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When You Give David Lynch A Hammer…

Last Friday at the sixth annual Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards, we honored filmmaker David Lynch for his work with the David Lynch Foundation, which has become a powerful force introducing Transcendental Meditation as a healing and stress-reducing program to hundreds of thousands of children and adults. We welcomed TM educator of 40 years and the Foundation’s Executive Director (and a Disruptor Foundation Fellow), Bob Roth, to accept on Lynch’s behalf when we heard that Lynch couldn’t make it to Awards.

So what happens when you DO give David Lynch a hammer? We sent one to him couple of weeks ago and hoped for a 30-second thank you video. What we got was an almost 5-minute short film voiced by Lynch and starring a Barbie doll–a little bit dreamlike, a little bit macabre. Take a look:

Turns out, we have a history of quirky acceptance videos where Honorees leave us speechless with their creativity instead of taping themselves giving a traditional speech… remember last years’ Kanye West/Rick Rubin mashup of clips and sounds (a tribute to the Roland-808 drum machine) directed by Mark Romanek? Rick Rubin also made us a video in 2012 reminiscent of a black and white silent film.

We can only imagine what we get next year…

Cobie Smulders: Disruptor Foundation Fellow

COBIE SMULDERS atThe Avengers Premiere

Cobie Smulders, well known to audiences for her role as Robin Sherbatzky on CBS’s hit show “How I Met Your Mother,” has recently starred in “The Avengers”, opposite Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner and Scarlett Johansson. She reprised her role for “Captain America: The Winter Soldier and will next be seen in “Avengers: Age of Ultron” which will be released on May 1, 2015.

She will next star in the independent film “Results” written and directed by Andrew Bujalski starring opposite Guy Pearce and Kris Swanberg’s “Unexpected.” She starred in “The Delivery Man” opposite Vince Vaughn and in David Wain’s “They Came Together” opposite Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler. 

Cobie is already active in philanthropy and conservation efforts, lending her superstar power to promote notable causes such as Oceana.org preserving the endangered coral reefs of Belize. Based in Manhattan, she has a great passion for innovation and hopes to become an active member of the Disruptor Foundation community.

Press Release: 6th Annual Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards

2015HonoreeBanner

TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL

AND DISRUPTOR FOUNDATION ANNOUNCE HONOREES

FOR SIXTH ANNUAL DISRUPTIVE INNOVATION AWARDS

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Award collaboration with Harvard professor Clay Christensen to recognize leading disruptors of consequence including Airbnb, VICE Media, Rent The Runway, Girls Who Code, journalist Peter Greste, Ford Foundations Darren Walker, Formula E Racing and more

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Walter Isaacson’s “The Innovators” named Book of the Year, Headspace named App of the Year

New York, NY [March 27, 2015] – The Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) today announced the honorees for its sixth annual Disruptive Innovation Awards, held in collaboration with renowned Harvard Business School Professor Clay Christensen and the Disruptor Foundation. Co-sponsored by Accenture and AT&T, the awards will be moderated by Perri Peltz at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center BMCC, on Friday April 24 at 11:00 a.m. The Tribeca Film Festival runs from April 15 to 26.

The 2015 honorees include Airbnb, the trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world – online or from a mobile phone; Shane Smith, founder and CEO of global youth media brand VICE, critically-acclaimed journalist, host and producer, and one of the industry’s most respected visionaries; Jake Burton, founder of Burton Snowboards, a company that has played a pivotal role in growing snowboarding from a backyard hobby to a world-class sport; Rent The Runway, a fashion company with a technology soul that is disrupting the way women get dressed; and Girls Who Code, a national non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology and prepare young women for jobs of the future. Other award recipients include Peter Greste, acclaimed Australian journalist and Peabody Award winner who was recently released after 13 months of wrongful political imprisonment in Egypt for his coverage for Al Jazeera English; Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation who oversees more than $12 billion in assets, including $500 million annually in global social justice grants; and Formula E Racing, a new FIA single-seater championship and the world’s first fully-electric racing series. Additional honorees include Jason Silva, Advance Care Planning at Gundersen Health Systems, Peek.com’s Ruzwana Bashir, Bloomberg News reporter Mary Childs, wheelchair moto-cross athlete Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham, Brad Katsuyama of IEX, littleBits, the David Lynch Foundation, Operation Smile’s Dr. Bill Magee, Georgette Mulheir of Lumos, Alec Momont of Drones for Good, Nanotronics Imaging, Alyse Nelson of Vital Voices, Scribd, Tampon Run and HIV researcher Nicole Ticea.

The 2015 Book of the Year is “The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution” (Simon & Schuster, 2014) by New York Times bestselling author Walter Isaacson: a revealing story of the people who created the computer and the Internet.

The 2015 App of the Year is Headspace, a subscription-based app delivering 10-minute meditation sessions and providing activity tracking, reminders, tips and animations about how the mind works.

“We are thrilled to be celebrating with Clay these remarkable innovators who are on the frontiers of disruptive innovation theory implementing new business models with stunning success—many of which are anomalies that the original theory did not predict,” said Craig Hatkoff, TFF co-founder and chief curator for TDIA.

“If we are to develop profound theory to solve the intractable problems on our societally-critical domains we must learn to crawl up into the life of what makes people tick,” said Professor Clay Christensen. “The awards help me better understand the descriptive stage of theory, building that focus on the formidable cultural variables in areas and domains that are badly in need of disruption – areas such as terrorism, parenting and religion.”

Honorees receive the iconic red hammer as the official award, in the spirit of psychologist Abe Maslow who in his famous quote said, “when your only tool is a hammer, every problem starts looking like a nail” that embodies the spirit of the awards.

The 2015 Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award honorees are as follows:

Advance Care Planning at Gundersen Health Systems: Respecting Choices® is a comprehensive, community-wide program, created and led by healthcare organizations and state and local medical societies. Owned and operated by Gundersen Health System, based in La Crosse, Wis., its mission is to engage patients and their families in informed conversations about advance care planning and to improve the systems and processes used to collect and store advance care planning decisions in patients’ medical records. The program provides standardized, locally developed patient education materials to patients across all healthcare settings in the community; trains non-physician facilitators to guide patients and their families in advance care planning; and implements common policies and practices for collecting, maintaining, retrieving and using advance care planning documents across settings. The program increased completion of documentation of advance care plans, achieved a high degree of consistency between patients’ desires and actual care decisions made at the end of life, and is associated with low care costs during the last two years of life.

Airbnb: Founded in August of 2008 by Nathan Blecharczyk, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, and based in San Francisco, California, Airbnb is a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world – online or from a mobile phone. Whether an apartment for a night, a castle for a week, or a villa for a month, Airbnb connects people to unique travel experiences at any price point, in more than 34,000 cities and 190 countries. And with world-class customer service and a growing community of users, Airbnb is the easiest way for people to monetize their extra space and showcase it to an audience of millions.

Ruzwana Bashir: Ruzwana Bashir is Founder and CEO of Peek, which is disrupting the $100bn activities industry. Peek.com is a marketplace to book the best activities, and the company has developed backend SaaS tools to provide activity operators with real-time booking and inventory management capabilities. CNBC labeled Peek as the “OpenTable for activities” and the New York Times Peek.com “a site you want to visit again and again.” Peek is backed by tech heavyweights including Google’s Eric Schmidt, Square’s Jack Dorsey and TPG’s David Bonderman. Ruzwana has been selected for Vanity Fair’s Next Establishment, Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in Technology and Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People. Ruzwana started her career in investment banking at Goldman Sachs and in private equity at the Blackstone Group. Before starting Peek she worked at Gilt Groupe and was part of the founding team at Artsy. Ruzwana has an MBA from Harvard Business School, where she was a Fulbright Scholar, and a BA from Oxford University where she was President of the Oxford Union.

Jake Burton: Snowboarding has changed a lot in the past 38 years since Jake founded Burton Snowboards. One thing has stayed constant during all that time: Jake still leads the world’s most successful snowboard company, testing nearly every product Burton makes. He still takes feedback to heart – whether it’s from a pro rider, a customer email or a kid who happens to sit with him in the gondola. He still walks Burton’s halls almost every day, saying hi to the dogs around the office and seeing what’s up with his co-workers. He still has team riders over to his house for a four-day roundtable to give the final word on the entire product line. He still weighs in on marketing campaigns and leaves product managers notecards with feedback on luggage design, apparel fits, outerwear fabrication, board flexes and graphics. He still can be found at Stowe almost every day it’s open (and plenty of days it’s not) hiking for early and late season turns. He is still inspired by the communal spirit of snowboarding. And he still makes many of the company’s biggest decisions from a chairlift, not a desk.

Mary Childs: Mary Childs joined Bloomberg News in 2009 and reports on the world’s biggest asset managers, in print, on television, and on radio. She previously covered corporate bonds and derivatives, and in April 2012, she and a team were the first to break the story of the JPMorgan London Whale, a trader who lost the bank more than $6 billion on bad derivative positions. For that work, she and her team were finalists for a Gerald Loeb Award in 2013. Before joining Bloomberg, Childs spent a year traveling the world painting portraits on a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, a grant for independent study outside the U.S. She graduated from Washington & Lee University with a degree in business journalism, and after studying at St. Stephen’s College in Delhi, wrote an honors thesis on the use and significance of sting operations in media in India and the U.S. Childs, a native of Richmond, Virginia, volunteers for the News Literacy Project, and continues to paint and draw.

Formula E: Formula E is a new FIA single-seater championship and the world’s first fully-electric racing series. Beginning in September 2014 through to June 2015, the championship will compete in some of the world’s leading cities – including London, Beijing and Miami. For the inaugural season, 10 teams, each with two drivers, will go head-to-head creating a unique and exciting racing series designed to appeal to a new generation of motorsport fans. It represents a vision for the future of the motor industry over the coming decades, serving as a framework for R&D around the electric vehicle, accelerating general interest in these cars and promoting sustainability. From season two, Formula E will operate as an “open championship,” allowing teams and manufacturers the opportunity to showcase their own electrical energy innovations. Working to the technical specifications set out by the FIA, teams will focus their efforts on improving and developing battery technology in the hope this will filter into the everyday electric vehicle market. The championship centres around three core values of Energy, Environment and Entertainment and is a fusion of engineering, technology, sport, science, design, music and entertainment – all combining to drive the change towards an electric future.

Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham: Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham is a 23 year-old wheelchair moto-cross athlete from Las Vegas, Nevada. Aaron was born with Spina Bifida, which resulted in him having no usage of his legs. Aaron never let anything stop him. Even as a baby and small child, he did anything anyone else his age could do; he just had to figure out how to make it work for him. Aaron started riding at skate parks at the age of 8. Over the last eight years Aaron has challenged himself to try progressively more difficult tricks; carving, grinding, power-sliding, hand planting, and spinning are just a few of his accomplishments. In 2005, he perfected a midair 180-degree turn. Then on July 13th, 2006, he landed the first wheelchair back flip. Four years later, at a camp in Woodward, he landed the first ever double back flip (August 26, 2010). Since then, he has gone on to perform it live while touring with the Nitro Circus. As if this is not enough, on February 9th, 2011, he landed his very first front flip in New Zealand, and on August 25, 2012, he shocked Brazilians by jumping and successfully landing a 50-ft gap off of the Mega Ramp in his chair. Aaron has a passion for what he does, and he wants to change the world’s perception of people in wheelchairs, as well as help everyone see his/her own challenges in a new way. You certainly do not have to be disabled to be inspired by what he is able to do.

Peter Greste: Peter Greste is one of Australia’s most acclaimed journalists and a correspondent for Al Jazeera English in Africa. From 1991 to 1995 he was based in Afghanistan, London, Bosnia and South Africa, where he worked for Reuters, CNN, WTN and the BBC. He returned to Afghanistan in 2001 to cover the start of the war. After Afghanistan, Peter worked across the Middle East and Latin America, and was based in Mombasa, Kenya, then Johannesburg, followed by Nairobi where he has lived since 2009. In 2011, Peter won a Peabody Award for the documentary Somalia: Land of Anarchy. In December 2013, he and two other Al Jazeera English journalists (Mohamed Fadel Fahmy and Baher Mohammad) were arrested by Egyptian authorities and accused of news reporting which was deemed damaging to national security. In June 2014, Peter was found guilty by the court and sentenced to seven years of incarceration in Egypt along with his colleagues. They were perceived internationally as political prisoners due to the nature of the trial and lack of evidences presented. In February 2015, after more than 13 months in prison and an announcement of retrial, Peter was deported to his home country (and thus released) based on a newly passed Australian decree. Peter accepted a Royal Television Society award on behalf of himself and his two colleagues, for their sacrifices to journalism.

Jennifer Hyman: Jennifer Hyman is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Rent the Runway, a fashion company with a technology soul that is disrupting the way women get dressed. In her role, she oversees strategic initiatives and leads the company in growing all areas of the business, including marketing, technology, product, and analytics. She co-founded the company in 2009 with Jennifer Fleiss, and has since raised $116 million in venture capital. With over 5 million members, 300 employees and 270 designer brands, Rent the Runway is the largest rental platform in the world, democratizing luxury for women everywhere in the sharing economy. Jennifer has been honored with numerous recognitions including: Fortune Magazine’s “Trailblazers, 11 People Changing Business in 2013”, “Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs”, and “40 Under 40”; Inc. Magazine’s “30 Under 30”; and Fast Company’s “Most Influential Women in Technology.” She received her BA from Harvard University and MBA from Harvard Business School. Jennifer is a Bloomberg Fellow, a TechStars mentor, and a member of both the Entrepreneurship Board at the Fashion Institute of Technology and the Women in Business Board at Harvard University.

Brad Katsuyama: Brad is the CEO, President, and co-founder of IEX – an equity trading marketplace that is owned and designed for traditional investors – mutual funds, hedge funds, and individuals. Brad is most widely known for his central role in Michael Lewis’ best-selling book, Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt. Prior to co-founding IEX, Brad was a 12-year employee of the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), serving most recently as Global Head of Electronic Sales and Trading, where he spearheaded the development of THOR, an award winning product that helped clients combat predatory high-frequency trading. Brad also held management positions such as: Head of US Trading, Head of US Hedge Fund Trading, and Head of US Technology Trading. Bradley received the Alumni Gold Medal as the top student in the School of Business and Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, where he graduated with a Finance degree and was a two-time academic All-Canadian in Football.

littleBits: Ayah Bdeir is the founder and CEO of littleBits, an award-winning library of electronic modules that snap together with magnets to allow anyone to learn, build, and invent with electronics. Bdeir is an engineer, interactive artist and one of the leaders of the open source hardware movement. Bdeir’s career and education have centered on advancing open source hardware to make education and innovation more accessible to people around the world. She is a co-founder of the Open Hardware Summit, a TED Senior Fellow and an alumna of the MIT Media Lab. Bdeir was named one of Inc. Magazine’s 35 Under 35, one of NY Business Journal’s Women of Influence, one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business, one of Popular Mechanics’ 25 Makers Who Are Reinventing the American Dream, one of Entrepreneur’s 10 Leaders to Watch, one of the CNBC Next List, and one of MIT Technology Review’s 35 Innovators Under 35. Originally from Lebanon and Canada, Ayah now lives in New York City.

David Lynch Foundation: The David Lynch Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, was established in 2005 to fund the implementation of scientifically proven stress-reducing modalities, including the Transcendental Meditation program, for at-risk populations such as underserved inner-city students; veterans with PTSD and their families; women and children who are survivors of violence and abuse; American Indians suffering from diabetes, cardiovascular disease and high suicide rates; homeless men participating in reentry programs who are striving to overcome additions; and incarcerated juveniles and adults. The Foundation also funds university and medical school research to assess the effects of the program on academic performance, ADHD and other learning disorders, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, cardiovascular disease, post-traumatic stress disorder and diabetes. The effects of the Foundation’s programs have been researched at leading medical schools, including Harvard Medical School, Stanford Medical School and Yale Medical School, and have received the endorsement and support from private foundations and government agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, General Motors Foundation, the Chrysler Foundation, the Kellogg Foundation, the American Indian Education Association, Indian Health Services, many school districts and state departments of corrections.

Dr. Bill Magee: Dr. William Magee, Jr., CEO and Co-Founder of Operation Smile, has dedicated the past 32 years to helping improve the health and lives of children and young adults around the world. As a leading plastic and craniofacial surgeon, Dr. Magee has trained thousands of physicians worldwide, delivered hundreds of keynote speeches for corporate and national meetings, holds honorary doctorates from many prominent universities, and has appeared in numerous national publications, documentaries and news shows. Under Dr. Magee’s leadership, Operation Smile has grown to be the largest volunteer-based organization providing free cleft surgeries in the world with over 5,400 volunteers. Operation Smile has provided over 220,000 free surgeries for children and young adults born with cleft lips, cleft palates, and other facial deformities in over 60 countries since 1982. In his home state of Norfolk, VA, Dr. Magee maintains a private practice and is Co-Director of The Institute for Craniofacial and Plastic Surgery in the Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters.

Alec Momont: Alec Momont recently founded Drones For Good, an open platform that is changing the public perception of drones. It is redefining what the technology can do for people and leverage its strengths for the greater good. One of its recent innovations is the Ambulance Drone, a high speed (over 100km/h) UAV that carries critical supplies to any emergency situation. Within minutes after an accident can provide the right care to prevent further escalation and save lives. In case of, for example, cardiac arrest brain death and permanent death start to occur in just 4 to 6 minutes. With the Automated Defibrillator on board the patient can be shocked to reestablish regular heart rhythm. Other uses include people that are drowning, stroke, diabetes etc. The technology is currently being field tested in Belgium to improve speed and user-machine interaction.

Georgette Mulheir: For more than two decades, Georgette has worked in 23 countries around the world, leading large-scale programs to transform (and at times save) the lives of thousands of disadvantaged children. She pioneered a model of ‘deinstitutionalisation’ (DI) now followed by many governments, preventing the separation of children from families, returning children from so-called ‘orphanages’ to families, and shifting finances from harmful institutions to community services that support children in families.  She advises officials at the European Commission on using EU funds for reforming children’s services, and has published four books on children’s rights. Georgette sits on the Leaders’ Council of the Global Alliance for Children, the UK-based Commission on Civil Society and Democratic Engagement.  In 2014, she was named as ‘one of the world’s 30 most influential social workers’ by socialworkdegreeguide.com.  She is Chief Executive of Lumos, an international children’s organization, founded by J.K. Rowling to end the institutionalisation of children globally by 2050.

Nanotronics Imaging: Nanotronics Imaging are enablers for the next industrial revolution, creating hardware, software and services that deal with the unification of scale. Our microscopes can image over a range previously not thought possible in one instrument. We can look at the macro, micro and atomic scale, and do this all now in 3D. Complex algorithm for the detection, classification and increased resolution of imaging and automation hardware. This ranges from a patented way to avoid the Abbe Limit through image reconstruction, newer types of Sparse data AI, computer vision techniques for creating the fastest nanotopographies in the world and systems for intelligently automating traditionally manual processes.

Alyse Nelson: Alyse Nelson is president and CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership. A cofounder of Vital Voices, Alyse has worked for the organization for 17 years, serving as vice president and senior director of programs before assuming her current role in 2009. Under her leadership, Vital Voices has expanded its reach to serve over 14,000 women leaders in 144 countries. Previously, Alyse served as deputy director of the State Department’s Vital Voices Global Democracy Initiative and worked with the President’s Interagency Council on Women at the White House. Alyse is a Member in the Council on Foreign Relations, serves on the Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society and is a Board member of Running Start. Alyse is a part of the Expert Group for the B Team and is on the Advisory Board of Chime for Change. Fortune Magazine named Alyse one of the 55 Most Influential Women on Twitter. Alyse is the author of the best-selling book Vital Voices: The Power of Women Leading Change Around the World and has been featured in various international and national media. She completed her graduate degree work at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

Reshma Saujani: Reshma Saujani is the Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, a national non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology and prepare young women for jobs of the future. In her groundbreaking new book, “Women Who Don’t Wait in Line,” Reshma advocates for a new model of female leadership focused on embracing risk and failure, promoting mentorship and sponsorship, and boldly charting your own course — personally and professionally. After years of working as an attorney and supporting the Democratic party as an activist and fundraiser, Reshma left her private sector career behind and surged onto the political scene as the first Indian American woman in the country to run for US Congress. Following the highly publicized race, Reshma stayed true to her passion for public service, becoming Deputy Public Advocate of New York City and most recently running a spirited campaign for Public Advocate on a platform of creating educational and economic opportunities for women and girls, immigrants, and those who have been sidelined in the political process. A true political entrepreneur, Reshma has been fearless in her efforts to disrupt both politics and technology to create positive change.

Scribd: Scribd is the premier subscription book service with more than half a million e-books and audiobooks including New York Times bestsellers, Pulitzer Prize winners and reader favorites across every genre. Launched in 2007 by founders Trip Adler and Jared Friedman and backed by Y Combinator, Charles River Ventures, Redpoint Ventures and Khosla Ventures, Scribd is one of the most influential websites in the world. It is available in nearly every country, featuring 62MM documents in +80 languages.

Trip Adler is CEO and co-founder of Scribd. More than 100 million users read books and other documents on-demand using Scribd. Inspired by trying to help his father publish a medical paper, Trip started Scribd in 2007 with a simple observation that even with the proliferation of blogs and other self-publishing tools, there was no easy way for people to publish to a readership of millions. Today, Scribd makes it incredibly simple for anyone to share and discover informative, entertaining and original written content on the web and mobile devices. Prior to co-founding Scribd, the Harvard-educated entrepreneur tested the waters with a ridesharing service, Craiglist service for colleges, and an informational call center. Trip graduated from the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences with a major in Physics.

Jason Silva: Jason Silva is the Emmy-nominated host of National Geographic Channel’s Emmy-nominated hit TV series, Brain Games, seen in over 100 countries. “A Timothy Leary of the Viral Video Age” was how The Atlantic described television personality, filmmaker and philosopher Silva, who has also been described as “part Timothy Leary, part Ray Kurzweil, and part Neo from ‘The Matrix.’” Silva is the creator of the Discovery Digital web series SHOTS OF AWE, micro-documentaries exploring creativity, innovation, exponential technology, futurism, metaphysics, existentialism and the human condition.  In short: Philosophy, Science and Art for the YouTube generation. The videos, which “play like movie trailers for ideas,” according to The Atlantic, have spread like wildfire across the internet and have been viewed more than 10 million times. An active and prolific global speaker, Jason has spoken at TEDGlobal, Google’s Zeitgeist Conference, keynoted multiple events for Microsoft, IBM, Adobe, Oracle, Electronic Arts, Honeywell, PEPSICO, Intel, Dolby, the Tribeca Film Festival, The Sydney Opera house, The Economist Ideas Festival, the main stage at SXSW Interactive and the MainStage at CANNES LIONS festival of Creativity.

Bill Simmons: Bill Simmons is a columnist, author, and podcaster whose prolific writings, rants, and insights have become the voice for a generation of American sports fans. Simmons is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Grantland, the sports and pop culture website that he created for ESPN in June 2011. Thanks to Simmons’s guidance and one of the most talented writing staffs in the business, Grantland has become the internet’s most accomplished multi-media site, recently getting nominated for three National Magazine Awards and earning an Emmy for the digital series “30 for 30 Shorts.” Grantland also launched a video network that features a variety of shows and podcasts, including Simmons’ The B.S. Report, which has been the most downloaded sports podcast since 2007 and featured guests like President Obama, Lorne Michaels, Louis CK, and Larry Bird. He is also the creator and host of The Grantland Basketball Hour—the first Grantland-branded television series on ESPN—and is the co-creator and an executive producer of ESPN’s Peabody Award-winning documentary series, 30 for 30. Off-screen, Simmons is the author of two best-selling books, including the New York Times No. 1 best-seller, The Book of Basketball. He currently lives in Los Angeles.

Shane Smith: Shane Smith is the founder and CEO of VICE, the global youth media brand. One of the industry’s most respected visionaries, Smith is also a critically acclaimed journalist, and the host and executive producer for the Emmy winning news series, VICE, on HBO. Under Smith’s guidance, VICE, initially launched in 1994 as a punk magazine, has expanded and diversified to become the world’s leading youth media company; operating an international network of digital channels, a television production studio, a record label, an in-house creative services agency, a book-publishing house and a feature film division. VICE’s award-winning video content covers news, culture, music, technology, sports and fashion from a unique perspective tailored towards a young international audience often ignored by mainstream media. To syndicate VICE’s content globally, Smith established a network of content distribution partnerships with leading platforms, including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, HBO, and others. VICE’s online presence has since exploded, with its network of channels reaching hundreds of millions of viewers a month. Smith has reported from the world’s most isolated and difficult places, including North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Liberia and Greenland. Smith has been awarded numerous journalism and media awards, including the 2014 Knight Innovation Award, the Environmental Media Award, and more.

