authorities on
the Future of
the automobile.

The conference brings together the global pioneers of the automotive, tech and infrastructure industries.


2019 conference speakers coming soon.



2018 conference speakers


Francis Anderton - DnA: Design and Architecture, KCRW

Frances Anderton is the host of DnA: Design and Architecture, monthly on KCRW and She is also a full-time producer of KCRW's national and local current affairs shows, To The Point and Which Way, LA?. In addition, Anderton is the LA Editor for Dwell Magazine. She is a regular contributor to the New York Times and many other publications on Los Angeles design and architecture. Anderton is a frequent speaker and moderator at cultural institutions, including REDCAT, the Hammer UCLA Museum, the Skirball Institute, the LA Forum and the A+D Museum; she is on the Advisory Board of the LA Forum.


Erik Antonsson - aiPod

Erik Antonsson is the Chief Executive Officer, President and Co-Founder of aiPod, a California-based startup developing autonomous urban Mobility-as-a-Service. Antonsson co-founded aiPod at Idealab, the leading technology incubator behind hundreds of innovative companies. Prior to starting aiPod, Antonsson held senior executive roles at a number of the world’s leading aerospace companies and research institutions, including Northrop Grumman, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and California Institute of Technology.


Doug Bloch - Teamsters Joint Council 7

Doug Bloch has dedicated his professional career to labor and community organizing. Since 2010 he has served as the Political Director for Teamsters Joint Council 7, which represents over 100,000 workers in Northern California and Nevada. He also serves as gubernatorial appointee to the California’s Commission on Health and Safety, and Workers’ Compensation.  Before Teamsters, Bloch was the Port of Oakland’s campaign director for Change to Win, a coalition of American labor Unions. Before this, he also was a senior research analyst at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) from 2000-2006, which came about after working for five years as a community organizer.

august bradley 2.jpg

August Bradley - MIND & MACHINE

August Bradley is the Executive Producer and Host of MIND & MACHINE, a weekly talk show and podcast with people at the forefront of transformational technologies and futurist ideas. Bradley is a Frontier-Tech Strategist with YearZero, the consulting firm he founded to help companies initiate disruptive tech advantages in their fields before they’re disrupted by others. He is also the Chairman of the Technarte International Conference on Art & Technology held annually in Los Angeles and Bilbao, Spain. He’s an advisor and tech curator for AI LA and Ye Old Futurist Union. Bradley holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.

rod chong.jpg

Rod Chong - Roborace

Coming from a diverse background in motorsports, music videos, advertising and media arts, Rod Chong settled into a career in racing games, first producing the GT Legends sim game in 2004, before moving to an eight year stint at Electronic Arts, leading the creation of urban and automotive culture elements for the Need for Speed franchise. He is best known as the founder and former creative director of the influential automotive media project. This was the first internet focused, international automotive media brand to link together enthusiast car culture, motorsports fandom and racing games. Chong recently completed a stint on the Project CARS2 simulation game franchise as Chief Commercial Officer, directing all OEM and Motorsports partnerships as well as overseeing eSports, marketing and social programs. He recently joined Roborace and was quickly appointed their Deputy CEO. He’s a self confessed amateur racing historian, but is pushing an agenda to radically rethink and rebuild racing for the future. 


Jeffrey Cole - University of Southern California

Jeffrey Cole has been at the forefront of media and communication technology issues both in the United States and internationally for the past 25 years. An expert in the field of technology and emerging media, Cole serves as an adviser to governments and leading companies around the world as they craft digital strategies. In July 2004, Cole joined the USC Annenberg School for Communication as Director of the newly formed Center for the Digital Future and as a Research Professor. The Center is a research and policy institute committed to work that has a real and beneficial effect on people’s lives, while seeking to maximize the positive potential of the mass media and our rapidly evolving communication technologies. Cole founded and directs the World Internet Project, a long-term longitudinal look at the effects of computer and internet technology, which is conducted in more than 30 countries. He has worked with both the Clinton and George W. Bush White House on media and telecommunications issues. He regularly makes presentations across the US and in Europe, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.


