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Category Archives: Futurist

Visual Effects Society Names Acclaimed Visual Futurist Syd Mead A Keynote Speaker at 2017 VES Summit – SHOOT Online

Posted: August 25, 2017 at 3:31 am


SHOOT Online
Visual Effects Society Names Acclaimed Visual Futurist Syd Mead A Keynote Speaker at 2017 VES Summit
SHOOT Online
The Visual Effects Society (VES), the industry's global professional honorary society, announced acclaimed visual futurist and VES Visionary Award honoree Syd Mead as a Keynote Speaker at its 9th annual Summit, Inspiring Change: Building on 20 Years

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Residents ‘Happy’ With Futurist Development – Yorkshire Coast Radio

Posted: at 3:30 am

Scarborough Borough Council says residents with properties near the Futurist Theatre site are now happy with the plans to develop the area.

It comes after a drop in session that was hosted by the council where residents who had fears about their properties once the development got underway could come and talk to representatives.

The planning application for the development of the Futurist Theatre site that will be looked at later this year is to look at the method of the demolition.

It’s likely that the application will be heard by the beginning of October and if that is successful, preliminary works could begin by Christmas.

Mike Cockerill is from Scarborough Borough Council’s Cabinet, he said:

“Obviously residents had fears with such a major demolition and site stabilisation going on adjacent to their properties.

Most of the residents who came to the drop in session had their fears significantly allayed and they went away happy.

The major concern with the demolitionand stabilisation, is residents who fear their property may even fall down.

We put those concerns to bed because there is no way that we’re going anyway more than 10 metres to any adjacent properties.”

You can listen to the full interview with Cllr Mike Cockerill here:

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THE FUTURIST: Economic and existential concerns cloud the future – Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Posted: August 22, 2017 at 11:24 pm

By David Houle

September is a month that has had a lot of meaning for most members of the Silent Generation and the Baby Boomers through their lives.

It was the month when most of us went back to school or off to college. It was the start of the traditional TV season back when there were just a few channels. It was the month when the new car models were revealed by the Detroit automakers.

Labor Day was the official end of summer and it was back to the realities of work and school. Summer romances quickly receded as a result. Back to life and the new possibilities. Summer vacation was over.

(When did it become a reality that K-12 schools and colleges started their school years by mid-August? When and why did that happen? School got out in early June and began again in early September. Remember those last two weeks of August when the summer job ended and you had a couple of weeks of hazy summer days? What happened to that seasonal rhythm?)

Well, as we move into September this year, there are a lot of events ahead that could profoundly shape the business and investment landscapes. It is a month when active investors need to pay close attention to non-financial news.

Nuclear war

This is the only part that feels like the old days. For my entire life until I was into my 40s, mutually assured destruction was simply an existential reality. This time, of course, we have shouted boasting from two leaders who seem to have little perspective on what nuclear war truly would be.

I dont think this will happen.But if any type of conflict arises, the equities markets will do a fast and probably prolonged swan dive to substantially lower valuations.

The inability of Congress and the president to get anything done.

History suggests that when either party controls the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives, that party would move quickly and efficiently on a legislative agenda. Not in 2017. I cannot remember any time in my life and perhaps in history when a party in control of the executive and legislative branches was so incapable of governing. I would say the same thing if it were Democrats.

This inability to work for the benefit of America is dangerous and could have profoundly negative economic consequences.

Health care represents 17 percent of the nations GDP and currently is in a state of suspended animation and uncertainty. Not good.

The all talk, no action on much-needed infrastructure funding needs will be a true drag on the economy. Crumbling roads, a reported 10,000 bridges in critical condition of collapse, railroad tracks in complete disrepair, an aging air traffic control system and even the crumbling of the New York City subway system are all a drag on the economy and a danger to citizens. Imagine the consequences if no acceptable infrastructure bill gets passed and there are several train crashes and collapsed bridges that take American lives because of the absence of leadership and intelligent action in Washington.

Economic issues

Of course, there are truly significant economic events ahead in September that have the capacity to cause havoc with almost any investment portfolio.

First, there is the need to raise the debt ceiling by the end of the month to avoid a government shutdown. Our national debt is $20 trillion and our unsecured indebtedness as a country is close to $100 trillion.

Take the current ineffectual political leadership and layer on top of it the politicians who have spent a lot of hot air talking about the need for a balanced budget and what do you have?

