Alan Gershenfeld, Founding Industry Fellow
Project: Gamestar Mechanic is a game-based platform and curriculum that teaches youth ages 8 – 14 how to design video games to foster systems thinking and 21st century skill building (problem solving, critical thinking, iterative design, creativity and collaboration), and to create a powerful motivation for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education.
Alan Gershenfeld spent the last twenty years at the intersection of entertainment, technology and social entrepreneurship. He is currently Founder and President of E-Line Media, a publisher of digital entertainment that engages, educates and empowers – with a core focus on computer/video games. E-Line works with leading foundations, academics, non-profits and government agencies to harness the power of games for learning, health, and social impact.
Prior to E-Line, Alan spent seven years as CEO and Co-Founder of netomat, a leader in mobile-web community solutions. As CEO, Alan helped to transform a network-based art project into a pioneering software company, raising funding from VCs, strategic investors (Motorola, WPP, Forbes), foundations (Rockefeller’s ProVenEx double bottom line fund) and securing clients and partnerships with leading technology and content providers such as Electronic Arts, Warner Brothers, Motorola and Miramax. netomat was selected as a Technology Pioneer at the 2007 World Economic Forum at Davos.
Before netomat, Alan spent six years at Activision, a global leader in entertainment software. He was a member of the executive management team that rebuilt Activision from bankruptcy into a profitable industry leader with more than a billion dollars in revenue. At Activision, Alan served as Senior Vice President of Activision Studios where he supervised all product development at the company’s Los Angeles studios. Titles released under Alan’s leadership include Civilization: Call to Power, Asteroids, Muppet Treasure Island, Spycraft, Pitfall, Zork and Tony Hawk Skateboarding.
Before Activision, Alan spent nearly ten years in the film industry where he worked in development, production and post-production with credits on numerous feature films and documentaries. As a writer, Alan was a film critic for the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong and co-author of Game Plan, a book about the computer and video game business published by St. Martin’s Press.
As a speaker, Alan has presented at a wide variety of conferences throughout the world including PC Forum, South By South West, Sundance Film Festival, Games for Change, CTIA, Teach For America, Game Developers Conference, National Writers Workshop,, MIT Fab Lab Conference, Milia/Cannes, LAX Conference, Game, Learning & Society, ICE/Toronto, Game On Texas, Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema, SoCap and the World Economic Forum at Davos. Alan has also lead game design workshops throughout the works for students, teachers, parents and policy makers, most recently at the invitation of the White House for the 100 Presidential Math and Science Teachers Award Winners.
Alan serves on the Board of Directors of FilmAid International, a nonprofit that uses film and video to empower refugees throughout the world and on the Advisory Boards of PBS Kids New Media, We Are Family Foundation, Global Kids and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center For Educational Media and Research (Sesame Workshop). He is also on the Advisory Board and former Chairman of Games for Change, a nonprofit that helps to rise the sector of computer and video games for social change.