Keynote Speakers

Michael Abbott

Michael Abbott, Palm, Inc. Senior Vice President, Application Software and Services

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Michael leads the application platform and services development for the company’s next-generation Palm webOS platform. He has extensive experience in building technically challenging web-based applications and services.

Before joining Palm, Michael was the general manager of .NET Online Services at Microsoft, where he led efforts to deliver a services platform that enabled the development of large-scale Internet-based services. Prior to Microsoft, he co-founded Passenger Inc., where he served as chairman and led the development of the company’s consumer marketing SAAS platform. Michael also founded Composite Software, creator of industry-leading enterprise information integration software, where he served as the CEO/CTO.

Michael holds a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from California Polytechnic State University, and has completed coursework toward a Ph.D. at the University of Washington.

5:10pm Wednesday, 04/01/2009
Palm stole the show at CES, unveiling the new Palm Pre – the first phone based on Palm’s groundbreaking new webOS. Mike Abbott, SVP of Application Software and Services for Palm explains how webOS will change the way users and developers think about mobile web experiences.
Full Details
Location: Ballroom - 3rd Level
Mark Carges

Mark Carges, eBay Inc. Senior Vice President, Platform & CTO, Marketplaces

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As Senior Vice President of Platform and CTO of Marketplaces, Mark Carges is responsible for accelerating the company’s platform innovation and he is also responsible for overseeing the technology architecture, software development and site operations for eBay.com.

Prior to joining eBay in September 2008, Mark was Executive Vice President, Products and General Manager, for the Business Interaction Division at BEA Systems, a provider of enterprise application infrastructure software that was acquired by Oracle in April 2008. During more than a decade at BEA, Mark held a variety of other senior technology leadership roles, including Chief Technology Officer.

Mark began his career at Bell Labs as one of the original architects of Tuxedo, software for constructing highly scalable transaction processing applications. Prior to BEA, he designed and developed early versions of Tuxedo at Bell Labs, Unix System Labs and Novell.

Mark holds a BA in Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley and an MS degree in Computer Science from New York University.

5:20pm Wednesday, 04/01/2009
TBD
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Location: Ballroom - 3rd Level
Stephen Elop

Stephen Elop, Nokia President, CEO

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Stephen Elop joined Nokia as President and Chief Executive Officer as of September 21, 2010.

Most recently, Stephen served as president of Microsoft’s Business Division and was a member of Microsoft’s senior leadership team responsible for the company’s overall strategy. In this position, he oversaw the Microsoft Office systems and other communications tools and applications for consumers, small and mid-size businesses, as well as large organizations and enterprises.

Previously Stephen was Chief Operating Officer of Juniper Networks, a leading provider of high-performance network infrastructure. As COO, he was responsible for the company’s product groups, corporate development, global sales and service, as well as marketing and manufacturing organizations. Prior to Juniper, Stephen served as president of worldwide field operations of Adobe Systems Inc. He joined Adobe following the 2005 acquisition of Macromedia Inc., where he was president and CEO.

Previously in his career, he served in a number of executive positions, including chief information officer.

Stephen earned a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering and management from McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, his home country, and was subsequently awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

In his spare time, Stephen enjoys his family and the many sports pursued by his five children, and he is an active pilot.

4:30pm Wednesday, 04/01/2009
TBD
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Location: Ballroom - 3rd Level
Brady Forrest

Brady Forrest, O'Reilly Media, Inc. Tech Evangelist

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Brady Forrest is Program Chair for O’Reilly’s Where and co-chair for Android Open . Additionally, he co-chaired the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco and NYC. Brady writes for O’Reilly Radar tracking changes in technology. He previously worked at Microsoft on Live Search (he came to Microsoft when it acquired MongoMusic). Brady lives in Seattle, where he builds cars for Burning Man and runs Ignite. You can track his web travels at Truffle Honey.

3:45pm Wednesday, 04/01/2009
Opening welcome
Full Details
Location: Ballroom - 3rd Level
8:50am Thursday, 04/02/2009
TBD
Full Details
Location: Ballroom - 3rd Level
8:50am Friday, 04/03/2009
TBD
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Location: Ballroom - 3rd Level
Heather Gold

Heather Gold, the Heather Gold Show Social Comedian, Speaker, Emotional Mechanic

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Heather Gold is an innovative comedian with deep roots in The Valley. She tours North America performing, speaking and hosting conversations at venues from the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts to Kenyon College to Gotham Comedy Club. For 10 years, she’s been mixing up the Net and in live performances exploring the emotional mechanics of how people connect — for example, how to be “private” in public, how to scale conversation, and how to bring really different people together.

Heather’s best known for quickly cutting through the chaff and “open sourcing” aspects of her shows to highlight insight and humor from the people formerly known as the audience. Heather uses her performance as a lab, bringing insight to technology, business and communities on how to create useful conversations. Heather started working the web in 1995 with strategic roles at New Line Cinema, Apple’s pioneering webcast group and Fuse which designed the precursor to the iPod.

Heather hosts the Heather Gold Show which features bold conversations about politics, relationships and big life questions mingling web innovators with the avant-garde. Guests include Flickr co-founder Caterina Fake, blogger Merlin Mann and twitter founder Ev WIlliams. She’s also baked over 24,000 cookies with audiences in her hit solo show I Look Like an Egg, But I Identify as a Cookie. Cookie was performed at leading NY development theatre Ars Nova in New York and ran for a year in San Francisco where it was selected as “Best of the Bay Area.” Heather has written for Alan Cumming, appeared in a pilot for LOGO TV and shared the stage with comics like Margaret Cho, Bill Irwin and Maria Bamford. Heather’s been quoted and covered in places like WIRED, NPR, and boing boing who calls her “brilliant” and “one of our favorite comedians.”

Heather makes authentic conversations happen bringing out “aha moments” at companies and conferences like Google, SXSWinteractive, BlogHer, AIGA, Social Venture Network, Forum One’s Marketing & Online Communities Conference and Overlap 08. She also contributes to media like The San Jose Mercury News, Tech TV, The Learning Channel, The Toronto Globe & Mail, and CBC Radio. Much to her parents’ delight, she has degrees from Yale and Northwestern Law.

Heather now offers very small workshops in UnPresenting in which she teaches people how to apply conversational mechanics to really engage the room. The first one is December 4th.

Heather has vowed to never use the words leverage or synergize unless it’s for a very important lifesaving purpose.

8:55am Friday, 04/03/2009
TBD
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Location: Ballroom - 3rd Level
Vic Gundotra

Vic Gundotra, Google VP, Engineering

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Vic joined Google in 2007 as a Vice President of Engineering, responsible for developer evangelism and open source programs. He also oversees applications development. Previously, Vic spent 15 years at Microsoft, where he worked on a variety of products and operating systems, including Windows 3.0, NT, Windows XP, and Vista. He was recognized by MIT as a “Young Innovator under 35” for his work in sparking the Microsoft’s change from Win32 to the .NET programming model.

Most recently, Vic was General Manager of Microsoft’s developer outreach efforts worldwide, including evangelism and strategy for products like Windows Vista, Visual Studio, Microsoft Office, Microsoft CRM, and Windows Mobile.

Vic holds two patents in the area of distributed computing and identity-based access to cloud resources.

9:05am Friday, 04/03/2009
TBD
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Location: Ballroom - 3rd Level
Scott Heiferman

Scott Heiferman, Meetup CEO

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Scott Heiferman is Chief Organizer of Meetup, dedicated to 21st century local community organizing. Today, millions of people are part of self-organized Meetup Groups around thousands of topics in over 100 countries – with thousands of Meetups (real events) happening daily. Meetup is now a self-sustaining operation, pursuing a long-range dream of a “Meetup Everywhere about Most Everything” – giving everyone access to a local community group when they need it. Heiferman received the Jane Addams Award from the National Conference on Citizenship and the MIT Technology Review “Innovator of the Year”. He graduated from The University of Iowa. http://scott.heiferman.com

9:35am Friday, 04/03/2009
TBD
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Location: Ballroom - 3rd Level
Peter Hershberg

Peter Hershberg, Reprise Media Managing Partner

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Peter Hershberg Managing Partner As Managing Partner, Peter is responsible for overseeing the technology, sales, client services, media, and product marketing of the entire organization.