Which bad option will they embrace? A call to keep the debt ceiling where it is, triggering a default? Or passage of legislation raising the debt ceiling and increasing the leveraged state of the country?

A default would have massively negative effects on financial markets. An increase in the debt ceiling continues what seems to be a path to ultimate default and will have a lesser but still significant effect on markets.

The Republicans have stated consistently they want to pass a tax-reform bill that simplifies the tax code and lowers taxes. It is hard to see how this can happen any time during the debt-ceiling discussions.

Am I delusional or are our elected officials?

As a now full-time resident of Sarasota, I look forward to September and October as those months of perfect weather when the snowbirds and winter tourists have yet to clog our streets and restaurants. On the political and financial fronts, however, September 2017 may well prove to be an extremely nervous, unsettling and perhaps negative time for investors and business people.

Pay attention and be ready to move quickly with your portfolios.

Sarasota resident David Houle is a globally recognized futurist. He has given speeches on six continents, written seven books and is futurist in residence at the Ringling College of Art + Design. His website is davidhoule.com. Email him at david@davidhoule.com.

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THE FUTURIST: Economic and existential concerns cloud the future – Sarasota Herald-Tribune

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New series of The Futurist Report explains effects of AI – IT News Africa – IT News Africa

Posted: at 11:24 pm

August 21, 2017 East Africa, General, North Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa

The new The Futurist Report explains how artificial intelligence (AI) and automation will affect the way we live our lives.

Ericsson, together with AT&T Foundry and RocketSpace have released the third series of TheFuturist Report. The report gives an inside look into the cutting-edge technologies and companies that are shaping the future of artificial intelligence (AI), and what this means for consumers.

Over 50 successful entrepreneurs, executives and academics leading the charge on new technologies and applications were interviewed tobetter understand developments in the AI space.

The report also explains how artificial intelligence and automation will affect the way we live our lives, and how brands will adapt and cater to changing consumer experiences.

AI will have an enormous impact on our daily lives. From enabling hyper-personalisation to saving huge amounts of time on routine tasks, these new tools will fundamentally shift the way we interact with technology in our day-to-day lives.

The impact is already happening in sub-Saharan Africa, with start-ups developing solutions that have the potential to impact key socio-economic issues. For example, a Cape Town based company created an AI system to assist farming consultants in Africa to identify problem areas in crops such as wheat, macadamia nuts, citrus and sugar cane. This technology will enable farmers to develop variable rate fertilisation application maps, predicting the yield of crops and identifying problem areas.

This is one example of how developing markets are adapting AI to address specific issues that are unique to regional challenges while taking advantage of the predicted mobile broadband growth in sub-Saharan Africa.

According to our latest Mobility Report, Mobile Broadband subscriptions in Middle East and Africa are expected to grow by almost 3 times between 2016 and 2022. This clearly illustrates the potential that AI will have across the region with the ability to impact growth in key areas that are critical for economic progress including agriculture, healthcare, education and infrastructure development said Rafiah Ibrahim, President of Ericsson Middle East and Africa.

In addition, five bold projections that showcase how AI will impact the consumer experience in coming years were developed.

Edited By: Fundisiwe Maseko Follow Fundisiwe Maseko on Twitter Follow ITNewsAfrica.com on Twitter

Artificial IntelligenceAT&T FoundryericssonIT Newsmobile broadbandRocketSpaceStart-upstech news

Disrupt or optimise When to choose which approach to innovation Cloud Technology: Discussing data compliance and security

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What is the Future of the Human Resource Function …

Posted: August 20, 2017 at 5:44 pm

From time to time we respond to questions about the future sent in via email by readers. We dont have a lot of time for this, but when a question seems especially interesting we offer our thoughts.

I am Manager in the Human Resources Function in a large Indian Pharmaceutical company. My question is what is the future of the Human Resource Function? Regards,

Gaurav Gupta Manager-HRD Ranbaxy Laboratories

Response by Richard Wilkinson, 2001

Glen Hiemstra asked me to respond to your inquiry. I think you have asked a simple but powerful and important question. My view is the future of HR appears contradictory.

On the one hand, the view of HR as a marginal contributor to organizational success seems to persist. Periodically the HR function is excoriated in the business press for its alleged irrelevancy to customer satisfaction, business profits, and increasing shareholder or stakeholder value. In this view HR is, at best, a collection of well-meaning but out-of-touch corporate bureaucrats who present barriers for employees and managers to hurdle as these real workers strive to deliver quality and value for the customer. Looked at this way, HR will become even more marginal as the strategic decisions and focus of organizational leaders are directed elsewhere.

