IGF-USA 2021 Session

Building Better Online Markets and Communities

Wednesday, July 14

11:30 AM – 12:45 PM EDT

The Internet enables countless innovations that transform markets and communities, changing the way we hail a ride, order food, stay in touch with our family, access information, and so much more. This session highlights innovations that make online markets and communities more efficient, inclusive, responsible and trusted.

We begin with lightning talks with successful innovators who will describe their companies and obstacles and barriers they face. These will be followed by a panel of experts who will discuss optimizing online markets and communities that work better for us all.

Lightning Talks

Allison Davenport

Senior Public Policy Counsel, Wikimedia Foundation

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Allison Davenport is a Senior Public Policy Counsel at the Wikimedia Foundation, where she works on domestic and global policy issues related to copyright, intermediary liability, and freedom of expression. She first joined the Wikimedia Foundation in 2017 as a legal fellow, and has been involved in a number of important strategic community processes since: making recommendations for Wikimedia's 2030 Movement Strategy as a part of a working group on advocacy, and shaping the implementation of Wikipedia's new Universal Code of Conduct as a part of an ongoing enforcement drafting committee.

Prior to her work at Wikimedia, Allison also worked as a a Research Assistant at Authors Alliance, a Berkeley-based non-profit, doing policy education related to fair use and rights reversion, and as a Researcher at UC Berkeley's Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity, conducting research on privacy and cybersecurity governance. She graduated from Pepperdine University School of Law, where she spent time as a fellow at the U.S. Copyright Office in the Department of Policy and International Affairs.

Justin Curtis

Senior Director of Academic and Strategic Initiatives, The Bryn Mawr School

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Justin Curtis is the Director of Bryn Mawr Online and the Senior Director of Academic and Strategic Initiatives at The Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore, MD. Bryn Mawr Online is an all-girls, diploma awarding, online High School offering a nationally ranked academic program to students across the United States.

Justin developed and launched an online summer credit-bearing academic program for students, which has seen 400% growth over the last two years. Justin's work also includes developing and implementing innovative programming in schools, including forging partnerships with universities to assist students in launching socially focused businesses, providing real word opportunities for students to engage with their communities and specific programming aimed at leadership development. Justin presents nationally at educational conferences and leads workshops addressing curricular innovation and the strategic advancement of independent schools.

Prior to serving in this role, Justin served as the Director of Technology, Computer Science Department Chair, and taught advanced placement classes in Computer Science. In these roles, he managed the development and expansion of the school's innovation labs and Makerspaces, established policies and procedures around the school's cybersecurity initiatives, and led the development of a K-12 computer science curriculum.

Prior to Bryn Mawr, Justin was a developer at the tech startup Silverpoint and served as a consultant for schools and nonprofit organizations. Justin is a graduate of Stevenson University and The John Hopkins University's Whiting School of Engineering.

Michelle Fang

Chief Legal Officer, Turo

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Michelle Fang serves as Chief Legal Officer & Corporate Secretary at Turo, the global leader in peer-to-peer car sharing. She has supported the business’s rapid expansion in the USA, Europe, and Canada since joining the company in 2015 and has scaled her team from 0 to 20 during that time. Michelle’s passion for online marketplaces started when she joined eBay in 2006, where she experienced the sense of community and purpose that marketplaces offer. During her 9-year tenure at eBay, Michelle served in a number of leadership positions, including Head of Global Intellectual Property, Head of North American Litigation, and General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of StubHub. Prior to her marketplaces career, Michelle worked in-house as a lawyer at NBC Universal and at the Quinn Emanuel law firm. Michelle currently serves as an advisor to tech startups Transfix and Lupl. Michelle is a graduate of UC Berkeley School of Law and UCLA.

Michelle is a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. In 2019, Michelle galvanized over 240 GCs and CLOs to release a call to action letter encouraging law firms to further embrace diversity and inclusion. She is also a founding member of The Law in Technology Diversity Collaborative, which united Bay Area tech companies to offer diverse first year law students with employment and mentorship opportunities. Michelle serves as an Advisory Board Member to the UC Berkeley School of Law, Women’s Law Initiative and the Federal Bar Association’s Special Task Force on Diversity & Inclusion. Michelle has been recognized recently as one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Technology (National Diversity Council), General Counsel of the Year (Corporate Counsel: Women, Influence, & Power in Law Awards), Global General Counsel of the Year (Association of Corporate Counsel), Global Gender Diversity Lawyer of the Year (Chambers & Partners), and General Counsel Powerlist (Legal 500). Michelle was one of three finalists for 2019 Attorney of the Year (American Lawyer Industry Awards). The Recorder named Michelle as one of the California Women Leaders in Tech Law and the Financial Times of London profiled Michelle as one of the Five Top Fast Mover GCs.

Sylvia Morse

Assistant Director of the Cooperative Development Program, Center for Family Life

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Sylvia Morse is Assistant Director of the Cooperative Development Program at the Center for Family Life in Sunset Park (CFL), where she helps implement initiatives to scale immigrant worker-owned cooperative businesses in New York City and nationally. Since September 2016, she has focused her time on the development of Up & Go, a web app for booking home cleaning services that is owned and controlled by the workers themselves. She supports the worker-owners with their governance and management of Up & Go, as well as product development and marketing. Prior to joining CFL, Sylvia worked in housing policy and city planning. Sylvia is a lifelong New Yorker, and earned her Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from the City University of New York - Hunter College.


Cory Doctorow

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Cory Doctorow (craphound.com) is a science fiction novelist, journalist and technology activist. He is a contributor to many magazines, websites and newspapers. He is a special consultant to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (eff.org), a non-profit civil liberties group that defends freedom in technology law, policy, standards and treaties. He holds an honorary doctorate in computer science from the Open University (UK), where he is a Visiting Professor; he is also a MIT Media Lab Research Affiliate and a Visiting Professor of Practice at the University of North Carolina’s School of Library and Information Science. In 2007, he served as the Fulbright Chair at the Annenberg Center for Public Diplomacy at the University of Southern California.

His novels have been translated into dozens of languages and are published by Tor Books, Head of Zeus (UK), Titan Books (UK) and HarperCollins (UK). He has won the Locus, Prometheus, Copper Cylinder, White Pine and Sunburst Awards, and been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula and British Science Fiction Awards.

His recent books include ATTACK SURFACE (2020), a standalone sequel to LITTLE BROTHER intended for adults, POESY THE MONSTER SLAYER, a picture book for young children (2020), the nonfiction tech/politics book HOW TO DESTROY SURVEILLANCE CAPITALISM (2020), RADICALIZED (2019) and WALKAWAY (2017), science fiction for adults; and IN REAL LIFE, a young adult graphic novel created with Jen Wang (2014).

His latest young adult novel is HOMELAND, the bestselling sequel to 2008’s LITTLE BROTHER. His New York Times Bestseller LITTLE BROTHER was published in 2008. His next nonfiction book is THE SHAKEDOWN, with Rebecca Giblin, about monopoly and fairness in the creative arts labor market, (Beacon Press, 2022). His latest short story collection is WITH A LITTLE HELP, available in paperback, ebook, audiobook and limited edition hardcover. In 2011, Tachyon Books published a collection of his essays, called CONTEXT: FURTHER SELECTED ESSAYS ON PRODUCTIVITY, CREATIVITY, PARENTING, AND POLITICS IN THE 21ST CENTURY (with an introduction by Tim O’Reilly) and IDW published a collection of comic books inspired by his short fiction called CORY DOCTOROW’S FUTURISTIC TALES OF THE HERE AND NOW. THE GREAT BIG BEAUTIFUL TOMORROW, a PM Press Outspoken Authors chapbook, was also published in 2011.

LITTLE BROTHER was nominated for the 2008 Hugo, Nebula, Sunburst and Locus Awards. It won the Ontario Library White Pine Award, the Prometheus Award as well as the Indienet Award for bestselling young adult novel in America’s top 1000 independent bookstores in 2008; it was the San Francisco Public Library’s One City/One Book choice for 2013. It has also been adapted for stage by Josh Costello. He co-founded the open source peer-to-peer software company OpenCola, and serves on the boards and advisory boards of the Participatory Culture Foundation, the Clarion Foundation, the Open Technology Fund and the Metabrainz Foundation. He maintains a daily blog at Pluralistic.net.

Derrius Quarles

Co-Founder and Co-CEO, BREAUX Capital

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Derrius Quarles is a sought-after public speaker and author of the education bestseller Million Dollar Scholar: Winning The Scholarship Race. He has been highlighted by CNN, MTV, Huffington Post, TEDx, and Time and has been honored by the White House for his effort in expanding education access.

Katie Salen

Professor, Department of Informatics, University of California, Irvine

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Katie Salen is a designer working at the intersections of youth, online play, and learning. Her research focuses on various aspects of social-emotional learning in online game communities, including conflict resolution, peer mediation, collaboration, and problem-solving.

Matt Dunne

Founder and Executive Director, Center on Rural Innovation

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Matt Dunne is the founder and executive director of the Center on Rural Innovation, a national nonprofit action tank committed to creating economic opportunities in rural America through the development of inclusive digital economy ecosystems that support entrepreneurship and job creation.

Matt served 11 years in the Vermont House and Senate, enacting the state’s first broadband grants, brownfields revitalization funding, and downtown redevelopment program. He helped grow a Vermont-based software company to over 100 people and was Associate Director of the Rockefeller Center on Public Policy at Dartmouth College.

In 1999 Matt was appointed director of AmeriCorps*VISTA under President Clinton, where he led PowerUp, one of the first national efforts to bridge the digital divide, and launched an Entrepreneur Corps to focus on micro-finance in high-need communities.

In 2007, he started Google’s Community Affairs division out of a former bread factory in White River Jct, Vermont, where he led all local US philanthropy and engagement, including the Google Fiber rollout and orchestrating educational and development initiatives in Google’s data center communities across rural America.

Matt has a BA from Brown University and is a lifelong Vermonter who lives on the 100 acre farm where he was raised.


Jerry Michalski

Founder, REX

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Jerry Michalski (ma-call-ski) is the founder of REX, the Relationship Economy eXpedition.

He is a pattern finder, lateral thinker, Gladwellian connector, facilitator and explorer of the interactions between technology, society and business.

From 1987 to 1998, Jerry was a technology analyst, focusing not on quarterly earnings but rather on which technologies would be useful and which would be distractions, what trends and forces create new potential, and where all these forces might take us over a 20-year timeframe.

For the last five years of that period, Jerry was the Managing Editor of Esther Dyson's monthly tech newsletter Release 1.0, as well as co-host of her annual conference, PC Forum. He was fortunate to be on duty when the Internet showed up.

Since 1998, Jerry has been an independent consultant, doing business as Sociate, a name he coined because he is skilled at associating ideas and people, and also because he believes that the social changes that we are going through as a result of all the new connectivity (e.g., Internet, mobiles, inexpensive cameras, video sharing, tweeting) will be more profound than the structural and economic changes we have already seen.