Prior to founding Reprise Media in 2003, Peter spent over ten years in the interactive space in a series of consulting and management roles, specializing in technology and media.

Peter served as vice president of Strategic Development at Ask.com, a leading search engine. In this role, he created long-term strategies and functioned as a key decision maker in the company’s new business ventures. Peter also held a role as the company’s vice president of Consumer Sales and was responsible for the conceptualization and execution of Ask.com’s e-commerce strategy.

While at Ask.com, Peter developed one of the earliest forms of what is widely known today as “paid inclusion.” Under the structure he initiated, client pages were allowed to appear as answers to users’ questions for the first time, providing a direct call to action for users along with a cost effective and measurable solution for marketers.

Before joining Ask.com, Peter was co-founder and CEO of Rotomedia, Inc., a consulting and advertising firm for web marketers and publishers, which was acquired by Ask Jeeves in April 1999.

Peter was named a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2005 and 2007.

10:15am Friday, 04/03/2009
TBD
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Location: Ballroom - 3rd Level
Jeffrey Kalmikoff

Jeffrey Kalmikoff, Threadless Partner and CCO

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Jeffrey is your average 29-year-old tattooed metal-head with an eye for design and nose for tomfoolery. His time is spent as partner and Chief Creative Officer of the Chicago-based, community-business-centric skinnyCorp.

Jeffrey started out as a design partner for the Threadless website, but soon joined the team full-time. As CCO, Jeffrey oversees design and strategy for skinnyCorp’s numerous community-based web projects. These projects range in scale from Threadless, a multi-million dollar tee shirt business and ongoing design competition, to YayHooray, a just-for-fun design and technology community site.

Jeffrey’s work has been published numerous times, and he has had the pleasure of speaking to students and peers all over the world from MIT to the University of Copenhagen to CNN to NPR.

9:45am Friday, 04/03/2009
Keynote
Full Details
Location: Ballroom - 3rd Level
Amanda Koster

Amanda Koster, SalaamGarage Founder

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If you’d like to chat or meet, please email or text me on my cell: 206-390-1057. Thanks! OR come to the BOF event at 7pm Thur, 4/2.

Amanda Koster is an internationally acclaimed photographer whose commercial and personal work has shown a consistent commitment to telling stories of real people, human rights, cultural diversity and global equality. She combines her anthropology background with media skills to create content as a means for powerful communication and storytelling.

Amanda founded SalaamGarage in 2007. SalaamGarage an organization that takes amateur media makers (photo, writing, video, etc.) to NGOs in developing countries to document the work of local organizations. Koster’s organization is a success because the travelers use their own voices and images to advocate in online and offline networks.

She created SalaamGarage for 4 reasons 1) so many people asked “Can I Come With You” [and help with her international projects] 2) she sat through so many travel slide shows wondering what would happen if that person had traveled to an NGO and talked about it instead of ‘here’s me in front of the Taj Mahal’ 3) wondered what would happen if people plugged meaningful, powerful content into their social media sites versus photos of themselves in their underwear 4) realized she couldn’t change the world alone.

She and her team are leading upcoming trips to Guatemala, India and Vietnam. There are still spots available.

Her book Can I Come with You? is a collection of over a decade of her social documentary work around the world, including excerpts from her personal journals. She has received many international awards and grants for her personal projects.

Koster is also part of a 4-year project photographing, writing, scripting media for a projects related to HIV/AIDS research and technology in Kenya. Select clients include The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The New York Times, Newsweek, Entrepreneur, Metropolis, Fast Company, Business Week, Wired. She has taught photography internationally and is invited regularly as an industry speaker and representative worldwide.

