Founder and President
Creative Technology Week is the brainchild of Isabel Walcott Draves. Isabel is a lifelong champion at bringing disparate groups together around a common cause and building new organizations from the ground up. She specializes in big-picture “what’s next” thinking, and in implementing plans from the brainstorm stage to finished product. Since 2009 Isabel has run the monthly speaker salon Leaders in Software and Art and the LISA conferences, bringing together an elite group of cutting edge thinkers who work at the intersection of art and technology. Prior to LISA, Isabel founded the Salontrepreneur dinner series, which she ran from 2001-2005. Working for well over a decade as a strategic consultant in the Internet industry, Isabel has helped dozens of early-stage CEOs get companies off the ground on multiple fronts: Strategy, Funding, Marketing, Operations. Her practice has included stints at Linden Lab (Second Life), Bertelsmann (Arvato) and Gartner (The Research Board) and advising founders in spaces such as word of mouth marketing, crowdsourcing, Internet identity, Internet security, online video, wikis, green e-commerce, tech recruiting and financial management.
As one of the first female CEOs of the first wave of Internet companies in the 1990’s, Isabel spoke on stages at tech and marketing conferences across the country and was a pioneer in many- to-many Internet communication, Internet start-up culture and online reviews. She started the first user-generated website for teenage girls, SmartGirl, in 1996 and was CEO of the start-up for 5 years before its acquisition by the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at the University of Michigan, where it was housed for 14 years until being decommissioned at the end of 2015. Prior to SmartGirl, Isabel was the business manager of one of the first web/interactive design firms in NYC and the Director of Finance and Strategy of Teach For America. Isabel has a master’s degree in Communications, Computing and Technology from Teacher’s College at Columbia University and an undergraduate degree in Literature from Harvard University. She is married to the world- famous software artist Scott Draves, founder of the Electric Sheep.
Co-Founder Dawn Barber has been an integral part of the NYC Internet scene since the 1990’s and knows most of the start-up founders and community-oriented organizations in the City. She has extensive experience in planning and organizing groups and events in and around the New York technology community. Dawn is the co-founder of NY Tech Meetup, a growing 45,000+ member non-profit industry organization that supports and promotes the New York technology community, and is the largest meetup in the world. She has extensive experience in planning and organizing conferences and events in and around the New York technology community, since having been one of NYNMA’s directors from 1998-2001, and since then producing the Shorty Awards for the past three years, and Gadgetoff among others before that. She was one of the first Pipeline Fellows, and sits on the boards of InSITE, MOUSE, Institute of Play and the Astia NYC Advisory Board. In addition, she serves on the Alliance for Downtown New York’s LaunchLM Leadership Council, The New York City Commission on Public Information and Communication council and chaired the New York Historical Society Leadership Council for their 2016 Silicon City exhibit.
Joe is a seasoned professional with over 15 years of industry experience currently working as a frontend engineer at Jetty. At BuzzFeed, he led teams ranging from Front End Architecture to Games to BuzzFeed Labs. Over the course of his career, he has worked as both a programmer and a technical manager for companies like Animoto, ASMALLWORLD, Vonage and Travelocity. His passion for creative technology started as an undergrad, where he used Max MSP to control an interactive sculpture for his thesis project at Bard College. He went on to earn a certificate in C/C++ software development from Columbia University and recently authored a video tutorial series for Packt Publishing entitled “Building a Network Application with Node.” He plays an active role in the tech community by mentoring other developers through HackNY as well as delivering talks at organizations like General Assembly and LISA (Leaders in Software and Art). An advocate of technology education, Joe can be found volunteering for Girls Who Code and New York Cares, where he teaches Lego robotics to 4th graders.
Jeanne Angel is a digital, interactive and story-driven media designer & producer, with over 10 years of experience in the Creative Technology field. She specializes in exhibition media content development, design, production, installation and management. She is an expert with many facets of creative tech; multi-channel video production, interactive design, motion graphics and animation, custom-built hardware and software solutions, and projection mapping. She has produced technology driven artworks internationally at The Walker Museum, The Yokohama Triennale, PS1, Centre Pompidou, The Warhol Museum, New Museum, Garajistanbul, Diverse Works, Figment, and others.
She has been working for the past 5 years as a museum professional; with the New York Historical Society as the Media Producer for Exhibits and Special Projects, and at the Guggenheim Museum as their Media Art Specialist. She has also worked professionally at Creative Time, L’Opera Monte-Carlo, and MTV. She has a masters and bachelors degree in Digital Media from the NYU Poly’s IDM Program.
Carol Parkinson is the Executive Director of Harvestworks Digital Media Art Center, whose professional services include presentations and arts panel reviews locally, nationally and internationally. She is primarily interested in the development of experimental electronic sound art and emerging technologies.
Randi Brant has been leading global teams across tech and marketing for the past 10 years. Her path of focus – going from finance, to the tech industry, to the creative advertising industry, and now running a leading company in the creative tech space – makes her the quintessential candidate to co-direct the industry pillar of Creative Tech Week. Randi is Partner and COO of Future Colossal, an NYC-based innovation lab focused on producing immersive experiences that harness creative technologies. Their work for clients such as BMW, Showtime, Jay Z, Disney, and Citi Bank has been featured in major publications including the Washington Post, Fast Company, Creativity, PSFK, and MediaPost. Managing Future Colossal’s daily business activities, Randi puts to good use her skillset spanning revenue management, project delivery, client relationship building, event planning, and creative marketing.
