wager


Zoltan Istvan is the founder and 2016 US Presidential candidate of the Transhumanist Party, a political organization dedicated to putting science, health, and technology at the forefront of American politics.

At the age of 21, Zoltan began a solo, multi-year sailing journey around the world. His main cargo was 500 handpicked books, mostly classics. He’s explored over 100 countries—many as a journalist for the National Geographic Channel—writing, filming, and appearing in dozens of television stories, articles, and webcasts. His work has also been featured by The New York Times, BBC Radio, Business Insider, The Daily Beast, Newsweek, CNN, Fox News, RT, the Travel Channel, and in much other media.

Zoltan writes futurist and transhumanist-themed blogs for The Huffington Post, Psychology Today (The Transhumanist Philosopher), and Vice’s Motherboard (Transhumanist Future). He has also written for Slate, Gizmodo, Daily Mail, Wired UK, Singularity Hub, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Outside.

In addition to his award-winning coverage of the war in Kashmir, he gained worldwide attention for inventing the extreme sport of volcano boarding. Zoltan later became a director for the international conservation group WildAid, leading armed patrol units to stop the billion-dollar illegal wildlife trade in Southeast Asia.

Back in America, he started various successful businesses, from real estate development to filmmaking to viticulture, joining them under ZI Ventures. He is a philosophy and religious studies graduate of Columbia University and resides in San Francisco with his two daughters and physician wife.

Zoltan recently published The Transhumanist Wager, an award-winning, #1 bestselling Philosophy book describing philosopher Jethro Knights and his unwavering quest for immortality via science and technology.

Reese Jones of Cambrian Genomics

Reese Jones | Founder, Cambrian Genomics


Reese Jones has 25 years in innovation, entrepreneurship & patents. As a venture strategist Reese has engaged in a dozen company’s innovation, start up, financing, development, IPO, boards, mergers and acquisitions.

Activities include Netopia, Farallon, Convergence, C-Core, Mediabolic, Rotani Wireless, RCDb, WatchWith, Self Health Network, Genome Compiler, Cambrian Genomics, Dulcetta, Focus@Will, SU Labs and Singularity University; also Venture Partnerships including Accel, August, Telesoft, Current Group LLP, Definitive Partners, and others.

Reese has academic experience in biophysics and human brain research at UC Berkeley, LBL, and UCSF. Jones supports public education via UC Berkeley, Wikipedia, Chabot Space Science Center, Genetics Advisory Counsel at Harvard Medical School, Trustee at Singularity University at NASA Ames and Trustee at Santa Fe Institute.

Jim Karkanias of Microsoft

Jim Karkanias | Partner, Microsoft


Jim Karkanias is a Partner at Microsoft, leading Program Management for Information Management and Machine Learning in the Cloud + Enterprise Division at Microsoft. His background spans science (neuroscience), engineering (bioengineering, code development), technology (neural nets, machine learning, robotics, quantum physics) and business (including a start-up in the 90s, head of clinical operations for the human health division at Merck, etc.) – and now he is combining a bit of all of that at Microsoft.

He joined Microsoft in 2006 to apply more than 20 years of industry expertise to a new venture – the Health Solutions Group – which aimed to revolutionize healthcare through paradigm shifting approaches that integrate next generation business, process, and technology.

Six years and 70 patents later, Karkanias has been instrumental in the creation of an information platform for health and life sciences spanning the physician, the consumer, and the scientist. This latter product is notable in that it advances both storage and machine-based reasoning technologies to a new high and holds the record for two of the largest and quickest customer wins in the history of the group (a 5 year strategic partnership valued at many tens of millions, just a few months after shipping).

Jim now leads Program Management for Microsoft Applied Technology in C+E, an entire division at Microsoft dedicated to activating – through data and services – the business value trapped in your organization.
See http://www.linkedin.com/in/jimkarkanias for more information

David A Kekich of MaxLife Foundation

David A Kekich | CEO, Maximum Life Foundation


David A. Kekich is a recognised authority on longevity science. In 1999, he founded “Maximum Life Foundation”, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation dedicated to reversing human aging and aging related diseases.

He realized the inevitability that science will someday control the human aging process. He understood human beings will someday be able to enjoy very long health spans by studying aging, the root cause of most deadly diseases. The problem? He was in a race against the clock. He was faced with the possibility of being part of the “last generation” to suffer and die from aging related diseases. His solution was to further aging research and move it forward by establishing Maximum Life Foundation.

Since then, the Foundation, in concert with many of the world’s leading researchers, has developed a scientific roadmap to transform the elderly to biological youth.

Currently, he also serves as CEO of SciCog Systems, Inc. and Age Reversal, Inc. Mr. Kekich raises funds for life-extending research. He serves as a Board Member of the American Aging Association, Life Extension Buyers’ Club and Alcor Life Extension Foundation Patient Care Trust Fund.

He authored “Smart, Strong and Sexy at 100?: New skin. New hair. New you… 7 simple steps to thrive at 100… and beyond,” a how-to book for extreme life extension.

He starred in two life extension documentaries and was featured in three others. Mr. Kekich is a popular lecturer and spoke to thousands of people on the topic. He has

appeared on numerous television and radio shows and on many webinars. He was also featured in newspaper and magazine articles and publishes a widely read newsletter, Longevity News Alert.

Mr. Kekich first became intrigued with extreme life extension in 1977 after founding the country’s largest life insurance master general agency, which raised $3.1 billion of premium income for First Executive Corp. This was where he was widely exposed to the realities and horrors of death from aging.

Ed Lantz of Vortex Immersion

Ed Lantz | Founder, Vortex Immersion


From Vortex:
Ed Lantz is a media and entertainment engineer, scientist, executive manager and entrepreneur. He is internationally recognized as a pioneer and leading authority in large-format digital cinema and immersive experiences for mass audiences. Other areas of interest include virtual reality, interactive place-based entertainment, real-time video/music performance, independent films with socially conscious themes, fine art visual music, neuroaesthetics, and wellness applications exploiting the psychophysical effects of interactive digital media.

Mr. Lantz has a background in hardware and software engineering, quantum physics and electromagnetics. He spent seven years leading photonic signal processing R&D at Harris Corp. in Melbourne, Florida, five years at the Astronaut Memorial Planetarium and Observatory in Cocoa, Florida leading the development of advanced laser, video and astronomical projectors, and eight years with Spitz, Inc. where he built a team that transformed old-style planetariums into immersive visualization environments and assisted in developing an immersive cinema production team and workflow. Mr. Lantz is founder and Chair of Harmony Channel, a broadband television network delivering mood-elevating digital media that has been described as “MTV for the Soul.” He also operates Visual Bandwidth, Inc., an immersive cinema and fulldome video advisory network.

Mr. Lantz has published and presented numerous papers on VR and entertainment technologies, and is a regular contributor to ACM SIGGRAPH papers, panels and courses. He founded the International Planetarium Society’s Fulldome Video Committee and the first Fulldome Standards Summit held in Valencia, Spain in 2004, and co-organized the first Immersive Cinema Workshop in Espinho, Portugal in 2005. He received an MS in Electrical Engineering from Tennessee Tech University (1984), serves on the boards of the Center for Visual Music and the Center for Conscious Creativity, and holds two US Patents on immersive video-based theater technology.

Melissa Mahler Esq

Melissa Mahler, Esq. | Founder, Pro Player Insiders


Melissa Mahler is the founder and CEO of Pro Player Insiders, an official licensed partner of NFL Players and pioneer in NFL player lifestyle media and philanthropy. Personally, as an esteemed and highly sought after business strategist and social responsibility driven entrepreneur, Melissa currently sits on the board of the Stop Abuse Campaign and is a partner with All Sports United and the Road to 777. An innovative leader on the sports and philanthropy stage, she hosts a radio show focused on sports, technology and social impact. Recently, Melissa was recognized for her efforts by being selected as a delegate to the first United Nations Summit on Media and Social Impact and is a Global Advisor on Media and Athlete Engagement to Global Action Initiatives. As an award-winning journalist and accomplished attorney, Melissa exhibits a highly coveted proficiency for strategy and well aligned communication that has made her advise and counsel invaluable to the who’s who of CEO’s, business and government leaders and the boards of directors for several leaders of industry.

