Creative conversations on how technology is changing our world. Come meet the people shaping our future.

01 Schedule

November 15, 2016

Real Future Fair


Join the Real Future team for a day of conversations about the future and how we’ll continue to steer it in a bright, progressive direction under President Trump.

There will be a light breakfast, lunch, and an endless supply of coffee. Expect a full day of awesome. Parts of the day will be streamed on Facebook Live for those who can’t be there in person.

Democracy in Virtual Worlds
Real Future editor Kashmir Hill in conversation with special guest Edward Snowden. You can stream the interview on Facebook Live or YouTube.
Robot Takeover: The Future of Work
Alexis Madrigal will debut his new podcast and talk portable benefits, automated labor and universal basic income with Jakada Imani of The Workers Lab & Natalie Foster of the Aspen Institute. We’ll also explore how neural nets can be tools for creative work with Robin Sloan.
Coffee break
Rise Up, Be Heard
Our Rise Up fellows describe the worlds they want to live in, with program director Jacob Simas
Diversity in Tech Roundtable
Join us for a community conversation with Erica Joy Baker of Slack, Candice Morgan of Pinterest, Karla Monterroso of Code2040, Maira Benjamin of Pandora, Tiffany Price of the Kapor Center for Social Impact, and you! We’ve saved two seats at the table for audience members to add to the discussion so come with your questions, experiences and ideas.
Lunch and Break-out Sessions
Refuel and stroll through our Meme Gallery or explore the red planet with our virtual reality experience Mars 2030. Or join one of our break-out discussion groups where we'll discuss privacy, the environment, journalism, and immigration under President Trump. Lunch provided.
An Internet without A**holes
Kashmir Hill tells us a harassment horror story from the center of the USA, and we look at new solutions to online civility with Danielle Leong of GitHub, Caroline Sinders and Fusion’s own Kristen Brown
E-Carceration & the Future of Policing
Keynote presentation from Malkia Cyril of the Center for Media Justice. You can stream the interview on Facebook Live.
Hacking Against Violence
Project presentations from Oakland’s first ever hackathon against violence, led by Reboot Safety founder Linda Maepa
How We Live: The Future of Cities
Alexis Madrigal explores the past, present and future of Oakland with Matt Novak of Gizmodo and Jordan Medina of Uber.
Coffee break
Artists Anonymous
We’ll chat with the internet’s best known artist/avatars to discuss celebrity, spectacle, anonymity and art, with LaTurbo Avedon and Zardulu
Fact or Fiction: Gene Hacking
Kristen Brown sits down with Josiah Zayner of The ODIN and Andrew May of Caribou Biosciences to discuss CRISPR in and out of the lab
What Mars Means Here on Earth
Notes from our collaboration with NASA on Mars2030, and and a closing keynote presentation from the first woman of color in space, Dr. Mae Jemison
Off Site Dinner Break
Enjoy dinner in downtown Oakland before the night's festivities
Real Future Happy Hour
Stroll through ‘All Power to the People: the Black Panthers at 50’ exhibition, explore Mars in virtual reality, enjoy art activations by B4BEL4B, and join the whole Real Future team for a cocktail
Science Fiction as Activism
Join Octavia’s Brood co-editor Walidah Imarisha for a discussion on why imagining the future can be a potent political practice
Rapper, producer, PhD candidate and self described weirdo, Sammus, will tell us all about her comic book inspirations, why she raps about STEM diversity, and deliver a musical performance you will not want to miss.

02 Speakers
Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden used to work for the government. Now he works for the public. Director at @FreedomofPress.

Kashmir Hill

Kashmir Hill is the editor of Fusion’s Real Future. She has hacked a stranger’s smart home, lived on Bitcoin & paid a surprise visit to the NSA’s Utah datacenter, all while trying to prove privacy isn’t dead yet. She’s on Twitter @kashhill.

Alexis Madrigal

After serving as Fusion’s Editor-in-Chief, Alexis Madrigal is now writing and producing audio and video projects as Fusion’s Editor-at-Large. He was a senior editor at The Atlantic and a staff writer at Wired. He’s the author of Powering the Dream and a visiting scholar at Berkeley.

Carmen Rojas

Carmen Rojas is the CEO of The Workers Lab, an innovation lab that invests in entrepreneurs, community organizers, and technologists to develop new ways to build power for working people in the US. The Workers Lab invests capital, offers business development training, and connects ventures to a broad network of supporters. She has over 15 years experience working with organizations to test revenue models & exploring the range of capital vehicles that can scale power building. Carmen holds a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the UC Berkeley and was a Fulbright Scholar.

Natalie Foster

Natalie is obsessed with the future of work, particularly as it relates to platform work and the gig economy. She’s spent the last 15 years at the intersection of technology and social movements, and is currently an advisor to the The Aspen Institute Future of Work Initiative and the Open Society Foundations, and is a fellow at Institute for the Future and New America California. Natalie co-founded and launched to support people who work in the sharing and on-demand economy.

