We're incredibly excited to announce that June's meetup will be focused around women in VR.
Lack of gender diversity plagues the tech industry as a whole, but it's especially noticeable in the emerging VR ecosystem. Men currently make up the majority of VR entrepreneurs, developers, and even event attendees. If virtual and augmented reality really is the future of computing, we need to ensure that the same harmful gender biases we're rooting out of the current tech industry don't hinder the next one.
First, we'll have a panel of local women VR entrepreneurs and researchers. These women are trailblazing markets as diverse as 360 video and VR for data visualization. We'll hear their stories about pioneering a new technology and how to get more women to do the same.
We'll also have food and drinks courtesy of our sponsor, The Law Offices of AQ Basit. Abdul Basit specializes in Intellectual Property Law and helps startups and organizations protect their IP.
Winifred Quinn is leading the telehealth policy work for AARP’s think-and-do tank, the Public Policy Institute (PPI), which has led to PPI’s first published research paper on telehealth, “Using Telehealth to Improve Home-Based Care for Older Adults and Family Caregivers.” Winifred also supports an AARP innovations group in developing AARP’s virtual reality products for family caregivers.
Winifred initiated a national coalition that led to Medicare funding graduate-level nursing education for the first time. She leads state-level policy work that has helped modernize laws in more than 20 states improving millions of people’s access to care provided by nurses. In this role, she places a strong emphasis on coalition building.
A macro-picture and micro-detail user experience strategist, Ali specializes in crafting, coordinating, and testing usable web content and virtual environment designs for Booz Allen. Ali is also co-organizer of VRUXDC, a local meetup group focused on the UX of virtual reality.
Marsha is a cancer survivor turned entrepreneur with a mission. Designing AR-enabled apothecary-inspired decals that she applied to her chemotherapy IV bags to help keep a positive mindset during treatment, her company's Dhremo, or “dream-o” therapy labels, allowed her to believe the chemicals that were going into her body were whatever she could dream up. She could imagine the IV was full of clarity, hope, light or love, which she said greatly helped her through her recovery.
Emma Mankey Hidem
Emma pecializes in 360 video and has been working in the VR space since 2013 as the founder of SunnysideVR (http://sunnysidevr.com/
). Most of her VR work so far has been in the marketing space but she has a documentary background so she is very excited about the story-telling possibilities in VR, particularly from a journalism perspective.
Our panel moderator will be Shayna Skolnik. Shayna is co-founder and CEO of Navteca (http://navteca.com/
), a majority woman-owned technology company headquartered in Greenbelt, Maryland. Navteca develops unique technical solutions for government clients like NASA and NOAA, non-profits, and private entities. Navteca has been an early leader in pioneering the use of next-generation VR technology for science and Shayna has presented VR for science at the American Geophysical Union (AGU), Supercomputing (SC16), Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP), and at NASA.
6:30: Doors open / networking
7:10: Intro from the organizers
7:15: Panel of Women VR Entrepreneurs
8:15: Q&A for Panel Members