Emoti-Con! 2015

On May 30th, 2015 at The New York Public Library/Bartos Forum, over 150 New York City youth from across the five boroughs will gather at the 7th annual Emoti-Con! to showcase their digital media and technology projects, be inspired by their peers, and meet with professionals in the field.

At Emoti-Con!, youth will: Network with peers and learn about other exciting informal learning opportunities across the city; present their projects, get inspired by others, and network with industry professionals; take part in fun design challenges; hear from amazing Emoti-Con! Keynotes - professional game designers, makers and social entrepreneurs from all corners of the media and technology industry; participate in the Emoti-Con! Challenge, which awards prizes in multiple categories including Most Innovative, Most Potential for Social Impact, Most Entertaining and Best Pitch; and have a chance to earn digital badges, and valuable feedback on their work!

Find answers to common questions about Emoti-Con! on our FACEBOOK FAQ >

Download more info about becoming an official Emoti-Con! Sponsor.


Badges for Emoti-Con! reflect peer-issued awards to competing projects and are issued by participating institutions (that's you!) through Emoti-Con.org. If your institution is registered to participate, and were signed in at registration on the day of the event, chaperones will be emailed a single login for your group. Once logged in, you can award and manage badges for your presenters. We hope it makes you... :)

  • Presenter
  • Most Social Impact
  • Most Innovative
  • Crowd Favorite
  • Most Entertaining
  • Best Pitch
  • Point of View


  • Nick Fortugno, Playmatics

    Nick Fortugno, Playmatics

    Nick Fortugno is a NYC-based game designer and entrepreneur of digital and real-world games, and a founder of Playmatics, a game development company focusing on casual games. Nick is perhaps best known for designing Diner Dash, a top-selling casual game developed by Gamelab, and the award-winning Ayiti: The Cost of Life. In addition to his large body of digital work, Nick has been involved in the design of numerous non-digital projects, including board games, collectable trading card games, large-scale social games, and live-action role-playing (LARP) games; he also co-founded the Come Out & Play Festival, an annual festival of street games that takes place in New York City and San Francisco. Since 2002, Nick has taught the Game Design and Interactive Narrative program at Parsons The New School for Design, and has contributed to the development of the school’s game design curriculum. Nick also hosts and writes for the game journal and review site Critical Smack! Find Nick on Twitter: @nickfortugno or on the web: www.playmatics.com


  • Kaho Abe, NYU Game Innovation Lab

    Kaho Abe, NYU Game Innovation Lab

    Kaho Abe is a game designer and media artist based in NYC interested in improving social and personal experiences through the use of technology, fashion and games. She is currently the Artist in Residence at the NYU Game Innovation Lab, where she designs and builds games with custom controllers with the hope to bring people together face to face. Some of her notable projects include Hit Me!, Mary Mack 5000 and Ninja Shadow Warrior. More recently she has been exploring the possibilities of Costumes as Game Controllers. An important part of her practice is sharing her work, methodologies and techniques with youth and adults through teaching classes, workshops and afterschool programs on designing and building alternative physical game controllers. She designs the curriculum for and teaches the Playable Fashion Afterschool Program with Ramsey Nasser at Eyebeam. She holds an MFA in Design & Technology from Parsons the New School for Design. Her other passions include film, music and day dreaming.

  • Pamela Capalad, Pockets Change

    Pamela Capalad, Pockets Change

    Pamela is a financial literacy educator, entrepreneur, and Certified Financial Planner™. Midway through her B.A. in Literature at UC Santa Barbara, she began working for The Money Camp, teaching week-long camps where kids learned how to budget, use credit cards wisely, save their money, start businesses, and invest in the stock market. After three years of teaching scores of kids (and adults!), she was convinced that there was a crippling need for financial literacy education, so she moved into financial consulting and became a Certified Financial Planner™. Seven years later, Pamela is the proud co-founder of Pockets Change (financial literacy for youth) and the founder of Brunch & Budget (practical budgeting and finance skills for adults), and spends her time demystifying the complex world of finance via blogs, a weekly podcast, workshops, and more. Pamela is passionate about education and finding creative ways to help her students and clients pursue their passions. Connect with her @pamelacapalad or pam[at]pocketschange.com.

