Labs @ LightCity

Blog Events

Labs@LightCity, Light City’s daytime innovation conferences, bring together national and local thought leaders and engaged, inspired citizens from diverse backgrounds to explore cutting edge concepts for sparking social change. By creating a weeklong community at the intersections of innovation, humanity, culture and technology we shine a light on the brilliant ideas that will shape our collective future.

New for 2017: The Light City conferences debut the new name Labs@LightCity to better reflect the new format in which sessions will be more interactive, hands-on and include more participatory two-way interactive dialogue. New Labs: Labs@LightCity has added education and food as two new conferences.

Monday, April 3-Saturday, April 8, 2017

at The IMET Columbus Center, 700 E. Pratt Street, Pier 5, Inner Harbor


Schedule Highlights

Monday, April 3 HealthLab@LightCity presented by Kaiser Permanente

Explore emerging technologies and innovative practices that have the potential to affect the quality of life and health outcomes for all people, here and around the globe. Confirmed speakers include:

 Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee, physician, biological scientist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer

 Dr. Jeffrey Kahn, Andreas C. Dracopoulos Director of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics

 Dr. Luis Diaz, Founder, Personal Genome Diagnostics

 Paul Rabil, professional lacrosse player, social media superstar and Founder, Rabil Companies

 Michelle Antoinette Nelson, Founder, Brown & Healthy Kids

 Dr. John Krakauer, The John C. Malone Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience, JHU Brain, Learning, Animation, and Movement Lab

 New Day Campaign: Voices of Recovery

 Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore City Health Commissioner

 Sonia Sarkar, Chief Policy & Engagement Officer, Baltimore Health Department

 Dr. Panagis Galiatsatos, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center


Here’s a sample of some of the exciting discussions taking place at HealthLab@LightCity:

 Youth, Health & Social Media

 The Future is Here: The Peril and Promise of our Genetic Information

 Addressing Trauma in Our Communities

 Rebel with a Cause: Pushing the boundaries of brain science


Tuesday, April 4 GreenLab@LightCity presented by BGE

Join the conversation about how we think about energy, ecology and economics while providing a glimpse into innovations that provide a more sustainable path to the future. Confirmed speakers include:

 Calvin G. Butler Jr., CEO, BGE

 Dr. Leyla Acaroglu, 2016 United Nations Champion of the Earth, founder of Disrupt Design and the UnSchool

 Lynn Heller, Vice President, Abell Foundation

 Evie Schwartz, Founder, RetroFit Baltimore

 Baltimore Wood Project featuring Morgan Grove, Team Leader at US Forest Service for the Baltimore Wood Project & Jeff Carroll, VP of Humanim

 Panel curated by the National Aquarium featuring Curtis Bennett, Conservation Project Manager, National Aquarium; Genevieve LaRouche, Chesapeake Bay Field Office, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Holly Shields, National Wildlife Federation

 Robert Wallace, CEO, BITHenergy

 JJ Reidy, Founder & CEO, Urban Pastoral


Here’s a sample of some of the exciting discussions taking place at GreenLab@LightCity:

 Leaping Forward: Climate change-makers reflect on the next big things

 The Green Innovation Imperative: How big companies are thinking like startups about the future of energy

 New Thinking: Greening Baltimore at the Grassroots


Wednesday, April 5 EduLab@LightCity presented by University System of Maryland

Rethink learning. Join future-focused education innovators for a dialogue on the central role of education in our society. Confirmed speakers include:

 Alec Ross, Technology Policy Expert, Innovator and New York Times best-selling author of The Industries of the Future

 Aisha DaCosta, Executive Director, CEO and Founder, I Am O’Kah! Inc.

 Donovan Livingston, Public Speaker, Educator and Spoken Word Poet whose Harvard Graduate School of Education convocation address “Lift Off” went viral in 2016

 Wendel Patrick, Music producer, photographer, educator, and Co-founder, Boom Bap Society

 Kristen McGuire, Executive Director, Baltimore Collegetown Network

 Kirsten Brinlee, Assistant Director, Baltimore Collegetown Network

 Rob Helfenbein, Interim Chair of Teacher Education, Associate Professor of Curriculum Studies, Loyola

 Dr. Simone Gibson, Assistant Professor, Morgan State University

 Dr. Omar Simpson, Assistant Director, Hop-In Center for Student Sucecss, Johns Hopkins University and Founder, The Omar Simpson Foundation