David DeRosa - AECOM

David DeRosa is a mobility planning manager with over ten years of experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors. His recent experience has focused on delivery of transportation projects, including connected and automated vehicle planning and implementation, hyperloop, high-speed rail, light-rail and streetcars. His previous experience includes planning and development with the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians in Palm Springs, urban planning with the non-profit Global Green USA in Santa Monica and environmental planning with Terry A. Hayes Associates Inc. in Culver City. DeRosa received his MA in Urban Planning from UCLA and his BA in Geography – Regional Analysis and Development from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.


Michael Dunne - Dunne Automotive Ltd.

Michael Dunne is CEO of Dunne Automotive Ltd., a Hong Kong–based investment advisory firm with expertise in Asia's car markets. In 2015, Dunne moved with family to California to be part of the most important changes confronting the auto industry in our lifetimes – the emergence of autonomous vehicles, EVs and mobility services.From 2013 to 2015, Dunne was president of GM Indonesia, leading the manufacturing and sales operations. Prior to this, Dunne was the head of JD Power China. Dunne is author of American Wheels, Chinese Roads: The Story of General Motors in China. A native of Detroit, Dunne speaks Chinese, French, Indonesian and Thai, and has worked in Asia for most of the 25 years since he graduated from the University of Michigan with an MBA and an MA in Chinese studies.


Dan Eberhart - Canary

Dan K. Eberhart is the CEO of Canary, LLC, which had its beginnings with the purchase of a small oilfield services company in North Dakota. Under Eberhart’s leadership, the company has grown to become one of the largest private wellhead companies in the United States. Prior to serving as Canary’s CEO, Eberhart was vice president of acquisitions at two energy companies. He received his JD from Tulane Law School and has dual degrees in economics and political science from Vanderbilt University. Eberhart is a regular contributor to Forbes and his editorials and interviews appear in publications such as New York Times or Wall Street Journal. Eberhart has served as an industry consultant in North America, Asia and Africa, a role that earned him a place in Hart Energy’s influential “30 Under 40” List. He has also been a part of several United States trade missions to sub-Saharan Africa headed by the US Secretary of Commerce and the US Secretary of Transportation.


Santiago Ferrer - The Boston Consulting Group

Santiago Ferrer is a Partner and Managing Director in the Los Angeles office of The Boston Consulting Group. Ferrer is a core member of BCG’s Infrastructure Practice that works with public infrastructure authorities, engineering and construction and investors on their most pressing strategic and operational issues including how to prepare for Shared, Autonomous, Electric Vehicles (SAEV).


Mory Gharib - California Institute of Technology

Mory Gharib is the Hans W. Liepmann Professor of Aeronautics and Bio-Inspired Engineering and Director of the Graduate Aerospace Laboratories at the California Institute of Technology. He also serves as Director of the recently established Center for Automated Systems and Technologies (CAST). As Director of CAST, he oversees the interdisciplinary research that brings together the science and engineering of current and future autonomous systems and technologies under one roof, unifying artificial intelligence, machine learning, aeronautics, controls and robotics. Mory is the recipient of the 2016 G. I. Taylor Medal from the Society of Engineering Science and he received the American Physical Society’s Fluid Dynamics award in 2015. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering; and he is a Fellow (Charter) of the National Academy of Inventors, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society, the American Society of Mechanical Engineering and the International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering. He holds 105 US patents in the fields of advanced imaging and medical devices.


