Speakers 2013

Check out the full schedule available now!


Mr. Johnny Earle – aka Johnny Cupcakes – tells the story of how he turned a simple idea into a multimillion-dollar business using nontraditional methods.

Starting his business at the age of 19, Johnny developed his company without a business plan, start-up loans, investors, or even conventional advertising. He managed to launch one of the most recognized independent t-shirt brands in the U.S. and Europe, with retail stores in Boston, Los Angeles, and London, UK.

Recognized for his innovative business strategies, Johnny has been named America’s #1 Young Entrepreneur by BusinessWeek, and his company was ranked in Inc. Magazine’s top 500 fastest-growing independent businesses. The Boston Globe recently named Johnny as one of the 30 most innovative businessmen in Massachusetts.




Dr. Ivan Poupyrev directs an Interaction Technology group in Disney Research’s Pittsburgh Lab, Walt Disney Imagineering, a unit of Walt Disney Company tasked with dreaming up and developing future technologies for Disney parks, resorts, and cruises.

Dr. Poupyrev’s research focuses on inventing new interactive technologies for the seamless blending of digital and physical properties in devices, everyday objects, and living environments, a direction he broadly refers to as physical computing. It’s span a broad range of research fields including haptic user interfaces, tangible interfaces, shape-changing and flexible computers, augmented and virtual reality as well as spatial 3D interaction. His research was broadly published and received awards at prestigious academic conferences, exhibited world-wide and extensively reported in popular media, such as CNN, BBC, Financial Times, New York Times, New Scientist to name a few. The results of his research were also released on the market in various consumer products and applications.

Prior to Disney, Ivan has worked as a researcher at Sony Computer Science Laboratories and the Advanced Telecommunication Research Institute International, both in Japan. He also had a stint at the Human Interface Technology Laboratory at the University of Washington as a Visiting Scientist while working on his Ph.D. dissertation in Hiroshima University, Japan.




Irene is currently the head of UX and strategy at Fi responsible for translating business requirements into intuitive interactive solutions. She also manages the agency’s global UX team to develop digital experiences that incorporate all technical, editorial, and usability specifications. For the last three years, she has led Fi strategy and UX initiatives for clients including USA Today, EA, HTC, Google, Nickelodeon, FOX, Verizon, BBC and Red Bull for both the web and cross-platform applications. Her work has been recognized by Cannes, The Webbys, FWA, Interaction Design Association and The European Design Awards.

Irene has been a guest speaker at numerous conferences such as OFFF and FITC and taught at prestigious learning institutions like Hyper Island. Her personal projects have been displayed in design conferences and festivals in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Paris, New York, Singapore and Tegucigualpa. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts from the Art Institute of Atlanta, and a Masters of Science in Communications Design from Pratt Institute in New York.

Originally from Amsterdam, she currently lives in Brooklyn, is a Scandinavian sweater and mid-century furniture enthusiast, and commutes by bike to work everyday.

A recipient of the prestigious Red Dot “Best of the Best” award, Anton Repponen is a highly influential designer in the digital creative industry. Anton is currently Global Creative Director at Fi responsible for delivering creative solutions for agency clients such as Google, USA Today, HTC, Nickelodeon, Porsche and SAS. In this position, he is the principal creative, managing and guiding Fi’s worldwide team of senior designers and interactive developers. Since joining the agency in 2006, his work has helped Fi achieve the highest recognitions including .net Magazine’s Design Agency of the Year (2008), Webby People’s Choice (2010) and a Cannes Cyber Lion (2012).

Anton is a frequent guest speaker at various industry conferences including SXSW, OFFF, Adobe Live, and keynoted at Digitized 2011 in Athens, Greece. His works have been published in Fast Company and Taschen’s Internet Case Study Book and he has led workshops at the Rochester Institute of Technology and Hyper Island in Sweden.

Anton studied Architecture from Tallinn College of Engineering in Estonia and currently resides in New York City.




Before moving to Canada, Alex Beim ran his own graphic design firm in Montevideo, Uruguay for 10 years. Starting the first graphic design magazine in the country, Alex made major contributions to the Design community in South America.

