GSummit NYC Wrap Up

GSummit NYC Wrap Up


As the GSummit NYC came to a close in the main theater, the Gamification Workshop continued into the afternoon. Delegates, abuzz with all the many new ideas they had acquired, seemed to leave the Museum of Jewish Heritage with a renewed vigor and palpable excitement. For those of you who missed the liveblog, read on for some of the highlights from the two day Summit.

On day one, beginning with a keynote address by Gilt Groupe co-founder, Alexandra Wilkis Wilson as interviewed by Divya Gugnani, Founder of Send the Trend, we learned how to make retail fun again using game mechanics like flash sales and competitive shopping.

Microsoft’s Sarah Faulkner introduced the wildly successful teaching game for Office Ribbon Hero II, and shared key techniques for successfully incorporating gamification into your enterprise.

Byron Reeves moderated a fascinating panel including Charlie Kim of NextJump, Obie Fernandez of Dueprops, Mario Herger of SAP, Kes Sampathar of Cynergy, and Maksim Ovsyannikov of Rypple to discuss gamifying the office to make the work experience better and more productive for employees.

A real highlight of day one was a pre-lunch panel that talked about meaningfully engaging a customer base through games, mediated by Greg Johnson, of Fooda. Panelists included Jesse Redniss, the head of digital at USA Networks, Rijat Paharia of Bunchball, Michael Ahern of Major League Baseball advanced media (including Fantasy Baseball), Esteban Contreras of Samsung, and Brandon Evans founder of CrowdTap.

TopGuest CEO Geoff Lewis spoke about turning loyalty programs into engagement programs. Susan Bonds of 42 Entertainment talked about what it was like building some of the greatest, most creative and most successful interactive gamified experiences of all time – including Why So Serious?Flynn Lives, Year Zero, and the Human Preservation Project which focuses on a small company called 5 Gum.

Day one ended with a presentation by life insurance giant AXA Equitable about their new gamification project, “Pass it On,” followed by a panel about changes in consumer health and wellness and the role games will play, and finally Kevin Richardson winner of Volkswagen’s Fun Theory Contest, talking about ways in which fun can and is changing the world.

Day two began with GSummit chair Gabe Zichermann talking about applying gamification to your business – how and why you should. Game developer and author of Game On: Energize your Business with Social Games, Jon Radoff spoke about the science of motivation and practical applications. James Gardner of Spigit, and author of Sidestep and Twist, talked about using gamification to build new ideas and follow them to completion. And Michael Wu of Lithium Technologies presented his research on engagement and its inherent power. The four then sat down to a panel discussion led by Eric Goldberg on engagement, gamification and fun.

The day’s most inspirational speech came from 3rd grade teacher, Ananth Pai, who is transforming education through technology and games. His eloquent address was followed by a panel of educators, education software developers and game-designers including Dan Samuelson of Pearson who moderated, and panelists, NT Etuk of DimensionU, David Park of Beat the GMAT, Matt Shobe of BigDoor, Anthony Zolezzi of Greenopolis, and Mike Fulkerson of Rosetta Stone.

Samuelson, moved by Mr. Pai’s work, began with this quote:  “If a child can’t learn the way we teach maybe we should teach the way they learn.”

The delegates then met on the second floor for a light lunch and the option to buy books to be signed by the acclaimed speakers of the day. As the GSummit came to a close, many were already asking, where and when the next one would be. Stay tuned to to find out!


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  1. It’s really a pity you had do your video- there is no way people are going to pay their king’s ransom of $200 to watch a 37-minute video: even if it IS Mr. Pai.

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