Sinan Akkaya

Sinan Akkaya is the Director of RAN Engineering at AT&T Wireless Northern California and Nevada Market with responsibility for managing Wireless Network activities.

He has been in various leadership positions in wireless industry over 15 years. His expertise is mainly in strategic planning and operations of wireless network technologies: LTE, HSDPA, UMTS, GSM, CDMA.

He has MSc and BSc Degree in Electrical Engineering.

Matt Begin, Tour Guide

Matt Begin joins us from Zanker Recyling, founded in 1988. Zanker was the first plant in the US to have mechanized demolition recycling. In 1989, the facility was designated to receive all the post earthquake generated materials from the Marina District of SF. Zanker is currently working on an In Vessel Composting (IVC) initiative with GreenWaste Recovery, Zero Waste Energy and the city of San Jose.

Dana Brechwald

Dana Brechwald is an Earthquake and Hazards Specialist for the Association of Bay Area Governments. She received a B.A. in Architecture from UC Berkeley and a Master of Urban Planning from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University.

Dana works with local governments, earthquake professionals, businesses, and residents on hazard mitigation and long‐term disaster recovery planning for the San Francisco Bay Area. She has played a key role in several projects at ABAG including the Regional Airport and Infrastructure Resilience Project, designed to gain a comprehensive understanding of the role of the Bay Area airports can play in social and economic recovery from a disaster while considering their vulnerabilities, interdependencies on regional infrastructure, and capacities, and the Regional Disaster Resilience Initiative, bringing together a wide range of stakeholders to collaboratively develop a Bay Area Regional Disaster Resilience Action Plan focusing on recovery and restoration after major disasters. Prior to joining ABAG, Dana worked as a consultant to Real Estate developers to develop more sustainable planned communities, addressing issues such as climate change and sustainable energy systems. She has also worked with the Salvation Army and the City and County of San Francisco to develop disaster recovery guidelines and best practices.

Jon Christensen

Jon Christensen is an adjunct assistant professor, journalist-in-residence and senior researcher in the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, the California Center for Sustainable Communities, the Department of History, and the Center for Digital Humanities at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is editor of Boom: A Journal of California, a quarterly magazine published by the University of California Press that brings scholars, researchers, journalists, writers, artists, photographers, policymakers, advocates, and the public into common conversations about California in the world. Jon was executive director of the Bill Lane Center for the American West, an interdisciplinary center for research, teaching, new media, and journalism at Stanford University before coming to UCLA.

Jon has been an environmental journalist and science writer for more than 30 years. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Nature, High Country News, and many other newspapers, magazines, journals, and radio and television shows. Jon was a Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford in 2002-2003 and a Steinbeck Fellow at San Jose State University in 2003-2004, before returning to Stanford to work on a Ph.D. in History. He is currently finishing a book entitled “Critical Habitat: A History of Thinking with Things in Nature,” leading a digital humanities project on nature in cities, and directing a large collaborative project to crowdsource a new, public environmental history of the San Francisco Bay Area with libraries, museums, archives, nonprofit organizations, scholars, researchers, the media, and the public during the Year of Bay in 2013.

Michael DeMers

Michael DeMers is Freight Systems Program manager at the Arizona Department of Transportation. He was previously a member of the Strategic Consulting group at Parsons Brinckerhoff, one of the largest US-based, multinational engineering firms. He specializes in management and delivery of statewide and regional freight plans, studies, and programs. DeMers has led freight research programs and has extensive project experience in optimizing freight planning and asset management strategies to align with trade flows and economic development objectives. A graduate of Harvard and Tufts Universities, he has previously worked at the Massachusetts Port Authority and the National Port Authority of Liberia. He currently lives and works in Manhattan.


DEMILIT scours landscapes for quotidian connections between spaces, objects, individuals, and authority. Founded in 2010, initially to participate in the Just Metropolis Conference at UC Berkeley, Demilit is Bryan Finoki (@subtopes), Nick Sowers (@soundscrapers), and Javier Arbona (@AlJavieera). They are based most of the year in the San Francisco Bay Area. Demilit also works in Puerto Rico (Javier’s national origins). In addition, the trio works with various collaborators on specific projects, performances, and improvisations. Demilit is a playful collaboration focused on walking, exploring, listening, and experimenting. All three members frequently work in public or higher education with other architects and artists.

