Night of Ideas

People

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Luis Chiappe

Paleontologist

Rebirth of Cultural Spaces in Post-COVID Time 

As the head of NHMLAC’s Research and Collections Department, Dr. Chiappe oversees the research programs of more than 30 PhD scientists and the vast biological, geological, and cultural collections of the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County. A vertebrate paleontologist, Dr. Chiappe has conducted extensive research on the evolution of dinosaurs, from their reproductive behavior to their evolutionary connection with birds. Chiappe’s research has been published in more than 200 scholarly articles. He is also a J. S. Guggenheim Fellow, a Humboldt Awardee, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern California.

 

Luis-M.-Chiappe
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Paloma Clément-Picos

Journalist

Europe and Democracy

Paloma Clément-Picos is a French-Spanish journalist based in Paris. After studying communication, she went on a world tour for two years to gain experience and adventure. As a correspondent in the United States for the website Konbini until 2017, she returned to France to pursue her career with Paris Match magazine.

She will be a reporter for 5 years, in the culture and news departments, before going back abroad as a freelance journalist in early 2022.

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Lauren Faber O’Connor

Chief sustainability officer of the City of Los Angeles

For a Resilient City : Challenges Los Angeles Is Facing 

Lauren Faber O’Connor is driving the implementation of Mayor Garcetti’s landmark LA’s Green New Deal, a global model for local action to confront the climate crisis. To deliver accelerated leadership on sustainability, Lauren Faber O’Connor also builds collaboration through Climate Mayors, a coalition co-founded by Mayor Garcetti of over 400 US Mayors committed to US leadership on climate change and sets the global agenda through C40, an international network of 96 megacities raising the bar on climate action, chaired by Mayor Garcetti until 2022.

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Bill Fontana

Composer & sound artist

Silent Echoes Notre Dame

In a career spanning 50 years, Bill Fontana is internationally known for his pioneering experiments in sound. He has consistently used sound as a sculptural medium to interact with and transform our perceptions of visual and architectural spaces. Applying his knowledge of composition, he draws out patterns of sound from the natural and man-made worlds to create sound works that have the potential to conjure up visual imagery in the mind of the listener.

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Benno Herz

Project and Communications Manager, Thomas Mann House

Rebirth of Cultural Spaces in Post-COVID Time 

Benno Herz worked in the online communication division at the Städel Museum Frankfurt, Germany, before joining the Thomas Mann House Los Angeles as Project Manager. Since 2009, he has been creatively engaged in several music and film projects as a writer and instrumentalist. In 2021 and 2022 he taught a Digital Humanities class on European Exile at University of California, Los Angeles and contributed to the development of several virtual formats and programs for the Thomas Mann House Los Angeles, such as the virtual reading initiative #MututallyMann.

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Aurélie Jean

Digital scientist, specialist in algorithms

Where Are We Going? Dialogue With...

A numerical analyst and expert in algorithms, Aurélie Jean divides her time between France and the United States, and between consulting, research, and higher education. She co-founded the artificial intelligence company DPEEX, which specializes in precision medicine for breast cancer, published two books at L’Observatoire, and is a regular contributor to mainstream newspapers. Aurélie participated in season 1 of Villa Albertine as part of a project called «ARTORITHM » with the photographer Frédéric Monceau and  the makeup artist Sélina Beutler.

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Paavo Monkkonen

Professor of Urban Planning and Public Policy

For a Resilient City : Challenges Los Angeles Is Facing 

Paavo Monkkonen is Associate Professor of Urban Planning and Public Policy at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, director of the Latin American Cities Initiative and Faculty Cluster Leader for the Global Public Affairs Initiative. Paavo researches on the ways policies and markets shape urbanization and social segregation in cities around the world. His scholarship ranges from studies of large-scale national housing finance programs to analysis of local land use regulations and property rights institutions.

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Patt Morrison

Writer and columnist

Rebirth of Cultural Spaces in Post-COVID Time 

Patt Morrison work for the Los Angeles Times has spanned national politics and stories from the Los Angeles riots and the Space Shuttle to the Super Bowl. As a member of two Los Angeles Times’ reporting teams, she has a share of two Pulitzer Prizes. For her work hosting programs on public television and radio, she has received six Emmy awards and a dozen Golden Mikes. Patt was featured on the cover of “Talkers” Magazine as one of its “Heavy 100” top radio hosts in the nation – a first for any local radio host.

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Yann Perreau

Journalist and writer

Where Are We Going? Dialogue With...

Yann Perreau is a French author and journalist based in Los Angeles. He was cultural attaché at the French Consulate General in Los Angeles until 2010. Yann contributes to several media such as Télérama, Le Journal Du Dimanche, ELLE, East of Borneo and France Culture. He is also a regular contributor to LADN, a quarterly magazine that reports on many different subjects, from trends and communications to anticipations. As a writer he is the author of 4 books, the last one, « Ça commence avec une personne », written in 2021.

