Metaverse, The Consumer Connection & Emerging Technologies in Mobility

With HARMAN’s position as a leader in experience-led technologies, attendees will learn from fellow business and technology visionaries how the Metaverse, one of the biggest developments in next-gen experiential technology, is poised to shape tomorrow’s entertainment, commerce, and consumer experiences.

Additionally, industry experts from the mobility space will participate in focused discussions on the developments occurring in the AR and VR space, as well as provide insight into how mixed reality and modern mobility technologies are reshaping in-car experiences and the transportation industry at large.

This year, in partnership with Extreme Tech Challenge, the event will feature presentations from competitors vying to win the HARMAN XTC Challenge.


To learn how to participate and more about the challenge, click here.



Opening Keynote

Is the World Ready for Intelligent Technology?

In a trillion-sensor and socially connected economy, how can you make sense of all that data? We’re going to need some help… enter the world of AI. Purpose built data-first decisions create new potential for businesses and insulate organizations from risks around privacy and security. Collaboration among partners and even competitors will unlock the full value of data. Welcome to the mysterious world of a thinking business.

Mobility Panel

Can the Connected Car Keep Up with its Driver?

For a connected vehicle to address driver needs effectively, it must be a seamless extension of its driver. Automakers must leverage cutting-edge technology to provide the kind of intuitive and immersive driving experiences that these customers have come to expect, or rather demand, from their vehicles.

Retail AI Panel

Is Retail AI Creating an Insatiable Consumer?

Convenience and immediate gratification provided through retail technology innovation has resulted in incredibly challenging, almost impossible, expectations for brands and retailers to meet consumer demands. How can brands create deeper experiences for consumers that are meaningful, and aren’t just satisfying hollow desires or enabling excessive convenience?

Closing Keynote

2022 Speakers

Cathy Hackl, Keynote Speaker

Cathy Hackl is a globally recognized metaverse expert, tech futurist, and top business executive with deep experience working in metaverse related fields with companies like HTC VIVE, Magic Leap, and Amazon Web Services. She’s been dubbed the “Godmother of the Metaverse” and is the CEO of the Futures Intelligence Group working with top brands on metaverse growth strategies, NFTs, gaming, virtual fashion, and how to extend brands into virtual worlds.

Shibani Joshi, Moderator

Shibani Joshi is a journalist who has covered business, technology and news for media outlets including ABC News, Fox News Channel, Yahoo! Finance and Huffington Post. She anchored a technology segment “Joshi on Tech” on the Fox Business Network and often reported from floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq and NYMex exchanges.

Fireside Chat

Martin Eberhard

Martin Eberhard is an engineer, veteran Silicon Valley entrepreneur and inventor on at least 22 patents. In 2002, Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning founded Tesla Motors, where Eberhard served as its CEO until November 2007. After leaving Tesla, he served for two years as Director of EV Development at Volkswagen. He also co-founded Network Computing Devices and founded NuvoMedia with Tarpenning in 1996. Currently, Eberhard serves on various boards and consults to the automotive industry, helping to bring more electric vehicles to market sooner.

This Fireside will be moderated by Victoria Slivkoff, Executive Managing Director of Extreme Tech Challenge.


Teddy Zee, Co-Founder and Chief Business Officer, mintNFT


Alex Saratsis, Co-Managing Director, Octagon


Lawrence Edmondson, Chief Technology Officer, Barbarian


Chris Ludwig, VP, EPIC Experience Team, Harman International


Dr. Anita Sengupta, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Hydroplane Ltd.


Chris Ludwig, VP, EPIC Experience Team, Harman International


Dr. Anita Sengupta, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Hydroplane Ltd.


Kelei Shen, Chief Technology Officer, HARMAN


HARMAN-XTC Challenge

Kelei Shen, Chief Technology Officer, HARMAN

Kelei Shen is Chief Technology Officer of HARMAN. He is responsible for leading technology strategies across all HARMAN business units, with a concentrated focus on identifying emerging technology trends and bringing high-impact technical solutions to the company’s portfolio of products and services. Kelei holds a Master of Science and a Bachelor of Science in computer science from Eastern Michigan University.