Tampon Run: High school students Sophie Houser and Andrea Gonzales created an 8-bit side scroller game, Tampon Run, last summer to combat the menstrual taboo. They made the game as their final project for the Girls Who Code immersion program. They posted it to tamponrun.com in early September to share with friends and family. To their surprise, it went viral. Tampon Run features a girl who throws tampons at oncoming enemies rather than shooting a gun. The game is meant to combat the menstrual taboo by using humor to promote thought and discussion about the topic. Since posting their game online, Sophie and Andy have been written up in newspapers, magazines and blogs globally and received moving emails and tweets of support from around the world. They have also appeared at public speaking engagements including a TEDx Youth talk and worked with leading development company Pivotal Labs to build a mobile version of the game, to be released on February 3. Sophie and Andy represent a fight against the menstrual taboo and also the important message that girls and women can and should code.

Nicole Ticea: If there are two things Nicole could credit for helping her develop the most cost-effective device for early HIV detection, she would say ‘passion’ and ‘youthful naïveté’. A teenage researcher from Vancouver, Canada, Nicole has spent the past two years building a team of co-collaborators and business partners at Simon Fraser University, a local institute, and at Stanford. She has taken her work to the national and international stage as the winner of the Canadian BioGENEius Challenge for biotechnology and was also awarded Second Place in Medicine and Health at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Nicole has adopted a business-minded attitude towards her research by founding her own company, OneWorld Diagnostics Inc., to attract investors for further product development. Nicole and her team have also applied to several grants and hope to raise enough money to see this product deployed in low-resource settings such as Sub-Saharan Africa, where the test will significantly increase infant survival rates and minimize undiagnosed HIV infection amongst adults. Outside of her research, Nicole is an avid author who hopes to cast a new light on long-repressed local issues.

Darren Walker: Darren Walker is president of the Ford Foundation, where he oversees more than $12 billion in assets, $500 million annually in global social justice grants and 10 international offices. He has been a leader in the social sector for more than two decades, including serving as vice president at the Rockefeller Foundation, and his expertise ranges from human rights to urban development to free expression. He spent almost a decade on the frontlines of community development at Harlem’s Abyssinian Development Corporation, after a career working in international finance and law at UBS and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. Walker voices a unique perspective on the ways that market forces, democratic institutions and an independent nonprofit sector must work together to achieve lasting social change.

 

About the Disruptor Foundation

The Disruptor Foundation is an independent 501(C)3 non-profit private foundation co-founded in 2009 by Craig Hatkoff, Irwin Kula and Professor Clayton Christensen, who also serves as Senior Advisor. The Foundation’s mission is to raise awareness of and encourage the advancement of disruptive innovation theory and its application in societally-critical domains. The Foundation’s marquee event, the annual Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards, is presented in collaboration with the Tribeca Film Festival and the Harvard Business School’s Professor Clayton Christensen, originator of disruptive innovation theory. It will seek to broaden the theory and applications of disruptive as well as other forms of innovations into non-traditional domains and areas. The Foundation will organize, plan and sponsor conferences, events, seminars, awards, prizes, publications, digital and electronic resources for analysis, study, research and application using Disruptive Innovation to effect societal change. The Foundation will encourage cross-disciplinary interaction and serve as a convener of traditional and non-traditional thinkers, entrepreneurs, educators, funders and innovation activists. The Disruptor Foundation Fellows are a self-defining, self-organizing community of accomplished and promising innovators, applying transdisciplinary approaches in their work and daily lives to further the study and application of disruptive innovation. There are no requirements and no obligations other than to be part of an interesting community of creative “solutionaries” across domains.

About the Tribeca Film Festival

The Tribeca Film Festival helps filmmakers reach the broadest possible audience, enabling the international film community and general public to experience the power of cinema and promote New York City as a major filmmaking center. It is well known for being a diverse international film festival that supports emerging and established directors. Founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff in 2001, following the attacks on the World Trade Center, to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of the lower Manhattan district through an annual celebration of film, music, and culture, the Festival brings the industry and community together around storytelling. The Tribeca Film Festival has screened more than 1,600 films from more than 80 countries since its first edition in 2002. Since inception, it has attracted an international audience of more than 4.9 million attendees, and has generated an estimated $900 million in economic activity for New York City.

About the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival Sponsors

As Presenting Sponsor of the Tribeca Film Festival, AT&T is committed to supporting the Festival and the art of filmmaking through access and innovation, aiming to make this the most interactive film festival in the country, where visitors experience the Festival in ways they never imagined. The Tribeca Film Festival is pleased to announce its Signature Sponsors: Accenture, American Express, Bloomberg, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Gin, Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), Brookfield Place, ESPN, IWC Schaffhausen, The Lincoln Motor Company, NCM Media Networks, The New York Times, Santander, United Airlines, and VDKA® 6100. The Festival welcomes new Signature Sponsors: NBC 4 New York and Spring Studios.

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CONNECT WITH TRIBECA: To keep up with Tribeca, visit www.tribecafilm.com/festival. Like the Tribeca Film Festival Facebook page at facebook.com/TribecaFilm. Follow us on Twitter @TribecaFilmFest and on Instagram @tribeca and join the conversation by using the hashtag #TFF2015 or #TribecaTogether.

MEDIA CONTACTS:   

Rubenstein Communications

Emily Vicker – (212) 843-8078, evicker@rubenstein.com

Tribeca Enterprises

Tammie Rosen – (212) 941-2003, trosen@tribecaenterprises.com

Visit the Class of 2015 page for the complete list of all TDIA 2015 Honorees and for more information on each honoree.

The 2015 Awards Ceremony will take place:

Friday, April 24th at 11:00 a.m.
Tribeca Performing Arts Center at BMCC (Borough of Manhattan Community College)
199 Chambers Street (at West Side Highway)

Airbnb

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Founded in August of 2008 and based in San Francisco, California, Airbnb is a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world – online or from a mobile phone. Whether an apartment for a night, a castle for a week, or a villa for a month, Airbnb connects people to unique travel experiences at any price point, in more than 34,000 cities and 190 countries. And with world-class customer service and a growing community of users, Airbnb is the easiest way for people to monetize their extra space and showcase it to an audience of millions.

Accepting on behalf of Airbnb is Co-Founder Brian Chesky

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Brian is the co-founder and CEO at Airbnb. He drives the company’s vision, strategy and growth as it provides interesting and unique ways for people to travel and changes the lives of its community. Under Brian’s leadership, Airbnb stands at the forefront of the sharing economy, and has expanded to over 1,000,000 listings in 190 countries. Brian met co-founder Joe Gebbia at the Rhode Island School of Design where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in industrial design.

Nathan Blecharczyk is the co-founder and CTO at Airbnb. He oversees the technical strategy of the company, and is dedicated to building a team of world-class engineers to keep Airbnb at the forefront of the industry. Nathan became an entrepreneur early on running a business while he was in high school, selling to clients in more than 20 countries. He received a degree in Computer Science from Harvard University and held several engineering positions with Microsoft, OPNET Technologies and Batiq before becoming a co-founder at Airbnb.

Joe Gebbia is the co-founder and CPO at Airbnb. He leads the product team in creating meaningful experiences through intuitive design, and oversees Airbnb’s brand and product development. Joe draws on his previous experience as a designer at Chronicle Books, as well as his development of a green design site and several consumer products. He earned dual degrees in Graphic Design and Industrial Design at the Rhode Island School of Design, where he met co-founder Brian Chesky.

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Social Media:

Twitter – @airbnb  @bchesky 

Facebook – Airbnb

Website - www.airbnb.com

Select Publications:

The New York Times

Wired

Inc.

Fast Company

Yahoo News

Video:

Shane Smith

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Shane Smith is the founder and CEO of VICE, the global youth media brand. One of the industry’s most respected visionaries, Smith is also a critically acclaimed journalist, and the host and executive producer for the Emmy winning news series, VICE, on HBO. Under Smith’s guidance, VICE, initially launched in 1994 as a punk magazine, has expanded and diversified to become the world’s leading youth media company; operating an international network of digital channels, a television production studio, a record label, an in-house creative services agency, a book-publishing house and a feature film division. VICE’s award-winning video content covers news, culture, music, technology, sports and fashion from a unique perspective tailored towards a young international audience often ignored by mainstream media.  To syndicate VICE’s content globally, Smith established a network of content distribution partnerships with leading platforms, including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, HBO, and others. VICE’s online presence has since exploded, with its network of channels reaching hundreds of millions of viewers a month. Smith has reported from the world’s most isolated and difficult places, including North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Liberia and Greenland. Smith has been awarded numerous journalism and media awards, including the 2014 Knight Innovation Award, the Environmental Media Award, and more. VICE has also won scores of awards for its groundbreaking reporting, including an Emmy Award for Best Information Series or Special, the PEN Center 2014 Award of Honor, Television Academy Honors for socially conscious programming, and more. Smith graduated from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, with a BA in English Literature and Political Science. He enjoys cold white wine and long, bubbly baths—preferably in tandem.

 About VICE Media:

VICE is a global youth media company and content creation studio. Launched in 1994 as a punk magazine, VICE now operates out of 36 countries, and has expanded into a multimedia network, including the world’s premier source for original online video, VICE.COM; an international network of digital channels; an award winning television & feature film production studio including an Emmy-Winning HBO Show, the Sundance Award winning film FISHING WITHOUT NETS and a overall film partnership with 20th Century Fox; a magazine; a record label; and a book-publishing division.

Social Media:

Twitter – @shanesmith30  

Facebook – Shane Smith

VICE YouTube Channel

Website – www.vice.com 

Select Publications:

The Wall Street Journal

NPR

Adweek

The New York Times

Ad Age

Video:

Jennifer Hyman – Rent The Runway

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Jennifer Hyman is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Rent the Runway, a fashion company with a technology soul that is disrupting the way women get dressed. In her role, she oversees strategic initiatives and leads the company in growing all areas of the business, including marketing, technology, product, and analytics.

She co-founded the company in 2009 with Jennifer Fleiss, and has since raised $116 million in venture capital. With over 5 million members, 300 employees and 270 designer brands, Rent the Runway is the largest rental platform in the world, democratizing luxury for women everywhere in the sharing economy.

Jennifer has been honored with numerous recognitions including: Fortune Magazine’s “Trailblazers, 11 People Changing Business in 2013”, “Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs”, and “40 Under 40”; Inc. Magazine’s “30 Under 30”; and Fast Company’s “Most Influential Women in Technology”.

Prior to Rent the Runway, Jennifer was the Director of Business Development at IMG where she focused on the creation of new media businesses for IMG’s Fashion Division. She also ran an online advertising sales team at WeddingChannel.com and was an in-house entrepreneur at Starwood Hotels, creating Starwood’s first wedding business which was recognized on the Oprah Winfrey Show for its innovation.

She received her BA from Harvard University and MBA from Harvard Business School. Jennifer is a Bloomberg Fellow, a TechStars mentor, and a member of both the Entrepreneurship Board at the Fashion Institute of Technology and the Women in Business Board at Harvard University.

Social Media:

Twitter – @Jenn_RTR

Facebook – Rent The Runway

Website – www.renttherunway.com

Select Publications:

Ad Week

The Wall Street Journal

Forbes

The Huffington Post

Business Insider

Video:

Reshma Saujani

Reshma Saujani

Reshma Saujani is the Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, a national non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology and prepare young women for jobs of the future.

In her groundbreaking new book, “Women Who Don’t Wait in Line,” Reshma advocates for a new model of female leadership focused on embracing risk and failure, promoting mentorship and sponsorship, and boldly charting your own course — personally and professionally.

After years of working as an attorney and supporting the Democratic party as an activist and fundraiser, Reshma left her private sector career behind and surged onto the political scene as the first Indian American woman in the country to run for US Congress. Following the highly publicized race, Reshma stayed true to her passion for public service, becoming Deputy Public Advocate of New York City and most recently running a spirited campaign for Public Advocate on a platform of creating educational and economic opportunities for women and girls, immigrants, and those who have been sidelined in the political process.

A true political entrepreneur, Reshma has been fearless in her efforts to disrupt both politics and technology to create positive change.

Reshma is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and Yale Law School. She has recently been named one of Forbes’ Most Powerful Women Changing the World, Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People, Ad Age’s Creativity 50, Business Insider’s 50 Women Who Are Changing the World, City & State’s Rising Stars, and an AOL/PBS Next MAKER.

Twitter – @ReshmaSaujani  @GirlsWhoCode

Facebook – Girls Who Code

Select Publications:

Wall Street Journal

The Huffington Post

Wired

Recode

Ad Age

Video:

Tampon Run

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High school students Sophie Houser and Andrea Gonzales created an 8-bit side scroller game, Tampon Run, last summer to combat the menstrual taboo. They made the game as their final project for the Girls Who Code immersion program. They posted it to tamponrun.com in early September to share with friends and family. To their surprise, it went viral. Tampon Run features a girl who throws tampons at oncoming enemies rather than shooting a gun. The game is meant to combat the menstrual taboo by using humor to promote thought and discussion about the topic. Since posting their game online, Sophie and Andy have been written up in newspapers, magazines and blogs globally and received moving emails and tweets of support from around the world. They have also appeared at public speaking engagements including a TEDx Youth talk and worked with leading development company Pivotal Labs to build a mobile version of the game, to be released on February 3. Sophie and Andy represent a fight against the menstrual taboo and also the important message that girls and women can and should code.

About Sophie: Sophie Houser, a 17 year old high school student at Bard High School Early College, created the 8-bit video game Tampon Run in the summer 2014 with Andrea Gonzales to combat the menstrual taboo in society.  It was their final project for the Girls Who Code summer immersion program at IAC. When they released the game online in early September, it went viral.  They then worked with leading agile development firm Pivotal Labs to build the mobile app which they released in February. Sophie and Andy have been written up globally, gave a TEDx Talk and continue to receive emails and tweets of support from people around the world. Through this experience, Sophie discovered her love of coding and its power to cause social change. She is now keen to devise other ways to use technology for social good. Sophie will be attending Brown University next year where she plans to major in Computer Science. It gives her great joy that her story is inspiring other girls to code too.

About Andrea: Andrea Gonzales, a 16 year old high school student at Hunter College High School, is the co-creator and co-developer of the 8-bit game Tampon Run. Ever since she attended her first coding class in 2011, Andrea noticed the gender gap in technology. To share her love of coding, Andrea has been passionate about pointing more girls and women towards computer science. This passion, coupled with her knowledge of coding and fascination with video game design, manifested itself in the game Tampon Run. She and Sophie Houser developed the game for their final project in the Girls Who Code’s summer immersion program, and ever since its launch in September, have worked hard at juggling school and the overwhelming attention from Tampon Run’s success. They recently released Tampon Run for iOS devices, and are strong advocates for girls and women to pursue education and careers in technology.

Website – www.tamponrun.com

Twitter – @tamponrunner

Download the Tampon Run App (iOS)

Select Publications:

TIME

Salon

The Huffington Post

Today

MSNBC.com

Video:

 

Peter Greste

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Australian Journalist Peter Greste and two Al-Jazeera colleagues, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, were arrested on 29 December 2013 for allegedly speaking with the banned Muslim Brotherhood. Peter and his colleagues pleaded not guilty at the trial, which commenced on 20 February 2014. On 23 June 2014, they were found guilty by the court, Peter was sentenced to seven years in prison.

The arrests and continued detention of Peter, and his colleagues, sparked international condemnation. International calls to pardon the three or commute their sentences was rejected on 24 June 2014. On 12 November 2014 President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi passed a decree allowing the deportation of foreigners accused or convicted of crimes, meaning Peter could be deported.

On 1 January 2015 a retrial was announced for Peter and his colleagues, however release on bail was not permitted.

On 1 February 2015 after serving 400 day in Egyptian prison Peter was released. He returned to Australia on 5 February.

Peter is a journalist and correspondent. He worked for a number of news organisations including Reuters and the BBC before joining Al-Jazeera’s English news channel.

An experienced correspondent, Peter started out reporting on Bosnia and South Africa, then moved on to cover Afghanistan, Mexico, and the Middle East. He was the BBC’s Kabul correspondent in 1995, where he watched the Taliban emerge, and he returned after the US-led invasion in 2001. Since 2009 he has been based in Nairobi, Kenya, from where he has covered the Horn of Africa with a particular focus on Somalia. His documentary, Somalia: Land of Anarchy, won a Peabody Award in 2011.

At the 2014 Walkley Awards, whist incarcerated in Cairo, Peter took out the Walkley for Outstanding Contribution to Journalism, recognising his courageous and ongoing fight, not only for his personal freedom, but also for a free press and open democracy.

Bio Source

Social Media:

Twitter – @PeterGreste

Facebook – Peter Greste

Website – www.freepetergreste.org

Select Publications:

Al Jazeera coverage

BBC 

The Guardian

Video:

Jake Burton

Photo by Jeff Curtes

Photo by Jeff Curtes

Snowboarding has changed a lot in the past 38 years since Jake founded Burton Snowboards. One thing has stayed constant during all that time: Jake still leads the world’s most successful snowboard company, testing nearly every product Burton makes. He still takes feedback to heart – whether it’s from a pro rider, a customer email or a kid who happens to sit with him in the gondola. He still walks Burton’s halls almost every day, saying hi to the dogs around the office and seeing what’s up with his co-workers. He still has team riders over to his house for a four-day roundtable to give the final word on the entire product line. He still weighs in on marketing campaigns and leaves product managers notecards with feedback on luggage design, apparel fits, outerwear fabrication, board flexes and graphics. He still can be found at Stowe almost every day it’s open (and plenty of days it’s not) hiking for early and late season turns. He is still inspired by the communal spirit of snowboarding. And he still makes many of the company’s biggest decisions from a chairlift, not a desk.

Read more on Jake’s Burton Timeline

About Burton:

In 1977, Jake Burton Carpenter founded Burton Snowboards out of his Vermont barn and has dedicated his life to snowboarding ever since. Burton has played a pivotal role in growing snowboarding from a backyard hobby to a world-class sport by creating ground-breaking products, supporting a team of top snowboarders and pushing resorts to allow snowboarding. Today, Burton designs and manufactures industry-leading products for snowboarding and the snowboard lifestyle, including snowboards, boots, bindings, outerwear and layering as well as year-round apparel, packs/bags and accessories. Privately held and owned by Jake and his wife, Burton President Donna Carpenter, Burton’s headquarters are in Burlington, Vermont with offices in Austria, Japan, Australia, California, Canada and China.

Social Media:

Twitter – @BurtonSnowboard

Facebook – Burton Snowboards

Instagram – JakeBurton77 and Burton Snowboards

Burton YouTube Channel

Website – www.burton.com

Select Publications:

Inc.

Bloomberg

The Wall Street Journal

Video:

 

 

Darren Walker – The Ford Foundation

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Darren Walker is president of the Ford Foundation, where he oversees more than $12 billion in assets, $500 million annually in global social justice grants and 10 international offices. He has been a leader in the social sector for more than two decades, including serving as vice president at the Rockefeller Foundation, and his expertise ranges from human rights to urban development to free expression. He spent almost a decade on the frontlines of community development at Harlem’s Abyssinian Development Corporation, after a career working in international finance and law at UBS and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. Walker voices a unique perspective on the ways that market forces, democratic institutions and an independent nonprofit sector must work together to achieve lasting social change.

The Ford Foundation Mission:

We believe all people should have the opportunity to reach their full potential, contribute to society, and have voice in the decisions that affect them.

We believe the best way to achieve these goals is to encourage initiatives by those living and working closest to where problems are located; to promote collaboration among the nonprofit, government and business sectors; and to ensure participation by men and women from diverse communities and all levels of society. In our experience, such activities help build common understanding, enhance excellence, enable people to improve their lives and reinforce their commitment to society.

We work mainly by making grants or loans that build knowledge and strengthen organizations and networks. Since our financial resources are modest compared with societal needs, we focus on key problem areas and program strategies.

Created with gifts and bequests by Edsel and Henry Ford, the foundation is an independent, nonprofit, nongovernmental organization, with its own board, and is entirely separate from the Ford Motor Company. The trustees of the foundation set policy and delegate authority to the president and senior staff for the foundation’s grant making and operations. Program officers in the United States, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America explore opportunities to pursue the foundation’s goals, formulate strategies and recommend proposals for funding.

Social Media:

Twitter – @darrenwalker

Facebook – Ford Foundation

Website – www.fordfoundation.org

Select Publications:

The New York Times

People Magazine

Sacramento Bee

Philanthropy New York

Nonprofit Quarterly

Video: 

Formula E Racing

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Formula E is a new FIA single-seater championship and the world’s first fully-electric racing series. Beginning in September 2014 through to June 2015, the championship will compete in some of the world’s leading cities – including London, Beijing and Miami. For the inaugural season, 10 teams, each with two drivers, will go head-to-head creating a unique and exciting racing series designed to appeal to a new generation of motorsport fans. It represents a vision for the future of the motor industry over the coming decades, serving as a framework for R&D around the electric vehicle, accelerating general interest in these cars and promoting sustainability. From season two, Formula E will operate as an “open championship,” allowing teams and manufacturers the opportunity to showcase their own electrical energy innovations. Working to the technical specifications set out by the FIA, teams will focus their efforts on improving and developing battery technology in the hope this will filter into the everyday electric vehicle market. The championship centres around three core values of Energy, Environment and Entertainment and is a fusion of engineering, technology, sport, science, design, music and entertainment – all combining to drive the change towards an electric future.

Accepting on behalf of Formula E are Alejandro Agag and Francesco Costa 

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Alejandro Agag is CEO of Formula E Holdings – a new FIA backed global motor racing Championship using cars powered solely by electricity, launched in September 2014. Born in Madrid in 1970, Alejandro Agag enjoyed an international upbringing in Madrid, Paris and New York, gaining fluency in English, Spanish, French and Italian. Agag graduated in Economics and Business Studies at Colegio Universitario de Estudios Financieros (CUNEF) in Madrid. It was here that his interest in the world of politics began. Agag initially joined the youth organization of the main center-right Spanish party Partido Popular (PP) and went on to become its Head of International Relations. Upon graduating, at the age of 23, Agag was named Deputy Secretary General of the European People’s Party (EPP) and moved to Brussels. After holding that position for two years, Alejandro returned to Spain. Following the PP’s first election victory, Agag was named personal assistant of the Prime Minister. He was only 25. In 1999, after assisting Spain’s Prime Minister for 3 years, Agag returned to European politics, after being elected new Secretary General of the PPE. During the European elections in 1999 Agag won a seat in the European Parliament, becoming the youngest Spanish person to ever win a seat in the European Parliament at the age of 28. As an MEP, Agag joined the Economic and Monetary affairs Commission of the European Parliament, specializing in parliamentary control of the European Central Bank and antitrust policy. He became the spokesperson of the annual antitrust policy report at the European Parliament in 2000. Also, during their 2000 annual congress in Mexico, Agag was elected Secretary General of the Centrist Democrat International (CDI), a global political organization with over 100 member parties from all over the world. Agag combined those three roles until 2001 when he decided to leave the world of politics and move to business. That career decision also coincided with his marriage to Ana Aznar and their move to London.

In 2012, Agag together with his business partner Enrique Bañuelos, a London-based real estate entrepreneur, created Formula E Holdings Ltd. After a period of negotiation, the company signed an agreement with the FIA to exclusively promote the new FIA Formula E Championship featuring racing cars powered solely by electricity. Agag’s motor racing and business credentials earned him the position of CEO of Formula E. The clean energy Championship debuting in 2014 will be held in the heart of global cities, where environmental concerns and rapid urban growth are calling for urgent clean mobility solutions. Agag sees the research and development of electric racing cars as a catalyst for the development of tomorrow’s clean city cars. With over a decade of motorsports experience and years of shaping global and social issues as a politician, Agag is determined to revolutionize the world of clean mobility on the racetrack, city streets and consumer markets. With a passion for technological innovation and a proven skill for turning things around – his biggest challenge yet will be to leave a legacy of clean mobility innovation in our 21st Century racetracks and cities.

