Keynote Presenters

NirvanNirvan Mullick

Nirvan is an L.A.-based filmmaker, creative consultant, speaker, and entrepreneur.
Nirvan began teaching himself animation while studying philosophy at New College. He went on to earn an MFA in Experimental Animation from CalArts. Nirvan’s animated short films have screened in festivals worldwide, winning numerous awards. In 2001, Nirvan began an ongoing collaborative experiment called The 1 Second Film, which became among the first crowdfunded films.
In 2012, Nirvan directed Caine’s Arcade, an 11-minute short film that became a viral phenomenon, receiving over 8 million views and sparking a global movement of cardoard creativity in kids around the world. After Caine’s Arcade, Nirvan founded the non-profit Imagination Foundation to find, foster, and fund creativity and entrepreneurship in kids. Nirvan has received the Dan Eldon Creative Activist Award and the Innovation in Action award. Nirvan is a partner at Interconnected, consults with companies and non-profits, serves on the board of CicLAvia, and tries to keep up with his garden and email.


LauraLaura Zander

Laura is the co-owner of market- leading online retailer of yarn and fabric Jimmy Beans Wool. Laura, along with her husband Doug, worked as software engineers during the dot-com era in the San Francisco area. When they saw the dot-com boom turning to a bust, they decided to leave their jobs, and begin a new adventure by opening Jimmy Beans Wool. They started the business, which has been named four times to the Inc. “5,000 Fastest Growing Private Companies in the U.S.” list, with a $30,000 personal investment and have since grown it debt free to a booming operation that will sell nearly $7 million of product this year. She is one of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneurial Winning Women and was invited to the White House for a forum addressing the American Jobs Act where Jimmy Beans Wool was recognized as a notable Nevada business. Known as an innovator in the Needlearts industry, Laura has created successful national high-profile campaigns — one of which is Beans for Brains, which focuses on higher education for students. When not knitting or working, Laura enjoys her time on the ski hill, running, playing tennis, or relaxing with Doug and their 3-year-old son, Huck.


weschDr. Michael Wesch

Coffman Chair for University Distinguished Teaching Scholars
Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology and Digital Ethnography, Kansas State University
2008 U.S. Professor of the Year
Dubbed “the explainer” by Wired magazine, Michael Wesch is a cultural anthropologist exploring the effects of new media on society and culture. After two years studying the implications of writing on a remote indigenous culture in the rain forest of Papua New Guinea, he has turned his attention to the effects of social media and digital technology on global society. His videos on culture, technology, education, and information have been viewed over 20 million times, translated in over 20 languages, and are frequently featured at international film festivals and major academic conferences worldwide. Wesch has won several major awards for his work, including a Wired Magazine Rave Award, the John Culkin Award for Outstanding Praxis in Media Ecology, and he was recently named an Emerging Explorer by National Geographic. He has also won several teaching awards, including the 2008 CASE/Carnegie U.S. Professor of the Year for Doctoral and Research Universities.


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