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  • Press Release: The 5th Annual Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards

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    2014 Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards

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    Jack Dorsey Debuts Square at the First Annual Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards, 2010


Pakistan Attack: A Note from Mosharraf Zaidi, Disruptor Foundation Fellow

By Craig Hatkoff

Earlier today, militants from the Pakistani Taliban attacked a school in Peshawar, Pakistan and killed 141 innocent and unarmed children, teachers, and school officials. I sent a message to Disruptor Foundation Fellow Mosharraf Zaidi,who is working on the Alif Ailaan campaign for education in Pakistan. This is the note that Mosharraf wrote back:

Thinking of friends who are thinking of us tonight. Don’t know what to say. Sharing the note I sent the Alif Ailaan team earlier today. We all need to pray for those kids and their families for now. Thanks for reaching out, and thinking of me and this country tonight.

Brothers and sisters


You all know what has happened in Peshawar. This is a time for prayer and reflection. And a time to control our anger and sorrow.

Our activists are the lamps that light up hope for us. Don’t lose hope. We won’t be able to operate without your light.

For those of you that want to, I am asking Imran and team to help you organise vigils and prayers in your respective areas. All events should include a silent moment of reflection and Fatiha for the deceased.

Our message right now is only one: sorrow and heartbreak.

We don’t need to say any more. Just to say that we are with our children and the mothers and fathers that lost their babies today.

Love you all very much.



Tonight at 6 p.m., the Pakistani Student’s Association at New York University is honoring the memory of the innocent souls lost to the barbaric act of terrorism by hosting a candlelight vigil. The vigil will take place on the steps of NYU’s Kimmel Center at 60 Washington Square South for all to attend. More information about the event can be found here on Facebook.

- Craig Hatkoff

Google Constitute Launches in Arabic

We are proud to promote the launch of Constitute in Arabic! Constitute was one of our 2014 Honorees this past year, and they continue to be expanding their innovative constitution digitization platform. The blog content below was originally posted on the Google Ideas Public Policy Blog by Brett Perlmutter (Special Projects Lead, Google Ideas) on Monday, December 15th. 
Those who write (and re-write) national constitutions naturally learn and draw from the work of other drafters. Constitute, a website that digitizes and indexes the world’s constitutions which Google Ideas launched in 2013 with the Comparative Constitutions Project, has made this process even easier.
Today marks the launch of Constitute in Arabic, which promises to make the process of constitutional drafting and analysis more accessible across the Arab world. The site now provides Arabic translations of some of the world’s most-cited constitutions, coupled with powerful analytical tools. We’re also introducing new, powerful features across the English and Arabic versions of the site. A new “compare” functionality lets you view two constitutions side-by-side, inviting an entirely different perspective. Curious how the Japanese Constitution of 1946, drafted under U.S. occupation, compares to that of the U.S.?  View them side-by-side and compare them provision by provision (for example, on the topic of search and seizure rights) in a clean, easy-to-read layout.
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Constitute also includes new options for saving and sharing content. You can now pin constitutional excerpts, comparisons and entire searches, and export the results to for easy collaborative drafting, reading or analysis. You can also share to social media, or send links to specific locations in any of the documents—for example, explore which African constitutions have provisions on gender equality.
Finally, developers and data enthusiasts—and their machine counterparts—will be able to build upon Constitute’s underlying data through an open data portal which includes access to Constitute’s API.
On average, five new constitutions are written every year and even more are amended. Creating a document to serve as the bedrock of one’s society is a huge undertaking, which is why Google Ideas collaborated with the Comparative Constitutions Project to seed Constitute in 2013. We hope today’s additions to Constitute will help equip constitutional drafters and citizens of every country with the remarkable power of knowledge.
Yasmin Green (Constitute Project)

Yasmin Green (Constitute Project)

PHOTO (Philip Montgomery for TDIA): Yasmin Green accepting the 2014 Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award hammer on behalf of Constitute.

Frank Migliorelli — Interaction Designer & Educator


Frank Migliorelli is an award-winning interaction designer and educator specializing in media-rich software and exhibit development. With a portfolio that includes children’s games and media, corporate websites, and media enhanced installations around the world, he has been a creative and innovative leader in interactive media design for a wide range of educational, institutional and corporate clients. Frank has recently joined the New York Public Library as Director of Digital Experience, a new position created to lead the development of the institution’s overall digital strategy for user experience, exhibits and educational programs. Before coming to to the New York Public Library, He taught digital media design for educational technology at the Steinhardt School of Education at New York University as a Visiting Clinical Professor. His courses include “Interaction Design for Learning Environments” and “Video Games and Education” which are offered at MAGNET, NYU’s new Media and Games Network facility in Brooklyn. He also taught exhibit and children’s media design at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP), Tisch School of the Arts.