Social Media:

Twitter – @FormulaERacing

Facebook – FIA Formula E

Website – www.fiaformulae.com

Select Publications:

NBC News

The Wall Street Journal

Forbes

FOX News

CBS

Video:

 

 

Jason Silva

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Emmy-nominated Host of National Geographic’s Brain Games, which premiered to the highest premiere ratings in the channel’s history, Jason Silva is an extraordinary new breed of philosopher who meshes philosophical wisdom of the ages with an infectious optimism for the future. Combining intriguing insights and a mastery of digital film-making, Jason delivers “philosophical shots of espresso” which unravel the incredible possibilities the future has to offer the human race. His web series and passion project, Shots of Awe, has garnered millions of views around the world and won fans including influencers like Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, Mark Ruffalo, Tribeca Film Fest founder Jane Rosenthal and many others.

Called the “Timothy Leary of the Viral Video Age” by The Atlantic, Jason draws from his experiences as a television personality, a media artist, a filmmaker, to share his inspirational take on scientific and technological advancements, existentialism, metaphysics and philosophy. Using his series of short videos, which play as “movie trailers for ideas,” Jason explores the co-evolution of humans and technology and have garnered over 6 million views and rising. His video “Existential Bummer” went viral and scored 2.5 million views.

Jason’s riveting on-stage delivery style, and his hyper-enthusiastic insights on creativity, innovation, technology, philosophy and the human condition are equally unique and mind-blowing. An “Idea DJ” and a visual poet, Jason is above all, an optimist and a curator of ideas, inspiration and awe.

From 2005 to 2011, Venezuela-born Silva was a presenter on Current TV, the Emmy-winning, independent cable network started by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, where he hosted, wrote and produced more than 100 hours of original content.

An active and prolific speaker, Jason has spoken at TEDGlobal, Google Zeitgeist, and keynoted events for Microsoft, Intel, Oracle Adobe, IBM and Electronic Arts among others. He has also created videos for GE, Samsung and Autodesk. He was a featured speaker at The Economist Ideas Festival, The Sydney Opera House, the DLD Conference, The Singularity Summit, the PSFK Conference, Mexico’s Ciudad De Las Ideas and Seattle’s Interactive Conference.

Jason has been featured in CBS News, CNN, The Atlantic, The Economist, Vanity Fair, Forbes, Gizmodo, Upworthy, Wired, TED.com, IO9, Huffington Post, BigThink, and BrainPickings, among others and he was also featured as part of the Gap “Icons” campaign.

Jason resides in New York City.

Social Media:

Twitter – @JasonSilva

Facebook Page

Shots of Awe: YouTube Channel

Website 

Vimeo

Select Publications:

The Daily Beast – “On Transhumanism…”

The Daily Beast – “Hacking The Tripping Mind…”

Wired 

The Guardian 

Gizmodo

Playlist: “Brain Games” 

Video: 

 

 

 

Ruzwana Bashir

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Photo: Kai Z Feng

Ruzwana Bashir is Founder and CEO of Peek, which is disrupting the $100bn activities industry. Peek.com is a marketplace to book the best activities, and the company has developed backend SaaS tools to provide activity operators with real-time booking and inventory management capabilities. CNBC labeled Peek as the “OpenTable for activities” and the New York Times labeled Peek.com “a site you want to visit again and again.” Peek is backed by tech heavyweights including Google’s Eric Schmidt, Square’s Jack Dorsey and TPG’s David Bonderman. Ruzwana has been selected for Vanity Fair’s Next Establishment, Forbes30 Under 30 in Technology and Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People. Ruzwana started her career in investment banking at Goldman Sachs and in private equity at the Blackstone Group. Before starting Peek she worked at Gilt Groupe and was part of the founding team at Artsy. Ruzwana has an MBA from Harvard Business School, where she was a Fulbright Scholar, and a BA from Oxford University where she was President of the Oxford Union.

Social Media:

Twitter – @ruzwana

Facebook – Peek

Select Publications:

Business Insider

Bloomberg Business (video)

The Guardian

Elle

Video:

 

Bill Simmons

Dr. Bill Magee – Operation Smile

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Dr. William Magee, Jr., CEO and Co-Founder of Operation Smile, has dedicated the past 32 years to helping improve the health and lives of children and young adults around the world. As a leading plastic and craniofacial surgeon, Dr. Magee has trained thousands of physicians worldwide, delivered hundreds of keynote speeches for corporate and national meetings, holds honorary doctorates from many prominent universities, and has appeared in numerous national publications, documentaries and news shows. Under Dr. Magee’s leadership, Operation Smile has grown to be the largest volunteer-based organization providing free cleft surgeries in the world with over 5,400 volunteers. Operation Smile has provided over 220,000 free surgeries for children and young adults born with cleft lips, cleft palates, and other facial deformities in over 60 countries since 1982. In his home state of Norfolk, VA, Dr. Magee maintains a private practice and is Co-Director of The Institute for Craniofacial and Plastic Surgery in the Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters.

About Operation Smile:

Operation Smile is an international children’s medical charity that performs safe, effective cleft lip and cleft palate surgery, and delivers postoperative and ongoing medical therapies to children in low and middle income countries. At Operation Smile, we’re more than a charity. We’re a mobilized force of international medical professionals and caring hearts. Operation Smile is a pioneer in advocating for the importance of safe surgery in resource poor environments and is the largest surgical charity of its kind, leading research into the causes of cleft lip and cleft palate, and its prevention, treatment and eradication. Every three minutes a child is born with a cleft. Children with cleft conditions who survive may have difficulty eating, speaking, hearing or breathing properly. In some places, they are shunned and rejected. And in too many cases, their parents can’t afford the surgeries they need to live a productive life. Every child deserves access to safe, quality surgical care. Every child deserves a future filled with hope. That’s where we come in as the largest volunteer-based children’s medical charity providing free cleft surgeries. Since 1982, Operation Smile — through the help of dedicated medical volunteers — has provided 220,000 free surgical procedures for children and young adults. Our work creates a lasting global impact. We train local medical professionals in developing countries and strengthen healthcare systems so more children in some of the poorest areas in the world can be treated. As one of the most prominent charities for children in the world, we work in over 60 countries to heal children’s smiles and bring hope for a better future. Together, we are saving children’s lives. Thanks to the generosity and spirit of volunteerism shown by our supporters, we heal thousands of children per year. With your help, how many lives can we change tomorrow? Learn more about our mission, key differentiators and history by clicking on the links below to see how we are unique from other children’s charities.

Website

Twitter – @operationsmile

Facebook – Operation Smile

Select Publications:

National Geographic

U.S. News and World Report

The TODAY Show

Good Morning America

US Weekly

Video: 

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David Lynch Foundation

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At-risk populations suffer from epidemic levels of chronic stress and stress-related disorders—fueling violence, crime and soaring health costs, and compromising the effectiveness of education, health, rehabilitation and vocational programs now in place.

The David Lynch Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, was established in 2005 to fund the implementation of scientifically proven stress-reducing modalities, including the Transcendental Meditation program, for at-risk populations such as underserved inner-city students; veterans with PTSD and their families; women and children who are survivors of violence and abuse; American Indians suffering from diabetes, cardiovascular disease and high suicide rates; homeless men participating in reentry programs who are striving to overcome addictions; and incarcerated juveniles and adults. The Foundation also funds university and medical school research to assess the effects of the program on academic performance, ADHD and other learning disorders, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, cardiovascular disease, post-traumatic stress disorder and diabetes. The effectiveness of the Foundation’s programs have been researched at leading medical schools, including Harvard Medical School, Stanford Medical School and Yale Medical School, and have received the endorsement of and support from private foundations and government agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, General Motors Foundation, the Chrysler Foundation, the Kellogg Foundation, the American Indian Education Association, Indian Health Services, many school districts and state departments of corrections.

A message from David Lynch:

“I started Transcendental Meditation in 1973 and have not missed a single meditation ever since. Twice a day, every day. It has given me effortless access to unlimited reserves of energy, creativity and happiness deep within. This level of life is sometimes called “pure consciousness”—it is a treasury. And this level of life is deep within us all. But I had no idea how powerful and profound this technique could be until I saw firsthand how it was being practiced by young children in inner-city schools, veterans who suffer the living hell of post-traumatic stress disorder and women and girls who are victims of terrible violence.

TM is, in a word, life changing for the good.

In 2005, we started the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace to ensure that every child anywhere in the world who wanted to learn to meditate could do so. Now, the Foundation is actively teaching TM to adults and children in countries everywhere. How are we able to do it? Because of the generosity of foundations and philanthropists and everyday people who want to ease the suffering of others—and who want to help create a better world. If you don’t already meditate, take my advice: Start. It will be the best decision you ever make.

Accepting on behalf of the David Lynch Foundation will be the Executive Director, Bob Roth

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Bob Roth is one of the most experienced meditation teachers in America. Over the past 40 years, Bob has taught Transcendental Meditation to many thousands of people and authored an authoritative book on the subject, fittingly entitled Transcendental Meditation, which has been translated into 20 languages.

Bob currently serves as the Executive Director of the David Lynch Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charity which has brought meditation to over 500,000 inner-city youth in underserved schools in 35 countries, to veterans and their families who suffer from post-traumatic stress, and women and children who are survivors of domestic violence. Bob also directs the Center for Leadership Performance, another nonprofit, which brings TM to companies, organizations, and government.

His students include Jerry Seinfeld, Martin Scorsese, David Letterman and Doctor Mehmet Oz. In his lectures, videos and media appearances, Bob makes the often complicated, head-scratching topic of meditation simple, clear and accessible.

Social Media:

Twitter – @lynchfoundation & @meditationbob

Facebook – David Lynch Foundation

Website – www.davidlynchfoundation.org

Select Publications:

The Wall Street Journal

Vogue

The New York Times

USA Today

UrbanZen.org

Video:

Brad Katsuyama

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Brad is the CEO, President, and co-founder of IEX – an equity trading marketplace that is owned and designed for traditional investors – mutual funds, hedge funds, and individuals. Brad is most widely known for his central role in Michael Lewis’ best-selling book, Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt. Prior to co-founding IEX, Brad was a 12-year employee of the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), serving most recently as Global Head of Electronic Sales and Trading, where he spearheaded the development of THOR, an award winning product that helped clients combat predatory high-frequency trading. Brad also held management positions such as: Head of US Trading, Head of US Hedge Fund Trading, and Head of US Technology Trading. Bradley received the Alumni Gold Medal as the top student in the School of Business and Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, where he graduated with a Finance degree and was a two-time academic All-Canadian in Football.

Social Media:

Twitter – @IEXTrading

Facebook – I Am An Investor

Website – IEX Trading

Select Publications:

The New York Times

The Boston Globe

Financial Times

Business Insider

NPR 

Institutional Investor

Video:

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Mary Childs

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Mary Childs joined Bloomberg News in 2009 and reports on the world’s biggest asset managers, in print, on television, and on radio. She previously covered corporate bonds and derivatives, and in April 2012, she and a team were the first to break the story of the JPMorgan London Whale, a trader who lost the bank more than $6 billion on bad derivative positions. For that work, she and her team were finalists for a Gerald Loeb Award in 2013. Before joining Bloomberg, Childs spent a year traveling the world painting portraits on a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, a grant for independent study outside the U.S. She graduated from Washington & Lee University with a degree in business journalism, and after studying at St. Stephen’s College in Delhi, wrote an honors thesis on the use and significance of sting operations in media in India and the U.S. Childs, a native of Richmond, Virginia, volunteers for the News Literacy Project, and continues to paint and draw.

Twitter – @mdc

Select Publications:

Bloomberg News – JPMorgan London Whale story

Bloomberg Business (video)

Video:

Trip Adler – Scribd

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Trip Adler is CEO and co-founder of Scribd. More than 100 million users read books and other documents on-demand using Scribd. Inspired by trying to help his father publish a medical paper, Trip started Scribd in 2007 with a simple observation that even with the proliferation of blogs and other self-publishing tools, there was no easy way for people to publish to a readership of millions. Today, Scribd makes it incredibly simple for anyone to share and discover informative, entertaining and original written content on the web and mobile devices. Prior to co-founding Scribd, the Harvard-educated entrepreneur tested the waters with a ridesharing service, Craiglist service for colleges, and an informational call center. Trip graduated from the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences with a major in Physics.

Social Media:

Twitter – @tripadler and @scribd

Facebook – Scribd

Website – www.scribd.com

Select Publications:

Forbes

Fast Company

The Huffington Post

TechCrunch

Mashable

Video:

Georgette Mulheir – Lumos

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In 1993, Georgette Mulheir went from working with teenage mothers in the north of England, to project managing the development of a ground-breaking program in Romania. One of the most shocking revelations of the December 1989 revolution was the estimated 200,000 children living in horrific conditions in the country’s so-called ‘orphanages’ – the residential institutions established ostensibly to provide care for Romania’s ‘orphaned’ and ‘abandoned’ children. When Georgette arrived at Institution Number 1 in Bucharest, where 550 infants lay staring into space, or rocking back and forth in cramped, dirty cots. The main focus of most agencies was on improving material conditions – fixing heating and sanitation, ensuring better food supplies and warm, winter clothes. Georgette began asking questions that no-one else seemed to. It became clear that most of the children were not orphans, yet nobody seemed to ask: where are the parents and why did they give up their children? Why was the government spending so much money on poor quality institutions, when it would be much cheaper, and better for the children, to support families to raise them?

Georgette’s first project in Romania was to set up a support service for young mothers that helped them to keep their children. The project was quickly able to prove that it was possible to keep children with their mothers in most cases; that the developmental outcomes for the children were much better than for those raised in the institution; and that family-based support was much cheaper than institutionalisation. So why did the institutions continue to exist? The answer was a combination of bureaucratic inertia, a lack of vision of alternative ways of doing things and vested interest in the status quo.

Over the next decade, Georgette worked closely with communities, local authorities and governments in Romania, pioneering a model of ‘deinstitutionalisation’ that shifted resources away from institutions towards community-based health, education and social services that make it possible for all children to remain in their families. She helped the government develop an approach that has reduced the numbers in institutions by more than 95%. Once the tipping point had been reached in Romania, Georgette realized this must be possible anywhere.

Since then, Georgette has worked in 23 countries, adapting the model to local situations. In Sudan, she led a project that helped turn around the situation in a baby institution where the mortality rate was 82%. This was a race against time. That project alone has saved the lives of thousands of babies and made sure they were placed with loving Sudanese families who would give them everything they needed.   Here, it became clear that even in a country recovering from war, with high levels of poverty and social need, institutions were not necessary and basic systems could be established that supported families and communities to care for their own children.

In 2005, J.K. Rowling founded Lumos to address the problem of institutionalisation. Soon afterwards, Georgette was asked to lead Lumos’ programs. She assisted the founder and directors to develop a mission and strategy, not only to address institutionalisation of children, but to end it completely. There are an estimated eight million children living in institutions around the world. More than 80% are not orphans (in Europe, more than 90%). The primary reason for institutionalization is poverty in the family, yet an institutional placement costs up to ten times the amount needed to support a child to stay in their family.

Lumos decided to focus on the European region to start with and, over the past nine years, a tipping point has been achieved. In addition to delivering country programmes that demonstrate how to close institutions and replace them with community-based services, Lumos spearheaded advocacy and training work that persuaded the European Commission to change the rules about how it spends its money. Instead of pouring billions of Euros into renovating and building institutions, EU rules now prohibit this and state that countries must support the transition from institutions to community-based services. As a result, most countries in the European region now have deinstitutionalization plans in place.

Under Georgette’s leadership Lumos is putting in place the infrastructure necessary across the world to reach a global tipping point by 2030 to will ensure that, by 2050, no more children are living in terrible institutions that seriously harm their health and development and expose them to risk of all forms of abuse. All vulnerable children will be raised in families and communities, giving them the chance to develop to their full potential.

Social Media:

Twitter – @lumos

Facebook – Lumos 

Website – www.wearelumos.org

Select Publications:

The Independent

The Economist

BBC News

 The Guardian

The Daily Mail

Video:

 

Nanotronics Imaging

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Nanotronics Imaging are enablers for the next industrial revolution, creating hardware, software and services that deal with the unification of scale. Our microscopes can image over a range previously not thought possible in one instrument. We can look at the macro, micro and atomic scale, and do this all now in 3D. Complex algorithm for the detection, classification and increased resolution of imaging and automation hardware. This ranges from a patented way to avoid the Abbe Limit through image reconstruction, newer types of Sparse data AI, computer vision techniques for creating the fastest nanotopographies in the world and systems for intelligently automating traditionally manual processes.

Accepting on behalf of Nanotronics Imaging is CEO Matthew Putman

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Matthew Putman is the CEO of Nanotronics Imaging, a company that is revolutionizing industry and medicine through the imaging and visualization of some of the world’s smallest materials. Matthew holds a Ph.D. in Applied Physics. He has published over 30 papers and holds 8 patents for his work on devices, instrumentation and software processes. Matthew is the Science Director and Trustee of Pioneer Works in Brooklyn that brings creative visionaries from many disciplines together to ignite novel new creations. Matthew is a jazz pianist and published poet as well as having been involved as an Executive Producer on several films and plays.

Social Media:

Twitter – @nanotronicsimag

Facebook – Nanotronics Imaging

Website – www.nanotronicsimaging.com

Select Publications:

Entrepreneur

Wired

3DPrint.com

Business Wire

Video:

Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham

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Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham is a 23 year-old wheelchair moto-cross athlete from Las Vegas, Nevada. Aaron was born with Spina Bifida, which resulted in him having no usage of his legs. He is the third of six children, all adopted.

Aaron never let anything stop him. Even as a baby and small child, he did anything anyone else his age could do; he just had to figure out how to make it work for him. He rolled over, sat up, and even crawled (on hands and belly, no leg action) pretty much on schedule. Within days of receiving his first “walker” he was off and running. Next came crutches, which he mastered quickly. He would put on a “Superman” cape and blast down the hell on crutches believing, as any other 4 year old, that he could fly.

Aaron started riding at skate parks at the age of 8 when his older brother Brian said he should drop in a quarter pipe. He had been going to the park with Brian and their dad for weeks, but Aaron would just watch from behind the fence. The first time was scary, and he fell, but he was never one to give up just because it wasn’t easy. So he tried again. From then on he was hooked.

He has won a few BMC freestyle competitions, including the 2005 Vegas AmJam BMX finals, but for Aaron that is secondary to the joy of riding and hanging out with his friends at the skate parks.

Over the last eight years Aaron has challenged himself to try progressively more difficult tricks; carving, grinding, power-sliding, hand planting, and spinning are just a few of his accomplishments. In 2005, he perfected a mid air 180-degree turn. Then on July 13th, 2006, he landed the first wheelchair back flip. Four years later, at a camp in Woodward, he landed the first ever double back flip (August 26, 2010). Since then, he has gone on to perform it live while touring with the Nitro Circus. As if this is not enough, on February 9th, 2011, he landed his very first front flip in New Zealand, and on August 25, 2012, he shocked Brazilians by jumping and successfully landing a 50-ft gap off of the Mega Ramp in his chair.

After posting that “first ever back flip” on the Internet, life has changed for Aaron; he has had the opportunity to travel within the US, as well as internationally, performing and speaking in front of many. He has attended summer camps for disabled children as a coach/mentor. He has been featured in magazines, newspapers, and sports television. He receives and responds to e-mails from all over the world.

Aaron enjoys showing young kids with disabilities that a wheelchair can be a toy, not a restriction. He loves helping younger children learn how to handle their chairs in new and different ways and teaching them a trick or two.

Someday he hopes to design “the most wicked” chair in the world.

Aaron has a passion for what he does, not only is it a lot of fun, but he wants to change the world’s perception of people in wheelchairs, as well as help everyone see his/her own challenges in a new way. Aaron’s appeal is universal. You certainly do not have to be disabled to be inspired by what he is able to do.

Social Media:

Twitter – @wcmx4life

Facebook – Aaron Wheelz

Instagram – aaronwheelz

Website 

YouTube Channel:

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Nicole Ticea

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If there are two things Nicole could credit for helping her develop the most cost-effective device for early HIV detection, she would say ‘passion’ and ‘youthful naïveté’. A teenage researcher from Vancouver, Canada, Nicole has spent the past two years building a team of co-collaborators and business partners at Simon Fraser University, a local institute, and at Stanford. She has taken her work to the national and international stage as the winner of the Canadian BioGENEius Challenge for biotechnology and was also awarded Second Place in Medicine and Health at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Nicole has adopted a business-minded attitude towards her research by founding her own company, OneWorld Diagnostics Inc., to attract investors for further product development. Nicole and her team have also applied to several grants and hope to raise enough money to see this product deployed in low-resource settings such as Sub-Saharan Africa, where the test will significantly increase infant survival rates and minimize undiagnosed HIV infection amongst adults. Outside of her research, Nicole is an avid author who hopes to cast a new light on long-repressed local issues. She is also a devout swimmer and runner who believes that physical fitness is the basis for all intellectual pursuits. Above all, Nicole is convinced that only through melding creativity and scientific thought can true progress be achieved, and thus seeks to cultivate these two aspects of her life equally.

Select Publications:

The Huffington Post

IFL Science

Business News Daily

Video:

Alyse Nelson – Vital Voices

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Alyse Nelson is president and chief executive officer of Vital Voices Global Partnership. A cofounder of Vital Voices, Alyse has worked for the organization for 17 years, serving as vice president and senior director of programs before assuming her current role in 2009. Alyse has worked with women leaders to develop training programs and international forums in over 140 countries and has interviewed more than 200 international leaders, including Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and former presidents Mary Robinson and Bill Clinton, as well as Nobel Peace Prize laureates Aung San Suu Kyi, Wangari Maathai, and Muhammad Yunus. Under her leadership, Vital Voices has tripled in size and expanded its global reach to serve a network of over 14,000 women leaders in 144 countries.

Previously, Alyse served as deputy director of the Vital Voices Global Democracy Initiative at the U.S. Department of State. Her position aided former First Lady Hillary Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s commitment to promote the advancement of women as a U.S. foreign policy objective. Alyse helped design and implement Vital Voices initiatives throughout the world. From July 1996 to July 2000, Alyse worked with the President’s Interagency Council on Women at the White House and U.S. Department of State. She attended the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China, in 1995. Alyse is a Member in the Council on Foreign Relations. She serves on the Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society and is a Board member of Running Start and RAD-AID International. Alyse is a part of the Expert Group for the B Team and is on the Advisory Board of Chime for Change.

Alyse is the author of the best-selling book Vital Voices: The Power of Women Leading Change Around the World, with foreword written by Vital Voices Founder, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. The book shares the stories of remarkable, world-changing women, as well as the story of how Vital Voices was founded, and features first person accounts from Board Members including designer Diane von Furstenberg and actor Sally Field, alongside perspectives from global leaders including former President of Chile Michelle Bachelet and Nigerian Minister of Finance Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Alyse has been featured in international and national media, including the Washington Post, Financial Times, the Miami Herald, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Reuters, and has appeared on BBC, PBS, CNN, NPR, FOX News, and CNBC. She completed her graduate degree work at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. In 2006 Alyse was named one of ”Ten Women to Watch” by Washingtonian Magazine and was honored by her alma mater, Emerson College, with the distinguished speaker award.  In 2011 she was featured in Newsweek as one of ”150 Women Shaking the World,” and in 2012 she was The International Alliance for Women (TIAW) World of Difference 100 Award recipient. In 2013, Alyse was invited to speak at the UK Government’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office and at the Department for International Development’s Distinguished Speaker Series. In 2014, Alyse was invited to speak at the Oxford Union at Oxford University and Fortune Magazine named Alyse one of the 55 Most Influential Women on Twitter.

Social Media:

Twitter – @AlyseNelson & @vitalvoices

Facebook – Vital Voices

YouTube – Vital Voices

Select Publications:

Forbes

The Daily Beast

The New York Daily News

Fortune (contributor)

The Huffington Post (contributor)

Video:

Gundersen Health’s Advance Care Planning

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Patients and their caregivers often are not asked what care they want, and not given options to make good decisions. Instead, they get care that providers deem best. Advance care planning is the process of coming to understand, reflect on, discuss and plan for a time when you cannot make your own medical decisions.

The goal of advance care planning is to develop a plan that reflects your informed decision whatever they may be and to make sure that those close to you know and support that plan. The ultimate goal is to make sure you receive the best care possible, as you have decided, based on all the information, even when you cannot participate in your own decisions.

Respecting Choices® is a comprehensive, community-wide program, created and led by healthcare organizations and state and local medical societies. Owned and operated by Gundersen Health System, based in La Crosse, Wis., its mission is to engage patients and their families in informed conversations about advance care planning and to improve the systems and processes used to collect and store advance care planning decisions in patients’ medical records. The program provides standardized, locally developed patient education materials to patients across all healthcare settings in the community; trains non-physician facilitators to guide patients and their families in advance care planning; and implements common policies and practices for collecting, maintaining, retrieving and using advance care planning documents across settings. The program increased completion of documentation of advance care plans, achieved a high degree of consistency between patients’ desires and actual care decisions made at the end of life, and is associated with low care costs during the last two years of life.