5:00pm Wednesday, 04/01/2009
TBD
Full Details
Location: Ballroom - 3rd Level
Kevin Lynch

Kevin Lynch, Adobe Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President

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As chief technology officer and senior vice president, Experience & Technology Organization, Kevin Lynch oversees Adobe’s experience design and core technology across business units. This role includes driving Adobe’s technology platform for designers and developers across desktops and devices, including Adobe® Flash® Player, Portable Document Format (PDF), Adobe Flex® and Adobe AIR™, the cross-operating system application runtime that bridges the computing power and data capabilities of the desktop with the real-time dynamic capabilities of the web. He also oversees Adobe’s developer relations program, including the integration of customers and partners in the development process through Adobe Labs and customer advisory councils.

Prior to being named CTO in 2008, Lynch served as senior vice president and chief software architect for Adobe’s Platform Business Unit. Lynch joined Adobe through the company’s 2005 acquisition of Macromedia, Inc., where he served as chief software architect and president of product development. He headed up the creation of the company’s mobile and devices group and served as general manager of the web publishing group. Lynch also oversaw the initial development of Macromedia® Dreamweaver®, a leading web development product.

Before joining Macromedia in 1996, Lynch worked for General Magic, where he pioneered a navigational user interface for handheld communicators. Previously, he designed the user interface and developed the first Macintosh release of FrameMaker® software for Frame Technology, later acquired by Adobe. While at the University of Illinois, Lynch developed early Macintosh applications, including a desktop publishing program that introduced user interface elements in common use today.

Lynch holds three patents with others currently pending, and he is involved in Adobe’s international standards efforts with organizations such as the W3C, ECMA and ISO. Lynch studied interactive computer graphics at the University of Illinois, working with artists and engineers in the Electronic Visualization Laboratory.

9:50am Thursday, 04/02/2009
Keynote
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Location: Ballroom - 3rd Level
John Maeda

John Maeda, Rhode Island School of Design President

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John Maeda is a world-renowned graphic designer, artist, and computer scientist and is a founding voice for “simplicity” in the digital age. He has pioneered the use of the computer for people of all ages and skills to create art. Maeda’s early work redefined the use of electronic media as a tool for expression by combining skilled computer programming with a sensitivity to traditional artistic concerns. This work helped to develop the interactive motion graphics that are prevalent on the Internet today. He also initiated the Design by Numbers project, a global initiative to teach computer programming to visual artists through a freely available, custom software system that he designed. He has displayed his work at numerous exhibitions, lectured extensively worldwide, and has published several books featuring his graphic designs.

Previously Associate Director of Research at the MIT Media Laboratory, where he managed relationships for a $32M laboratory, he also held the E. Rudge and Nancy Allen Professorship of Media Arts and Sciences. On June 1, 2008, he became the sixteenth president of Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in Providence, Rhode Island, the preeminent college of art and design in the United States.

In 1999, Maeda was included in Esquire magazine’s list of the 21 most important people for the twenty-first century. He is also the recipient of the highest career honors for design in the USA (2001, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award; 2008, Art Directors Club Lifetime Achievement Award), Japan (2002, Mainichi Design Prize), and Germany (2005, Raymond Loewy Foundation Prize). In May of 2003, he received an honorary doctorate of fine arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art. He received both his BS and MS degrees from MIT, and earned his PhD in design from Tsukuba University Institute of Art and Design in Japan. He also holds an MBA from Arizona State University.

Maeda is the author of four books, including his 480-page retrospective MAEDA@MEDIA (2001, Thames & Hudson), and his most recent book, THE LAWS OF SIMPLICITY (2006, MIT Press).

He is the recipient of the highest career honors for design in the United States, Japan, and Germany and serves on the board of trustees for the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. He has had major exhibits of his work in Paris, London, New York and Tokyo, and has written several books on his philosophy of “humanizing technology” through his perspective on the future of creative uses of technologies, including THE LAWS OF SIMPLICITY (MIT Press) published in 14 languages. His design work and consulting for organizations like Google, Cartier, Samsung, Shiseido, Reebok, Chanel, Philips and Sony have led to seminal advances in how digital thinking meets the analog world with the greatest respect for humanity.