  • Francisco Cervantes, TASC

    Francisco Cervantes, TASC

    Francisco Cervantes currently serves as The After-School’s Corporation’s (TASC) Digital learning Manager, and leads a computer science (CS) initiative called Connect2Tech, through a partnership with Google, where kids blend high and low technological materials, processes and cultures. Previously, Francisco worked as a Research Associate with Education Development Center’s (EDC), Center for Children and Technology where he studied the use of educational technology for teaching and learning. Prior to joining EDC's Center for Children and Technology, Francisco worked as a control/robotics engineer in the metal coating industry, and as a youth center director for a non-profit community center in Santa Barbara, California. Later, while at the National Science Foundation, he worked providing assistance to program managers in the Office of International Science and Engineering, a position partially funded by the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). Francisco holds an M.A. in Educational Leadership, Politics and Advocacy from New York University, and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

  • Sara Chipps, Jewliebots.com

    Sara Chipps, Jewliebots.com

    Sara Chipps is a JavaScript developer based in NYC. She has been working on Software and the Open Source Community since 2001. She’s been obsessed with hardware and part of http://Nodebots.com since 2012. She is the CEO of http://Jewliebots.com, a company dedicated towards drastically changing the number of girls entering STEM fields using hardware. She was formerly the CTO of http://FlatironSchool.com, a school dedicated to teaching people of all ages how to build software and launch careers as software developers. In 2011 I she helped create Elizabeth and Clarke, a subscription service that alleviates the stress of shopping by sending you beautiful basics each season. In 2010 she cofounded Girl Develop It, a non-profit focused on helping more women become software developers. Girl Develop It is in 45 cities, and has taught over 17,000 women how to build software.

  • Gary Chou, Orbital

    Gary Chou, Orbital

    Gary Chou is the founder of Orbital, a space to do awesome stuff. He also teaches Entrepreneurial Design at the School of Visual Arts MFA in Interaction Design Program. Gary previously worked at Union Square Ventures, where he created and managed the Union Square Ventures Network of portfolio companies. In his work with independent creators, Gary executive produced Surrogate Valentine (SXSW '11) and Daylight Savings (SXSW '12), two films by Dave Boyle.

  • Dyalekt, HipHop Educator

    Dyalekt, HipHop Educator

    Dyalekt is an MC, Hip Hop educator, actor, and playwright who has rocked everywhere from Summerstage to La Mama to warehouse parties, and is on the theme song (Spectacular Failure) of MTV's Wait til Next Year. He's a member of the Public Theater's Emerging Writers Group, and his play (Sound is Vibration) was read at the Public Theater's EWG Spotlight Series (by recent Oscar & Emmy winners). Dyalekt performed in the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's Green Show with his band Deathrow Tull (Deathrowtull.com), where they led Lincoln-Douglas D'Bates using freestyle rap. His first album, Square Peg Syndrome, is also a one-man (+1 DJ, whatup MINDSpray) play that debuted in Prague, CZ at Divadlo Archa and a curriculum that was piloted for over 400 students in St. Croix, USVI. His unique brand of hip-hop education has been presented to preschoolers, adults, teachers & administrators, and incarcerated youth. He promises to cypher with you. Connect with him at dyalekt.com

  • Naomi Hirabayashi, DoSomething.org

    Naomi Hirabayashi, DoSomething.org

    Naomi is the Chief Marketing Officer at DoSomething.org, one of the largest organizations for young people and social change in the US, where she oversees marketing, PR, talent relations, and social media for DoSomething.org national cause campaigns. Naomi is a frequent speaker, with notable appearances at the Youth Assembly at the United Nations, the 24 Hours of Reality event on a panel with former Vice President Al Gore, and the Ad Age CMO Summit. Naomi was named a "2013 People to Watch: Rising PR Stars 30 and under" by PR news.

