Biographical and social media information for the expert participants featured in the documentaries Avatar Secrets and Life After Digital, part of the Future Now project.

Avatar Secrets: Participants

Barry Wellman
Barry Wellman
is an urban sociology professor who studies the networks of community, communication, computer, and social. His research examines virtual community, the virtual workplace, social support, community, kinship, friendship, and social network theory and methods. He is co-author of the prize-winning book, Networked: The New Social Operating System, which analyzes the social nature of networked individualism. Follow Barry @barrywellman.

elan-lee-avatar-secretsElan Lee
Elan Lee is a transmedia pioneer, heralded as the ‘godfather of digital storytelling’. Lee currently works as Chief Design Officer for Xbox Entertainment Studios. Before that, he founded and worked at Fourth Wall Studios. He was also co-founder and Vice President of Design for 42 Entertainment, where he championed some of the most influential titles in transmedia: I Love Bees for Halo 2 and Year Zero for Nine Inch Nails. Lee has won awards for Best Web Game of the Year, Best Advertising Campaign of the Year, Best Idea of the Year, the Indiecade Trailblazer award, and an Emmy Award for Original Interactive Programming. Follow him at @elanlee

Eric- Zimmerman-Avatar-SecretsEric Zimmerman
Eric Zimmerman is an internationally recognized expert on game design and game culture. He the author (with Katie Salen) of Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals, the standard textbook for game design. Eric lectures and publishes extensively on games, including frequent keynotes at major industry events. He tweets @zimmermaneric.


Erin-Reilly-Avatar-SecretsErin Reilly
Erin Reilly is a creative director, educator and researcher who explores the future of story, audience, and media.  As Creative Director & Research Fellow at USC’s Annenberg School for Communications & Journalism, her research focuses on new media literacies, transmedia play, audience engagement and the future of media and entertainment.  Recent publications include T is for Transmedia: Learning through Transmedia Play. Follow Erin @ebreilly.

Jesse Hirsh
Jesse Hirsh is an Internet strategist, broadcaster, speaker and researcher. He has a strong passion for educating people on the potential benefits and risks of technology. Jesse is a weekly contributor to CBC Radio One, where he explains and analyzes the latest trends and developments in technology. He is also a co-founder of the Academy of the Impossible, a platform for people to explore the present and future of digital peer-to-peer currencies. His Twitter handle is @jessehirsh.

Jessica Hammer
Jessica Hammer is a professor, researcher and veteran game designer. She studies how games can change the way people think, feel, and behave. Jessica has taught at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, consulted for both academic and business clients, and worked at noted New York game company GameLab.  She developed the game design course sequence for the Communications, Computing and Technology program at Teachers College Columbia University and is a founding member of the Teachers College EGGPLANT game research laboratory and is a member of the Creativity Research Group. Find her on Twitter @kleenestar.

John Hagel
John Hagel III is an author and management consultant who specializes in the intersection of business, strategy and technology. He currently serves as co-chairman of the Silicon Valley-based Deloitte Center for the Edge, which conducts original research and develops substantive points of view for corporate growth. Prior to Deloitte, John’s impressive resume included time as the principal of John Hagel and Associates, Chief Strategy Officer at 12 Entrepreneuring,  Principal at McKinsey & Company, Founder and CEO at Sequoia Group, consultant at the Boston Consulting Group and Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning at Atari, Inc. John’s ideas have been featured in a diverse range of business publications, including theHarvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, McKinsey Quarterly and CIO Magazine. Twitter @jhagel.

John-Seely-Brown-Avatar-SecretsJohn Seely Brown
Part scientist, part artist and part strategist, John Seely Brown’s views are distinguished by a view of the human contexts in which technologies operate and a healthy skepticism about whether or not change always represents genuine progress. Currently, John is the Independent Co-Chairman of The Deloitte Center for the Edge. Prior to that, he was the Chief Scientist of Xerox Corporation and the director of its Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). While head of PARC, John expanded the role of corporate research to include such topics as the management of radical innovation, organizational learning, complex adaptive systems, and nano technologies. His most current book is The New Culture of LearningFind John on Twitter @jseelybrown.

Nathan Jurgenson
Nathan Jurgenson is a doctoral student of sociology at the University of Maryland, co-founder of Internet social-theory blog Cyborgology, and contributing editor to The New Inquiry. His studies and writing are using modern and post-modern sociological theories to comprehend Web 2.0 — which will be used to re-imagine current approaches to consumption, exploitation, knowledge production, and others. He’s also been interviewed for Life After Digital. Find him on twitter @nathanjurgenson.

