Free Machine is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that develops creative programs to shape a high-tech future that is equitable, abundant, and sustainable.

What we do

We are an LA-based collective of artists, designers, urban planners, and policy wonks aiming to reshape the dominant narratives around technology, the public domain, and civic engagement using the tools of art and culture.

We create experiences that engage and challenge the public to collectively imagine possible futures where the fruits of emergent technologies are democratically owned. Our work is designed to generate the imaginative and emotional energy necessary to power institutional and policy change toward democratic oversight and ownership of technology.

The relationship between policy and creative practice is paramount to Free Machine’s approach: storytelling drives culture, and culture drives policy. Our work lives at this exciting nexus of tech, policy, and culture with the goal of unleashing an abundant, sustainable future for all.

Why we exist

Artificial intelligence and other emergent technologies are already beginning to change how humans live, interact, and thrive. These technologies will reshape society in our lifetimes and generate vast amounts of wealth. Who will enjoy the privileges of this new era of machine-produced abundance? Whoever owns the machines. Our goal is to orient society toward ensuring that this next generation of machines benefits everyone― not just an elite few.

What values do we embrace as a society? How do we collectively create a future based upon them, particularly in light of the uncertainties around automation and climate change? How do we become empowered to do so? What types of policies will facilitate these visions and goals? These are big questions, but Free Machine believes we each have a crucial role to play in answering them.

Let’s build the future together.

Our team

We are a collective of pragmatic idealists based in Los Angeles.

Ben Gansky
Ben Gansky translates complex concepts into imaginative, accessible, and emotionally-rich experiences. Drawing on his background in community organizing, game design, theatre, critical theory, and media production, Gansky conceives, designs, and operates projects and programs that vivify the intersection of emerging technologies, progressive politics, and culture. He holds an MFA in Directing from Carnegie Mellon University.
Ben Gansky
Michael Martin
Michael Martin is Free Machine's Director of Public Policy. A city planner by trade, he is currently the Head of Communities at SignalFire, an AI-driven, early-stage venture capital fund. Previously, he managed the AI XPRIZE and led Global Community Relations at the XPRIZE Foundation. He holds a Masters in Urban Planning from the University of New Orleans and a B.A. in Political Science from Pace University.
Michael Martin
Veronica Moonhill
Veronica Moonhill is an actress, filmmaker and entrepreneur. She is constantly working to find new ways for people to connect to one another, and create the opportunity for a shift in perspective. Having trained in theater, she is most interested in finding a way for this ancient art form to transform and join with digital media technology to create bold new forms and mediums.
Veronica Moonhill
Colleen Pulawski
Colleen Pulawski is a food systems advocate, chef, and artist. She cooks privately across LA and serves with organizations that address food justice, waste, and sustainability, including LA Kitchen, where she also works as the Garden Steward. Colleen is formally trained as an actor and collaborative creator and received her BFA in Acting from Carnegie Mellon University.
Colleen Pulawski
Max Silverman
Max Silverman is a product leader, creative producer and photographer. He is a co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Seed&Spark, a crowdsourced film & TV studio. He's also the author of Capitalism is a Myth, a bi-monthly newsletter that examines our current socioeconomic system from alternative perspectives. He holds a BS in Industrial Engineering and Economics from Northwestern University.
Max Silverman
Blessing Yen
Blessing Yen is a designer, producer and director. Along with her partner, James Kaelan, she has co-directed and produced, amongst other works, the VR narrative "The Visitor" (Slamdance '16, SFIFF '16, AFI FEST '16) and the feature film, EEL (AFF Wroclaw '14, Sarasota '15). She currently teaches Design for User Experience at USC, and serves as Chief Design Officer for the crowdfunding and streaming platform, Seed&Spark.
Blessing Yen

Our advisors

We’re enlisting a diverse group of bright minds to support and challenge us along the way.