With a proven pension for excellence in her craft, Melissa can best be described as the “Socially Responsible Entrepreneur’s Entrepreneur” and she continues to own this charge with an unmatched excellence in matters of communication, strategy, media and government relations, community partnerships and crisis management.

Melissa proudly proclaims “I have enjoyed a front row seat for some of the most pivotal moments in recent sports history. While this is a news junkie’s dream and a casual fans water cooler convo, my focus is highlighting the human side of athletes that we all can connect to and be inspired from.”

Melissa is an architect at using this platform to create positive change and amplify social impact. Traditionally modest and one to shun the attention, her track record speaks for itself, Melissa has served as Chief Legal Counsel for transactions including both sale and licensing of intellectual property; led management teams and outside counsels in closing equity and debt financings; developed market assessments to determine the optimum commercialization path for emerging technologies; and acted as primary liaison with university and government technology transfer offices to identify and license intellectual property for commercialization.

Melissa has a BS in Broadcast Journalism from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications with a minor in Political Science from Maxwell School of Citizenship and a Juris Doctor from Syracuse University College of Law.

Max More PhD of Alcor

Kate McCallum | Founder, C3: Center for Conscious Creativity


From Kate:
“Over 30 years of professional experience in the the arts and the entertainment industries together with a deep interest and study of human potential, consciousness research and future studies has been my inspiration for the creation of c3 and the mission we seek to accomplish. I hold an MA in Consciousness Studies and have been a student and practitioner of creativity, trends in the arts and media, the perennial wisdom and meditation for over 30 years. As an artist, I work as a producer and content creator in a variety of mediums, am a writer, musician and photographer.”
From c3:

Kate McCallum is a producer, writer, transmedia consultant, novice futurist and artist who has had the good fortune of a diverse career in the creative arts and entertainment industries for over thirty years. After graduating with a degree in Communications and Music from Western Michigan University, she began her career in the business as a page at ABC where she worked on such shows as MORK AND MINDY, TAXI, GENERAL HOSPITAL, THE ACADEMY AWARDS, THE EMMY AWARDS and THE AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS. She trained as a script supervisor then spent five years gaining experience in hands-on production while freelancing on several music videos, independent films and a variety of TV projects as Script Supervisor, AD, Sound and Production Coordinator. Kate landed a job with the Executive Producers of the primetime comedy GIMME A BREAK then started working at Universal Studios with various Executive Producer/Writers on such hour long dramatic series as THE EQUALIZER, CRIME STORY, MIAMI VICE, THE HUMAN FACTOR, and half hour sitcoms such as CHARLES IN CHARGE and TOGETHER WE STAND gaining extensive experience in the process of comedy and dramatic series production.

In ’92 Kate began a long-term affiliation with WESTERN SANDBLAST at Paramount Television where she worked as a Development Assistant to primaries/writers Dan Pyne (MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE 2004, SUM OF ALL FEARS, ANY GIVEN SUNDAY, DOC HOLLYWOOD, PACIFIC HEIGHTS, MIAMI VICE, etc.), John Mankiewicz (THE DIVISION, THIEVES, THE MARSHAL, MIAMI VICE, etc.) and director/producer, Aaron Lipstadt (THE DIVISION, THE MARSHAL, MIAMI VICE, ANDROID, etc.). At Western, Kate was involved with the ABC dramatic series THE MARSHAL and several hour-long network pilots. In ’96 Kate’s first made-for-television movie, WHAT KIND OF MOTHER ARE YOU? aired on NBC, which she optioned as a life rights story and produced with Alexander/Enright and Associates (credited as Producer, Kate Rubin). Promoted to V.P. Creative Affairs/Producer at Western, Kate created their long-form division and went on to set up movies at UPN (MARS-TV) and Showtime (THE BIG LIE and SECRET SOCIETY in co-production with Diane Keaton which became THE EMMETT TILL story with The Tom Lynch Co., and the late Gregory Hines who was attached as director), in addition to optioning a one hour series to Paramount which she co-created (GODDESSES). Kate then returned to Universal and worked as with Writer/Producer/ Showrunner, Michael Chernuchin in development at NBC Universal Television. Prior to that she worked as his development/research assistant on the NBC television series LAW & ORDER.

She left the studios in 2006 to join the core staff of the HARMONY CHANNEL, where she served as their VP Programming and was instrumental in the launch of this innovative music visual VoD channel on Comcast to over 9 million homes. Her responsibilities included artist relations, acquisitions, licensing and programming of hundreds of hours of content, assisting in channel branding development and producing interstitial and promotional content, as well as business development and research.

Kate then returned to her roots in classical music when she was hired by the LOS ANGELES OPERA to serve as Executive Administrator to Placido Domingo and the COO of the opera and also held the title and responsibilities of Board Liaison.

As an independent producer/writer/consultant and manager, Kate founded her own media company in 2005,BRIDGE ARTS MEDIA, LLC. Under the BAM banner, Kate has worked as a media, script and story consultant to clients with a specialty in transmedia development and rights acquisitions and has sold and develops transmedia content including; websites, books, TV series and long-form, documentary, feature projects — including three screenplays, as well as music visual content and audio and music content. Kate launched an innovative arts and music label, THE ART OF SOUND with client and composer, No’a Winter Lazerus, and also a publishing line in partnership with Unlimited Publishing, LLC.

As a journalist with an avid interest in innovation and the creative process, Kate served as a staff writer forscr(i)pt magazine on the bi-monthly column she created called THE GREAT IDEA. This column featured Q&A interviews with feature film and television writers and examines the creative and the business development process of media; specifically feature films or television content from concept to screen.

Kate created and co-founded the c3: Center for Conscious Creativity with Philip Horvath in 2004 an effort to create an LA-based think-tank and creative collective of artists, media-makers, futurists and consciousness experts to examine and explore the power of art and media to transform society and culture.

Kate has been invited to serve as a guest speaker, workshop teacher and panelist at several prominent screenwriting conferences and has presented such workshops as; NAVIGATING TELEVISION: OPPORTUNITIES FOR WRITERS ON THE SMALL SCREEN at the Sante Fe Writer’s Conference in 2003 as well at the 2004 Great American Pitch Fest, CREATING CROSS MARKET CONTENT for the Southern California Writers Conference 2004, as a panelist at the conference, Consciousness and Media, sponsored by The Institute of Noetic Sciences in May 2004, and in September 2005 she was one of ten presenters at The Institute For Global Transformation: The Future of Consciousness where she presented on behalf of The Center for Conscious Creativity, c3. She presented THE TRANSFORMATIONAL POWER OF ART AND MEDIA, and HOLOGRAPHIC CREATIVITY: TRANSMEDIA DEVELOPMENT for The Reel Inspiration Conference, Tucson, AZ, October 2005. In May of 2013, Kate was invited to be a keynote speaker at the Asian Children’s Content Conference in Singapore where she presented the talk, “TRANSMEDIA, TRANSFORMATION AND THE FUTURE OF CONTENT” and a ‘TRANSMEDIA 101″ day long workshop. In 2013 she was the first woman to deliver a keynote to the School of Communications at her Alma Mater, Western Michigan University through their “Distinguished Speaker Series.” In the summer of 2014 Kate taught Transmedia Master Classes at Media Corp in Singapore and at the Hong Kong Design Institute in Hong Kong.

