The Hybrid Reality Institute

From 2010-2014, the Hybrid Reality Institute served as a research network for experts working on themes related to human-technology co-evolution.


Ayesha Khanna is Co-Founder & Director of the Hybrid Reality Institute.  A technology and innovation strategy expert, Ayesha has over ten years of experience advising clients and cities on scenario analysis, product development, digital branding and customer experience. She is the author of Straight Through Processing (2007), and was series editor of The Complete Technology Guides (Reed Elsevier). Read more

Parag Khanna is Co-Founder & Director of the Hybrid Reality Institute, Senior Research Fellow at the New America Foundation and Senior Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations. A leading geo-strategist, he is author of the international bestseller The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order (2008) and How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance (2011). Read more



Anya Kamenetz is a staff writer at Fast Company Magazine and the author of DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education,which investigated the roots of the cost, access, and quality crises in higher education as well as innovations in technology and social media to address these crises. Read more

Mathias J. Holzmann is an entrepreneur who co-founded Palomar5, the catalyst and network for young individuals to play and build.He is also co-founder of play&build, an Internet technology incubator. He studied Law and Philosophy in the Netherlands and in Germany with a focus on Art Law, Cultural Policy and 20th century Philosophy. Read more

Greg Lindsay is co-author of Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next (Farrar, Straus & Giroux 2011), with John D. Kasarda. Aerotropolis examines how and where we live in a globalized world – in cities that have coalesced around airports, rather than the other way around. He is a contributing writer for Fast Company, and has written for Fortune and Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Read more

Sonia Arrison is an author who has written about the impact of new technologies on society for more than a decade. Her most recent book is 100 Plus: How the Coming Age of Longevity Will Change Everything, From Careers and Relationships to Family and Faith. She is a founder, academic advisor, and trustee at Singularity University, located in Mountain View, CA. Read more

Natasha Vita-More is a designer and theorist, and PhD researcher, known for her book “Primo Posthuman: The New Human Genre”. She is Chairman of Humanity+, which advocates the ethical use of emerging technologies to enhance human capacities and explores possibilities for the "posthuman" future.  Read more

Daniel F. Moore is the co-author of "What Is Nanotechology and Why Does It Matter?: From Science to Ethics", which explores scientific and philosophical issues related to developing technology. Daniel is the director of the Nanoethics Group and a scientist with IBM, where he develops nanoscale processes for semiconductor devices and solutions for Smarter Planet. Read more

Lucy Bernholz is a philanthropy wonk trying to understand how we create, fund, and distribute social goods in the digital age. She writes extensively on philanthropy, technology, information, and policy on her award winning blog, Her work in philanthropy led The Huffington Post to hail her as a “game changer.” Read more

Marc Goodman is  an expert in cybercrime, cyberterrorism and critical infrastructure protection working with organizations such as INTERPOL, the United Nations and NATO. Marc is Chair of the Policy, Law and Ethics program at Silicon Valley’s Singularity University and founder the Future Crimes Institute. He has written widely on the security implications of disruptive technologies. Read more

Rich Doyle is Professor of English and Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State University and is the author of a trilogy of books on information and the life sciences. The latest, Darwin's Pharmacy: Sex, Plants, and the Evolution of the Noösphere, was published in 2011. Professor Doyle is a Distinguished International Fellow of the London Graduate School. Read more

Robert Torres is a Senior Program Officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation helping to lead their digital media and college readiness work. Until recently he served at the Chief Research Officer at Institute of Play where he co-founded Quest to Learn, a games-based school in New York City. His research has focused on the potential of games-based environments to support cognitive development. Read more

Stan Stalnaker is the Founding Director of Hub Culture, a social network service that operates the currency Ven and is the first to merge online and physical world environments. Previously, Stan was the international director of marketing for the Time Inc. Business and Finance Group. In 2002 he authored Hub Culture: The Next Wave of Urban Consumers on the emergence of harmonized cultural psychographics. Read more

