Interactive Ontario has announced that INplay, a unique, international event that connects kids creative industries with insights and opportunities in the interactive space, will return to Toronto’s Liberty Grand this May 15th and 16th. From the video game business to the broadcast industry, from toys to toons, the INplay conference brings together leaders in the kids space to learn, network and be inspired by interactive.??
Early Bird tickets are on sale now – get yours now before the prices go up on April 11th. The conference will feature three major streams each covering a different dimension of working with properties for kids aged 2-12:
• Inspiration Stream – creativity and content stream
• Investment Stream – business stream
• Insight – research stream
Mark Surman, Executive Director of Mozilla will be delivering the INplay keynote address. A community activist and technology executive of 20+ years, Mark currently serves as the Executive Director at Mozilla, makers of Firefox and one of the largest social enterprises in the world. At Mozilla, he is focused on using the open technology and ethos of the web to transform fields such as education, journalism and filmmaking.
Mark has overseen the development of Popcorn.js, which Wired has called the future of online video; the Open Badges initiative, launched by the US Secretary of Education; and the Knight Mozilla News Technology Partnership, which seeks to reinvent the future of digital journalism.
Other announced speakers include:
• Paul Canty, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Preloaded (UK) – Paul is the co-founder and Managing Director of Preloaded, a UK based game studio making smart, casual, socially-connected games on any platform. Since starting the company, he has flown the flag for innovation and worked closely with Preloaded’s clients. Paul has been responsible for the business development of the company, bringing prior experience of working in both the creative studio and full service agency space, before setting up Preloaded twelve years ago.
• Bjorn Jeffery, CEO, Toca Boca – Björn Jeffery is the co-founder of Toca Boca, a play studio that makes digital toys for touchscreen devices. Since 2011, they have released eleven products that was sold in over 119 countries worldwide, and reached downloads of over 8 million within their first year. Toca Boca is a part of The Bonnier Group, one of Europe’s largest media groups with interests in books, newspapers, magazines, television, internet and film. In 2011, Bonnier had net sales of over 3 billion euro.
• Alison Bryant, Founder, Play Science Lab – Dr. J. Alison Bryant founded PlayScience in 2010 to fulfill an industry need for a firm that could help companies and organizations create better, more innovative, and more positively impactful media and technology. She also runs PlayLab, a physical and virtual research space designed for innovative product development, especially for kids and families. In addition, she holds senior roles at several technology start-ups, including Activation Media and FunGoPlay. She was formerly the Senior Research Director of Digital Research & Strategy for the Nickelodeon/MTV Networks Kids &Family Group, where she led Nick’s efforts to understand the digital lives of consumers, conducting research on a variety of platforms: online, console and handheld gaming, interactive television, and mobile among them.
• Carla Engelbrecht Fisher, President & Founder, No Crusts Interactive – The founder of No Crusts Interactive, Carla is a game designer with a research obsession. Having spent more than a decade making children’s digital goods, she’s produced, researched, and consulted on a wide variety of commercial and educational products, from Web to mobile to console, including the Nintendo Wii and DS as well as the Xbox 360 Kinect. Before starting No Crusts Interactive, she worked for Sesame Workshop, PBS KIDS, and Highlights for Children. Carla is a published author as well as a doctoral candidate at Teachers College, Columbia University, where she studies technology and its relationship with human cognition and development, particularly as it applies to children and games.
• Lori Takeuchi, Director of Research, Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop – Lori Takeuchi, PhD is Director of Research for the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, where she oversees research projects, partnerships, and publications. A learning scientist by training, she conducts research on how children use technology across the various settings of their lives, and the implications these tools hold for their cognitive, social, and identity development. Lori started at the Cooney Center as a postdoctoral fellow after earning her PhD in the Learning Sciences and Technology Design program at Stanford University.