Prior to joining Future Colossal, Randi was VP of Operations at Definition 6, a worldwide interactive marketing company. During her time there, she was responsible for revenue tracking and accountability, developing the project management practice, on-boarding companies following international acquisitions, and a corporate restructure and relocation. Before moving into advertising, Randi headed US delivery for software development services firm SaM Solutions. In addition to oversight of all US clients and projects, she led a global process committee to assess, set, and enforce an organization- wide standard of excellence. In 2009, Randi moved to NYC from Savannah, Georgia; she holds a degree in Finance and Business Management. Her work with brands such as HBO, GE, Showtime, and NBC garnered many awards such as Cannes Lions, Clio, Andy, Shorty, ADDY, and MediaPost DOOH to name a few.
Alex Post is a multidisciplinary designer, creative, connector, artist, maker and instigator with a decade of experience developing and executing immersive multi-channel experiences and marketing solutions for brands. Before working at some of the most acclaimed agencies and strategic design studios in New York City and Zürich, Alex mastered the art of exploiting technology for visual purposes at Rensselaer/RPI and immersed himself in sociology and ergonomic architectural design under Greg Lynn at the ETH. He is currently exploring new concepts and definitions in the convergence of branding, technology, innovation and strategy-led creativity.
Among his favorite clients are brands like Sonos, Virgin, Google, Samsung, Zurich Insurance, the NYSE, UBS, NBCUniversal, Volkswagen, Audi and the MoMA. Additionally, he’s collaborated with fashion icons such as Alexander Wang, Rodarte, Carolina Herrera, Kate Spade, Jason Wu and Adam Kimmel through his own award winning creative practice which operates where design, technology and physical space intersect with the human element. Alex currently takes on projects that allow for a thoughtfully collaborative and holistic approach to inform the design and development of novel solutions and brand experiences.
Anna is a developer with a deep passion for science, art and entrepreneurship. She received classical training in mathematics and computer science from the oldest university in Russia, Saint Petersburg State University, and continues to study these fields with a modern approach in NYC. During her studies she founded and successfully ran an e-commerce company, which she left later on to pursue a career as a developer.
After doing web development in .NET for several years, she turned her attention to the fast-evolving field of front end development which is the discipline she worked in for Isobar – a global digital agency. This career turn exposed her to people involved in hardware and robotics, which have become two of her main hobbies. Now, Anna works as a developer for the New York Times. Growing up in Saint Petersburg, the ‘cultural capital of Russia’, Anna was exposed early on to art and music: classical as well as modern. That exposure made the foundation for her passion for the arts. She spent a couple of years studying drawing and painting at the Bridgeview School of Fine Arts in NYC – focusing on form and aesthetic. Her background in tech and art brought her to LISA and spurred her interest in creative technology.
Exhibition Director, Arts Hub
Born in New Delhi, India, Akaash Mehta moved to the USA in 1983 with his family and grew up in the heart of the 80s SoHo art scene in New York City as his mother is a painter. Having had this influence of being surrounded by the arts from a very young age, he discovered his passion for art and architecture during his first visit to Paris and continued to independently study the arts during his BA and MA at Cambridge University, England. A physicist academically, he found a wonderful marriage of music, the visual arts and science through his studies and interest in numbers, colors, aesthetic, tones, and frequencies.
After graduating, he began his career at Sotheby’s and Christie’s in London, before eventually moving back to New York and beginning work in the primary market of the gallery world, working directly with artists and sales as opposed the auction market. After five years with a gallery in Manhattan, he founded his first gallery in Chelsea while starting to write, consult, and curate. Although he has remained widely active as a private dealer he veered towards the creative element of curating, which he felt allowed his own personal vision and aesthetic to be exhibited and has since put on multiple show around New York City, while publishing multiple articles and conducting various interviews with important critics and artists.
The Arts Hub at Creative Tech Week has been a wonderful challenge as conceptualizing this new, innovative and ground breaking arts media exposed him to a world where science and the arts combine – something that speaks to his original academic curiosity as well as his passion and appreciation for creating, at the incredible venue, the Knockdown Center.
Exhibition Director, Conference Hub
Carla Rapoport is Director and Founder of the Lumen Prize. Following a career in financial journalism, she moved into arts management in 2010 and founded the Lumen Prize in 2012. Now the pre-eminent global award and tour for digital art, The Lumen Prize celebrates and supports artists who engage with technology. To date, Carla has organized and spoken at over 30 Lumen shows and events around the world and has awarded over $40,000 in prize money. She currently lives in rural Wales.
Darya Dubouskaya is a creative technologist at Brooklyn Research and a College Lab Technician at the New York City College of Technology (NYCCT). She works with very talented team members at Brooklyn Research, where she is responsible for all aspects of the production, including ideation, development and management. One of the projects she is currently working on is “5 senses,” a toy for children with special needs, fulfilling her desire to help people with the magic of technology in the simplest and most elegant form. In addition, she has setup art installations for a famous designer Pierre Chareau at the Jewish museum, and rebuilt the 1955 jukebox for the Jamian Juliano-Villani’s exhibition Same Time Next Year.
Darya also applies this practical knowledge to assisting emerging media technology Professors in the Entertainment Department at the NYCCT, and she inspires students with new ideas and projects. Darya graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Emerging Media Technology BTECH at NYCCT, and also studied at Belarusian State University of Engineering and Radioelectronics. Through these experiences, Darya has found her path as an entrepreneur of innovative technology. Prior to returning to academia, she worked professionally across a diverse array of fields such as real estate, design and hospitality, which all inform how she thinks about the simple redesign of the structures and devices around us.
Gary Shapiro writes on arts, culture and higher education. His work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, the Forward, the New York Sun and the Villager. He is a former contributing editor at the quarterly, The American Scholar. He can be found ambling the streets of the city in search of old New York.