Jonathan Gitlin - Ars Technica

Jonathan Gitlin received his BSc in Pharmacology from King's College London and his PhD in Pharmacology from Imperial College London. He followed up with postdoctoral work at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA, and the University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY, where he also taught International Science and Technology Policy at the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Relations. More recently he spent seven years working in science policy at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD before leaving public service to work full-time at Ars Technica. He started writing for Ars Technica in 2004, covering the sciences with the occasion foray into racing games. He became the Automotive Editor at Ars Technica in 2014.

kian gohar.jpg

Kian Gohar - XPRIZE Foundation & Singularity University

Kian Gohar, futurist, entrepreneur and innovation expert, helps inspire the world's largest companies to harness disruptive technology trends that are transforming the industry in the next decade and beyond. Gohar is a master facilitator and has coached the C-suite of over 40 companies in the Fortune 500 on topics as diverse as technology disruption, transformational innovation, exponential thinking, the future of work, crowdsourcing, the future of mobility, emerging markets and leadership. Gohar is founder of the world's leading ecosystem for corporate innovation called Innovation Partnership Program – a joint venture of the XPRIZE Foundation and Singularity University – and he is founder of Geolab, an innovation advisory lab. Gohar speaks five languages, was a Luce Scholar in Shanghai, China, and is a graduate of the Harvard Business School, the London School of Economics and Northwestern.


Ashley Hand - CityFi

Ashley Z. Hand, AIA, LEED, AP, BD+C, is co-founder of the urban change management firm CityFi, advising cities and the private sector on a more human-centered approach to smart cities. Previously, she served as the Transportation Technology Strategist for the City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation where she developed public policy, an action plan and pilot program recommendations for shared mobility and autonomous vehicle technologies. Prior to her work in LA, Hand served as the first Chief Innovation Officer for the City of Kansas City, Missouri, and the first female municipal CIO in the nation, creating the most comprehensive smart city in North America among other civic innovation projects. Hand is a registered architect and green building professional having worked for AECOM and Eric Owen Moss Architects. She currently serves on the Advisory Council for the Carnegie Mellon University Traffic21/T-SET University Transportation Center and Open Architecture Collaborative and is an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California Price School of Public Policy.


Russell Hensley - Mckinsey & Company

Russell Hensley is a Partner in McKinsey’s Detroit Office and a senior leader within the Firm’s Global Automotive and Assembly Practice. He joined McKinsey in 2003, has focused the past 13 years on strategic and operational transformations within the global automotive and multiple related industries and leads the global automotive knowledge agenda for the Global Practice. Prior to McKinsey, he led Vehicle Engineering Operations at Ricardo Consulting Engineers and the Motor Industry Research Association, both in North America.


John Hotchkis - Hotchkis Performance

Following ten years of professional motorsports and graduation from Art Center College of Design, John Hotchkis entered the performance aftermarket industry in 1989 as marketing director of Guldstrand Engineering Inc. In 1993, Hotchkis founded Hotchkis Performance, Inc to design and manufacture performance suspension systems that maximize handling and driving enjoyment of performance, street and racing vehicles. In addition, Hotchkis Performance conducts independent automotive product testing and manufactures private label parts for numerous OE and aftermarket companies. In 2013, Hotchkis established Hotchkis Manufacturing, Inc in Mooresville, North Carolina, to manufacture Hotchkis Sport Suspension, build specialty customer cars and conduct contract fabrication and manufacturing for a variety of industries.


Aaron Jacoby - Arent Fox

Aaron Jacoby is the managing partner of Arent Fox’s Los Angeles office and chair of the firm’s automotive industry practice group, which has been recognized by Chambers USA as a leader in the category Transportation: Road (Carriage/Commercial). He focuses his practice on class action and consumer litigation, federal and state regulatory matters, business transactions and government investigations in the automotive industry. Jacoby’s exclusive automotive industry focus enables him to counsel clients on a wide variety of operational, regulatory and litigation avoidance issues and offer pragmatic solutions to the legal challenges they face.


