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2012.09.26 nancyellenabrams
Nancy Abrams

Nancy studied History and the Philosophy of Science at the University of Chicago and Law at the University of Michigan as part of the Fulbright scheme. She has a long-term interest in the role of science in shaping new policies and has worked in this area for a European environmental think tank in Rome, the Ford Foundation, and the Office of Technology Assessment of the U.S. Congress. Nancy worked as a consultant to the Swiss, California and Wisconsin governments on science related issues. Nancy and her husband, the famous Cosmologist Joel Primack, have written a number of articles and the books “The View from the Center of the Universe”, 2006 and” The New Universe and the Human Future”, 2011. She has written numerous articles for newspapers and magazines, and has released three albums.

2011.09.27 arieli
Dan Ariely

Dan was born in New York on April 29, 1968. He grew up in Israel, where he enrolled in the University of Tel-Aviv, majoring in Math and Physics. He was involved in an accident during his final year and received burns to 70% of his body. He became interested in analyzing the reasons behind human behavior during his time convalescing, and, having switched his major, graduated with a Bachelor’s in Psychology in 1991. He received his Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology in 1996 from the University of North Carolina and founded the Center of Advanced Hindsight. Dan then graduated from Duke University with a Ph.D. in Business Administration. He taught at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1998 to 2008. He published a bestseller in 2008 titled “Predictably Irrational”. From 2008 he worked as Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University. He published “The Upside of Irrationality” and received an award from the American Marketing Association for “Placebo Effects of Marketing Actions”, of which he was coauthor. He is married with two children.

2012.02.16 jeremy bailenson
Jeremy Bailenson

Jeremy is a Professor at the Faculty of Communications and founder of the Virtual Human Interaction Lab at Stanford. He specializes in cognitive psychology and his main area of interest is the phenomenon of digital human representation, especially in the context of immersive virtual reality, he also acts as a consultant for a series of U.S. and U.K research centers, as well as the U.S. army on virtual reality. In 2011, Jeremy co-authored “Infinite Reality” with California University Professor Jim Blascovich, dedicated to avatars, eternal life, and the dawn of the virtual revolution. The book received positive reviews in leading American publications, it explains that the worlds depicted in “The Matrix”, “Tron” and “Avatar” could become reality in the near future.

2012.02.07 barlow
John Perry Barlow

John wrote the song Grateful Dead, inspired the Burning Man festival and wrote the “Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace”. The paper was published on February 8, 1996 when U.S. President Bill Clinton signed the Communication Decency Act, which envisaged censorship of the internet. The document raised awareness of the problem among the general public and Clinton repealed the act on July 12. John then continued to protect the internet from government interference. Recently, he has actively protested against the U.S. Congress bills SOPA and PIPA, which could seriously impede people's access to information online.

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Nigel Townsend and Ben Musgrave

Nigel Townsend is founder and current Creative Director of Y Touring Theatre Company, Central YMCA's award-winning young people's touring theatre company, dedicated to exploring contemporary issues.

Y Touring, in partnership with organisations including the Wellcome Trust, the Medical Research Council, the Department for Education, the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, the BBC, Guys, Kings and Thomas', and the National Theatre, has produced 60 national tours for over a million young people, teachers, youth leaders, health and science professionals and members of the general public, exploring topics including: HIV/AIDS, teenage pregnancy, clinical depression, xenotransplantation, stem cell therapy, parenting neuroethics, personalised medicine, the future of food and novel neurotechnologies.

Nigel is also responsible for leading the development of OneKX the first hub for young people to connect, collaborate, create through Science, Arts and Technology and home of Y Touring Theatre Company and Dance United.

Prior to working for Central YMCA, Nigel worked for the Young Vic, Battersea Arts centre, Edinburgh Theatre Workshop, curtain theatre, Humberside theatre, Coventry Theatre in Education Company and the BBC.

Ben Musgrave grew up in Britain, Bangladesh and India. PRETEND YOU HAVE BIG BUILDINGS won first prize in the inaugural Bruntwood Playwriting Competition. The play was performed in the main house of the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, in July 2007, as part of the Manchester International Festival. The play has been translated into German. He was subsequently commissioned by the National Theatre.

His commission for Y Touring, BREATHING COUNTRY, in association with the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Wellcome Trust, toured the country in 2009-10, and was shortlisted for the Theatre Centre Brian Way award for the Best New Play for Young People.

In 2009, he worked with David Watson and Paula Stanic on a piece for Only Connect - PANCRAS BOYS CLUB. His play for the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Exams are Getting Easier, was performed by the Young REP in April 2010. Ben is currently working with TheatreScience and Imperial College on a play about HIV in Uganda. His afternoon play for Radio 4, The British Club, starring Sanjeev Bhaskar and Samantha Bond, was broadcast in March 2012, and his new play for Only Connect, His Teeth, performed in October 2011. It was Evening Standard and Time Out Critics’ Choice, and was been nominated for an award for best new play.

He teaches creative writing at Westminster University, and is a fellow of the Macdowell Colony, New Hampshire. He was a member of the FORUM OF YOUNG EUROPEAN PLAYWRIGHTS (Wiesbaden, Germany, 2008), and is currently supported by a grant from the Peggy Ramsay Foundation.

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Bjarne Berg

Berg was born and grew up in Norway. He began his career as a financial analyst at Moody’s in Europe and earned his MBA in the US, where he settled down and switched to working with domain-oriented information in big data. In the middle of the 1990’s he created a data bank for Bank of America and the Bank of Hawaii.

After building experience and becoming a well-known expert in the industry he worked as a senior manager in a Global System Solution Center (Global Data Warehouse Group) PwC, and then ran the business analysis department of the California consulting group MyITGroup. While occupying these positions he took part in the development and implementation of data storage projects for Ericsson Telecom, BlackBerry/RIM and banking organizations around the world.

Since 2002 he has concentrated on research and teaching, becoming a mathematics and information science professor at Lenoir Rhyne University (North Carolina, USA), while continuing to regularly speak at big data and business analysis conferences as well as consult on SAP user solutions.

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Nicholas Bonardi

Today Nicholas serves as the lead sound designer for Ubisoft San Francisco, which, as we speak, is in the process of producing the next edition of RockSmith, the inimitable ‘rock guitarist simulator.’

His career began in the mid 2000s, when he began learning DSP programming (converting analogue signals into digital ones) and working on the iPlayMusic project. This small, California-based company began developing interactive training programs and videos to help budding singers and instrumentalists learn using their favorite songs, but closed after just one year. But as you can see, Bonardi didn’t stay jobless for long.

Nicholas has been working on RockSmith since the project started. Specifically, he came to Ubisoft together with the technology that provided the basis for a new generation of simulators: the never-released game Guitar Rising, which he prepared from 2007-2009 in the bowels of GameTank, in the capacity of head designer and co-creator.