Richard Florida

Richard Florida is the Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, Global Research Professor at New York University, and the founder of the Creative Class Group, which works closely with governments and companies worldwide, Richard Florida is perhaps the world’s leading urbanist.

Combining in-depth analysis, cutting-edge trends, compelling personal stories and a touch of humor, it is no wonder Richard Florida is one of the world’s most sought after speakers, alongside luminaries such as Bill Clinton, Bill Gates and Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day O’Connor.

As a leading public intellectual, Esquire Magazine named him one of their Best and Brightest. Richard has also been appointed to the Business Innovation Factory’s Research Advisory Council and recently named European Ambassador for Creativity and Innovation.

Florida is the author of several global best sellers, including the award-winning The Rise of the Creative Class (“one of the best business books of all time”—800-CEO-READ), and is a senior editor for The Atlantic, where he co-founded and serves as Editor-at-Large for Atlantic Cities, the world’s leading media site devoted to cities and urban affairs. Florida appears regularly on CNN and other news broadcasts and is a regular contributor to the op ed pages of major newspapers and magazines.

TIME magazine recognized his Twitter feed as one of the 140 most influential in the world. Florida previously taught at Carnegie Mellon and George Mason University, and has been a visiting professor at Harvard and MIT. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Rutgers College and his Ph.D. from Columbia University.

Moriba Jah

Dr. Moriba Jah is the Director of the Computational Astronautical Sciences and Technologies (CAST) group within the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin, where he is also an Associate Professor of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics in the Cockrell School of Engineering. He holds the Mrs. Pearlie Dashiell Henderson Centennial Fellowship in Engineering and trains a new generation of astrodynamicists and space traffic leaders through research and education at the intersection of engineering, policy, and commercialization. He has authored more than 100 scientific articles, columns, and book chapters, including a handful of op-eds. A highly sought public speaker, he has given more than 50 lectures, speeches, and invited talks in the last few years, such as testimony for hearings of U.S. Senate committees, keynotes for business meetings, plenary lectures for scientific conferences, lecture series for NATO’s Science and Technology Organization, TED and TEDx talks, and the Air Force Research Laboratory’s INSPIRE series. Dr. Jah has served as a member of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN-COPUOS) and is the chair of the NATO SCI-279-TG activity on defining a Common NATO Space Domain Awareness Operating Picture.

As a professor, Dr. Jah has taught undergraduate and graduate courses at UT Austin related to space and astronautical sciences. Dr. Jah's research focuses on the convergence of policy, technology, and security related to space traffic management and space situational awareness. Government agencies such as the Department of Defense, Air Force Research Laboratory, and others as well as non-governmental organizations and private industry have featured Dr. Jah's research in their own decision-making processes.

His expertise, opinions, and research have been published, cited or featured in many media outlets, including the SpaceWatch Global, pace News, Wired, ROOM, NatGeo, NPR, BBC, ABC, and others.

Prior to being at UT Austin, Dr. Jah was the Director of the University of Arizona’s Space Object Behavioral Sciences with applications to Space Domain Awareness, Space Protection, Space Traffic Monitoring, and Space Debris research. Preceding that, Dr. Jah was the lead for the Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) Advanced Sciences and Technology Research Institute for Astronautics (ASTRIA) and Technical Advisor to the Guidance, Navigation, and Control Program at AFRL’s Space Vehicles Directorate. He received his B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott, Arizona, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering Sciences from the University of Colorado at Boulder specializing in astrodynamics and statistical orbit determination. Before joining AFRL in 2007, he was a spacecraft navigator for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA, serving on Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Odyssey, Mars Express (joint mission with ESA), Mars Exploration Rovers, Hayabusa (joint mission with JAXA), and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Dr. Jah founded the American Astronautical Society’s (AAS) Space Surveillance Technical Committee and Chaired the AIAA Astrodynamics Technical Committee. He is a member of the Astrodynamics Committee of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) and a permanent member of the Space Debris Committee of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA). Dr. Jah is an elected member of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), a TED Fellow, a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety (IAASS), the AFRL, the AAS and the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), as well as an IEEE Senior Member, Associate Editor of Elsevier’s Advances in Space Research, Acta Astronautica, and Space Safety Engineering Journals.

Dr. Jah has recently joined the Privateer team as Chief Scientific Advisor. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak recently co-founded the space venture with the mission to drive space sustainability. The startup is addressing space sustainability and creating solutions to make orbits around Earth safe and reliable.