Maeda is a sought-after lecturer at major universities and boardrooms throughout the world.

4:15pm Wednesday, 04/01/2009
TBD
Full Details
Location: Ballroom - 3rd Level
Ellen Miller

Ellen Miller, Sunlight Foundation Co-Founder and Executive Director

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Ellen S. Miller is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Sunlight Foundation, a Washington-based, non-partisan non-profit dedicated to using the power of the Internet to catalyze greater government openness and transparency. She is the founder of two prominent Washington-based organizations in the field of money and politics – the Center for Responsive Politics and Public Campaign – and a nationally recognized expert on government transparency, campaign finance and ethics issues. Ms. Miller is a well-recognized public speaker, commentator, and writer on the issues of money, politics, and power. Her experience as a Washington advocate for more than 35 years spans the worlds of public interest advocacy, grass roots activism and journalism. In addition to her more than two decades of work on the issue of money in politics, Ms. Miller served as Deputy Director of Campaign for America’s Future, where she directed its Project for an Accountable Congress, the publisher of TomPaine.com and a senior fellow at The American Prospect. She spent nearly a decade working on Capitol Hill. She blogs regularly at the Sunlight Foundation site and has written frequently for TomPaine.com, The Hill, The American Prospect, and The Nation. She was named by WIRED Magazine in the 2008 Smart List as one of the “15 People the Next President Should Listen To”, and appeared in Fast Company’s February 2009 “Most Influential Women in Technology.”

9:25am Thursday, 04/02/2009
TBD
Full Details
Location: Ballroom - 3rd Level
Jake Nickell

Jake Nickell, Threadless Founder and CSO

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Jake Nickell is a young, entrepreneurial mad man that programs community websites non-stop. He is the founder and CSO of skinnyCorp and Threadless.com, along with countless other side projects.

Jake dreamed up the Threadless concept in 2000 after winning a tee shirt design contest on a short-lived online design forum. The idea of sharing designs and opening them up for fellow artists’ critiques appealed to him; he thought Threadless would be a way to give back to the community by creating actual goods out of the submitted designs.

He led the growth of Threadless, which has culminated in more than 900,000 online users and two physical retail stores in Chicago, and has a number of other projects in the works.

9:45am Friday, 04/03/2009
Keynote
Full Details
Location: Ballroom - 3rd Level
Tim O'Reilly

Tim O'Reilly, O'Reilly Media, Inc. Founder and CEO

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Tim O’Reilly is the founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media. His original business plan was “interesting work for interesting people,” and that’s worked out pretty well. He publishes books, runs conferences, invests in early-stage startups, urges companies to create more value than they capture, and tries to change the world by spreading and amplifying the knowledge of innovators.

Tim is also a partner at O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, a founder and board member of Safari Books Online and Maker Media, and on the boards of Code for America and PeerJ.

3:50pm Wednesday, 04/01/2009
TBD
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Location: Ballroom - 3rd Level
Jennifer Pahlka

Jennifer Pahlka, Code for America Executive Director

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Jennifer Pahlka is the founder and executive director of Code for America, which is dedicated to the idea that government can work for the people, by the people, in the 21st century. She is an Ashoka fellow, and received the Internet and Society Award from the Oxford Internet Institute in 2012. Government Technology named her one of 2011’s Doers, Dreamers and Drivers in Public Sector Innovation and the Huffington Post named her the top Game Changer in Business and Technology the same year. She is known for her TED talk, Coding a Better Government, and is a frequent speaker. Previously, she ran the Web 2.0 and Gov 2.0 events for TechWeb, in conjunction with O’Reilly Media, and co-chaired the successful Web 2.0 Expo. She is a graduate of Yale University and lives in Oakland, Calif. with her daughter and eight chickens.