  • Mike Knowlton, StoryCode

    Mike Knowlton, StoryCode

    A digital veteran of 20 years, Mike Knowlton has always pushed the boundaries of storytelling and technology. As a Creative Technologist he founded and led numerous technology companies including user-interface design firm Nascent State, digital agency BASIK, and open-source Flash technology Frontal. Mike has led large multi-disciplinary teams in developing complex software applications for brands including Bath & Body Works, Epoch Films, Gucci, MoMA, New York Magazine, Philosophy, Theory, Tiffany & Co., and Victoria's Secret. At his most recent venture Murmur he produces social films and consults with leading brands, studios, and networks on using social films to extend existing properties. Mike's background spans design, programming, advertising, and filmmaking. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Miami University.

  • Kevin Miklasz, BrainPOP

    Kevin Miklasz, BrainPOP

    Kevin is a self-described scientist, gamer, educator and foodie, and has been mixing and matching those interests throughout his life. Kevin is currently the Assessment Specialist at BrainPOP where he is designing new, playful and meaningful assessments on BrainPOP's website. Before that, Kevin designed and taught science activities and games at Iridescent, and helped build out their digital learning platform called the Curiosity Machine. Way back when, Kevin studied the ways that seaweeds respond to waves and physical forces, and taught several local school groups about the wonders of algal fluid mechanics.

  • L Nichols, Stoked on STEAM

    L Nichols, Stoked on STEAM

    L Nichols is creative director of Stoked on Steam, a non-profit organization that strives to make science, technology, engineering, and math accessible to learners by integrating their practice seamlessly with art & design in a project-based setting. L became interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) education while studying mechanical engineering at MIT. After receiving an undergraduate degree, L went on to study with the Future of Learning group at the MIT Media Lab. With Stoked on STEAM, L hopes to continue this work and seeks to inspire people of all ages to create, explore, and dream. When not at Stoked on STEAM, L is a graphic designer,comics artist, sculptor, painter, publisher, illustrator, hiker, biker, etc. L [at] stokedonsteam [dot] org

  • Allison Parrish, Fordham University

    Allison Parrish, Fordham University

    Allison Parrish is a computer programmer, poet, educator and game designer who lives in Brooklyn. Her teaching and practice address the unusual phenomena that blossom when language and computers meet. Allison is currently the Digital Creative Writer-in-Residence at Fordham University and an adjunct professor/"something-in-residence" at NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program, where she teaches a course on writing computer programs that generate poetry.

  • Jie Qi, NSF Research Fellow

    Jie Qi, NSF Research Fellow

    Jie is a PhD candidate in the Responsive Environments group at the MIT Media Lab and a National Science Foundation Research Fellow. She holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Columbia University and a M.S. in media arts and sciences from MIT. Her research investigates new materials and techniques for blending electronics with traditional arts and crafts media to create expressive and personally meaningful technology. Her current project is Chibitronics circuit stickers, which turn flexible circuit boards into stickers for making electronics with paper craft.

  • John Schimmel, DIYAbility

    John Schimmel, DIYAbility

    John Schimmel is a technologist and tinkerer who teaches Developing Assistive Technology and Web Development courses at NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program. John is the co-founder of DIYAbility, a company in New York City focusing on empowering people with and without disabilities to make their world through technology and creativity. Connect with John at DIYAbility.org.

  • Catt Small, SoundCloud

    Catt Small, SoundCloud

    Catt is a game maker, product designer, and developer. She is currently making awesome things at SoundCloud. She has done design work for companies of all sizes including Bedrocket, NASDAQ OMX, and Scholastic. She started coding at the age of 12, designing at the age of 15, and graduated from SVA with a BFA in Graphic Design in 2011. Catt also makes video games with Brooklyn Gamery and Buttered Toast Studios; organizes events for Tech Under Thirty; teaches game development with The Code Liberation Foundation; and draws comics. She is currently completing an MS in Integrated Digital Media at the NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering. You can follow her @cattsmall on Twitter and read her blog at www.cattsmall.com.

  • Chris Willard

    Chris Willard

    Chris Willard works with fun technology. He often makes web pages, interactive visualizations, and networked servers. He is currently helping people launch their side projects at Orbital Boot Camp, writing software for intrepid sales folks, and building robots that play music.