Gundersen Health System has received national attention for Respecting Choices, and is assisting healthcare facilities around the world in implementing Respecting Choices in their communities.

More information on the Gundersen Health website:  http://www.gundersenhealth.org/respecting-choices

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Accepting the Award on behalf of the program are Dr. Linda Briggs and Dr. Bernard Hammes 

Linda Briggs is a master’s-prepared nurse with 25 years of experience in critical care as a staff nurse, clinical nurse specialist, and educator. She received her MSN from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and an MA in bioethics from the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. Ms. Briggs joined the Respecting Choices team as the Associate Director in 1999. In this role, she is responsible for curriculum development and provides consultation and education to assist organization and community leaders interested in implementing the nationally recognized advance care planning program, Respecting Choices. Her research has been focused on the disease-specific planning needs of patients with advanced illness and their families. Ms. Briggs has co-authored several Respecting Choices manuals and has published numerous articles related to end-of-life decision making.

Dr. Bernard Hammes is the director of Medical Humanities and Respecting Choices® for Gundersen Health System headquartered in La Crosse, Wis. In this position, he provides educational programs for house staff, medical students, nursing students and physician assistant students. He also provides in-services and workshops for the medical staff, nursing staff, social workers and the pastoral care department. Dr. Hammes chairs both the Institutional Review Board and Ethics Committee at Gundersen. He serves the role of ethics consultant on the Ethics Committee. Dr. Hammes’ work has been primarily focused on improving care for patients with serious illness. He has developed institutional policies and practices, staff education and patient/community education with a special focus on advance care planning. This work has resulted in two nationally recognized programs on advance care planning: If I Only Knew… and Respecting Choices. He served as editor for the book Having Your Own Say: Getting the Right Care When It Matters Most, which was released in 2012. He has authored or co-authored 42 articles and book chapters that are focused on clinical ethics, advance care planning and care of patients with serious illness. Dr. Hammes is a member of the executive committee of the National POLST Paradigm Task Force and serves as the current past-chair of the Task Force. He is on the board of directors for the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (C-TAC) and serves as the vice president of the International Society of Advance Care Planning.

Select Publications:

Forbes’ “The Off-White Papers” blog by TDIA’s Craig Hatkoff & Irwin Kula – 2014

NBC News – 2012

CBS News – 2014

NPR’s “All Things Considered” Program – 2009

ABC News “Good Morning America – 2009

Video:

 

Alec Momont

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Alec Momont recently founded Drones For Good, an open platform that is changing the public perception of drones. It is redefining what the technology can do for people and leverage its strengths for the greater good. One of its recent innovations is the Ambulance Drone, a high speed (over 100km/h) UAV that carries critical supplies to any emergency situation. Within minutes after an accident can provide the right care to prevent further escalation and save lives. In case of, for example, cardiac arrest brain death and permanent death start to occur in just 4 to 6 minutes. With the Automated Defibrillator on board the patient can be shocked to reestablish regular heart rhythm. Other uses include people that are drowning, stroke, diabetes etc. The technology is currently being field tested in Belgium to improve speed and user-machine interaction.

More about the Ambulance Drone:

One of the latest media hypes are Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or drones, promising a range of possibilities previously unimaginable. They are expected to revolutionize the way we transport things, gather information or automate processes.  Yet, drones are still commonly associated with destruction due their usage in clandestine operations by the United States of America. Within this project the focus laid on using drones for a good purpose. One of the search directions was the ambulance drone, which was further developed.

The first minutes after an accident are critical and essential to provide the right care to prevent escalation. Speeding up emergency response can prevent deaths and accelerate recovery dramatically. This is notably true for heart failure, drowning, traumas and respiratory issues. Lifesaving technologies such as an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), medication, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) aids can be designed compact enough to be carried by a drone. For the Ambulance Drone, a new type of frame was developed that is a compact flying toolbox containing essential supplies for (lay-person) advanced life support. Portability and foldability help the drone to be used anywhere, also indoors. The first prototype focuses on the delivery of an Automated Defibrillator (AED). In the European Union around 800.000 people per year suffer from a cardiac arrest, an upsetting number considering that only 8% survives this incident. The main reason for this high number of casualties is the relatively slow response time of emergency services (10 minutes). Brain death and permanent death start to occur in just 4 to 6 minutes.

With the Ambulance Drone, it is possible to deliver defibrillation to any patient in a 12 km2 area within 1 minute. At that speed, survival rates can be as high as 80%. Secondly, the incorporation of a two-way, video supported, communication channel in the drone between 112 operators and the first responders will improve first care. Successful AED usage by lay-persons is currently at 20%. With personalized instructions and communication on the Ambulance Drone, this can be increased to 90%. In short, the Ambulance Drone helps to save lives by extending existing emergency infrastructure with a network of fast and compact UAVs capable of bringing emergency supplies and establishing communication, anywhere.

The Ambulance Drone is the result of Alec’s Master Graduation thesis research project. It aims to save lives through the delivery of emergency supplies within the first minute after an accident. On the 28th of October he presented this project and graduated from the TU Delft with the highest score possible as only the 5th person in 50 years.

Social Media:

Twitter – @alecmomont

Facebook – Alec Momont

Website – www.alecmomont.com

Select Publications:

Forbes

The Washington Post

FastCo Exist

The Blaze

Slate

Video:

Ayah Bdeir – littleBits

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Ayah Bdeir is the founder and CEO of littleBits, an award-winning library of electronic modules that snap together with magnets to allow anyone to learn, build, and invent with electronics. Bdeir is an engineer, interactive artist and one of the leaders of the open source hardware movement. Bdeir’s career and education have centered on advancing open source hardware to make education and innovation more accessible to people around the world. She is a co-founder of the Open Hardware Summit, a TED Senior Fellow and an alumna of the MIT Media Lab. Bdeir was named one of Inc. Magazine’s 35 Under 35, one of NY Business Journal’s Women of Influence, one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business, one of Popular Mechanics’ 25 Makers Who Are Reinventing the American Dream, one of Entrepreneur’s 10 Leaders to Watch, one of the CNBC Next List, and one of MIT Technology Review’s 35 Innovators Under 35. Originally from Lebanon and Canada, Ayah now lives in New York City.

About littleBits™

littleBits is making hardware limitless and has one mission: to put the power of electronics in the hands of everyone. littleBits makes a library of electronic modules that snap together with magnets to allow anyone to learn, build, and invent with electronics—no soldering, wiring, or programming required. The company was founded in 2011 by MIT Media Lab graduate, TED Senior Fellow, and cofounder of the Open Hardware Summit, Ayah Bdeir.

The littleBits library includes 9 kits and more than 67 interoperable modules, with products sold in more than 70 countries around the world and in over 2,000 schools and maker spaces. littleBits products have won more than 25 tech and education awards including an acquisition into the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) permanent collection, IDEA Gold Award, Parents’ Choice Gold Award, Popular Science Best of Toyfair, Good Housekeepings Best Toy Award and Makerfaire Educator’s Choice and Editor’s Choice Awards. The company was featured in CNN’s “Top 10 Startups to Watch” in 2013. Ayah Bdeir was named one of Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business,” one of Inc.’s “35 Under 35” and “Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2015,” one of Entrepreneur’s “10 Leaders to Watch,” one of Popular Mechanics’ “25 Makers Who Are Reinventing the American Dream,” one of MIT Technology Review’s “35 Innovators Under 35,” and one of the CNBC Next List.

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Social Media:

Twitter – @ayahbdeir

Facebook – littlebits

Website – www.littlebits.cc

Select Publications:

Fortune 

Inc.

Fast Company

Good Housekeeping – Best Toys of 2014

CNBC

ReadWrite.com

Video:

Andy Puddicombe – Co-Founder, Headspace

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Andy Puddicombe, a former monk with a degree in Circus Arts, is the co-founder of Headspace, an award-winning digital health platform providing guided meditation sessions and mindfulness training to the masses.

TED talker, BBC contributor and Huffington Post writer, Andy is on a mission to get as many people as possible to integrate a 10-minute meditation exercise into their lives, bringing them, through Headspace, a “gym membership for the mind.” He has also authored two books, Get Some Headspace and The Headspace Diet, published in 25 countries and translated into 10 languages.

In his early twenties, midway through a Sports Science degree and a very typical student life, Andy made the radical decision to give it all up and set off to Asia to become a Buddhist monk. For more than ten years, his meditation training took him all over the world, to Nepal, India, Burma, Thailand, Australia and Russia. He became a fully-ordained monk at a Tibetan Monastery in the Indian Himalayas.

In 2004, Andy returned to the UK with one simple aim in mind: to demystify meditation, to make it accessible, relevant and beneficial for as many people as possible. Following years of further training, registration and planning, Headspace officially launched in spring of 2010. With hundreds of hours of content, it is acknowledged as one of the most comprehensive secular programmes for meditation and mindfulness, and has now been featured in over 65 international press titles.

As well as writing and presenting, Andy and his team have partnered with companies such as Virgin Atlantic, Westin Hotels Worldwide, Selfridges and The Huffington Post. They have consulted for Innocent Drinks, Reuters, KPMG and Credit Suisse, teaching people how to be less stressed and more focused in an increasingly challenging work environment, and count Gwyneth Paltrow, Emma Watson, Olympic Gold Medalist Etienne Stott and Twitter founder Evan Williams among their fans.

Based in Venice, California, Andy’s daily meditations have been listened to by over 2 million Headspace users around the world.

Twitter – @andy_headspace

Facebook – Andy Puddicombe

Website – www.headspace.com

Select Publications:

The New York Times

Telegraph (UK)

Wired (UK)

Video:

Denise Restauri — Founder and CEO, GirlQuake

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As the founder and CEO of GirlQuake and a Forbes Media contributor, Denise Restauri amplifies the voices of girls and women by giving them platforms to redefine the notion of power. Denise is the author of the Forbes book Their Roaring Thirties: Brutally Honest Career Talk From Women Who Beat The Youth Trap. She was the executive producer of the inaugural Forbes Women’s Summit. She has been at start-up, speed-up and stay #1 companies in both digital and traditional media. Denise serves on the boards of female-led organizations, has been named to numerous people to watch lists and has appeared on NBCToday, CBS Early Show, ABC News and CNN International. 

 Social Media:

Twitter – @deniserestauri

Facebook – Denise Restauri

LinkedIn – Denise Restauri

Contributor Page: Forbes

Andi E. Bernstein – Head of Strategic Partnerships and New Market Growth, Compass

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Andi E. Bernstein is Head of Strategic Partnerships and New Market Growth at Compass. Launched in 2013, Compass is a technology-driven real estate platform that is revolutionizing the process of buying, selling or renting a home in New York and Washington, DC, pairing exceptional agents with best-in-class technology.

Previously, Ms. Bernstein was Senior Vice President of Oxygen Media (1999-2007) and was part of the management team that launched the network in 1999. Prior to that, she worked in the financial and media industries, including Chase Manhattan Bank’s Media and Entertainment Division, Time, Inc., Brant Publications and Rockefeller Financial Services.

Ms. Bernstein is on the Board of Women for Women International, The Joseph Papp Public Theater and is a member of the Woodrow Wilson School Advisory Council at Princeton University.  She was also a member of the National Finance Committee (NFC) for both the 2008 and 2012 Obama Presidential Campaigns and was one of the organizers and leaders of Women for Obama in New York.

Ms. Bernstein graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton University with a B.A. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. She is married to Tom A. Bernstein and they have three children.

Makenzie Mallory — Founder and CEO, Atlantik

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Makenzie Mallory is an entrepreneur, investor, philanthropist, explorer and documentary photographer.

She is the Founder + CEO of ATLANTIK, a construction industry enterprise software and analytics company (currently in development). Previously, she was the Managing Director of Pacific Noon- a natural resources consultancy focused on South Asia and Africa (agriculture, mining, oil & gas, forestry).

Her interests lie in the intersection of youth leadership, geopolitics, the developing world, private sector economic development, adventure and space travel, natural resources/heavy industry and photography.

She is the head of “X”- an off the record, activity based summit and community for the next generation of top level decision makers and wealth holders in the developing world.

Makenzie received a degree in Photojournalism from the International Center of Photography in 2010 with a graduation thesis (year long photo project) on youth gangs and violence in Harlem. Her upcoming photography book “Pakistan Zindabad”, is the result of several years in country covering national elections, culture, youth, landscapes and the general state of Pakistan before the United States withdrawal from neighboring Afghanistan, will be published in the fall of 2016.

 

Fran Lebowitz — Writer

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Fran Lebowitz lives in New York City where she divides her time.

Ceci Kurzman — Founder and President, Nexus Management Group

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Ceci Kurzman is the founder and president of Nexus Management Group, a talent management and business development company. Kurzman has managed business development and career strategy for several high profile “living brands”, including Shakira and Alicia Keys. Currently, Nexus is focused on partnering capital resources with talent-driven brand-to-business strategies.

Prior to founding Nexus Management in 2004, Kurzman served as Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at Epic / Sony Music.  Kurzman began her career at Arista Records where she held the positions of Director of Artist Development and Director of Special Projects, successively.

In addition to running Nexus Management, Ceci plays an active role as both an investor and operations in a variety of early and growth-stage companies.

Kurzman serves on the boards of Revlon, Spring Studios, Migreat, Choate Rosemary Hall, Barefoot Foundation, The Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation, Médecins du Monde, The Royal Academy of Arts, and the New York City Global Partners. She is also a member of The Council on Foreign Relations’ Global Communications Advisory Committee.

 

Kelly Le Brock — Activist, Model, Actress

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Kelly Le Brock, an iconic star of the ’80s, was beloved on a global scale not only for her role in the films Weird Science(1985) and Woman in Red(1984), but also for her unforgettable spreads in Vogue magazine and famous “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful” line from Pantene commercials. Though for a time Kelly escaped the spotlight to find a healthier lifestyle and raise her family away from the strains of fame, she has now returned with a different agenda, to fight for a more equitable and healthy society. Kelly is activating her peers and fans overcome gender based violence and partake in healthier foods choices and lifestyles.

Kelly most recently lent her support to the The UN Trust campaign to end violence against women “SayNO UNiTE to End Violence” with Carolyn Hardy. The Secretary-General’s campaign began on the 25th of November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and was prolonged for a 16 day stretch of community activism through the “ORANGE your neighborhood” campaign. On the 25th of every month the UN has invited its supporters such as Kelly to remind their communities to end violence against women and girls around the world.

Kelly has also used her fame for creating a healthier society through food and lifestyle habits. Her prominence and influence in social media circles has lead her to create a platform known as “Kelly’s Kitchen” which incorporates a free mobile app, foodtweeks, to help her followers make better decisions everyday. As an ambassador to the app she spurred fans, followers and foodies to download it and take part in the campaigns surrounding the movement and app. By taking part in Twitter Chats about food and nutrition (over 100 million impressions in one Twitter Chat) and encouraging fellow film industry partners to step up at the Boston Film Festival during September’s “Hunger Action Month,” Kelly has amplified success across events and online platforms for her causes.

On the international side of participation, Kelly was a voice in Northern Ireland’s campaign to tackle growing weight problems through the Public Health Agency in 2013 which has helped to grow her considerable influence with foodies and activists alike.

Kelly works with causes that she personally identifies with to bring an encouraging human voice that is recognizable on a global scale. She spurs her followers and fans to action while encouraging others in positions of authority to step forward and lead. As a strong voice with far-reaching effects, Kelly would be delighted to work with the World Bank to bring recognition to their participation in the movement to end violence against women.

Read more here about Kelly’s transformation from the silver screen to the ranch hand.

The UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign

Twitter – @KellyLeBrock

Valarie Gelb — CEO, TheBarnYardGroup

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Valarie Gelb is CEO of TheBarnYardGroup, a leading advisory group, with a passion for storytelling, and a sharp focus on emerging media, building online communities, and advancing technology by partnering with agencies for the brands they serve to formulating and implementing marketing strategies.

The company is built on a foundation matching, curators, contents and causes and providing counsel in sales, marketing, media, entertainment, and technology.  Prior to this, Ms. Gelb was Chief Sales Development Officer and Executive Vice President, MasterCard Worldwide, 1997 to 2010. She was one of the eighteen top executives who served on the Management Committee chaired by the CEO and was responsible for the global sales force in 210 countries and territories. Her expertise lies in the areas of payments; strategic development, global customer due diligence, products and solutions, sales, marketing, business development, multi-channel distribution, operations, technology, e-commerce and risk management. Ms. Gelb holds an MBA and an Undergraduate Business Degree with emphasis in Finance and Economics from Baldwin Wallace University. She served as the interim Chief Executive Officer for the Global Fund for Women and currently co-chairs their Leadership Advisory Board; and is Chairman of the Board of MPOWERD and a Lead Board Director at Cimbal, Inc., and President of the IWF Connecticut.

Twitter – @gelbva

David Earls – Co-Founder and Managing Partner, B.E. Capital Management

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David Earls serves as co-founder and managing partner of B.E. Capital Management, a micro cap distressed equity fund started in 2012. Prior to that, David ran individual giving for the Tribeca Film Institute for nine years. David began his career as a financial analyst at Goldman Sachs after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

 

Andy Polansky — CEO of Weber Shandwick

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Andy Polansky is Chief Executive Officer of Weber Shandwick, a leading global public relations agency with offices in 82 countries around the world. Andy was named CEO in November 2012 after serving as global president since March 2004.

 Andy has a long track record of outstanding client and business results. Under his direction, Weber Shandwick was named to the prestigious Advertising Age Agency A-List in 2014 and 2015, appearing for two consecutive years as the only PR firm on the list. Weber Shandwick was also named PRWeek’s 2015 PR Agency of the Year and The Holmes Report‘s 2014 Global Agency of the Year, in addition to being recognized as a Best Place to Work by Advertising Age in 2014 and PRWeek in 2013 and 2014.

Over the past few years, Andy has guided Weber Shandwick to an industry-leading position in digital, social media and content marketing. The firm also has been recognized as the top Corporate Responsibility Advisory Firm by CR Magazine. 

Andy has a deep passion for client service and collaboration. He led the development of Weber Shandwick’s Client Relationship Leader (CRL) program, which has been featured as a Harvard Business School case study. He serves as a senior strategist on a number of corporate client engagements, and programs Andy has developed have won numerous industry awards. In 2010 he was named to the PR News Hall of Fame.

Andy received the prestigious Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations’ Milestones in Mentoring Award in October 2014. This reflects his people-centric leadership and long-standing personal commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Andy spearheaded the development of the firm’s global Making An Impact program, which encompasses pro bono community outreach programs that Weber Shandwick supports. In addition, Andy serves on the Board of Directors for The Ad Council, a private, nonprofit organization that produces, distributes and promotes public service campaigns on behalf of nonprofit organizations and government agencies in issue areas such as improving the quality of life for children, preventive health, education, community wellbeing and strengthening families.

From 2010 to 2012 Andy served as chair of the Council of Public Relations Firms, the U.S. trade association for public relations agencies. He sits on the Board of Trustees of the Institute for Public Relations (IPR), an independent foundation in the field of public relations focusing on research and education. Andy also is a member of the Arthur W. Page Society and The Seminar.

Andy has served as a non-executive director of Freeplay Energy, a global supplier of clean, off-the-grid energy products.

Prior to joining Weber Shandwick (as a member of a firm then known as Bozell Public Relations), Andy was a municipal reporter for the Bucks County Courier Times in Levittown, PA, a business and feature writer for the Princeton Packet in Princeton, NJ, and a sportswriter at The Trentonian in Trenton, NJ.

Andy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) and sits on the TCNJ Foundation Board of Directors.

Twitter – @andypolansky

Josh Machiz — Director of Integrated Marketing at Nasdaq

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Josh Machiz is the Director of Integrated Marketing at Nasdaq is responsible for managing all of the content for the Nasdaq social media properties, as well as experiential marketing and social media activations at Nasdaq MarketSite. In this role, Mr. Machiz is responsible for the IPO day social experiences and social advertising for new and established Nasdaq companies.

Previously, Mr. Machiz was the Chief Business Officer for Frucher LLC, a consulting firm performing duties for Nasdaq and the State of New York. Josh joined Nasdaq in 2013, and has 7+ years of marketing and consulting experience. In addition to this experience, he serves as a board member of TEDxTimesSquare, as a board member he curates speakers, manages public relations activities and manages the social media properties for this premiere TEDx conference.

Josh holds an undergraduate degree in Microbiology from McGill University and an MBA in Finance & Marketing from Fordham University.

Twitter – @Machiz

Jon Patricof — President & Chief Operating Officer, Tribeca Enterprises

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Jon Patricof is President and Chief Operating Officer and member of the Board of Directors of Tribeca Enterprises, the parent company of the Tribeca Film Festival and related entities. He is responsible for all business operations of the company including business development, legal, finance and sales as well as overseeing the expansion of the company into new business areas. Previously, he was an executive in the Strategic Planning Department at The Walt Disney Company. He serves on the boards of the East Harlem School and Guild Hall and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Patricof received an MBA from Harvard Business School and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College.

Twitter – @jpatricof

Perry Hewitt — Chief Digital Officer, Harvard University

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Perry Hewitt works at the self-disrupting nexus of marketing and technology, where new digital/social/mobile behaviors and capabilities are transforming businesses and nonprofits alike. 

As Harvard’s first CDO, she is charged with leading digital strategy for communications and engagement — as well as exploring ways organizations effect digital transformation.

Perry has worked in marketing, editorial, and strategy roles at firms including Crimson Hexagon, Razorfish, Harcourt, and Lotus Development Corporation. She has consulted to media companies on digital product development, and began her career in publishing at the Houghton Mifflin Company.

Perry advises students and startups, and writes and speaks on topics including digital transformation, marketing and content strategy, user experience, mobile, women and leadership, and the social web. She has lived and worked in Switzerland, Russia, the United Kingdom, and Australia. 

Twitter – @perryhewitt

Website – http://perryhewitt.com 

John Bell — VP of Enterprise Digital Marketing, Travelers

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John Bell leads the Enterprise Digital Marketing team putting data-driven content, digital marketing and social engagement at the heart of marketing. John joins Travelers after 13 years at Ogilvy & Mather where he founded Social@Ogilvy, a global social and digital marketing practice. John drove digital and social strategy and programs for major brands including Ford, Nestlé, IBM, DuPont and more. As a member of the WPP Digital Advisory board, John worked to bring Silicon Valley partners from Facebook to small start-ups to bear against marketers needs. Prior to Ogilvy, John served as Creative Director at Discovery.com where he built 14 Web services for Discovery brands from Animal Planet to TLC. John graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Arts. He has taught graduate courses in digital marketing and communications at Johns Hopkins University.

Twitter – @jbell99

Kelly Courtney — Senior Director of Communications and Public Affairs, MIT Innovation Initiative

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Kelly Courtney is a communications and business professional with over 20 years working at the intersection of industry, government and academia. She has led high profile initiatives with major policy implications and has provided strategic counsel to C-level Fortune 500 executives, major universities, investors and federal, state, local and international government officials. She is a Senior Director at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a significant role in designing and launching the new Innovation Initiative.

Kelly served as Senior Advisor to the Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment (MOITI), the state’s trade and investment agency responsible for economic development through the promotion of international business opportunities. She designed and implemented the strategic communications and policy plan for the Massachusetts Life-Sciences Economy, an initiative that led to the $1B Massachusetts Life Sciences Initiative and spearheaded Springboard 2000: New England, helping over 500 companies raise more than $6 billion in equity financing.

Previously, Kelly served as a National Director on the re-election campaign of President William J. Clinton and served in The White House and in the United States Small Business Administration. Kelly holds an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BA from the School for International Training.

Twitter – @kellyacourtney

Scott Barry Kaufman – Scientific Director, The Imagination Institute at the University of Pennsylvania

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Scott Barry Kaufman is scientific director of the Imagination Institute in the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania where he conducts research on imagination, creativity, and play (see scientific papers), and teaches the popular undergraduate course “Introduction to Positive Psychology” (see syllabus). Kaufman is author of Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined and co-author (with Carolyn Gregoire) of the upcoming book Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind, due out 12/29/15 with Penguin. He is also host of The Psychology Podcast, co-founder of The Creativity Post, and author of the column Beautiful Minds for Scientific American (seearticles). Kaufman completed his doctorate in cognitive psychology from Yale University in 2009 and received his masters degree in experimental psychology from Cambridge University in 2005, where he was a Gates Cambridge Scholar.