Since moving to North America, Alex has continued to follow his passion for design while working as Associate Creative for Tribal DDB. Developing online experiences for Pepsi, IKEA, Yellow Pages, Esso, KIA, Clorox and Unilever has garnered him awards from Applied Arts Magazine, Cannes Lions, Digital Marketing, Graphex and others.

Alex’s interest in design, however, started to veer outside the realm of 2 dimensional print and screen and into real world applications that people can interact and play with directly.

After 10 years with DDB Alex left to start Tangible Interaction Design, an experimental design studio that creates imaginative, interactive installations for clients and for fun. As one of the only companies of its kind in Canada, Tangible Interaction is on the cutting edge of North American Design and technology.

From creating intensely playful installations for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games and for the national campaigns of some of Canada’s biggest brands, to entertaining 40,000 people at Sensation White, the largest party circuit in Europe, Tangible Interaction’s playful spirit of innovation has resonated throughout the world. What’s next for Tangible Interaction? The possibilities are endless.




Sara Blake, also known as ZSO, is a New York City based illustrator and designer. After studying in the Individualized Study program at NYU, she started her career at a small digital shop called Engine Three working mainly for fashion clients. While she still works as a freelance art director and designer, in 2008 Sara was able to venture on her own and start her small illustrations studio.

Sara works in both traditional and digital mediums to create predominantly nature inspired images. All her work is hand-drawn in pencil, ink, and watercolor, and then finished digitally. She focuses strongly on process and most of her work is largely improvised. She has both exhibited and spoken internationally, starting with her first solo exhibition in Sydney in 2010, and with an upcoming show in New York in 2013.

Sara has illustrated for some clients like Nike and Ford, but recently she been most busy launching a small textile company called ZSO-NYC which specializes in illustrated textiles. One day she is convinced she will finish her series of 100 girls… one day… In the meantime she documents the slow progress on her blog along with all other adventure, illustrated and otherwise.

· is happiest and most inspired when she is: A) Making things with her hands B) On a long run C) In love with: an idea, person, place, book, song, or piece of art.
· prefers to be alone and quiet most of the time.
· considers herself an expert in making mistakes and learning from process.
· co-habitates with a grumpy black feline named Eugene who reliably confiscates erasers and smears drawings.




Meg Button is Digital Creative Lead at Star Content Studios. She is a multimedia digital strategist who has made her mark in the agency world producing creative work for clients such as General Motors, Royal Bank and MasterCard. Working on the Home Depot US account, Meg worked to build brand communities, implementing social programs including the Home Depot Garden Club which grew to a peak of 6 million members. Meg has worked on behalf of brands to create social media strategies to engage consumers and she_x0019_s also worked as a social media influencer and blogger on a number of campaigns for brands such as Sauza Tequila, LOFT and Forty Creek Whisky. Last year, Meg spoke at Social Media Week on the topic of Brand Influencers exploring both the side of the brand and the side of the influencer. She_x0019_s the Co-Host of The Zach Bussey Show podcast (recently #62 Comedy Podcast in Canada on iTunes). With a huge passion for the city where she lives, works and plays, Meg started her own event planning and social hype building company called PartyPeopleTO (short for Party People Toronto). At their first event, the company’s hashtag had over 1 million impressions on Twitter and became a trending topic in Toronto and Canada.




In 2001, Myron began his work with the Trailer Park Boys in Halifax after completing a diploma in Visual Communication at the Medicine Hat College. Following that he spent 4 years at the Banff Centre For The Arts as an Interactive Consultant and Lead Designer for the online digital arts + culture magazine, Horizon Zero.

In 2010, after many years of freelance interactive design and animation, Myron joined Switch United as their youngest Art Director at 28 years old. It was there that he co-created interactive installations for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. Myron was awarded Best Interactive Designer for his installation work at the Canadian New Media Awards in Toronto, Ontario.

Myron is a full-time instructor at the Vancouver Film School and is also a recent MAA graduate in the field of Media Arts at Emily Carr University of Art and Design where he received the Governor General’s gold medal for academic excellence.

Currently, Myron resides in the East-Side of Vancouver and loves it. He has maintained a steady art practice producing interactive projects and animated short films. He doesn’t sleep a lot and he loves gingham….still.