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Greg Pierce

Director of the Human Right to Water Solutions Lab, Luskin Center for Innovation, UCLA

For a Resilient City : Challenges Los Angeles Is Facing 

Greg Pierce is the co-director of the Luskin Center for Innovation and the director of the Human Right to Water Solutions Lab within the Center. He is also the co-director of the UCLA Water Resources Group and serves as an adjunct assistant professor in the department of urban planning. Greg Pierce’s research is motivated by persistent inequities in access to the essential environmental services that we need to survive and thrive. His primary focus is on water insecurity, but he also examines solutions to cross-cutting green infrastructure, climate resilience and transport insecurities.

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Laurent Pilon

Professor of Engineering

For a Resilient City : Challenges Los Angeles Is Facing 

Laurent Pilon is Full Professor in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and in the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at UCLA. His research group is engaged in a wide range of interdisciplinary research projects at the intersection between interfacial and transport phenomena, material science, and biology for the development of sustainable energy technologies.

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Regan Pro

Deputy Director of Public Programs and Social Impact, Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

Rebirth of Cultural Spaces in Post-COVID Time 

Regan Pro oversees strategy, program development, and execution in areas including education, public programs and creative practice, community engagement, and government affairs at the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. She was formerly the Kayla Skinner Director of Education and Public Engagement at the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) where she developed creative learning opportunities for all audiences focused on equity, relevancy, and curiosity.

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Maëlys Renaud

Pole dancer and environmentalist

Where Are We Going? Dialogue With...
Pole Dance for a Sustainable Future

Maëlys Renaud is a French multi-faceted pole dancer and environmentalist. Alongside her pole dance practice, she leveraged her professional career as a sustainability strategist and as a Science Diplomat to promote regenerative ideas and to find innovative and sustainable solutions. Today, she performs, teaches and uses the practice of telling stories through pole dance to allow the natural environment a voice. She will be a guest speaker at the International Pole Dance Convention (Atlanta, June 2-5th) to discuss sustainability.

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Pierre-André Senizergues

Former skateboard world champion, Founder and CEO of Sole Technology

Where Are We Going? Dialogue With...

Pierre-André Senizergues began his skateboarding career at age 15 in France and moved to California in 1985. Shortly thereafter he turned pro and achieved great success becoming one of the world’s premier freestyle skateboarders of the 1980’s. Pierre-André launched several brands and consolidated all labels under the Sole Technology umbrella. He places great importance on developing his business while having a positive impact on the environment and remains involved in the development of skateboarding in particular in the perspective of the Olympic Games of Paris 2024.

SENIZERGUES
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Kameale Terry

Entrepreneur in green economy

Where Are We Going? Dialogue With...

Kameale is the Co-Founder and CEO of ChargerHelp, Inc. an app that enables on-demand repair of electric vehicle charging stations. As the former Director of Programs at EV Connect, an electric vehicle charge station network provider, Kameale structured and led teams to execute electric vehicle infrastructure projects and programs in the United States, Australia, and Canada for commercial and government entities. As a South Central Los Angeles native, Kameale believes that an equitable green economy can be achieved through impactful workforce development and realignment.

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Dominic Thomas

Professor of French and Francophone Studies, specialist in European affairs

Europe and Democracy

Dominic Thomas is Professor in the Department of European Languages and Transcultural Studies at UCLA. He is CNN European Affairs Commentator, and author, co-author, editor or co-editor of works on contemporary African and European culture and politics. Dominic Thomas edits the Global African Voices series at Indiana University Press that focuses on translations of African literature into English, and has translated works by Aimé Césaire, Sony Labou Tansi, Alain Mabanckou, Emmanuel Dongala, and Abdourahman Waberi.

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François Truffart

Director and programmer of the COLCOA French Film Festival

Where Are We Going? Dialogue With...

François Truffart is the director and programmer of the COLCOA French Film Festival (the most important international festival dedicated to French cinema), since its creation 25 years ago. François Truffart was Cultural Attaché in charge of the promotion of French cinema and television programs at the French Embassy in Hungary, Japan, and the United States, from 1991 to 2001. He has been in charge of programming for the COLCOA French Film Festival since 2004 and has been assigned Executive Producer of the event in 2007.

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Georges Van Den Abbeele

Professor of Humanities

Europe and Democracy

Georges Van Den Abbeele is Dean Emeritus and Professor of Humanities at the University of California at Irvine. His books include Travel as Metaphor, Community at Loose Ends, A World of Fables, and French Civilization and its Discontents, Sense and Singularity (forthcoming), as well as numerous articles on travel narrative, tourism and immigration, contemporary philosophy and critical theory, human geography and Renaissance literature. He is a member of the European Academy of Sciences and 2008 recipient of its Blaise Pascal medal for outstanding contributions to the human and social sciences.

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