Heres the contradictory part: Never before has it been so clear that effective human resource management practices lie at the heart of organizational success. Dr. Jeffrey Pfeffer of Stanford University makes a compelling case for high performance people strategies in his 1998 book The Human Equation (Boston: Harvard University Press). Here are four pertinent citations from this book:

A number of studies spanning different organizations operating in various service industries provide evidence for a positive relationship between employee attitudes and customer service and satisfaction and, moreover, a relationship between employee attitudes, customer attitudes, and profits. p. 55

[C]ustomer satisfaction and perceptions of service quality were significantly related to measures of employee attitudes about fairness of pay, whether management was concerned about employee welfare and treated people fairly, and whether supervisors encouraged an open and participative work environment. Ibid

Better service and higher employee satisfaction do, however, frequently produce higher profits. [N]umerous firms, such as Singapore Airlines, have succeeded financially by emphasizing employee well-being and customer service. p. 56

The existing research clearly shows that: prior empirical work has consistently found that use of effective human resource management practices enhances firm performance. p. 60

My view is that it is HRs job, though not HRs job alone, to champion and shepherd effective human resource management practices at both the strategic and day-to-day levels. That is, to be effective, human resource management practices must be grounded in two ways. First, they must reflect company wide commitments as to how it will manage and relate to its employees. Second, HR must follow-through on such commitments in the moment so that the words of the enterprise and deeds of its agents are congruent.

Although I see a different emphasis for HR in the future, I see HRs fundamental purpose-to build a positive, productive workplace-remaining unchanged. With this in mind, I see a successful future of HR revolving around three complementary and overlapping roles. I believe in fulfilling these roles HR will prove itself an important and legitimate contributor to organizational achievement. The heart underpinning these roles is less control, more learning. Here are the roles:

Facilitating the employee/employer connection, principally through empowering technologies (both digital and procedural) that emphasize employee self-service and managerial independence.

The corollary to this role is consistent striving to minimize dependent relationships between employees/managers and HR through transferring knowledge and expertise from HR to HRs clients. This is accomplished in part by using computer technologies enabling employees and managers to handle transactions online that they formerly needed HR to administer. Through employee and manager self-service features, such technologies also put greater access and control over information in the hands of employees and managers, thus increasing personal mastery and independence.

HRs task here may best be conceived as a help desk function: Set-up the systems, teach others to use them, and then get out of the way, answering questions from the field only as these arise.

Designing and helping implement high performance people strategies in partnership with line staff. The scope of such efforts could be quite narrow-at the team level-or system wide. As in #1, the focus is on developing employee and manager self-reliance through the skillful sharing of expertise by HR. The focus, though, is on applying that expertise in ways that are explicitly tied to priorities of line staffs.

What are high performance people strategies? Dr. Pfeffer identifies, seven dimensions that seem to characterize most if not all of the systems producing profits through people.

Serving as a catalyst for learning and communication. As educator HR has three jobs: (A) Introduce fresh thinking and new ideas to promote creativity, innovation and successful adaptation within the enterprise; (B) Persist in developing mastery of adopted organizational practices and process improvement methodologies by employees and managers; and, (C) Communicate extensively whats happening within the organization and why, especially as these relate to the seven high performance people strategies identified above.

What will such a function be called? I doubt it will be called human resources. While the new name eludes me, I believe it will be along the lines of Center for Organizational Effectiveness; not a department that is separate and apart from other departments, but a Center people are drawn to for nourishment, insight and understanding.

I hope this assessment of the future of HR has some appeal to you. Since I am a strong believer in designing the futures we prefer, the Facilitator/Designer/Educator role may be more reflective of the kind of HR function I want to create, as opposed to where the field is heading generally. Nonetheless, I hope you find the ideas useful as you consider the future human resources function that will best serve your organization.

Best of luck!

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Utah Futurist Rebrands NewVistas Effort – Valley News

Posted: at 5:44 pm

Royalton David Hall, the Utah engineer who envisions a planned settlement of thousands in four White River Valley towns, is renaming his operation here as he works to overcome local opposition to his plans.