Amrita started her career as a big company marketer before realizing she was a startup marketer at heart. She has held marketing management roles with successful startups including Meridio (acquired by Autonomy), Eprise (acquired by Divine) and Asigra. She is the principal of Shape + Sound, where she works with startups and small tech companies that need the help of an experienced marketer. In a former life Amrita was a professional dancer, art gallerist and clothing designer. She sits on the Board of Open Studio, Canada’s leading printmaking centre.



Geri Coady is a colour-obsessed designer and illustrator living and working in Newfoundland, Canada. She is a former Art Director at a Canadian advertising agency and is now pursuing her own clients as a full-time freelancer. Geri loves chatting about nerdy things on Twitter and has shared her thoughts in publications such as .Net, The Pastry Box Project, and 24 Ways. She’s the author of the Pocket Guide to Colour Accessibility from Five Simple Steps, and has illustrated a children’s book for Scholastic UK.




Saul Colt is the Head of Magic at SAUL! The Idea Integration Company. He was recently named as one of the iMEDIA 25: Internet Marketing Leaders & Innovators and has been called one of Canada’s best community builders/experiential marketers, even Chris Broganonce referred to Saul as “exactly who you want representing your company”. In a previous life Saul was the person who launched Zipcar into the Canadian marketplace, was a key person in the growth of FreshBooks.com and even knows what it is like to work for a large corporation from his time in a leadership role at Rogers Communications. Saul loves all people, especially women and is tired of people asking him to remove his shirt. On top of all that Saul is also a Professional Speaker and Consultant specializing in Social Media, Customer Service, Community Building and Word of Mouth Marketing, collects Air Force One sneakers, watch lots of Movies and likes to think he understand people…and just happens to be the Smartest Man in the World.



Ipsa manages strategic partnerships for YouTube, focusing on TV, music, sports and news. She also helps drive Google product launches and associated partnerships in Canada. She was previously a principal in the business operations and strategy group at Google in Mountain View, California. Prior to joining Google in 2007, Ipsa worked at McKinsey & Company.




Mike DiGiovanni is an Emerging Technology Lead at Roundarch Isobar where he focuses on mobile application development and creates new applications with Google Glass, smart watches, and other wearables.

Michael has been developing for Android since before the G1, and was one of the first handfuls of developers outside of Google to get his hands on Glass and start development. After getting his hands on Glass he quickly created native Java applications and open sourced them to help speed up other developers in their journey down this undocumented path of Glass development.




Tomasz Dysinski is a visual artist, developer and technologist. At Jam3, Tom uses his wizardry, his background in animation, web and game development to git’er done. Focusing mainly on graphical code and just-in-time tool development, Tom makes epic technical experiences that have been quoted to “basically out-do literal magic spells.”




From his first job as an usher at a cinema on a Canadian base in Germany, J has spent two decades working in professionally media. During his undergraduate at Queen’s University he started a recording group that toured with acts such as The Tragically Hip, Wilco, and Primus. After graduation he directed award-winning short films and gained experience at every level of production on film and television in Toronto. Relocating to Vancouver he founded dimeRocker (OverInteractive Media) an award winning digital agency focused on branded gamification and social TV strategies for clients that include CBC, Disney/ABC, Telus and PwC. He has participated in industry panels including: Banff, Merging + Media, nextMedia, X-Summit, Digital Dialogues, Petchakucha, Prime Time and SXSW. J. sits on the board of the Vancouver International Film Festival, and as a National Advisor for the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, Merging + Media & X-Summit. In May 2012 he founded CineCoup a disruptive film play that was accelerated through GrowLab. The Canadian pilot launched on February 28th with plans to roll out into other markets in late 2013.




Soo Been Kim is on the New Business Development team at YouTube, where she acquires indie artist and label music content. She focuses on making sure that all partners are equipped with the necessary tools to make sure their catalog is properly managed on YouTube. Prior to joining YouTube, she was a Mobile Ads Specialist at Google, where she focused on mobile inventory acquisition and product/data integration.

Soo Been was born in Seoul, Korea and holds a degree in Media Arts & Sciences and Economics from Wellesley College.




Jon Kimmich establishes successful win-win relationships with developers to create critically acclaimed and commercially successful digital entertainment and interactive media. Located in Bellevue, Washington, Jon is one of America’s top gaming consultants. In Atlantic Canada, he works with Darlene Duggan of the Duggan International Group, to assist gaming companies to develop the business behind and in front of the game.

