ContactCon List of Participants
Confirmed Participants February 2011
Confirmed Participants so far:
Michel Bauwens is a Belgian national working out of Thailand, focusing on a book about P2P Theory which adequately describes and explains current trends, to propose, in dialog with others, sustainable strategies for political and social change, i.e. to achieve a 'commons-based society' that can operate within a reformed market and state.
His past includes creation of two internet start-ups, the intranet/extranet company E-Com (sold to Alcatel) and the interactive marketing company Kyberco (sold to Tagora holding). He was European Mgr. of Thought Leadership for MarchFIRST, and ebusiness strategy director for Belgacom, Belgium’s leading telco (1999-2002).
He started his career as information analyst and reference librarian for the United States Information Agency (1983-2000), worked as information manager for British Petroleum (1990-1993) (where he created one of the first virtual information centers and is credited for coining the concept of cybrarian), and is former editor-in-chief of the first European digital convergence magazine, the Dutch language Wave.
George Pór is an evolutionary thinker/activist and strategic learning partner to visionary leaders in business, government and civil society, in matters of communities of practice and innovation-boosting, multi-stakeholder global events and processes. He is a pioneer of virtual communities, knowledge ecology, and collective intelligence research, and a seasoned practitioner of Theory U, World Café and the Art of Hosting.
George is passionate about co-creating a world in which the full development of everyone is the goal of the whole. Work as creative self-expression is ceased to be the privilege of the few, and recognized as birthright of the multitude; a world, where all social institutions are designed to increase aliveness, joy, and prosperity for all. He is working for that by designing/advising projects that amplify collective intelligence and wisdom in organizations and social ecosystems. His methodology, the Innovation Architecture, combines social, cognitive, and electronic technologies for resilience, innovation, and regeneration.
His academic teaching and research posts included: Université de Paris, UC Berkeley, California Institute for Integral Studies, INSEAD, London School of Economics, and Universiteit van Amsterdam. George lives in London and speaks English, French, Hungarian and Russian.
Thomas Heydt-Benjamin researches security and privacy properties of ubiquitous and pervasive computing systems. Thomas brings with him to this work his prior experience in both attacks on and defenses of pervasive computing systems. In 2007 he participated in investigation of new contactless smart credit cards used in the United States, in which the team discovered serious flaws. In 2008 he and colleagues examined security and privacy properties of pacemakers and implantable cardiac defibrillators, determining that some aspects of existing designs may present dangerous security vulnerabilities. As a member of the security and cryptography team at IBM Zurich Research Laboratory from 2008 to 2009, Thomas worked with ZRL's famous anonymous credentials systems, inventing several extensions to anonymous credentials. Thomas is currently focused on novel solutions to real world security problems in resource constrained devices similar to the credit cards and pacemakers he has previously studied. Thomas started hacking and exploring computer security systems at age 6 when first exposed to assembler programming on the IBM PC. This early interest lead to formal study of computer science during high school through the Science Honors Program at Columbia University. He then earned a Bachelor of Science in computer science from Yale University, and a Master of Science in computer science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Marc Canter is CEO of Broadband Mechanics, which produces People Aggregator, a social networking tool with source available (but not under an open source license). Previously, he was a founder of the company that became Macromedia.
His blog, Marc's Voice, frequently critiques other Internet luminaries and competitors, such as Mark Zuckerberg.
Canter is also a contributor to many open standards efforts and advocates for end-user controlled digital identities and content - being a co-founder of the "Identity Gang", and a co-signer of the Social Web Users' Bill of Rights.
He has consulted with global corporations including PCCW and Intel and has written on the multimedia industry, micro-content publishing and social networking.
Canter is developing software in the Greater Cleveland area and teaching classes at Case Western Reserve University
- Suresh Fernando, [OpenKollab]
Suresh's primary current project is the development of ProM, a 'dating site' for the climate action movement. The ProM concept is described here. The current status of the project is described here. As a part of this project, Suresh and the rest of the ProM team are developing the architecture and processes for scalable open projects.
During the last several years Suresh has been focused on developing innovative solutions and strategies in both the open collaboration and social finance space. He is the co-founder of OpenKollab, a virtual think tank exploring ways of leveraging recent developments in open collaboration processes, peer-to-peer culture, technology infrastructure, interoperability protocols etc. in service of massive social and systemic change. He is also a senior consultant for Cognitive Policy Works. Suresh is a social innovator who marries innovative strategies and models by fusing a deep understanding of collaboration processes and tools, community building platforms and processes and social finance models. He is also currently providing enterprise cross-boundary collaboration services; assisting organizations to identify the appropriate technology infrastructure and processes to effectively work together across organizational boundaries.