Even as Hall shifts his attention from acquiring land to cultivating businesses based on technological innovations needed to realize his dream, Vermont planners and activists are moving to alter town plans as a way of promoting their own vision, rather than Halls, for the regions future.

The roughly 1,500 acres on which Hall eventually hopes to build his community now belong to a new legal entity, Windsorange LLC, that he says is part of an effort to rebrand his enterprise and allay fears that his plan, known as NewVistas, is coming anytime soon.

The name is a combination of the two Vermont counties, Windsor and Orange, that Hall says he hopes to improve.

What people never caught on to is (that) NewVistas is way in the future, and the first thing that needs to be done is jobs and commerce, Hall said in an interview last week. I decided to change the name so that people didnt think we were trying to do NewVistas right away.

The land that Hall has acquired in Royalton, Sharon, Strafford and Tunbridge is less than a third of the 5,000 acres that he envisions will hold a self-sustaining, carbon-neutral city based on designs from Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet, who was born in Sharon.

Although the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints owns the Joseph Smith Memorial near Halls holdings, the Mormon church has denied any connection to the wealthy Provo, Utah, futurist.

The 70-year-old Hall, who always has maintained that a NewVistas community in Vermont is decades away, now says he is focusing on offshoots of the research needed to make his self-sustaining communities possible.

I have lots of expanding businesses under my umbrella, he said, and so what my hope is, is to get some good cooperation with other key people in the area potential partnerships that could bring to the White River Valley some good jobs, he said.

Hall declined to name his contacts or put the Valley News in touch with them, saying that would be premature.

Around the time his plans first became public, in 2016, he mentioned he might like to find a foothold in the Upper Valley by establishing a research partnership with Vermont Law School.

I tried, he said last week, but I got soundly rejected. So Ill just wait. My ideas are too far out for most people. But Im patient. I can wait.

The website for Halls research group, Hall Labs, showcases eight businesses with products on the market, all of them with futuristic-sounding names such as office.xyz, Medic.Life and Vanderhall.

Those last two are the most promising so far, Hall says.

Vanderhall, a boutique auto company, manufactures cars from a single sheet of metal using precise laser cutting techniques. The result is a lightweight, custom-made specialty car with three wheels that looks somewhat like a motorcycle with doors.

The name Vanderhall is a mashup of David Halls last name and that of his wife, nee Karen Van Dyke. The companys president, their son Steve, appeared earlier this month on Jay Lenos Garage, the CNBC show featuring the former late night comedian.

Vanderhalls inventory is low, at about 1,000 per model, but sales are steady, and a new branch of this or another of Halls companies might someday open in the Upper Valley, he said.

The other major project, Medic.Life, will have the greatest long-term effect on its industry, Hall says. The companys health-taking toilet technology is designed to analyze the users vitals, finding patterns and giving warnings before treatment is necessary.

Right now we react when were sick, Hall said. We go to the hospital after the fact. And thats ridiculous. What we need is something thats gathering info about us our whole lives, finding the trends … and processing the data.

Halls land acquisition has come to a halt for the moment, remaining at about 1,500 acres in the four towns after an influx of offers drove him over budget. But however far off his goal may be, the question remains of what he will do with the land he has taken off the market.

Hall says he has fixed up several of the properties he bought and that he maintains them and pays taxes on them. Yet some of the old buildings he has acquired may be too decrepit to warrant repairs, he says.

Theres really questions as to whether its best to tear them down and restore the land or to fix them up, he said.

Those questions led to other questions. What roads can I get rid of and what buildings can I tear down to start my consolidation ideas? he said.

Despites Halls assurances that a Vermont settlement is a long way off, local critics, most prominent among them the Alliance for Vermont Communities, have continued their work to unite the community under a different vision.

Michael Sacca, a freelance producer from Tunbridge who serves as president of the alliance, expressed frustration last week at Halls determination to pursue his dream, regardless of the communitys response.

Sacca cited this springs Town Meeting votes on anti-NewVistas resolutions in the four communities, all of which overwhelmingly came down against Halls idea.

Its disappointing to us that he has this attitude that everythings fine, Sacca said.

Oh, it doesnt matter, its in the future, he said, channeling Hall. But my sons are living here. There are plenty of people who are staying here. Its not as if the situations going to change. Theres a lot of people working to protect this rural heritage.

To advance its own vision for a vibrant rural community, the Alliance for Vermont Communities recently held a cycling event in Tunbridge, a 16-mile and 32-mile course called the Ranger Ride.

