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edeify.com » Blog Archive » 2009 Reviewed: Conferences, Panels, and other Speaking Engagements

2009 Reviewed: Conferences, Panels, and other Speaking Engagements

March 24, 2010 – 2:16 am

Jia speaking at Green Spaces NY

Finally back in Pittsburgh this week since I’m scheduled to give a talk about “Charity Fundraising in Social Games” for the local game developers association this Thursday evening at the Beehive. Which reminded me that I should finally get around to summarizing all the talks, panels, and speaking engagements I’ve done over the last year since that what the majority of my travel has been for (except the summer I spent in Philadelphia and when we do development in China). So here it is in roughly chronological order:

LOGIN Conference @ Seattle, WA = Started the conference circuit as a last-minute substitute on the Chinese Gaming panel, though all I really wanted to talk about was the potential of Asian-business-model freemium games for charity fundraising. This was pre-FarmVille, so there was still lots of skepticism about freemium games and no one had really done large-scale fundraising using social gaming yet. Still, we spoke about the topic to whoever would listen and started slowly nudging more developers towards ingame fundraising for charities.

E3 @ Los Angeles, CA = While most people were focused on big announcements like “Beatles Rockband” or “Project Natal”, we started lining up support from various microtransaction platforms, digital currency providers, and other companies in the “virtual goods” space to partner on our initiatives going forward. A little bit of logistical difficulty here since I had committed to meetings at E3 prior to being accepted into GoodCompany Ventures, so I had to send other staff to Philadelphia in my place for the first week of the program.

State of Play Conference @ New York City, NY = After becoming known for speaking about “Philanthropy and Virtual Worlds”, I somehow found myself on a panel about this subject at an academic public policy conference at the New York Law School. Despite being the only person on the panel without a PhD, I felt I managed to do a decent job representing the developer’s point of view. However, now that we’ve appointed a new Executive Director for Couchange who’s finishing her Economics PhD at MIT, I expect Pian Shu to be the one representing us at most future academic conferences.

Penny Arcade Expo @ Seattle, WA = Enjoyed my time in Seattle so much, I decided to head back there to lead a panel on improving the world through games. It was very well-received, so much so that PAX will be incorporating a similar panel into all future events for both Seattle and Boston. My thanks again to Kristin Lindsay (Program Coordinator, Child’s Play), Jim Carol (Founder, Donategames.org), Jarrod Wolkowitz (GameSchool),  and Craig Wacker (Program Officer, The MacArthur Foundation) for a great panel.

GoodCompany Ventures VC Fair @ Philadelphia, PA = The conclusion to the inaugural GoodCompany Ventures program, also known in other Y-combinator-style incubators as demo or pitch day. It was actually the easiest pitch I’ve ever done since the GCV program is structured so that you basically pitch every single week on a specific topic (market analysis, sales, etc). Also really enjoyed working with the other companies, such as CalendarFly, who we’re continuing to work with to fundraise for schools across the country.

GCV Green Spaces NY Panel @ New York City, NY = A joint event sponsored by GoodCompany Ventures and hosted by Green Spaces NY that we managed to sell out in a just a few days (see picture at top of this post). I attribute this mostly to the other high-profile speakers like Jacqueline Novogratz and Fred Wilson. While I also did an Ignite-style presentation about Couchange, I honestly felt like the lesser-know warm-up band opening for the main show. But then again, if I can manage to open for a three-time TED speaker, maybe that’s not such a bad thing.

Which brings us to the present. So if you’re curious about what we actually do at Couchange and want to learn how you can raise real world funds for charities through those silly games people play on Facebook, come to the Beehive around 7PM this Thursday, March 25th. Or if you’re busy, just ask me about it next time you see me (or ask questions in the comments below). I’ll be in town a few weeks until I have to continue onwards to Philadelphia, Boston, etc for more speaking engagements.

  1. 2 Responses to “2009 Reviewed: Conferences, Panels, and other Speaking Engagements”

  2. Update: Video of my “Charity Fundraising in Social Games” talk is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gv_a31jMNbw now.

    By Jia on Mar 31, 2010

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  2. Mar 24, 2010: “Public service potential of private capital,” Chinese social ventures, and charity fundraising — notes from Jia Ji – PSVP, Pittsburgh Social Venture Partners

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