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JOHN ZIB


BIOGRAPHY

John is a social entrepreneur building scalable sustainable urban media platforms that benefit society and the arts. Educated as an Industrial and Systems Engineer with substantial career in global operations and marketing. The last 15 years has focused on static and digital signage industries. His current research areas cover arts, academics, technology, industry, media theory, mediated urban commons and digital social innovation. He uses business acumen to translate ideas and make new connections that grow opportunities for a socially responsible future. John has developed several opportunities in the arts and social landscape. He also leads a European Commission initiative on Smart Cities on citizen engagement and co-creation.

Born and educated in Silicon Valley California, John is a product of northern California mindset that makes this region a center of innovation. He has lived in Hong Kong, Israel, Germany, Netherlands, Czech and Slovak Republics. In addition to Dallas, Pittsburgh, and Boston in the America.

John’s early career was with at Monster Cable (creator of Beats headphone) in global operations, product development and sales. He has worked with public, private and franchise firms. His positions include ethnographic researcher for advertising company and product manager for sign company owned by Lego.

In early 2000’s John founded Memo Media, a value added reseller specializing in digital signage media devices and all-in-one solutions sold through traditional sign stores. Since 2008, John has been active in using digital signs for local social and art projects. After moving back to Europe in 2013 he focused efforts primarily on social and art initiatives. He has also solid knowledge and relationships with leading academics in the urban media field (urban informatics, place based displays). Often called a translator, connector or facilitator, John’s broad background and intellectual curiosity has been welcomed in by academics, institutions, business and government.

CURRENT PROJECTS

Neighborhood Networks

Dense local networks of flat panel display screens in semi-public spaces used to create a sense of place and build community. The project started as a series of local interventions in Providence, Rhode Island. In 2014 after visiting transmediale the project was revisited. Research on state-of-art academic and practice in potential use of screens for civic engagement was performed. The resulting paper was circulated with Amsterdam (Martijn de Waal) and Vienna (Gernot Tscherteu) expressing interest to participate. Nigel Davies (Lancaster University, UK) was lead on the Per-Dis project (FP7 funded) and was engaged with John to develop a newly funded project. FACT (Liverpool, UK) has since developed similar concept submitted for EU funding, but more art cultural project than social development goals.

Citizen City

John leads a European Commission initiative in the Smart City arena. Citizen City promotes the agency of citizens that is missing in the Smart City dialog. Working directly with the central and various levels of European government bodies. Attending Smart City and other events across Europe to creating consensus and collaboration with leading European organizations. The internal support team includes an EC representative and 3 support members. The extended team includes 25 active commitments and over 100 aligned programs. A network has established of city networks and leading organizations. Waag, University of Amsterdam, UrbanDNA, ENoLL, Errin, JPI UrbanEurope, EuroCities, Open Knowledge Foundation, Digital Social Innovation. The initiative has evolved in the first year, merging with another initiative. The topics covered are primarily citizen engagement and co-creation, but include citizen and stakeholder communication platforms, standards and KPI, citizen centered design, starting with existing needs and habits. The current strategy is to create a duel approach to knowledge sharing platform with top-down city stakeholders and bottom-up citizen activists. Consensus on the need has been achieved and broad funding opportunities are being followed.

Digital Art Platform

Starting with a local intervention “Open Art Café” placed screens in coffee shops displaying digital art. This included multi-screen public installation working with RISD and Brown University in Providence, RI and collaboration with Boston Cyberarts. The project developed a multiple level approach to commercialize digital arts; public service art networks, retail art solutions, and high-value prestige collections. This project included engagement with multiple stakeholders; architects, property owners, retail business, public sector, artists, curators, art consultants. Public Art Screens (Hege Tapio, NO) was the primary partner.

Refugees in Europe

This addresses integration of a massive influx of refugees to Europe. Many of these people come from cultures very different than Europe. The objective is to use screens placed within the refugee communities to promote integration. Existing programs would be integrated into content programming and functionality, such as language courses, understanding European culture and inspiration from diaspora. The project is currently developing a portfolio for funding.

SKILLS PROFILE

Social Ethnographic

These skills have been developed through a blend of personal interest and professional experiences. Navigating through multiple cultures and religions for business and life experiences. Professional ‘Account Planner’ for advertising agency performing ethnographic approach to field market research. Studied different aspects of techno-social dynamics and mediated urban spaces.

Marketing

Held positions as product development, brand manager and business owner. Worked with external design and service providers to develop and execute various works. Good understanding of what makes a good marketing campaign and promotional materials. Market analysis and supply side evaluation.

Business

Broad experience from working at various positions. Sourcing suppliers and strategic partnerships. Patent, copyright, MOU, contracts and other legal issues. Detailed business planning and project management. Budgeting, cashflow management and suppler relations.

Language skills include native English and varied competencies in German, French and Czech/Slovak.

More information can be found at:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnzib