Alan Gershenfeld, co-founder/president of E-Line Media, former studio head at Activision and chairman of Games of Change will explore how digital media and games can help share, celebrate and extend marginalized and under-represented cultures with a global audience. In addition to highlighting his work on a variety of impact game/media projects, he will tell the story of the making of ‘Never Alone’ (Kisima Ingitchuna), a game developed by E-Line in partnership with the Cook Inlet Tribal Council, a pioneering Alaska Native organization.
The game has been downloaded over 3 million times, featured in over 750 articles and nominated for virtually every major game award (winning a British Academy Award). The tribal council has converted their revenue participation in the game into equity in E-Line and they are now E-Line’s largest shareholder and the company’s chairman is CEO of the Tribal Council.
Alan has spent the last 25 years at the intersection of entertainment, technology and social entrepreneurship. He is currently president and co-founder of E-Line Media, a publisher of digital entertainment that engages, educates and empowers — with a core focus on computer/video games. Alan has worked on impact game projects with the Gates Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, National Science Foundation, USAID, DARPA, White House OSTP, California Endowment, Cook Inlet Tribal Council, Games for Change, Google, Sesame Workshop, MIT Center for Bits and Atoms and the ASU Center for Games and Impact.
Prior to E-Line, Alan spent seven years as CEO and co-founder of Netomat, a leader in mobile-web community solutions. As CEO, Alan helped to transform a network-based art project into a pioneering software company. Netomat was selected as a Technology Pioneer at the 2007 World Economic Forum at Davos. Before Netomat, Alan spent six years at Activision, a global leader in entertainment software. He was a member of the executive management team that rebuilt Activision from bankruptcy into a profitable industry leader with more than a billion dollars in revenue. At Activision, Alan served as senior vice president of Activision Studios where he supervised all product development at the company’s Los Angeles studios. Titles released under Alan’s leadership include “Civilization: Call to Power,” “Mechwarrior 2,” “Asteroids 3-D,” “Muppet Treasure Island,” “Spycraft,” “Shanghai,” “Pitfall,” “Zork” and “Tony Hawk Skateboarding.”
Before Activision, Alan spent nearly ten years in the film industry where he worked in development, production and post-production roles on numerous feature films and documentaries. As a writer, Alan was a film critic for the “South China Morning Post” in Hong Kong, co-author of ” Game Plan,” a book about the computer and video game business published by St. Martin’s Press, and has published articles on digital media and technology for learning and social impact in numerous publications including Scientific American, Education Week, Huffington Post, Slate, Politico, Marketwatch and Knowledge Quest. Most recently Alan co-authored, with his two brothers, “Designing Reality: How to Survive and Thrive in the 3rd Digital Revolution.”
Alan is co-founder of Experimental Design, a leader in future world building, and serves on the board of directors of FilmAid International, a nonprofit that uses film and video to empower refugees throughout the world. Alan is also a founding industry fellow at the Center for Games and Impact at Arizona State University and serves on the advisery boards of PBS Kids New Media, iCivics and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center For Educational Media and Research (Sesame Workshop). He is also on the advisery board and former chairman of Games for Change.