CSUN’s Art of Innovation Conference Offers a Glimpse into the Future

Self-driving cars, clean energy, augmented reality and gaming are just some of the latest technologies that make students and members of the community wonder what the future will hold.

California State University, Northridge’s College of Engineering and Computer Science, and David Nazarian College of Business and Economics are co-hosting the fifth annual Art of Innovation Conference to give students and members of the community the opportunity to tap the innovative minds of the entrepreneurs who are creating the technology of tomorrow. The free event will take place from 8:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 13, in the Grand Salon of the University Student Union located on the east side of campus at 18111 Nordhoff St. in Northridge.

“One of the primary goals [for the conference] is to expose our attendees to these new technologies and the future of the economy,” said Ryan Holbrook, entrepreneurship program director in the Nazarian College. “And anytime we get individuals from different backgrounds and disciplines together in the same room interacting with one another, there’s a certain kind of magic that happens.”

California State University, Northridge's next Education on the Edge keynote speaker, Matt Peterson. Photo credit: Hillary Institute

California State University, Northridge’s next Art of Innovation keynote speaker, Matt Peterson. Photo credit: Hillary Institute

This year’s keynote address will be delivered by Matt Peterson, president and CEO of Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator. Peterson previously served as the first Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Los Angeles, working with Mayor Eric Garcetti to make LA the most sustainable city in the nation.

The conference will be divided into three focus areas: “Future of Technology,” “Future of Transportation” and “Future of Augmented and Virtual Reality.”

“Part of the reason why we picked these themes is to get attendees talking about technology and entertainment because it’s something that affects us every day and makes our lives better,” said Jimmy Gandhi, associate professor and director of the Ernie Schaeffer Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the college of engineering. “We want students to see how innovation and an entrepreneurial mindset can help them do better in their careers.”

The event’s panels will feature professionals from industries including virtual reality, sustainability, new media, industry titans and thought leaders.

Given the focus on sustainability from CSUN and the City of Los Angeles as a whole, as well as a panel on the future of transportation, conference organizers are excited to have Peterson kick off the conference, Holbrook said.

Seating is limited, so those interested in attending should register online at the eventbrite website. For more information, contact Gandhi at sj.gandhi@csun.edu.

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