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Cory Ondrejka      

Co-creator of the Digital World, Second Life; Fromer Senior Vice President for Digital Strategy, then as Executive Vice President Global Digital Marketing at EMI Music

As co-founder and CTO of Linden Lab, Cory Ondrejka has long been an evangelist for the power of virtual worlds. A relentless innovator, he led the team that collaborated in unprecedented ways to solve impossible problems—taking the power of the virtual world to an extreme by co-opting the real and the virtual. His creation, Second Life, is not a game, but a tool set to build a virtual world, populated by "residents" who can then build whatever they want. Second Life shows just how powerful virtual words can be – it has transformed the way millions of people think about community, collaboration and entrepreneurship.

People from around the globe are discovering worlds where the only limit is human creativity. People, ideas and cultures are interacting in ways never before possible. Ondrejka conveys the excitement about this new frontier where entrepreneurs are already exploring ways to generate real-world profits. These digital worlds face important decisions around whether, and how, to embrace these business activities. Companies are using a virtual presence to test new products, and these virtual-world technologies provide a platform for learning, innovation and competition whose potential is just being imagined.

In life after Linden Lab and Second Life, Ondrejka was a visiting professor at University of Southern California's Annenberg School of Communication. From there, Ondrejka spent 18 months driving digital strategy and cultural change at EMI Music, first as Senior Vice President for Digital Strategy, then as Executive Vice President Global Digital Marketing. Through a focus on consumer insight, technology awareness, and internal collaboration, EMI saved millions of dollars and enabled its artists to share the music experience with fans in new and innovative ways.

Speech Topics


Building Innovative Organizations

Cory Ondrejka is an expert on the complex challenges of building innovation in distributed organizations that allows technology-savvy workers to thrive in a more connected workplace. As companies fully engage global opportunities, they face new hurdles and opportunities to integrate and collaborate with employees dispersed throughout the world, so understanding the deep connection between innovation and learning is critical.

Business Transformation, Change and Revolution

Web 2.0, video games, and virtual worlds are initiating the most disruptive information technology transition since the World Wide Web. Corporate and government leaders once again face complex questions around technology, innovation and competition. Non-technology companies face particular challenges as technological change radically impacts costs and opportuniteis. Cory Ondrejka brings unique insight to the business challenges and opportunities inherent to adapting and using these new technologies.

Connection, Communication and Learning

Real-time collaboration technologies appearing in virtual worlds and on the web enable new modes of communication, both within organizations and between corporations and customers. User-generated content gives customers new methods for connecting with brands and sharing their opinions online. Cory Ondrejka discusses how interactions in games and virtual worlds provide a quantitatively different opportunity compared to the lightweight connections of a web impression, and offers strategies to take advantage of these opportunities to connect.

Entrepreneurship in the Experience Economy

Online communities create opportunities for entrepreneurs to explore the zero-marginal cost experience economy. Whether in Second Life or Facebook, new entrepreneurs are building multinational teams to rapidly explore design space and business plans. Cory Ondrejka explains how organizations are able to take advantage of this entrepreneurial energy.

Virtual Worlds and National Security

The US State Department, Defense Department and Intelligence Agencies have all recognized the need to understand how virtual worlds impact national power. Cory Ondrejka's unique background allows him to bridge diverse worlds to bring critical insights to analysts and policy makers, focusing on the threats and opportunities created by games and virtual worlds.

News


Facebook Home Q&A with Cory Ondrejka | Financial Post

We spoke with Facebook's mobile engineering director Cory Ondrejka about the company's plan for Home, as well as the HTC First – the first smartphone to ship ...

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