A global network of experts stimulating discussion.
Agatha Kessler has worked as an executive in the worlds of finance and technology, building international businesses in emerging products with VISA and Hewlett-Packard. Energized by the intersection of technology, business and design, in 2007 she joined Fentress Architects as CEO. She holds an MBA and has lived in many cities around the world. Currently, as Chairman of Fentress Architects, Kessler serves on a number of boards, including Opera Colorado and the Design Futures Council. With a keen interest in the future of air travel, Kessler co-founded AERIAL FUTURES and currently serves as Chairman of its Board. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Aviation at Embry- Riddle Aeronautical University.
Anna Gasco is a project coordinator and senior researcher at the ETH-Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore (FCL) where she leads the research project “ The Grand Projet - towards adaptable and liveable urban megaprojects.” A native Italian born in Congo, her international career is juxtaposed with research that began in 2011, when she joined FCL. In this multidisciplinary research center, she completed her PhD on the urbanizing effects of airports, particularly that of Singapore Changi Airport. Chartered architect and urban designer, Gasco has worked on visionary urban projects at multiple scales and acts as a consultant for both public and private clients in Europe and Asia.
Artist and designer Ben Rubin is the Director of the Center for Data Arts at The New School. His work has been exhibited in museums worldwide, including the Whitney, MoMA, and the Science Museum, London. He is an expert in the design of interactive information systems, and he has served as a consultant to IBM, Microsoft, the United Nations, and others. Sound design and acoustics are central to Rubin’s practice; Ethicon hired him to redesign the audible interface for their Harmonic surgical instruments, as did HP for their printer and office products. Rubin’s awards include an Obie for theatrical projection design, a Webbie for “net art,” an Arts Electronica Golden Nica for interactive art, a Third Coast Audio award, and numerous honors for his public installations.
Charles Waldheim is a North American architect and urbanist based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Waldheim’s research examines the relationships between landscape, ecology, and contemporary urbanism. He is author, editor, and co-editor of numerous books on these subjects, and his writing has been published and translated internationally. Waldheim is John E. Irving Professor at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design where he directs the school’s Office for Urbanization. He is recipient of the Rome Prize Fellowship from the American Academy in Rome; the Visiting Scholar Research Fellowship at the Canadian Centre for Architecture; the Sanders Fellowship at the University of Michigan; a Visiting Scholar residency at the Architectural Association School of Architecture; and the Cullinan Chair at Rice University.
Curtis Fentress is the Principal Airport Terminal Designer at Fentress Architects, an international design studio he founded in Denver, Colorado, in 1980. He is also the Co-Founder of AERIAL FUTURES. Fentress’ airports have garnered recognition worldwide for design excellence and an outstanding “airside-to-curbside” traveler experience. These include game-changing international airports such as Denver, Incheon and the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX. Recipient of the AIA Tomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture in 2010, Fentress has developed a reputation as a hybrid architect, developing iconic design and high-profile public architecture.
Cynthia Davidson is Executive Director of the nonprofit Anyone Corporation architecture think tank in New York City and editor of the international architecture journal Log and the former ANY magazine, a tabloid she edited from 1993–2000. She is responsible for more than 40 books in print and oversees the Writing Architecture series published with MIT Press. Davidson also organizes exhibitions, including co-curating the US Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale, and has hosted a number of cross-cultural multidisciplinary conferences on architecture at venues far and wide. Occasionally she writes for periodicals that begin with the letter ‘A’, including Artforum, Arquitectura Viva, AA Files, and Abitare. A former Loeb Fellow at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, she was recognized by The American Academy of Arts and Letters with its Architecture Award in 2014.
Devin Liddell leads TEAGUE’s brand strategy practice, working collaboratively with clients such as Boeing, Intel, JW Marriott, Nike, Starbucks, and Toyota to design new futures in aviation, automotive, smart cities, personal mobility, space travel, and more. With more than a decade of experience in brand strategy and design, Liddell has worked across a broad spectrum of industries: aerospace, higher education, so ware/technology, food and beverage, and retail; some of his past clients include Amazon, GE, Nordstrom and Viacom. He’s a frequent contributor to Fast Company, and he teaches regularly at the School of Visual Concepts in Seattle.
ginger s. evans
Ginger S. Evans manages one of the world’s busiest airport systems comprised of O’Hare and Midway International Airports as Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) Commissioner. She has 30 years of aviation experience and joined the CDA in June 2015 after serving as Vice President of Engineering for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) in Washington, D.C. Prior to her role as Vice President at MWAA, Evans worked in private consulting on major aviation projects in Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America, as well as rail projects in New York and Washington. She is a member of the National Academy of Construction, the International Women’s Forum, and the Executive Committee of Transportation Research Board.
