John Werner is a passionate photographer, his photo blog has over 250K pictures and has had over 25 million views today. He is the Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at Meta a technology company that is designing a future where augmented reality becomes a healthy, vital extension of who we are and creates deeper understanding, freer expression, and optimal productivity. John combines innovative thinking and collaborative, creative solutions to deliver human and environmental impact. John is the Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at Meta. John was most recently at the MIT Media Lab as Head of Innovation and New Ventures at the Camera Culture Group and Founding Managing Director of Emerging Worlds SIG. At MIT, Werner supported developments on new imaging platforms, including hardware and software technologies, to augment human vision.
John is an innovator, and mobilizer who builds community and is a ‘moonshot’ thinker, innovating while incorporating the latest technologies. He believes in 21st-century creative innovation, with direct human or environmental impact. He was the Head of Innovation and New Ventures at the Camera Culture Group at the MIT Media Lab. At MIT, he supported developments on new imaging platforms and on hardware and software technologies to augment human vision. He developed a large-scale online learning platform, helping to solve important problems by bringing together young people from all over the world and fostering an environment of entrepreneurship to take ideas into the real world. He has been a co-instructor of MIT's Computational Photography and Imaging, Fabrication and Ventures course, and an advisor for MIT's Engineering the Medical Tricorder initiative. He also helped start The Emerging Worlds initiative at the Lab, a bottom-up innovation platform that he now leads with Professor Ramesh Raskar. John secured an National Science Foundation grant for this work. John also works with many of the 85 billion dollar+ revenue corporate members at the MIT Media Lab and played a key role to secure 7 of their memberships. John was a founding member of the Citizen Schools education initiative, which is now in eight U.S. states, and held titles of Chief Mobilizing Officer and Managing Director with the organization. He helped create their 8th Grade Academy and Writing Coach Program and has worked to redefine how learning happens across the country using business collaborations and after-school programming. John is active in the TED community, having attended and spoken at numerous conferences. He introduced the Adventure concept to the TED organization. He has helped grow the presence of Adventures in the TED community, where participants visit sites of innovation to generate transformative collaboration and nourish lifelong learning. He has since programmed some 400 Adventures for over 10,000 people, and tapped and trained over 500 Adventure Catalysts from around the globe to put Adventures into practice. In 2012, John founded Ideas in Action, a nonprofit dedicated to innovation and community engagement; under its umbrella, he established TEDxBeaconStreet. To date, the organization has hosted five volunteer-run conferences and put 500+ innovators and inspirational speakers on stage. Each year, it attracts 2500+ attendees and features hands-on exhibits for all ages; the videos captured at TEDxBeaconStreet.com have been viewed by over 40 million people. Now, combining his insights from TED, MIT Media Lab, Citizen Schools, and his many other experiences, John sees the TED approach and Adventure programs as levers to revolutionize learning for children and adults. John’s has been named one of BostonInno’s “50 on Fire” in Boston 2013, one of the Top 10 Education Troublemakers by the Deconstructing Education Brick by Brick by Business Innovation Factory, and one of Boston’s Ten Outstanding Young Leaders in 2006. In Massachusetts, John served on the Governor’s Readiness Project, the Lt. Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, the WGBH Community Advisory Board, and the boards of many Boston education and youth organizations, including acting as past and current President of the Boston Hamilton Alumni Society. He was a Connector at Boston World Partnerships, a member of LeadBoston and City to City Leadership Exchange, one of ten Harvard University Loeb Fellows, and was featured in the E100 Network of ENTOVATION International Ltd. He has presented at TED University in Long Beach, CA, TEDGlobal in Edinburgh Scotland; the TEDxSummit in Doha, Qatar; a TEDxWorkshop in PalmSprings; the Intel Visionary Conference in Washington, D.C.; Google’s TechTalk in Cambridge, MA; the Business Innovation Factory (BIF) in Providence, RI; 100k in 10 in Washington, D.C.; and presented a paper he co-authored at the ISE IEEE conference at Princeton University, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy Institute conference, and the 2013 WISE World Summit, NYC. John graduated from Hamilton College, and was a Boston Public Schools teacher for four years, and principal of Wediko Children Services. He is an All-American Triathlete, having raced at the World Triathlete Championships four times; he and his wife Erika Alvarez Werner have three young children and live in Brookline, Massachusetts.