3:45pm Wednesday, 04/01/2009
Opening welcome
Full Details
Location: Ballroom - 3rd Level
8:50am Thursday, 04/02/2009
TBD
Full Details
Location: Ballroom - 3rd Level
8:50am Friday, 04/03/2009
TBD
Full Details
Location: Ballroom - 3rd Level
Douglas Rushkoff

Douglas Rushkoff, "Program or Be Programmed" Author

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Douglas Rushkoff, PhD, is a world-renowned media theorist whose twelve books, including Life, Inc and Program or Be Programmed., have won prestigious awards and have been translated into thirty languages. He is a commentator on CNN and a contributor to The Guardian, Discover, and NPR. He also made the PBS documentaries Merchants of Cool, The Persuaders, and Digital Nation. He advocates for digital literacy at Codecademy.com, and teaches at NYU and The New School. He lives in New York, with his wife Barbara and daughter Mamie.

8:55am Thursday, 04/02/2009
Keynote
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Location: Ballroom - 3rd Level
Anssi Vanjoki

Anssi Vanjoki, Nokia Executive Vice President, Markets

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Starting January 1, 2008, Anssi Vanjoki is Executive Vice President of the new Markets unit. In this function Anssi is responsible for sales, marketing, manufacturing and logistics of all Nokia products and services. He is a member of the Nokia Group Executive Board, a position held since 1998.

A highly respected brand and marketing authority, Anssi has been a visionary force in Nokia’s efforts to address mobility markets. His work has focused on developing the Nokia brand and the convergence of mobility and the Internet. From 2004, he served as Executive Vice President and General Manager of Multimedia, with overall responsibility for the Nokia Nseries multimedia computer device fleet and Nokia services.

Anssi joined Nokia in 1991 and was named Vice President, Sales, Nokia Mobile Phones, before his promotion in 1994 to Senior Vice President, Nokia Mobile Phones Europe and Africa. In 1998 he was made Executive Vice President, Nokia Mobile Phones Europe and Africa. In addition, in 1999, he took responsibility for Nokia’s Digital Convergence Unit and, in 2002, also headed up the Business Unit Management.

Anssi is the chairman of the board of Amer Sports Corporation, and was a member of the Governing Committee of the European Foundation for Quality Management 2001 – 2003. He is a Knight, 1st Class, of the Order of the White Rose of Finland and Commander of the Order of the White Rose of Finland.

Prior to joining Nokia, he held a variety of management positions at the 3M Corporation.

He holds a master’s degree in economics from the Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration.

9:15am Thursday, 04/02/2009
Imagine the map on the device becoming the user interface for search instead of a text box or search results based on the physical world and augmented by the digital world. Social location also opens up new opportunities for developers and marketers. In this talk, the factors enabling a personalized mobile computer will be presented.
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Location: Ballroom - 3rd Level
Jeff Veen

Jeff Veen, Typekit Founder

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Jeffrey Veen is a founder and CEO of Typekit, a cloud-based font subscription service for web designers. Jeffrey was also one of the founding partners of Adaptive Path and project lead for Measure Map, the well-received web analytics tool acquired by Google in 2006, where he managed the user experience group responsible for some of the largest web apps in the world. As a consultant, he has been involved in designing the leading blog and social media applications on the web, including Blogger, TypePad, Flickr, and and National Public Radio.

Previously, Jeffrey served as the Executive Director of Interface Design for Wired Digital and Lycos Inc., where he managed the look and feel of HotWired, the HotBot search engine, Lycos.com and others.

In addition to lecturing and writing on Web design and development, Jeffrey has been active with the World Wide Web Consortium’s CSS Editorial Review Board as an invited expert on electronic publishing. He was also an original columnist for Webmonkey, the author of the acclaimed books “The Art & Science of Web Design” and “HotWired Style: Principles for Building Smart Web Sites”.

