Nonny De La Pena is the acclaimed godmother of virtual reality. An extremely influential figure in immersive journalism, her contributions to the advancement of immersive technology, such as AI and VR, have seen her regularly featured in prominent publications, including Fast Company, WIRED, and The Guardian. She is the Founding Director of the Center for Emerging Media and Narrative at Arizona State University and the CEO of Emblematic Group, where she conducts innovative work in the Extended Reality domain. Now available to hire as a speaker, Nonny delivers thought-provoking presentations on immersive technology, captivating audiences with the latest industry developments.
In 1980, she earned a BA in Sociology and Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University before initiating her career as a Correspondent for Newsweek. Nonny became a freelance journalist with the Science Times in 2007, and went on to complete an MA in Online Communities at the University of Southern California the following year. She then co-founded Stoome.com and became a Senior Research Fellow in Immersive Journalism at the USC Annenberg School of Journalism, where she researched and prototyped immersive journalism and explored non-fiction, news, and documentary in 3D virtual spaces.
In 2011, Nonny founded the Emblematic Group, boasting leading clients such as ATT, PBS, NOVA, and Google. At the helm of the organisation, her team is at the forefront of innovation in the Extended Reality domain and is known for developing REACH.Love, a cutting-edge web platform that makes Extended Reality technology accessible to anyone. Acknowledging her contributions to Extended Reality, she was named WSJ Technology Innovator of the Year and one of the People Who Made the World More Creative by Fast Company. She is also included on the list of the 20 Most Influential Latinos in Tech by CNET and is the winner of the Knight Foundation Innovation Award.
Nonny is also a Fellow at Yale Poynter Media, a New American Fellow, and a member of the BAFTA virtual reality board. Internationally recognised as an authority in Extended Reality, she is widely credited with pioneering immersive journalism, an innovative genre of journalism that has seen her collaborate with global media platforms, such as Al Jazeera, Associated Press, the World Economic Forum, and The New York Times. A highly sought-after speaker on the future of immersive technology in journalism, Nonny is a highly prized speaker.
Nonny De La Pena is regularly booked to engage audiences at events, read their latest feedback below:
“Nonny inspires all of us to see the potential impact and future of immersive storytelling. Her team admires and respects her in a way that even the best founders and CEOs would kill for. Nonny will continue to make the world a better and more entertaining place to live in through the power of storytelling and technology.”
“Nonny is a visionary and legend in the virtual reality industry. She is a pioneer in creating VR journalism and has the talent and ability to tell stories that move people to tears. I have had the honour of working with her as an investor in Emblematic Group, and have watched her build, problem solve, speak and persist despite the odds. Nonny brings social awareness and consciousness to this new technology platform and continues to create pieces that inspire. In a male-dominated industry, Nonny not only persists but clearly rises above others as a thought leader in the space. I look up to her and look forward to watching her and her company grow!”