Robin Sloan

Robin Sloan is a writer & media inventor. He’s the author of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore a novel published by FSG and Picador in the United States and others around the world. When not writing, he dorks around with technology.

Erica Joy Baker

Erica is a senior engineer at Slack Technologies and advocate for diversity and inclusion in tech. Erica’s career in tech began fifteen years ago doing domain administration for the University of Alaska Statewide System, before becoming a Googler in 2006. Erica is on the Advisory Boards for Atipica and Hack the Hood, and is a Tech Mentor for Black Girls Code. Erica is currently based in Oakland, California.

Candice Morgan

As the Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Candice leads strategy and programs to enhance a diverse and inclusive Pinterest. Prior, Candice spent nearly 10 years at Catalyst, the leading nonprofit for research, advisory, and practices on women in business, where she was an expert in change management and organizational transformation. She holds an MS in cross-cultural psychology from Brunel University in the UK and a BS in psychology from Carnegie Mellon University.

Maira Benjamin

Maira Benjamin is the director of engineering at Pandora. She manages several teams of engineers that deliver the algorithms for the listener’s playlists as well as the tools that manage the Music Genome Project. Maira has been dedicated to the technology field for over 30 years playing instrumental roles in engineering departments for over 10 software and technology companies.

Maira’s particular passion is building inclusive high-performing engineering teams. She is of mixed heritage: Latina and Black. Her career and interest in technology has meant that she’s worked in exclusively all-male teams and usually has been the only female engineering manager of color. She particularly enjoys mentoring women with their careers in technology.

Karla Monterroso

As the vice president of programs at CODE2040, Karla Monterroso is committed to closing the opportunity gap for people of color in the United States. CODE2040 sits in the intersection of a skills- and network-building opportunity for Black and Latinx talent and a systems change opportunity for a critical segment of the country’s economy.

Kristen V. Brown

Kristen is a Real Future reporter, writing about how technology is impacting the future of our bodies, our brains and our culture.

Danielle Leong

Danielle Leong is an engineer on GitHub’s Community & Safety team who loves building tools to help make open source a more welcome and inclusive environment. She is also the founder of Feerless, an app that provides trigger warnings for Netflix users with PTSD. Prior to GitHub, she was Twilio’s first female engineer and co-founder of their Diversity & Inclusion team. She’s passionate about inclusivity in tech, mental health awareness, and improving online good citizenship. In her spare time she climbs rocks, rides motorcycles, and dresses up as a T-rex – occasionally all at the same time.

Caroline Sinders

Caroline Sinders is an artist, researcher, Eyebeam Project Fellow, and designer with a speciality in machine learning and conversation. As part of her fellowship with BuzzFeed/Eyebeam Open Lab, Caroline is building machine learning commenting systems to mitigate abuse. Prior to her fellowship, she was a user researcher at IBM Watson. Caroline holds a master’s degree from New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from New York University’s Photography and Imaging Program.

Malkia Cyril

Malkia A. Cyril is founder and Executive Director of the Center for Media Justice (CMJ) and co-founder of the Media Action Grassroots Network. For decades, Malkia has strengthened the organizing and communications capacity of grassroots leaders to ensure racial and economic justice in a digital age. Born of parents in the Black Panther Party, Cyril is now one of few leaders of color in the movement for digital rights and freedom, and a proud leader in the Black Lives Matter Network.

Jordan Medina

Jordan Medina leads Uber’s community outreach and engagement for Oakland. In this role, he is responsible for creating and executing Uber’s strategic partnerships with Oakland-based non-profits and small businesses. He previously worked at Braven, a Teach for America partner organization, and the Greenlining Institute, an economic justice think tank. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 2013. When he’s not working Jordan enjoys running the lake, listening to podcasts, and bing-watching Netflix shows.

Cara Defabio

Cara Rose DeFabio is a pop addicted, emoji fluent, transmedia artist, focusing on live events as an experience designer for Real Future.


I am the myth-maker. Founder of Zardulism. Apostle of Enkidu. Divinatory magus. Dream docent. Columnist for Atlas Obscura.

LaTurbo Avedon

LaTurbo Avedon is an artist and resident of the Internet. Without a real world referent, she is a digital manifestation that has never existed outside of a computer. Her digital sculptures and environments disregard the lack of physicality, and instead emphasize the practice of virtual authorship. Her works are regularly distributed online, and have been exhibited internationally – including Transmediale (Berlin) 2015 and 2016, NRW Forum (Düsseldorf), Espacio Fundación Telefónica (Lima), Museum Angewandtekunst (Frankfurt), Museum Villa Rot (Burgrieden) CICA Museum (Gimpo), NRW Forum Forum (Düsseldorf), Transfer Gallery (New York City), Jean Albano Gallery (Chicago), and Galeries Lafayette (Paris).