George Karayannis - Panasonic

George Karayannis has over 25 years of emerging technology and sustainable solutions leadership experience at Fortune 100 firms and high-tech startups. Karayannis currently leads Panasonic’s CityNOW efforts in North America focused on real estate developers. He also serves on the City of San Jose’s Smart City Advisory Board. Karayannis previously held leadership positions at Schneider Electric, Lockheed Martin, AT&T and several high tech startups. He also co-founded a grassroots non-profit organization developing a sustainable national energy policy, was elected as a town councilman and served on an ICBM launch crew in the US Air Force. Karayannis has authored a book on the ISO 37120 standard for Smart City indicators, is restoring a 100-year old opera house to LEED Gold, has an MBA from Case Western Reserve University, a BA from the University of Dayton and is a LEED Accredited Professional.


Terry Karges - Petersen Automotive Museum

Terry Karges brings four decades of automotive, entertainment and motorsports management experience to the Petersen Automotive Museum. He is known as an innovative leader with a keen ability to merge cutting-edge marketing tactics. He was appointed as Executive Director of the Petersen Automotive Museum in August 2012. In 2015, Karges launched the newly renovated Petersen Automotive Museum, successfully leading the museum’s capital campaign of over $90M dollars. Since reopening, the museum has served more than 800,000 visitors. Prior to this, Karges led sales and marketing for Roush Performance as well as Disneyland, Seaworld and Marine World.


Stefan Krause - Evelozcity

Stefan Krause is In Charge of Evelozcity, a new Los Angeles based electric vehicle and future mobility startup. Krause has approximately 30 years experience in the automotive and banking industries. Most notably, Krause was Global CFO of BMW AG and Global CFO at Deutsche Bank. At BMW, Krause held various positions in engineering, sales, marketing and financial services in Germany and the US. He was also management board member responsible for sales, marketing and branding before leaving BMW to Deutsche Bank in 2008. After Deutsche Bank, he became the CEO of Celestial, a private UK investment firm as well as a senior advisor to the Private Equity Firm Warburg Pincus in London and member of the supervisory board of Rocket Internet SE, Berlin. Before founding Evelozcity he was the CFO and COO at Faraday Future. He has lived in Colombia, the US, Japan, Germany and the UK. Krause speaks 3 languages fluently.


Kent Kresa - Petersen Automotive Museum

Kent Kresa, former Chairman of General Motors and Northrop Grumman, is a member of the Board of Directors at the Petersen Automotive Museum. In March 2009, Kresa was named interim Chairman of GM, where he was serving on the board. Prior to that, Kresa was the CEO of Northrop Grumman Corporation from 1990 to 2003. Throughout his career, Kresa has been active and integral to board committees across the country. He is a member of the Presidents’ Circle at the National Academy of Engineering, Chairman of the MIT Lincoln Laboratory Advisory Board, Chairman Emeritus of the California Institute of Technology, member of the Board of Directors at the Los Angeles World Affairs Council and Chairman Emeritus of Northrop Grumman Corporation.


Paul Lienert - Reuters

During a 40-year career as an award-winning reporter, editor and columnist, Lienert has covered the global auto industry, contributing news and feature stories to every major US auto magazine, including Automobile, Motor Trend, Car and Driver, Road & Track, AutoWeek and Automotive News. Over the past four decades, his articles have appeared in such publications as Time, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Financial Times and the South China Morning Post. In addition, Lienert has researched, written and edited studies on the auto industries in Russia, China, Brazil, Thailand and India. His current focus as a correspondent of Reuters is on the future of transportation, including electrification, connectivity and autonomous driving.


Michael Lim - Global Transportation, Tech and Finance Adivsor

Michael Lim is a global transportation, technology and financing professional advising governments, researchers, industry and startups. Lim recently served as an Executive Advisor to the City of Los Angeles and led the development of the City’s connected and automated vehicle and infrastructure strategy, as well as partnerships, procurement streamlining and innovation financing efforts. Originally trained in urban planning, Lim started his career in urban planning and infrastructure development for the United Nations in the Asia Pacific region. He was also an investment banker, most recently with Lazard Freres & Co, and advised technology companies and governments on strategy, capital raises and M&A transactions. He holds an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a BA from the Department of City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley.


