Dr. Johanna Brewer is a technology design activist. Their research explores how marginalized communities are challenging surveillance capitalism and their design practice aims to increase inclusion on media platforms.

Currently the Director of Research for AnyKey and co-founder of Neta Snook, Dr. Brewer has previously led start-ups, such as frestyl and Rhomby, and held positions at MIT, WBUR, Intel, UC Irvine, ETH Zürich, Mass General Hospital, and Boston University.


2020 - Now
Director of Research, AnyKey
Assisted in the transformation of a well-established initiative into an independent non-profit organization that works to create equitable and welcoming spaces in competitive gaming and live streaming through research-driven advocacy, education, and outreach.
2019 - 2020
Research Associate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Designed and piloted an Inclusion 101 training curriculum to increase diversity and equity in collegiate esports. Developed and deployed a new interactive site for the GLHF pledge to support inclusion online which has been signed by over 875,000 gamers.
2016 - Now
Co-Founder, Neta Snook
Established a benefit corporation whose mission is to create new media and technologies that promote a diverse society. Designed, developed and deployed a variety of public interventions powered by The Food Rainbow, a simple nutritional visualization. Produced experimental ethnographically-driven media campaign exploring insights from leaders in sustainability management. Currently, conducting a multi-sited ethnographic study of how video game streamers create inclusive spaces online.
2015 - 2018
CTO & Co-Founder, NIKA Laboratories
Designed, developed and deployed Rhomby, a presence awareness system for the luxury home automation market. Rhomby was made available to resellers in an open, public beta.
2015 - 2017
Data Science & Operations Consultant, WBUR

Led large-scale participatory research project with 36 members of the station's newsroom, conducting most extensive ethnographic study of WBUR's audience to date. Produced 160-page Opportunity Report book presenting results of study. Developed and deployed interactive email podcast that received a regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Innovation.

Performed an ethnographic study of organizational data gathering practices and presented analytics audit report detailing findings. Drafted and led operations upgrade process with senior management to incorporate measurement and feedback cycles into daily workflow. Designed, developed and deployed internal analytics dashboard to unify key station metrics in one shared interface.

2014 - 2015
CTO & Co-Founder, Brewer Science & Technology
Designed and developed prototype of a cloud-based service allowing large entities to monitor and reduce their climate impact by performing data analytics on their utility bills.
2014 - 2015
Chief Architect, Koncerted
Defined use case scenarios, designed user interface experiences and developed architecture plans for an interactive home system.
2009 - 2014
CEO & Co-Founder, frestyl

Designed, developed and deployed frestyl, a live music discovery and promotion service. Launched in Rome in 2010, frestyl became the most comprehensive web service for concert discovery in Italy. After joining Startupbootcamp in 2012 and an investment from Deutsche Telekom's incubator hub:raum in 2013, frestyl relaunched in Berlin as a mobile application and was featured as Best New App in iTunes Germany.

Responsible for recruiting and managing a team of 10+ developers, designers, marketers, salespeople and operations personnel. Negotiated strategic partnerships with music industry leaders like Eventim, Universal Music and Kompakt. Acted as Chief Technical Officer responsible for product architecture as well as Chief Financial Officer responsible for fiscal planning and management. Frequent speaker, panelist and moderator at major conferences including SxSW, Reeperbahn Festival, Berlin Music Week, Trigger at Peace & Love, Social Media Week, etc.

2007 - 2009
Product Manager, Supply Insight
Recruited new technical team and managed development process transition for an RFID software company. Defined product development deadlines, maintained internal development stack, implemented company website and redesigned corporate identity.
2005 - 2009
Graduate Student Researcher, University of California, Irvine
Conducted research as a member of the Laboratory for Ubiquitous Computing and Interaction (LUCI), including projects in human-computer interaction (HCI), ubiquitous computing (UbiComp), urban computing, tangible interfaces, ambient displays, technologically-mediated sexual interaction, computer supported cooperative work (CSCW), and science & technology studies (STS).
Research Intern, Intel Corporation
Conducted research as a member of the People and Practices Group. Led an ethnographic study on public transportation in Portland, London & Paris. Designed mobile interfaces for use in urban settings.
Staff Research Associate, University of California, Irvine
Conducted research on ambient displays as a member of the Institute for Software Research (ISR). Designed, developed and deployed an ambient awareness device for the core administrators of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2).
Research Assistant, ETH Zürich @ USI Università della Svizzera Italiana
Conducted research at the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS). Assisted in the implementation of the interface for the CP2K program which performs atomistic and molecular simulations of solid state, liquid, molecular, and biological systems.
2003 - 2004
Advanced Computation in Engineering & Science Trainee, Boston University
Conducted research and attended specialized seminars in the Center for Computational Science (CCS) as part of the Advanced Computation in Engineering & Science (ACES) Program. Received advanced training in supercomputing and visualization for astronomy, chemistry, cognitive and neural systems, electrical engineering, mathematics, mechanical engineering, and physics.
2003 - 2004
Research Assistant, Boston University
Conducted research as member of both the Sensorium and the Image & Video Computing (IVC) Groups, including projects in sensor networks, peer-to-peer networks, ubiquitous computing, computer vision, computer graphics, medical imaging, and ambient displays.
Research Assistant, Massachusetts General Hospital
Implemented real-time 4D tumor tracking and modeling using fluoroscopic imaging for advanced computer-assisted radiation therapy as part of the Integrated Radiotherapy Imaging System (IRIS) Project.
2002 - 2003
Teaching Fellow, Boston University
Responsible for leading multiple weekly seminars, assisting with examinations and standing in as lecturer for first-year undergraduate computer science courses: Introduction to Computer Science I (CS111) & Introduction to Computer Science II (CS112).

2005 - 2009
University of California, Irvine
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Information & Computer Science
Thesis: Urban Aesthetics: Reframing Mobility for Ubiquitous Computing PDF ↓
2002 - 2004
Boston University
Master's Degree, Computer Science
Thesis: Real-time 4D Tumor Tracking and Modeling From Internal and External Fiducials in Fluoroscopy PDF ↓
1998 - 2002
Boston University
Bachelor's Degree, Computer Science & Philosophy
Magna Cum Laude, John N. Findlay Award in Philosophy, Golden Key, NSCS, Dean's List, Honors Program, Core Curriculum
Skills & Expertise

Programming Languages: Ruby on Rails, HTML, CSS, Sass, JavaScript, CoffeeScript, jQuery, JSON, XML, AJAX, C, C++, Objective-C, MySQL, SQLite, MongoDB, Redis, R, PHP, Java, Fortran, Fortran 95, Python, Flash, OpenGL, Matlab, Gnuplot, Lex, Yacc, MIPS, BACI, LaTeX, DICOM, nesC, TinyOS, Processing, and Arduino.

Natural Languages: English, Italian, and Latin.

Industry Expertise: Full stack web development, mobile development, UX design, graphic design, media production, product management, business model analysis, organizational ethnography, data visualization, data science, near field communication, and hardware fabrication.

Academic Expertise: Human-computer interaction (HCI), ubiquitous computing (UbiComp), computer supported cooperative work (CSCW), media studies, and science & technology studies (STS).