The group produces work that encompasses audio pieces, visuals, events, texts, web memes, and more, drawing from architecture, sound art, creative writing, geography and other fields. At its inception, Demilit was especially interested in the politics of archiving and knowledge dissemination, an area that continues to inform its work. New projects in development focus on surveillance and place.

Venues for activities have included the Marin Headlands Center for the Arts, the Istanbul Design Biennial, the San José Biennial, UCSD University Art Gallery, Other Cinema, and Deutschlandradio.

Manuel Dos Santos

Manuel Dos Santos is plant manager at the SSF Colma Creek Treatment plant. This facility provides secondary wastewater treatment for the cities of South San Francisco, San Bruno, and Colma. It also provides the dechlorination treatment of chlorinated effluent for the cities of Burlingame, Millbrae, and the San Francisco International Airport prior to discharging the treated wastewater into San Francisco Bay. The average dry weather flow through the facility is 9 million gallons per day (MGD). Peak wet weather flows can exceed 60 MGD.

Cheong-Tseng Eng

Cheong-Tseng Eng is Information Services Engineer at SFMTA, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is a city-run institution that oversees the city's various transportation issues such as parking and public transit. It was formed after the November 1999 passage of Proposition E, which called for the merging of Muni and the Department of Parking and Traffic.

Eric Fischer

Eric Fischer is a data artist and software developer at Mapbox. He was previously an artist in residence at the Exploratorium in San Francisco and before that was on the Android team at Google. His work has been shown at the Museum of Modern Art and has appeared in many web and print publications including Wired, Popular Science, and Best American Infographics. He is particularly interested in using geographic data to understand and improve the pedestrian and transit experience in cities.

Michael Forrest

Michael Forrest, PE is the project manager at URS for the Calaveras Dam project.

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) supplies water to 2.4 million residents of the San Francisco Bay Area. Calaveras Reservoir is its largest local supply reservoir. Analysis showed that the existing dam does not meet modern seismic requirements and for this reason, storage has been restricted to 30% of its design capacity in recent years. To restore this important source of San Francisco's water supply, URS Corporation (URS) designed a new dam and spillway to be constructed just downstream of the existing dam. The Probable Maximum Flood (PMF) for this project was calculated at 40,000 cfs. In order to reduce costs, the chosen spillway design was unique, and for that reason, verification of the design was necessary to ensure that it will work as intended.

Wendi Goldsmith

Wendi Goldsmith is founder and CEO of Bioengineering Group. Wendi has been a pioneer in the field of ecological restoration and the application of sustainability principles to site planning, development, and climate change adaptation/resilience. She has often led interdisciplinary collaborative design teams to adopt multi-beneficial rich strategies which meet community interests and garner top national and international awards. Her roles span planning of large scale infrastructure projects, as well as multi-state watershed management and restoration projects and design of stabilization and ecological enhancement treatments for riparian sites compromised by solid and hazardous waste. She also provides expert testimony on cases connected to damaged ecosystems. Evaluating change in land, water, and energy use and its effect on geomorphic stability, nonpoint source pollution, climate change, and habitat degradation has been an integral part of Ms. Goldsmith's projects.

From the first three LEED based facility designs carried out by Army Corps, to green infrastructure to address Boston Harbor cleanup goals, to coastal restoration throughout New York and New Jersey, she has consistently helped public agencies understand and address interdisciplinary design procedures. As managing member of the JV responsible for $200 million in science, engineering, and construction management services, she played key roles to advocate for and execute on the $14 billion Hurricane Storm Damage Risk Reduction system. This monumental network of barriers, gates, walls, plus restored dunes and wetlands was built post-Katrina using a natural systems based, multiple lines of defense approach, and is the first regional scale climate change adaptation infrastructure in the US.