Since 2011, he led a design collective with a focus on experience and interactive media design. His projects include designing the online and mobile applications for a traveling exhibit on sustainability in Europe, a hands-on science and technology center for a new school in New York City, and most recently, the redesign of the children’s library and junior “maker space” at the United Nations International School. Frank has worked with the World Science Festival, founded by physicist Dr. Brian Greene, to develop a series of digital products and educational initiatives for teaching and promoting science awareness across a wider, public audience. Last September, Frank and his team designed and launched the web-based application “The Life of Man”, in celebration of Esquire Magazine’s 80th anniversary which was awarded “Best Online Micro-Site/App” by Event Design Magazine.

From 2000 to 2011, Frank was the Senior Vice President of Design at ESI Design, a leading experience design firm based in New York City. Under his leadership, the firm produced award winning exhibits and projects for museums, Fortune 500 clients, and a range of non-profit and NGO agencies. Under his creative direction, the firm was awarded the gold medal for educational media by both the American Association of Museums and the W3 awards for their work on an interactive website for the JFK Presidential Library. While technology has been at the center of his career, Frank also has published a host of children’s music for a leading educational software company, scored soundtracks for video games and television commercials. He occasionally drags a group of musicians out of the garage and into a local bar to bang out a few tunes for grown-ups also…



Jon Levy — Founder, The Influencers

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Jon Levy is a behavior expert, consultant and keynote speaker best known for his work in the fields of Influence and Social Experience.

By applying the latest in behavioral research ranging from neuroscience and psychology to economics and biology, Jon has worked with countless brands and companies to support their efforts in consumer engagement, customer acquisition, and product development.

Within the realm of behavior Jon has two areas of expertise:

The study of Influence: What causes people to make the decisions they make.

This understanding spawned the creation of “Influencers”, a private community and dining experience for tastemakers and industry leaders. Members range across all industries from well-known actors and Olympians, to executives at major companies and royalty. Influencers has received a fair share of media including stories in The New York Times, Forbes, Fast Company, The Observer, to name a few. Combining years of experience running Influencers and research, Jon has developed a deep understanding in designing social experiences and creating influencer programs for brands.

The study of Adventure: Identifying what causes people to live fun, exciting, and remarkable lives.

After years of examining what causes people to live adventurous lives, Jon was able to discern that every adventurous experience follows a predictable four stage processes. Each stage has specific characteristics that, when applied, make the experience exciting. This “Science of Adventure,” as it has become known, has garnered Jon a reputation as one of the foremost experts on Adventure.

In his free time, Jon works on outrageous projects. He spent a year traveling weekends to the world’s greatest events (Grand Prix, Art Basel, Sundance, Burning Man, Running of the Bulls, Cannes, etc.) and barely survived to tell the tale. Prior to that, taking control of his health and wellness, he was a before-and-after fitness model for a 90-day video training program. Other projects have included unscripted television, mobile apps, books and alcohol development, to name a few.


Social Media:

Twitter – @JonLevyTLB

Facebook – Jon Levy

LinkedIn – Jon Levy

Pope Francis: CEO and Epic Innovator

This post was originally published on the Forbes.com blog maintained since 2014 by Craig Hatkoff and Rabbi Irwin Kula, co-founders of the Disruptor Foundation. The Off White Papers began as a separate blog and now is routinely featured in Forbes’ Leadership section and others including Entrepreneurship and Technology. For more commentary, please follow @offwhites on Twitter.


By Craig Hatkoff and Irwin Kula

Every CEO is an evangelizer. So those struggling with how to deal with the pressures of disruption would do well to closely follow Pope Francis. His first bit of sage advice for every CEO is: “An evangelizer must never look like someone who has just come back from a funeral!” Last April Pope Francis received not one but two awards at our annual Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards. He was honored in absentia with the Adam Smith Prize, presented by the Harvard Business Review; his apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (Joy of the Gospel) was also recognized as Book of the Year for innovation. Pope Francis? Adam Smith? Disruptive innovator? Really?

Pope Francis has been nicknamed “the Cold Call Pope”; he often answers correspondences himself by phoning worshippers directly with no intermediaries as filters. (Photo: AP)

Pope Francis has been nicknamed “the Cold Call Pope”; he often answers correspondences himself by phoning worshippers directly with no intermediaries as filters. (Photo: AP)


“An evangelizer must never look like someone who has just come back from a funeral!” – Pope Francis from Evangelii Gaudium

At first blush this might seem like a bit of stretch but our guiding light, Clay Christensen, and HBR editor-in-chief Adi Ignatius felt the Pope was an inspired choice and agreed to sign our letter to the Pope informing him of these recognitions. The recently concluded synod on non-traditional families and the Church simply has reinforced our earlier view that when it comes to innovation this guy is pretty epic.

Think about what the Pope has done to transform a 2,000 year old brand—a really BIG business with issues. Like any incumbent CEO the Pope has had to confront a raft of challenges such as embattled business models, shrinking margins, loss of market share, attracting and retaining personnel and the crush of legacy systems.


Professor Clayton Christensen and the Disruptor Foundation collaborate annually with the Tribeca Film Festival to present the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards where Pope Francis was a big winner in 2014.