Terry McCarthy - Los Angeles World Affairs Council

Terry McCarthy was appointed President and CEO of the Los Angeles World Affairs Council in July 2012. Prior to that, he traveled the world for television and print media for 27 years, covering politics, business, military, social and environmental issues across the US, Europe, Asia and Latin America. He has managed bureaus in the US and overseas, and set up two bureaus in war zones. He speaks six languages and has won four Emmys and an Edward R. Murrow award.

peter mullin.jpg

PETER MULLIN - Petersen Automotive Museuem

Peter Mullin is the Chairman of the Board of the Petersen, and has developed a reputation as someone who makes things happen. He sits on the boards of several organizations and foundations, including the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, Art Center College of Design, the Guggenheim Foundation, Occidental College, Saint John’s Hospital and the UCLA Foundation Board of Trustees. Mullin is also Chairman of the Music Center Foundation, a current member of the Board of Visitors of the John E. Anderson School of Management at UCLA, Chairman of the Mullin Automotive Museum Foundation and President of the American Bugatti Club. Like many Petersen directors, he has an extensive background with museums. A deep and abiding love of automobiles makes Peter Mullin the ideal Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Petersen Automotive Museum. 


Rachel Nguyen - Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi

Rachel Nguyen is the Director of Future Lab, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, and is responsible for leading a multi-disciplined innovative team that explores new products and service ideas through living labs - testing real transportation models in real world settings. Previously, Nguyen was the Director of Global Upstream Planning and Director of Advance Planning and Strategy at Nissan North America.

stewart reed.jpg

Stewart Reed - ArtCenter College of Design

Stewart Reed is the chair of the Transportation Design Department at ArtCenter, where he oversees the undergraduate and graduate programs. A 1969 graduate of ArtCenter, Reed has had a distinguished 35-year career in transportation design. Reed has designed and developed more than 30 concept vehicles throughout his career. In 1994, he established Stewart Reed Design and became consultant to the manufacturing industry in automotive and consumer products, with clients including Michelin, Icon Aircraft, Herman Miller, Nissan, Hyundai, Ford and Lockheed Martin. Recently, the Mullin Automotive Museum sought him out for coachwork design of a historically significant Bugatti. Reed maintains activity in design, spanning from GT high-end/performance-luxury to off-road vehicles. He has patents involving lighting, seating, healthcare and automotive innovations.


Paul Rosa - Penske Truck Leasing

Paul Rosa is Senior Vice President of Procurement and Fleet Planning for Penske Truck Leasing, responsible for all vehicle and non-vehicle purchases, including asset management, supplier relations, residuals management and fleet planning activities for a company fleet of over 270,000 vehicles. Rosa’s career at Penske has spanned over two decades, and he has accrued over 30 years of experience in the transportation industry. He joined the company as District Rental Manager in Hartford, Conn., in 1993. Rosa then progressed through the roles of Area Rental Manager in New England, Manager of Consumer Rental, Quality Black Belt, Quality Master Black Belt, Manager of Commercial Rental, Director of Vehicle Planning, and Vice President of Vehicle Supply & Planning. He was named Senior Vice President of Procurement and Fleet Planning in 2014.


John Rossant - NewCities & LA Comotion

John Rossant is the Founder and Chairman of NewCities, a major global non-profit institution dedicated to improving the quality of life and work in cities. He is also leading LA CoMotion, the new global annual event on the future of urban mobility, which takes place in the heart of Los Angeles. Rossant previously led the production of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, and of the e-G8.


Alex Roy - Human Driving Association

Alex Roy is a tech investor, Founder of the Human Driving Association, Editor-at-Large for The Drive, Founder/Host of The Autonocast, co-host of /DRIVE on NBC Sports, author of The Driver, Chairman Emeritus of The Moth and CEO and Founder of Noho Sound. Roy has set numerous endurance driving records in Europe and the US in the internal combustion class, including the infamous Cannonball Run record. He has spoken at the FBI, CIA, Google, Stanford and appeared on NPR and Late Night with Dave Letterman.