Stephen GillettStephen Gillett
Stephen Gillett is highly regarded for his creativity, innovation and commitment to developing unparalleled customer experiences as a technology and business leader.  He is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Symantec. Stephen is known as a long-time MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) guild leader most recently in World of Warcraft. Twitter @stephengillett.

Dr. Sue Johnson
Dr. Sue Johnson is an author, clinical psychologist, researcher, professor and one of the leading innovators in the field of couples therapy. She is the primary developer of Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT), which has demonstrated its effectiveness in over 25 years of peer-reviewed clinical research. She is also the author of the best-selling book: Hold Me Tight, Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love. Her Twitter handle is @Dr_SueJohnson.

Tiffany-Shlain-Avatar-SecretsTiffany Shlain
Newsweek honoured Tiffany Shlain as one of the “Women Shaping the 21st Century”. Tiffany is an American filmmaker, artist, founder of the Webby Awards, and co-founder of The International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. She is a world-renowned speaker and is known for her visual and inspiring presentations, which have been viewed over 1 million times. Four of her films have premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, including her acclaimed feature documentary, Connected: An Autoblogography about Love, Death & Technology, which The New York Times hailed as “incredibly engaging”. TED Conferences published Tiffany’s first book, Brain Power: From Neurons to Networks. Find her on Twitter @tiffanyshlain.

Vint Cerf
Vint Cerf, is one of the co-inventors of the Internet. Currently, he serves as the vice president and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google where he is responsible for identifying new enabling technologies and applications on the Internet and other platforms. Vint is co-founder of the Internet Society (ISOC). He also served as president of ICANN, the organization that operates the domain naming system.


Life After Digital: Participants

Alessandro Acquisti
Alessandro Acquisti is an associate professor of Information Technology and Public Policy at Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Acquisti also works with the Carnegie Mellon Cylab and the Ponemon Institute. His research involves understanding the intersection and interplay between the behavioural and economic implications of IT, with a focus on privacy and informational security. Past partnerships included the Xerox PARC lab, Internet Ecologies Group, NASA Ares Research Center, and Berkeley. Much of his findings can be found in academic journals such as Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Marketing Letters, Information Systems Research, and others. Links to his most recent studies can be found on his website.

Alice-Marwick-Life-After-DigitalAlice Marwick
Alice Marwick is an assistant professor of communication and media studies at Fordham University. She’s a research affiliate at Fordham Law School’s Center for Law and Information Policy, as well as the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School. Her research explores sexism and misogynistic behaviour online, analysis of social media use by youth alongside danah boyd, and contemporary tech culture. 2013 saw the publication of her first book Status Update: Celebrity, Publicity and Branding in the Social Media Age. Find her on Twitter @alicetiara.

Andrew-Clement-Life-After-DigitalAndrew Clement
Andrew Clement is a consultant and University of Toronto professor in the Faculty of Information, with an interest in participatory design, community networking, and computer-aided co-operative work among others. He co-ordinates the Information Policy Research Program [IPRP], a network of projects and initiatives developed to examine Canadian policy issues in light of rapid IT advancement over the last two decades. These include apps tracking data packets internationally [IXMAPS], education regarding surveillance in public spaces [SurveillanceRights], and critiques on the over-exchange of information within smartcards [PROP-ID]. Clement’s academic publications and ongoing research with the IPRP is detailed on the IPRP website.

Annmarie-Chiarini-Life-After-DigitalAnnemarie Chiarini
Annemarie Chiarini is a Maryland-based English professor and victim advocate for the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, an organization advocating for awareness and support of the victims of cyber harassment, racism, and revenge porn. Her own experiences with online emotional abuse have lead Chiarini to push for stricter laws against non-consensual pornography and online stalking. Her articles have appeared in The Guardian and The Huffington Post, and she is currently writing a personal memoir based on her experiences. On Twitter, she is @annmarichiarini.

Aubrey Anable
Aubrey Anable is a professor of film and new media studies at the University of Toronto, and regularly contributes to HASTAC, a progress blog collaboration between arts, humanities and technology scholars. She received her PhD at the University of Rochester studying visual and digital culture as applied to urban reform. Her work also intersects with feminist theory, video game design, and participatory media culture.

Carol-Todd-Life-After-DigitalCarol Todd
Carol Todd is the founder of the Amanda Todd Legacy, a foundation devoted to supporting youth with mental illness both online and offline. She founded the organization after her daughter took her own life in 2012 as a result of cyber bullying. Carol Todd also does extensive public speaking on mental health issues, the nature of suicide, and support mechanisms for friends and family of the mentally ill. Follow her on Twitter @c_todd.

danah-boyd-life-after-digitaldanah boyd
danah boyd is a principle researcher at Microsoft Research, and an academic with New York University and Harvard’s Berkman Centre for the Internet and Society.As a social media scholar, Boyd looks into the social and cultural relationships between teenagers and emerging digital platforms. She’s also researched people’s self-management of online identities, the interplay between sex hormones and engagement with virtual reality, and the tensions between private and public aspects of technological society. Her new book It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens was released in February 2014. She tweets @zephoria.

