Advisory Council

Jane McGonigal PhD, World-Renowned Game Designer

Jane McGonigal, PhD is a world-renowned designer of alternate reality games that are designed to improve real lives and solve real problems. She believes game designers are on a humanitarian mission and her #1 goal in life is to see a game developer win a Nobel Peace Prize. She is the New York Times bestselling author of Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World (Penguin Press, 2011) — and is the inventor and co-founder of SuperBetter, a game that has helped out people with real-life health challenges such as depression, anxiety, chronic pain, and traumatic brain injury. She has created and deployed award-winning games, sports and secret missions in more than 30 countries on six continents that challenge players to tackle real-world problems, such as poverty, hunger and climate change, through planetary-scale collaboration. Jane has a PhD from the University of California at Berkeley in performance studies, and has consulted and developed internal game workshops for more than a dozen Fortune 500 and Global 500 Companies, including Nike, Disney, Microsoft, and Nintendo. She has served as the Director of Games Research & Development at the Institute for the Future, a non-profit research group in Palo Alto, California. Her research focuses on how games are transforming the way we lead our real lives, and how they can be used to increase our resilience and well-being. Jane enjoys speaking to global audiences — (watch videos). She has appeared at TED and the New Yorker Conference, and keynoted SXSW interactive, the Game Developers Conference, the Idea Festival, and more.

Esther Wojcicki Journalism Teacher, Palo Alto High School

Esther Wojcicki has been teaching Journalism and English at Palo Alto High School, Palo Alto, California for the past 25 years, where she has been the driving force behind the development of its award-winning journalism program. It is now the largest high school journalism program in the U.S involving 400 students. All the publications can be found at http://voice.paly.net which is the school publication website. In the spring of 2008, she was recognized for inspiration and excellence in scholastic journalism advising by the National Scholastic Press Association. She has won multiple awards throughout the years. A couple of others included the 1990 Northern California Journalism teacher of the year in 1990 and California State Teacher Credentialing Commission Teacher of the Year in 2002. In 2009, she was awarded the Gold Key Award by Columbia University Scholastic Press for outstanding contributions to student journalism. She served on the University of California Office of the President Curriculum Committee where she helped revise the beginning and advanced journalism curriculum for the state of California. In 2005–6 she worked as the Google educational consultant and helped design the Google Teacher Outreach program, which includes the website www.google.com/educators and the Google Teacher Academy. She holds a B.A. degree from UC Berkeley in English and Political Science, a general secondary teaching credential from UC Berkeley, a graduate degree from the Graduate School of Journalism at Berkeley, an advanced degree in French and French History from the Sorbonne, Paris, a Secondary School Administrative Credential from San Jose State University, and a M.A. in Educational Technology from San Jose State University. She has also worked as a professional journalist for multiple publications and now blogs regularly for HuffingtonPost and HotChalk.

Gina Dalma Silicon Valley Community Foundation

In her role as special advisor to the CEO for public policy, Gina D. Dalma is responsible for leading SVCF’s ongoing lobbying efforts in Sacramento and its emerging efforts in Washington, D.C. SVCF’s California lobbying work is currently centered around education, affordable housing, immigration and economic security; in Washington, D.C., SVCF hopes to be a leading voice on topics that have the potential to advance the philanthropic sector. Gina serves as a member of the California Department of Education’s STEM Taskforce Advisory Committee, is a member of the National Common Core Funders Steering Committee and an Advisory Board Member of the Silicon Valley Education Foundation. Prior to her promotion to special advisor in 2015, Gina was SVCF’s director of grantmaking. In that role, she led the grantmaking team in using a diverse set of tools, including strategic investments, to solve our region’s most challenging problems. She also led SVCF’s education grantmaking strategy, as well as the Silicon Valley Common Core Initiative. Prior to joining SVCF, Gina was director of innovation at the Silicon Valley Education Foundation. Before moving to the United States, Gina held several positions related to urban economic development and regulatory economics in the federal and state public sector in Mexico. She holds a Bachelor of Science in economics from ITAM in Mexico City, a Master of Science in economics from the University of London and a Master of Arts in international policy studies from Stanford University. She resides in Palo Alto with her husband and children. Gina’s personal interests include art, yoga and traveling

