Innovation Program Guide - Urbanworld


Open AI

Friday November 3, 2023

Featuring discussions on AI, culture, sports, and content distribution, Urbanworld Innovation returns for one day only to foster networking and community building among diverse creatives.

Our Urbanworld Innovation Summit convenes industry experts sharing insights on the evolving landscape of content creation, financing, distribution, and marketing, all through the lens of digital opportunity.

Hosted at SVA’s MFA Social Documentary Film (SocDoc) campus, located at 136 West 21st Street, 1st floor, New York, NY 10011, we look forward to a day of thought-provoking discussions, culminating in the presentations of our inaugural class of OpenAI Creator Lab mentees’ film trailers, produced solely using OpenAI’s platform.


1:05 PM – 1:45 PM EST

Changing The World Is Not Easy…But That Won’t Stop Them

If we are going to get serious about solving global challenges, we need big ideas. MIT Solve, a marketplace for social impact with a mission to drive innovation, understands what it takes to make big ideas a reality. Through open innovation challenges, Solve finds incredible innovators from all over the world and, with support from MIT’s ecosystem and community, help fund and scale the innovations to drive lasting, transformational impact.

Join a conversation featuring a MIT Solve innovator, Kimberly Seals Allers, to learn about her entrepreneur journey and how she is using technology to improve birth outcomes for Black and brown women. Kimberly’s story is featured in the award-winning docuseries, “The Big Idea,” made possible with the generous support from HP and screening at Urbanworld.

Moderated by Angela Matusik, Founder, A.M. Stories


Kimberly Seals Allers, Founder, Irth

Hala Hanna, Executive Director, MIT Solve

Sarah Klein, Director and Principal, Redglass Pictures

Michele Malejki, Global Head Social Impact, HP


1:55 PM- 2:35 PM EST

Being Seen Behind-the-Scenes
presented by The FutureCast Foundation

With the writers and actors’ strikes receiving much attention, below-the-line and production crew members are often overlooked. However, such roles are the backbone of the entertainment industry and jobs that still lack diversity. This panel will feature a range of industry leaders above and below-the-line sharing what they are doing to make work behind the scenes more inclusive.

Moderated by Ramona Wright, Founder & Producer, WrightOne Media Group 


Angeline Buenaventura, Creative Talent Development Manager, Netflix 

Noelle Green, Production Executive, Netflix Original Series

Ri-Karlo Handy, CEO/Founder, Handy Foundation

Julian S. Newman, Founder and Dir/Producer, The FutureCast Foundation, Gamba Studios

Mia C. Villanueva, Senior Researcher, Netflix Original Studio Films & Netflix Original Animated Films


2:45 PM – 3:25 PM EST

Culture vs. Algorithm
presented by Blacktag

It’s undeniable the impact Black culture has on global pop culture. Yet, big media giant algorithms often fail to recognize and support the cultural contributions of Black creators. Despite the fact that their content drives significant usage, data, and value for these platforms, Black creators are consistently undervalued and underrepresented. This panel will examine the intersection of culture and technology, and tackle tough conversations around new innovations such as AI and its impact on the future for creators. Bringing together cultural leaders and influencers driving interactivity, community-building, and creative breakthroughs across platforms; Featuring Blacktag Head of Growth and Creator Partnerships, Ashley Champ, and industry creators and leaders.

Moderated by Joelle Griffith, Blacktag Advisor; Urbanworld Film Festival Partnership and Experiential Lead


Ashley Champ, Head of Growth and Creator Partnerships, Blacktag

Thembi Banks, Urbanworld ’23 Filmmaker; Director, Young. Wild. Free.

Chidozie Ekwensi, Multidisciplinary Artist


3:35 PM – 4:15 PM EST

Future of Sports Storytelling
NFL + Skydance Sports 

Angela Ellis, VP of Original Content and Production at NFL, Jessica Boddy, VP of Business Affairs at NFL Films and Danette Trosclair, SVP of Television Production at Skydance Studios join forces to uncover the inner workings of the NFL + Skydance Sports partnership, built to be the premiere production home for sports-related scripted and unscripted content. The trio will dive into how pitches are evaluated, the type of content that works, and discuss the future of the sports film landscape.


Angela Ellis, VP of Original Content and Production, NFL

Jessica Boddy, VP of Business Affairs, NFL Films

Danette Trosclair, SVP of Television Production, Skydance Studios


4:25 PM – 5:30 PM EST

Next Generation Content Creation presented by OpenAI

OpenAI + Urbanworld partnered to create a special program, The OpenAI Creator Lab, supporting three creators (ages 18-25) to engage in training and mentorship with ascending filmmakers who have been using AI to create pitches for short films and series. Kicking off with a conversation with mentors Alexia Adana, Chad Nelson, and DC Saxton, we will explore the capabilites of OpenAI’s technology, the future of AI tools supporting storytelling, and the process explored in the pilot program. The inaugural class of OpenAI Creator Lab mentees will then present their trailers, produced solely utilizing OpenAI’s suite of tools. Each mentee will be given the opportunity to dive into their creative process and answer questions from the audience.


Chad Nelson, OpenAI

Daquan (DC) Saxton

Alexia Adana


Agasha Irving

Jidobi Chime

Julie Lozano

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