Victoria Slivkoff, Executive Managing Director of Extreme Tech Challenge

Victoria Slivkoff is the Executive Managing Director of Extreme Tech Challenge, the world’s largest startup competition and ecosystem for founders building tech innovations to improve the world, as inspired by the UN Sustainable Development Goals. She also serves as the Head of Ecosystem at Walden Catalyst Ventures, a VC firm helping early-stage companies in the U.S., Europe and Israel build the next generation of category-defining businesses in deep tech, with a focus on AI and data.

Young Sohn, Co-Founder, Extreme Tech Challenge; Founding Managing Partner, Walden Catalyst Ventures; Former Corporate President and Chief Strategy Officer, Samsung Electronics

Young Sohn co-founded the Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC) and is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur whose passion is building businesses and fostering emerging technologies that have the potential to transform the world for the better. Currently, he serves as Chairman of the Board of HARMAN, a member of the board of directors at Cadence, a senior advisor to the private equity firm Silver Lake Partners and is a Founding Managing Partner at Walden Catalyst Ventures. Most recently was Corporate President and Chief Strategy Officer of Samsung Electronics, where he led strategy for global innovation, investment, new business creation, and spearheaded the company’s $8 billion acquisition of HARMAN.

Bill Tai, Co-Founder, Extreme Tech Challenge, Angel Investor; Partner Emeritus CRV

Bill is the creator and co-founder of Extreme Tech Challenge, the annual Necker Blockchain Summit and West Tech Fest, He is also a co-founder of ACTAI Global a 501(c)3 community of Athletes Conservationists Technologists Artists & Innovators and co-founded as Chairman – Treasure Data (acquired by ARM/Softbank). Bill has been funding startups as a Venture Capitalist since 1991 and has had 22 of his startups become listed companies. He also served as Board Director of 8 publicly listed companies that grew from startups he funded at their formative stages. Originally trained as a chip designer, he holds a BSEE with Honors from University of Illinois and an MBA from Harvard.


Abigail Bassett

Abigail Bassett is an award-winning and experienced journalist, writer, on-air talent and television producer with more than two decades of diverse experience. A winner of numerous awards, including two Emmys, she’s covered everything from health, wellness and travel to breaking news and worldwide events for top-tier outlets all over the world. She’s interviewed world leaders, business executives and everyday people for a wide variety of stories and outlets, creating content for written stories, audio podcasts and television shows.

Marcus Amick

Marcus Amick is a journalist and consultant with more than 20 years of experience covering the world of mobility, with a major focus on how the sector intersects with culture and entertainment. He has written for a variety of publications including Automotive News, Digital Trends and The Verge. Marcus also serves as the host and co-producer of the RockED podcast, “To The Point with Marcus Amick,” which focuses on sales and marketing trends and industry leaders in the automotive space.

Darrin Shewchuk, Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications, HARMAN

Darrin oversees global external, digital and internal corporate communications, government relations, corporate social responsibility, change management and community relations activities at HARMAN. Prior to joining HARMAN in 2008, he was Director of Media and Analyst Relations at Blackberry/QNX Software, and before that served in senior corporate communications roles at Bell Canada and Telesat. Darrin holds a degree in journalism from Carleton University of Ottawa, and a certificate in management and leadership from Yale University.

Past Speakers

Learn more about who offered insights, expertise and inspiration at HARMAN Technology Forum in 2019. Stay tuned for information on 2022 Speakers.

Robert Herjavec, CEO & Founder Herjavec Group and Leading Shark on ABC’s Shark Tank

In 2003, Robert founded Herjavec Group, a leading global cybersecurity firm. He has served as Cybersecurity Advisor for the Government of Canada and is a member of the US Chamber of Commerce Task Force for Cybersecurity. His views on the emerging threat landscape are regularly profiled across various media platforms.

Paul C. Zikopoulos, VP of Big Data Cognitive Systems at IBM

As a Top 100 Global Influencer in AI & Big Data (Analytics Insights), Paul is an award-winning writer and speaker who has consulted for many global corporations and media, including CBS’s 60 Minutes. Paul has worked in a variety of roles for IBM over the past 25 years, and currently serves as VP of Big Data Cognitive Systems.