Heather Knight is currently conducting her doctoral research at the intersection of robotics and entertainment at Carnegie Mellon. She also runs Marilyn Monrobot in NYC, which creates socially intelligent robot performances and sensor-based electronic art. She is an alumnus from the Personal Robots Group at the MIT Media Lab. Read more

Jason Silva is is a filmmaker, gonzo journalist, writer and founding producer/host for Current TV. He produced and directed a short documentary film titled The Immortalists, profiling scientists and philosophers, including Ray Kurzweil, about the philosophical implications of merging with our technologies and overcoming our biological limitations. Read more

Lina Srivastava is currently the strategist for Three Generations and a partner in the social change strategy team for the Resist Network. She has created the Transmedia Activism framework and co-created the Modeling Global Change framework, and has provided strategic support to films such as Born into Brothels and The Devil Came on Horseback. Read more

Shane Hope is Artist-in-Residence at the Hybrid Reality Institute and a GraviTV Programmer of Everware-There-Is-Masstaken-iPlentities. His current practice flocuses on artilectual femtofactured mind-splaces, post-conscious subthreaded sales-swarms, and prescient peek-a-boo plunderware portraiture. Read more

Lea Bajc is an investor at Northzone, a leading technology investment fund. She is a big believer in the power of technology to tackle global challenges and improve human lives and happiness. Her focus is on game-changing early stage companies with a clear purpose. Lea is also a Kaufmann Fellow and serves on the Boards of Artfinder and FlyB. Read more

Sanford Dickert is a catalyzing technologist, product expeditor and a remitting/relapsing roboticist. He is known for his role as CTO of the John Kerry for President Campaign, Product Director for the Texai Remote Presence system and serves as CTO of PeerIndex, a social capital analysis company. Read more

Ian Marlow is a widely recognized leader in real estate, technology and the creation of "smart cities." He is Managing Partner at FiTech Consultants. He was closely involved in the development of Songdo International City and was named one of the top 250 Innovators in the United States by InformationWeekRead more

Patricia Rangel is a leading laser holographer who has exhibited her work at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, the Burning Man Festival, San Diego Space 4 Art, and CalArts Main Gallery. Her work includes fully immersive virtual reality, 3D stereoscopic projection, holographic projection, augmented reality, mixed reality, and virtual configurators. Read more

Jason Sosa is the Founder and CEO at Immersive Labs which has been featured by CNNMoney, New York Times, Huffington Post, Fortune Magazine, Mashable, and Business Insider.  He has been researching Digital Signage and HCI (human computer interaction) with a focus on bridging the gap between the virtual (online) world and physical world through intelligent content. Read more

Molly Webb  is head of smart technology for The Climate Group and is responsible for developing and coordinating the organization’s SMART 2020 Programme, which supports climate change action across the information and communications technologies (ICT) sector. Molly was also a researcher at Demos where she focused on science, innovation and environmental policy. Read more

Lucian Tarnowski  is Founder & CEO of, the community platform that bridges the gap between education, skills and employment. He is on a mission to help maximise Human Potential through the democratisation of Education. He has been honoured as Europe's youngest Young Global Leader (YGL) by the World Economic Forum. Read more



Sawsan Gad is is a quantitative analyst, working on becoming a GIS-SNA (Geographic Information Systems – Social Network Analysis) scientist. She is interested in investigating human activity using geospatial mapping and visualization. Sawsan has an M.A. degree in Demographic and Social Analysis, from the University of California, Irvine. Read more

Michell Zappa is a London-based emerging technology strategist who heads the trend forecasting studio Envisioning Technology. He focuses on extrapolating on current developments to explain where society is inexorably heading, using specialized keynote presentations and info visualizations. Read more

Kenneth Good is a student of Urban Studies and Economics, whose primary interests are intelligent urban design and the economics of technology and innovation. While studying in Thailand and traveling throughout South Asia, he developed a passion for the role of technology in urban and economic development. Read more