In an effort to examine the future of media and storytelling, c3 partnered with THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA WRITERS CONFERENCE, and produced a conference in Los Angeles; NEW STORY PARADIGM AND THE FUTURE OF CONTENT, October 2005. Kate served as the Associate Director for this conference which investigated and promoted information and ideas about; emergent technology and new media, convergence think, and consciousness, as well as the business and craft of writing and selling media content creation. In November 2009, Kate Executive Produced an event presented by the c3, IMMERSE IN THE FUTURE: Arts, Media and Entertainment in the 21st Century, featuring keynote speaker futurist and author Jerome Glenn. In June 2010, the c3 participated as an official partner in RING FEST LA, a citywide arts festival, by presenting c3: VisionLAB’s inaguaral annual STATE OF THE ARTS 2010, a day long symposium addressing future trends in the arts and media and their potential to create a positive future society. Kate served as the Executive Producer of this event and moderated a panel and has served as Executive Producer with the c3 for several events since June 2010 including; STATE OF THE ARTS 2011: PRODUCING CHANGE with the Producers Guild of America New Media Council, a Millennium Project Think Tank, the STATE OF THE ARTS 2012: AMPLIFY with the EMA: Electronic Music Alliance, the STATE OF THE ARTS 2013: THE FUTURE OF FULLDOME with IMERSA, as well as several other concerts, arts presentations, workshops and talks in The Vortex Dome at LA Center Studios.

Kate currently serves on the Board of Advisors to Vortex Immersive Media, Inc. and the House of the Children, a non-profit agency based in Peru. She also serves as a National Board Member and a Board Delegate to theProducers Guild of America New Media Council, is a voting member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Television Executive peer group, is a member of the World Future Studies Foundation, and has served as a judge for the Emmy Awards, the ATAS College Television awards and for the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center ‘s Hollywood, Health and Society Sentinel for Health Awards. She was appointed as a Fellow for the Society of New Communications Research and in 2009 was invited to found and Chair a Global Arts and Media Node for The Millennium Project which was founded in 1996 after a three-year feasibility study with the United Nations University, Smithsonian Institution, Futures Group International, and the American Council for the UNU. It is now an independent non-profit global participatory futures research think tank of futurists, scholars, business planners, and policy makers who work for international organizations, governments, corporations, NGOs, and universities. The Millennium Project manages a coherent and cumulative process that collects and assesses judgments from over 2,500 people since the beginning of the project selected by its 35 Nodes around the world. The work is distilled in its annual “State of the Future,” “Futures Research Methodology” series, and special studies. Kate co-designed and facilitated a global survey addressing “The Arts and Entertainment 2020” and contributed a chapter summarizing the findings in the “State of the Future” 2011 report.

Kate was invited to become a contributing blogger on the Institute of Noetic Sciences’ website. You will find her contributions here: http://www.noetic.org/blog/the-power-of-media-to-transform.

In 2013, Kate was contracted by Createasphere to design and produce an entertainment businesss conference addressing transmedia, branded content and the future of storytelling and emerging technologies called “The TransVergence Summit.” She also serves as Managing Editor, curated and launched a companion editorial site to the TVS called www.transmediacoalition.com. In addition to the TVS, Kate also served as Programming Producer and Conference Chair for the DAM: Digital Asset Management Conference NYC, and Programming Producer for thePost Production Master Class in both New York and Los Angeles. In October 2014 Kate Co-Designed, Programmed and Produced Storyworld Quest for NAIT: National Alberta Institute of Technology in Alberta Canada.

In October 2013, Kate was invited to be the presenting speaker for Western Michigan University’s Department of Communications “Distinguished Speaker Series” where she also received an Alumni Achievement Award.

Kate also expresses herself creatively as a writer, musician and professional photographer who specializes in hand-painted portraiture and has had her work shown and published in various publications. She makes her home and studio in Los Angeles California and maintains an office at LA Center Studios with partner Ed Lantz.

Max More PhD of Alcor

Max More, PhD | CEO, Alcor Life Extension Foundation


Dr. Max More is an internationally acclaimed strategic philosopher widely recognized for his thinking on the philosophical and cultural implications of emerging technologies. Max’s contributions include founding the philosophy of transhumanism, authoring the transhumanist philosophy of extropy, and co-founding Extropy Institute, an organization crucial in building the transhumanist movement since 1990. Since the start of 2011, he has served as President and CEO of the Alcor Life Extension Foundation, the world’s leading cryonics organization.

Over the past two decades, Max has been concerned that our escalating technological capabilities are racing far ahead of our standard ways of thinking about future possibilities. Through a highly interdisciplinary approach drawing on philosophy, economics, cognitive and social psychology, and management theory, Max developed a distinctive approach known as the “Proactionary Principle”—a tool for making smarter decisions about advanced technologies by minimizing the dangers of progress and maximizing the benefits.

Max has a degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from St. Anne’s College, Oxford University (1984-87). He was awarded a Dean’s Fellowship in Philosophy in 1987 by the University of Southern California and received his PhD in Philosophy from USC in 1995.

“We have a dreadful shortage of people who know so much, can both think so boldly and clearly, and can express themselves so articulately. Carl Sagan managed to capture the public eye but Sagan is gone and has not been replaced. I see Max as my candidate for that post.” (Marvin Minsky)

Elizabeth Parrish of BioViva

Elizabeth Parrish | CEO, BioViva Inc


Elizabeth Parrish CEO of BioViva Inc. is a humanitarian and entrepreneur. She is a leading voice for genetic cures. As a strong proponent of progress of regenerative medicine modalities, she is driving her company to human trials with gene therapy that will treat aging as a disease. She is actively involved in international educational media outreach and sits on the board of the International Longevity Alliance (ILA).
She is an affiliated member of the Complex Biological Systems Alliance (CBSA), which is a unique platform for mensa based, highly gifted persons who advance scientific discourse and discovery. The mission of the CBSA is to further scientific understanding of biological complexity and the nature and origins of human disease.
She is the founder of BioTrove Investments LLC and the BioTrove Podcasts which is committed to offering a meaningful way for people to learn about and fund research in regenerative medicine. She is also the Secretary of The American Longevity Alliance (ALA) a 501(c)(3) nonprofit trade association that brings together individuals, companies, and organizations who work in advancing the emerging field of cellular & regenerative medicine.
Steve Ramos of Fast Company

Steve Ramos | Journalist, Fast Company


Steve Ramos is a verbal identity provider, ‘Fast Company’ author and brand strategist. He helps clients achieve creative and enterprise benchmarks through his creative hub, Steve Ramos Media. Ramos directed, programmed and led a monthly film series for 92YTribeca in New York City and moderated for the Brooklyn Academy of Music. He earned a BA in Philosophy from Xavier University and makes his home in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Richard Satava MD FACS

Richard Satava, MD FACS | Prof Emeritus of Surgery, U Washington


Dr. Richard Satava has devoted his four-decade career as a surgeon to developing medical technologies that border on the sci-fi. Robotic surgery and medical imaging, he says, are making possible an entirely new kind of operating room: one without a surgeon.
Satava, a professor of surgery at the University of Washington, insists that this not-so-futuristic environment actually brings him closer to his patient. “I never see my patient,” he says. “I never touch him. But the images I see by going through computer systems allow me to do things that I can’t do with my own eyes. The systems are more precise. They allow me to scale up and scale down. They magnify an image so I can see much more than if I was standing and looking right at the patient.” The game changer that produced this medical technology, Satava says, was the x-ray, a late 19th-century accident of research that revolutionized medicine. “For the very first time, we didn’t have to look at patients to see what was wrong with them,” he says. “It was a whole new world.”

Forever on the hunt for other new worlds, Satava has an unusually progressive vision that evolves from surprisingly conservative roots. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, he grew up in a small Florida town of 2,700 people on the border of the Everglades. He describes his background as “working class” and slightly retrograde. “When I got to Florida, it was like going back in time,” Satava says, “but I was too young to appreciate that. We had no exposure to art. Art was going to the movies or a painting that was in the bank.” The hardest decision he ever had to make was whether he should go out the front door for ‘skin diving’ or out the back door for canoeing in the Everglades. Of the 35 graduates in Satava’s high school class, only four went to college. He went to Johns Hopkins University with plans to become a surgeon.

