A Screen-Side Chat with Da Mayor

We are delighted to welcome this panel of exceptional San Franciscans. For one hour, the panel members will hold an in-depth roundtable discussion of issues pertinent to San Francisco, and the significance of the Web medium as a political and community forum. The panel is comprised of leaders from different walks of this varied city, with a common interest in Internet technology and civic participation. Get to know the panel, then hear them speak their minds.

Malcolm CasSelle is co-founder and Chief Operations Officer of NetNoir, Inc., the first new media company dedicated to developing, digitizing, and distributing distinctive Afrocentric programming for all forms of interactive media. NetNoir Online, "the Soul of Cyberspace," is the company's first service launched in June, 1995. Before starting NetNoir, Malcolm served as Director of digital publishing and marketing for Blast Publishing and Morph's Outpost on the Digital Frontier. Prior to joining Blast Publishing, Malcolm worked at Apple Computer, Inc., developing on PowerPC file servers. Malcolm has also lived in Tokyo, Japan, working for Nippon Telephone and Telegraph (NTT). Malcolm holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in computer science from MIT and Stanford University, respectively.


San Francisco State University Professor Arthur Chandler has written several books about San Francisco, including Old Tales of San Francisco, Stereo Views of the Golden Era in San Francisco, The Biography of San Francisco State University, and The Fantastic Fair (the story of the California Midwinter International Exposition). He has produced two videotapes: "The Fantastic Fair" and "City Hall"(the story of San Francisco's six city halls). He teaches courses about San Francisco, Paris, and Cyberspace, and is also the founder of BayMOO, one of the largest and oldest all-text virtual communities on the Internet.


Peter Chu is Executive Producer of Channel A, a newly launched (September 1996) web publication that covers Asia's influence on the West from a distinctly American perspective. Prior to Channel A, Peter was Director of Marketing at Reliasoft Corp., a startup client/server software company; and before that, he was the Product Manager for the Topic Information Agents products at Verity. At Oracle, Peter served as Marketing Group Manager and Product Manager in several groups. He was instrumental in creating and managing Oracle's international technical services organization. Mr. Chu has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.


Dan Corr is the Set Designer and Technical Director with George Coates Performance Works in San Francisco, a company recognized for pioneering work in bringing emerging technologies to the expressive arts. Recently returned from Sao Paulo, Brazil, he has also designed installations in Japan, Mexico, Festival Spoleto and throughout the United States. In 1994, Performance Works was awarded Japan's MITI Grand Prix for work with NTT's InterCommunications Museum (ICC). In addition to live performance, Dan has been involved in technology testing and product introduction with SGI, Apple, Sun's Java group, Fake Space Labs and Make Systems, including work seen at SIGGraph, InterOp, and CAC. Dan is a graduate California College of Arts and Crafts school of Architecture.

Peter Esty is the Executive Director for SeniorNet, a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to build a community of computer-using seniors. After an early start in the corporate world, Peter has dedicated the later half of his career to nonprofit educational institutions. He began his second career as an educator at Deerfield Academy, in Deerfield, MA, after earning a Master of Arts in Teaching from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. From 1989 to the end of the 1996 school term, Peter was Head of San Francisco University High School, a strong, academic and community-oriented coeducational independent school. Of his involvment in SeniorNet, Peter says, "Having spent the last 25 years in the field of education, and now as I am defined as a senior myself, I find an exhilarating confluence of these two conditions. I want to continue to work; education is still one of my passions and another is my belief in our human capacity to actively learn and grow as long as we live. To take a vital role in the extraordinary mission of SeniorNet could not fit my life more perfectly."

Julien Rhodes, 12 years old, is a 7th grade student at French American International School in San Francisco. He has always been interested in computers, and became interested in the Internet a year and a half ago. Through the Exploratorium Museum in San Francisco Julien got involved with CitySpace, a virtual city environment built collaboratively by kids (ages 10-16) across the Internet. Julien had access to high-powered SGI computers and sophisticated software with which he could learn to build 3-dimensional objects and create textures or wallpaper-like pictures with which to cover them. One of the most exciting aspects of CitySpace is that it allows real-time interaction over the Internet, including speech and video interaction with children at other sites who are also making buildings for the city. Together, the children decide where to put their creations and see the buildings materialize on-screen as they watch.


Robert L. Sommers of San Francisco, California, is a sole practitioner, with more than 17 years experience as an attorney. Author of The Tax Prophet website, Sommers is certified as a Tax Specialist by the California Board of Legal Specialization of the State Bar of California, a distinction earned by less than .05% of all attorneys licensed to practice law in California. He has represented and advised numerous U.S. and foreign individuals and small companies on a variety of tax, business and estate planning matters; and is a lecturer for California's mandatory continuing legal education program ("MCLE"). Sommers holds a postgraduate legal degree (LL.M.) in taxation from New York University School of Law, the premier graduate tax program in the U.S.


Karen Wickre is Executive Producer of PlanetOut, a worldwide online community of lesbian, gay, bi, and trans people. Karen has been immersed in the business, editorial, and marketing sides of technology companies and publications for over a decade. Since 1993 she has been a writer and contributing editor for a variety of publications including Denise Caruso's Technology & Media Letter, Computer Life, The Net, Computer Currents, The Advocate, and C|Net. Karen has co-authored an annotated Atlas of the World Wide Web (Ziff-Davis Press, 1995), edited Guide to Netscape Navigator 2.0 (Ziff-Davis Press, 1996), and contributed to Yahoo! Unplugged (IDG Books, 1995). Together with PlanetOut founder Tom Rielly, Karen hatched the nonprofit organization Digital Queers, a group supporting GLBT community organizations with computers, software, training, and consulting.


Karen Yorke is a Japan-area specialist actively involved with Japanese business and culture for more than 20 years as a researcher, writer, and employee in commercial firms. Japan related employment includes work in educational institutions; research and consulting firms; and companies in futures research, corporate communications, banking and international trade. She lived in Japan 7 years and speaks and reads Japanese. As Manager of Program Development at Stanford University's US-Japan Technology Management Cener, Karen was involved in the "Japan Window" project, a collaborative research effort of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone and Stanford University providing English language information about Japan via the web. Japan Window followed the Center's pioneering work in indexing Japan-related resources on the web (known as the X-guide). As a part of her current work in tracking Japan trends with the Business Futures Network, Karen continues to monitor the development of the Internet and electronic commerce in Japan.


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