Kenny Bailey
Kenneth Bailey is an Urban Designer and founder of Design Studio for Social Intervention (DS4SI). Devoted to the improvement of civil society and everyday life, DS4SI operates at the intersections of design thinking and practice, social justice and activism, public art and social practice, and civic/popular engagement, designing and testing social interventions with and on behalf of marginalized populations, controversies, and ways of life.
Kenneth Bailey
Emily Best
Emily Best is the Founder and CEO of Seed&Spark, a creative marketplace built to diversify entertainment, with the long-term goal of fixing what's broken between people using the empathy-building power of storytelling. She writes regularly about empathy and equity in entertainment, technology and beyond.
Emily Best
Anmol Chaddha
Anmol Chaddha leads the Equitable Futures Lab at the Institute for the Future, which considers how economic and technological transformations may create opportunities to address social inequality. Prior, he developed policy and research at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston on the problems of economic inequality. He has been a visiting scholar at the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality and the African Centre for Cities at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Anmol holds a PhD from Harvard and a BA from UC, Berkeley.
Anmol Chaddha
David Chai
David Chai brings deep experience in politics, communication and management. He served in President Clinton’s White House; worked on Al Gore's presidential campaign, senior staff to former US Ambassador to China Gary Locke, a variety of policy roles for the governors of California, Washington and Pennsylvania; and he served in senior management positions under the mayors of New York Michael Bloomberg, San Francisco Gavin Newsom and chief of staff to Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums.
David Chai
David Danks
David Danks is L.L. Thurstone Professor of Philosophy & Psychology, and Head of the Dept of Philosophy, at Carnegie Mellon University. He studies the intersection of philosophy, cognitive science, and machine learning, using ideas and methods from each to advance understanding of complex, interdisciplinary problems. He has examined the ethical, psychological, and policy issues around AI & robotics in transportation, healthcare, privacy & security.
David Danks
Cory Doctorow
Cory Doctorow (craphound.com) is a science fiction author, activist and journalist — the co-editor of Boing Boing (boingboing.net) and the author of many books, most recently WALKAWAY, a novel for adults, IN REAL LIFE, a graphic novel; INFORMATION DOESN’T WANT TO BE FREE, a book about earning a living in the Internet age, and HOMELAND, a YA sequel to LITTLE BROTHER.
Cory Doctorow
Marina Gorbis
Marina Gorbis is a futurist and social scientist who serves as executive director to the Institute for the Future (IFTF), a Silicon Valley nonprofit research and consulting organization. In her 19 years with IFTF, Marina has brought a futures perspective to hundreds of organizations in business, education, government and philanthropy to improve innovation capacity, develop strategies, and design new products and services.
Marina Gorbis
Mina J Hanna
Mina J Hanna is a senior software consultant at Synopsys, Inc., the current Chair of the IEEE-USA Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems Policy Committee, the current Vice Chair of the IEEE-USA Research and Development Policy Committee and the Chair of the IEEE Central Texas Section Government Relations, Policy and Regulations Committee.
Mina J Hanna
Erin LeDell
Erin LeDell is the Chief Machine Learning Scientist at H2O.ai, where she leads the development of an open source, automatic machine learning (AutoML) platform. Before joining H2O.ai, she worked as a data scientist and software engineer and founded DataScientific, Inc. She's also the founder of a non-profit advocacy organization, Women in Machine Learning & Data Science (WiMLDS.org). She received her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley where her research focused on machine learning.
Erin LeDell
Vivienne Lee
Vivienne Lee is a Principal Consultant leading REDFworkshop.org, a national learning and engagement platform for employment social enterprises. With expertise in nonprofits and philanthropy, Vivienne consults with governments, nonprofits, and foundations to assess challenges, identify solutions, and design systems in which to execute with impact. Previously, Vivienne led Citibank’s community development efforts managing a philanthropic portfolio of LA grantees.
Vivienne Lee
Cadwell Turnbull
Cadwell Turnbull is a speculative fiction writer. His short fiction has appeared in The Verge, Lightspeed, Nightmare, and Asimov’s Science Fiction. His short story “Loneliness is in Your Blood” was selected for The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2018. His debut novel, The Lesson, is forthcoming from Blackstone Publishing. He currently lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.
Cadwell Turnbull

Free Machine is building a coalition of partners with diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and expertise to leverage our culture-making toolkit into progressive policy change and build a more truly democratic future.

We welcome inquiries and are actively expanding our network of collaborators! Say hi at info@freemachine.org!