He says the urban culture of Baltimore burst open his world—for the first time, he met people who were Jewish, Muslim and gay. He found out what a musical was. His advisor was a Nobel laureate. And then there were the classes. “It was like being in a candy store for four years,” he says. “There was something called philosophy, something called economics and time-and-motion studies. I was going from knowing virtually nothing to having an extraordinary amount of information in front of me. I opened my mouth wide on the funnel of knowledge and sucked in just about everything I could get, and it just hasn’t stopped.” Satava says he has always been “profoundly affected” by new things.

What thrilled him most at Johns Hopkins were the things he didn’t know, and on that score, nothing much has changed. He is still curious, audacious and supremely impatient with obstacles to the kind of productive research that brings novelty into the world. Sometimes those obstacles have to do with human territoriality. But often, they have to do with money.

Having worked as a biotechnology project manager at the US Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) from 1993 to 2000, Satava saw firsthand what research can produce in the rare instances when money is not an issue. A significant example, he says, occurred in the 1970s when DARPA and the U.S. Air Force allocated $50 million a year for three years to researchers working on low-observable technologies in aircraft. Three years later, they were looking at the Stealth Bomber. It was the type of game changer, Satava says, that can only come through “largesse” in research: “Nobody’s willing to lose that kind of money except the government. Nobody’s willing to say, I may not even get one thing, but that one thing may revolutionize the field. But the military doesn’t have any stockholders. It can invest billions of dollars, shut the door and let researchers do what they need to do.”

Imagine applying such unbridled freedom to medical research. As Satava sees it, researchers need to satisfy their capacity for wonder if they are to generate meaningful results. It is a question of producing an unfettered state of mind—something akin to the sense of amazement he felt when he stepped onto the Johns Hopkins campus nearly fifty years ago. This year, Satava makes a return trip to BIF to talk about his current fascination: simulation technology and predictive analytics.

True to his nature, he is always most intrigued with the one thing in a million that doesn’t behave predictably: “That’s where we get our clue. What is it about this outlier that didn’t fit the pattern? This is how we bring imagination to the scientific method. What doesn’t fit? That’s the beginning.” That’s the game changer.
G Seth Shostak PhD of SETI

G. Seth Shostak, PhD | Director/Senior Astronomer, SETI


Ph.D. astrophysics, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California
B.A. physics, Princeton University, Princeton, New JerseyExperience
Director, Center for SETI Research, SETI Institute, Mtn. View, Calif 2014 – present
Senior Astronomer, SETI Institute, Mtn. View, Calif. 2001-present
Public Programs Scientist, SETI Institute, Mtn. View, Calif. 1991-2001
Cable TV Channel 27, Mtn. View, Calif. 1990-1991
Senior Software Engineer, Mira Technology, Los Altos, Calif. 1988-1989
Director and Founder, Digital Images Computer Animation,
Groningen, The Netherlands 1983-1988
Research Associate, Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, State University
of Groningen, The Netherlands 1975-1983
Senior Systems Analyst, Penn Central Transportation Co.,
Philadelphia, Penn. 1974-1975
Research Associate, National Radio Astronomy Observatory,
Charlottesville, Virginia 1972-1974

Astronomical: More than 60 research papers in refereed, professional journals
Film: More than 50 articles for magazines and newspapers on film and video. Author of a monthly column on film techniques in European magazines from 1980-1982, and 1985-1990.
Science and Technology: Over four hundred popular articles published in magazines, newspapers and the Web, on a wide range of topics.
Scripts: Several commissioned scripts for public relations videos produced for commercial clients. Two scripts for planetarium shows.
Books: Editor of two scientific books, contributor to six astronomy books. Authored books listed below:

“Sharing the Universe: Perspectives on Extraterrestrial Life” (trade book, March 1998, Berkeley Hills Books)

“Life in the Universe” (textbook, co-author: Jeff Bennett), 2011, Third Edition, Addison-Wesley (fourth edition to appear in 2015)

“Cosmic Company” (trade book, co-author Alexandra Barnett, Cambridge Univ. Press, November, 2003)

“Confessions of an Alien Hunter: A Scientist’s Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence” (trade book, National Geographic, March, 2009)

Public Speaking
Frequent appearances as guest lecturer at corporate functions, toastmaster, moderator, keynote speaker, etc. Have given several hundred lectures for the general public on a wide range of subjects. Distinguished Lecturer, Amer. Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics, 1997-present.
Interviewed approximately 50 times per year for radio and television shows on Discovery Channel, CNN, A&E, History Channel, BBC, Larry King, Colbert Report, and others.

Host of weekly, hour radio show on astrobiology and related science and technology, “Big Picture Science,” 2002 – present.

Principal Awards
1961: University Scholar, Princeton University
1974: Film awards for “Invisible Universe,” as above
1977: Henk Nieuwenhuis prize for film, Groningen, The Netherlands
1984: Jaap S. Nieuwenhuis Award, from Netherlands Association for Scientific Film and Television
1988: Wubbo Ockels Award, for applied science (image processing in the service of computer animation), The Netherlands
1997 and 1999: Best Bay Area Talk Show, BACE cable TV awards
2004: Klumpke-Roberts Award, from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, for “Outstanding contributions to better public understanding and appreciation of astronomy.”

Considerable body of creative writing, mostly for corporate clients
“Idea man” behind plan to build large space and technology theme park in The Netherlands and in California (California Air and Space Center. Also member of the Board.)
Chair from 2003 – 2012 of International Academy of Astronautics SETI Permanent Committee.

Thomas Snitch PhD of University of Maryland

Thomas Snitch, PhD | Sr. Professor, IACS, U Maryland


From Tom:
I am heading up a research team that is developing the world’s first comprehensive mathematical modeling to combat poachers in Africa and Asia. This is an exercise that analyzes big data streams of an animal’s movements over a 14 year period in Africa. With high-resolution satellite imagery and the use of Falcon UAVs, the model can suggest where poachers are most likely to attack an elephant, rhino or tiger. With this knowledge, we can move resources into place to intercept the poachers before they can reach the target animal. Proof of concept and initial field tests were completed in early June at Olifants West Reserve in South Africa.

Thomas Snitch, PhD is a visiting professor in UMIACS and chairman of the Board of Visitors of the College of Computing, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences at the University of Maryland. Snitch’s current research focuses on mathematical modeling to combat poaching of endangered species in Africa and Asia. He combines high-resolution satellite imagery, unmanned aerial vehicles and algorithms developed with other researchers at UMIACS to provide useful information to game wardens protecting the animals.

He is the CEO and co-founder of GeoQuera, as well as president of Little Falls Associates, an international consulting firm. Snitch received his doctorate in international economics from American University in 1979.

Nova Spivack of Bottlenose

Nova Spivack | Founder, Bottlenose


Nova Spivack is a technology futurist, serial entrepreneur, angel investor, and one of the leading voices on the next-generation of search, AI, big data, and the Web. He was recently ranked in the top 20 futurists based on an analysis of social and Web influence.

He is a frequent speaker and blogger, and writes guest-articles for publications such as TechCrunchMashableGigaOM, and SiliconAngle. Nova was named toRe/Code’s List of LA Power Players in Techin 2014.

Nova is presently CEO of Bottlenose, which uses big data mining to discover emerging trends for large brands and enterprises.

He also advises and/or invests in several startups including Klout (acquired by Lithium), The Daily Dot, Next IT,WhoKnowsLive Matrix (acquired by OVGuide), Chronos TradingPublishThis, Sensentia, Cambrian Genomics, and Energy Magnification Corporation. Spivack is also an advisor to several early-stage venture funds in the areas of emerging Internet technology and clean energy.

In 1994, Nova co-founded one of the first Web startups, EarthWeb, which led to a record-breaking IPO in 1998, and a second IPO of spinout, DICE.com, in 2007.

He then worked with Stanford Research International (SRI), to co-found their startup incubator, nVention, and participated in the DARPA CALO program one of the largest artificial intelligence projects in US history (which originated the technology that became Siri, which was later acquired by Apple). Following CALO, he co-founded Radar Networks, which produced Twine (Acquired by EVRI, which was then acquired by Facebook), one of the first consumer applications of the Semantic Web.