Krishna Motukuri, CEO and Co-founder of Zippin

Krishna Motukuri is CEO and Co-founder of Zippin, a leading provider of checkout-free retail technology. Prior, he served as CEO of Naspers Group, where he built multiple e-commerce businesses in India and South Africa. Earlier in his career, Krishna spent seven years at Amazon leading search, marketing, global expansion and supply chain teams.

Abigail Bassett, FastCo Works Contributing Editor

Abigail Bassett is an experienced journalist, writer and video producer with more than 15 years of diverse experience in writing, video production and editorial management. A winner of numerous awards, including two Emmys, Abigail has worked with Fortune 500 companies & start-ups to raise brand awareness through compelling storytelling and partnerships. She previously was the Executive Producer for auto site Edmunds and a senior producer at CNN.

Nicholas Parrotta, Chief Digital & Information Officer at HARMAN International

Nicholas Parrotta is the Chief Digital & Information Officer at HARMAN International leading strategic vision, execution and adoption of digital solutions to drive business transformation and profitable growth. He oversees HARMAN’s enterprise-wide strategy and execution around digital and IT endeavors, working closely with the divisions and functions to optimize HARMAN’s technology capabilities, infrastructure, digital architecture, IT services and cyber security practices

Chris Smith, National Leader of Grant Thornton’s Strategy & Transformation

Chris Smith leads the Growth Advisory practice at Grant Thornton. His perspective on emerging technology and its impact on consumers, employees and society has come from two decades of working in the retail, software, and food & beverage industry. He has been published in HBR, Fast Company, Fortune, Forbes and WSJ.

Joanna Peña-Bickley, Head of Design, Internet of Things at Amazon AWS 

Propelled by her multidisciplinary acumen in design, data, media and technology, Joanna strives to develop market making experiences for the connected era. Joanna has designed and invented with the world’s most recognized companies and brands, such as IBM, General Motors, John Deere, American Express, Boeing, MTV and Pepsi.

Jeffrey S. Hannah, Director, North America, SBD Automotive 

Jeffrey Hannah has eighteen years’ experience working with global automakers and their partners to successfully implement effective connected mobility strategies. A former leader at General Motors, and now a leading industry analyst, Jeff is an innovator, thought leader, and advocate for the development of a successful and vibrant mobility ecosystem.

Liane Yvkoff, Senior Contributor to Forbes Transportation

Liane Yvkoff has been writing about automotive technology and transportation since 2007. Her work has appeared in several digital and print publications, including CNET, TheDrive, Popular Mechanics, and many others. Currently she is a Senior Contributor to Forbes Transportation focusing on the changing mobility landscape and ecosystem.

Robin Chase, Leading Pioneer of the Sharing Economy, Founder & Former CEO of Zipcar

Robin Chase is a transportation entrepreneur. She is co-founder and former CEO of Zipcar, the largest carsharing company in the world; as well as co-founder of Veniam, a network company that moves terabytes of data between vehicles and the cloud.

Ameen Kazerouni, Lead Data Scientist at Zappos

Ameen Kazerouni is from Mumbai, India and currently leads the Data Science and Machine Learning platform team at Zappos, where he uses his education and passion for machine learning and AI to find new and innovative ways to move the company forward using data.

Shibani Joshi, Host, Lecturer and Author

Shibani Joshi is a national journalist covering business and technology, most recently for ABC News and Yahoo! Finance. Shibani previously anchored a markets show and was the tech reporter for the FOX Business Network. Prior to this, Shibani worked in investment banking at Morgan Stanley and digital media strategy at ABC Networks. She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Juliet Noland, Senior Director of Strategic Planning at TracyLocke

Juliet Noland is passionate about consumer behavior and the relationship between humans and technology. Her role as a senior director of strategy for TracyLocke places her at the intersection of that evolution and shopper marketing. She has also provided strategy for brands like SCJohnson, Pepsi, Audi, T-Mobile and AT&T.

Read about the 2019 HARMAN Tech Forum in this story from Fast Company and see below for images from the event.


To learn more about HARMAN Tech Forum or inquire about how you can participate or attend next year, please reach out.

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