Erica- Johnstone-Life-After-DigitalErica Johnstone
Erica Johnstone is a partner with California-based law firm Ridder, Costa, and Johnstone LLP, and co-founder of online privacy non-profit Without My Consent. A former litigation associate and independent film producer, Johnstone now specializes in representing plaintiffs in cases involving the illegal publication of personal information, identity theft, impersonation, and harassment. She uses her legal experience to educate the public, and has frequently appeared in American national and legal publications such as The New York Times Magazine, The Daily Record, This Week in Law, and California Lawyer Magazine. Her Twitter handle is @ericajstone.

Gabriella Coleman
Gabriella Coleman currently holds the Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy at McGill University. Originally a cultural anthropologist, Coleman’s insights and writing on digital activism, culture, and hacking have been featured in everything from Bloomberg to Boing Boing. Her latest book Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous is to be released in November 2014. Find her on Twitter as @BiellaColeman.

Isabel-Pedersen-Life-After-DigitalIsabel Pedersen
Isabel Pedersen is the Canadian Research chair in digital life, media, and culture at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT). Her research interests include wearable computing, trans-humanism, and reality-shifting media. She has published  articles in a variety of scholarly journals, and recently wrote Ready to Wear: A Rhetoric of Wearable Computers and Reality-Shifting Media. Find her on Twitter @isabel_pedersen.

Kevin Slavin
Kevin Slavin is an assistant professor of media arts and science at MIT who has performed groundbreaking work on reconceptualising game design and development around current location-aware social media and mobile platforms.He’s created and co-founded a variety of labs, research initiatives, and marketing platforms including AFK Labs, Starling, Playful Systems (MIT Media Lab), and Everywhere at Once, among others. 2011 saw the debut of Slavin’s TED talk, entitled “How Algorithms Shape Out World.” His public Twitter handle can be found @slavin_fpo.

Marios Savvides
Marios Savvides is a research professor with the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at Carnegie Mellon University. He directs the Carnegie Cylab Biometrics Center, a laboratory attempting to refine biometric scanning technology to better identify subjects through facial features, palm-print, or iris scans. Part of his work includes simplifying biometric programs to run on smart phones or other compact devices, and developing artificial intelligences to better interpret biometric data. New developments or publications on his work can be found at the Cylab website.

Michael-Fertik-Life-After-DigitalMichael Fertik
Michael Fertik is the founder of online profile management website, and the Digital Freedom Foundation. A leading expert in online reputation and digital privacy, Fertik is also a member of the World Economic Forum Agenda Council on the Future of the Internet, and a regular entrepreneurial and technological industry commentator. He appears regularly on national and international television as an expert source, and his published work includes co-authoring Wild West 2.0 and the upcoming book The Reputation Economy, due for release in March 2015. Find him at @michaelfertik.

Mike Rugnetta
Mike Rugnetta is a musician, programmer, and composer from Brooklyn, New York. In live performances and recordings, he blends his own complex ideas around human networking into live-mix, music, or visual works that seek to test the human capacity to make abstract connections. He’s performed or lectured at a variety of venues across New York City. Noted works include “The Constructors”, “Untitled #5″, and “Revealing.” A range of current and past projects can be found on his Twitter @mikerugnetta, bandcamp, soundcloud or delicious page.

Nathan- Jurgenson-Life-After-DigitalNathan Jurgenson
Nathan Jurgenson is a doctoral student of sociology at the University of Maryland, co-founder of Internet social-theory blog Cyborgology, and contributing editor to The New Inquiry. His studies and writing are using modern and post-modern sociological theories to comprehend Web 2.0 — which will be used to re-imagine current approaches to consumption, exploitation, knowledge production, and others. He’s also been interviewed for Avatar Secrets. Find him on twitter @nathanjurgenson.

Nicholas Mirzoeff
Nicholas Mirzoeff is a professor of media, culture, and communication at the New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. He is one of the pioneers of the academic study of visual culture, his most recent award-winning book being The Right To Look. Recent projects include editing online project, The New Everyday, and a to-be-launched open-writing project entitled After Occupy: What We Learned. Read more about his work on his blog, and find him on Twitter @NicholasMirzoeff.