Nova has authored nearly 100 granted and pending patents in areas from search, to advertising, social media, mobile apps, the semantic web, augmented reality, interactive TV, and personalization.

Nova serves on the board of directors of Bottlenose and The Daily Dot, as well as Common Crawl Foundation, a nonprofit, 5+ billion page, free and open search index of the Web. In 2014 he was named to the the Data Creativity Awards Board at I-COM, the Global Forum for Marketing Data and Measurement. He is chairman of The Earth Dashboard initiative, a non-profit initiative to build a shared online dashboard to visualize the real-time state of the planet.

Nova earned his BA in Philosophy from Oberlin College in 1991, with a focus on the philosophy of mind and artificial intelligence. In 1992, he attended the International Space University, a NASA-funded graduate-level professional school for the space industry. He also participated in research at the MIT Computer Science lab.

You can find him on Twitter at @novaspivack and via his blog,novaspivack.com.

Additional details and history related to Nova Spivack can be found on his Bio Page, and his Wikipedia page.

Fun Facts

In 1999, he flew to the edge of space with the Russian Air Force and did zero-gravity flight training with the Russian Space Agency, as one of the early pioneers of space tourism, which led to his later angel investment in Zero Gravity Corporation, which was acquired by Space Adventures.

Nova is the eldest grandson of the late management guru, Peter Drucker.

Nova speaks internationally and advises governments and corporations on product strategy and the future of the Web. He has co-authored books on Internet strategy and collective intelligence, and has authored hundreds ofarticles about the Web.

Nova has spent many years inventing new technologies for augmented and virtual reality, and has a large portfolio of granted and pending patents for his inventions in this area. He previously developed and sold many of his patented inventions in the areas of artificial intelligence, virtual intelligent assistants, search, interactive TV and the Semantic Web.

During the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, while in high-school and college, Nova worked as a software engineer and product marketer with artificial intelligence and supercomputing ventures including Xerox Kurzweil,  Thinking Machines, and Individual Inc. He also participated in summer computer science research at MIT, focused on cellular automata.

Nova has been a student of Tibetan Buddhism for over 20 years and has pursued this interest extensively in monasteries, refugee camps and communities in Nepal, India, Europe and the USA. He focuses his philanthropic activities on helping to fund the preservation of Tibet’s unique wisdom culture.

While a student at Oberlin College, as well as studying philosophy of mind, artificial intelligence, and computer science, Nova did a winter term internship as a production assistant at Paramount Studios, working on Star Trek, The Next Generation.

In the mid 1990’s Nova co-authored a series of patents for early Web-TV convergence for a product called HyperTV, owned by ACTV. The patents covered simulcasting URLs and metadata on the television vertical blanking interval (VBI) in order to display relevant Web pages next to live television content on suitably instrumented TV’s and PCs. The patents were later sold to Disney.

Media & Press

Nova has been featured, cited, or has contributed guest articles in numerous media outlets such as: AdWeek, Atlantic Monthly, BusinessWeek, Business 2.0, The BBC, Bloomberg TV, CBS Evening News, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, CNBC, CNET, CNN, Der Spiegel, the Discovery Channel, Download Squad, the Economist, Entrepreneur, the Financial Times, Gartner, GigaOm, the Guardian, Guidewire, Industry Standard, Infoworld, Information Week, Interactive Age, International Herald Tribune, the L.A. Times, Mashable, the MIT Technology Review, the New Scientist, Newsweek, the New York Times, The New Yorker, NPR, the Observer UK, PC Magazine, PC World, ReadWriteWeb, Red Herring, Reuters, the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Jose Mercury News, SiliconAngle, TechCrunch,  the Times Online, Venturebeat, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, WIRED and ZDNet

Nova has authored hundreds of articles and co-authored several books on Internet strategy and technology, and led the EarthWeb Press publishing imprint with Macmillan Computer Publishing.

Invited Talks

Nova has given more than 100 invited talks and keynotes, both to technical and business audiences. For videos of some of these talks please click here.

He has spoken, moderated, and served as a judge at numerous conferences and industry events, including:BlogTalk, Defrag, DEMO, DigitalNow, the Financial Times Digital Media Conference, the Future in Review, GigaOm’s Bunker sessions, the Highlands Forum, Internet World, Internet Expo, the International Semantic Web Conference, the Island Forum, the Kleiner Perkins CIO Strategy Exchange, MIT’s Emtech, NextWeb, NewTeeVee, SDForum, the Semantic Technology Conference, SIBOS, the Singularity Summit, Search Engine Strategies, Stanford/MIT’s VLAB, Supernova, SXSW, TTI Vanguard, and The Web 2.0 Summit.

Nova has also given guest lectures and keynotes for the MBA programs at Harvard University, Stanford University and Berkeley, as well as to several business schools in Europe. In addition, Nova has advised governments in the United States as well as Asia on the near-term and long-term future of the Web.

Rohit Talwar of Fast Future Research

Rowit Talwar | CEO, Fast Future Research


Rohit Talwar is an award winning global futurist, entrepreneur and specialist advisor on business transformation, disruptive strategies and radical innovation. He was nominated as one of the top ten global future thinkers by the UK’s Independent newspaper and regularly comments on the future and innovation for major international news networks. Rohit is a major contributor to a forthcoming US feature on the concept of ‘creating a new country’ and has been published widely. He is the editor and a lead contributor to a forthcoming book on The Future of Business, which brings together the work of over 60 leading futurists and emerging future thinkers from around the world.

Rohit focuses on helping audiences make sense of and respond to a constantly changing reality and a hyper-connected world. He provides clients with critical insights into how to respond to the forces and ideas shaping the future, deliver transformational change and create imaginative new strategies and possibilities. He shows us how to identify the key factors shaping the future, assess their impact and deliver real change both in our own lives and in the organisations we lead or work for.

Through his work, Rohit travels the world researching the innovations, developments and ideas shaping the future and uses these powerful insights, case studies and provocative imagery to shed light on the intangible and ‘yet to be seen’ developments. His interests include the evolving world of technology in business and society, the future of emerging economies and industries, the future of education and embedding foresight in organisations. He currently leads research projects on drivers of change for the next decade, the long-term impacts of cyber currencies and Artificial Intelligence, practical strategies for delivering sustainable organisational transformation, human enhancement and the shadow economy.

Rohit has worked worldwide with leading corporations, governments, associations and NGO’s and has delivered highly inspirational, thought provoking and humorous keynote addresses to audiences in over 60 countries.

Neely Tucker of Washington Post

Neely Tucker | Author, Columnist, Washington Post


Neely Tucker was born in Holmes County, Mississippi, then the poorest county in the poorest state in America, in 1963. He has since worked in more than sixty countries or territories across the world and currently writes for The Washington Post’s Sunday Magazine. His memoir, “Love in the Driest Season,” was named one of the best 25 Books of 2004 by Publisher’s Weekly, the American Bookseller’s Association, the New York City Library and won numerous other awards.

A seventh-generation Mississippian, he attended Mississippi State and the University of Mississippi, graduating magna cum laude from the latter, and was named as the University’s top journalism student. In college, he started writing for The Oxford Eagle as their “Yalobusha County correspondent,” which is perhaps the best job title any one has ever had. It was the smallest daily newspaper in Mississippi, and as such he covered everything from high school sports to county commission meetings to homicides to the Watermelon Queen festival.

After college, he worked at Florida Today, Gannett News Service and the Miami Herald, all in a four-year span. Moving to the Detroit Free Press, he lived in a loft above a downtown pizzeria, froze in the winters, and was named to run the paper’s European Bureau in early 1993.