Social Media:

Twitter – @sbkaufman

Facebook – Scott Barry Kaufman

Google+ – Scott Barry Kaufman

Select Publications:

Scientific American (blog: The Real Neuroscience of Creativity)

Scientific American (blog: The Messy Minds of Creative People)

Harvard Business Review

Video:

 

Jonathan Salem Baskin — President, Arcadia Communications Lab

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Author of seven books on brands and culture, a Forbes contributor and former Advertising Age columnist, and a frequently quoted media resource on breaking business news. President of Arcadia Communications Lab, which provides privacy design and innovation narrative services to clients worldwide. Leads Consensiv, a reputation metrics consultancy; serves as a catalyst at TechNexus, a national technology venture collaborative; works as a brand advisor to Orion Era, a space entertainment company; and acts as counsel to Futurelab, a global customer-centricity consulting firm. Provides expert analysis and opinion via media appearances in such outlets as USA Today, CNN and CNBC.

Twitter – @jonathansalem

Elizabeth Isele – Co-Founder and President, Senior Entrepreneurship Works

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Co-Founder and President, Senior Entrepreneurship Works; Co-Founder and President, eProvStudio.com; Founder, SavvySeniorsWork.com; Senior Fellow in Social Innovation at Babson College; and MetLife Foundation’s Journalists in Aging Fellow. Elizabeth launched her life as an award-winning, serial, social entrepreneur after a 30+ year distinguished career as an editor and author and as a philanthropic leader. She has both created and funded high impact social enterprises that have galvanized cross-sector community support to solve some of today’s most challenging social, economic, and environmental challenges and positively transform the lives of thousands of individuals of all ages.

Since January 2012, she has become the go-to person for all things regarding senior entrepreneurship (research, programs, policy and capitalization) for the White House, the US Congress, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI-America), the EU Commission on Entrepreneurship, the Federal Reserve, the CDFI Fund, the Gerontological Society of America (GSA), the Association for Enterprise Opportunity, the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED), Ashoka, Encore.org, AARP, Generations United, and the Intergenerational Learning Center at Temple U, among many others. 

Elizabeth is currently producing for Jeff Skoll’s Participant Media a 10-city global Summit Series to engage top-level thought leaders on Senior and Intergenerational Entrepreneurship to drive their social action campaign for their new film The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, sequel to the British comedy-drama film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel released in 2011 and grossing more than $134 million world-wide. Elizabeth is considered an expert in the field and is continually quoted in the media and publications such as the NY Times, the Wall Street JournalForbes, PBS, NPR and is invited to speak on the topic of senior entrepreneurship at major government, private, philanthropic, academic, and nonprofit positive aging and economic convenings.  

In 2014, Elizabeth helped Senator Mary Landrieu, Chair, Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, design the first US Senate Hearing on Senior Entrepreneurship, which was co-hosted by the Senate’s Aging Committee (see C-span coverage at http://www.c-span.org/video/?317772-1/hearing-on-senior-startups)

Elizabeth is also a contributing writer on this topic for Forbes.com, PBS Next Avenue.org and on her blog at SavvySeniorsWork.com.

Her life at work and in a bi-plane was profiled in this Aging 2.0, “Cutting Edge Profile.”

 Twitter – @savvysrswork

Dr. Cheng Zhu — Innovation Leadership Consultant, Stand-Up Comedian, and Dancer

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Dr. Cheng Zhu is an innovation leadership consultant.  Her areas of expertise include innovation, leading change, developmental and positive psychology, and cross-boarder negotiation and conflict resolution.  She has consulted for Chinese and American film, TV, and entertainment companies on international expansion and marketing strategies.

Her previous professional appointments include: Research Associate at the Harvard Business School, Research Assistant at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government Center for Public Leadership, Faculty at the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and Senior Faculty and Researcher at the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL).  She was the first Asian student to be elected President of the Harvard Graduate Student Government.  She has received the Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching and the Harvard Provost’s Outstanding Service Award.

The Eisenhower Fellowships has selected Dr. Zhu to design and facilitate global leadership seminars for leaders from more than 50 countries.  She has trained leadership programs for U.S. federal and state government officials, generals, university presidents, judges, and middle and senior managers, and executives of multinational companies.

Her publications have appeared in Forbes, The ASTD Leadership Handbook, and The Leadership Quarterly Journal.  

She lives in Manhattan, New York, and holds a B.A. from Beijing University and a Masters and Doctorate from Harvard University.

Dr. Zhu’s artistic skills include: stand-up comedy, acting, and traditional and contemporary dances.  She frequently competes in martial arts contests and has received many get-well cards.

Social Media:

LinkedIn: Cheng Zhu

Select Publications:

Forbes column

 

Annette Richardson – Senior Advisor at the United Nations Office for Partnerships

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Annette Richardson is a Senior Advisor at the United Nations Office for Partnerships (UNOP).

Ms. Richardson focuses on building strategic activities and facilitates the establishment of linkages and development of long-term relationships with private sector partners, high net-worth individuals, social investors and foundations. Responsible for public affairs and external relations, Ms. Richardson implements global multi-stakeholder advocacy and outreach campaigns in support of the UN Secretary-General global development priorities and the Millennium Development Goals.

Ms. Richardson is currently a Special Advisor to the Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women for Beijing +20 and a Special Advisor to the Under-Secretary-General and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All and CEO of the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative.

In 2005, Ms. Richardson founded Richardson Rogers & Associates LLC, a New York and Washington, DC-based consulting firm which counsels clients on public-private partnerships, cause marketing campaigns and resource mobilization. Prior to launching her venture, Ms. Richardson was Director of International Relations for the New York City 2012 Olympic Bid Committee. She also served as Chief of Staff to the Chairman and CEO of Vivendi Universal (1999-2002).

Ms. Richardson is an Honorary Ambassador of the University for Peace (UPeace). She was awarded the 2010 Global Citizen Award and the 2010 Professional Woman of the Year Award by the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW). In 2013 and 2014, she was selected as one of Forbes Woman’s 200 most powerful minds, from multiple spheres of influence, who are redefining the notion of power through innovation and disruption.

Social Media:

Twitter – @convener

Select Publications:

Fast Company

Forbes

Marcia Dyson — Founder and CEO, Women’s Global Initiative

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Marcia L. Dyson is one of America’s most respected civic-social activists and communication specialist. She is the President and CEO of M and M Dyson, LLC an international consultant enterprise in matters of business development, marketing, political strategies and social engagement.  She is the founder and CEO of Women’s Global Initiative, a for-profit entity to enhance the lives of women via wealth, education and civil participation.  Dyson recently initiated “Ring Out Gun Violence” to deter the ritual of using firearms during holiday celebrations and to fund anti-gun violence organizations and new gun law reforms.

Dyson served as a Presidential Scholar at Bennett College in Greensboro, N.C.; was a social justice think tank executive board member for Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas and an advisor to Howard University’s international programs.   Dyson is also an affiliate of Georgetown University’s Center for Social Justice, Research and Teaching, in Washington, D.C.

Dyson co-founded Umoja School in her hometown to address the special education needs of urban and underserved children.   She designed programs in math and science aimed to improve studies children behind in class and grades.  An advocate for fair and just education, Dyson is a member of National Cares Mentoring and works tirelessly to enlist community leaders to become active in public school policies and mentoring.

She has served as the first chief of staff for Rev. Jesse Jackson, Jr.’s Operation Push International Trade Bureau.   And, is a continuing member of PUSH Excel.  She was over 30 staff members, produced the Bureau’s newsletter, created and executed multi-country conferences and conventions around discussions of trade, foreign policy, economic development and education.  

She served as the Public Information Officer (POI) for the Mayor’s Office of Special Events for the City of Chicago, where she built bridges across the diverse 87 ethnic communities through cultural diplomacy and world-class events. She was the city’s host to foreign dignitaries including presidents, queens and kings, chieftains and prime ministers.  In her position as POI Dyson was the liaison to the Illinois Tourism Board, McCormick Authority Convention Center Board, Illinois Film Office and Chicago’s religious community.

Dyson was Senior Vice President of R. J. Dale Advertising and Public Relations Company and Senior Manager for Margie Korshak Associates where she created and executed major marketing plans and special events. 

Dyson has been championing for women’s rights globally for over 20 years.  Former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, selected Dyson to be on the Women’s Global Summit Leadership board.  Zainab Al-Suwajj, President of the American Islamic Congress, invited her to join her in Cairo, Egypt to interact with women of Islam faith who represented every Muslim country to create a Modern Narrative for Muslim Women.

Dyson is a member of many women’s organizations, including the Black Women’s Round Table, which acts as a liaison to the White House on female concerns and social justice.  She is a member of Face to Face which addresses cultural differences among women, diplomacy and social justice for women globally; and Dyson is a board member of the Middle East Peace Working Group, whose goal is to create a civic participation and conversation between Israeli and Palestinians and how this resolve can serve as model and understanding of conflict in the Middle East amongst tribunal communities.  She has travelled to conflict regions in the Middle East to understand the plight of the children in these war torn countries.

Dyson was named the first Chaplain for the Coalition of Hope. The Coalition of Hope Foundation, comprised of active and retired military men, which seeks to provide a forward deployed, ocean-going, quick response platform that in addition to state-of the-art hospital facilities, includes an array of multinational medical personnel, highly trained first responders, extensive air-lift capability, heavy equipment, emergency supplies, food and water. 

Dyson is also an executive advisor and consultant to the Conference of World Mayors whose global outreach has created greater democracies in Africa, the Caribbean and South America. And, she is a member of the World’s Affair Council and National Professional Women Association (NAPW). 

Dyson has a passion for the rebuilding of Haiti forward. She works tirelessly towards that goal as a former consultant to the Clinton Foundation on behalf of the Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission. She was a board member of Nap Advanse (We Advance) an Haitian organization that challenges domestic violence and other social injustices toward women in Haiti; and, is a member of Femmes En Democratie, whose goal is to ensure political representation in parliament for women in Haiti and provide training in good governance and economic development.  

She is an Ambassador of Peace for the Universal Peace Federation (UPF). UPF, launched in 2001 and Ambassadors for Peace is the largest and most diverse network of peace leaders.

Dyson is Goodwill Ambassador for Africa 2.0, a consortium of young entrepreneurs from the Diaspora and a board member of the Mama Sarah Obama Foundation. Dyson is on first name basis with dignitaries in government, entertainers, athletes and media personnel. She is a contributor to Essence magazine, New Deal 2.0, The Grio, The Root and Huffington Post.

She has utilized her knowledge to promote the commonalities and benevolence of all faiths. Her spiritual wisdom and insight has been shared in historic lecterns across America, on lecture stages at many of the nation’s outstanding universities, and on the pages of some of our country’s most provocative magazines and books. She currently resides in Washington D.C.  She holds a B.S. in Business Administration degree from the University of Illinois, and she completed a University of Chicago Executive Program in Business Management.

All of her work affords Dyson the opportunity to address the interlocking and converging interests and issues that define her vocation: gender inequality and oppression, economic and political inequity, moral marketing and branding, and local, national, and international affairs. She is also working on two books: The World at My Door: Practicing Cultural-Political Diplomacy and Discovering America: A Spiritual Trail During the 2008 Presidential Primary.

Twitter – @MarciaLDyson

Susan Cohig – SVP of Business Affairs and Integrated Marketing, National Hockey League

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As the NHL’s Senior Vice President, Business Affairs & Integrated Marketing, Susan Cohig is responsible for working across all business areas of the League office, including digital media, events, integrated sales, marketing, and broadcasting, and in collaboration with the legal team. In her role, Cohig evaluates opportunities, issues and agreements and assesses their impact on the organization, including all 30 NHL Teams, in order to ensure the continued advancement of the League’s business priorities and strategic objectives.

Cohig also negotiates licensing of the use of League and team properties across various platforms including television and film projects; manages League and team policy and compliance matters; and regulates internal business units to maximize value. In this role, Cohig also works to elevate League business and marketing activities through a continued partnership with NHL teams and their support of key League initiatives, including organizing and producing the annual Club Business Meetings where League and team executives gather to analyze and discuss best practices, issues and opportunities affecting all business units, including relating to sponsorship, marketing, ticketing, and digital media.

Prior to taking on her Business Affairs role, Cohig was most recently responsible for overseeing the management of the League’s U.S.-based national partnership marketing relationships. In that role, Cohig successfully influenced the elevation of NHL partner awareness by incorporating significant activations at the League and team levels through various avenues, including broadcasts and events. In 2013, the Sports Business Journal ranked the NHL higher than the other four major sports organizations in fan loyalty when it comes to corporate partners. NHL fans not only recognized who NHL partners were more than other fans, but also indicated they were more likely to choose those brands over its rivals. Under Cohig’s direction, brands such as Geico, Verizon, Coors Light, Honda, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and Discover have seen double-digit percentage growth in brand awareness. Cohig also led the U.S. team in the upselling and renewal processes, and was responsible for leveraging and transforming single-year deals into multi-year renewals, deepening partner investments in hockey and providing increased opportunities to engage with NHL fans.

Cohig also spearheads efforts associated with the NHL’s women’s hockey initiative, working to elevate and support women’s hockey by using the NHL’s assets to spotlight the women’s game. Cohig connects the NHL’s business with all levels of women’s hockey –from grassroots to professional—as well as providing greater visibility by integrating editorial coverage on NHL.com and incorporating visits, and Q&A sessions at key League events.

Cohig was named a 2014 Marketing Hall of Femme honoree by Direct Marketing News. In 2013, Cohig was acknowledged as a “Game Changer – Women in Sports Business” by Sports Business Journal, which recognizes the contributions of women to the success of the industry; and as one of Globe & Mail’s “Power 50″ List Of Canadian Sports Figures in 2013, joining many powerful movers and shakers in the sports industry.

Before joining the National Hockey League in 1996, Ms. Cohig spent several years with Ascent Entertainment, overseeing the sales and servicing of corporate partner relationships of the NHL Colorado Avalanche and the NBA Denver Nuggets. While with Ascent, Ms. Cohig was a part of the management team responsible for the move of and introduction of the Colorado Avalanche hockey team to the market.

Cohig graduated the University of Denver with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration. She received her law degree from the New York Law School, where she graduated cum laude.

Twitter – @secohig

Sevi Simavi — CEO of Cherie Blair Foundation for Women

 

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Sevi Simavi is a global executive, thought leader and author on women’s economic empowerment and financial inclusion. She is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, a not for profit organization that has provided over 100,000 women entrepreneurs in 80 countries with skills, technology, networks and access to capital they need to become successful small and growing business owners. She is overseeing the next stage of growth and impact of the Foundation and building high-level partnerships to implement the Foundation’s next 5 year strategy.

Sevi has over fifteen years of global public policy and financial sector development experience gained in over 50 countries across the globe through her work at the World Bank Group and the private sector. At the World Bank Group, she initiated and scaled up innovative programs, products and business functions from ground up, impacting the lives of over a billion people. She has advised governments, central banks and non-governmental institutions around the globe on business enabling environment, access to finance for SMEs, financial inclusion, women’s economic empowerment and South-South knowledge exchange.

Sevi has enormous passion for understanding complexities and demystifying them for broader audiences. She is best known for her work and book Gender Dimensions of Investment Climate Reform, a step-by-step framework for development practitioners to address business women’s specific challenges and ensure their voices are taken into account in government policy making. She also developed a Primer and a training program to foster effective and results-focused South-South knowledge exchange initiatives among developing countries, which has been translated into 5 languages.

She initiated and brought to scale World Bank Group’s first ever advisory offering on secured financing to enable access to credit for SMEs. Sevi has advised the Central Bank, National Congress, and leading financial institutions in China, Vietnam, Nepal, Senegal and Ghana to design and enact secured transactions laws and institutions.

Sevi serves as the co-chair of the Women and Technology subcommittee of the International Business Women’s Leadership Council, set up by Hillary Clinton. She has published extensively on women’s economic empowerment, access to finance and business enabling environment and is a frequent speaker at international conferences.

Twitter – @SeviSimavi

Sarah Robb O’Hagan — President, Equinox

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Sarah Robb O’Hagan joined Equinox in September 2012 as President of the world’s premier fitness lifestyle company, comprising the Equinox, Soul Cycle, Blink Fitness and Pure Yoga brands. Under her leadership Equinox is undertaking an aggressive expansion strategy to grow its family of brands around the world and into additional lines of business, by leveraging new digital technologies coupled with the innovation approach that the company is renowned for.

Prior to joining Equinox, Robb O’Hagan served as Global President of one of the world’s most iconic sports brands, Gatorade. Under Sarah’s leadership, Gatorade embarked on a transformational journey from sports drink company to sports performance innovator led by the launch of the G Series, a fresh approach to sports nutrition delivering fuel to athletes before, during and after physical activity.

During her tenure, the Gatorade brand was returned to healthy growth and succeeded in evolving into sports nutrition with successful launches of the G Series platform in the USA, Latin America, UK and Australia. In addition the business made the transition from “products” to “services” with the launch of an athlete service model delivered by the Gatorade Sports Science Institute labs in Florida and the UK.

Robb O’Hagan joined Gatorade after nearly six years at Nike where she held marketing and general management roles. She was a member of the team that launched Nike Plus in collaboration with Apple.

Prior to Nike she worked at Atari Interactive, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Virgin Megastores and Air New Zealand.

Beyond the interests of Equinox, Robb O’Hagan supports the advancement of women’s leadership worldwide and has a particular interest in helping underserved girls get access to sports. She has served on Hillary Clinton’s US State Department Council to Empower Women and Girls through Sports, and is also a trustee of the Women’s Sports Foundation. She is also an active member of the World Class New Zealand Network, as she remains committed to helping New Zealand’s development, international competitiveness and economic growth.

Throughout her career Robb O’Hagan has been recognized for her numerous achievements. Her most recent honors include being named one of the “Most Creative People in Business” by Fast Company magazine (2012), being named to the top 40 Under 40 lists by the Sports Business Journal (2009, 2011 and 2012), Sports Goods Business (2010) and Crain’s Chicago Business (2010). She was also named among Forbes Magazine’s “Most Powerful Women in Sports” (2009) and Ad Age magazine’s Women to Watch (2010).

Sarah is also a 2014 recipient of the Sir Peter Blake Trust Award for outstanding leadership.

Robb O’Hagan graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing from University of Auckland, New Zealand and a Diploma in Direct Marketing from the New Zealand Direct Marketing Association. She and her husband, Liam, and sons Sam and Joe and daughter Gabby, live in New York.

Social Media:

Twitter – @SarahRobbOh

Select Publications:

The Huffington Post

CNBC

Fast Company

Sports Business Journal

Crain’s Chicago Business

Video:

 

Naila Chowdhury — Founder and Chair, Women4Empowerment

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Naila Chowdhury is a leading management professional from Bangladesh, based out of  Maryland, USA. She brings 21 years of professional, diversified, multifunctional, global management skills, both in major and startup organizations. Her specialty is creating self-sustaining programs that economically empower girls, women with state-of-the-art technology with financial inclusion solutions. She is an active mentor for Women, Girls and Youth in constructive entrepreneurship, information communication, sustainable technology, global networking and the UN Millennium Development Goals.

She was the first woman director of GrameenPhone Ltd in 1999 and held Acting CEO’s position from time to time in GrameenPhone Ltd. She was part of its growth into the largest GSM mobile operator in Bangladesh. The GrameenPhone’s ‘Village Phone Lady Project’ supported the grassroots women of remote villages as they extended telecom to the rural population. This project earned Professor Muhammad and the Grameen Bank the Nobel Peace prize in 2006. This allowed her to work closely with Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus for 17 years in various organizations of Grameen in various senior positions..

She remains a shareholder in Grameen Solutions Limited. Her professional experience allowed her to join Telenor as a director and Asian synergy expert to replicate Grameen. Her projects exposed her to Telenor projects in Ukraine, Hungary, Thailand, Malaysia, Norway, Denmark, Pakistan and most of Telenor’s new business investments in the Telecom sector. INSEAD has written about her expertise and contribution in their formal report on rapid progress of Telenor in Asia.

She is presently a Technology Advisor via the TPN, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, she is one of the founding members & Project Advisor of Fashion 4 Development in New York, as well as a board director of Athgo International, Better World Wireless, Advanced Development for Africa- Zero Mothers Die, a non-profit organization led by Madam Coumba Touré, wife of Dr. Hamadoun Touré, Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union.

In addition, Naila is founder and chair of TeleConsult Group-Bangladesh, a member of UN Global Compact. She is also founder and chair of Women4Empowerment (W4E), which focuses to empower, nurture, transform and respect Women, Girls and Youth. Her projects are community based wellness programs, empowering women through eco-friendly sustainable modern technology globally including education and health care. W4E also ensure competence and skill development, creating job opportunity for the acid survivors, under-privileged and domestic violence women, girls and youth in Bangladesh. Her focus is to put these women from an extreme low income into a sustainable income bracket and thus empower them economically. She has been involved in global networking, developing teams and providing sustainable technology driven entrepreneurial platforms for young people globally and powering individuals by creating opportunities to self-organize and succeed with minimal resources and options.

She is also Global Ambassador to promote Women Empowerment for Joyful Women Foundation, Kenya led by Her Excellency Rachel Ruto, the present Deputy President’s wife. She is also Co-Chair of Alliance4Empowerment in San Diego, which gives Nano credit to immigrants and works on several projects to eradicate poverty in San Diego. She is also Global Ambassador & Advisor, IMPACTLeadership 21, USA.

Her career began with UNICEF-Bangladesh, and then UK-based Marie Stopes Clinic, focusing on reproductive health. She worked for DHL-Bangladesh, as Head of Service. She was a pioneer in setting up a state-of-the art 24X7 call center at DHL Express in Bangladesh.

She has also worked as an advisor and then director for Aktel-Axiata Bangladesh, reporting to Malaysian Axiata Group. She received WHO’s WHO International professional recognition in 2008 in the U.S., as well as the highest Human Resource Development Award in Bangladesh from the Society for Training & Development, Rapport Bangladesh. In Bangladesh, she has won several prestigious awards for economically empowering women. Naila and the Village Phone site were featured in Michael Palin’s BBC documentary during his visit with the Grameen bank. The BBC team was visiting Bangladesh as part of its 2,000-mile journey from Afghanistan to the Bay of Bengal to film the documentary. She is globally involved with many social projects in Kenya, UK, Bangladesh and the U.S. She regularly speaks about women empowerment in various foundations and organizations, such as UN Women, UN Global compact-WEP, Israel Mission to United Nations and various education Institutes in USA.

She received her MBA from Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden. She completed her Masters in Marketing from Bangladesh and obtained Telecommunication Fraud Management Diploma from Cambridge while heading revenue Assurance Division in Grameen Phone Ltd.

Twitter – @nailachow

Julia Hartz – Co-Founder and President, Eventbrite

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Julia Hartz hopes to inspire people to live more by building the world’s largest marketplace of live experiences. Since founding Eventbrite in 2006 with Kevin Hartz and Renaud Visage, the company has generated over $3 billion in gross ticket sales, with more than 200 million tickets processed to events and experiences around the globe. A key to this growth and success is the people of Eventbrite (fondly referred to as The Britelings), which has grown to over 500 employees in seven offices around the world.

Julia cultivates and advocates for Eventbrite’s award-winning culture (voted “Best Places to Work in the San Francisco Bay Area” five years running). She has been honored as one of Inc.’s 35 under 35 in 2014 and Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs in 2013. Julia is also a frequent speaker on live experiences, consumer trends and entrepreneurship, and has been recently featured in Forbes, Fortune, Bloomberg and Inc. Magazine.

Julia started her career in Hollywood as a development executive at MTV and FX Networks. In our digital age, Julia believes that real-life, human experiences transcend digital endeavors and lead to individual happiness and strong global communities. Julia is living out more than one calling in her lifetime, and is mother to two empowered daughters ready to rule the world.

Social Media:

Twitter – @juliahartz

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Amir Dossal — Founder & Chairman, Global Partnerships Forum

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Amir Dossal is Founder and Chairman of the Global Partnerships Forum, a non-profit working to address economic and social challenges through partnerships, which he established in 2010. The GPF serves as a knowledge platform, providing changemakers with the tools to build innovative partnerships. www.Partnerships.org

Amir is Co-Founder of the Pearl Initiative, a CEO-led program, promoting transparency and accountability in the Middle East. In 2013, he was appointed Co-Chair of the Sustainable Oceans Alliance, a global initiative to

focus the need for healthy oceans in the UN Sustainable Development Goals. He is Co-Founder of the Ocean Sanctuary Alliance. Amir is also Commissioner of the Broadband Commission for Digital Development. In May 2014, President Tommy Remengesau, Jr. appointed Amir as his Special Representative of Palau for Global Partnerships. In January 2015, Amir was appointed Special Adviser to the United Nations Global Compact, for Strategic Relationships. From 2010 to 2014, he served as Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union for Global Partnerships.