10:25am Friday, 04/03/2009
Keynote
Full Details
Location: Ballroom - 3rd Level
Will Wright

Will Wright, Electronic Arts Game Designer

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Twenty years ago, a video game that you could neither win nor lose was inconceivable-unless you were Will Wright. With five years of college under his belt and no degree, twenty-something year old Will had the idea of creating a game based on designing and building cities. In achieving that goal, Will created a new genre in gaming and within it, one of the best-loved game franchises in history establishing Will Wright as a visionary within the world of video game design.

The idea for SimCity struck as will was designing his first game, Raid on Bungeling Bay (1984) a game in which helicopters attacked islands. Realizing he preferred building islands to piloting attack ‘copters, Will partnered with “idea guy” Jeff Braun to create a company known as Maxis and they released SimCity in 1989. With SimCity the mass market got its first real taste of a simulation game, and they were hooked! The word-of-mouth acclaim swirling around SimCity ultimately attracted the attention of Newsweek, and a full page story on the game cemented SimCity’s place in entertainment history. An entirely new kind of video game genre, focused around open-ended, non-violent gameplay was born!

Maxis followed up the surprising success of SimCity with a string of popular simulation games throughout the 1990s. Titles such as SimEarth: The Living Planet (1990), SimAnt: The Electronic Ant Colony (1991), SimCity 2000 (1993), SimCopter (1996), and SimCity 3000 (1999) introduced simulation games to hundreds of thousands of new fans, demonstrating the genre’s true potential.

Still nobody was prepared for the phenomenal success of The Sims. Will, who studied architecture in college, originally conceived of the game as an architectural design simulator. To “score” the quality of the design, he added tiny people who would inhabit the buildings. These simulated people quickly stole the spotlight, and Will realized that watching the lives of the Sims unfold was the real entertainment. Again, his instincts were right. Released in 2000, The Sims was the best-selling PC game of of 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003, until it was dethroned by its own sequel The Sims 2, which quickly established itself as the best selling PC game of 2004. Popular console, handheld and mobile phone versions of the game have contributed to the huge success of the franchise, which has sold more than 58M games, life-to-date.

The Sims and its expansion packs and sequels have become a cultural phenomenon and solidified Will’s position as a gaming-industry legend. His honors and accolades include making Entertainment Weekly’s “It List” of “the 100 most creative people in entertainment” and Time Digital’s “Digital 50” in 1999, receiving a “Lifetime Achievement Award” at the Game Developers Choice Awards in 2001, being named #35 on Entertainment Weekly’s Power List in 2002, becoming the fifth person to be inducted into the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences’ Hall of Fame that same year, and receiving the PC Magazine Lifetime Achievement Award.

Will is currently devoted to the creation of the Spore, which took home the Electronic Entertainment Expo’s most coveted prize, the Game Critics Award for Best of Show when the game debuted at E3 2005. The game has since been recognized as the Best Original Game, Best PC Game, and Best Simulation Game by E3 Awards Committee, and has also garnered significant recognition from prominent media outside the gaming space—specifically the Popular Mechanics “Breakthrough of the Year” Award and Popular Science “Best of 2008” Award.

10:00am Thursday, 04/02/2009
Will Wright, the creator of SimCity, The Sims, and now Spore, speaks with Tim O'Reilly about the creative process, user-generated content, and much more.
Full Details
Location: Ballroom - 3rd Level
  • 3Tera, Inc
  • Ascentium
  • Awareness
  • HiveLive, Inc.
  • ImageSpan
  • Jive Software
  • Juniper Networks
  • Kapow Technologies
  • Keynote Systems
  • LithiumTechnologies
  • Nokia
  • nomee
  • Qtask
  • Rackspace Hosting
  • Remy
  • TamTamy
  • Vignette
  • Yola (fka SynthaSite)
  • Znak
Sponsors
  • IBM
  • eBay
  • Microsoft Corporation
  • Salesforce.com
  • Adobe Systems, Inc.
  • EffectiveUI
  • Germany Trade & Invest
  • NeuStar
  • ONEsite

Sponsor & Exhibitor Opportunities

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ndugandzic@techweb.com

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