Meet our Speakers

Eric Zimmerman

Game designer & Arts Professor at the NYU Game Center


Eric Zimmerman is a game designer, interaction designer, technology artist, and games researcher. He explores system design, play cultures, and interactive aesthetics. With Katie Salen, he co-authored the seminal "Rules of Play" which contains the most fundamental design thoughts on games. He has taught at NYU, MIT, Parsons School of Design, and The School of Visual Arts, and has led hundreds of classes and workshops on game design worldwide. He is a founding faculty and Arts Professor at the NYU Game Center, Tisch School of the Arts.

He founded the GameLab in NYC with Peter Lee and published several games like Diner Dash. He has worked with LEGO, Disney, Mattel, VH-1, Leapfrog, Fisher-Price, Nickelodeon, and HBO.

Nova Ahmed

Researcher & Faculty at North South University, Bangladesh 


Nova Ahmed is a computer scientist living in Bangladesh. She finished her PhD from Georgia Institute of Technology, USA, and returned to Bangladesh to make changes.  She used her experiences of working with sensors to fight social challenges such as systems to protect women from sexual harassment as she returned. She continued to use her work that could support marginal communities with low-cost, locally available solution approaches. She has worked with Google to explore the inclusion of women and marginal communities in technology. She is currently working on a funded project to enhance the inclusion of women in digital finance by enabling better technology designs funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Her work ensures social justice and feminist human-computer interaction.

Currently, Nova is an Associate Professor at North South University. She has organized the Ada Lovelace Celebration to include more women in technology in Bangladesh for 2020 and 2021. She has a particular interest in involving women and children in computing and has been working actively in that area in her time dedicated as a volunteer.

Atul Manohar

Chief Innovation Officer at Thought-Craft Design Studio 


With over 30 years of experience in product innovation and development, Atul is a seasoned strategist who has designed several physical and software products for consumer and enterprise markets. He is currently the Chief Innovation Officer at Thought-Craft Design Studio, a company that offers UX product innovation services to product companies and tech startups.

At Thought-Craft, Atul leads the design interventions at various stages of the journey of an idea to a successful product, improving the customer experience and solving problems with design thinking. He also supports UXI Tank, a platform that connects UX professionals with the right opportunities, as a strategic investor. Previously, he led the Zededa Experience Design team, designing their cloud platform interface for industrial IoT use cases. Atul is passionate about experimenting with innovation tools, mentoring young entrepreneurs, and organizing UX and HCI conferences.

Judy van Biljon

Professor in the School of Computing at University of South Africa (Unisa)


Judy van Biljon is a professor at the University of South Africa (Unisa). She was educated at the universities of the Free State (MSc), Northwest (BEd), and Unisa (PhD in Computer Science). She holds the National Research Foundation’s Chair in Information and Communication for Development (ICT4D) hosted by the School of Computing. She is passionate about the use of Human-Computer Interaction principles to improve the design and evaluation of technology for teaching and learning and the sustainable use of technology in resource-constrained environments. She promotes research collaboration and capacity building through initiatives such as the Southern African Chapter of the International Network

for Postgraduate Students in ICT4D (IPID), Swedish and South African collaboration (SASUF) and Responsible AI (RAI) UK project, and the platform. She is collaborating with researchers in Ghana, Uganda, Sweden, Finland, and the UK.