He is a 25-year veteran of the United Nations, and was the UN’s Chief Liaison for Partnerships. As Executive Director of the UN Office for Partnerships, he managed the $1 billion gift by media mogul Ted Turner; and forged strategic alliances to address the Millennium Development Goals.

In 2005, Amir was asked to establish and manage the UN Democracy Fund, whose core mission was to strengthen institutions around the world, and enhance democratic governance in new restored democracies. In 2006, he was asked by Secretary-General Kofi Annan to set-up the Peacebuilding Support Office at the United Nations, to assist post-conflict countries in bridging the gap between peace, security and economic development. Over the years, Amir has worked on a number of peace, security and human rights-related activities and humanitarian programmes across the globe. These efforts threaded together the leadership role of international organizations, multilateral and bilateral institutions, linking them with non-state actors, with a view to encouraging innovative collaboration. This included supporting concrete projects such as women’s empowerment, the role of parliament and media in democracy, the innovative use of technology in economic and social development programmes, etc. From 1993 to 1997, Amir served as the Chief of Finance Management in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, where he oversaw finances for 24 peacekeeping operations worldwide (annual budget of $3 billion). During his tenure, he set-up a sophisticated military asset management system, to increase transparency and accountability.

Amir Dossal works globally across all sectors, including Education, Environment, Finance, Health, Media, Technology, as well as Peace, Security and Human Rights. Over the years, he has built numerous alliances between governments, multilateral agencies, business groups, foundations and civil society, including the Arab Foundations Forum, BCIU, Chambers of Commerce, CECP, Commonwealth Business Council, European Foundation Centre, Foreign Policy Association, IDP Foundation, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales, Jewish Children’s Museum, NEPAD, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, United Nations Associations, USCIB, US Department of State, World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists.

When spearheading the UN’s engagement with industry, Amir developed working relationships with leading companies, including BASF, BT, Cisco, Coca-Cola, Dow Chemical, Ericsson, Google, GSK, HSBC, Microsoft, Nestle, Novartis, Pfizer, DSM, Standard Chartered Bank, Vodafone, and Walmart. Amir has championed partnerships with high-profile personalities on humanitarian causes, including The Countess Sondes, Cherie Blair, Geena Davis, Francine LeFrak, Petra Němcová, Julia Ormond, the late Joan Rivers, Russell Simmons, June Sarpong, Inge Solheim, Joss Stone, Christy Turlington Burns, Ali Velshi, among others.

Amir has worked with sustained commitment toward an overarching vision of uniting public and private energies for social progress. By nature a social innovator, his work is an endeavor to bond the power of the private sector, government, and civil society; in order that together, they may better serve the greater good.

In December 2010, His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco, appointed Amir Dossal as Ambassador for Peace and Sport. In October 2010, he received the Humanitarian Award from the UN Association of New York, for his accomplishments in Partnerships to End Poverty and World Hunger. In February 2011, Amir was appointed Special Envoy to the World Youth Peace Summit.

Amir is a UK Chartered Accountant (FCA) and a PricewaterhouseCoopers London alum. He has lived and worked in Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, Middle East, and North America. Amir regularly undertakes speaking engagements and frequently serves as a moderator for high-level panels for the UN system and other international organizations, engaging Heads of States and Ministers.

He also serves on the board of several non-profits, including CITYarts, Global Social Compliance Programme, and the Humpty Dumpty Institute. Amir is also a Patron of the World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists (WCMP), a founding member of the DSM Sustainability Advisory Board, Strategic Advisor to the DNA Summit, and Advisor to Ideapod, a new social media platform for ideas.

Amir is married to Tas, and they have one son, Zecki.

Social Media:

Twitter – @AmirDossal

Lisa Dolan — CEO and Founder, Savile Row Society

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Through SRS, Lisa Dolan and her team expect to transform men’s shopping through a seamless, omni-channel personalized shopping portal for men. While working in finance, Dolan saw firsthand how her busy colleagues had little time or patience for traditional shopping methods. She, like most men, does not want to see endless pages of thumbnails of jackets, pants, etc. They want to know how to put all this together. The SRS mission is to provide men with quality clothing, service and guidance akin to the quality provided to clients of bespoke tailors on Savile Row; the service has been transformed into a process that works in today’s digital world. Using a mixture of proprietary and public technologies, SRS stylists are able to work with busy professionals wherever they are in the world and give them a seamless wardrobe building experience via cutting edge virtual styling tools and the most popular video conferencing services.

To ensure that their clients have an unforgettable experience, SRS works with both the best stylists and the best brands in the world. Their roster of talent includes wardrobe and personal style consultants who have dressed Royalty, celebrities and top executives all over the world. Its New York showroom is located overlooking Madison Square Park at 1115 Broadway.

Dolan holds a BA in International Studies and a concentration in both Entrepreneurship & Management and French from Johns Hopkins University. She is on sabbatical from Columbia Business School Class to pursue her business full time. Prior to business school, Dolan worked in finance, as an associate at a premier investment bank in mid-town Manhattan where she covered consumer and retail companies. Prior to this, Lisa worked as an analyst at American Express and Samson Capital Advisors, a boutique investment management firm.

Dolan was recently listed in Luxury Daily as one of their 2015 “Women to Watch.”

Now Dolan is expanding SRS, and in late 2016 will launch Savil.me. Savil.me will be the first go-to ecommerce destination site for men. The portal will provide a human face to forward thinking technology such as a clothes try-on feature through augmented reality and an algorithm based presentation of products tool, and goes further by pairing these looks with experiences in men’s lives: travel, dating, work, sports events, etc.

Twitter – @LisaDolanSRS 

Website – www.savilerowsociety.com

Jeff Hoffman – Partner, ColorJar

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Jeff Hoffman is a successful entrepreneur, proven CEO, worldwide motivational speaker, Hollywood film producer, and a producer of a Grammy winning jazz album in 2015. In his career, he has been the founder of multiple startups, he has been the CEO of both public and private companies, and he has served as a senior executive in many capacities. Jeff has been part of a number of well-known companies, including Priceline.com. uBid.com, CTI, ColorJar, and more.

Today Jeff serves on the boards of companies in the US, Europe, South America, Africa, and Asia. He supports entrepreneurs and small businesses on a worldwide basis, serving on the global board of directors of Global Entrepreneurship Week (supporting entrepreneurship in over 130 countries), the US State Department’s GIST program (Global Innovation through Science and Technology, working in 49 emerging nations), the APEC Startup Initiative (the Asia Pacific Economic Council’s 21-member nation association), and many others. He supports the White House, the State Department, the United Nations, and similar organizations internationally on economic growth initiatives and entrepreneurship programs.

Jeff is a frequent keynote speaker, having been invited to speak in over 50 countries. He speaks on the topics of innovation, entrepreneurship, and business leadership, and is the author of the book SCALE, a how-to guide for growing your business. Jeff also teaches innovation workshops to major corporations on a regular basis.

Jeff is a featured business expert seen on Fox News, Fox Business, CNN, CNN International, Bloomberg News, CNBC, ABC, and NPR, and in publications including Forbes, Inc., Time, Fast Company, the Wall Street Journal, and more.

Jeff received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the national CEO council for his contributions to the field of entrepreneurship, and he received the Champion of Entrepreneurship Award from JP Morgan Chase, Citibank, and Rising Tide Capital, as well as receiving the George Brown Award for International Cooperation.

Outside of the world of technology, Jeff has produced movies in Hollywood, has produced musical events including concerts, tours, and charity events with such artists as Elton John, Britney Spears, NSYNC, and others, and serves on numerous charity and non-profit boards.

Twitter – @SpeakerJeff

Adi Ignatius — Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Business Review

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Mr. Adi Ignatius has been Editor-in-Chief of Harvard Business Review of Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation since January 2009. Mr. Ignatius served as Deputy Managing Editor for TIME, where he helped oversee the week-to-week editing of the magazine and was also responsible for many of TIME’s special editions, including the Person of the Year and TIME 100 franchises. He was the editor in 2008 of the book President Obama: The Path to the White House. He served as Executive Editor of TIME starting in 2002. He served as Editor of TIME Canada Ltd from 2004 to 2007. He joined TIME as Deputy Editor of TIME Asia in 1996 and was named Editor of that edition in 2000. He also wrote frequently for TIME, including most recently, cover stories on Google Inc., and the 2007 Person of the Year profile of Russian leader Vladimir Putin. Mr. Ignatius has a wealth of international experience. He worked for many years at the Wall Street Journal, serving as the newspaper’s Bureau Chief in Beijing where his work was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and later as Managing Editor of the Central European Economic Review and Business Editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review. He served as Managing Editor of the Central European Economic Review and Business Editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review, publications owned by Dow Jones, Inc. Mr. Ignatius was awarded a Zuckerman Fellowship at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs in 1990. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Asia Society and sits on the advisory board of the journalism school at SUNY Stony Brook. He received his BA in History in 1981 from Haverford College in Pennsylvania.

Twitter – @adiman

 

Kathering Keating — CEO, Keating Company

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Katherine is a Contributing Editor to The World Post, a joint venture between The Huffington Post and the Berggruen Institute on Governance. She is the host and Executive Producer of ONE ON ONE, an online interview series that discusses current affairs. Katherine is currently the CEO of Keating Company, a NY based production company that produces online content, documentary and film, with a focus on social impact. Katherine has been a Director of Keating Consulting since 2006, and in that capacity she has advised international corporations, governments, think tanks and not-for-profit organizations.

Katherine previously worked as Policy Advisor for the State Government of New South Wales, Australia. She is a Churchill Fellow and holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honors from the University of New South Wales majoring in Philosophy, Politics and International Relations.

Twitter – @kjjkeating

Sree Sreenivasan – Chief Digital Officer, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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Sree Sreenivasan (@sree) is the first Chief Digital Officer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the latest step in what he calls “a three-decade, one-way love affair with one of the world’s great museums.” At the Met he leads a world-class team of 70 working on topics he loves: digital, social, mobile, video, data, email apps and more.

He joined the Met after spending 20 years at Columbia University as a member of the faculty of the Columbia Journalism School and a year as the university’s first Chief Digital Officer.

In 2009, he was named one of AdAge’s 25 media people to follow on Twitter and in 2010 was named on of Poynter’s the 35 most influential people in social media; in 2014, he was named the most influential CDO in the US.

In 2015, he joined CBS Radio’s new PlayIt podcasting network with the immodestly titled “@Sree Show: Talking tech, culture, entrepreneurship”: http://bit.ly/sreeshow

Social Media:

Twitter – @sree

Facebook – Sree Tips

Instagram – @sreenet

Website – http://sree.net

Donnetta Campbell – #SocialPR and Digital Disruptor in Residence

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Donnetta Campbell is a Social Media & PR innovator for the “digital influencer” age. She understands the value of personal networks, content marketing, and how people can build strong personal/professional platforms, especially as it applies to expanding the digital influence of high-level executives and thought-leaders (think C-Suite, NGO directors, top academics). Donnetta is a consummate go-to trusted advisor on big ideas to senior big thinkers. Better yet, her approach to influencer marketing is iterative, so it grows deeper and stronger with every “moment in time” she creates.

After a 20+ year Public Relations global agency career, with a focus in the Corporate Leadership Track working in the top tier PR firm Weber Shandwick. Campbell is a consummate “connector” specializing in “earned influence personal brand” building & corporate digital platforms through her unique model of #SocialPR. Today’s leaders must be connected–connected to consumers, clients, colleagues, media -with social touch points across all mobile & social platforms. 

Campbell designs “shareable moments” in creative social communities. Since 2010, she has been building curated approaches, and is well ahead of the industry’s shift into “thought leadership.”  She leads ecosystems of thoughtful leaders who are invested in each other to raise their engagement capabilities. Her orchestrated real time events that are harnessed in twitter campaigns (of any topic/category) now generating 100 to 300 million impressions.

Across all verticals and meduims, personal heritage and corporate social brands need influencers and consumers tied to advocacy. Her models are built on gamification & “next gen” affinity marketing digitally bouncing social good driven empowerment campaigns. This creates consumers that engage 10x more often, creating opportunities for dynamic leaders to find high profile “moments in time,” leading to relevant followers.

Social Media:

Experience her #DCBYGBounce model – http://youtu.be/Sg1vgQRY9r4

RT w/ @DCBYGBounce @disruptorfound to be part of our community

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Paul Daugherty – Chief Technology Officer, Accenture

Coming soon

Is TDIA Honoree and Fellow, Thomas Suarez About to Change the World?

By Craig Hatkoff

The ORB 3D printer is intended to print 10x faster, has full modularity, a new coding language and, oh by the way, uses an open source architecture. Those who saw Thomas at our 2012 Awards when he was 12 might not be completely surprised that he has come up with all of this just two years after we gave him a Makerbot just to see what he could came up with. Yesterday the leading 3D printing industry trade publication, 3Dprint.com, published the below article on Thomas who is now 15. I have been working “secretly” with Thomas over the past year doing weekly Skype calls from his basement and garage and watching all this unfold. It’s been amazing! 

When we honored Thomas at our 2012 Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards, he was only 12 years old, an app creator and founder of the app platform Carrot Corp.

Photo: Margarita Corporan, 2012

Photo: Margarita Corporan, 2012

For Thomas, the main problem with 3D printing is that it is just “too damn slow.” So Thomas conceived of a revolving printer bed, used modular design and created his own elegant and fully intuitive “ORB Print Code” that is simpler and requires roughly 10 times fewer lines of code than the industry fav G Code. The analogy for the ORB Print Code can be thought of as similar to programming in BASIC rather than FORTRAN.

This seems to work because of the printer’s modular structure with its parallel commands/communication structure which sends commands directly to each component simultaneously — avoiding command conflicts. The mnemonic code makes debugging much simpler, and its elegance will make it much more accessible to the mass audience.

 To learn even more about Thomas, start by watching his acceptance at TDIA 2012 and the TED Talk he gave at age 12, below:

 

DISCLAIMER: The text below was originally published on 3dprint.com on January 12, 2015, written by Brian Krassenstein

When it comes to 3D printing, speed is one of the areas in which we would all love to see the most improvement. After all, who wants to wait hours for a fist-sized object to be fabricated? In a world where things are taking place at an ever quicker pace, the lack of speed within the 3D printing process is certainly holding the technology back.

Over the last year we have heard several claims by the leaders within the industry that their forthcoming 3D printers will in fact be much faster. HP claims that they will have a new “ten times faster” Multi Jet Fusion technology available in 2016, while 3D Systems is working hard on a machine they claim will be 50 times faster than current printers on the market today. With that said, little is being done within the consumer market, particularly for FFF/FDM machines. These printers seem to have hit a major speed barrier unless the entire printing process is re-imagined.


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That’s just what one 15-year-old teenager named Thomas Suarez is trying to do. We did a story on Suarez back in July when he announced that he would soon be unveiling a desktop 3D printer capable of printing at speeds which are 10 times greater than current technologies available today. As we mentioned in July, Suarez is not your typical 15 year old. He has been an app developer for years, and even gave a TED talk at the tender age of 12.

Today Suarez’s company, CarrotCorp, has officially unveiled their high-speed machine, and although general specifications have yet to be revealed, the ORB 3D Printer seems to be quite revolutionary.

The ORB uses several technologies new to the industry. These include a modular setup, allowing for customization and the rapid switching of particular components. It utilizes a spinning disc architexture, similar to that of a record player. The platform rotates rapidly, thus translating into print speeds which are 10 times that of your typical FFF/FDM 3D printer. Additionally, the ORB printer will be able to use special magnetically enhanced filaments containing specks of metal, which enable it to heat up, melt, and extrude much faster than filaments you may be used to. This, combined with a new heating process which stacks several heating elements on top of one another with a small air gap in between, should equate to the ability to extrude large quantities of molten plastic within a short time frame.

The modular system is part of an open development kit that CarrotCorp will soon be making available. This means that custom modules will be able to be created and used for the machine. Each module will handle a different print function. One module is used for extrusion, another for disc rotation, and so on. Each print instruction is then transmitted to the particular module which requires it.

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As for print instructions, Suarez has developed his own type of code. The ORB printer will not use G-code, instead relying on ORB Print Code, a human-readable code which can be understood by practically anyone. Below is a short example of what this code will look like:

rpm 60;
home all;
heat extruder 230;
slide 0;
e;
spin 100;
r;
slide 20;
e;
spin 100;
r;
slide 40;
e;
spin 100;
r;
slide 60;
e;
spin 100;
r;
slide 100;
e;
spin 100;
r;
end;

The printer itself is shaped almost like a round fish bowl, and provides a full 360-degree viewing angle of the object being printed, even though the build platform is fully enclosed. Suarez and his company plan to launch a crowdfunding campaign in order to raise the necessary funding to mass produce this incredible new 3D printer in the coming weeks. Those interested can sign up on the company’s webpagein order to be notified of the forthcoming campaign. We will have to wait until then, it seems, before a price for the ORB is announced.

Thomas Suarez at TDIA:

Thomas Suarez accepts his hammer from host Perri Peltz at TDIA 2012

Photo: Margarita Corporan, 2012

Photo: Margarita Corporan, 2012

Photo: Margarita Corporan, 2012

From 3D Glasses to 3D Printing... Thomas and his dad Ralph Suarez in the audience at TDIA 2013.

From 3D Glasses to 3D Printing… Thomas and his dad Ralph Suarez in the audience at TDIA 2013.

– Craig Hatkoff

Florian Hoffmann – Founder and President, The DO School

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Florian Hoffmann is a social entrepreneur and innovator in the field of higher education. He is the Founder and President of the DO School, a social enterprise that educates, trains and mentors talented individuals to turn their ideas into action and empowers them to start their own impactful ventures – with a strong emphasis on doing. The DO School currently has campuses in Hamburg and New York.

In 2008, Florian co-founded the Swiss Dekeyser&Friends Foundation in Geneva with the entrepreneur Bobby Dekeyser. From 2008 to 2012, Florian also co-developed the creative strategy of the furniture company DEDON, sitting on the board as a non executive member. He is also one of the co- founders of DEDON Places and its first DEDON Island, an island resort fostering sustainable tourism in the Philippines.

Florian graduated top of his class with Distinction from the MPhil in International Politics, St Antony’s College, Oxford University researching the common European Foreign policy on a DAAD scholarship. Prior to this he studied liberal arts and political science at ECLA of Bard College, Berlin’s Humboldt University and Duke University, North Carolina.

Florian’s work has been covered widely for example in publications such as the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fast Magazine, Enorm, the FAZ and others.

He regularly contributes to the public debate on higher education and innovation and has been teaching the DO School method at a variety of universities including Columbia University, Oxford University, the University of Geneva, the Hasso Plattner Institute at Potsdam University and the European Business School.

Florian lives with his wife between Berlin and New York.

Social Media:

Twitter – @florian_does

The DO School on Vimeo 

Video:

 

Jim Pitofsky — Managing Director for Strategic Alliances at the John Templeton Foundation

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Jim Pitofsky serves as the Managing Director for Strategic Alliances for the $3B+ John Templeton Foundation.  Jim plays a vital role in the creation and management of new strategies for connecting and engaging with entrepreneurial philanthropic and business leaders. His primary goals are to increase enthusiasm and engagement among highly influential people in specific areas already supported by the Foundation’s programmatic activities and to forge mutually beneficial alliances.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Jim was Chief Strategy Officer at the $500M+ Arizona Community Foundation (ACF) where he oversaw strategic planning and execution, public policy, education, and strategic alliances, as well as ACF’s Center for Business Philanthropy. Prior to that, he served as the ACF’s Director of Education where he led education grant making and advised high net-worth donors on their education grant making.

Jim has also served as the Vice President and Acting President of the Echoing Green Foundation, supporting hundreds of social entrepreneurs around the world; the Deputy Director of the National Youth Leadership Council, one of the leading service-learning organizations in the U.S. and the world; and the Executive Director for Hands on Bay Area, the leading manager of corporate volunteerism in the Bay Area. Additionally, Mr. Pitofsky founded and directed an organization that worked internationally to create school/community and business/education partnerships and was adopted by the National Association of Partners in Education. During that time, he also served as the elected President of the National and Community Service Coalition and led their federal public policy efforts. 

In addition, in the entertainment industry, he co-organized a venture fair at Investing in Media That Matters, a significant gathering of leaders from the entertainment, philanthropic and investment communities, which Robert Redford opened at the beginning of the Sundance Film Festival.  Also, he currently works with leaders in the film industry to elevate feature films that weave in virtues, faith and/or action.

In public policy, Jim has advised one U.S. President and three Governors, with an even mix of parties.

Throughout his career, Jim has worked closely with CEOs, foundation executives, philanthropists, celebrities, policy-makers, and nonprofit leaders to advance philanthropy, education reform, leadership development, social entrepreneurship, community service, and racial and economic equity. He has been a speaker at the World Economic Forum (Davos), FORTUNE Magazine CEO Forum, the White House Conference on Philanthropy, the Milken Institute and hundreds of other convenings of corporate, philanthropic, and nonprofit leaders. Jim earned his B.A. from Stanford University and his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center where he was a Public Interest Law Scholar. 

Twitter – @templeton_fdn

Website – templeton.org

Betsy Isaacson — Freelance Journalist

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Betsy Isaacson, a historian by training and a journalist by trade, never stops writing. She writes about technological and social boundary breakers for outlets like the Huffington Post and Newsweek. She writes interactive theater pieces that break boundaries between actor and audience to explore concepts like display, patience and intermediated communication. She is currently working on a large scale historical lesson for middle-school classrooms that immerses students in period set pieces and rewards self-directed research. She thinks makeup is a socially sanctioned excuse for wearing face paint.  

Nicole Ticea — Student Inventor & HIV Researcher

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If there are two things Nicole could credit for helping her develop the most cost-effective device for early HIV detection, she would say ‘passion’ and ‘youthful naïveté’. A teenage researcher from Vancouver, Canada, Nicole has spent the past two years building a team of co-collaborators and business partners at Simon Fraser University, a local institute, and at Stanford. She has taken her work to the national and international stage as the winner of the Canadian BioGENEius Challenge for biotechnology and was also awarded Second Place in Medicine and Health at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Nicole has adopted a business-minded attitude towards her research by founding her own company, OneWorld Diagnostics Inc., to attract investors for further product development. Nicole and her team have also applied to several grants and hope to raise enough money to see this product deployed in low-resource settings such as Sub-Saharan Africa, where the test will significantly increase infant survival rates and minimize undiagnosed HIV infection amongst adults. Outside of her research, Nicole is an avid author who hopes to cast a new light on long-repressed local issues. She is also a devout swimmer and runner who believes that physical fitness is the basis for all intellectual pursuits. Above all, Nicole is convinced that only through melding creativity and scientific thought can true progress be achieved, and thus seeks to cultivate these two aspects of her life equally.

Select Publications:

The Huffington Post

IFL Science

Business News Daily

Video:

 

Anthony D. Romero – Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

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Anthony D. Romero is the Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, the nation’s premier defender of liberty and individual freedom. He took the helm of the organization just seven days before the September 11, 2001 attacks. Shortly afterward, the ACLU launched its national Keep America Safe and Free campaign to protect basic freedoms during a time of crisis, achieving court victories on the Patriot Act, uncovering thousands of pages of documents detailing the torture and abuse of detainees in U.S. custody, and filing the first successful legal challenge to the Bush administration’s illegal NSA spying program.

Romero has also led the ACLU in its unique legal challenge to the patents held by a private company on the human genes associated with breast and ovarian cancer; in its landmark lawsuit challenging Arizona’s anti-immigrant law that invites law enforcement to engage in racial profiling; in its high-profile litigation and lobbying efforts to win the freedom to marry for same-sex couples; and in its nationwide campaign to end mass incarceration, which aims to achieve a 50% reduction in the number of Americans behind bars.

An attorney with a history of public-interest activism, Romero has presided over the most successful membership growth in the ACLU’s history and a large increase in national and affiliate staff. This extraordinary growth has allowed the ACLU to expand its nationwide litigation, lobbying, advocacy, and public education programs.

Romero is the ACLU’s sixth executive director, and the first Latino and openly gay man to serve in that capacity. Born in New York City to parents who hailed from Puerto Rico, Romero was the first in his family to graduate from high school. He is a graduate of Stanford University Law School and Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy and International Affairs.

