From sci-fi to the real world

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“BOLDLY GO WHERE NO ONE HAS GONE BEFORE”

Gene Roddenberry stated that one of the founding concepts underlying the show Star Trek was to think beyond the divides of mankind and to respond to the public's hunger for brotherhood:

“We believe that the often ridiculed mass audience is sick of this world's petty nationalism and all its old ways and old hatreds, and that people are not only willing but anxious to think beyond most petty beliefs that have for so long kept mankind divided.”

In 2016 I was blessed to work for the Roddenberry Foundation in Los Angeles on how we can use today’s technology to strive to materialize some of Star Trek’s ideals: inclusive collaboration and peaceful exploration. I had started using virtual reality as a community building tool in my native Paris after the terrorist attacks in 2015 in partnership with the BeAnotherLab at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research.

 
Students at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research experiment with the “Machine to Be Another” (BeAnother Lab) in 2015.

Students at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research experiment with the “Machine to Be Another” (BeAnother Lab) in 2015.

The experience with the Roddenberry Foundation in Los Angeles inspired me to pursue the route of social entrepreneurship to harness immersive technologies to address century-old issues in a scalable way.

Software has the unprecedented power to provide a dematerialized science-backed solution in the cloud and that will reach the communities that most need it.

Dr. Alexandra Ivanovitch

DELIVERING SCALABLE SOCIAL IMPACT

EQUALITY LAB’s mission is to harness cutting-edge technology and science to serve communities across the United States.

Our primary areas of focus are to:

  • create exponential opportunities for economically disempowered youth,

  • build relationships of trust and cooperation between historically divided groups through the power of immersion and play,

  • serve our elders with groundbreaking technology and allow them to manifest their deepest bucket list desires through immersive experiences.

VR for seniors

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VR for community policing

 
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Our Team

We are technologists, creatives, entrepreneurs.

 
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Dr. ALEXANDRA IVANOVITCH

FOUNDING DIRECTOR

Alexandra Ivanovitch, PhD is a creative technologist dedicated to leveraging 21st century technology to ameliorate the quality of life of vulnerable populations such as senior citizens and at-risk youth.

Former research fellow in Digital Humanities at the Université Paris-Sorbonne, where she used to teach at all undergraduate levels, current adjunct faculty at Singularity University, she is passionate about harnessing groundbreaking social neuroscience studies and technology from the lab to the real world.


On both sides of the Atlantic, she has shared her design thinking and creative skills while consulting for Google and Hyperloop TT as well as innovation-driven non-profit organizations like XPRIZE and pioneering start-ups in Europe.

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DAVE KEBO

IMMERSIVE STORYTELLER

Dave holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from UCLA. His career spans screenwriting and directing, producing, editing and marketing/communications for non-profits (XPRIZE Foundation, The Contentment Foundation, etc.)

His films have premiered at Sundance and Cannes and played on Showtime, the Sci Fi channel, Discovery, Nat Geo, Pop Sci, PBS, The Next Web and Futurism, to name a few. In addition to directing, producing and editing hundreds of short films, documentaries and music videos, Dave has also written and directed two feature films.

Dave believes that stories have the power to create transformational change in the world, and that it is our responsibility to bear witness and amplify the stories that matter. That's what it's all about.

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SHADRICK ADDY

chief technology officer

Shadrick Addy is a Visiting Assistant Professor at The Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design (ACCAD) at Ohio State University.

He was born and raised in Liberia, West Africa. During the Liberian civil war, Shadrick left this homeland and came to the United States as a refugee. In his graduate studies at North Carolina State University, he worked on numerous projects covering immersive mixed reality systems, user experience, interaction, and editorial design. His professional practice includes work with Duke University’s Bull City 150 as a Digital Humanities Fellow.

He also worked as the Virtual Reality Pentair Fellow at NC State Libraries and collaborated with researchers at NC State College of Humanities and Social Sciences to create the virtual reality reenactment of Martin Luther King’s “Fill Up the Jails” speech.

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JONAS SMENSGAARD

AWARD-WINNING 360 VIDEO PRODUCER

Jonas Smensgard is an Emmy-nominated director/producer specializing in the creation of VR, AR, and Mixed Reality content.

 He has worked for over twenty years in the film/television industry in the USA, Europe and Asia—always on the hunt for emerging formats and mediums to tell stories in new exciting ways.

He has created immersive content for Oculus/Facebook, Wendy's, Coca-Cola, Expedia, BET Awards, IMG, the Pittsburgh Steelers, Disney, ABC, Fox, Verizon IndyCar Series,  College Football Playoff, Pilot Flying J, Penzoil and won a Bronze Clio for his work on the Philadelphia Eagles "Road to The Super Bowl" Experience.Jonas Smensgard is an Emmy nominated producer specializing in the creation of VR, AR and Mixed Reality content.

Our Science & Tech Advisors

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JONATHAN KNOWLES, AUTODESK EXPLORER

Jonathan currently serves as the Science and Exploration Fellow at Mission Blue—The Sylvia Earle Alliance; Advisor to Schmidt Marine Technology Partners—a program of the Schmidt Family Foundation; Ideation Director at the NASA Frontier Development Lab; and the Exploration Officer for the California Coastal Exploration Academy vessel E/V Discovery. He sits on the boards of, and as an advisor to, several ocean, space, technology, learning, and exploration start-up and nonprofit organizations. With over 20 years in Silicon Valley in leadership positions at Apple, Adobe, and Autodesk, Jonathan is a creative thinker and respected thought leader on future trends, long-range vision, and creating a preferred future. He advises start-ups, business leaders, government officials, and academics around the world.

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ZENIA TATA, SERIAL ENTREPRENEUR

Zenia Tata is the Chief Impact Officer at XPRIZE. With over 25 years of experience in business development, program design, and strategic management, Ms. Tata oversees XPRIZE’s global impact strategy ensuring that impact is incorporated into all facets of the organization’s work.

Ms. Tata is a serial entrepreneur and has worked across 27 countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. She was the Executive Director of International Development Enterprises (iDE) USA. iDE pioneered market-based approaches to increase income for impoverished farm families in Asia and Africa, which doubled the incomes of 20 million people living in poverty. 

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DR. DEREK HAM, VR PIONEER

Derek Ham’s research interest spans the areas of game-based learning, algorithmic thinking, and digital fabrication/making. In his work, he continues to investigate both virtual reality and augmented realty technology to find ways these tools can expand the possibilities of interaction design. Before joining the faculty in the College of Design, Derek has taught at MIT’s School of Architecture, Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (GSD), and the Rhode Island School of Design.

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ROSS HALL, EDUCATION INNOVATOR

Ross has founded and grown more than 20 businesses around the world. Over the past 8 years, he has focused his energy on building a ground-breaking education programme that aims to empower 500,000 children in Zimbabwe and Tanzania. It is now being extended to Ghana, the UK and Mexico. This grew out of earlier projects that Ross conceived and led for Pearson (under the banner of Education for Economic and Social Development).