Based in Warsaw, Poland, he datelined from forty-eight countries in forty-eight months. He principally reported on the war in the former Yugoslavia, but also covered violent episodes in Armenia, Israel and the West Bank, Lebanon, Iraq and several former Soviet provinces.
The reporting on these entailed hiring a Russian helicopter to fly into Ushguli, Georgia, a mountain area so remote it was cut off from the rest of world during the winter months; walking across an airport tarmac in Italy to hitch a ride on a U.S. Apache attack helicopter; walking through the foothills of the French/Italian Alps with a pair of illegal Romanian clandestines; sailing with whale hunters in Norway; examining the remains of Auschwitz; and, like everybody else in Sarajevo, running from sniper and mortar fire during the Bosnian war.
In 1997, he moved to the paper’s Africa bureau, based in Zimbabwe. He reported from more than fifteen countries across the continent in three years, including covering civil wars or violent uprisings in Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Uganda, Sierra Leone and Liberia, as well as the U.S. Embassy bombing in Kenya. He was beaten by a mob in Kinshasa and, while covering public executions in Kigali, was saved from another mob beating by Rwandan Army officers.

At home in Zimbabwe, the country was collapsing under the weight of the Mugabe regime and the AIDS epidemic. These war experiences, and the adoption of his gorgeous elder daughter from a state-run orphanage in Harare, provided the basis of “Driest Season”. They also intrigued Elmore Leonard, a friend in Detroit, to use him as the basis and namesake for a foreign correspondent in “Cuba Libre.”

Since 2000, he has worked for The Washington Post. He has covered the U.S. District Court in Washington and its appellate division, generally seen as the nation’s number two court beneath the U.S. Supreme Court. His assignments include covering anthrax and terrorism after 9/11, the 2004 tsunami in Southern Asia and the fate of returning prison inmates.

He’s balanced these rough-hewn assignments over the years with reporting on the arts. He hung out with Bo Diddley at his home in rural Florida and knocked back moonshine with blues legend Buddy Guy at his club in Chicago. In Europe, he wrote about American jazz exiles in Paris such as Steve Lacy and Steve Potts.

At a recording studio on a snowy night in New York in the mid 1990s, he sat with Abbey Lincoln and Nellie Monk while the former recorded one of her legendary late-in-life discs,and he and the latter drank cognac and discussed the problem of split ends in hair care. He later had a three-hour lunch with Lincoln, which left him too starstruck to actually write a story about it all. He’s also wandered D.C. neighborhoods with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edward P. Jones, chatted with Billy Joel at his Long Island motorcycle shop, made small talk Kid Rock backstage at Kenny Chesney concert, and had lunch on the Sunset Strip with actress Taraji P. Henson.

Lastly, “Life After Death,” a story about his wife’s seven-year odyssey to help convict her daughter’s killer, was nominated by the Post for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize. You can find many of these stories under the “Other Writings” tab on this site.

His wife, Carol, is a native of Manchester Parish, Jamaica. Chipo, his elder daughter, hails from Zimbabwe. They have four-year-old twins, Drew and Paige, who are half Mississippian and half Jamaican, which is sort of an interesting combination. Sully, the big black dog, is their Rottweiler. He is very good at wiggling his stump, taking naps and scaring the bejesus out of people.

When he is not writing, Neely is usually on his motorcycle, out for a long run or sipping bourbon on the back porch, wishing that Mississippi State and the New Orleans Saints would win more football games than they actually do.

Patrick Tucker of Defense One

Patrick Tucker | Author, Technology Editor, Defense One


I’m the technology editor for Defense One. I write on information technology, AI, big data, predictive analytics, cybernetics, nanotechnology, genetics and genetic ethics, invention, climate change and climate change mitigation, demography, literacy, public policy and neuroscience. In addition to THE FUTURIST magazine, my writing has appeared in Slate, Salon, The Atlantic, Quartz, MIT Technology Review, National Journal, The Wilson Quarterly, The Johns Hopkins Magazine, the Utne Reader, and as part of Discovery channel broadcasts and special features. My first book,The Naked Future: How the Science of Prediction Changes Everything, was published in March 2014 from Current, a Penguin imprint.

As a science journalist and editor, I’ve had the good fortune to interview such technologists, policy experts, and visionaries as MIT roboticist Rodney Brooks, Google research director Peter Norvig, military strategist Edward N. Luttwak, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, former CIA director Robert James Woolsey, tech guru Tim O’Reilly, environmentalist Lester Brown, flying-car-creator Paul Moller, historian Lewis Lapham, activist Azar Nafisi, and inventor Ray Kurzweil on various topics related to technology and innovation.

I’ve been quoted as a futurist in The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, PC magazine, Laptop,Elle Canada, Wired.com, Smart Money.com, Voice of America, and the Discovery Channel, and have been a guest on such networks and programs as WTOP in Washington, Russia Today, CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood, and Science Fantastic with Michio Kaku.

I am the 2006 winner of the Barry Hannah Prize in short fiction, was a finalist for the 2004 One Story short story competition, and was the winner of the 2006 Eugene Walter Award for the Novel. I hold a master’s degree in writing from Johns Hopkins and my short stories have appeared in such literary journals as The Yalobusha Review, Main Street Rag, andTouchstone. Writing samples are available upon request.

Jack Tuszynski PhD of University of Alberta

Jack Tuszynski, PhD | Adjunct Professor, University of Alberta


Dr. Tuszynski is a Fellow of the National Institute for Nanotechnology of Canada. He is an Allard Chair and Professor in Experimental Oncology in the Department of Oncology at the University of Alberta’s Cross Cancer Institute and a Professor in the Department of Physics.

Professor Jack Tuszynski received his M.Sc. with distinction in Physics from the University of Poznan (Poland) in 1980. He received his PhD in Condensed Matter Physics from the University of Calgary in 1983. He was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Calgary’s Chemistry Department in 1983. He was an Assistant Professor at the Department of Physics of the Memorial University of Newfoundland from 1983 to 1988, and at the University of Alberta’s Physics Department from 1988 to 1990. He became an Associate Professor from 1990 to 1993 and a Full Professor in 1993. He joined the Division of Experimental Oncology at the Cross Cancer Institute as the Allard Chair in 2005. He is on the editorial board of a number of international journals including the Journal of Biological Physics, Journal of Biophysics and Structural Biology (JBSB), Quantum Biosystems, Research Letters in Physics, Water: a Multidisciplinary Research Journal and Interdisciplinary Sciences-Computational Life Sciences. He is an Associate Editor of The Frontiers Collection, Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg. He had visiting professorships in Germany, Denmark, France, Belgium, Israel and China. He held research positions in Belgium and Switzerland.

He has published over 375 peer-reviewed papers, over 50 conference proceedings, 10 book chapters and 10 books; delivered over 400 scientific talks (including 150+ invited talks) on five continents. His research has been supported by numerous research grants from Canadian, US and European funding agencies. In 2005 he was appointed to the prestigious Allard Research Chair in Oncology at the University of Alberta. The $3 million Chair is supported by the Alberta Cancer Foundation and the Allard Foundation.

Dr. Jack Tuszynski heads a multi-disciplinary team creating “designer drugs” for cancer chemotherapy using computational biophysics methods. To make advances in this new promising field of biophysical modeling, Jack Tuszynski drew on his physics background to create computer software programs that screen proteins against chemical compounds to find the perfect match based on the lock and key principle.

The goal of Tuszynski’s computational biophysics work is to create optimized drugs that would target cancerous cells with minimal side-effects to the healthy cells. Dr. Tuszynski’s research interests are strongly linked to the protein tubulin and the microtubules assembled from it. His group is also developing physiologically-based models and simulations for pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic applications.

Natasha Vita-More, PhD of Humanity+

Natasha Vita-More, PhD | Chairman, Humanity+


Dr. Vita-More is one of the most recognised world figures advocating extreme life extension.

The scope of her work covers science and technology through the lens of design, as a problem-solving approach. Her narrative work tells of an impassioned human journey and the visual elements in her presentations light up a room with stunning interpretations of logic and wonder.