Social Media:

Twitter – @ACLU

Facebook – ACLU

Select Publications:

New York Times

MSNBC

The Huffington Post

Mary Childs – Reporter, Bloomberg News

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Mary Childs joined Bloomberg News in 2009 and reports on the world’s biggest asset managers, in print, on television, and on radio. She previously covered corporate bonds and derivatives, and in April 2012, she and a team were the first to break the story of the JPMorgan London Whale, a trader who lost the bank more than $6 billion on bad derivative positions. For that work, she and her team were finalists for a Gerald Loeb Award in 2013. Before joining Bloomberg, Childs spent a year traveling the world painting portraits on a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, a grant for independent study outside the U.S. She graduated from Washington & Lee University with a degree in business journalism, and after studying at St. Stephen’s College in Delhi, wrote an honors thesis on the use and significance of sting operations in media in India and the U.S. Childs, a native of Richmond, Virginia, volunteers for the News Literacy Project, and continues to paint and draw.

Twitter – @mdc

Select Publications:

Bloomberg News – JPMorgan London Whale story

Bloomberg Business (video)

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Linda Scott, DP World Chair for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at University of Oxford

Linda Scott is DP World Chair for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Said Business School at the University of Oxford. Her research focuses on women’s economic empowerment through market-based means. Professor Scott works with multinational companies on programs designed to help women economically, especially through entrepreneurship, but also through select consumer goods, such as mobile phones or sanitary pads. She has worked with Procter & Gamble, Avon, Walmart, ExxonMobil, Goldman Sachs, Vodafone, CARE, UNICEF, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, and Plan on these issues. She curates Power Shift: The Oxford Forum for Women in the World Economy. Professor Scott was featured on the Financial Times’ “Thinking Big” video series and her work has been covered by The Economist, BBC, The New York Times, the Guardian, and other world press vehicles. She serves a U. S. State Department subcommittee on women’s access to markets. Scott writes a blog, “The Double X Economy.” Her twitter handle is @ProfLindaScott with 57,000 followers.

Twitter – @ProfLindaScott

Linkedin – Linda Scott 

Davos 2015 World Economic Forum Blog posts: 

“Why are our daughters are trapped by sexist stereotypes?”

“What today’s workplace is doing to your health”

“The Numbers on Women: The World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report, 2014 by Linda Scott”

Bryan Johnson – Founder, OS Fund

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Bryan Johnson is an entrepreneur, investor and adventurer. He is the Founder of the OS Fund and Braintree (PayPal/eBay).

He launched the OS Fund in 2014 with $100 million of his personal capital to support inventors and scientists who aim to benefit humanity by rewriting the operating systems of life. He currently serves on the boards of Human Longevity and Planetary Resources.

In 2007, Bryan founded Braintree, an online and mobile payments provider. He and his team worked tirelessly to build an exceptional company—one that they loved, and one that was worthy of frequent love letters from its customers.

Bryan is an avid adventurer. He has climbed some of the highest peaks in the world, raced in the African desert, explored an active volcano and built a snow cave in the Arctic. He is a pilot, the father of three and a children’s book author.

Twitter – @bryan_johnson

Douglas Dicconson – Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Cinelan

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Douglas is a dynamic and driven media executive who has delivered award winning global communications campaigns including film, TV, digital, print, outdoor, event, original programming and mobile applications. His work has been honored by Clio Awards, Webby Awards, London International Advertising Awards, Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards and Cannes Lions. He has developed, produced and distributed creative content for P&G, GE, IKEA, Dodge, The New York Mercantile Exchange, BNY Mellon, SAP and Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Productions.

Over the past four years Douglas has operated as Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Cinelan and alongside Co-Founders including Morgan Spurlock and Jack Myers he led the development of GE FOCUS FORWARD FILMSShort Films Big Ideas; a short film program that delivered over 100million views from 150+ countries and over 5 billion media impressions. The project included a short film competition, which drew 563 entries from 69 countries. The program was screened on all seven continents including Tribeca Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Berlinale, Bussan, Dubai International Film Festival and even Antarctica.

In October of 2014 Douglas was at the helm again when Cinelan partnered with Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Productions to launch WE THE ECONOMY 20 Short Films You Can’t Afford to Miss. Cinelan delivered 20 short films including animation, comedy, scripted and documentary formats with directors such as Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight), Adam MaKay (Anchorman), James Schamus (Producer Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon), Steve James (Hoop Dreams), Albert Hughes (Menace II Society) and others. WE THE ECONOMY achieved several unprecedented accomplishments including a simultaneous day-and-date launch on 57 theatrical, digital and TV platforms including Landmark Theaters, Comcast, Time Warner, Netflix, Amazon, Yahoo!, Reddit, YouTube, Vimeo and others. In it’s first 3 months of distribution, WE THE ECONOMY received over 20 million views and surpassed 2 billion media impressions.

Social Media:

Twitter – @ddicconson

Select Publications:

Fast Co Create

USA Today

Video:

Colin Miles Campbell – Co-founder and CEO, Wikiburg

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Serial entrepreneur, artist and community activist, Colin Miles Campbell is the Co-Founder and CEO of Wikiburg, a digital platform that allows individuals and non-profits to organize, launch and crowdfund community movements with real-time engagement and visualization. The idea for Wikiburg was seeded through Save Domino, the grassroots campaign he led to keep Brooklyn’s iconic pre-war sugar refinery from high-rise condo development. The huge task of challenging a multi-million machine meant a resourceful use of his background in art, civics and commerce, ultimately funding the campaign by creating original artwork. The son of preservationists who’d spent summers restoring Frank Lloyd Wright homes, he saw Domino as a dystopic realization of how urban planning can fail communities when they’re left out of the decision making process.

A concept designer for the past 18 years, he’s conceived and executed hundreds of high-profile projects for Fortune 500 companies and artists, such as AC Giannini, Chanel, Clockwork Apple, Chautauqua Ballet, David Copperfield, ENK Shows, Eve Sussman, Jacobo Borges, Nevada Ballet & Theatre Company, NYFestivals, Peter Brandt, Safilo East & West, Shotgun Productions, TED, Topiary Productions, William Jefferson Clinton, Urs Fischer, and the Washington Ballet. He’s managed dozens of large-scale events, building and directing creative teams with production budgets of upwards of half million dollars for a single event. He also founded ClearQuest Group – a Brooklyn-based tech company that designs and develops environmentally sustainable solutions for the consumer market.

Campbell is an active member of CUE, the Committee For Urban Entrepreneurship, and the subject of a Vice story for HBO currently in production. Wikiburg was also selected as a beta member of Civic Hall, the community workspace for technology start-ups working towards social good. He lives in Brooklyn.

Twitter – @Wikiburg

Isabella Huffington – Artist

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Isabella Huffington is an artist who lives in New York. She graduated from Yale in 2014 where she majored in art history. Her work can be found at isabellahuffington.com.

Karol Martesko-Fenster – Co-Founder, Cinelan

Karol is an Austrian-born American entrepreneur and media industry innovator with broad motion picture, broadcast, print, and Internet backgrounds. Karol co-founded FILMMAKER Magazine, RES MagazineindieWIRE.com, Cinelan and conditionone.com. He has produced multiple music television programs and films, and most recently collaborated on “Big Easy Express”, “Sing Your Song”, “Citizen Hearst”, and “In God We Trust”, and is an executive producer on “Homme Less”,”Nasty Gal”, “Love Hotel”, This Is Congo”, “Journey to Jah”, “Smash & Grab”, “2012 Academy Award Nominee “Hell and Back Again.”

Deirdre Bolton — Anchor and Fox Business Host, “Risk And Reward”

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Deirdre Bolton covers innovation & strategy on her show at Fox Business and focuses on how technology is changing every field.

Bolton provides a daily look at global money flows into hedge fund strategies, private equity, venture capital, angel investing, real estate and natural resources. PayPal Co-Founders, Peter Thiel and Max Levchin, are examples of recent featured guests who are both building on their successes to change the future of data-collection and analysis, healthcare and finance.

Bolton is a known and trusted financial journalist. She led Bloomberg Television’s morning programming for 8 years, where she analyzed trading across U.S., European and Asian markets during such time changing events such as the Credit Crisis. From 2008-2010, she was a daily contributor to CBS’ Early Show. She is known for her thoughtful and thorough questions in interviews with high-profile investors including Blackstone’s Head of Real Estate, Jon Gray, hedge fund manager Bill Ackman of Pershing Square Capital Management, Sullivan & Cromwell Senior Chairman H. Rodgin Cohen, Lazard Vice Chairman Gary Parr, billionaire investor Wilbur Ross, Carlyle Group co-founder and managing director David Rubenstein and Fred Wilson, managing partner at Union Square Ventures.

She completed most of her undergraduate and graduate coursework in France, and holds a degree in English and French literature from the University of Iowa and a master’s degree from New York University. Bolton has lived around the world, including in Paris, London, and Singapore, in addition to her current home in New York City. She is a known coffee connoisseur which explains her energy level and ability to keep up with her two young sons.

Social Media:

Twitter – @DeirdreBolton 

Cameron Sinclair

Coming soon.

Matthew Hiltzik – CEO and Founder, Hiltzik Strategies

Coming soon.

Carrie Walton Penner

Coming soon.

HH Prince Fahad Al Saud — Founder & CEO, NA3M Games

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HH Prince Fahad Al Saud is an entrepreneur, CEO and pioneer in the Middle East’s creative and technology sectors. He is committed to social change; backing initiatives to empower people and businesses across the Middle East, the USA and Africa. With a determined and entrepreneurial belief in the power of ‘artistic technology’, he has contributed to works and investments in education, job creation and social empowerment. He is also Founder & CEO of NA3M (New Arabic Media).

NA3M is an award-winning transmedia creative incubator. Its aim is to deliver change through creativity; building, shaping and supporting Arabic entertainment online. NA3M creates entertaining games, animated series and web comics that are inspired by Arabic culture, filling a void for underserviced audiences in the Middle Eastern gaming and media space, and globally. In late 2014, NA3M won the Audience Award and Demo Showcase at Slush in Helsinki for its innovative vision of technology investment as a cultural and economic bridge between the Middle East and Europe.

As a notable figure in the world of technology across the Arab region and beyond, Fahad became Facebook’s Head of User Operations‐Arabic in 2008, making a significant contribution to the launch of the website’s Arabic version. He has also consulted on Saudi Arabia’s first ever Start-up Weekend and in 2011 was named “Most Influential International Youth” at the Arab Youth Media Forum. In 2013, Fahad took on the role of mentor at the Unreasonable Institute, as part of the “Unreasonable at Sea” tech entrepreneurship program, sailing from South Africa to Ghana alongside Richard Branson, Desmond Tutu and Founder of WordPress, Matt Mullenweg.

Fahad is also actively involved in the arts, fashion and popular culture; sourcing and developing cultural and technological links, as well as creative content and brands that promote social development, women’s rights and youth empowerment.

 Social Media:

Twitter – @na3mGames

Facebook – NA3M Games 

Instagram – @yolofahad 

Website – fahadalsaud.net 

Gayle Jennings-O’Byrne — Vice President of Global Philanthropy, JPMorgan Chase

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Gayle Jennings-O’Byrne, Vice President in JPMorgan Chase Global Philanthropy, is responsible for leveraging the firm’s global reach, expertise, relationships and access to capital to help communities address economic and social challenges. By investing in best-in-class workforce readiness, small business development, community development and financial capability programs, she helps create pathways to opportunity.

In 2013, JPMorgan Chase launched New Skills at Work, a $250 million initiative that is the largest private sector effort seeking to address the skills gap. Mrs. Jennings-O’Byrne manages the New Skills portfolio – more than $20 million annually – in New York City, New Jersey, Connecticut, Long Island and the Lower Hudson Valley.

Previously, Mrs. Jennings-O’Byrne was Vice President, International Government Relations, managing global issues related to corporate finance and investment banking with respect to the firm’s legislative and regulatory affairs.

Mrs. Jennings-O’Byrne began her career at JPMorgan Chase as an associate in the Mergers and Acquisitions group. Prior to joining J.P. Morgan Securities Inc., Ms. Jennings-O’Byrne was a senior press relations manager for Sun Microsystems Computer Co. where her responsibilities included developing and implementing global publicity and marketing programs.

Through innovation and collaboration, she is committed to addressing social issues and delivering impact. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics from The Wharton School of Business and masters in business administration (MBA) from The University of Michigan Business School. As part of her degree programs she studied at the National University of Singapore, the City of London Polytechnic and traveled throughout Israel on a research project for the Israeli Tourism Dept. She has served on an advisory board for the Ghetto Film School, the Cinema High School, the Eagle Academy Foundation and the Scholastic Family and Community Engagement (FACE) Advisory Council. She is proudly married to David O’Byrne and resides in New York City.

Select Publications:

Crain’s New York

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Georgia Dienst — Head of Solve for X, Google

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A truly global citizen, Georgia has lived, worked and traveled to over 76 countries and is hoping to have seen the entire world by the time she is 107. Passionate about entrepreneurship, social change and technology, she has built a career creating movements by using different media entities and new communication methods. This has allowed her reach over 1 billion people online. Having worked with some of the globally most recognized brands during her time at ASMALLWORLD, Georgia has gained a vast experience in community building, content, marketing and partnerships.

She joined Google and YouTube in 2012 to advance innovative brand strategies on a global level and joined Google[x], a department of the company considered to be one of the most innovative places in the world, in 2014. As the Head of Solve for X, she supports and helps scientists, innovators and disruptive technologies reach global impact and visibility. Georgia is a fellow of the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards, an alumni of the Singularity University Graduate Study Program and a strong believer that science and technology can cause radically positive things to happen in the world.

Twitter – @georgiadienst

Jitendra Kavathekar — Managing Director, Accenture Open Innovation

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Jitendra is a prolific leader, connector, and ally to a diverse set of communities spanning technology, social business, entertainment, and communities advancing the study and application of consciousness and awareness in society.  His personal passion is to express conscious creativity in technology, poetry and prose, and conversation that ties eclectic perspectives together in ways that inspire progress. 

Jitendra Kavathekar leads Accenture Open Innovation within Accenture’s Global R&D organization, transforming technology innovation from vibrant ecosystems, such as startups, universities, and corporate labs around the globe, into transformative business results for Accenture’s clients. As Managing Director, Jitendra leads the entrepreneurial team whose mission is to build a bridge between the rapidly growing supply of innovation in the world today found in these ecosystems to the demand for that innovation expressed through the corporations, governments, and organizations that serve the developing regions thereby helping economies and societies move forward in rapid and transformative ways.  Prior, Jitendra formed and led Accenture’s Digital Health organization within Accenture Technology Labs. He was responsible for exploring and implementing emerging, disruptive and transformative technologies that will shape the frontier of global health.

Prior to Accenture, Jitendra had a 20-year track record bringing disruptive innovation to scale starting from his early career as part of the core R&D team bringing the highly successful HP printer product lines to the Asia-Pacific markets, to leading the engineering for the pioneering startup Pixo, to running core technologies for all devices at Palm, to leading the technology organization at Motorola who developed the Technical Emmy Award nominated Screen3 product, to forming and leading the business that but Yahoo on the map for Web Analytics.  Just prior to Accenture, Jitendra served as President and CEO of Twiki Incorporated, a pioneer and leader in open source enterprise collaboration technologies with 60,000 installations world-wide.

Jitendra holds a Masters in Computer Science and was honored with an honorary Ph.D. from the International Technology University for delivering the main keynote for the graduating class. Honorees in prior years include Edward Teller, William Perry, Steven Chu and other notables.

Social Media:

Twitter – @JeetKavathekar

Facebook – Jitendra Kavathekar

LinkedIn – Jitendra Kavathekar

Alyse Nelson – President & CEO, Vital Voices Global Partnership

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Alyse Nelson is president and chief executive officer of Vital Voices Global Partnership. A cofounder of Vital Voices, Alyse has worked for the organization for 17 years, serving as vice president and senior director of programs before assuming her current role in 2009. Alyse has worked with women leaders to develop training programs and international forums in over 140 countries and has interviewed more than 200 international leaders, including Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and former presidents Mary Robinson and Bill Clinton, as well as Nobel Peace Prize laureates Aung San Suu Kyi, Wangari Maathai, and Muhammad Yunus. Under her leadership, Vital Voices has tripled in size and expanded its global reach to serve a network of over 14,000 women leaders in 144 countries.

Previously, Alyse served as deputy director of the Vital Voices Global Democracy Initiative at the U.S. Department of State. Her position aided former First Lady Hillary Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s commitment to promote the advancement of women as a U.S. foreign policy objective. Alyse helped design and implement Vital Voices initiatives throughout the world. From July 1996 to July 2000, Alyse worked with the President’s Interagency Council on Women at the White House and U.S. Department of State. She attended the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China, in 1995. Alyse is a Member in the Council on Foreign Relations. She serves on the Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society and is a Board member of Running Start and RAD-AID International. Alyse is a part of the Expert Group for the B Team and is on the Advisory Board of Chime for Change.

Alyse is the author of the best-selling book Vital Voices: The Power of Women Leading Change Around the World, with foreword written by Vital Voices Founder, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. The book shares the stories of remarkable, world-changing women, as well as the story of how Vital Voices was founded, and features first person accounts from Board Members including designer Diane von Furstenberg and actor Sally Field, alongside perspectives from global leaders including former President of Chile Michelle Bachelet and Nigerian Minister of Finance Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Alyse has been featured in international and national media, including the Washington Post, Financial Times, the Miami Herald, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Reuters, and has appeared on BBC, PBS, CNN, NPR, FOX News, and CNBC. She completed her graduate degree work at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. In 2006 Alyse was named one of ”Ten Women to Watch” by Washingtonian Magazine and was honored by her alma mater, Emerson College, with the distinguished speaker award.  In 2011 she was featured in Newsweek as one of ”150 Women Shaking the World,” and in 2012 she was The International Alliance for Women (TIAW) World of Difference 100 Award recipient. In 2013, Alyse was invited to speak at the UK Government’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office and at the Department for International Development’s Distinguished Speaker Series. In 2014, Alyse was invited to speak at the Oxford Union at Oxford University and Fortune Magazine named Alyse one of the 55 Most Influential Women on Twitter.

Social Media:

Twitter – @AlyseNelson & @vitalvoices

Facebook – Vital Voices

YouTube – Vital Voices

Select Publications:

The Huffington Post (author)

CNN

The Daily Beast

Video:

Ellie Hirschhorn — former Chief Digital Officer, Simon & Schuster

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Ellie Hirschhorn is an experienced media and technology leader possessing a combination of technical, business and creative skills and a track record of transforming, growing and scaling content businesses. She has built and led successful digital initiatives, driving change at both large companies (8 years at Viacom, 8 years at CBS) and executing entrepreneurial plans and a successful exit at a startup (3 years at MediaNet, a leading digital music venture). Ms. Hirschhorn has demonstrated leadership skills and strengths in operations / general management, revenue and audience development, engineering, product development, marketing, strategic planning/M&A, and business development. She’s led teams of up to 135 people and managed P&L’s up to $50mm.

Ellie served as Simon & Schuster’s Executive Vice President and first Chief Digital Officer from 2008-2014, reporting to S&S’s CEO and managing engineering, product, digital marketing, business development and content & programming teams. She pioneered new strategies and initiatives that grew S&S’s digital audience over 700% to 1.3mm unique monthly visitors; expanded its database of email subscribers from 75k to over 2mm names; launched 9 consumer niche content sites in key 
publishing categories including romance, teen, lifestyle, and business; built an in-house short-form video production and syndication arm; enhanced and expanded S&S’s ecommerce platforms, supporting growth in ecommerce revenues from $300k to $5.5mm; developed the original concept, business plan and product roadmap and served on the board of directors of Bookish – a publisher- backed book discovery and marketing site with a proprietary recommendation engine that was sold to Zola Books; originated and oversaw a $4mm self-publishing partnership with Author Solutions Inc. – Archway Publishing, the first self-publishing imprint launched by a major trade publisher; originated new digital products derived from select S&S titles, including Stephen King’s Webby award-nominated mobisode series, “N.” which also was the second most popular animated series on iTunes, and “Nixonland,” one of the first, critically acclaimed enhanced ebooks featured on Apple; conceived and developed S&S’s content syndication strategy, building a marketing partnership program that includes Yahoo!, SheKnows, AOL, Roku, Huffington Post, Bio.com and dozens of other new digital distribution agreements.

Before coming to Simon & Schuster, Ms. Hirschhorn was at CBS College Sports (f.k.a. College Sports TV) where she was Executive Vice President, Digital Media in charge of the companies digital division that included a network of over 200 collegiate digital sports properties.  Ms. Hirschhorn has served as Chief Operating Officer of MediaNet, a leading business-to-business digital subscription music provider, and held various high-level positions at Viacom, MTV Networks, and Showtime Networks, including as General Manager of MTV.com.

Prior to joining the media world, Ms. Hirschhorn worked in investment banking and private equity at Credit Suisse First Boston, Citibank, and Weiss, Peck & Greer.

Ms. Hirschhorn holds a BA from Yale University and an MBA from Harvard Business School and was a Henry R. Luce Scholar. She serves on the Board of Directors of Fiduciary Trust Company International, the Board of Governors of Yale University Press, and the Advisory Board of The Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center.

Dr. Stephen J. “Butch” Thomas

Butch Thomas is a cardiac anesthesiologist and has been since 1974. He took his residency, chief residency, and cardiac anesthesia fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and has worked there, at New York University and now at Weill Cornell.  He has been President of the American Board of Anesthesiology, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the International Anesthesia Research Society, and Chairman of the Residency Review Committee for Anesthesiology.

Mitch Cohen — Vice Chairman, PwC

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Mitch Cohen is vice chairman at PwC. During his thirty-four years at the firm, including more than twenty years as a partner, Cohen has held a variety of leadership roles in including being the leader of Strategy, Innovation, and Corporate Responsibility. Mitch has worked with numerous Fortune 500 clients during his tenure with the firm. He is co-author of “THE SELF-MADE BILLIONAIRE EFFECT.” Cohen also  serves on the Board of Visitors of the Smeal School of Business at Penn State and on the Advisory Board of DonorsChoose

Twitter – @mitchdcohen

PwC on Facebook

Bob Roth — Executive Director, David Lynch Foundation

 

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Bob Roth is one of the most experienced meditation teachers in America. Over the past 40 years, Bob has taught Transcendental Meditation to many thousands of people and authored an authoritative book on the subject, fittingly entitled Transcendental Meditation, which has been translated into 20 languages.

Bob currently serves as the Executive Director of the David Lynch Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charity which has brought meditation to over 500,000 inner-city youth in underserved schools in 35 countries, to veterans and their families who suffer from post-traumatic stress, and women and children who are survivors of domestic violence. Bob also directs the Center for Leadership Performance, another nonprofit, which brings TM to companies, organizations, and government.

His students include Jerry Seinfeld, Martin Scorsese, David Letterman and Doctor Mehmet Oz. In his lectures, videos and media appearances, Bob makes the often complicated, head-scratching topic of meditation simple, clear and accessible.

 

Twitter – @meditationbob

Scott Harrison — Co-Founder and CEO, charity:water

 

 

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Scott spent almost 10 years as a nightclub promoter in New York City before leaving to volunteer on a hospital ship off the coast of Liberia, West Africa as a volunteer photojournalist. Returning home to New York City two years later, he founded the non-profit organization charity: water in 2006. Turning his full attention to the global water crisis and the world’s 800 million people without clean water to drink, he created public installations and innovative online fundraising platforms to spread international awareness of the issue.

In eight years, with the help of more than 500,000 donors worldwide, charity: water has raised over $150 million and funded over 13,000 water projects in 22 countries. When completed, those projects will provide over 4.6 million people with clean, safe drinking water.

Scott was recently recognized in Fortune Magazine’s 40 under 40 list, the Forbes Magazine Impact 30 list and was recently #10 in Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business issue. He is currently a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. Scott lives in New York City with his wife Viktoria and son Jackson.

Social Media:

Twitter  – @scottharrison / @charitywater

Select Publications:

Medium

Fast Company

Forbes – Impact 30

Inc.com

Relevant Magazine

Video:

Aaron Holiday — Managing Entrepreneurial Officer, Cornell Tech

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Aaron Holiday is Cornell Tech’s first Managing Entrepreneurial Officer, where he is a part of a team pioneering the Studio Culture for the billion dollar tech campus. Aaron is also the co-founder of 645 Ventures, a Seed to Series A stage venture capital firm that applies a data-intensive approach to value creation and deal sourcing.

Aaron started his career at Goldman Sachs, building proprietary trading technology alongside of PhDs in Artificial Intelligence and was later recruited to GFI Group to architect a new derivative trading platform. Aaron leveraged his technology expertise to transition his career to venture capital and entrepreneurship. Aaron was recently named Top 100 NYC Tech influencers you need to know.

