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Oklahoma Creative Minds Selected to Attend 2014 Creativity World Forum in Belgium

Representing Oklahoma on the international stage, 17 Oklahoma creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial leaders have been selected to join the Districts of Creativity (DC) Network and Creative Oklahoma as ambassadors to the Creativity World Forum in Kortrijk, Belgium. The forum, which takes place November 4-6, will provide these Oklahomans in-depth networking, business-to-business opportunities and learning sessions with entrepreneurs, innovators and creativity advisors from around the world.

We need your help raising the necessary funds to cover the costs of this trip. Every member of the delegation has committed to funding at least a portion of their own expenses–but additional funds are needed to offset the costs of traveling from Oklahoma to Belgium. We’ve raised nearly two-thirds of our budgeted expenses–these last couple of weeks are crunch time. We will be good stewards of your funds! Remember, all donations are fully tax deductible. Please help now.

Representing a wide variety of creative pursuits, entrepreneurial disciplines and geographical regions within Oklahoma, these select few will also serve as ambassadors for Oklahoma, the only North American representative of the International Districts of Creativity Network.

“This trip is another milestone in the visionary journey of establishing Oklahoma as the creative hub of the Midwest,” said forum ambassador David King, CEO and founder of Exaptive, a computer software company. “Oklahoma has, over the last seven years, gone through a renaissance which has revitalized its downtowns, created new economies, and led to the explosion of new and quickly growing entrepreneurial and creative populations.”

From scientists to special effect makeup artists, these ambassadors will utilize the Creativity World Forum as a cross-cultural platform, showcasing and sharing the creative and innovative pursuits and accomplishments found throughout Oklahoma.

“It’s all about developing new relationships and expanding Oklahoma’s presence on the global stage,” Susan McCalmont, president of Creative Oklahoma, said. “Oklahomans have been proactive in transforming our state into a blossoming creative hub. Having a strong voice in the global conversation about the use of creativity and innovation in transforming our communities is a logical role for Oklahomans. The ambassadors were each selected because they lead by example – pushing the status quo. The relationships forged on this trip will further solidify the international perception that Oklahoma is a place that is thriving and continually looking to expand its support for innovative and creative entrepreneurial activities.”

While Creative Oklahoma and the DC Network will cover the cost of the forum and meals, there is currently a need to provide scholarships to the innovators and entrepreneurs to reimburse for approximately $36,000 in airfare and hotel expenses. Donations are currently being welcomed.

The Creativity World Forum is one of the world’s largest conferences focusing on entrepreneurial creativity and innovation. This year’s speakers include, Guy Kawasaki, Marion Debruyne, Marco Tempest, Robin Chase, Frans Johansson and Zaha Hadid.

All donations can be made to Creative Oklahoma at or by calling 405-232-5570 ext 3 and are fully tax deductible. Please be sure to note that your donation is for the “Creativity World Forum.”

For further information, contact Douglas Sorocco at 405-607-8600 or via

Forum Delegates

Justin Briggs
Accele BioPharma
Oklahoma City
I am an Oklahoma native, scientist, inventor, and technology executive with a decade of experience developing and commercializing biotech, nanotechnology, and software products. Currently I serve as Director at Accele BioPharma and Accele Venture Partners, a biotechnology accelerator and venture capital fund in Oklahoma City.

Nate Bright
I am an award winning make-up and special effects artist. I’ve worked on various films, events, stage shows, commercials, and strive to promote and better my community. As an Oklahoman, I am constantly working to showcase talented and innovative members of the movie and creative industries.

Benjamin Campbell
Native Soundstage
Oklahoma City
In recent years, I have developed a heart for entrepreneurship and now view it as the ultimate form of creativity. My first endeavor was opening an artist management and booking agency. My interactions in the independent music world have led me to find frustrating problems with the booking industry and now my primary focus is developing a platform that leverages technology to be an asset for everyone involved in these transactions. My goal through this new project is to do what I love; help more people do what they love. We’re in an amazing era in OKC where we’ve created an environment that fosters creativity and inspires people to rally together as a city and I count myself lucky to be along for the ride.

Carter Jarrett
OSU Entrepreneurial Student
I’m currently a student at Oklahoma State University majoring in Entrepreneurship, trying to get a startup rolling before I leave school. I have attempted and failed once prior, starting a mobile gaming studio at 16 and finally ending that venture at 18. I designed a game and hired a team comprised of US and international developers. After that, I knew that above all else I wanted to be able to dream up, blueprint, and build my ideas into thriving businesses.

John Kerber
Who’s On My Wifi
Oklahoma City
I run two businesses. The first one is a tech startup called Who’s On My Wifi that lets users know if an intruder has joined their wireless network. The second one is The 404 coworking space in Film Row in downtown Oklahoma City.