Ted Schilowitz - Paramount Pictures

As the Futurist at Paramount Pictures, Ted works with studio leadership and the technology teams at Paramount/Viacom, exploring forms of new and emerging technologies, with an emphasis on virtual reality and augmented reality. Prior to joining Paramount, Schilowitz was the Futurist at 20th Century Fox, where he worked on the evolving art, science and technology of advanced interactive visual storytelling. He was part of the creation team for the Martian VR and Wild VR experiences, which premiered at CES and Sundance as groundbreaking projects that pushed the envelope of virtual reality storytelling. Previously, Schilowitz was a founding member at both RED Digital Cinema and G-Tech and was on the team that developed and launched the Macintosh desktop video division of AJA Video Systems, creating professional video products in tandem with Apple. 


Jill Sciarappo - Intel

During more than 24 years at Intel, Jill Sciarappo’s career has evolved from a manufacturing technician to the Sr. Director of Strategic Marketing for the Automated Driving Solutions Division. She is responsible for key messages, strategy, policy and university programs. She brought her engineering expertise to Intel’s embedded division, where she helped lead its evolution into the Internet of Things Solutions Group. Sciarappo is a leading voice in the Women at Intel program and is a mentor for many technical woman. A mother of three daughters, Sciarappo is passionate about technology and education, volunteers her time to advance this cause and is often seen making something. She graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.


Dakota Semler - Thor Trucks

Dakota Semler is the co-founder and CEO of Thor Trucks, Inc. His passion for the clean fuels and experience in fleet operations established the founding vision for Thor Trucks. Semler’s business and leadership aptitude have been realized through successful ventures in hospitality, real estate and tour operations. His vision for Thor Trucks is to create battery-electric commercial vehicles that achieve performance benchmarks of an existing diesel, accomplish higher levels of reliability and are commercially viable without public subsidization. This vision has led Thor Trucks to build and launch its first fully-electric class-8 semi-truck prototype, the ET-One, in December 2017. When the ET-One goes to production in 2019, a base model with a 100-mile range (when fully loaded to 40 tons) will start at $150K, and a 300-mile version at $250K. Semler concurrently serves as CEO and founder of Malibu Wines Safari.


Rishabh sharma - Poletus

Rishabh Sharma is a tech entrepreneur and the founder of Poletus. He has spent many years developing data infrastructure and strategies to help clients understand how to integrate data analytics, sentiment, emotion and NLP analysis to catalyze sales and digital marketing initiatives, leveraging emotional and cognitive AI. His immersion in AI began while studying at the Berklee College of Music, where he was drawn to the mathematical and emotional layers of music composition. Sharma became obsessed with understanding how emotions fit into the mathematical nature of the universe, a passion that became the spark for building a more intuitive approach to AI with Poletus. As founder and CEO, he is responsible for the vision, technology R&D and growth strategy of the company.

Evangelos Simoudis.jpg

Evangelos Simoudis - Synapse Partners

Evangelos Simoudis has been working in Silicon Valley for almost 30 years as a VC, entrepreneur, corporate executive and technologist. His firm Synapse Partners invests in early-stage startups working on horizontal or vertical applications that combine big data with AI and advises global corporations on startup-driven innovation and big data strategies. Evangelos is the author of the forthcoming book The Big Data Opportunity in Our Driverless Future. A recognized thought leader on big data, corporate innovation, cloud computing and digital marketing platforms, Evangelos is a writer and speaker on these topics.


Bernard Soriano - California DMV

Bernard Soriano is a Deputy Director for the California Department of Motor Vehicles and is the sponsor of the department’s autonomous vehicles program. He has over 35 years of engineering and management experience in the private and public sector. He previously held engineering and management positions at Hughes Space and Communications, where he designed satellite attitude control systems and was involved in their launch missions. He was also the Assistant Technical Director at the USGA Research and Test Center in New Jersey. In the public sector, Soriano was the Chief Information Officer for the Office of the Secretary of State and was the information technology task force leader on Governor Schwarzenegger’s California Performance Review. Soriano was also a member of the part-time faculty at the California State University, Sacramento, where he taught courses in the College of Engineering and the College of Business Administration.