Jon Kimmich started his 15+ year career in the digital entertainment industry as product planner for Microsoft Games Studios during pivotal parts of the Xbox conception and launch. Jon was instrumental in the acquisition of many well franchises for Microsoft Games Studios including company acquisitions such as Bungie Studios, FASA Interactive, and Digital Anvil, and hit game acquisitions including Dungeon Siege by Gas Powered Games, Rise of Nations from Big Huge Games, and MechAssault by Day 1 Studios as well as many internally developed games such as Crimson Skies, MechWarrior 4: Vengeance, Brute Force and Halo.

In June 2004, Jon Kimmich left Microsoft to become Producer and Director of Business Development for Day 1 Studios. Since 2008 he has been a strategic advisor and consultant under Software Illuminati to companies in the games industry, as well as individuals or firms seeing to invest in the sector, helping them take their firms from ideas, through funding, to the shelf and beyond. Additionally, he edited the “CrowdFunding Bible” by Scott Steinburg and Rusel DeMaria.




Since 1995 I have had the opportunity to lead some great and often pioneering digital projects for many worldwide brands including Pepsi, Nissan, Unilever, SC Johnson, RBC, Cineplex, and more locally brands like The Chronicle Herald, Source For Sports, Atlantic Lottery, TIMBER MART, KBRS, Ramar and many more. I strive to provide the very best in digital strategy, social media, email marketing, mobile applications, CRM, loyalty programs, and integrated retail experiences, to name a few. I have been fortunate to lead pioneering work in mobile and experiential media used at Autoshows, Juno’s, and Hockey Hall of Fame. I have numerous accolades including ICE, AIM and CASSIE awards. I also spent several years as a digital media professor at George Brown and Sheridan Colleges in Ontario.



Teehan+Lax Holiday Card from Teehan+Lax on Vimeo.

Jon has been working in digital media since 1994. He started at Shift Magazine in 1994 where he helped develop the first ad supported site in Canada. In 1995 he received a National Magazine Award Nomination for his writing in the magazine. Jon went on to Grey Interactive in 1996 and was made Creative Director of Modem Media Canada in 1998. He co-founded teehan+lax in 2002 with Geoff Teehan.

Since starting Teehan+Lax he has worked with clients guiding their digital marketing and experience efforts. In 2011, Jon became responsible for operational and strategic leadership for the company focussing on management.




Stacey Mulcahy is a Senior Developer with Big Spaceship. Prior to joining the team, she has worked at Teknision and Fuel Industries in Ottawa, Canada and IQ Interactive in Atlanta in a variety of development roles. A seasoned public speaker, technical editor and instructor, Stacey enjoys sharing her love for her work in interactive development. Stacey considers her lack of verbal filter and extreme candor just a small part of her womanly charms.




Able Parris is an internationally published, award-winning designer and artist residing in Brooklyn, NY with his wife of forever, Julia. He is a Designer Director at Big Spaceship in Dumbo, Brooklyn. Prior to the ‘ship, he worked at Mckinney in Durham, North Carolina. A renowned aficionado of nothing, Able appreciates a strong campfire, oceans, typography, and good dinner tables occupied by good friends.




Daniel is a rare breed – a hybrid of equal parts business, design, programming, and strategy – ready to change the world. He’s a professor at the School of Visual Arts, a writer on digital strategy, and all around web nerd. He’s the Creative Director and Co-Founder of Mark & Phil, providing fine crafted cause marketing and philanthropic strategy for non-profits and triple-bottom-line focused companies. Over the past decade he has worked with clients such as: 1% For The Planet, Adobe, BBDO, CosmoGIRL!, Dave Matthews Band, Facebook, Google, Greenpeace, Live Earth, MTV, PBS, Phish, Rachael Ray, Sony Picture Classics, TBS, The Pixies, VH1, and XM Radio.

In his free time he enjoys being a loving husband and father, wandering the streets of NYC, trying obscure fu-fu beers, single malt scotches, and evening at the drive-in around the corner from his house in rural upstate NY.




Grant Skinner is an internationally recognized leader in the field of rich interactive experiences. His body of work spans experimental interaction, applications, games, websites, installations, embedded devices, and mobile, with a recent focus on projects that span multiple environments. Grant fuses his experience with design, user experience, development, and business with a driving creativity to produce projects that push the boundaries of interactive technologies. ??

