Conference leaders

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Joseph  Greco

Dr. Joe Greco began his business career as a financial analyst with the multinational  Santa Fe International Corporation where he held positions as a project and corporate accountant and then a financial analyst responsible for the analysis of financial statements from 26 subsidiaries, various mergers and potential acquisitions.  After completing his Ph.D. in financial economics, he entered the academic world as the holder of the Rhodes Chair in International Business at Baker University in Kansas.  His fields of research have focused on global equity markets, especially in the area of high tech firms. 

After a successful tenure at Baker, Dr. Greco moved to the Finance Department at the California State University, Fullerton teaching live as well as distance-learning courses in international finance and investments.  He founded and acts as the Director for the Center for the Study of Emerging Markets located in the College of Business and Economics at Fullerton.  The mission of the Center is to promote the study and dissemination of the latest information emanating from global as well as U.S emerging markets.  Through his efforts, the work of the Center has been awarded more than $5 million in various federal (U.S. Small Business Administration, U.S. Department of Education, City of Lake Forest, City of Santa Ana) and private grants. 

For the last several years he has published articles on the growth and financing of global high tech clusters, especially in Asia, South America, and Southern California.  Recent work has focused on the development of the information technologies sector, the rise of global outsourcing and the challenges of financing U.S. bioinformatics firms. A forthcoming publication studies the bioinformatics industry and firms who have attempted to commercialize technology in the face of open-source software.  In 2003, the Center was awarded the SBA contract to host the only U.S. high tech small business development center, named Tri Tech, and Dr. Greco was appointed the Director.

In 1998 he founded the research firm, known as Global Financial Strategies, Inc. (GFS), and serves as it President and CEO.  GFS, in addition to contract research for the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank, also provides corporate intelligence for mergers and acquisitions in the high tech sectors. Having worked with many funding sources to raise over $20 million for new enterprises, Dr. Greco sits on the governing boards of several investment funds, trade associations, and community banks. He has also served as the vice-chair of the Technology Task Commission for the city of Fullerton, California.  The Commission evaluated the high tech infrastructure of the City as well as its openness to new high tech firms.

He is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University with a Ph.D. in financial economics earned at the University of California, Irvine.

Howard Rheingold ( ) 

Rheingold was born in Phoenix, Arizona. He attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon, from 1964 to 1968. His senior thesis was entitled "What Life Can Compare with This? Sitting Alone at the Window, I Watch the Flowers Bloom, the Leaves Fall, the Seasons Come and Go."

A lifelong fascination with mind altering and its methods led Rheingold to the Institute of Noetic Sciences and Xerox PARC. There he worked on and wrote about the earliest personal computers. This led to his writing Tools for Thought in 1985, a history of the people behind the personal computer. Around that time he first logged on to The WELL - an influential early online community. He explored the experience in his seminal book, The Virtual Community.

Also in 1985, Rheingold coauthored Out of the Inner Circle: A Hacker's Guide to Computer Security with former hacker Bill Landreth. In 1991, he published Virtual Reality: Exploring the Brave New Technologies of Artificial Experience and Interactive Worlds from Cyberspace to Teledildonics.

After a stint editing the Whole Earth Review, Rheingold served as editor in chief of the Millennium Whole Earth Catalog. Shortly thereafter, he was hired on as founding executive editor of HotWired, one of the first commercial content web sites published in 1994 byWired magazine. Rheingold left HotWired and soon founded Electric Minds in 1996 to chronicle and promote the growth of community online. Despite accolades, the site was sold and scaled back in 1997.

In 1998, he created his next virtual community, Brainstorms, a private successful webconferencing community for knowledgeable, intellectual, civil, and future-thinking adults from all over the world. As of 2011, Brainstorms was in its thirteenth year.

In 2008, Rheingold became the first research fellow at the Institute for the Future, with which he had long been affiliated.[1]In 2002, Rheingold published Smart Mobs, exploring the potential for technology to augmentcollective intelligence. Shortly thereafter, in conjunction with the Institute for the Future, Rheingold launched an effort to develop a broad-based literacy of cooperation.

Rheingold is a visiting lecturer in Stanford University's Department of Communication where he teaches two courses, "Digital Journalism" and "Virtual Communities and Social Media".[2][3]He is a lecturer in U.C. Berkeley's School of Information where he teaches "Virtual Communities and Social Media" and where he previously taught "Participatory Media/Collective Action".[4] He is also a frequent contributor to the DMLcentral blog on topics ranging from new media literacy to learning innovation.

Rheingold lives in Mill Valley, California, with his wife Judy and daughter Mamie. In an entry on his video blog, he provides a tour of the converted garage that became a "dream office" and an "externalization of [his] mind" where Rheingold absorbs information, writes, and creates art.[5]