 Dr. Sonja Santelises, CEO Baltimore City Schools

 Jason Hardebeck, CEO at The Foundery, Broadband Coordinator for the City of Baltimore

 Todd Marks, CEO, Mindgrub


Here’s a sample of some of the exciting discussions taking place at EduLab@LightCity:

 How education technology is redefining learning and access – Baltimore Educational Startups Session

 Awakening Youth Through Connection: The Power of Making and Mentoring

 The next wave of Education Reform Solutions: Addressing racial opportunity gaps, community engagement, urban teacher education

 Alternative Education Pathways: Disrupting the School to Prison Pipeline


Thursday, April 6 SocialLab@LightCity

Gather with social entrepreneurs, activists, thinkers, and writers to explore, together, how we can build a more equitable and responsible society.

Confirmed speakers include:

 Carlmichael “Stokey” Cannady, Social Innovator, Founder, The Stokey Project

 Nilofer Merchant, CEO, strategist, author and speaker who has personally launched more than 100 products

 Luvvie Ajayi, New York Times best-selling author and blogger

 D. Watkins, columnist and author of The Cook Up: A Crack Rock Memoir and The Beast Side: Living (and Dying) While Black in America

 Destiny Watford, youngest ever Goldman Environmental Prize Winner

 Sean Kennedy, American Enterprise Institute

 Coffin Nachtmahr, Yo-yo virtuoso, Founder, OhYesYo!

 Jeff Cherry, Executive Director, Conscious Venture Lab

 Tyrone Roper, Associate Director of Criminal Justice Behavioral Health Systems, Baltimore

 Joe Mechlinski, CEO & Co-Founder of entreQuest for ShiftLocal

 Molly McGrath Tierney, Former Director of Baltimore’s Department of Social Services

 Dr. Wendy Osefo, Visiting Assistant Professor in the Doctor of Education program, JHU

 Rodney Foxworth, CEO & Founder, Invested Impact

 Darius Graham, Director, Social Innovation Lab at Johns Hopkins University

 Michelle Geiss, Co-Founder & Executive Director, ImpactHub

 Tammira Lucas, Co-Founder, The Cube

 B. Cole, Founder & CEO, Brioxy

 Fagan Harris, President & CEO, Baltimore Corps

 Sarah Hemminger, CEO & Co-Founder, Thread

 Joseph T. Jones, Founder & CEO, Center for Urban Families

 David Warnock


Here’s a sample of some exciting discussions that will be taking place at SocialLab@LightCity:

 Rethinking the purpose of Business, and its impact on our Lives and Communities

 Perceptions of Blackness and how it affects student development at Predominantly White Institutions (PWI) and in society as a whole

 Disruptors: Young leaders upending the status quo

 New Perspectives on Re-Entry and Recidivism


Friday, April 7 DesignLab@LightCity presented by Brown Advisory

Features some of the most inventive designers, makers, artists, entrepreneurs, storytellers and thinkers convening to explore how emerging creative practices shape our world and create change. Confirmed speakers include:

 Dale Dougherty, Founder of MAKE magazine, creator of Maker Faire and CEO, Maker Media

 Kwame Kwei-Armah, Artistic Director of Center Stage

 CJay Philip, Director, Dance & Bmore

 Meg Saligman, Mural Artist, Principal at Meg Saligman Studios

 Lizzie Kripke, Artist and Researcher

 Dr. John Krakauer, The John C. Malone Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience, JHU Brain, Learning, Animation, and Movement Lab

 Jimmie Thomas, Co-Founder, Curators of Hip Hop

 Richard May, Chairman of Innovation Village Baltimore

 Thibault Manekin, Co-founder of Seawall Development

 Isaac Hametz, Research Director at Mahan Rykiel Associates Inc

 Dr. Youseph Yazdi, Executive Director, The Johns Hopkins Center for Bioengineering Innovation & Design

 Nasreen Alkhateeb, Award-winning Transmedia Storyteller

 Jason Hardebeck, CEO at The Foundery, Broadband Coordinator for the City of Baltimore

 Andre Robinson, Executive Director of Mount Royal Community Development Corporation

 Ellen Janes, Executive Director of Central Partnership of Baltimore

 Joyce J. Scott, Jewlery Maker and Sculptor, 2016 MacArthur Fellow

 Neighborhood Lights Panel: Maura Dwyer, Resident Artist – Hamilton-Lauraville; Mia Blom, Board Member and Resident – Hamilton-Lauraville Main Street & Hamilton Hills Neighborhood Association; April Danielle Lewis, Resident Artist – Greater Mondwmin; Jacqueline Caldwell, President – Greater Mondawmin Coordinating Council


Here’s a sample of some of the exciting discussions that will be taking place at DesignLab@LightCity:

 Making Waves: The surging maker community in Baltimore. Baltimore Makers Panel.