Professor Clayton Christensen and the Disruptor Foundation collaborate annually with the Tribeca Film Festival to present the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards where Pope Francis was a big winner in 2014.

In the first six months of his Papacy, Francis squarely addressed the first critical question any CEO needs to ask about her company: what are the “jobs to get done?” He decisively articulated the job of the Church—serving society’s most vulnerable. In an unusually candid self-critique the Pope shifted the Church’s culture from, in his words one of “institutional self-preservation” back to its core mission. In the parlance of disruptive innovation theory, Francis focused on the products and services not only from the point of view of the decreasing number of existing consumers of Catholicism, particularly in the West, but also the much larger market of non-consumers—the non-practicing Catholics and non-Catholics. Predictably this disruption has created both excitement and energy as well as anxiety and resistance from incumbent management and conservative laity. The key to the Pope’s success as an innovator might just be that he leads by example. Rather than changing any creed, dogma or theology—that would inevitably create unnecessary tension and resistance—the Pope’s actions and practices simply embody the genuine mission of the church. Theology will then follow practice. Here are a few our our favorite things Pope Francis has done:

1. He ditched the Popemobile and rides around in a 2008 Ford Focus hatchback.
2. He passed on to moving into the luxurious papal residence in the Apostolic Palace and lives in a modest apartment in tha Casa Santa Marta guest house.
3. “Who am I to judge?” In five words the Pope completely changed the attitude and tone toward gays.
4. He broke with tradition by washing the feet of twelve disabled people including several women and a Muslim man.
5. He initiated a multi-year Synod of Bishops on the Family encouraging frank and open discussion on controversial issues such as communion for the divorced and remarried, same-sex relationships, co-habitating couples–and even polygamists in Africa.

Not surprisingly the Pope’s new tone has created resistance and anxiety from conservative Catholics—both laity and clergy. But lest anyone think that this Pope doesn’t exert his authority and know how to take out strident critics note well that Francis removed American Cardinal Raymond Burke as head of the Holy See’s Supreme Court demoting him to a mostly ceremonial post of Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. Burke very publicly and repeatedly expressed his dismay at the Pope’s new approach and the uncertainty generated by robust conversation on “long settled matters.” Francis also “retired” Cardinal Francis George as Archbishop of Chicago replacing him with Bishop Blase J. Cupich, an unknown and obscure Bishop from the small diocese of Spokane, Washington who shares the Pope’s sensibility. None were more surprised by the appointment than Bishop Cupich himself who never met the Pope and said he had no idea how he was selected. Cupich was quoted in the New York Times saying, “Maybe someday over a nice glass of Chianti I’ll ask him.”’

There is nothing new about strategically replacing opponents. But Francis’ brilliance of simply changing his tone and actions rather than Church law, dogma and theology is that it leaves his critics with little room to maneuver and nothing solid around which to organize opposition. As outgoing Cardinal George recently lamented about Francis, “He says wonderful things but he doesn’t put them together all the time, so you’re left at times puzzling over what his intention is. What he says is clear enough, but what does he want us to do?” The Pope seems to understand that it is is hard to attack deliberate ambiguity and uncertainty especially when it is mission-driven: serving society’s most vulnerable. For his opponents there is no “there there”—at least for the time being. So for CEOs trying to turn an ocean liner in a harbor it might be wise to add Pope Francis to your google alerts. Lead by example and live the change you want to see in your company.  Be like the Pope and stop pontificating.


Original post here. Read more Off White Papers posts on Forbes.com

Alan Cohen — Head of Lower School, Portledge School

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Alan is a seasoned educator having filled many roles: teacher and administrator for the New York City Department of Education, Network Leader providing support and supervision for principals in 32 New York City schools, principal of P.S. 69 in the Bronx, and for the past four years he has been Head of Lower School at Portledge School in Locust Valley, NY.

On any given day he is commiserating with parents in the lobby, learning alongside children in the classrooms, touring the facilities with visiting educators, or planning fundraisers to support professional development. He even makes a cameo in the Lower School play. That’s because Cohen believes that the difference between a good school and a great school is one where everyone is teaching and learning. Portledge has an exemplary Reggio inspired Early Childhood program and the grades 1-5 follow the Project Zero tools and frameworks. All teachers have been trained at Reggio Emilia, Italy or Project Zero at Harvard.

He received his bachelor’s degree from Brooklyn College and holds a Master’s of Science, Special Education from New York University. He is a Cahn Fellow at Columbia University. He is also the recipient of the Time Warner Principals of Excellence Award and the Outstanding Educator of the Year Award from Education Update. Cohen currently serves as Co-Chair of the Harvard Principals’ Center and founder of Project Zero New York (PZNY). He was recently named Ambassador to Reggio Emilia The Wonder of Learning Exhibit in New York.




Jay Walker — Lifetime Achievement Award

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Pakistan Attack: A Note from Mosharraf Zaidi, Disruptor Foundation Fellow

By Craig Hatkoff Earlier today, militants from the Pakistani Taliban attacked a school in Peshawar,…

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