If Our Brains Can’t Distinguish between the Virtual World and the Real World, How Do We Know What’s Real?
Jim Blascovich is Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences and Co-Director of the Research Center for Virtual Environments and Behavior which he co-founded with Jack Loomis, a perceptual scientist at UCSB in 1997. He is currently (2010-2011) a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford. Jim is a past President of both the Society for Personality and Social Psychology and the Society of Experimental Social Psychology.
His major research interests include social influence within technologically mediated environments and social neuroscience. Guided by his theoretical model of social influence within immersive virtual environments, Jim investigates social influence processes in virtual reality including conformity, non-verbal communication, collaborative decision-making and leadership. He has also developed the biopsychosocial model of challenge and threat, guiding research on social psychological processes within and outside of virtual environments.
80 Degrees of Separation: Giving New Immigrants a Fighting Chance. Megan Prydun graduated from the University of Manitoba in 2007 with her Bachelor of Social Work degree. Upon graduation, Megan travelled to Swaziland, Africa where she lived at a local children’s home and served as the first social worker in the community of Bethany for a year and four months. Megan’s commitment to social justice initiatives in Africa continues through advocacy, fundraising, and public speaking. Megan currently works at Newcomers Employment and Education Development Services (N.E.E.D.S.) Inc. as a Crime Prevention Facilitator and Resource Assistance for Youth (RaY) with street entrenched youth. She also serves on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) Youth Advisory Group for Manitoba.
How Do We Get a Person from Point A to Point B Using the Least Amount of Energy? Jim Kor, a resident of Winnipeg, is a professional engineer (mechanical) with over 35 years of experience in designing automotive, bus, rail, agricultural, and heavy mobile equipment as well as civil structures and product for the aerospace and medical industries. He is the senior designer and project leader for the Urbee project. The Urbee project answers the question, “How do we get a person from point A to point B, with the least amount of energy possible?”
Urbee (Urban electric with ethanol as backup) is a two-passenger hybrid car being designed by Kor Ecologic Inc. to be incredibly fuel efficient, easy to repair, safe to drive, and inexpensive to own. Kor states, “As we embark upon another century of automobility, the condition of our environment and our state of awareness regarding it, demands that we rethink how we design cars for a global population.” Urbee is designed to be environmentally sustainable; it can efficiently store and use exactly the amount of solar and wind energy you can collect on a one-car garage in one day.
Jim Kor and Team Urbee have been featured by CNN, CBC, Popular Mechanics, The Economist, Design News, GreenBiz, Daily Planet, and the Winnipeg Free Press.
The Gatherer’s Economy: Women Re-Shaping the World. We live in a world, an economy that has been built and maintained principally by men. Stemming from insights from recent brain science, social innovation and personal experience, women’s potential to re-shape economics is clear.
Donna Morton founded First Power with a mission to put clean energy, jobs and equity in the hands of First Nations and other communities.
Freedom: Connecting Citizens to State, Citizen and Idea
I never thought there would be a time when a car bomb would sound as normal as sirens near a fire house. Or the scream of an incoming mortar as something to dust off and carry on from. I hated my cell phone. It rarely delivered any good news, and all too often broke my heart. I remember coming home that Christmas for a visit – and being incapable of connecting with the reality of what I had just seen.
Shuvaloy Majumdar is a Visiting Foreign Policy Scholar at the University of British Columbia with a focus on Broader Middle East and North Africa (BMENA) democratization. From UBC’s Liu Institute for Global Issues, he is a principal of Cloud to Street with partners at Harvard and Stanford Universities, designed to understand the intersection of cyberspace and political space in the Egyptian revolution. He led US democracy initiatives in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2006 to 2010.
How do we use computer game technology in traditionally non-game friendly industries?
A new paradigm has been created for informing and personal enrichment, which is visually stunning and exceptionally compelling, and will benefit people from around the world. And we are just on the cusp of its true potential.
Project Whitecard has received worldwide recognition for ground breaking success using your kids favourite video game technology to “turn swords into plowshares”. The Robomath instructional game will reach over 1.25million kids this year, making it the second largest distribution of a single learning software title in the world. Specializing in 3D visualization conveying complex data and information, Project Whitecard products are sought after by NASA and the Canadian Space Agency, as well as government and industry around the world.