Adam Fisk is a P2P bit twiddler who was the lead engineer at LimeWire before founding Little Shoot and Brave New Software. Adam is continuing to work on LittleShoot as well as Brave New Software's first project, the P2P censorship circumvention tool "Lantern." Lantern uses the LittleShoot P2P platform, a decentralized, encrypted, open source and standards-based platform for an Internet with fewer points of control.
Paul B. Hartzog, one of the coiners of the word "panarchy," is an independent scholar and hacker, and has taught at the University of Michigan's School of Information.
Cofounder of The Future Forward Institute, and recipient of an NSF IGERT to study complex systems, he has a Masters in Globalization and Environmental Politics from the University of Utah, and a Masters in Political Theory from the University of Michigan.
His work on panarchy hybridizes political philosophy/economy, network culture, complex systems, and critical social theory. His interests include Complexity Theory, Cooperation, International Relations, Environmental Politics, Information Society and Economy, Information Technologies, Sustainable Development, Network Culture, and Ethics.
Scott Heiferman is CEO and a co-founder of Meetup, a service that helps people use the internet to organize local community groups with local offline meetings. Meetup originally gained notoriety as the grassroots backbone of the Howard Dean presidential campaign in 2004.
As of April 2008, five million people have registered on Meetup. Meetup's investors include eBay, Omidyar Network, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Esther Dyson, and others.
Heiferman also co-founded Fotolog and i-traffic.
Prior to founding i-traffic, Heiferman was employed by Sony with the title "Interactive Marketing Frontiersman." In 2005, Scott received the Jane Addams Award from the National Conference on Citizenship.
In 2004 M.I.T. Technology Review awarded Scott "Innovator of the Year" for his work with Meetup. He graduated from The University of Iowa in 1994 and has posted a photo on his personal Fotolog for every day since 2001.
Aaron Huslage has been hacking on Internet technologies since 1987, and been a thought leader in the Internet industry since 1993. His greatest talent lies in communicating highly technical information to those who aren’t highly technical.
He constantly researches new and emerging technologies and the latest system management techniques with an emphasis on very large-scale, low-cost, simple mobile, wireless and public interest communications. Aaron is a member of the organizing committee for O’Reilly’s Emerging Telephony Conference. He is intimately familiar with Sun Microsystems offerings, and heavily committed to the concept of Open Everything including OpenBTS.
Steve Johnson is an expert on product management in technology products, using an outside-in, market-driven approach that creates successful products that people want to buy.
Author, Where Good Ideas Come From
Venessa Miemis is a futurist and digital ethnographer, researching the impacts of social technologies on society and culture and designing systems to facilitate innovation and the evolution of consciousness.
She earned a Masters in Media Studies at the New School in NYC.
She is the founder and editor of Emergent by Design, and a principal organizer with Doug Rushkoff of the CONTACT conference.
blog: Emergent by Design
Richard Metzger (born October 25, 1965 in Wheeling, West Virginia) is a television host and author.
He was the host of the TV show Disinformation (United Kingdom Channel 4, 2000-01), The Disinformation Company and its website, Disinfo.com.
He is currently the host of the online talk show Dangerous Minds.
He is the author of two books, Disinformation: The Interviews (2002) which feature unedited interviews with several of the characters and thinkers who were guests on the series and Book of Lies: The Disinformation Guide To Magick & The Occult (2004) an anthology of occult essays.
- Genesis P-Orridge - musician, artist, founder Throbbing Gristle
Genesis Breyer P-Orridge (born Neil Andrew Megson 22 February 1950) is an English singer-songwriter, musician, writer and artist.
His early confrontational performance work in COUM Transmissions in the late 1960s and early 1970s along with the industrial band Throbbing Gristle, which dealt with subjects such as prostitution, pornography, serial killers, occultism and his own exploration of gender issues, generated controversy.
Later musical work with Psychic TV received wider exposure, including some chart-topping singles.
P-Orridge is credited on over 200 releases.
Eli Pariser (born December 17, 1980 in Lincolnville, Maine) is the former Executive Director of MoveOn.org, and the organization's current Board President.
Pariser's rise to prominence as a political activist began when he and college student David H. Pickering launched an online petition calling for a nonmilitary response to the attacks of September 11th. (At the time, he was working as a program assistant for the national nonprofit More Than Money.)
In less than a month, half a million people had signed the petition and in November of that year, Moveon.org founders Wes Boyd and Joan Blades asked Pariser to join their organization.
During the 2004 US Presidential Election, Pariser co-created the Bush in 30 Seconds ad contest and raised over $30 million from small donors to run ads and back Democratic and progressive candidates.
- Mark Pesce - inventor, technologist, futurist
Mark Pesce is an inventor, author and educator, best known for work that fused the World Wide Web with real-time 3D computer graphics; the result, known as VRML (for Virtual Reality Modeling Language) has become an international standard.