Rick Smolan Co-founder, Against All Odds Productions

Photographer Rick Smolan is the co-creator of the America at Home project, which captured the “emotions of home” across the United States during a week in September 2008. More than 20,000 photographers — pros and amateurs — sent images to a team of editors assembled by Smolan and partner Jennifer Erwitt, who turned the photos into an eye-popping book. Smolan has long been a force for exploring culture through photography. The Day in the Life photography series that he co-founded — best-selling photo books that captured life in America, Australia, the Soviet Union — were an ’80s cultural phenomenon. In the 1990s his production company, Against All Odds, investigated the storytelling powers of interactive CD-ROMs with From Alice to Ocean, a narrative of a cross-Australia trek, and Passage to Vietnam, exploring that country as it opened up in the early 1990s. 24 Hours in Cyberspace took a snapshot of the booming industry in 1996, and One Digital Day in 1997 further explored our fascination with tech. Along with collaborator Jennifer Erwitt, Smolan published the beautiful Blue Planet Run in 2007, about the drive to bring fresh drinking water to everyone on Earth. It’s packed with glorious (and sometimes shocking) images and data about our planet’s water. Smolan’s latest work is The Obama Time Capsule, a collection of photographs and insights capturing the historical election of President Barack Obama, from the beginning of his campaign to his first 100 days in office.

Joe Lambert Executive Director, Center for Digital Storytelling

Joe Lambert co-founded the Center for Digital Storytelling (formerly the San Francisco Digital Media Center) in 1994, with wife Nina Mullen and colleague Dana Atchley. Together they developed a unique computer training and arts program that today is known as the Standard Digital Storytelling Workshop. This process grew out of Joe’s long running collaboration with Dana on the solo theatrical multimedia work, Next Exit. Since then, Joe has traveled the world to spread the practice of digital storytelling and has authored and produced curricula in many contexts, including the Digital Storytelling Cookbook, the principle manual for the workshop process, and Digital Storytelling: Capturing Lives, Creating Community. Joe has been active in the Bay Area arts community for the last 25 years as an arts activist, producer, administrator, teacher, writer, and director. In 1986, he co-founded Life On The Water, a successful nonprofit production company that offered a broad array of programs serving San Francisco’s diverse communities. He has also produced over 500 shows, ranging from theatrical runs, single performances, special events, citywide festivals, subscription series, conferences, and digital story screenings.

Nancy Lee Peluso University of California, Berkeley

Nancy Lee Peluso teaches political ecology at the University of California, Berkeley and is Co-Director of the Berkeley Workshop in Environmental Politics. She does research on forest and agrarian politics in Southeast Asia, working primarily in Kalimantan and Java, Indonesia. She is the author or editor of three books: Rich Forests, Poor People: Resource Control and Resistance in Java (UC Press, 1992); Borneo in Transition: People, Forests, Conservation and Development (Oxford Press, 1996 and 2003, ed. with Christine Padoch); and Violent Environments (Cornell Press, 2001, ed. with Michael Watts), and many journal articles and book chapters.

Kiko Goifman Filmmaker | São Paulo, Brazil

Kiko Goifman is an internationally recognized documentary filmmaker, an anthropologist and holds a master’s degree in multimedia from the Arts Institute of the University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil. His book and CD ROM, Jacks in Slow Motion won the Grand Prix Möbius in Paris/98 and it is part of the permanent collection of the Center Georges Pompidou. He has also participated in debates about documentaries with Frederick Wiseman (Montreal/1994), Jean Rouch (São Paulo/1998), Catherine David (São Paulo/2002) and Robert Drew (Tampere/2006). He is a jury member of the Prince Claus Fund Award – Cinemart Rotterdam 2005. Retrospectives of his films have been featured at the: Toulouse Festival 2005 and Tampere/2006.

John Danner Senior Fellow, The Lester Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley

John Danner is an experienced management consultant and entrepreneur across a number of industries and organizational settings. In addition to teaching at Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and serving as Senior Fellow of the Lester Center, Mr. Danner recently taught at Princeton University as the Dean of Engineering’s Visiting Professor in Entrepreneurship. He also serves as Senior Moderator for the Aspen Institute’s Executive Seminar and other global leadership programs. Earlier in his career, Mr. Danner practiced corporate and regulatory law for Morrison & Foerster, a multinational law firm based in San Francisco. While there, he successfully represented clients in a number of unusual settings, including coordinating MCI’s state-by-state regulatory agenda following the divestiture of AT&T, troubleshooting several major downtown development projects in the Bay Area, negotiating a multi-billion-dollar energy purchase agreement and drafting enacted legislative reforms in the pension investment arena. He was Executive Assistant to then-Governor Bill Clinton of Arkansas; and was the first Executive Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.