Franz Von Holzhausen - Tesla

Franz Von Holzhausen, Tesla’s Chief Designer, leads the team behind the iconic designs of the Tesla Model S, X and 3, as well as the Tesla Semi Truck and the new Tesla Roadster. As one of the most acclaimed car designers in the world, Von Holzhausen began his career at Volkswagen and went on to work for GM before joining Mazda as Design Director for North America. His portfolio prior to Tesla includes the Volkswagen Beetle, the Pontiac Solstice and the Mazda Kabura, as well as Mazda's striking concept cars the Furai, the Taiki and the Nagare.

jay ward.jpg

Jay Ward - Pixar Animation Studios

Jay Ward is a Creative Director at Pixar Animation Studios. Ward has  contributed his expertise on all-things-cars for Disney, including Pixar’s feature films "Cars", “Cars 2” and "Cars 3" as well as for “Cars Land” at Disney’s California Adventure Park in Anaheim, California. Ward continues to contribute his enthusiasm for cars and his artistic passions to the creation of any and everything within the “Cars” Franchise. Prior to Pixar, Jay served in the U.S. Naval Reserves and attended California College of the Arts, where in 1993 he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration. 

ryan westrom.jpg

Ryan Westrom - Ford Smart Mobility

Ryan Westrom is the Mobility Partnerships Lead for Greenfield Labs in Palo Alto, CA who, through human-centered design, are exploring the future of mobility. Prior to moving west, he was a transportation planner and engineer at the District Department of Transportation (or DDOT) in Washington, DC. A licensed Professional Engineer and certified Professional Transportation Planner, Ryan holds undergraduate degrees in civil engineering and urban planning from the University of Illinois and a Master of Science in Transportation from MIT. He has 15 years of experience in the realm of transportation.

jason wilbur linkedin.jpg

Jason Wilbur - Brave Motors

Jason Wilbur believes nothing is impossible. He is an award-winning designer, innovator and entrepreneur. He is acclaimed for his rebellious and market-shifting approach to transportation and industrial design as well as his leadership in driving business through a pioneering spirit. From automotive future-focused R&D to extreme luxury products, his creations come to life in inspiring and energetic form. He is the CEO and Founder of Brave Motors, an electric mobility company, Creative Director of Wilbur Co and former Head of Advanced Design at Honda R&D. Wilbur holds several patents and is actively involved in design education. He lives in Los Angeles with his awesome car-designer wife Michelle Christensen.


Brian Witten - Symantec

In his role leading Advanced Technologies for Symantec, Brian Witten collaborates with government, critical infrastructure and academic research leaders around the world to help drive creation of leap-ahead capabilities for protecting systems crucial to our way of life, including defense, energy, banking, transportation, healthcare and more. Additionally, Brian’s work at Symantec has directly contributed to embedding security into over one billion Internet of Things (IOT) devices. Over the past 20 years, he has helped build security into countless things ranging from spacecraft to consumer electronics, industrial control systems, cars and countless systems now used in banks, hospitals and manufacturing companies around the world. Prior to joining Symantec, Brian worked at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the U.S. military’s central research and development organization where he managed an R&D investment portfolio of more than $150 million in U.S. and international efforts. Prior to DARPA, Brian served as an officer in the US Air Force.


Mounia Ziat - Northern Michigan University / UCLA

Mounia Ziat is an Associate Professor at Northern Michigan University and a visiting professor at UCLA. Ziat’s main research interest is haptic human perception. She combines her expertise in engineering, computer science, psychology and neuroscience to understand how to better integrate haptic technology in new technologies. She built several haptic devices to solve practical research questions related to design and human factors.