David King
Oklahoma City
I’m an MIT-educated serial tech entrepreneur. In 2011 I founded Exaptive. Its mission is to accelerate innovation through a cross-disciplinary data-exploration platform where tools and techniques from one domain can be easily reused and leveraged in other domains. Within the Exaptive platform, mental exaptations become the currency of a new type of social network: a “cognitive city” in which technology and people are leveraged together to produce new ideas ( Exaptive is growing quickly, with offices in Boston, Vancouver, and now OKC.

Cayla Lewis
Downtown OKC
Oklahoma City
I am the Community Relations Coordinator for Downtown OKC Inc. as well as a working artist and community development leader. I collect information, resources, and news as I create new connections and networks. I then work to share and connect this information for the betterment of Oklahomans – whether it is rallying a neighborhood district to improve the local school playground or coordinating the monthly local business roundtables, creativity and innovation is part of everything that I do.

Chad Mount
Tribalbot, Inc.
Oklahoma City
I am a professional artist who is not limited by just one medium or outlet. I create for both the commercial arts as well as fine arts. I presently am innovating new ways of blending science with art via the exploration of cymatics as another tool to paint with. I film the process which I call Blooming Currents and have been taking that footage and integrating it with the ever emerging 3D video mapping tools. It’s a really exciting time to be a techno-art-geek innovator type.

Mimi Nguyen
Oklahoma City
Mimi Nguyen is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma’s Price College of Business. Upon graduation, she spent several years working in Salt Lake City at Goldman Sachs. In the past several months, Mimi left her job at Goldman to become the CFO at Vakargo, an online crowdshipping company based in OKC. Mimi enjoys outdoor activities and keeping it real.

Kyle Roberts
The Posthuman Project
I am an Emmy Award-winning director with over 10 years of experience and own Reckless Abandonment Pictures LLC, an independent motion picture company based in Oklahoma City, OK. In 2014, I completed my first feature length film shot entirely in Oklahoma – ‘The Posthuman Project’ – which was a truly unique production, a family friendly superhero action movie written, directed and produced completely by Oklahomans. The cast and crew were also from Oklahoma and the soundtrack is a list of the best Oklahoma musicians working today.

Chris Shilling
Stephenson Cancer Center
Oklahoma City
I have an MBA from Harvard Business School and work with the Stephenson Cancer Center translating world-class cancer treatments into educational information to be shared with the world. I am also work with Appable to bring innovation into the health care industry to make patient-centered care more tangible.

Lisa Snell
Native American Times
I am Oklahoma’s only independently owned and operated source of Native American news and features. Over the last year, I’ve taken it upon myself to launch Native Oklahoma Magazine to bring the stories of our Native peoples to life and encourage people to visit Oklahoma and experience the REAL Native America.

Jonathan Stranger
Oklahoma City
I was born and raised here in Oklahoma and truly believe in the growth of our state through arts, culture, and they way we can weave these into our economic growth. Upon returning home in 2010 I opened Ludivine Restaurant in Midtown Oklahoma City. I knew it was different way of dining and eating in OKC, but if I at least made people look at food and dining differently as a whole experience from the farm to body, then we would have succeeded.

Mona Vaughn
Oklahoma City
I was born an only child to a single, working mother who was also studying to obtain her Master’s Degree. This kind of ambition and hard work really shaped who I am today. Through my career and hobbies, I’m always trying to make a positive impact on the community around me. After graduating from OU, I taught Creative Writing at Classen School of Advanced Studies for one year. Directly after, I moved to Northern California to join the startup community as Creative Director of New Media at a citizen-journalism media outlet. After several years at The Sacramento Press, I decided to return home and bring some of the digital community back with me by creating my own startup here in OKC. When I’m not burning the midnight oil at, I work at the intersection of creative and digital as Account Executive at the Emmy Award-winning local agency, Funnel Design Group.

Chris Wylie
Buffalo Hide Mastering
Buffalo Hide Mastering is a dedicated audio mastering studio in Tulsa. To the best of my knowledge, it is the only studio of its kind in the state, with specialty equipment and an exclusive focus on the art and science of mastering. I created Buffalo Hide to fit a niche and provide Oklahoma artists with a local option for mastering services. I hope to encourage an environment in which local musicians, bands and artists thrive because they have access to an Oklahoma-based music-making infrastructure.

Tommy Yi
The 404, LLC/Projekt202
Oklahoma City
I am the co-founder of the 404 Community Space located in Film Row. I was also one of three co-founders of the Oklahoma Co-Working Collaborative (okcCoCo), which was the first co-working facility in Oklahoma City and possibly the state of Oklahoma. The 404 is focused on improving the technical, creative and entrepreneurial opportunities, resources and community in Oklahoma City. I am also the Director of User Experience Design for a design research and innovation company called Projekt202, which has offices in Oklahoma City, Dallas, Austin, Seattle and satellite offices spread throughout the US and Europe.

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