 #CreativePlacemaking: Neighborhood-centered redevelopment and the future of post-industrial American cities.

 Designing Health: How design of wearable devices is changing the future of heath

 Art, Music, Video Games and the Future of Medicine


Saturday, April 8 FoodLab@LightCity presented by Visit Baltimore

Acclaimed culinary thinkers and chefs explore the world of food – how it’s grown, accessed, eaten and innovated. And how our attitudes toward what we eat may change the trajectory of society. Woodberry Kitchen is providing a wholesome, local, sustainable and delicious lunch to attendees for the same cost it takes to produce the average school cafeteria lunch. Confirmed Speakers include:

 Spike Gjerde, James Beard Award-winning Chef

 Danielle Nierenberg, Founder of Food Tank

 Marcus Samuelsson, Award-Winning Chef, Restaurateur & Author

 Chef Jeff Henderson, Creator of Food Network’s “The Chef Jeff Project” and Host of “Flip My Food”

 Aisha Pew, Owner, Dovecote Café

 Rev. Heber Brown III, Founder, Black Church Food Security Network

 Sean Smeeton, Taharka Bros. Ice Cream

 Holly Freishtat, Baltimore Food Policy Director


Here’s a sample of some of the exciting discussions that will be taking place at FoodLab@LightCity:

 #FoodLove: Recognizing the fundamental value of what we eat.

 Food Fairness in Urban America: Building Intentional Equality in our Food System

 The Human Centered Food Business: The Intersection of Food & Community



Tickets are $149 for a single Lab and just $99 for each additional Lab. Or, participants have the

option to register for the Light City Luminary Program for a no-cost ticket.


Labs@LightCity Luminary Program

The Labs@LightCity are a convening for everyone. Community members who wish to attend but cannot afford the price of a ticket can apply to attend one of the six labs as a Light City Luminary.

Luminaries participate fully in all aspects of their selected Lab. Applications can be found here.

Community members who wish to help increase the pool of available no-cost tickets for Labs@Light City can make a contribution to the Light City Luminary program.


Leadership Curators

For each Lab, leadership curators will help bring inspiring talks, unique discussions and interactive experiences from local and national presenters, panelists and thinkers to the audience. Curators include Owner of the Ivy Bookshop Eduard Berlin; President & CEO of Living Classrooms James Piper Bond ; Research Associate Professor at UMBC Lee Boot; President of T. Rowe Price Foundation Dr. John Brothers; Board of Trustees Chair of T. Rowe Price Meredith Callanan; Managing Partner of Cammack Associates, LLC John Cammack; Co-Founder of Reclaim Childhood Anouk Dey; PhD Student and Musician David Fakunle; Founder & CEO of Invested Impact Rodney Foxworth; CEO Baltimore Corps Fagan Harris; Co-founder & CEO of Incentive Mentoring Program Sarah Hemminger; Senior Policy Advisor of National Economic Council Nate Lowenthiel; Senior VP Early Learning of Hougton Mifflin Harcourt Susan Magsamen; Visionary Chairman of Innovation Village Baltimore Richard May; Co-owner of Dovecote Café Aisha Pew; Executive Director of Mount Royal Community Development Corporation Andre Robinson; Associate Director of Criminal Justice of Behavioral Health System Baltimore Tyrone Roper; Vice President of Content Design of Council on Foundations Jesse Salazar; Associate Dean for Public Health Practice & Training at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Josh Sharfstein; Founder & CEO of BithGroup Technologies Robert Wallace; and CEO & Owner of Barclay Chris Wilson.



Monday through Saturday, 6-8pm

Lobby of the IMET Columbus Center, 700 E. Pratt Street

Twilight@LightCity is a free opportunity for attendees of Labs@LightCity and members of the public to get together, listen to real world change-making presentations from curated volunteers who are practitioners in the field, engage with one another in both structured and unstructured conversation, and get involved in organizations that align with the theme of the Lab and make changes in Baltimore. Participants will walk away with tangible opportunities, information, and connections specific to Baltimore. *More detailed schedule of nightly events coming soon.



Stay connected via social media:

Hashtag: #labsatlightcity

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.