Light City Baltimore Announces Innovation Conferences

Light City U Tickets on Sale NOW! AOL co-founder Steve Case and Radiolab’s Jad Abumrad to join thought leaders and change makers as they tackle issues of social change from March 28 – April 2

Thursday, February 4, 2016 - 8:45am

BALTIMORE – Tickets are on sale now for Light City U, a series of innovation events at Light City Baltimore – America’s first large-scale light, music and innovation festival – which will take place March 28 – April 3, 2016. The pioneering event is made up of four conferences and will explore the theme of “powering social change.”

Innovators and change-makers, including co-founder of AOL Steve Case, Radiolab’s Jad Abumrad, Alex Laskey, founder of OPower, Design Matters’ Debbie Millman, Wes Moore and Baltimore City Health Department Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen will join with other thought leaders across multiple industries, to tackle the complicated issue of how to become a more responsible and equitable society.

“Light City U has been designed as a space where creators and innovators can come together to ideate, collaborate, create, connect and discover solutions to some of the world’s toughest challenges,” said Brooke Hall, Light City festival co-founder and conference organizer. “Baltimore is a global hub of innovation, and we’re excited to be building a platform to explore how the next wave of innovations and creative practices will shape our future and power social change.”

The four conference subject areas will include:

Social Innovation Conference, March 28 – 29, 2016
Light City U’s Social Innovation Conference will bring together leaders in social enterprise, education, social justice, philanthropy, and policy to explore real-world solutions to problems faced by societies throughout the world. For two days, Baltimore’s Columbus Center will be the hub for intense discussions about how, together, we can build a more equitable and responsible society. Confirmed speakers:

  • Asha Curran, Director, Innovation & Social Impact, 92nd Street Y 
  • Shawn Dove, CEO, Campaign for Black Male Achievement 
  • Robert Egger, President, L.A. Kitchen 
  • Fagan Harris, President and CEO, Baltimore Corps 
  • Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, President, UMBC 
  • Aaron Hurst, CEO and Co-Founder, Imperative 
  • Chris Jeffery, Co-Founder, OrderUp 
  • Vivienne Ming, Founder, Socos 
  • Wes Moore, Founder and CEO, BridgeEDU 
  • Chris Wilson, CEO, Barclay Investment Corporation


Health Innovation Conference Presented by Kaiser Permanente, March 30-31, 2016
For two days, attendees of the Light City U Health Innovation Conference presented by Kaiser Permanente will dive deep into emerging technologies and innovative practices that have the potential to affect the quality of life and health outcomes for people around the globe. Local and national thought leaders will converge at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor to share knowledge and practices that will have broad reaching effects on the future of us and our world. Confirmed speakers:

  • Kim Horn, President, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States, Inc. 
  • Nick Buettner, Community and Corporate Program, Director Blue Zones, LLC 
  • Dr. George Brainard, Director, Light Research Program, Thomas Jeffferson University 
  • Katie Kirsch, Chief Marketing Officer and Co-Founder, Sisu Global Health 
  • Todd Marks, CEO and Founder, Mindgrub 
  • Vivienne Ming, Founder, Socos 
  • Dr. Leana Wen, Commissioner, Baltimore City Health Department


Sustainability Innovation Conference presented by BGE, March 30 – 31, 2016
Attendees will direct their focus to one of the greatest challenges facing humanity in the 21st Century. This two-day conference presented by BGE will change how attendees think about energy, ecology and economics while providing a glimpse into what to expect from a world that demands we find a more sustainable path to the future. Confirmed speakers:

  • Calvin Butler, Chief Executive Officer, Baltimore Gas and Electric Company 
  • Jared Carlson, Director, Innovation & Business Development, Arbor Day Foundation 
  • John Kellett, President, Clearwater Mills, LLC, Inventor of Inner Harbor Water Wheel 
  • Alex Laskey, President & Founder, Opower 
  • Adam Lindquist, Director, Healthy Harbor Initiative, Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore 
  • Michael Smith, Vice President, Head of Constellation Technology Ventures, Exelon Corporation


Creative Innovation Conference, April 1 – 2, 2016
In an age when what we create is literally only limited to our imaginations, Light City U will convene a gathering of some of the most inventive designers, makers, artists, entrepreneurs, futurists, storytellers and thinkers to explore how emerging creative practices will shape our world and to share ideas and tools to create change. Confirmed speakers:

  • Jad Abumrad, Host, Radiolab 
  • Jan Baum, Executive Director, 3D Innovation Institute 
  • Steve Case, Chairman & CEO, Revolution LLC 
  • Thomas Dolby, Professor, Johns Hopkins University 
  • Gaia, Artist 
  • Debbie Millman, Host, Design Matters 
  • Richelle Parham, Advisor, Girls Who Code 
  • Markus Proctor, Founder, EduPal, Inc. 
  • Alex Rinsler, Artistic Director, The Giant’s Foundry 
  • Reshman Saujani, Founder & CEO, Girls Who Code 
  • Amita Shukla, Founder & CEO, Vitamita 
  • D. Watkins, Writer 
  • Amy Webb, Futurist and Founder, Webbmedia Group, Digital Strategy


More speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.

All conferences, with the exception of Creative Innovation, will be held at the Columbus Center. Creative Innovation will be held at City Garage, an innovation hub planned for entrepreneurs and startup companies, and owned by Sagamore Development — a real estate firm owned by Kevin Plank.

Tickets to Light City U range from $200-$250 for each 2-day conference, or $650 for all conferences (6 days). Light City U will offer a significant number of free and discounted tickets to individuals who apply for a scholarship. To apply for a scholarship or to buy tickets, visit

Light City U is part of Light City Baltimore. The festival component of the event will showcase artists, musicians and performers from Baltimore and around the world. Seven nights of free exhibits and entertainment will include 50 stops along a 1.5 mile BGE Light Art Walk around Baltimore’s Harbor, 28 large-scale original works of light art, more than 45 concerts and more than 75 performances. For more information about Light City Baltimore, visit or connect via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #LightCity.

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About Light City Baltimore

Light City Baltimore is produced by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts and inspired by founding visionaries Brooke Hall and Justin Allen of What Works Studio. The event is sponsored by Founding Partners: BGE and Visit Baltimore; Leadership Partners: Abell Foundation, Brown Advisory, Kaiser Permanente, Maryland Department of Commerce and Whiting-Turner Construction Company; Major Sponsors: Baltimore Development Corporation and PNC Bank; Official Sponsors: Constellation, Downtown Partnership, Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore, Greater Baltimore Committee, Loyola University Maryland, M&T Bank, UMBC, Under Armour and Waterfront Partnership; and Festival Sponsors: Ayers Saint Gross, Baltimore Ravens, Caves Valley Partners, Ellin & Tucker, Generosity, Inc., ICF, Johns Hopkins University (President’s Office and Office of Technology Ventures), and Lifebridge Health.

About Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts

The Baltimore Office of Promotion &The Arts (BOPA) is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization which serves as Baltimore City’s arts council, film office, and events agency. By producing large-scale events such as Artscape, America’s largest free arts festival, the Baltimore Book Festival, and offering funding and support to arts programs across the city, BOPA’s goal is to make Baltimore a more vibrant and creative city.

Tracy Baskerville
Baltimore Office of Promotion &The Arts
[email protected]
(410) 752-8632

Moneé Cottman
Visit Baltimore
[email protected]