Below are the regional workshops funded through the Innovation, Culture, and Creativity project. They were selected through a panel review process based on the criteria described in the Call for Workshops.

Integrating Indigenous Knowledge and Creative Computational Media: Building a Sustainable Innovation Ecosystem in the Pacific Rim
Kapolei, Hawaii, August 12-13, 2024

Principal Investigator (PI): Dr. Jason Leigh, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Co-PIs: Kamuela Enos, Office of Indigenous Knowledge and Innovation; Christopher Lee, Academy for Creative Media System; Nurit Kirshenbaum, Hawaii Creativity and Technology Lab

Workshop Region: Pacific Rim

This workshop will foster collaboration among Pacific Rim Indigenous communities, creative industries, and academia to promote Indigenous leadership in pre-commercial technology research. Focusing on Computational Media (CM), which encompasses cinematic animations, special effects, video games, virtual & augmented reality, and other interactive digital systems, the workshop will explore how Indigenous cultural knowledge, language, and practices can form the foundation of a CCM industry. By integrating these elements, the workshop will identify opportunities for equitable research pathways, businesses, and technological innovations. By envisioning innovation hubs centered on Indigenous Knowledge (IK) and practices, the workshop will promote sustainable and inclusive economic growth and foster cross-Pacific collaboration through Hawaiʻi’s strategic position. These efforts will influence NSF’s strategic investments and cultivate a new generation of culturally competent technologists and creators. Outcomes will include an outline for equitable and inclusive translational computational media research pathways, conceptual models of innovation spaces that integrate IK and CCM, and a report advising the National Science Foundation on research and development investments to empower Indigenous communities nationwide.

For further information, please reach out to Dr. Jason Leigh (

Inclusive Innovation: Engaging Creative Technologists for Advanced Technology Tools Research and Initiatives
Culver City, California, August 17-18, 2024

Principal Investigator (PI): Rashidi Jones, TEC Leimert

Co-PI: Dawn Comer, City of Los Angeles

Workshop Region: Los Angeles County, California

TEC Leimert, a South Los Angeles-based non-profit, champions the global impact of the creative economy on innovation and culture. Recognizing the crucial role of skill building in driving workforce development within creative industries, TEC Leimert is hosting a workshop that will focus on identifying and promoting sustainable career pathways in various creative sectors, including design technology, game development, music technology, and digital marketing. Participants will explore how to leverage technological advancements and data analytics to enhance their careers and industry practices. The workshop aims to equip attendees with the knowledge and tools necessary to thrive in the evolving landscape of creative professions, fostering a deeper understanding of how to integrate cutting-edge technology into their work to achieve long-term success and sustainability.

For further information, please reach out to

Integrating Arts and Culture into KC’s Critical Materials and Biologics
Kansas City, Missouri, September 12-13, 2024

Principal Investigator (PI): Aaron Deacon, KC Digital Drive

Co-PIs: Bob Bennett, Cities Today Institute; Brian Frehner, History Department, UMKC

Workshop Region: Kansas City Metro Region

Robust innovation ecosystems rely on the interaction of different sectors, each with their intrinsic motivations. Scientists produce research, experiments, and papers, while entrepreneurs produce products, services, and businesses. Both apply innovation and creativity, and there is a track record of how these two types of innovation pipelines interact with one another, with the outputs of research serving as the foundation for new enterprise. As federal place-based innovation funding has expanded over the past several years, programs like EDA’s Tech Hubs and NSF’s Regional Innovation Engines have emphasized the mutually beneficial relationship between fundamental scientific research and the growth of new businesses and local economies.

Artists and creative professionals have yet another type of creative process and output that may touch research and commerce, but often has meaning, expression, understanding, or persuasion as its own end. And the value proposition for creatives and artists to engage in the development of new innovation-led economic projects and sectors is not always clear. As the biologics and critical materials innovation clusters each have a footprint in the Kansas City region supported by the Tech Hubs and Engines programs, we will explore how artists, cultural institutions, and creative professionals might bring their expertise to bear on the development of these clusters and the projects, research, and startups that emerge from them.

For further information, please reach out to Aaron Deacon (

Dreaming of Ethical Black Artificial Intelligence Ecosystems through Black Joy
Alexandria, Virginia, September 13-14, 2024

Principal Investigator (PI): Dr. Fallon Wilson, #BlackTechFutures Research Institute

Co- PI: Isaac McCoy, Dean of the School of Business, Entrepreneurship, and Computer

Information Systems, Stillman College

Workshop Region: Southeast Sunbelt

The focus of the Southeast Regional Workshop is to demonstrate Black Joy enshrined in Black Cultural Institutions can: (1) Translate the origin, meaning, and purpose of artificial intelligence to the larger Black community; (2) Use artificial intelligence to help create culturally relevant learning experiences for their members and the larger Black community; (3) Highlight opportunities where “fine-tuning” large language learning models can honor Black existence and culture; (4) Detail how to use artificial intelligence in ways that create agency for both technical and non-technical Black people; and (5) Create democratic infrastructure to support a social movement to develop techniques to mitigate against the unique threats experienced by Black people when policymakers, companies, and governments fail to build ethical and safe artificial intelligence systems. Additionally, there will be conversations on the need to develop a National Black Data Plan to better support Black people living freely in the AI world through Black-centered policy creation and regulation.