The June event brought riders through many of the lands the alliance deems in danger of development by Hall.

Sacca said his group was planning more events, including public forums, to take place soon.

Many alliance board members also happen to serve on the four towns planning commissions, all of which are in some stage of revisions to their town plans.

Town plans are periodically updated documents that describe communities vision for future land use and development.

Though they do not carry the same regulatory force as, say, zoning, they inform development of regulations and, if worded carefully, can have significant influence in the permitting process under Act 250, the Vermont law governing large-scale developments.

Planners in the four towns last week said they are taking residents views on NewVistas into account, and, in some cases, have been weighing changes that could limit the ideas feasibility.

Beth Willhite, chairwoman of the Royalton Planning Commission, said the panel was preparing to advance a few small changes to the Town Plan to state where we are, but in more firm language that in farm areas we want farming and we dont want multi-unit housing or developments.

The commission likely will hold a public forum soon to discuss these potential changes, she said, after which the Selectboard would have the power to ratify them.

Willhite said the Royalton Planning Commission also was considering changes to the Town Plan addressing allowable density Halls NewVistas development would pack roughly 20,000 people into a few thousand acres. But before it makes any final decisions, the commission is consulting local farmers and other businesses to see what their needs are, she said.

Once you start passing regulations it applies to all and not some, Willhite said, and so you have to be sure youre planning for what you want.

Peter Anderson, a member of the Sharon Planning Commission, said that towns land use board was revising language in the Town Plan relating to rural, residential and forested areas.

Other than that, he kept the commissions talks, which are far from final, close to the chest.

Im not ready to say we tailored it for the NewVista, he said in an interview last week. I think its more like we consciously went over it to see what was there (that needed updates).

In Strafford, the Selectboard is considering a proposal submitted by the Planning Commission that could make developments like Halls more difficult in that town.

Toni Pippy, chairwoman of the Selectboard, said a final hearing on the changes would likely take place in September.

NewVista has definitely had something to do with our plan, she said. I think the neighborhood is pretty nervous about what he could do to our world. Hopefully whats in the plan will help.

Among other changes, the Selectboard is mulling modifications that would break the existing rural residential district into two new districts, each with new expectations for low-density development.

Strafford is the only town among these four that has zoning, apart from some flood plain regulations in other towns. If its Selectboard were to pass these changes, they could lead to zoning changes, too, Pippy said.

Tunbridge also is nearing changes to its Town Plan, which expires in spring 2018.

Co-Chairwoman Ingrid Van Steamburg, who also is a member of the alliance board, said some potential revisions are designed to strengthen the regulatory weight of the Town Plan under Act 250 proceedings.

Regional planners have met with the four towns planning commissions and informed them that such changes as revising should to shall in town plans gives them more power.

It was explained to all of the towns that if you dont have strong language it doesnt have a lot of weight in those hearings, Van Steamburg said.

A public hearing on Town Plan updates in Tunbridge will take place Monday night at 7 p.m. at the Town Hall.

Rob Wolfe can be reached at rwolfe@vnews.com or at 603-727-3242.

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AT&T Foundry, RocketSpace and Ericsson Release a New Series of … – Al-Bawaba

Posted: at 5:44 pm

Rafiah Ibrahim President of Ericsson Middle East and Africa

Together with AT&T Foundry and RocketSpace, Ericsson has released the third installment of The Futurist Report series. The report gives an inside look into the cutting-edge technologies and companies that are shaping the future for artificial intelligence, and what this means for consumers.

The report also explains how will artificial intelligence (AI) and automation affect the way we live our lives, and how will brands adapt and cater to changing consumer experiences.

To better understand developments in the AI space, over 50 successful entrepreneurs, executives and academics leading the charge on new technologies and applications were interviewed. In addition, five bold projections that showcase how AI will impact the consumer experience in coming years were developed.

AI will have an enormous impact on our daily lives. From enabling hyper-personalization to saving huge amounts of time on routine tasks, these new tools will fundamentally shift the way we interact with technology in our day-to-day lives.

According to our latest Mobility Report, Mobile broadband subscriptions in Middle East and Africa is expected to grow by almost 3 times between 2016 and 2022. This gives an indication that technology is becoming a basic part of our lives and advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence and automation are definitely part of this great evolution, said Rafiah Ibrahim, President of Ericsson Middle East and Africa

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Universal Basic Income Examined by Futurism Blog – Basic Income News

Posted: at 5:44 pm

The Futurism blog, which describes itself as reporting on the breakthrough technologies and scientific discoveries that will shape humanitys future, has published a post on basic income as a response to increasing automation of the workplace.

