Dr. Gigi Louisa Johnson


  • Futurist on technology impacts on social systems
  • Transformational experience builder
  • Engaging and inspirational keynote speaker on creative and tech change
  • Advisor on new technologies and business models

Gigi’s Story

Multimedia Creator + Creative Tech Connector


Gigi works with partners to explore where creative work and human-computer connected systems are going in an AI- and digitally accelerated age.

Gigi co-founded Rethink Next in 2018 and the Maremel Institute in 2005 to explore digital disruption in how we work, learn, and create.   She has built conferences, training, events, research, and learning media around helping leaders and groups work with next-generation technology and evolving communities.  Through Maremel, she has advised leaders in start-ups and larger organizations in media, music, and education.   At Maremel’s Creative Tech Lab, she is building virtual and immersive worlds and experiences.

Dr. Johnson speaks around the world on digital transformations — both of the past and in the extended future.   Through Rethink Next, she also is running immersive events and collaborations on the futures of creative work in local communities.  Rethink Next also runs the Amplify Music Communities programs, launched during the Pandemic in 2020.  

She taught at UCLA for 22 years before branching back to creative and collaboration work at Maremel and Rethink Next in 2021.  She taught at UCLA Herb Alpert School for 11 years in music innovation and advanced marketing, and she produced and hosted the UCLA podcast “Innovating Music.”  For 5 years, she ran the UCLA Center for Music Innovation, a think-tank on future music technologies and systems change.

Before UCLA Alpert, she ran centers and graduate and executive courses on digital disruption at UCLA Anderson for a decade, after years of financing media M&A at Bank of America.  Gigi also has run 2 VOD networks and produced 8 years of concerts, 3 early web series, and 2 family music albums.

She speaks across the world on digital disruption and social change — and is working on new programs to rethink time, place, and events…including conferences and education.

Gigi holds a doctorate in educational leadership for change and media studies from Fielding Graduate University, an MBA from UCLA Anderson, and a BA in Film/Television Production from USC Cinematic Arts.

Past Posts

Augmenting My Mind

How much in technology is augmenting me versus being a digital vampire? How much is one tool or another improving my life vs. taking time and control away? I'm now about 21 months into having short-term memory problems. I had some kind of a memory degradation when I...

From Music in LA to Digital and Music in Austin

We've just ended the second cycle of our Future of Music in LA projects at the Center for Music Innovation at UCLA Alpert.  We helped run a half-day symposium with the City of LA Dept. of Cultural Affairs and the UC Digital...

Playing with Facebook Stories Camera Effects

My Facebook friends must be thinking I'm nuts (again).  I've been tinkering with Facebook Stories and its Camera Effects.  In fact, I've been playing so much I'm also looking into the Camera Effects and AR (augmented reality) developer group. First, here's some of the...

Craft, Process, and Thinking of Becoming

Today I'm working on taxes for our two college students' FAFSAs and watching "Abstract: The Art of Design" on Netflix in the background.  Christoph Niemann is both in his story and telling his story about craft and life.  He is a character and an animated...

HUD: Stories on How We Work and Decide

Gigi enjoyed sharing thoughts over YouTube and the US Housing and Urban Development (HUD) OCIO Learning Series.  This session was recorded in January and ran as a webinar on March 17.  You can find it now...