For further information, please reach out to Dr. Fallon Wilson (

Indigenous Pathways to Planning Sustainable Futures
Albuquerque, New Mexico, September 13-14, 2024

Principal Investigator (PI): Dr. Alice Loy, Creative Startups

Co-PI: Ted Jojola, University of New Mexico

Workshop Region: Communities across “Indian Country”, loosely: the Navajo Nation, the Eight Northern New Mexico Pueblos, Pueblos located along the Rio Grande, and also Laguna, Zuni, and Acoma Pueblos. Urban communities including Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and Gallup, New Mexico. 

Our overarching goal for the workshop is to increase our understanding of how urban communities can accelerate innovation, creativity, and the pro-social diffusion of technologies relating to the planning, policy, and development of smart, equitable, sustainable communities (SESC). Creative Startups, UNM, and the City of Albuquerque will host urban planners, smart city technologists, equity advocates for a 2-day workshop to explore how communities may more effectively engage Native American artists and creatives in SESC with the aim of increasing rates of scientific/technological discovery and diverse participation in STEM fields. Specifically, we will consider: 1. What potential pathways to innovation can our unique regional culture and norms envision and unlock in relation to SESC-related technologies (i.e. artificial intelligence, high-performance computing, IoT, advanced manufacturing, computational modeling, immersive technologies, and cyberinfrastructure)? 2. How might Native American cultural knowledge and norms spur innovation in city and regional planning? How might Native American engagement in urban planning generate more equity and diverse stakeholder engagement? 3. How might a cross-disciplinary approach involving artists, creatives, and equity advocates enable cities to become more responsive to the concerns and challenges of historically excluded communities affected by SESC technologies and initiatives?

For further information, please reach out to Ted Jojola (

Design Justice: Using Justice Principles to Shift Power in the Creation of Community Technology in Detroit
Detroit, Michigan, September 19-20, 2024

Principal Investigator (PI): Wesley Taylor, The Design Justice Network

Co-PIs: Nour Arafat, The Design Justice Network; John Marshall, University of Michigan and rootoftwo; Lauren Ruffin, Arizona State University and Michigan Central

Workshop Region: Detroit Metro Region

Detroit is a deeply creative city which is often exploited through cultural appropriation, gentrification, and information technology. Detroit is also the place where the Design Justice principles were conceived and written. A Design Justice framework means that we envision futures where design is used to support care, healing, liberation, joy, and deep sustainability. This one and a half day Design Justice Futures workshop and DiscoTech for discovering design will provide an opportunity for community workers, local business leaders, artists, designers, researchers, and activists to imagine and develop plans to shift decision making power and resources in design to be held by the communities they serve. Rather than host a traditional workshop with panels and paper presentations, this workshop seeks to engage attendees with a design justice framework that encourages active participation and generative thinking.

We believe that the concept of an “innovation ecosystem” needs to evolve to reference community-led and controlled innovation processes that are too often exploited or overlooked. We plan to convene a group of people to talk about technology that is accountable to the community in Detroit and keeps value in the city. Using the Design Justice Principles and theoretical framework to develop power and resource maps for community-accountable technology will lead to the creation of technology that is fully held, owned, operated, and for the benefit of community members.

For further information, please reach out to Wesley Taylor (

Developing dramaturgical strategies for AI and XR alongside NYC’s contemporary performance scene
Brooklyn, New York, September 28-29, 2024

Principal Investigator (PI): Dr. Bertie Ferdman , Borough of Manhattan Community College

Co-PIs: Peter Eckersall, Theatre and Performance PhD Program, The Graduate Center, CUNY;

Julia Stoyanovich, Tandon School of Engineering and Center for Data Science, NYU;

Michael Byrne, Cornell Tech; Luke DuBois, NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Workshop Region: New York City Metro Region

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Immersive Technologies (XR) are rapidly transforming live performance. Our workshop, Developing Dramaturgical Strategies for AI and XR, investigates how intermedial practices in NYC’s Contemporary Performance scene serve as incubators for new media ecologies. How can we optimize access, transparency and future world-building?

A unique partnership between Borough Manhattan Community College, The Graduate Center, CUNY, NYU’s Center for Responsible AI at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering and Cornell Tech, the workshop takes place over two days in September at NYU@The Yard.

Our four workshop strands focus on Storytelling and Immersive Technologies; Ethics, Outreach and Accessibility; Posthuman Dramaturgies; and Civic Activations. Together with keynotes and artist case-studies we take a multimodal approach to understanding this fast-moving field in order to address questions about the wider understanding and responsible uses of emerging technologies. The workshop will investigate the impact of algorithmic processes on everyday life, the applications of augmented reality and immersive storytelling in sectors such as healthcare and education, and pedagogical outreach.

With stakeholders from Performance, Computer Engineering, Data Science, and Experimental Media, our workshop will be a hands-on inquiry into this emerging superfield.

For further information, please reach out to Dr. Bertie Ferdman ( and Peter Eckersall (