Interesting New York 2008


Speakers at I:NY 2008

Aaron Dignan:

"The game of life."

Aaron Dignan is a founding partner at Undercurrent, a digital think tank that explores the future of social interactive.

Alexandru Rosu:

"Credo Quia Absurdum Est. Romanian Political Street Art (webcast from Romania)"

A political science major, Alex Rosu, 23, stares into a computer. He is passionate about art and anthropology, and works on a documentary about Romania.

Allan Benamer:

"Valuing Social Change: Towards a Better World With Numbers"

From 2002-2007, he was IT Director for New York’s Coalition for the Homeless. He is now Executive Director of socialmarkets. He is also the blogger behind

Amber Finlay:

"Embracing Bastardization: what your reaction to Fan Fiction culture says about you. + Mad men"

Amber Finlay works at Naked Communications, and is waiting for someone to write some great Lemony Snicket fan fiction (HMS Violet / Quigley Quagmire, specifically).

Azita Houshiar:

"Jane Eyre and the Internet"

Azita Houshiar is the Director of Marketing at Tacit Knowledge, a global software development consultancy. She is a hyphenated-American, lapsed attorney, and a freelance illustrator.

Bernard Leibov:

"If you can't stand the heat, get the hell out of Hell's Kitchen"

Born Johannesburg. 30 years in banking/design/art/philanthropy NYC and London. Managing Director JDK NYC. Burning Man. Joshua Tree. Power/Community/Joy.

Bryan Fuhr:

"Fending oneself from a blogger"

Bryan Fuhr is the Director of Strategy at AKQA’s New York office. His Charter is fostering creative solutions through digital communication.

Bud Melman:

"Embracing Bastardization: what your reaction to Fan Fiction culture says about you. + Mad men"

Bud Melman was born for a singular purpose: to deliver the mail to the brilliant and complex mad men and women at Sterling Cooper Advertising.

Charles Rosen:

"Living with Hillary. Stories from eighteen months on the campaign trail. "

Is a founding partner of Amalgamated advertising and brand consultancy. In previous lives, Charles was an attorney and independent movie producer which all make him perfectly suited for politics.

Colin Nagy:

"A brief history of Techno"

Based in NYC, Colin Nagy works in digital media and also writes about electronic music. His favorite techno record of all time is “Marionette” by Mathew Jonson.

Dallas Penn:

"The Bodega Food Pyramid: Food choices and the nutritional habits of the underserved"

Dallas Penn is one-third of the filmmaking collective called the Internets Celebrites whose comedy is derived from their earnestness to oppose what they consider social injustice.

David Art Wales:

"Secret Societies"

David fled Australia in 1989 when the TV show he hosted was canceled. Now he runs Ministry of Culture and teaches Consumer Anthropology at NJIT.

Dipti Bramhandkar:

"Is Reader's Digest right? Is laughter really the best medicine?"

Dipti works in advertising as a planner and writes essays, stories and plays at night. She lives in London, but lacks a credible British accent.

Doug Jaeger:

Doug Jaeger was a global digital advertising veteran by age 28 starting digital creative departments for JWT and TBWA\C\D. In 2003 he founded thehappycorp, a multi-disciplinary creative studio, serving clients who mean to do good.

Dr. Irving Slesar:

"Understanding Dreams"

As one of the pioneer investigators of sleep and dreams, Dr. Slesar (accidentally) made the discovery that sleep talking usually occurs when we are not dreaming. He is currently a practicing clinical psychotherapist and consumer researcher in New York.

Faris Yakob:

"Ideas are New Combinations: A history of recombinant culture, from Locke to Linux"

Faris is the Digital Ninja at Naked Communications. He has a love of rare jungle and sesquipedalianism, both of which he indulges on his blog: Talent Imitates, Genius Steals.

Gaurav Mishra:

"The marketer who went off consumption"

Gaurav Mishra is doing research on social media in BRIC countries at Georgetown University. He writes about marketing, technology and social media at

Grant McCracken:

"I am sorry to have to say this, but you have Asperger's syndrome"

Grant McCracken is a research affiliate at M.I.T. He holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Chicago and recently published Transformations: Identity formation in contemporary culture.

Hillel Cooperman:

"Cheese, wine, and software? How software is crossing the artisanal divide"

Hillel used to run the Windows User Experience team at Microsoft. Now he runs a small web startup - Jackson Fish Market. He also likes food.

James Cooper:

"Why ping pong is good for the soul"

James Cooper is the Creative Partner of Another Anomaly by day. By night he plays ping pong and works on his new publishing phenomenon: Celebrity Ping Pong.

Jeff Tuller:

"Valuing Social Change: Towards a Better World With Numbers"

Started his career in the very private sector at financial firms Bear Stearns and State Street Bank. He recently supplemented his MS in Computer Science with an MPA from NYU’s Wagner School for Public Service.

Jennifer Wright:

"Doesn't it Seem Likely that the Fashion World's Kaiser, Karl Lagerfeld is, in fact, a Robot?"

Jennifer Wright is a freelance writer for a variety of luxury lifestyle publications. She’s also interested in robots.

Joel Johnson:

"I am my own Grandpa!"

Joel Johnson is Planning Director at Sapient Interactive. Also his plays have appeared in London and New York. Johnson recently began charting his genealogy using online tools.

Kevin Slavin:

"Dollhouse Earth"

Kevin Slavin is the co-founder and Managing Director of Area/Code Entertainment in NYC.

Mark Baltazar:

"How to get run over by a Metro North Train and Live"

Mark Baltazar is CEO|Managing Director of Broadstreet a marketing and communication agency. He’s a board member of The Moth, a pilot, produced screenwriter and holds dual US/EU citizenship.

Michael Karnjanaprakorn:

"New Orleans: Social Innovation Hub of the World"

Gets you full on good through All Day Buffet. Makes your ideas happen through Behance. Text “mikekarnj” to 66937 to connect and learn more. 

Morgan Friedman:

"How to wander around a city"

Morgan Friedman pays attention to the details. He runs a software development firm in Buenos Aires and is The Man behind Overheard in New York,

Nick Parish:

"Kombucha: How to manufacture the ancient elixir"

Nick worked as a florist, baker, mechanic and pool boy before finding journalism. He’s Creativity magazine’s associate editor and doesn’t plan on a mycology profession.

Noah Brier:

"How I Learned To Make Stuff on the Internet (and you can too)"

Noah really likes the internet. A lot. Associations:,,, and

Scott Ballum:

"The Consume®econnection Project a one-year experiment to meet the people who make everything I consume"

Scott is a Brooklyn graphic designer and writer advocating consciousness around personal consumption and production, and encouraging all-around social and cultural goodness.