San Francisco and Los Angeles


See the schedule of the Virtual Reality and Wearables For News Study Tour that took place from September 20 - 26

Sunday, 20 September – San Francisco

Arrival at Hotel Triton342 Grant Ave, San Francisco.

7pm | meeting at hotel lobby for a 7.30pm welcome dinner to meet fellow participants and discuss the study tour. 


Monday, 21 September – Silicon Valley

8.30am VRSE Breakfast with Drew Larner, COO, VRSE. With a background in both filmmaking and technology Drew has decided to join Vrse.works – one of the leading VR companies from music, arts, film and short form commercials. We’ll kick off the study tour with a Q&A on why Drew has moved into this area and where he sees the opportunities for media & entertainment. Location: San Francisco

11:30am Jaunt VR | Meet with David Anderman, Chief Business Officer, and Miles Perkins, VP of Marketing Communications at Jaunt VR. Jaunt VR have run projects with Elle Magazine, Yahoo! and others. Ringer and Axel Springer both see opportunities and have invested accordingly. Location: 300 Hamilton Ave, Palo Alto

12:45pm Watchup at The Village Pub | Lunch with Adriano Ferraro, Founder and CEO, Watchup. WatchUp is a streaming service designed entirely for watching news, allowing the build of personal newscasts. Their smart watch app has had rave reviews and has won awards from the Knight News Challenge and MIT Media Lab.

2-3pm Justin Ferrell, Stanford University | Meeting with Justin Ferrell, d School, Stanford University Fellowships Director at the Institute of Design at Stanford University, aka "the d.school" . Location: 450 Serra Mall, Stanford

3.30pm Knight Fellows, Stanford University | A tour of the VR Lab at StanfordEach year, Knight Fellows at Stanford are chosen to work on a specific project contributing to the future of news. We’ll be talking to those focusing on wearables to understand why they chose this area, what they have learnt and how they believe their projects will help shape the future of news. Location: 450 Serra Mall, Stanford 

7.30pm Dinner with David Gehring, VP Partnerships of Guardian News & Media, and one of founding partners for Google Digital News Initiative. | Learn how the Guardian is tackling partnerships with Silicon Valley to stay ahead of the game. 

Virtual Reality trial 

Tuesday, 22 September – San Francisco

9.30am Nate Robinson, Founder & Executive Creative Director, Tactic | Tactic consults on technology applications and creative opportunities in emerging media. They make experiences and experiential content of every type and will take us through their learnings to date, and what they see for the future. Location: 1025 Battery Street San Francisco 

11am Virtually Live | Meet with Tom Impallomeni, CEO of Virtually Live. The company signifies a new age in global media; a patented interactive media that sits between attending a live event and watching it on TV; a new form of content, realisable on any device.  It enables everyone to experience the magic of attending live sports and events, no matter where they are. Location: We Work SOMA, 156 2nd St, San Francisco

1pm Lunch in Silicon Valley with Chris Jo, Sr. Director Samsung Software Services and Gilles Raymond, CEO, News Republic | Samsung has launched wearable products successfully and will soon be moving into VR. Andreas will join us for breakfast and we’ll talk to him about the future of Samsung products in this space. 

3pm Matterport | Meet with Matt Bell, Founder of Matterport: a startup with a developing story around how to use VR tech in the context of news storytelling. They are already doing some interesting pilot projects with major news outlets in the US. By September, this could be the most cohesive story about applying VR to news media. Learn how to create gripping VR experiences with this leader in the field. Location: 140A S Whisman Rd, Mountain View 

Background reading
The Associated Press, The Suite Life
The National Parks Conservancy documented, Ai Weiwei's art installation at Alcatraz  

7pm Dinner with Jigar Mehta, Engagement Lead at AJ+ | AJ+ content is video focused. How does David see VR impacting how content is produced and distributed for AJ+ and other modern media companies? Location: 660 Howard St, San Francisco

LA building

Wednesday, 23 September – Los Angeles

Morning flight to Los Angeles

12.30pm Lunch in Cross Campus: Immersive Imaging with VR Entrepreneurs Cross Campus is a co-working space that house many innovative start-ups. We will have a round table discussion over lunch with: Jens Kull, Cosmo Sharf, and Ctrl.me Founder Simon.

3pm Visit Ctrl.me with Alex Gibson | Learn more about the use, and potential, of drones in VR including live demos. Location: 606 Venice Blvd, Suite E, Venice, CA 90291, USA

5pm arrival at the Crescent Hotel403 North Crescent Drive, Beverly Hills 

6pm Crescent Hotel | Meet with Tom Kent, Standards Editor, and Paul Cheung, Director of Interactive, AP, to discuss ethics and legal issues around VR. 

Optional: 8pm Kaleidoscope VR Film Festival


circle of people

Thursday, 24 September – Los Angeles 

9am, Meet with Robert Hernandez, USC Annenberg School of Journalism, at Crescent Hotel | Robert Hernandez is dedicated to preparing journalists who can do multi-platform work, teaching them how to reach and create audiences and think critically about how multi-platform work can be supported. He will provide a hands-on demonstration and discussion of the new technologies and partnerships he is working with.

10:30pm YouTube, new VR Hub, Los Angeles | Meet with Liam Collins, Head of YouTube new VR hub, Los Angeles. YouTube is setting up a VR hub in LA, soon to be launched. This will take us on a guided tour of the hub and explain what YouTube’s plans are in this area. This will help you plan how to take your YouTube channel to the next level, ahead of the competition. Location: 12422 West Bluff Creek Drive, Los Angeles

12:15pm | Lunch 

 1pm  Alex Rosenfeld, Founder & CEO, Vrideo Founded in 2014 to address the needs of the growing community of producers looking to distribute immersive video and the growing audience of consumers looking to discover immersive video. Vrideo is building a centralized, streaming, hardware-agnostic, and independent platform for immersive video. They are backed by leading media-focused venture capital firms in Los Angeles and New York. 
Location: Santa Monica

2:30pm Emblematic Group, Santa Monica | Meet with Nonny de la Peña, dubbed "The Godmother of VR"​ by Engadet and "One of the People Who Made the World More Creative"​ by Fast Company. Emblematic Group develop immersive journalism pieces, which use virtual reality to put you on the scene as news and non-fiction stories unfold. Nonny will also tell us how Emblematic Group are addressing monetization issues early on by creating native advertising to support this immersive journalism. Location: 1947 Euclid Street, Santa Monica 

Examples of ONA Conference sessions you can attend on this day:  

4.30pm | Plunging into the Dark Net
4.30pm | Revenue Review
4.30pm | Moving the Needle 

6pm | ONA Conference Reception  

Evening: Free 

 Image of Building

 Friday, 25 September – Los Angeles

8am Breakfast at Crescent Hotel | Start the morning with a breakfast conversation with Dan Pacheco, Horvitz Chair in Journalism Innovation at the S.I. Newhouse School, Syracuse University.

Examples of ONA Conference sessions you can attend on this day:

10am Table Talks
1:30pm What Journalists can Learn from Game Designers
3pm Solving for News: Real World Lessons from Start Ups
5pm Breeze Lawn Reception

 Men in suits talking

7pm Wrap Up Dinner. Location to be confirmed

 Saturday, 26 September – Los Angeles

Examples of ONA Conference sessions you can attend on this day:

10am Flying into New Territories with Drone Journalism
11:30am The Journo Tech Community has Evolved, But How?

Flights back