Most recently, the firm is leading USACE's work in New Orleans' hurricane protection, and has received recognition for success as a small business for leadership in green job creation. Its projects have garnered some of the top awards in the US and internationally, such as two AIA Top Ten Green Awards, and multiple ACEC Honor Awards, including the nation’s top – the Grand Conceptor Award.

Wendi was presented with the Bronze Order of the de Fleury Medal in 2012 for inspirational leadership to the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Sarah Goodyear

Sarah Goodyear is a contributor to Atlantic Cities and Next City who writes about cities and how they work. From 2010-2011, she was the inaugural cities editor at Grist. Sarah has a degree in film theory from the University of California at Berkeley. She is also the author of a novel, View from a Burning Bridge, published by Red Hen Press. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., and owns way too many bicycles. You can follow her on Twitter @buttermilk1.

Andrea Hansen

Andrea Hansen is a 2014 Code for America fellow working on urban platforms for the City of Atlanta. In addition, she is the founder of Visualizing Systems and the principal of Fluxscape, a design, research, and communications practice that focuses on the use of open source data and web platforms to map conditions and spur change in urban environments. The practice brings together multi-faceted expertise in research, urban planning, landscape architecture, graphic design, data visualization, and web development to form a unique, internet-based approach to urbanism that is tailored to the rapidly changing technologies and culture of the 21st century. Andrea is also a dedicated educator, and is currently the 2013-2014 Marie Bickham Visiting Chair in Landscape Architecture at Louisiana State University and a senior lecturer at California College of the Arts. Previously, she taught studios and courses in advanced digital media at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where she was the 2011-2012 Daniel Urban Kiley Fellow.

Andrea holds a Master of Landscape Architecture and a Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania, where she was the recipient of several awards including the George Madden Boughton Prize, the Warren P. Laird Award, the William M. Mehlhorn Scholarship, and the Van Alen Traveling Fellowship. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies and Civil Engineering from Stanford University and was chosen in 2012 as one of Next City’s Vanguard class of urban leaders.

Linda Holm, USACE, Tour Guide

Brendan I. Koerner

Brendan I. Koerner is a contributing editor at Wired and the author of The Skies Belong to Us and Now the Hell Will Start, the latter of which he is currently adapting for filmmaker Spike Lee. A former columnist for both The New York Times and Slate who was named one of Columbia Journalism Review's "Ten Young Writers on the Rise," he has also written for Harper's, The New York Times Magazine, ESPN the Magazine, and many other publications. Visit him at www.microkhan.com and follow him at @brendankoerner.

Todd Lappin

Todd Lappin is founder of Telstar Logistics, a leading provider of integrated services via Land, Air, Sea, and Space. He is also a product manager at Flipboard.

John Law, Tour Guide

John Law was raised in the Midwest and dreamed about bridges from a very young age. He attended the first Suicide Club initiation a year after his arrival in San Francisco in 1976 and through his apprenticeship in that saturnalian cabal came to know many of the world’s greatest bridge spans. It is his great good fortune to be affiliated with singular organizations such as Survival Research Labs, Dark Passage, The Cacophony Society, PeopleHater, Seemen, Circus Redickuless, S.F. Cyclecide, and The Madagascar Institute to name a few. John Law joined Laughing Squid as a partner in 1999.

Past projects include: co-founding the Burning Man Festival an event he parted ways with in 1996, and co-founding in 1977 and directing (for 35 years) The Billboard Liberation Front. He currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and spends a lot of time in Detroit, MI.


Alexis Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is a senior editor at The Atlantic and a visiting scholar Berkeley's Center for Science, Technology, Medicine & Society.


Geoff Manaugh

Geoff Manaugh is editor-in-chief of Gizmodo, a technology and design blog published by Gawker Media. He is also a freelance writer, curator, and the author of BLDGBLOG, where, since 2004, he has published widely on questions of landscape, architecture, and technology. Manaugh is former director of Studio-X NYC, an off-campus urban futures think tank run by the architecture department at Columbia University, and he is currently writing a book on the relationship between burglary and architecture, to be published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in early 2015.

