James Jorasch: Founder
Science House Founder James Jorasch is a named inventor on nearly 750 U.S. issued patents focused on how people use machines and technology. His patents are currently owned or licensed by companies such as Facebook, Groupon, Zynga, eBay and Priceline.
A chess expert, memory competitor and improv comedy teacher, James is a frequent speaker at conferences and has appeared on CNN, in The Atlantic Monthly and Forbes. Psychology Today’s profile of James called him the “Father of Invention.”
Prior to starting Science House, James was head of Inventing at Walker Digital where he helped incubate a number of businesses over a 15 year period, including Priceline.com. Before joining Walker Digital, James was a management consultant with Deloitte & Touche. He received a B.S. and M.B.A. degree from Cornell University. Connect with James on LinkedIn.
Rita J. King: Co-Director and EVP for Business Development
Rita is a futurist who works with senior leadership teams around the world to take ideas from mind to market and design organizations that can get things done.
She has served as Innovator-in-Residence at IBM and futurist at NASA Langley’s think-tank. Rita is currently a futurist at the Science and Entertainment Exchange of the National Academy of Sciences, for which she invents technologies, novel characters and story architecture.
She is a Salzburg Global Fellow with a focus on art, science and culture, and a LinkedIn Influencer with a million and a half readers. Features by her or about her work have appeared globally, from The New York Times to CNN, TIME, Fast Company, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inc., Entrepreneur, The Design Observer, the BBC, Le Figaro, Psychology Today and many more. Rita is the creator of the Imagination Age (featured here in Forbes), a way to navigate between the Industrial Era, which is fading, but not gone, and the Intelligence Era, which is coming, but not here.
Dr. Simon Sagmeister: Partner for Culture Development
Dr. Simon Sagmeister, a recognized global expert in corporate culture development, is the Partner for Culture Development at Science House and Managing Director at The Culture Institute in Zurich. Simon holds a PhD in economic and social sciences from the University of Innsbruck (summa cum laude), where he initially developed the Culture Map approach for the visualization of corporate cultures.
As a consultant and leadership trainer, Simon has worked with renowned organizations around the world. His clients include multinationals and medium sized companies from various industries, as well as and non-profit organizations. Simon combines academic knowledge with management expertise and intercultural experience, having lived in Austria, Switzerland, the UK, Australia, China and the United States. Twitter: @SagmeisterSimon. Connect with Simon on LinkedIn.
Rob Tedesco: Product Strategy and Development
Rob manages the roadmap of Science House technologies for visualizing and cultivating culture, leadership, innovation and imagination within organizations.
Rob has spent his 15-year career managing innovations and technology products. He is named as an inventor on more than 300 pending and issued U.S. patents in electronic commerce, financial services, gaming and health care (in fact, Rob and James Jorasch are named as co-inventors on many of these innovations). Prior to his work with Science House, Rob held several positions in R&D, including serving as Director of Intellectual Property at Walker Digital Gaming, where the portfolio of patents he grew and managed generated $100MM in direct licensing revenues. Rob also co-founded and served as CEO of HandHold Adaptive, an award-winning developer of smartphone and tablet software applications for individuals with autism featured as a Success Story by the U.S. Department of Education.
Rob holds a Strategy M.B.A. from the Stern School of Business at NYU and also holds a B.A. in Journalism and New Media from Northeastern University.
Christopher Capobianco: Creative Catalyst
Chris is adept at finding new ways of thinking about a problem that sparks innovation. As a Software Engineer at Google, he excels at finding connections that heretofore were unknown. He is equally comfortable generating ideas or facilitating others to do the same.
Chris enjoys expressing his creative side in a number of ways. He is a two-time finalist at the USA Memory Championships and has consulted on memory for finance, media, advertising and Fortune 500 companies such as Xerox and GE. He trained and performed improv at the Magnet Theater and UCB Theater in New York and has taught others to become better improvisers. He has performed stand-up comedy at venues around the city, including Caroline's on Broadway and Stand-up NY.
Chris has a B.A. and M.Eng. in Computer Science from Cornell University. He was a CFA charterholder while working in the finance industry.
Varghese John: Information Technology Specialist
VJ specializes in strategic planning to ensure consistent alignment of information technology with business objectives. As an Executive Director of the Global Fixed Income Flow Risk Platform at UBS, he led recruitment and training of a 100 member onsite and remote software team across development, business analysis, production support, release management, QA, and program/project management. He administered a $20M annual project budget. He was a member of the UBS Technical Council developing new technology adoption strategies and best practices. Working at CIT he led the Corporate Services technology team, overseeing technology for Finance, HR, Legal, Risk Management and Treasury. His work fosters cross-functional collaboration with technical and business groups to optimize design and delivery of cutting-edge platforms and architecture.
VJ has a B.S. and M.S. in Physics from the University of Madras in Madras, India and a Ph.D. in physics from the Institute of Mathematical Sciences in Madras, India. Postdoctoral research positions included work as a Research Associate at the University of Rochester, Syracuse University, and the International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy. His work included research in high energy physics, string theory, Quantum Chromodynamics, Quantum Gravity, condensed matter physics and numerical methods and Monte Carlo simulations applied to the study of fluctuating membranes. He has travelled widely and interacted with collaborators and audiences in numerous institutions across the world, giving lectures and presentations across the globe. He has worked as a book reviewer for many publications on programming for Prentice Hall.
Gilda Bonanno: Training Specialist
Gilda is a training specialist who helps clients develop powerful communication and leadership skills so they can be more successful. She has worked with clients at Fortune 500 companies, nonprofit organizations and businesses of all sizes throughout North America and in Europe, Brazil, China, India and Thailand.
Her experience in corporate, academic, government, nonprofit and entrepreneurial environments gives her a keen understanding of the challenges facing organizations. She is a certified Project Management Practitioner (PMP) and has a certificate in Process Reengineering. Gilda is an authorized distributor of DISC and is certified in both Myers-Briggs and Culture Map/Dynamic Team Mapping. She also holds an Advanced Business Certificate in Management from the University of Connecticut School of Business and a master’s degree from Fordham University.
Gilda has served as President of the Southern CT chapter of the Association for Talent Development (formerly ASTD) and the CT chapter of the National Speakers Association and as a Board Member for the Women's Business Development Council (WBDC).
Prakash Puru: Science House Magician
Prakash is the creator of HOW MAGICIANS THINK, which can be booked at Science House for teams to discover the art of the possible.
“The country’s leading close-up magician.” Salon
“One of New York’s most skilled and original tricksters.”
Time Out New York
“Prakash Puru is amazing.” Neil Gaiman
“An out-of-the-park performance to a standing-room-only crowd. You were fantastic. Everyone’s talking about it.”
IBM Watson Research Center