CSUN to Host Fourth Annual Art of Innovation Conference

Keynote speaker for the Art of Innovation Conference 2016 Asad Mandi.

Asad Mandi

California State University, Northridge’s College of Engineering and Computer Science and David Nazarian College of Business and Economics are co-hosting the Art of Innovation Conference (AOI), which takes place from 8 a.m. to 3:30 pm. on Friday, Oct. 14, in the Grand Salon of the University Student Union.

          “The conference is a great way for attendees to build their networks while also learning from various leaders in their respective industries,” said Ryan Holbrook, entrepreneurship program director in the Nazarian College. “Our keynote and subsequent panels will highlight opportunities that lie ahead for current and aspiring innovators and entrepreneurs.”

           This year’s keynote speaker is Asad Madni, former president, chief operating officer and chief technology officer of BEI Technologies Inc. Madni is currently an independent consultant and an adjunct professor of engineering at UCLA. He also worked for Systron Donner Corporation, where he played a critical role in the development of radio frequency and microwave systems and instrumentation. Madni has published and received credit for more than 100 research reports.

          The conference will be divided into three focus areas: “Intrapreneurship and Entrepreneurship,” “The Future of Technology” and “Social Entrepreneurship.”  

          “In 2015, we introduced a panel on social entrepreneurship, which was very well-received by the students — they saw it as something truly unique, even for innovation conferences,” said Jimmy Gandhi, director of the Ernie Schaeffer Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the College of Engineering and Computer Science. “Hence, we decided to keep it as a focus of AOI 2016 to create a paradigm shift around social entrepreneurship.”

         The event’s panels will feature professionals from industries including manufacturing, virtual reality, sustainability, health care, education, aerospace and new media.

         CSUN students, faculty and staff can attend the conference for free and the cost for alumni and community members is $40 if they by Oct. 7. Space is limited; register online at www.csunaoi.com. Breakfast and lunch is included with registration. For more information, call Ryan Holbrook at (818) 677-4510 or ryan.holbrook@csun.edu                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

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