Steven King is an associate professor of innovation and emerging technologies at UNC, holding a joint appointment with the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media and the Kenan-Flagler Business School. He combines computer science concepts, human-centered design and storytelling to create new ways to present information through emerging technologies such as virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence and other interactive media forms.

King is chief innovations officer of UNC Blue Sky Innovations, which leverages emerging technologies to solve difficult problems for corporations and is working to invent the future of higher education. The joint program with Kenan-Flagler Business Schoool and the Husssman School includes ground-breaking research in applied uses of emerging technologies.  His work in both schools have been endowed, received corporate funding, and been awarded multiple grants, including two Knight Foundation Grants and an ONA Challenge Grant.

He also assists both U.S and foreign governments in solving difficult problems in times of crisis. During the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, King worked with directly with the ministry of information in Liberia to create a data visualization dashboard to enable better decisions for fighting the disease. He has also with the Thai government on how to use media to lessen the violence from Islamic Insurgencies.  King is also a regular speaker and faculty member for various programs by the Institute for Defense and Business. He has also used creative approaches to solve difficult problems including working for the release of Americans held in captivity by terrorists or foreign governments.

Prior to becoming a professor at UNC, King led a team of video journalists and video editors, creating multimedia stories while creating new business models to make the medium profitable for The Washington Post. He and his team were awarded 11 regional Emmys over two years. He also served as editor of innovations and special projects at where he pioneered new forms of storytelling and generated millions of dollars in new revenue for the company.

In addition to teaching at UNC, King co-runs a startup called Adventure Squad, which leverages augmented reality and storytelling to help patients at Children’s Hospitals across the country virtually escape their floor and get them out of bed and moving. Most recently, his and Dr. Richard Hobbs’ work was awarded the 2019 Harvey Award of $75,000 to spread Adventure Squad across the country.

King leverages his former work as an overseas correspondent and has led students on award-winning international documentary projects in Malawi, Thailand, Galapagos Islands and Mexico. These projects have won awards in competitions that included, South by Southwest Interactive, AEJMC Best of the Web, Horizon Interactive Awards, NPPA monthly multimedia competitions, Society for News Design Best of Multimedia Design and the Online Journalism Awards, among others.


  • M.S., University of Liverpool
  • B.A., Western Kentucky University