Speaker Bios

Rosa Laura Junco

The Future of Real News

Board member Grupo Reforma

Rosa Laura Junco has served on the executive board and community editorial boards of Grupo Reforma, the largest print media company in Latin America. Born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico, Rosa Laura Junco witnessed Reforma’s newspapers become a key player in the fight for freedom of speech, democratic elections, and access to public information in her country. In the process, she developed a keen sense of the power media has to craft the community it serves, and the responsibility this entails.

Paul Pangaro

The Future of Cybernetics

Associate Professor and Chair of MFA IxD Program at College for Creative Studies

Entrepreneur, Interaction Designer, Educator. Chair of MFA Interaction Design at College for Creative Studies, Detroit. He has founded software startups (General Cybernetics, Idealab’s Snap.com), future-casted (Nokia, Samsung, Intellectual Ventures), designed innovation processes (DuPont, Ogilvy), and lectured worldwide on cybernetics, design, and conversation.

Chester Santos

The Future of Outsourcing Our Memory

U.S. Memory Champion

Chester Santos, “The International Man of Memory”, is one of the world’s foremost experts on memory training. He’s helped thousands of people around the world to realize the benefits of an improved memory and sharper mind, and has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, USA Today, PBS, CNN, and various other television, radio, and print media all over the world. Chester is also the 2008 USA National Memory Champion. He has spoken for executive organizations such as YPO, CEO Clubs International, and AceTech as well as for many Fortune 500 companies, and prestigious universities including: the Royal University for Women in Bahrain, the Haas Graduate School of Business in Berkeley, Stanford University, and Harvard University.

Chester’s presentations are a wonderfully unique blend of interactivity, entertainment, inspiration, and education. He delights audiences while helping them to develop real world skills that they can apply to achieve more success in their career and personal life.  His presentations are “unforgettable” experiences that everyone will always “remember” and talk about for years to come.

Jose Benavides

The Future of NASA’s Free-Flying Space Robots

Engineering Lead, NASA Aimes Research Center

Jose Benavides leads the NASA International Space Station (ISS) Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) and Astrobee Facility. The SPHERES Facility (http://www.nasa.gov/spheres) is one of the most used and popular ISS National Labs with over 80 on-board test sessions and 400+ hours of on-orbit activities to date. Jose has a bachelors and masters degree in Electrical Engineering from Arizona State University. His hobbies include reading, ham-radio, computer networking, and wood working.

Dr. Maya Ackerman

The Future of Music

CEO & Co-Founder, WaveAI Inc., Computer Engineering Professor, Santa Clara University

Dr. Maya Ackerman, PhD., is a Computer Engineering Professor at Santa Clara University and the CEO/Co-founder of WaveAI Inc., where she and her team created ALYSIA, an Artificial Intelligence that makes songwriting accessible to everyone (http://www.tryalysia.com/). Dr. Ackerman specializes in Machine Learning and Computational Creativity with over 26 publications in leading conferences and journals and numerous research awards. Maya is also a trained singer, specializing in opera.

Tony Parisi

The Future of AR/VR

Global Head of AR/VR, Unity Technologies

Tony Parisi is a virtual reality pioneer, serial entrepreneur and angel investor. Tony is the co-creator of 3D graphics standards, including VRML, X3D and glTF, the new file format standard for 3D web and mobile applications.Tony is also the author of O’Reilly Media’s books on Virtual Reality and WebGL: Learning Virtual Reality (2015), Programming 3D Applications in HTML5 and WebGL (2014), and WebGL Up and Running (2012).

Tony is currently Head of VR and AR at Unity Technologies, where he oversees the company’s strategy for virtual and augmented reality.