Dogtown Media Talks Tech With Members of the Marshall Memorial Fellowship

March 20, 2018 - 5 minutes read

mobile app developer

At Dogtown Media, we’re absolutely obsessed with the future! We love to learn, ponder, and think of ways to build a better one every day. This forward-focused mentality extends well beyond mobile app development and even technology as a whole.

Last week, we had the opportunity to host members of the Marshall Memorial Fellowship at our office and talk tech with them. It was an extremely enlightening event as well as an honor to open a dialogue with some of the leaders of tomorrow!

The Future Is About Building Bridges

The Marshall Memorial Fellowship (MMF) is the premier leadership development program of the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), a public policy think tank and institution that focuses on strengthening North American and European relations. The MMF was started in 1982 to prepare leaders for transatlantic relations.

We had the pleasure of having six fellows from the program visit our L.A. development studio: Adam Bihari, a TV reporter for Hungarian news channel HírTV; Nadja El Fertasi, the Stakeholder Engagement Senior Executive Coordinator for the NATO Communications and Information Agency; Jens Joel, Member of the Danish Parliament; Jochen Leufgens, a political editor and reporter for Germany’s largest broadcasting network, ARD; Katarzyna Przybyla, an international conflict and policy analyst at the National Security Bureau of Poland; and Dimitrios Tsingos, an early-stage investor and tech entrepreneur from Athens, Greece.

The group had embarked on a trip across the United States to gain an unparalleled perspective on current affairs. Their weeklong stay in L.A. was meant to give them a glimpse into the various factors shaping the region. They had the chance to explore a variety of topics in various venues, including entertainment at Culver Studios, homelessness at L.A.’s Downtown Women’s Center, social enterprise at L.A. Kitchen, and the legalization of cannabis with the County of Los Angeles.

Technology Is the Foundation of the Future

Technology plays an integral role in modern society. Given the emergence of Silicon Beach and the multitude of tech companies it encompasses, it was an absolute necessity to round out the MMF group’s visit with a deep-dive into this burgeoning part of Los Angeles.

Lauren Klymshyn, our Director of Operations, briefed the fellows on Dogtown Media itself, more specifically, how we came to be, our main goal of making products with purpose, our strategic location in Venice, and some of the cool endeavors and clients we get to work with during our day-to-day.

Kim Calderone, one of our UX and UI designers, discussed the vital role of user testing in technology creation. Feedback is crucial to understanding and shaping how we use technology in our lives. It’s often the stage where assumptions become validated, cumbersome pain points can be identified and dealt with, and the product becomes something that users will actually like to use.

Brianna Price, another one of our UX/UI designers, took us “under the hood” of the process of developing Roadtrip Nation, a career guidance app. There’s a big difference between making an average app and making an awesome app, and Brianna helped the MMF group understand how our nuanced procedure methodically produces extraordinary results.

Last but not least, Sean McCue, our VP of Engineering, gave a live tech demo of some of the capabilities that augmented reality brings to the app development space. The trip wouldn’t be complete without showing off some possibilities for the near future of AR; not only did the MMF group get to have some fun during this segment, but they also got a chance to see some features that will probably be coming to a phone near you soon.

Getting a visit from the Marshall Memorial Fellowship will definitely be one of our major highlights for 2018, and we’d gladly have the group back anytime! We’d like to give a special thanks to Taleen Ananian, the L.A. coordinator for the German Marshall Fund of the United States, for making all of this possible!

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