Global All-Stars Innovators Showcase 2018: Speaker Spotlight

Published 6/14/18
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Destination Storytelling, Placemaking & Technology

We are thrilled to introduce the speakers for the Global All-Stars Innovators Showcase 2018! Now in its 7th year as a platform for new ideas and innovation from around the world, this mainstage session brings together three speakers and three critical trends that are reshaping destinations and travel. At this Destinations International Annual Convention Mainstage Session, join us as we go on a global storytelling journey with Airbnb, learning about the elements that drive their most compelling and buzzworthy content; hear from a world leading urban architect on the latest trends in “placemaking,” reimagining downtown and public spaces to benefit visitors, locals and businesses; see how Google is working with destinations and community groups across the globe to add 360 content and other critical mapping information. We are honored that Cassidy Blackwell, Alan Boniface and Stafford Marquardt are our speakers this year and are excited for them to share their insights and expertise.

Cassidy Blackwell
Director of Strategic Projects, Public Affairs, Airbnb

Cassidy Blackwell is the Director of Strategic Projects on the Airbnb Public Affairs team.  In her role, she is responsible for leading the proactive strategic initiatives that not only support the advancement of global policy goals, but also by extension, greater business objectives. In her tenure as a marketing and communications professional, Cassidy has experience in working in both tech, CPG, retail and philanthropy, with specialized experience in empowering women, people of color and other underserved communities around the world. Cassidy has been named one of Fast Company's Most Creative People in Business, Brand Innovator's 40 Under 40 and a finalist for the Sage Group's Marketers Who Matter. 

Cassidy will take us on a global journey of destination storytelling, showcasing how Airbnb drives healthy tourism, promotes a more open world and builds trust that serves to fulfill the mission that anyone can belong anywhere through content. Drawing on results from Airbnb content that has generated great awareness, buzz and engagement, Cassidy will share elements that drive compelling content in addition to several best practices that can be applied to destinations’ own communication programs

Alan Boniface
Partner, DIALOG

Alan is recognized as a leading thinker on urban issues. His experience with large mixed-use projects, unique sustainable architecture and public space design all contribute to an innovative approach to city-making. Alan is a frequent contributor to conferences and roundtables in the U.S. and Canada where urban thinking is being re-shaped. Alan has contributed to projects in many jurisdictions, including Beijing, Shenyang, Los Angeles, Memphis, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, San Francisco, Portland, and New York. Alan’s experience spans all project types from commercial to residential with a particular expertise in urban mixed-use. Alan is the past chair of the Vancouver Planning Commission and the Vancouver District Council of the Urban Land Institute. In addition to current design projects in Vancouver, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Denver and Memphis, Alan is helping re-shape the planning process itself with an eye towards making people-oriented, sustainable communities that can adapt and prosper through time.

Being at the forefront of placemaking, Alan’s presentation will share insights into how to design and transform extraordinary cities and destinations into something more. He’ll introduce us to factors that create these vibrant communities and how DMOs can play a role in the process. 

Stafford Marquardt
Product Manger, Google Street View 

Stafford is a Product Manager with Google Street View, where his focus is on turning Street View into a platform to which everyone can contribute - thereby making every corner of the globe available to explore.  In previous roles at Google, he managed Google My Maps, Google Earth Pro, and other projects within the Maps family.  On the side, he leads the "20% project" to visualize the Moon, Mars, and other planets in Google Earth.

In the mainstage session, Stafford will be discussing Street View across many destinations. His presentation will provide an accurate, rich and immersive look into mapping that everyone can use from community development to tourism and disaster preparedness. 


For more information on Global All-Stars, visit