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Business Symposium Returns to SIGGRAPH 2018

SIGGRAPH 2018 Business Symposium

Festivals and Events

North America

Business Symposium Returns to SIGGRAPH 2018

SIGGRAPH 2018 is bringing its Business Symposium back for the 45th edition of the CG confab, taking place August 12-16 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. The Business Symposium will be held over the weekend, Aug. 11-12, with 22 speakers presenting to an expected audience of 200 executives from over a dozen countries — including South Korea, India, Japan, China, France, Russia and Cameroon.

“The exciting Business Symposium makes its triumphant return to our event this year and is sure to provide busy decision-makers with a weekend of insights into the state of the computer graphics industry and its future,” said Conference Chair Roy C. Anthony. “The two-day event will include talks, panels, networking opportunities, an exclusive sneak preview of the Emerging Technologies program, and much more.”

Speakers will analyze and discuss trends in computer graphics, exploring the responsibility that comes with launching new technologies and fostering opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration. Among the expected attendees are representatives from the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, including Rick Glumac, Parliamentary Secretary for Technology, and Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture.

The two-day event will explore the intersection of creativity, technology, and business. Symposium topics include: the social and human implications of technology that impact the way we design prototypes; how AI is programmed; how technology is creating rapid convergence of business models and design interfaces; and, how the industry innovates.

Among the speakers are:

  • Clive Downie, Chief Marketing Officer, Unity Technologies. As representative of the world’s leading real-time 3D development platform and company, Downie will deliver the program’s keynote on “How Real-Time 3D is Driving Creative Endeavors.”
  • Carolina Cruz Neira, Executive Director, National Academy of Engineering. Neira is known as one of the pioneers of CAVE and virtual reality.
  • Rajiv Chilaka, Chief Executive Officer, Green Gold Animation. Chilaka is known as “the Walt Disney of India” and is the creator of Chhota Bheem, a hit children’s series with 90 million fans and growing.
  • James Foley, Professor, Georgia Tech, and co-author of Computer Graphics: Principles & Practice. Foley’s book is renowned as “the bible of computer graphics.”
  • Ethan Miller, VR Product Design, Facebook. Miller developed the “VR Memories” project (announced at F8 in May 2018), which allows users to relive meaningful moments inside the spaces where they happened.
  • Greg Estes, VP of Corporate Marketing and Developer Platforms, NVIDIA. Estes is building the world’s best platform for GPU-accelerated computing in deep learning, HPC, virtual reality, gaming, self-driving cars, product design, and intelligent machines.
  • Steve Garrad, Head of Method Vancouver Studio. Garrad is a longtime production executive and a VFX producer who has worked with studios Cinesite, DNEG, and Clear Ltd. on films including I.P.D., Fast & Furious 6, Zero Dark Thirty, and others.
  • Spandana Govindgari, Co-founder, Hype AR. Govindgari is changing advertising models by leveraging her experience on the monetization team at Snapchat.

There will also be three plenary talks, with speakers including Cheryl Bayer, current CEO of Living Popups and a former VP of FOX Comedy; Andrew Glassner, a leading expert on deep learning; and Stan Ruecker, an expert in design research whose work has been applied to solving problems ranging from furniture design (Steelcase) to the creation of a preferred future (Colombian rebel group FARC).

“We are thrilled to be bringing back Business Symposium after a hiatus from the conference. Our goal for the event is to create an environment where business strategists, creatives, and academics can intersect and share their knowledge, wisdom, and expertise across a wide swath of interdisciplinary challenges. Through a number of sessions, leaders in attendance will discuss a variety of topics on how best to apply the latest advances across the arenas of animation, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence to numerous other industries, such as health care, education, or automotive,” said Business Symposium Chair Paul Salvini. “We are expecting a highly interactive and engaging event, and have purposefully created an agenda where there can be strong, two-way dialogue between the participants and speakers. We are also introducing a conversational chatbot to capture sentiment, feedback, and ideas — this data will be summarized in a post-conference report.”

“Real-time technology has changed how creators work — from filmmakers, game developers, and car designers to industrial AR/VR and more — and has been providing the ability to iterate at the speed of thought. Real-time development has already changed computer graphics across media, and specifically how cutting-edge companies create content,” noted Business Symposium speaker Downie. “At SIGGRAPH, I’m looking forward to sharing how Unity is continuing to advance this revolution in creative tools, and how that can empower business leaders to ready their organizations for this exciting future.”

Fellow speaker Chilaka said, “The time has come for our company to look beyond India and Asia for new business frontiers, and I am very thrilled to be part of SIGGRAPH 2018 in Vancouver. This is an incredible opportunity to experience innovative techniques and understand new breakthrough technologies. We are also looking to explore creative collaborations.”

Registration for the Business Symposium includes early access to the certain conference events on Monday: keynote from Rob Bredow (ILM), Computer Animation Festival Electronic Theater screening, and evening reception. The program also features complimentary breakfast and lunch (Saturday & Sunday) and a Saturday evening reception. Registration for Business Symposium does not include a SIGGRAPH 2018 conference pass.

The SIGGRAPH 2018 Business Symposium is sponsored by Creative BC, Province of British Columbia.

Clive Downie

Clive Downie

Rajiv Chilaka

Rajiv Chilaka


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