Program Information

Almost all of us are conducting transactions and accessing private data of some kind online.  And in order to do so we must have a way to prove our identity and authenticate ourselves.

But who are we?

Identifying ourselves was once rather simple.  We could provide a social security number or drivers license number to prove our identity.  But we are no longer just the static identifiers that we have been assigned.  We are our behaviors, our knowledge and our physical selves.

So, what’s the best way to identify someone?   And is there a way for us to manage our identity and have control?

At some point there has to be the ability to establish trust (or not).

This is not just a human dilemma. There are all kinds of devices connected to the Internet.  Do they have identities?  And with many of them performing critical functions and containing private data, how do we manage who has access?

Come join us Wednesday, September 18 to discuss the concept of Identity in the digital world and how it impacts each and every one of us.

We will hear from industry experts:  Airbnb, an online marketplace and hospitality service brokerage company; Allthenticate, a provider of single device authentication: The Purple Tornado, strategic intelligence firm with a specialization in identity; and Zymbit, provider of security modules for IoT devices.

This program will be moderated by Central Coast MIT Enterprise Forum Board Member, Kathy Chill.


  • Paolo Parigi, Lead Trust Scientist, Airbnb
  • Chad Spensky, CEO, Allthenticate
  • Heather Vescent, Founder, The Purple Tornado
  • Phil Strong, CEO, Zymbit


About the Speakers

PAOLO PARIGI, Lead Trust Scientist, Airbnb

Paolo Parigi is the Lead Trust Scientist at Airbnb and the Associate Director for Computational Social Science at IRiSS, Stanford University. Paolo uses computational techniques and methods to issues of exchange and trust in the “sharing economy”. His published work has appeared on PNAS, The American Journal of Sociology, PLoS 1 and several others academic journals.

In his own words, “I have always been curious and the fact that I have lived in many different places in my life has contributed significantly in increasing my sense of curiosity. Adding to these geographic moves, I have also had a vast array of experiences—from picking grapes in the Chianti to support myself to become a librarian in New Orleans to finally get to Stanford. Florence, New York and Rome all fall in between. These experiences and my geographic mobility have both allowed me to meet people not just from different parts of the world but with very heterogeneous backgrounds. I believe that my non standard life plays a large role in feeding the imagination behind my research questions. In 2016, I jumped from Academia to industry. I started working at Uber doing research on trust. After almost 2 years there, I joined the research team of Airbnb with the overarching goal of spearheading more research on the importance of trust.”


CHAD SPENSKY, CEO, Allthenticate

Chad is a computer security researcher, entrepreneur, and educator who is passionate about using technology to make people’s lives easier and their digital systems more secure. Chad has over 10 years of experience of research experience and is a lifetime hacker. Currently, he is a Ph.D. student at UCSB, focusing on securing and analyzing embedded systems, an external consultant for MIT Lincoln Laboratory, where he helps the DoD with some of their toughest cyber security problems, and the founder of Allthenticate, a company that turns smartphones in a powerful authentication device for enterprises.


HEATHER VESCENT, Founder, The Purple Tornado

Heather Vescent owns and operates The Purple Tornado, a foresight and strategic intelligence consultancy. Vescent has delivered research insights to governments and corporations in digital identity, military learning, payments, transactions, and new economic models. She is the writer/producer of 14 documentaries and short films about future technology. Her clients include US & UK governments, SWIFT, Disney, IEEE, mid-size companies and start-ups. Her research has been covered in the New York Times, CNN, American Banker, CNBC, Fox, and the Atlantic. She is an author of the Cyber Attack Survival Manual, published by Weldon-Owen. Her work has won multiple awards from the Association o.f Professional Futurists



Phil Strong is the CEO and co-founder of Zymbit, a business that provides cyberphysical security technology to IoT and edge-compute customers around the world.

He is a self-diagnosed entrepreneur who has founded several industrial technology companies and led the growth and successful sale of businesses to ABB and Danaher. Phil served as CEO at Motion Engineering and as an operating President with Danaher Motion, before returning to his roots as an innovator and builder of early stage technology businesses.

Phil earned his BS in physics and MS in industrial automation in the UK, and an MBA in international business and entrepreneurship in France. He is a Fellow of the Sainsbury Management Foundation and a Professional Engineer, and has served on boards of several venture and private equity backed companies.



KATHY CHILL, Board Member, MIT Enterprise Forum

Kathy is founder and President of Chill Strategic Partners, a firm specializing in go-to-market services for technology companies around the world.  Established in 2013, the company provides both strategic guidance and hands-on operational support and has helped its clients successfully enter new markets, launch new products and optimize existing revenue streams.  Clients include early stage start-ups, growth companies as well as established public and private companies.  Kathy is a senior executive with over 22 years in the technology industry, including global focus on business development, product marketing and sales across multiple industries.  Prior to founding Chill Strategic Partners, and during a decade at the SaaS division of Citrix, she grew revenue from $30M to $511M to help Citrix become one of the ten larges SaaS companies in the world.  Kathy previously led marketing and business development for a firm specializing in building wireless communications networks and data centers and was responsible for generating more than $90M in revenue for the company.  Kathy holds a B.A. in Business Management from Antioch University.

Ticket Information

When:  Wednesday, September 18, 2019, 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Where: 670 Mission Canyon Rd., Santa Barbara, CA 93105


  • Student: $15.00
  • General-Early-Bird (online only): $30.00
    Sign up now & save $10 off general walk-in rate. Offer ends Monday, September 16 at 10 p.m.
  • General-Walk-in: $40.00
  • Parking: FREE


  • 5:00 – 6:00 Networking Hour, Online Check-in & Registration for Walk-ins
  • 6:00 – 7:30 Presentation/Panelist Discussion
  • 7:30 – 8:00 Q&A

Tickets include appetizers and refreshments for both online and walk-in registrants. (Beer or wine separate– cash, pre-paid online or at door.)

If you miss the Online Early-Bird Offer, we welcome guests on the day of the event at the Walk-in rate. (Online rate not applicable.) 

Online event registration is for Identity powered by Eventbrite
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