Greg Lindsay is a senior fellow of the New Cities Foundation – where he leads the Connected Mobility Initiative – and the director of strategy for LACoMotion, a new mobility festival in the Arts District of Los Angeles. He is also a non-resident senior fellow of the Atlantic Council’s Strategic Foresight Initiative, a visiting scholar at the New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy & Management, urbanist-in-residence at URBAN-X, and co-author of Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next.
JAMES P. CRAMER
James P. Cramer is the former Chief Executive of the American Institute of Architects, Washington D.C. Following his 16 years of service with the AIA he founded the Design Futures Council and its journal DesignIntelligence. He also founded the Greenway Group, Inc. a management consultancy working in the fields of strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, and visioning retreats. Cramer sold his shares in the Greenway Group in 2014 and his shares in the DFC and Design Intelligence in 2016. He has authored six books including How Firms Succeed, A Field Guide to Design Management (co-author, Scott Simpson) now in its 5th Edition. Cramer is a Richard Upjohn Fellow of the AIA and he is the recipient of awards from the Royal Australian Institute of Architects, the American Society of Interior Designers, and he received the Presidential Medal from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB).
Jonathan Ledgard is a novelist and a leading thinker on risk, advanced technology, and nature in emerging economies. He seeks to accelerate futuristic investments in the tropics. As a director at the avant- garde École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne he invented the cargo drone and droneport concept for Africa, bringing in Norman Foster as his design lead. Previously, Ledgard spent two decades as an award- winning foreign political and war correspondent for The Economist, reporting lead stories from over 60 countries and many wars - notably Africa.
MARIO C. DIAZ
Mario C. Diaz is Director of the City of Houston Department of Aviation. He is responsible for the executive leadership of the Houston Airport System (HAS) and its three aviation facilities — George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) and Ellington Airport (EFD) — and its more than 1,300 employees. He is one of the industry’s leading authorities in the study of future developments in commercial aviation. In 2013, Diaz was named “Airport Director of the Year” by Airport Revenue News Magazine.
Max Hirsh (PhD, Harvard) is a professor at the University of Hong Kong and a leading expert on airports, migration, and transport infrastructure. He is the author of Airport Urbanism: an unprecedented study of air travel that incorporates the perspective of passengers, architects, planners, and aviation executives. With a particular focus on the rise of Asia, the book sheds light on the exponential increase in global air travel and its implications for the planning, design, and operation of airports worldwide. Hirsh also writes the popular blog airporturbanism.com, where he presents leading-edge strategies for tackling the challenges that confront airports today.
Dr. Ronald M. Sega has served as Director and Woodward Professor of Systems Engineering at Colorado State University (CSU) since 2007 and Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives from 2013 to present. From 2010 to 2013, he was Vice President and Enterprise Executive for Energy and the Environment at CSU and The Ohio State University, a unique, shared position between two Land-Grant universities. Dr. Sega also held the position of Vice President for Energy, Environment, and Applied Research with the CSU Research Foundation from 2007 to 2010. From August 2005 to August 2007, he served as Under Secretary of the Air Force. Sega is a retired Major General in the United States Air Force and became a NASA astronaut in July 1991 after selection in 1990, and from November 1994 to March 1995, he was the NASA Director of Operations, Star City, Russia. A veteran of two space flights, he logged over 420 hours in space and is the recipient of many awards, including the Colorado Space Hall of Fame in 2016.
Thomas d. pellegrin
Based in Singapore, Thomas D. Pellegrin brings nearly 20 years of management advisory experience in aviation and aerospace in Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia. He currently leads the International Air Transport Association (IATA)’s consulting team for Asia-Pacific. He previously founded and led PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)’s global Aviation Center of Excellence out of Dubai, UAE. He has delivered numerous operational strategy consulting engagements with aircra manufacturers, airlines, airports, maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) operators, and civil aviation authorities. Pellegrin holds a Master of Management from Grenoble Graduate School of Business, an MBA from the George Washington University, and is pursuing a PhD in aviation with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He is also a private pilot.
YJ Fischer is the Director of International Business Development at Virgin Hyperloop One. She works at the intersection of business development, international policy, and law to shape the Virgin Hyperloop One’s global market entry strategy. She is responsible for their go-to-market strategy in 15 markets across 4 continents. Fischer has more than a decade of experience crafting policy across state, federal, and international governments. She is a seasoned lawyer and expert in global public policy, with deep experience in Europe and the Middle East. Prior to joining Virgin Hyperloop One, Fischer held several appointments during the Obama Administration.