The Knowledge Graph Conference

KGC’s Origins

The Knowledge Graph Conference was founded at Columbia University in 2019 through a collaboration between Francois Scharffe, a faculty in Applied Analytics, and Thomas Deely, Executive Director for Industry Partnerships.

Thomas was looking to create a new type of educational experience focussed on real world applications and peer connections, and reached out to Francois, who shared the idea to take knowledge graphs out of academia.

Thomas secured a budget & collaboratively worked with Francois to curate and orchestrate the experience, strategy, and partnerships with speakers and sponsors and make the first conference in 2019 an outstanding success.

Francois Scharffe has been working in the field of knowledge graphs (KG) for over 20 years to date. He started working on the knowledge graph of the French dictionary in 2002. Throughout that time he has seen the evolution of the KG from an academic field, with a number of different names used to describe it, such as, “semantic web” and “linked data”. Over the years, he had seen an increase in industry adoption.

During the attendance of the International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC) in Monterey, California, the idea came to take knowledge graphs out of academia. He had seen that KGs had become mature and used in industry as a major technology component of robust data infrastructure. Loving the topic of knowledge graphs, he wanted to support it by building a community.

Thomas has a deep background in applied and emerging tech, a passion for building and developing communities and expertise in building executive partnerships. 

The Knowledge Graph Conference is the direct result of their backgrounds and efforts over the last few years.

The Knowledge Graph Conference is emerging as the premiere source of learning around knowledge graph technologies. We believe knowledge graphs are an underutilized yet essential force for solving complex societal challenges like climate change, democratizing access to knowledge and opportunity, and capturing business value made possible by advances in AI. 

Connecting the Knowledge Ecosystem

We bring together leaders across industry sectors to cover the latest in innovation and adoption of knowledge technologies in finance, healthcare, drug discovery, privacy, cyber, media, education, supply chain, inventory management, e-commerce, personal knowledge graphs, visualization, recommender systems, law firms, real estate, and much more. We have organized hundreds of workshops, tutorials, presentations, keynotes, panel discussions, and demonstrations of knowledge technologies. 

As a result of our efforts, KGC has seen an exponential growth in the quantity of our programming and attendance. Year after year since KGC’s inception in 2019, we have doubled our attendance and programming. In 2021, we had 4 full days of programming across 4 parallel program tracks with an attendance of over 1000+ global graph enthusiasts.

Throughout the last 3 years we have partnered and collaborated with more than 20+ organizations throughout the development of the conference such as Accenture, AWS, the UN, Oracle, OriginTrail, Tigergraph, Datastax, Cambridge Semantics, and many more to share the applications of knowledge graphs in the world.

KGC Developments

Since 2019 we have:

  • Launched an annual startup pitch event that focuses on matching startups building knowledge graphs within their tech stack with investors.
  • Partnered with and aided the launch of the Enterprise Knowledge Graph Foundation (EKGF), which was established to define best practice and mature the marketplace for EKG adoption.
  • Launched and developed a thriving, global community with over 2200+ members in 2020 alongside our virtual conference. Boasting many dedicated channels suchs as our job board, working groups, study groups, an academic group, as well as an expert driven/ open forum Q/A platform.
  • Curated our rich and diverse content in a comprehensive video library that holds free and paid content collected throughout the developments of our conferences and community events.

KGC’s Mission

Our mission is to become a leading source of learning around knowledge graphs. To spread the awareness and use of knowledge technologies as a force for social good, through its ability to democratize access to knowledge and opportunity.

Meet the Team

Executive Management

Francois Scharffe


Thomas Deely


Hazel Alvarado

Head of Partnerships

Joaquin Melara

Chief Operations Officer

Organizational Team

Claude Robotham

Communications and Research Associate

Jake Ahles

Videography and Content Management

Cogan Shimizu

Educational Consultant

Olesia Korobka

Search Engine Optimization Specialist

Ivan Buhonin

Web Development

Vladimir Ogandjanyan

Web Development