The author of numerous articles on science, technology, media and the arts, Pesce has also written five books, including The Playful World: How Technology is Transforming Our Imagination (Random House, 2000) which presented a roadmap of key 21st century technologies.
Pesce contends we are entering an ‘era of hyperdistribution’ that will radically change our media ecosystem. Central to this shift is the take-up of p2p filesharing software like BitTorrent that provides the first truly efficient digital media distribution platform based on the principles of swarming.
More recently Pesce has discussed the importance of articulated social networks as a means to socially filter increasing informational pressure and sort quality material based on recommendations from trusted sources.
Andrew Rasiej is a futurist, social entrepreneur, and Founder of Personal Democracy Forum, an annual conference and website about the intersection of politics and technology.
He is also the co-Founder of techPresident.com, an award winning blog that covers how the Obama administration is using the web, and how technology is empowering new levels of citizen engagement throughout the United States.
He is also the Founder a not for profit organization called MOUSE.org focused on 21st century public education, Co-Founder of Mideastwire.com, which translates Arabic and Farsi news and opinion pieces into English, and serves as Senior Technology Advisor to the Sunlight Foundation a Washington DC focused on using technology to help make government more transparent.
He is also the Chairman of the NY Tech Meetup, a 15,000 member organization of technologists, venture funders, marketers in New York City.
Sam Rose founded a commons-based business model consultancy that builds theory and practice in the open, helping communities and social enterprises create and usefully deploy open source software, open licensed hardware, and open education resources.
He is interested in effective knowledge synthesis, and in exploring and developing the concepts of open knowledge, open design, and open business.
He is involved in a growing list of blogs, wikis, social software experiments and developings, including CoummunityWiki, Meatball Wiki, Cooperation Commons Weblog, Smartmobs Weblog. Sam Rose is also a partner and principle technologist in http://hollymeadcapital.com
Past clients have included Howard Rheingold, MacArthur Foundation, MIT Press, Stanford University, USDA, David Korten and People Centered Development Forum, and the Cooperation Commons and Social Media Classroom community.
Rachel Rosenfelt is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of The New Inquiry.
She is also a new media and marketing consultant based in New York. Prior to The New Inquiry she worked at the World Wide Workshop Foundation, rising to Program Manager.
She holds her degree from Barnard College in the field of Women’s Studies, where online activism and organization for women’s issues sparked her interest in the transformational power of new media.
- Douglas Rushkoff - media theorist, author
Douglas Rushkoff is an American media theorist, writer, columnist, lecturer, graphic novelist and documentarian.
He is best known for his association with the early cyberpunk culture, and his advocacy of open source solutions to social problems.
Rushkoff is most frequently regarded as a media theorist, and known for coining terms and concepts including viral media (or media virus), digital native, and social currency.
He has written ten books on media, technology, and culture. He wrote the first syndicated column on cyberculture for The New York Times Syndicate, as well as regular columns for The Guardian of London, Arthur, Discover and the online magazines Daily Beast, TheFeature.com and meeting industry magazine One+.
Rushkoff currently teaches in the Media Studies department at The New School University in Manhattan.
Micah L. Sifry is a co-founder and editor of the Personal Democracy Forum, a daily website and annual conference on how technology is changing politics.
He is also the editor of PdF’s new group blog TechPresident, which focuses on how the campaigns are using the web and how the web is using them. Along with his partner Andrew Rasiej, he consults on how political organizations, campaigns, non-profits and media entities can adapt to and thrive in a networked world.
He is the author or editor of four books, the most recent being Is That a Politician in Your Pocket? (John Wiley & Sons, 2004), written with Nancy Watzman.
He is also an adjunct professor at the Political Science Department of the City University of New York/Graduate Center, where he teaches a course called “Writing Politics.”
Dave Winer in Brooklyn, New York City) is an American software developer, entrepreneur and writer in New York City.
Winer is noted for his contributions to outliners, scripting, content management, and web services, as well as blogging and podcasting.
He is the founder of the software companies Living Videotext and Userland Software, a former contributing editor for the Web magazine HotWired, the author of the Scripting News weblog, a former research fellow at Harvard Law School, and current visiting scholar at New York University's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute.
- Nathan Solomon - superfluid
Nathan Solomon co-founded superfluid with Branimir Vasilic. This initiative grows from their shared obsession with getting shit done, and was conceived to help humans build and coordinate socially-enabled teams for execution of the projects that matter to them, and sometimes to others, without recourse to $. In addition to bringing together the broader superfluid membership, this system facilitates existing communities forming discrete areas within superfluid.
Nathan created the first digital distribution of AAA game titles, the first wireless in-store distribution of games in the US, has held roles with national ad agencies as Chief Technologist and Executive Producer, and was a cinematography fellow of the American Film Instute. Thoughout his career, he has worked to provide coherent contexts empowering creative and technical execution. His hobby is VeloBase.org