Rick Prelinger

Rick Prelinger (http://www.prelinger.com), an archivist, writer and filmmaker, founded Prelinger Archives, whose collection of 60,000 advertising, educational, industrial, and amateur films was acquired by the Library of Congress in 2002 after 20 years' operation. Rick has partnered with the Internet Archive (http://www.archive.org/details/prelinger) to make over 6,300 films from Prelinger Archives available online for free viewing, downloading and reuse.

His feature-length film PANORAMA EPHEMERA (2004), depicting the conflicted landscapes of 20th-century America, played in venues around the world, and his new film NO MORE ROAD TRIPS? premiered in 2013. He has made fourteen live and participatory archival programs in the LOST LANDSCAPES series, linking urban history and urban futures, in San Francisco, Detroit, Los Angeles and Oakland. His "Field Guide to Sponsored Films" was published in 2006 by the National Film Preservation Foundation. Prelinger is a board member of the Internet Archive, has been a board member of the San Francisco Cinematheque, and sat on the National Film Preservation Board for five years as representative of the Association of Moving Image Archivists.

He is co-founder of the Prelinger Library (http://www.prelingerlibrary.org), an appropriation-friendly private research library that is open to the public, located in downtown San Francisco, and was appointed Associate Professor of Film and Digital Media at UC Santa Cruz in 2013.

Brian Rodinsky, Tour Guide

Brian Rodinsky is operations manager at the Richmond Terminal of Eagle Rock Aggregates. The Richmond Terminal is a strategic gateway into one of Polaris Minerals Corporation's principal target markets. Located in the Port of Richmond, California, this state-of-the-art aggregate receiving, storage and distribution facility was built by ERA in 2007 to serve the northeastern San Francisco Bay area. Commercial operations at the terminal began in early 2008. It is permitted to handle 1.5 million tons of construction aggregates per year.

Isaiah Saxon

Isaiah Saxon is a co-founder of DIY.org and a movie director in the team Encyclopedia Pictura. His videos for Bjork, Grizzly Bear, and the game Spore, have made people really excited and won a bunch of awards.

In 2009, Isaiah helped start and build a small farming community in Northern California called Trout Gulch. Isaiah is an advisor to the rural hardware project Open Source Ecology.

Visit his projects at: encyclopediapictura.com, diy.org, isaiahsaxon.tumblr.com and follow him @isaiah_saxon_

Alex Steffen

Alex Steffen thinks, writes and speaks about humanity’s future, from vast planetary systems to subtle but rapid changes in our daily lives.

He is an award-winning author and noted futurist, who has spoken to audiences around the globe and advised many of the world’s most forward-looking companies, NGOs and public institutions.

Much of Alex’s current work focuses on planetary thinking: strategies for better understanding the large human and natural systems that increasingly impact every aspect of our lives, and using our new insight to focus on breakthrough efforts to increase the odds of humanity thriving over the long-term while we succeed now.

He is currently Planetary Futurist in Residence at the design and innovation company IDEO, where he is exploring the practice of design thinking as applied to the anticipation of large-scale change.

Beau Trincia

Beau Trincia is VP of Design and Communications at Building Robotics, Inc. Beau leads user experience and design and defines the brand and communications for Building Robotics, an early stage startup in Oakland that develops Comfy, an intelligent software that uses peoples' preferences to optimize workspace temperatures in commercial buildings.

Before joining Building Robotics, Beau was a senior interaction and environments designer for 7 years at IDEO, taking his expertise as an architect and applying it to the design of digital interactions and environments for clients that include the Microsoft, the US Green Building Council, the American Red Cross, Bank of America, Samsung Mobile, Jumeirah Hotels, and the Stanford d.School.

Beau began his career as an architect practicing in Baltimore, Vienna, Rotterdam, and San Francisco. He received his Masters in Architecture from U.C. Berkeley. He teaches a physical interaction design studio at the California College of the Arts and regularly collaborates with designers, developers, and urbanists on projects at the intersection of the physical and digital.

