Kenny Chen is the Innovation Director at Ascender, a Pittsburgh-based economic development lab that simultaneously functions as a startup incubator, coworking space, community hub, and producer of events such as the Thrival Festival. In this role, he regularly works with universities, entrepreneurs, investors, nonprofits, corporations, and elected officials to drive positive outcomes for the region’s entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystems. Kenny also serves as a board member for the Pittsburgh Entrepreneurs Forum and Social Venture Partners, an XPRIZE Ambassador for the XPRIZE Foundation, a Global Shaper for the World Economic Forum, and a Community Leader for Techstars. Kenny holds a B.A. in Psychology from U.C. Berkeley.
David Danks is the L.L. Thurstone Professor of Philosophy & Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University. He has published over 75 articles & book chapters, many in the area of AI & machine learning and their social and psychological impacts. He has a Ph.D. in Philosophy from University of California, San Diego (2001), and an A.B. in Philosophy from Princeton University (1996).
Ken Dunlap is Managing Partner at Catalyst-Go and specializes in business strategy development for companies deploying cutting edge transportation technologies. He is a Senior Fellow at the George Washington University Center for Cyber and Homeland Security. Previously, he served as the Global Director of Security for the International Air Transport Association and as the Vice-Chairman of the Department of Homeland Security’s Aviation Security Advisory Committee (ASAC). He holds a M.A. in National Security Studies and B.A. in Government both from Georgetown University.
Micha Gorelick is an engineer, published author, co-founder, open-source contributor and technology communicator based in Brooklyn. After working for a social media company for several years, Micha left concerned with the way technology was being used without concern for societal consequences. He co-founded and lead research at Fast Forward Labs, an applied machine learning and AI research lab, that researches/implements and communicates cutting edge algorithms for Fortune-100 companies, Government organization, non-profits, startups and academics. These topics range from deep learning to probabilistic programming and model interpretability. While consulting with these organizations on highly technical topics, Fast Forward Labs pioneered continually thinking about the ethics of the technology and the importance of narrative to further this conversation.
Justine Kasznica is an attorney and shareholder in Babst Calland's Mobility, Transport and Safety, Transportation Safety, and Corporate and Commercial groups. Justine is a technology and commercial transactions attorney who represents investors and customers, vendors of software, SaaS, IoT, AI and robotics products and services in the aerospace, autonomous vehicle (AV), education, emergency management and system safety/security industries, among others. She supports these clients with their entity formation, corporate governance, venture capital and private equity investments, and commercial contract needs. In addition, she provides regulatory and data privacy/security counseling to developers and consumers of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), AV, and commercial space technologies, works with federal regulators to obtain approvals on their behalf, and assists them in developing compliance programs. Prior to building her technology law practice, Justine served as Executive Director of the Innovation Practice Institute at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and as Founder and Project Manager of Reefbot, a collaborative partnership between Carnegie Mellon’s Robotic Institute, the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium to develop autonomous underwater vehicles for the purpose of oceanographic exploration and coral reef conservation. She holds a J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law, and a B.A. in Political Science from Yale University.
Dan Law is the Director of Advancement at the Andy Warhol Museum, where he leads the vision and strategy for redefining Andy Warhol’s legacy in a 21st Century context. Dan was previously the Business Director at Ascender and the Executive Producer and Director of Thrival, where he focused on driving multi-million dollar funding and sponsor campaigns, creating partnerships with multi-billion dollar companies, and aligning multi-stakeholder and cross-sector strategic priorities to advance Pittsburgh’s innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem. Dan has a B.A. in English and History from Washington & Jefferson College as well as an MPIA from the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.
Lance Lindauer is an entrepreneur and business strategy, operations, and public policy consultant with experience in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors--notably in finance, health, and national security policy. He is currently assisting the RAND Corporation’s inaugural Director of Innovation Architecture on business operations; helping launch a new Pittsburgh-based media platform; and is an Adjunct Professor of Intelligence Analysis at La Roche College, amongst other endeavors. He has a B.S. in Economics and International Business from WV Wesleyan College; an MBA in International Economics from WV Wesleyan College; and a Masters in Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, where he was a U.S. Department of Education Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellow.
Alka Patel is the inaugural Deputy Director of the Risk and Regulatory Services Innovation Center at Carnegie Mellon University where she is responsible for Center’s industry sponsor’s research efforts, university collaboration and thought leadership. In addition to leading the start-up of the $11 million Center, including developing and executing Center strategy, operations, and finances, she works with the industry sponsor’s work in innovation and digital transformation in the area of data analytics, cybersecurity/privacy, and artificial intelligence. Working at the intersection of technology, law and business, Alka has over 15 years of industry experience and most recently was Managing Director and Senior Counsel at BNY Mellon for the Treasury Services business line where she was responsible for negotiating contracts globally and addressing privacy and HIPAA-related matters. Prior to her role at BNY Mellon, Alka, a registered patent attorney, worked in private practice where she represented start-ups, universities, and Fortune 500 companies to protect and address their technology and intellectual property needs.
Michael Skirpan, Ph.D., is a multidiscipline researcher, artist, and technologist. He is special faculty of pedagogical innovation at Carnegie Mellon University, where he specializes in advancing computing ethics in academia and industry. He also serves as the executive director of Community Forge, a community center in the economically-distressed neighborhood of Wilkinsburg, PA. He received a Ph.D. in computer science from CU Boulder, where his research focused on the use of narrative as a communication tool for helping engineers, business leaders, students, and the lay-public understand the ethical consequences of emerging technologies. He led the original creative team for Quantified Self, which received a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. His research has appeared in top computer science publications, as well as major news outlets. He has completed technical design projects for the Inclusive Design Institute, Google, the University of Wisconsin, and Fast Forward Labs, and his artistic work has been shown at venues such as Ars Electronica and Future Fires.