She has been called “an early adapter of revolutionary changes” (Wired) and a “role model for superlongevity” (Village Voice), and featured in over two dozen televised documentaries on emerging technology, human enhancement, and life extension. Her pioneering writing on “Ageless Thinking”, her innovation “Primo Posthuman” a cross-platform whole body prosthetic, and her current work on the “Regenerative Generation” have vigorously established a strong incentive to many. Her multi-media and narrative have received Special Recognition at Women in Video, exhibition at the US Film Festival, Filmex LA, London Contemporary Art Museum, Memphis Museum, Niet Normal in Germany, the Moscow Film Festival, and GOGBOT, The Netherlands.

In the field of design, her first rendition of a whole body resulted in an Ad Campaign comparing the human body to an automobile, with tune-ups, replaceable parts, streamlined devices, and a warranty. The project developed into a serious prototype (“Primo Posthuman”, 1997) that unmasks the probable outcomes of a regenerative human. The further iteration of this project has resulted in “Platform Diverse Body” (2012) and “Substrate Autonomous Persons” (2012), which offer insight into how technological innovation continues to enhance human physiology and diversify identity.

In the field of science, her recent research proved to be one small but consequential step in the field cryobiology. Natasha and her team developed what she refers to as the memory project. Working with the C. elegans nematode, a microscope simple animal, this project successfully proved that long-term memory can be retained after croypreservation and vitrification.

Natasha is currently a Professor at the University of Advancing Technology and has been a visiting lecturer at Stanford, Harvard, Yale, UCLA, and Aalto Universities. She keynotes global conferences, and in Moscow presented her views on a future Super Olympics, in Tokyo on the aging population of the Regenerative Generation, at GF2045 Conference at Lincoln Center, and at TEDx Limassol, TEDxMunich, and Space Sciences Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, Paris.

Natasha is co-editor and contributing author of the Transhumanist Reader: Classical and Contemporary Essays on the Science, Technology, and Philosophy of the Future Human. Her essays have been published in the journals Nanotechnology Perceptions, Technoetic Arts, Evolution haute couture, Technology Imagination Future, Metaverse Creativity, New Realities: Being Syncretic, Beyond Darwin, AI Society and D’ARS.

She is Chairman of Humanity+, Fellow of Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technologies.

Peter Voss of AGI Innovations Inc

Peter Voss | Founder & CEO, AGI Innovations Inc


Peter started his career as an entrepreneur, inventor, engineer and scientist at age 16. After a few years of experience in electronics engineering, at age 25 he started a company to provide advanced custom software development and integrated information technology solutions. Seven years later the company employed several hundred people and was successfully listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

After selling his interest in the company in 1993, he worked on a broad range of disciplines — cognitive science, philosophy and theory of knowledge, psychology, intelligence and learning theory, and computer science — which served as the foundation for achieving breakthroughs in artificial general intelligence. In 2001 he started Adaptive AI Inc. with the purpose of developing systems with a high degree of general intelligence, and to commercialize services based on these inventions. In 2009 he founded Smart Action Company, the first company to commercialize a product based on an AGI (artificial general intelligence) engine, and in 2013 he launched a new long-range AGI R&D company, AGI Innovations Inc.

Peter often writes and presents on various philosophical topics including rational ethics, freewill and artificial minds; and is deeply involved with futurism and radical life-extension.

Vivek Wadwha, MBA

Vivek Wadwha, MBA | Columnist, Washington Post


Vivek Wadhwa is a Fellow at Arthur & Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance, Stanford University; Director of Research at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at the Pratt School of Engineering, Duke University; and Distinguished Fellow at Singularity University. He has been also a senior research associate at the Labor and Worklife Program of Harvard Law School, a visiting scholar at the School of Information at UC-Berkeley, and a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at The Claus M. Halle Institute for Global Learning at Emory University. He is author of “The Immigrant Exodus: Why America Is Losing the Global Race to Capture Entrepreneurial Talent”—which was named by The Economist as a Book of the Year of 2012, and ” Innovating Women: The Changing Face of Technology”—which documents the struggles and triumphs of women.

Wadhwa oversees research at Singularity University, which educates a select group of leaders about the exponentially advancing technologies that are soon going to change our world. These advances—in fields such as robotics, A.I., computing, synthetic biology, 3D printing, medicine, and nanomaterials—are making it possible for small teams to do what was once possible only for governments and large corporations to do: solve the grand challenges in education, water, food, shelter, health, and security.

In his roles at Stanford and Duke, Wadhwa lectures in class on subjects such as entrepreneurship and public policy, helps prepare students for the real world, and leads groundbreaking research projects. He is an advisor to several governments; mentors entrepreneurs; and is a regular columnist for The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal’s Accelerators Blog, Forbes, and the American Society of Engineering Education’s Prism magazine.

As a researcher, Wadhwa has studied the impact of globalization on U.S. competitiveness and remedies for the U.S. to keep its edge.
His team’s report on engineering education dispelled many common myths about India’s and China’s graduation rates’ being an order of magnitude greater than those of the U.S. Though both countries graduate many more “engineers” than the U.S. does, their definitions of those terms are loose and include everyone from mechanics to trade-school graduates. Elite institutions in both countries do turn out world-class engineers, but the numbers are small.

Subsequent research revealed why companies were going off shore and highlighted new trends in the globalization of R&D and innovation. To explain how India was achieving success despite its weak education system, Wadhwa published a seminal research report that analyzed its surrogate education system and workforce-development practices. Indian companies, in particular, have become global centers of excellence in high-skill areas, including software development, chip design, pharmaceutical research, and advanced engineering tasks such as aircraft-engine design. Wadhwa found that the best Indian companies simply accepted the inadequacy of the country’s education system and developed their own, highly innovative, training programs that more than compensated for it.
Wadhwa’s teams’ research on American competitive advantages focused on entrepreneurship, skilled immigration, and university-research commercialization. It revealed key insights into the age, education background, and motivation of tech entrepreneurs, and documented that more than one in four U.S. technology startups from 1995 to 2005 was founded by an immigrant. These immigrants tended to be highly educated, with strong backgrounds in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Wadhwa found that a flawed immigration system had created a backlog of more than a million skilled workers who were waiting for permanent-resident visas and that this backlog had the potential to cause a sizeable brain drain of talent from the U.S. to other countries and a weakening of U.S. competitiveness. His subsequent research tracked returnees to India and China and determined that they were having greater success back home.

Wadhwa has also researched diversity in Silicon Valley–or the lack of it. He documented that women entrepreneurs have the same backgrounds and motivations as men, but are rare in the ranks of technology CEOs or CTOs.

Wadhwa has collaborated with highly regarded academics from Harvard, Duke, NYU, UC-Berkeley, and other universities. His research, which has been supported by several grants from the Kauffman Foundation and by the Sloan Foundation, has been cited in thousands of national and international media outlets since 2007 and has gained the attention of policy makers. Wadhwa has delivered keynote speeches at dozens of conferences, including those of the National Governors Association and the National Academy of Sciences.
Before joining Duke University, Wadhwa was a technology executive known for pioneering change and innovation. He started his career as a software developer and gained a deep understanding of the challenges in building computer systems. His quest to help solve some of I.T.’s most daunting problems began at New York–based investment banking powerhouse CS First Boston (CSFB), where he was Vice President of Information Services. There he spearheaded the development of technology for creating computer-aided software-writing systems that was so successful that CSFB decided to spin off that business unit into its own company, Seer Technologies. As its Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Wadhwa helped grow the nascent startup into a $118 million publicly traded company.

With the explosive growth of the Internet, Wadhwa saw an even greater opportunity to help businesses adapt to new and fast-changing technologies, and founded Relativity Technologies. As a result of his vision, Forbes.com named Wadhwa a Leader of Tomorrow by, and Fortune magazine declared Relativity one of the 25 coolest companies in the world. In Feb 2012, the U.S. Government awarded Wadhwa distinguished recognition as an “Outstanding American by Choice”— for his “commitment to this country and to the common civic values that unite us as Americans.” He was named by Foreign Policy Magazine as Top 100 Global Thinker in 2012. In 2013, TIME Magazine listed him as one of The 40 Most Influential Minds in Tech.