Although universal basic income (UBI) is neither a technology nor a scientific discovery, Futurisms FAQ page lists UBI as one of the topics that it is particularly interested in.

The article sets out the nature of basic income, explores arguments for and against it, lists a number of recent and upcoming experiments, and provides quotes from a number of supporters of UBI throughout history. It is written by Luke Kingma, Futurisms Head of Creative and a former copywriter for companies such as Hasbro, Toyota and Warner Brothers.

Futurism has appeared in a list of top futurist blogs on Quora, a popular question-and-answer site. It states that it has approximately 200,000 subscribers to its regular newsletter.

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Luke Kingma, Universal Basic Income: The Answer to Automation?, Futurism, 22th April 2016

Claire Bott has written 6 articles.

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Renowned futurist to speak at SA top 100 event – InDaily

Posted: August 18, 2017 at 4:41 am

Adelaide’s independent news Get InDaily in your inbox. Daily. Subscribe

Adelaide Friday August 18, 2017

The futurist who predicted the 2008 financial crash will give a keynote address on the future of energy at this year’s event to unveil South Australia’s top 100 businesses.

InDailys South Australian Business Index an independent ranking of the top 100 South Australian companies will be announced at an Adelaide Oval lunch on September 28.

The event, which will be part of the Open State festival for the first time, will feature guest speaker Richard Watson a leading English futurist, author and lecturer who has worked with many leading companies to help them improve the quality of their thinking and plan for the far future.

He will speak about Future Energy a topic of close interest to all South Australians as we grapple with life on the sharp edge of the transition of the electricity market from the old to the new.

Watson has written five books, including Future Files, published in 2007, which warned about the inevitability of a systemic shock to the financial system. He warned this was not a debt mountain, but an avalanche waiting to descend. big banks, in particular, will come under increasing scrutiny about their lending practices, and there will be calls for salary and profit caps.

A year later, the prediction came to pass, almost in those exact terms, with a mountain of US bank debt cascading through the worlds financial system to create what we now call the Global Financial Crisis.

Watsons keynote address will be followed by a local expert panel discussing the issues affecting South Australian business, particularly energy.

To book your ticket to the South Australian Business Index lunch, click on the banner below.

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Acclaimed Visual Futurist Syd Mead to Deliver Keynote Address at 2017 VES Summit – Animation World Network (press release) (registration) (blog)

Posted: at 4:41 am

LOS ANGELES — The Visual Effects Society, the industrys global professional honorary society, has announced acclaimed visual futurist and VES Visionary Award honoree Syd Mead as a keynote speaker at its ninth annual VES Summit, Inspiring Change: Building on 20 Years of VES Innovation. The 2017 VES Summit takes place on Saturday, October 28th at the Sofitel Hotel Beverly Hills.

Featured Speakers will include President of IMAX Home Entertainment Jason Brenek and renowned online security expert and founder of SSP Blue Hemanshu Nigam. The interactive forum on Saturday, October 28th celebrates the Societys milestone 20th Anniversary and will bring together top creatives, executives, thought leaders and visionaries from diverse disciplines to explore the dynamic evolution of visual imagery and the VFX industry landscape in a TED Talks-like atmosphere.

Keynote speaker Syd Mead is an acclaimed visual futurist and conceptual artist whose storied career spans almost six decades. He was honored as the recipient of its VES Visionary Award at the 14th Annual VES Awards in 2016 for his unique ability to create unforgettable images and advance storytelling through his futuristic design aesthetic. Meads career began as he created characters and backgrounds for animated cinema intermission trailers just out of high school. After serving in the U.S. Army and receiving his education at the Art Center School in Los Angeles, Ford Motor Companys Advanced Styling Studio recruited Mead. After Ford, he took on high-profile design assignments for blue chip companies including U.S. Steel, Philips Electronics and Intercontinental Hotels.

In 1979, Meads projects expanded to designing for Hollywood as he began to work with most major studios. His cinema entre was legendary, starting with the creation of the Vger entity for Star Trek: The Motion Picture, followed by two cult classics — Bladerunner and Tron. Meads designs for robots, vehicles and other-worldly environments have also been featured in films including 2010, Short Circuit, Aliens, Time Cop, Johnny Mnemonic, Mission Impossible 3 and Elysium.

