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Dr. Gigi Johnson

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Gigi Johnson

Dr. Johnson, as Executive Director of the Maremel Institute, explores how technology shifts are changing how we engage with each other — directly in how we work together in groups and as individuals, or as whole systems change in media, creative industries, and education.  She speaks frequently at conferences on the social impact of technology and how we can rethink its impacts on our daily lives, work, creativity, and learning.  At Maremel, she builds new learning programs with partner organizations to help people innovate and work better with new technological systems — driving to improve businesses, learning and working environments, and creative opportunities.  She also acts as a long-term advisor and board member for media- and education-related start-up ventures.

In addition to her work at Maremel, she has created and taught classes on digital disruption in media industries for many years.  She continues to teach digital marketing and branding for musicians at UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, where since 2010 she has focused on creating new brands, data-driven marketing and decision-making, and building systems of support.  Dr. Johnson also has taught at UCLA Anderson in digital media change, at the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain, and New York in innovation leadership in media, and at the Higher Colleges of Technology in Abu Dhabi at the launch of its creative industries leadership program. Until 2005, she had been Executive Director of the UCLA Anderson’s Entertainment and Media Management Institute.  While at UCLA, she designed and taught executive programs on digital disruption and innovation for companies in the US and Asia.

Her earlier work in innovation was in funding M&A in the media business for ten years at Bank of America.  Before joining UCLA in 1999 to run its Applied Management Research Program, she had been SVP/Managing Director at Bank of America, where she spent most of a decade in their Entertainment/Media practice, financing mergers and acquisitions in changing media industries.  Her diverse background also includes work in advertising, public relations, and documentary production.

On the “fun” side, she has produced three live-action web series, eight years of concerts, recorded music, and dozens of live educational events and programs.  She enjoys traveling the world to speak and meet with new companies and creative ventures.  Her past students and partners from teaching, finance, and start-ups provide a base of contacts and collaborators around the world that she taps for mischief and new adventures.  Her own passions include jazz and folk singing as well as emceeing at STEM events for young robot-builders through FIRST Tech Challenge.

She has been frequently cited in the press on impacts of digital change, including BBC One Breakfast, BBC Digital Planet, BBC World Service, NPR’s Morning Edition and Marketplace, The Economist, Los Angeles Times, Variety, Hollywood Reporter, New York Times, Business Week, Chicago Tribune, and Le Monde.

Dr. Johnson received her doctorate in educational leadership for change and media studies from Fielding Graduate University, her MBA from UCLA Anderson, and her BA in Cinema-Television Production from the University of Southern California.  She is a member of the Interactive Peer Group in the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, an advisor to the Interactive TV Alliance, and actively involved in start-up boards and in industry organizations.

Dr. Johnson’s CV