Wadhwa holds a B.A. in Computing Studies from the University of Canberra, in Australia, and an MBA from New York University. He is founding president of the Carolinas chapter of The IndUS Entrepreneurs (TIE), a non-profit global network intended to foster entrepreneurship. He has been featured in thousands of articles in worldwide publications, including the Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Forbes magazine, The Washington Post,The New York Times, U.S. News and World Report, and Science Magazine and has made many appearances on U.S. and international TV stations, including CBS/60 Minutes, PBS, CNN, ABC, NBC, CNBC, and the BBC.

Stephamie Wander of XPrize

Stephanie Wander | Prize Specialist, XPrize


Stephanie Wander comes to XPRIZE with over 12 years of diverse experience in film production and digital media. Recently, Ms. Wander earned her MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, where she focused on Sustainability, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Non-Profit Management. Ms. Wander uses this background to help design prizes that address the world’s grand challenges. Prior to XPRIZE, Ms. Wander worked as a Coordinator for News Corp Digital Media, the organization responsible for overseeing Hulu.com and Myspace.com for Newscorp/Fox. She also worked for A-list producers and actors and on 7 feature films, including Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Man on Fire and Jarhead. Ms. Wander earned her BS, Radio/Television/Film, from Northwestern University and her MBA from University of California, Los Angeles Anderson School of Management. Ms. Wander also currently serves as a board member for Clifford Beers Housing, a Community Housing Development Organization that develops affordable housing for individuals and families with limited incomes, including households that are either homeless or at-risk of homelessness and have a member living with a mental illness.


Michael L Weiner of Technology Innovations

Michael L Weiner | Founder, Technology Innovations


Mike is a serial entrepreneur, inventor, and CEO of Technology Innovations, a company he cofounded in 1999 which has created multiple spin-off ventures, filed over 300 patents, and brought innovations to several industries.
The Technology Review article Defibrillation’s Alternative: A new approach would stop ventricular fibrillation before it started described one of Mike’s inventions in 2007:

Treating a failing heart by zapping it with a painful, powerful electrical shock has become the standard procedure. Now, a medical device company, based in West Henrietta, NY, has patented a technique that avoids the need for such dramatic treatment, by predicting the onset of fibrillation — the heart rhythm that can lead to sudden death — and treating it before it occurs.
The preventative treatment does, like defibrillation, involve electrically stimulating the heart, says Michael Weiner, CEO of Biophan Technologies. But this new technique’s weak signal would be minuscule compared to the jolt that defibrillators normally deliver. “I know patients with defibrillators who live in fear of that son-of-a-gun going off”, he says.
US 7,020,517 – Fibrillation/tachycardia monitoring and preventive system and methodology

Mike holds 30 issued patents, including a patent for inclusion of a projector within a PDA or laptop (US Pat 6,930,669http://www.tillc.com/content/view/29/43/).
Michael L. Weiner began his career at Xerox Corporation in 1975, where he served in a variety of capacities in sales and marketing, including manager of software market expansion and manager of sales compensation planning. In 1982, he received the President’s Award, the top honor at Xerox for an invention benefiting a major product line. In 1985, he founded Microlytics, a Xerox spin-off company which developed technology from the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center(PARC) into a suite of products, including the award-winning Word Finder thesaurus, with licenses out to over 150 companies, including Apple, Microsoft, and Sony.
In January 1993, Mike cofounded TextWise, a company developing natural language search technologies for the intelligence community. In 1995, he cofounded and served as CEO of Manning & Napier Information Services(MNIS), a Rochester-based company providing parent analytics, prior art searches, and other services, for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and many large corporations, and which subsequently acquired TextWise. TextWise won theDepartment of Commerce Tibbetts Award for SBIR research in 1998.
In February 1999, Mike founded and is CEO of Technology Innovations, LLC, a company which creates innovations and new ventures.
In December 2000, Mike worked with Wilson Greatbatch, P.E., the inventor of the first successful implantable cardiac pacemaker, which Greatbatch licensed to Medtronic in 1960. Mr. Greatbatch founded a battery company traded on the NYSE under the name Greatbatch, Inc, After retiring from this company, Mike and Mr. Greatbatch started a new company, Biophan (Ray Kurzweil was on the Scientific Advisory Board as was Dr. Herbert Hauptmann, the Nobel Laureate).
Biophan’s primary mission was to solve the problems which prevented biomedical devices such as pacemakers to be safe and compatible with MRI diagnostics. Biophan entered into a Collaborative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the US Food and Drug Administration and produced recommendations for new standards for measuring the heating and induced tachycardia that are the primary causes of patient dangers that threaten patient safety and can cause potential fatalities. Biophan created a series of patented solutions that were licensed to Guidant and then the patent portfolio was acquired by Medtronic in 2007. Biophan’s solutions include filters and special lead wire designs and are expected to produce pacemakers and implanted devices which in the future will allow patients with these devices to undergo MRI scans when needed.
Biophan also developed and demonstrated a means to visualize restenosis and clotting inside stents, including metal stents, normally blocked due to the Faraday Cage effect. By imposing a resonant frequency on the stent the Faraday Cage effect is mitigated and the stent becomes an effective MRI mini-coil, allowing visualization in real time of blockages and dangerous clots. This technology was licensed to Boston Scientific which became an equity investor in Biophan. Several patents were issued to a Biophan affiliate for a pacemaker battery powered by body heat, and a CRADA was established between NASA and Biophan. Additionally, Biophan pioneered the development of the use of fiber optic leads and devices in the body, developing and testing in animals the very first pacemaker to pace a heart electrically with a fiber optic lead powered by a miniature laser capable of being implanted. These patents include the design of a miniature analog to digital converter, powered by light, at the distal end of catheters. Over 20 patents were issued to Biophan for these innovative applications of photonics and fiber optics in catheters and implanted devices, one of which was sold to Medtronic and the balance are retained by Biophan.
Technology Innovations (through its Biomed Solutions division) joined forces with the University of Rochester and created CellTraffix (www.celltraffix.com) to commercialize a technology originally developed to collect adult stem cells using a miniature implantable capillary using adhesion technology and microfluidics. Biomed invented the concept and brought it to the University of Rochester, proposing a new model, a reverse of the norm, where the University’s expertise and capabilities generated over $4 million in R&D funding and a start-up company was formed. Michael R. King, Ph.D. led the transition from concept to a proven capability, collecting adult stem cells. The technology was then adapted to signal cancer cells flowing in blood and to kill them with very low toxicity to healthy cells, using the same core technology. Patents were filed to use this technology to signal adjust stem cells to differentiate into the specific cells needed by the body. The research is now ongoing at Dr. King’s lab at Cornell University, and joint research on stem cells for ocular applications is being explored with the University of Southern California’s NSF funded Biomimetics Center.
Mike’s work with Dr. Jack Tuszynski at the University of Alberta at Edmonton resulted in two new ventures, OncoVista (www.oncovista.com OTC: OVIT) was founded with Dr. Tuszynski and Dr. Alex Weis (formerly cofounder of CSO of Ilex oncology). OncoVista has a diagnostic test that indicates the presence of metastasizing tumors in the bloodstream, and is developing a test to monitor the success of specific chemotherapy drugs on patient-specific metastasizing tumors, a key component in personalized medicine. OncoVista is publicly traded on the OTC and Frankfurt markets. A new company, Pharma Matrix, is being formed with Dr. Tuszynski in Edmonton to commercialize breakthrough technologies in drug development.
Mike and his colleagues are developing an advancement in live cell imaging seeing more of a cell, faster, with much less need for dyes, in 3D, without damaging the cell. It is called CellCAT (http://plum.celltraffix.com/content/blogcategory/37/35/).
Mike believes that society can benefit by improving the methods by which innovation moves from idea to application and commercialization. And that the planet can be maintained by encouraging knowledge, innovation, and the mechanics of enterprise. He supports the Lifeboat Foundation for these reasons.