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

Recorded Webinar: Drinking from the Digital Data Fire Hose

[Edited April 27, 2014] We happily shared some of our work at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) OCIO Learning Session on April 17, 2014 both at their Auditorium in Washington DC and via a live Webinar, which you can as a recording below.  It was...

Cyborg Attachments and Goodies from CES 2014

We enjoyed our adventures at CES 2014.  Dr. Johnson came hold with a nasty convention cold, and now that she is almost human again, we thought we would share the human-adjacent technologies about robots, eye tracking, 3D printing, telepresence, quad copters, cars, and...

To MOOC or Not To MOOC?

To MOOC or not to MOOC?  That has been the question in the minds of many educational institutions' leadership since early to mid-2012.  Should we produce our classes on video and share them with a variety of partners to learn from these experiences? MOOCs (Massively...

Facebook: At a Plateau or Changing Audiences?

Digital Hollywood has been a semi-annual ritual for us for more than five years.  Our president, Dr. Gigi Johnson, moderated a panel to a packed room on "The Facebook Factor," with the following introductory slides on the size and scale of Facebook in the United...

SXSW 2014 Crowdsourced Panelpicker: Update with Results

         [Revised Jan. 22, 2014] Back in August 2013, SXSW started its crowdsourced panel picking process for 2014.  Each year, thousands of people pitch great ideas to be voted on in a big crowdsourced process.  According to a recent email, 700 people pitched SXSWedu...