Josiah Zayner

Dr. Josiah Zayner defines the term Biohacker. In the past few years he has created the world’s first musical instrument that uses engineered protein nanotechnology, The Chromochord; performed a full-body microbiome transplant on himself and released inexpensive DIY CRISPR Kits to the public. In early 2016, Josiah left NASA’s Synthetic Biology program to found The ODIN, a company that makes Science more accessible by creating consumer genetic engineering tools. He enjoys Whiskey and Red Bull, sometimes together.

Andrew May

Andy leads the research and development team at Caribou Biosciences and has a background developing technologies and bringing innovative products from concept to commercialization. Andy is an inventor on many patents and patent applications and has authored articles in leading journals describing developments in structural biology, microfluidics, clinical sequencing, single-cell genomics and CRISPR technologies. He received a B.A. in Chemistry and a D.Phil. in Molecular Biophysics, both from the University of Oxford.

Tiffany Price

Tiffany Price is the community engagement manager for the Kapor Center for Social Impact. Tiffany is on the board of advisors for /dev/color, a non-profit organization that supports Silicon Valley black software engineers. In addition to her work at the Kapor Center, Tiffany is a Ruby on Rails web developer and holds a Master’s degree in International Comparative Education from Stanford University and a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and International Studies from Emory University. In her spare time, Tiffany likes to dabble in photography and singing.

Mae Jemison

Dr. Mae C. Jemison, the first woman of color in the world to go into space, served six years as a NASA astronaut. She flew aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour, STS-47 Spacelab J(apan) mission in September 1992 and was NASA’s first Science Mission Specialist performing experiments in material science, life science and human adaptation to weightlessness.

Dr. Jemison is currently leading 100 Year Starship (100YSS) an initiative seed funded by DOD’s Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) to assure the capability for human interstellar space travel to another star is possible within the next 100 years.

Walidah Imarisha

Walidah Imarisha is a writer, organizer, educator and performance poet.


SAMMUS (Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo) is an Ithaca, NY based rap artist, producer, and PhD student in the Department of Science & Technology Studies at Cornell University. Known as much for her rousing stage presence as she is for her prowess as a beatmaker and lyricist, Sammus has spent the past several years cultivating a strong following of activists, hip hop heads, punks, and self-proclaimed nerds and geeks, among others. As noted by the Los Angeles Times, Sammus “has a gift for getting a message across.”

In addition to managing a full-time music career, Enongo has spent the past eight years as a public-school and college level educator.

03 Experiences

Reboot Safety Hack-a-thon

Fusion is thrilled to host Reboot Safety: Oakland, the East Bay’s first ever hack-a-thon against violence. Join us at our offices in downtown Oakland, November 5th & 6th for a weekend of collaborative coding towards a safer city. Reboot Safety’s mission is to recognize and support the power of every individual’s contribution to safe, prosperous communities. You can sign up to participate here.

Mars 2030

In partnership with NASA and MIT’s Space Systems Laboratory, FusionVR invites you to explore the red planet in Mars 2030. This immersive virtual reality experience lets you play the role of one of the first scientists tasked with establishing a human presence on Mars. From its jagged peaks to its subterranean lava tubes, this journey, approached with the highest regard to scientific accuracy, allows us to unlock mankind’s next frontier.

Meme Gallery

The meme gallery will feature art products of Internet culture and the often uncredited young black creators driving this art movement. The gallery will explore contemporary memes grounding their cultural commentary and distinct styles in a physical space beyond the ephemeral timelines and feeds they usually occupy.

B4BEL4B Gallery

B4BEL4B is an artist run gallery + venue with an emphasis on new media art, diversity, and multidisciplinary practices with a community focus. We offer a platform for emerging and established artists in the Bay Area and beyond to experiment, create, and showcase work through rotating exhibitions, performances, artist studios, workshops and free public events. We strive to support queer and radical ideologies, and to engage divergent communities to provoke conversation and new ideas.

Gallery Tours

The Oakland Museum’s main gallery, currently showing All Power to the People: Black Panthers at 50, will be open to our attendees from 6:30-9:30pm

04 About

About Fusion

Through impactful journalism and smart commentary, FUSION covers the stories that matter to the new, rising American mainstream. FUSION content is available to audiences across a broad range of platforms including cable television (channel listings),, various OTT providers and social media platforms. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. FUSION is part of the recently announced Fusion Media Group, a division of Univision Communications Inc.

About Real Future

Looking towards a diverse and inclusive future, Real Future brings you in-depth reporting on how technology is changing our lives. You can read us online, meet us at our live events in downtown Oakland, or watch our TV show on your favorite screen.

05 Location

Oakland Museum of California
1000 Oak St.
Oakland, CA, 94607

Just one short block from the Lake Merritt BART station!

Situated between serene Lake Merritt and busy downtown Oakland, the Oakland Museum of California is one of the most significant architectural examples of mid-century modernism in the United States. When it opened in 1969, OMCA’s design by Pritzker prize–winning architect Kevin Roche was acclaimed for its bold and innovative premise: a museum that also serves as a vibrant urban park and public space. We are thrilled to host this year’s fair at the OMCA, whose mission is “to inspire all Californians to create a more vibrant future for themselves and their communities.”