Dr. Gigi Johnson
LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/gigijohnson
Gigi is a Futurist. Or you might call her an Action Futurist. She enjoys combining research, teaching, and change agent work to actively work with individuals and groups to find and co-create alternative futures.
She presently wears several hats. She has been the Exec. Director/President of the Maremel Institute and its predecessor companies since 2001. At Maremel, Gigi builds research, programs, and partnerships around how technology shifts are changing how we engage with each other. That change may be 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.
Gigi also runs the UCLA Center for Music Innovation as its Inaugural Director. Since 2010, she also has taught digital marketing for musicians at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. From 1999-2012, she was a lecturer at UCLA Anderson School of Management, where she ran several centers and institutes, as well as taught about digital media disruption. She also guest lectured at 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.
Her third current adventure is co-running the Los Angeles/Southern California FIRST Tech Challenge Region, with more than 80 schools and 130 teams across 9 counties. The program works with 7th-12th grade teams building robots, learning about design thinking and computer programming, and running full seasons of robotics competitions with more than 200 volunteers.
Before these adventures, Gigi has worked in diverse fields. 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.
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.
Gigi 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 and actively involved in start-up boards and in industry organizations.