Scott Young is a Research Associate with the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada in Vancouver. Originally from Metro Vancouver, he is principally interested in the geopolitical intersection between emerging economies and technological trends, as well as the implications for global and regional governance. Read more

Ahmed El Hady is a post-doctoral scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self Organization (Goettingen, Germany). He is working on a neurotechnology research project and is very interested to explore the impact of neurotechnologies specially artificial intelligence on the structure and dynamics of the society. Read more

Soenke Ziesche holds a PhD in Natural Sciences from the University of Hamburg with a focus on Cognitive Science and AI. He has worked for the United Nations in the humanitarian and recovery sector and in information management in Gaza, New York, Colombo, Islamabad, Blue Nile State , Benghazi.  Read more

Chris Arkenberg  is an independent researcher, analyst, and innovation strategist. He consults with start-ups, municipalities, Fortune 500 companies, and the USG providing guidance for product innovation, research, competitive intelligence, forecasting, scenario planning, strategy and human-centered design.  Read more

Curvin Huber  has a broad background in education and the 3D simulation industry. He holds a MFA in Illustration, a MS in Instructional Technology, and a BA in Studio Art. He is currently an Associate Professor of Game Design at Becker College in Worcester, MA.   Read more

Tarun Wadhwa is completing a book on the promise and the perils of India’s national identity system. He is a senior research associate with the Think India Foundation, where he analyzes the issues and challenges that India is facing due to urbanization. He holds a BA in Political Science from The George Washington University. Read more

Mark Wien is a co-founder of the Micro Equity Development Fund, a for-profit, social initiative focused on connecting investors with investment opportunities in microfinance. He recently completed the Postbac Program at Columbia University. His travel and work increased his passion for public health initiatives in the underdeveloped world. Read more

Max Celko is a trend analyst, innovation consultant and writer based in New York City and Berlin. He tracks emerging trends in media, communication, technology and society, and consults brands in identifying their implications for product innovation. Additionally, Max is a creative director/ producer for TV documentaries and ethnographic video productions. Read more

Aaron Smith  is a digital strategist, educational technologist, and transmedia scholar. He explores the design ecology surrounding transmedia systems and their interrelationship with media technology and culture. He currently works as an Interactive Media Planner for Wieden+Kennedy, where he coordinates digital, social, and mobile media initiatives for brands like ABC Entertainment and Disney XD. Read more

Michael Garfield  is a paleontologist-turned-performing philosopher. He uses all available media to playfully and provocatively deconstruct the boundaries between individual and collective, art and science, the sacred and the mundane. When words aren’t nonlinear and ecodelic enough, he turns to acoustic-electronic guitar and live painting. Read more

Abhijnan Rej a retainer scientist with the Quantitative Finance Group of the Tata Consultancy Services Innovation Labs Hyderabad. He carried out his doctoral work in mathematical physics at the Max-Planck Institute of Mathematics, Bonn. Read more

Aran Levasseur has an eclectic background that ranges from outdoor education to life coaching, and from habitat restoration to video production.  He writes for PBS’s MediaShift about the intersection of education and technology and is the Academic Technology Coordinator at San Francisco University High School. Read more


Junior Researchers

Harry Bernholz is a student at a Mandarin immersion school where he will begin the fifth grade in September. He is interested in music, dance, and technology. He uses the computer program Scratch to make games and animations. Harry's project for the Institute will explore music and robotics.

Jaden and Maddox Sosa 8 years old Jaden loves technology, video games, science, and building cool stuff, while his brother  Maddox, 5 years old, enjoys drawing on the iPad, playing games, and making funny faces. For their project, they are experimenting with robotics including building ones like the Tin Can Robot.

Data is an aspiring robot actor, best known for his standup comedian exploits on behalf of Marilyn Monrobot at the TED conference series and on stage in Brooklyn. Based on the Nao platform, Data caters his jokes, animation level, and interactivity to individual audiences using online learning techniques. He enjoys engaging in banter on Twitter. Read more