While building gskinner.com into a leading interactive production shop, Grant has worked with a wide range of high calibre clients including AOL, BBC, Salesforce, Nissan, Adobe, GE, Atlantic Records, Comcast, EA, CNN, Disney, Salesforce, Comcast, & Shaw.




Erik von Stackelberg is Creative Director at Myplanet Digital, a quickly-growing Toronto design & technology company focused on helping organizations build meaningful digital products. His average day straddles the theoretical and practical, an ongoing mix of digital identity and user interface design for nonprofits, government, and large public companies; user experience research; design team building; and Lean & Agile UX process development. Erik’s emphasis on meaning, impact, and utility is a common thread throughout his work.




Jason Theodor is a Creative Director and Speaker who specializes in creative ideation, problem-solving, and innovation for brands in the digital space. He is a creative person who loves coming up with ideas, sharing them with others (preferably for money), and teaching people how to be more creative themselves. He is addicted to the internet and new technologies, always thinking about how people (and companies) can communicate better or in interesting new ways.

Jason has lectured at New York University, Rotman’s School of Business, Ontario College of Art & Design (and others) as well as industry conferences in Europe and North America on the topics of digital brand storytelling, brainstorming, chaos, and the fundamental elements of creativity.

Since the mid 90s (pre-millenium) Jason has worked in the advertising industry first as a “new media” designer, Art Director, then Creative Director for a large swath of agencies, clients and brands including Yahoo!, General Motors, CitiBank, IBM, Kraft, Unilever, Nutella, BlackBerry, Ford, and many more. Jason Theodor is passionate about the generation & application of ideas, and inspiring others to live a more creative life. He currently works for Publicis in Toronto, Canada.




Ben Unsworth is Co-Founder and President of Globacore, the Toronto based creative technology shop behind PaperDude VR, and many other game-based interactive installations that can be found at exhibits, events and museums around the world.

While Ben’s formal training is in Computer Science and English Literature from McGill University — he knows that the real lessons come trying to get your 20′ multi-touch wall that you built with lasers and duct-tape up and running at 3 in the morning in the alley way behind a convention center in the middle of Saudi Arabia hours before show opening while being chased by stray dogs.




David is Chief Operating Officer of Frontier Developments, one of the world’s leading independent video game developers with a track record of innovation spanning console, PC, smartphone and tablet platforms. He has over 25 years experience of engineering and commercial management roles in high-growth technology companies. In 2001 David joined Frontier from ARM, the FTSE / NASDAQ listed microprocessor IP licensing company where he served for six years, helping to grow the company and as Director of Software Systems setting up a division of the company to facilitate adoption of the architecture in key target market segments. In 2012 David established and became President of Frontier Developments Inc., Frontier’s wholly owned Canadian subsidiary, and he also serves as a board member of the Entertainment Software Association of Canada. Other recent highlights include Frontier completing the highest-ever successful Kickstarter ‘ask’, raising £1.55M of backing in January 2013, and successfully IPO-ing Frontier on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM market in July 2013.




James White is a Canadian artist and designer based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. He is the 1-man wrecking crew behind the Signalnoise Studio where he produces visual artistry for professional and personal projects. He began his career as a designer in 1998 but started drawing way back in 1981 at the age of 4. His creative path has led to him woking with clients such as Nike, MTV, Google, Wired, VH1, Kevin Smith, UbiSoft and more. He enjoys colourful stuff, nerdy things, Bezier points and a good metal song.




After first achieving wide recognition as a fine artist, Jason White began his rise in the field of animation by co-founding Lift Motion Design in Chicago, where he forged strong collaborative relationships with leading advertising agency creatives for a Who’s Who of brands. He then helped launch Leviathan as its executive creative director, and after just two years, the studio has emerged as an industry leader in creating phenomenal visual experiences across all media platforms.

“Amon Tobin – ISAM Live” is among the studio’s most high-profile projects to-date (featured in the 2012 Communication Arts Interactive Annual and nominated in the 2011 Association of Independent Music Awards and the 2012 AICP Next Awards), along with other buzz-worthy feats for musical artists Drake and Skrillex, as well as for major brands including Callaway, Dodge, HP, Samsung and The North Face, to name but a few.