The Center for Urban Business Entrepreneurship (CUBE) hosted two panels on innovative legal issues during the spring semester. In February, Professor Jodi Balsam moderated a panel on the growth of the eSports industry. Once an obscure pastime, today watching players practice and compete against one another in video games, like the multiplayer online battle arena game League of Legends, is approaching a $1.1 billion industry and in dire need of good lawyers. The panel included Rachel Young Gu, associate editor of ESPN’s eSports; Joe Ragazzo, cofounder and CEO of Slingshot Media; Ryan Morrison, founding partner of Morrison & Lee; Harris Peskin, eSports and corporate attorney; and Keith Sheldon ’07, senior vice president of programming at Barclays Center. The panelists had an animated discussion about everything from player representation to the future of the industry as traditional sports franchises and media companies cash in on its growth.
Sheldon, who handles booking for Barclays Center and Nassau Coliseum, said he expects an international sports broadcaster to start its own eSports league in the next few years. In the meantime, he said, eSports attorneys—of which there are currently very few—need to come to a consensus on governance.
In April, CUBE hosted “Growing Greens in the Grid: The Future of Urban Agriculture in NYC,” a two-part discussion that featured Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams and New York City Councilman Rafael L. Espinal.
The first panel covered the importance of local sourcing, New York City’s diverse farms and gardens, and the Five Borough Farm Project, the first citywide urban agriculture plan for the city. Adams and Espinal joined Nevin Cohen, director of research at CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute, at the second panel to discuss the importance of access to fresh produce in public housing areas, methods for rating the success of urban agriculture projects, and the economic benefits of urban farming.
The event also included a presentation of a white paper on food deserts by CUBE Fellow Tatiana Pawlowski ’17