My name is John Lester, and my expertise and interests include Software Development, Product Management, Distributed Team Management, Online Communities, Community Development, Immersive Learning, Collaborative Learning, Knowledge Management, Artificial Life, Online Communities, Augmented Reality and Multiuser 3D Virtual Worlds.
I’m currently the Lead Technology Evangelist at Wiggle Planet, a small startup developing a new platform for emotionally-intelligent animated characters that live in the physical world through geolocation-based augmented reality. These characters, called “Wiglets,” incorporate artificial intelligence, virtual physics and genetic inheritance, and are ideal for educational applications, games and staged augmented reality events.
From 2010-2015, I was the Chief Learning Officer at ReactionGrid, developing 3D simulations and multiuser virtual world platforms. My primary focus at ReactionGrid was collaborative learning and instructional design, working with academic and business clients to develop immersive education environments.
From 2005-2010, I worked at Linden Lab, the creators of Second Life. At Linden Lab I led the development of the education and healthcare markets while evangelizing the innovative use of virtual worlds in research, art and immersive learning.
Previously, I worked at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, creating online medical education and patient support communities while exploring the underlying neuroscience behind how people effectively communicate and collaborate.
I have a background in neuroscience research and a deep interest in how to enhance education and collaboration through the development of successful online communities. Some of my active side projects involve working with Opensimulator to explore interconnected virtual worlds, experimenting with the Oculus Rift and other HMDs to enhance perceptual immersion, and building interactive 3d environments using the Unity platform.
I live in Montreal, commonly use the online nickname “Pathfinder,” and spend my free time playing with dogs, fixing old clocks and whispering to horses. You can also find me tinkering with my Pathlandia Opensim grid.
I’m always keeping an eye out for new career and contracting gigs where I can more broadly apply my skills in community development and knowledge/product management as well as my expertise in 3D environments. I also frequently give presentations and keynotes on these topics. Please contact me through LinkedIn if I can be of assistance.