Concept art for director Ridley Scotts 1982 classic feature Blade Runner by Syd Mead.

With transportation design as his first love, Mead seldom misses an opportunity to provide his unique blend of futurism and believability to designing vehicles — from concept cars, cruise ships and hypervans to interplanetary cinematic spacecrafts that transport audiences to new worlds. In the 1980s, Mead established close working relationships with a number of major Japanese companies including Sony, Minolta, Dentsu, Dyflex, Tiger, Seibu, Mitsukoshi, Bandai, NHK and Honda as well as contributing to Japanese film projects, Yamato 2520 and Solar Crisis. In the 1990s, he supplied designs for all eight robot characters in the Turn A Gundam mobile suit series and TV show. Extensive collections of Meads work have been exhibited worldwide, drawing record crowds and he continues an active schedule of one-man shows and presentations.

Featured speaker Jason Brenek joined IMAX Corporation in 2015 as President, IMAX Home Entertainment, where he oversees a series of global initiatives designed collectively to translate elements of The IMAX Experience to the home setting, including the IMAX Private Theatres, an over-the-top movie service for delivering IMAX-enhanced Hollywood films into homes, and IMAX technology licensing into premium consumer electronics. He also oversees virtual reality content acquisitions and curation for the new IMAX location-based VR centers.

Prior to joining IMAX, Brenek spent more than a decade in senior management at The Walt Disney Studios. He led Disneys international teams and sub-distributors in the commercialization of Disney, Pixar, and Marvel movies in New Media/Digital, Television and Retail channels. His teams have led the industry in the launch of innovative and lucrative partnerships and products around the world. In his concurrent role of Head of Global Business Development and Strategic Partnerships, Brenek was later responsible for sourcing new revenue opportunities, business models, investments, establishing strategic partnerships, and digital product strategy and incubation for the Studios multi-billion dollar Global In-Home Distribution segment.

Prior to these roles, Brenek worked in Disneys Global Theatrical Distribution division as Senior Vice President, Worldwide Digital Cinema and Cinema Programming where he was responsible for setting and executing Disneys global cinema strategy, overseeing Digital Cinema Operations, negotiating Digital Cinema deployment and digital 3D deals around the world, as well as developing and overseeing 3D and Cinema Programming. He was instrumental in Disneys emergence to the forefront of the Digital Cinema and Digital 3D world. In 2015, the International 3D & Advanced Imaging Society awarded Brenek with its first Founders Award.

Featured Speaker: Hemanshu (Hemu) Nigam has worked inside the largest prosecuting agencies, software companies, media and entertainment giants, and most influential trade associations in the world. Nigam served as the Chief Security Officer of News Corporation and Fox Interactive Medias digital properties, as CSO of MySpace, and as a security executive in Microsoft. He was also the Vice President of Worldwide Internet Enforcement at the Motion Picture Association of America. He began his career as Los Angeles County prosecutor specializing in sex crimes and child abuse before serving as a federal prosecutor against online crimes against children and computer crimes in the US DOJ. Today, he is the founder of SSP Blue, a cyber security advisory company that has helped companies like Participant Media, SnapChat, Microsoft/Xbox, Disney, AT&T, Microsoft, JustFab, and others deal with challenges in cyber security, privacy, and safety.

A veteran of online security, he brings over 20 years of experience in private industry, government, and law enforcement. Nigam has been a keynote speaker at the United Nations on stopping cyber hate, and has been a member of the White Houses cyber stalking task force and co-chair of President Obamas Online Safety Technology Working Group. Nigam has spent a career chasing bad guys online and offline bringing them to justice. He was one of U.S. DOJs first online crimes prosecutors who took down an international child sex trafficking ring as well as prosecuted online child predators and hackers. His insightful expert commentary on cyber security offers an insiders view of the dark online underworld. Nigams personable style coupled with his unique ability to simplify cyber security for viewers to understand makes him a frequent guest on U.S. and international media. He also has a video blog at http://www.InsideCyberCrime.com where he breaks down cyber security, privacy, and safety topics in accessible segments.

Source: Visual Effects Society

Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.

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Acclaimed Visual Futurist Syd Mead to Deliver Keynote Address at 2017 VES Summit – Animation World Network (press release) (registration) (blog)

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