Nicola Twilley

Nicola Twilley is author of the blog Edible Geography, co-founder of the Foodprint Project, and director of Studio-X NYC, part of the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation's global network of advanced research laboratories for exploring the future of cities. With the Center for Land Use Interpretation, she recently curated an exhibition exploring North America's spaces of artificial refrigeration (on display in summer 2013) and is currently writing a book on the same topic. From 2011 to 2013, Twilley was a Research Fellow at the Center for Art + Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art, as part of which she partnered with Geoff Manaugh to launch Venue, a pop-up interview studio and mobile media rig traveling around North America through September 30, 2013. In May 2013, Twilley was named as one of the first annual UC Berkeley/11th Hour Foundation Food and Farming Fellows.

Laci Videmsky

Laci Videmsky is a designer, technologist and educator residing in the San Francisco bay Area. He is currently the project director for the New California Water Atlas, an initiative to build a digital owner's manual of the state's water system, and educate water agencies about open data practices. Laci has worked with NGOs and non-profit sponsored projects that promote environmentally resilient, economically vital and socially aware places and things. He has been involved in bachelors and masters level design courses as both a lecturer and a guest critic. Laci co-founded Nerds for Nature, and is an advisor to Farm Hack. @videmsky @CAWaterAtlas

Bettina Warburg

Bettina Warburg, Institute for the Future Governance Futures Lab. Bettina's interest in engaging the future by looking at the past has led her to projects across the world: writing for Georgetown University Press on German nationalism, researching the Tamil diaspora, and producing cultural radio shows for NPR in Berlin. Bettina received an MSc in Global Governance & Diplomacy from Oxford University and BS in Culture & Politics from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. Bettina co-founded the Governance Futures Lab at the Institute for the Future, where she currently researches governance, design, and the creativity of public imagination.

Anton Willis, Tour Guide

Anton Willis grew up in the woods of Northern California, canoeing and kayaking the area's lovely rivers, lakes and coast. He took up urban kayaking in the Bay while studying architecture at UC Berkeley. When a move to a small apartment forced his kayak into storage, he started thinking about folding kayaks- and happened to read an article about origami, thus setting the Oru Kayak in motion. He keeps up his love for architecture by very slowly remodeling his house, which he hopes to get into Dwell Magazine someday.

Marcel Wilson

Marcel Wilson is a licensed landscape architect and director of Bionic, based in San Francisco, CA. Wilson is a recognized leader of a new generation of landscape architects who are expanding the field by addressing the complex environmental and cultural conditions presented by our world today. His work combines sharp analysis with social responsibility, experimentation, and inventive creativity.

As a designer he has distinguished himself as a creative force in the most complex landscape project types through his combined knowledge of landscape technologies from large scale infrastructure systems to micro scale material applications. His portfolio of design and management experience includes waterfronts, infrastructure, universities, high rise construction, landscapes on structure, and post industrial sites. He has led the design and management of landscape projects and exhibitions in Europe, Asia, and the United States.

In his career Wilson has led many winning entries for planning and design competitions including the Los Angeles State Historic Park, the Denver International Airport Entry, and the Stanford Science and Engineering Quad. Recently Bionic, won honors in the BCDC Rising Tides Competition (2009), Chicago Prize Design Competition (2010), the Pittsburgh Gateway Design Competition (2010), and the Confluence Park design competition in Issaquah, Wa.(2010), and The Fort Mason Center International Competition (2013). Recent design awards include the 2010 Award of excellence from the Northern California ASLA, the 2009 Urban Design Award from the Boston Society of Architects, and a national ASLA Honor Award in 2012. Bionic was nominated for the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award in 2013.

Wilson has worked for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, and is a former principal at the internationally renowned landscape architecture firm Hargreaves Associates. Wilson graduated with distinction from The Harvard Design School where he was awarded the prestigious Weidenman Prize for design excellence.

In addition to his private practice, Wilson teaches graduate level design studios in landscape architecture, planning, and urbanism at the University of California at Berkeley. Wilson is an active participant in the San Francisco planning and design community where he has been appointed to the Mayor’s Open Space Task Force, is an advisor to SPUR (San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association), and is a board of directors officer at the San Francisco Parks Alliance.