Aaron received his BS in Computer Science from Morehouse and MBA Cornell University.

Social Media:

Twitter – @AHolidayiii

Select Publications:

Cornell Tech in the New York Times

Gotham Gazette 

Alleywatch – 100 NYC Tech Influencers You Need To Know

 

Dana Perino — Co-Host, Fox News’ “The Five”

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Former White House press secretary Dana Perino is a co-host of “The Five” on the Fox News Channel. In 2014, “The Five” was the third most-watched program on all of cable news. She also appears as part of the political and election coverage teams on the Fox News Channel. Prior to this, Dana served for seven years in the administration of President George W. Bush and became the first Republican woman to be named as the White House press secretary. Dana joined the Bush Administration following the September 11th terrorist attacks in 2001 as a spokesperson at the U.S. Department of Justice.

In January 2009, one day after President Bush left office, Dana and her husband traveled to Africa to volunteer at Living Hope, in Fish Hoek, South Africa, a faith-based organization that leads several programs for people affected by all aspects of HIV and AIDS.

Upon her return, she was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve on the Broadcasting Board of Governors. She was confirmed by the United States Senate in June 2010. In May 2012, Dana appeared alongside NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and CNBC anchor David Faber on the hit TV quiz show, “Jeopardy”.

Dana is a graduate of Colorado State University-Pueblo where she earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and minors in both political science and Spanish. She also has a master’s degree in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield. After college, Dana had her first experience in Washington, working for Congressman Scott McInnis (R-CO). She later served as the press secretary for Congressman Dan Schaefer (R-CO). Dana also spent time working at a public relations firm in San Diego.

One of her most unique jobs was as a country music disc jockey from 2 to 6 AM on Saturdays and Sundays while in school in Pueblo, Colorado. The number one country song in America at that time was “Achy Breaky Heart” by Billy Ray Cyrus.

Dana met her husband, Peter McMahon on an airplane back in 1997, moved to England and married him within one year. She and Peter live in Manhattan with “America’s Dog”, Jasper. Her first book, “And the Good News Is…” is being published by Twelve and will be released on April 21, 2015.

Social Media:

Website – www.danaperino.com

Twitter – @DanaPerino

Facebook – Dana Perino

Select Publications:

Fox News column

LifeandDog.com

Jack Hidary — Tech Entrepreneur and Co-Founder, Dice.com

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Jack D. Hidary built his career as a tech entrepreneur and has been dedicated to public service in education, sustainable energy and economic growth. Jack co-founded and served as Chairman and CEO of EarthWeb/Dice.com  (NYSE:DHX), the leading online job board for the IT sector. Jack serves on several boards including the Google X Labs advisory board, the Palo Alto Prize advisory board and is on the board of trustees of the X Prize Foundation. Committed to community and philanthropic causes, he has received several industry and community awards as well as being recognized as a Global Leader of Tomorrow at the World Economic Forum, Davos. He is also a founding member of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI). Jack appears regularly on Bloomberg TV, Fox Business and CNBC addressing tech trends.

Social Media:

Twitter – @jackhidary

Video:

Bloomberg Television – In The Loop

Bloomberg Television – Countdown

Fox Business – Elevator Pitch

Dr. Sheena Iyengar — Faculty Director, Lang Center for Entrepreneurship at Columbia Business School

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Sheena Iyengar joined the Columbia faculty in 1998 and is currently the Faculty Director of the Lang Center for Entrepreneurship at the Columbia Business School. Her core research focuses on the psychology of choice and decision-making, and her work has since turned to tackling challenges faced by businesses in a globalized world, approaching issues through the lenses of network analysis and diversity-inspired ideation. She looks at the processes used by both groups and individuals in making choices to see how we can improve on innovation, problem solving, and leveraging business relationships.

Dr. Iyengar’s work has been published in premiere academic journals across such disciplines as economics, psychology, management, and marketing, and she received the Presidential Early Career Award in 2002. Her book The Art of Choosing received a Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year 2010 award, and was ranked #3 on the Amazon.com Best Business and Investing Books of 2010. Her research is regularly cited in the popular media, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, the Economist, and BBC. Dr. Iyengar has also appeared on television programs like the Today Show, the Daily Show, and Fareed Zakaria’s GPS on CNN.

Twitter – @Sheena_Iyengar

Britt Morgan-Saks — VP of Strategic Partnerships, Rent The Runway

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Britt Morgan-Saks leads artist and industry relationships for Spotify across North America. In this role, Britt serves as an advocate for the creative community within Spotify and is responsible for helping artists and their management understand how the new streaming music landscape can grow their careers. Additionally, Britt leads Spotify’s efforts to engage with talent for creative partnerships, events and integrated marketing campaigns.

Prior to Spotify, Britt served as Senior Creative Director, A&R at Sony/ATV, where she focused on discovering and developing new songwriting and artistic talent. Key signings included Sara Bareilles and Flight of the Conchords. Prior to Sony/ATV, Britt was Senior Creative Director, A&R at Famous Music Publishing, where she focused on Urban and Pop on the East Coast.

Britt graduated from Harvard University with a BA in Government and now lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Twitter – @bmorgansaks

Synchronicity: Red, Blue and the Great Debate

By Craig Hatkoff

Irwin Kula (“the literal rabbi”) and I are always seeking insights into and discussing polarization in America whether it be conversations with our friend Glenn Beck (Irwin has become a regular on Glenn’s show) or discussions about how population density, industrialization or agrarian geography (i.e., rice versus wheat) influence the politics of our world views.

Today we had one of our extraordinarily surreal moments in one of our phone conversations. (Irwin is vacationing in Miami and I am in NYC.) He excitedly started to tell me about an amazing exchange he had just had with someone named Skip Simonds (a cold call he had received) about political polarization after Skip saw him on a segment with Glenn on The Blaze. I immediately jumped in. “Geez, that just reminded me, I am reading a great book about the seeds of liberalism and conservatism that I’ve been meaning to tell you about. Give me a second to get the book since I keep forgetting!”

As I returned to the phone with the book I said ” I am reading The Great Debate.…”  Irwin cut me off. “Oh my God!” he said. “Written by Yuval Levin????” I said, “Yes! That’s the book Skip was telling me I had to read!!”

Now, of all the hundreds, if not thousands, of books about the roots of polarization, the probability of The Great Debate coming up was astronomically remote. Good enough reason for us to take it seriously, from a spiritual, synchronistic point of view.

Thomas Paine (left) and Edmund Burke

Thomas Paine (left) and Edmund Burke

Levin crisply couches the discussion through the lens of Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine’s lively 18th century debates about the French Revolution. It is a page turner for political theory geeks. Available on Kindle but let us know what you think.

- Craig Hatkoff

Disruptor David Keyes on The Sony Hack

This blog post is a re-post of an article written by “The Daily Beast” contributor David M. Keyes, one of our Disruptor Foundation Fellows. Originally published December 18th here.

The Sony Hack and America’s Craven Capitulation To Terror

By David Keyes

If the noble experiment of American democracy is to mean anything, it is fidelity to the principle of freedom. It is to champion the idea that all men and women are endowed with certain unalienable rights—free to think our thoughts, speak our minds, associate with whom we want and express our feelings without fear that a tyrant will silence us. Slavery is not only the physical restraining of the body. It is also the imprisonment of the mind—the instinct to quiet one’s thoughts in the face of terror.

This is a degrading and shameful state which no man or woman should be forced to endure.

Yesterday, Americans not only endured it—they enabled it. Anonymous hackers, possibly associated with the North Korean regime, made unspecified threats to conduct a 9/11-style attack on theaters that showed “The Interview,” a feature comedy film which pokes fun at Kim Jong Un. Major theaters announced they would not show the movie and Sony pulled it.

On Christmas weekend, a North Korean tyrant has decided what American teenagers will see on the silver screen. Some sympathize with the theaters. Who can blame them? Why would any business expose their customers to potential terror?

This is wrong, dangerous and shameful.

By giving an artistic veto to a madman, we submit to the mindset of a slave. We are no longer sovereigns of our thoughts, comedy and art. If anything is worth fighting for, it is this.

Where can such blatant capitulation end? Imagine—just imagine!—if Iranian hackers threatened to attack any bookstore selling critical views of Islam or the Supreme Leader. Imagine if hackers from Saudi Arabia said that any TV station in America broadcasting feminists and gays would be attacked? What if the Taliban threatened to attack any readers of websites advocating women’s education.

What would we do? The answer should be self-evident. Evidently it is not. Either we believe the First Amendment is worth defending or we do not.

There is no middle ground in submitting our sacred rights to the whims of foreign tyrants. None. It is all or nothing. Either we believe the First Amendment is worth defending or we do not. Giving in, even the slightest amount to international gangsters, will only invite higher prices and worse consequences.

We must fight back. If anything demonstrates the power of comedy to make dictators quake in their boots, it is the events of the past few days. To stop Americans from laughing at their Dear Leader, North Korean hackers leaked massively damaging private information from Sony. Kim clearly can’t take a joke.

Bobby Yip/Reuters (via The Daily Beast)

Bobby Yip/Reuters (via The Daily Beast)

A year and a half ago, I launched Dictator Appreciation Month, otherwise known as Make Fun of a Dictator Month. The premise was simple: satire is devastating against tyrants. That’s why dictators break the hands of Syrian cartoonists like Ali Farazat, shut down Egyptian comedians like Bassem Youssef and jail Azerbaijani pranksters like Emin Milli.

Few things are as powerful as a joke. It simultaneously reveals the absurdity of dictatorship and gives comfort to those languishing under an impossible reality.

Egyptian comedian, Bassem Youssef, once said, “Satire and comedy might be one of the very few antidotes against fear. It liberates your minds. It sets your judgement free. And that is why it is a threat…when you laugh, you cannot be afraid anymore…” Elsewhere, he echoed, “Laughter destroys fear and opens the doors of the imagination. It is the strongest weapon for deconstructing an oppressive system.”

Dictator Appreciation Month was to be held each June. In honor of Kim, I’m moving it up to this January. The North Korean tyrant has proven that if there’s one thing he’s really insecure about, it is comedy. So go out today and make fun of this tyrant.

Draw a cartoon of him. Make a video at his expense. Prank a North Korean diplomat. Let’s create a mobilized, grassroots army of satirists to make sure that a brutal tyrant doesn’t have final say over when, where and how we laugh. A joke won’t topple the regime, but Kim has revealed one of his greatest vulnerabilities.

The actions of North Korea this week should also send a clear message about the danger of this regime. Anyone willing to threaten war over a joke is clearly not playing with a full deck. Giving in to the demands of such a leader will, without question, invite greater aggression and brutality.

Kim can hack Sony but he can’t stop the Internet. This movie will spread online. Watch it. Share it. Host evenings at your home to screen it with friends. Project it in parks and on university campuses. Act out its scenes in front of North Korean embassies. Find a way.

This is what Kim fears. This is what freedom means. This is the American way.

 

David Keyes is the executive director of Advancing Human Rights and a contributor to The Daily Beast. He has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Policy and Reuters and appeared on CNN, MSNBC, Bloomberg TV and Al Jazeera. He can be reached at david.keyes@advancinghumanrights.org.

Movements.org is a crowdsourcing platform created by Advancing Human Rights which connects activists from dictatorships with people around the world with skills to help them.

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

Salaam.

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.

Duas,

Mosharraf

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

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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.

 

 

Billy DiMichele — VP, Creative Development, Scholastic Inc.

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In his more than 17 years at Scholastic, Billy has produced hundreds of the company’s multi-media events, and videos, and overseen a number of large-scale corporate creative initiatives including the newest brand position and reading initiative, Open a World of Possible, which launched in Fall 2014.

As an event producer, his career highlights include, Harry Potter Place, a live interactive experience attended by more than 20,000 people for the launches of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2005) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2007), An Evening with Harry Carrie & Garp, a literacy event and fundraiser with J.K. Rowling, Stephen King and John Irving at Radio City Music Hall, the Open Book Tour, J.K. Rowling’s final US Harry Potter book tour, and sixteen consecutive Scholastic Art & Writing Awards National Ceremonies at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. and at Carnegie Hall in NYC.

In 2008, Billy initiated the production of live webcasts into schools nationwide and around the world. These webcasts have allowed close to 60 million children to virtually visit iconic landmarks and locations in America, explore history and science, learn mathematics, and listen to literature and music icons J.K. Rowling, David Baldacci, Dav Pilkey, Lowis Lowry, Jeff Kinney, R.L. Stine, Taylor Swift and Usher discuss books, reading, and writing.

Billy has served on multiple boards, including America Gives Back (the American charity supporting UK-based Comic Relief) and The Actors Company Theatre, a New York Off-Broadway theater company. He currently serves on their Advisory Board, and is the Board Chair for LUMOS, USA, a children’s charity founded by J.K. Rowling.

Billy is the recipient of multiple Webby and Telly Awards, as well as the 2003 Emmy Award. He lives in New York City.

 

Social Media:

Facebook – Billy DiMichele 

Instagram – @billydim27

Twitter – @billydimichele 

Carl Goodman — Executive Director, Museum of the Moving Image

 

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Carl Goodman is Executive Director of Museum of the Moving Image. He has worked at the Museum for more than 20 years, having joined in 1989 as an educator. Prior to his appointment as Director in March 2011, Carl was the Museum’s Senior Deputy Director, overseeing all public programming, education, and collections initiatives, and supervising the Museum’s use and study of digital media. Over the years, he has served in a variety of capacities, including Curator of Digital Media, and as Director of New Media Projects, overseeing the development of the Museum’s innovative web projects, including The Living Room Candidate, an online exhibition about the history of presidential campaign commercials, and Moving Image Source, the Museum’s widely read online publication and research portal. Carl has organized many exhibitions for the Museum, including Computer Space, a history of video games; <ALT> DigitalMedia, a gallery of software-based art; and Real Virtuality, the inaugural exhibition in the expanded and renovated building, which is currently on view. He also guided the production of the Museum’s highly popular interactive experiences in its core exhibition Behind the Screen. His early years at the Museum overlapped with a lengthy period when he was active in New York as a composer of music for film, theater and dance.

 

Social Media:

Twitter – @MovingImageNYC

Website – Museum of the Moving Image

 

 

Greg Segal — Co-Founder, ORGANIZE

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Greg Segal is the co-founder of ORGANIZE, a non-profit leveraging technology, open-data, and behavioral economics to increase the number of organ donations in the US. ORGANIZE has been called by FastCompany “the non-profit to end the organ shortage”, named 35 Under 35 by INC Magazine and considered one of the top health tech companies of 2014 by O Magazine.

Previously, Greg worked in venture capital investing in education technology at Rethink Education, and as a reporter for ESPN Magazine. He is a member of President Barack Obama’s National Finance Committee and a member of the Board of Advocates at Human Rights First. Greg was also once the Starbucks Customer of the Week at the Encino, CA location on Ventura Blvd.

 

Social Media:

Facebook / Twitter / Instagram 

Select Publications:

FastCompany Exist

 

Jenna Arnold — Co-Founder, ORGANIZE

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Jenna Arnold is the co-founder of ORGANIZE, a non-profit leveraging technology, open-data, and behavioral economics to increase the number of organ donations in the US. ORGANIZE has been called by FastCompany “the [one] to end the organ shortage”, and considered one of the top health tech companies of 2014 by O Magazine. She was recently named to the 35Under35 by INC.

Previously, Jenna founded PressPlay, a boutique content creation firm that comes up with cool ways to make people give a sh*t. She created and sold television shows (MTV, Showtime) and strategically advised brands, 501C3s and governments on cause marketing and activation.

Jenna was the youngest American to work at the United Nations, where she created multi-platform programming that co-branded the UN with Fortune 500 companies, reputable celebrities and international institutions, is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper and a TriBeCa Innovation Disruptor Fellow. Jenna has taught in 13 countries with a laser focus on citizenship education and has authored 15 different curricula.

 

Social Media:

Facebook / Twitter / Instagram 

Select Publications:

Inc.com – 35 Under 35

FastCompany Exist

Video:

Aaron ‘Wheelz’ Fotheringham — Wheelchair Motocross Athlete

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Amy Barnard Photography

Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham is a 23 year-old wheelchair moto-cross athlete from Las Vegas, Nevada. Aaron was born with Spina Bifida, a birth defect of the spinal cord, which resulted in him having no usage of his legs. He is the third of six children, all adopted.

Aaron never let anything stop him. Even as a baby and small child, he did anything anyone else his age could do; he just had to figure out how to make it work for him. He rolled over, sat up, and even crawled (on hands and belly, no leg action) pretty much on schedule. Within days of receiving his first “walker” he was off and running. Next came crutches, which he mastered quickly. He would put on a “Superman” cape and blast down the hall on crutches believing, as any other 4 year old, that he could fly.

Aaron started riding at skate parks at the age of 8 when his older brother Brian said he should drop in a quarter pipe. He had been going to the park with Brian and their dad for weeks, but Aaron would just watch from behind the fence. The first time was scary, and he fell, but he was never one to give up just because it wasn’t easy. So he tried again. From then on he was hooked.

He has won a few BMX free style competitions, including the 2005 Vegas AmJam BMX finals, but for Aaron that is secondary to the joy of riding and hanging out with friends at the skate parks.

Over the last eight years Aaron has challenged himself to try progressively more difficult tricks; carving, grinding, power-sliding, hand planting, and spinning are just a few of his accomplishments. In 2005, he perfected a mid air 180-degree turn. Then on July 13th, 2006, he landed the first wheelchair back flip. Four years later, at a camp in Woodward, he landed the first ever double back flip (August 26, 2010). Since then, he has gone on to perform it live while touring with the Nitro Circus. As if this is not enough, on February 9th, 2011, he landed his very first front flip in New Zealand, and on August 25, 2012, he shocked Brazilians by jumping and successfully landing a 50-ft gap off of the Mega Ramp in his chair.

After posting that “first ever back flip” on the Internet, life has changed for Aaron; he has had the opportunity to travel within the US, as well as internationally, performing and speaking in front of many. He has attended summer camps for disabled children as a coach/mentor. He has been featured in magazines, newspapers, and sports television. He receives and responds to e- mails from all over the world.

Aaron enjoys showing young kids with disabilities that a wheelchair can be a toy, not a restriction. He loves helping younger children learn how to handle their chairs in new and different ways and teaching them a trick or two.

Someday he hopes to design “the most wicked” chair in the world.

Aaron has a passion for what he does, not only is it a lot of fun, but he wants to change the world’s perception of people in wheelchairs, as well as helping everyone see his/her own challenges in a new way. Aaron’s appeal is universal. You certainly do not have to be disabled to be inspired by what he is able to do.

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Amy Barnard Photography

Social Media:

Twitter – @wcmx4life

Facebook - Aaron Fotheringham page

Instagram – @aaronwheelz

 

 

Ilya Ponomarev — Social Democrat & Opposition Member, Russian Parliament

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Ilya Ponomarev has more than 20 years of prominent political stance, complemented with international operational and investment experience working in high technology industries with primary focus on IT and energy.

Currently Ilya is an opposition member of Russian Parliament – State Duma, Social Democrat representing Novosibirsk – the capital of Siberia, and is chairing Innovations and Venture Capital (formerly Hi-Tech development) subcommittee, introducing legislation to support emerging innovation economy in Russia. Among his recent achievements is the amendment to the Civil Code, legalizing LLPs in Russia, Net Businesses Act, and new State Procurement Regulations, as well as numerous other fiscal and economic measures to support small and medium businesses in Russia and foster competition. He also serves as the Advisor on International Business Development, Commercialization and Technology Transfer for the President of Skolkovo Foundation – managing company of the project chaired by Pres. Medvedev, which is to become the spinal cord of Russian innovation ecosystem. In May 2014 Ilya Ponomarev was also named Counsellor for Strategic Development and Investments for city of Novosibirsk, the largest municipality in Russia.

Before being elected, Hon. Ponomarev was working for Secretary of IT and Telecom as national coordinator for hi-tech parks task force – $6 bln. private-public project to develop a network of small settlements across the country for fostering innovation and R&D activities. Earlier Ilya held various positions in government offices and private companies. Most remarkable positions include:

– Vice president of Yukos Oil Company, largest Russian oil and gas corporation. Ilya’s duties during 4 years at Yukos at different times included being its Vice-President, corporate CIO as well as chief executive and chief of operations in Yukos’ oilfield technologies and services subsidiaries and daughter investment company (specialized in high technologies);

– Vice president for strategy, regional development and government relations at IBS, largest Russian system integrator and consulting company;

– Director for CIS Business Development and Marketing for Schlumberger Oilfield Services, responsible for scouting, adopting into Schlumberger product lines and further global marketing of Russia-originated technologies in energy sector.

 

Before joining Schlumberger, Ilya was among founders of two successful high technology start-ups in Russia and US. His first job position was in Institute for Nuclear Safety (IBRAE), Russian Academy of Sciences.

Ilya Ponomarev holds BSc in Physics from Moscow State University and Master of Public Administration from Russian State Social University. He is member of Society of Petroleum Engineers (IT), Council for Foreign and Defense Policies, Council for National Strategy, fellow at “Open Russia” foundation. Hon. Ponomarev is supervising innovation policies research at Institute of Contemporary Development (INSOR, think-tank chaired by Pres. Medvedev), and political studies at Institute of Globalization Studies (IPROG). He also chairs Boards of Trustees at Institute of Innovation Studies, think tank working on legislation for high-tech industries, and Open Projects Foundation – investment vehicle for projects in crowdfunding, crowdsourcing and open government. Ilya Ponomarev is a member of Global Science and Innovations Council (GSIAC), chaired by Prime Minister of Malaysia. He is an author of numerous research papers and magazine articles about new economy development, regional policies, education and international relations. In 2014 Ilya Ponomarev became founder of Institute of Siberia – analytical center focused on regional development of this dynamic Russian territory.

 

Ilya Ponomarev is one of leaders of anti-Putin opposition in Russia. He played key role in protests of 2012; during 2013-2014 he opposed antidemocratic legislation introduced in the country, was the only MP in Duma to vote against annexation of Crimea.

 

Until late 2013 Ilya Ponomarev was member of Central Committee, Political Party “Fair Russia” (Social Democrats); at the beginning of 2014 took part in formation of new political party “Alliance of Greens and Social-Democrats”.

Pittsburgh Education Blog Part 2: STEAM Learning

We are thrilled to have two of our 2014 disruptors from honoree city Pittsburgh, PA — Cathy Lewis Long and Gregg Behr — continue with fantastic guest blog posts in their series on the evolving nature of education! 

 

Left and Right Sides of the Brain Reunite through STEAM Learning

By Gregg Behr, Linda Hippert, and Cathy Lewis Long

 

Last week, thousands gathered in Los Angeles to celebrate the coming together of science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics at the first ever STEAM Carnival. The carnival featured immersive gaming experiences, mad science demonstrations, wearable electronics fashion shows, musical robots, and more spectacles celebrating the blending of art and technology.

The festivities was quite the coming out party for STEAM learning, an approach to education that integrates right-brain artistic creativity with left-brain technical rigor through multidisciplinary projects. Students of STEAM learning don’t just write poems in English class and then go tinker with robotics in technology class— they turn those poems into robotic performances.

No wonder, then, that support for STEAM learning has been building for years among both educators and employers. Recognizing that today’s workforce needs to be creative and imaginative, pioneering educators, tech visionaries, and even blue chip CEOs are advocating for the addition of an ‘A’ for arts into the familiar STEM acronym that stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

The need to prepare today’s students for careers in demanding STEM-related fields has been one focus of the national conversation about the future of education in America. While the projected growth of job opportunities in the STEM field is driving the policy debate, STEM alone won’t be enough to prepare today’s students to thrive in a workforce where creative problem solving and cross-disciplinary collaboration are the norm.

In fact, when the Atlantic asked the world’s leading education thinkers to pick one letter to add to the STEM acronym, the letter they chose was an ‘A’ for the arts.

Why all the emphasis on integrating the arts into STEM subjects? Because that’s where innovation comes from: the intersection of imagination and technical know-how. You see the evidence of STEAM learning, thinking, and doing everywhere you look. From the way your mobile phone fits in the palm of your hand to the latest video game blockbuster to the user experience of your favorite mobile app: that’s STEAM learning in action and it’s at the core of the iterative design process used by leading innovation labs the world-over.

Here in Pittsburgh, STEAM learning has become the norm in many of our regions schools. Since 2009, the Allegheny Intermediate Unit, an agency of the Pennsylvania Department of Education that supports public school districts in Allegheny County, has distributed more than $2,000,000 in STEAM Grants to more than 150 schools. With the help of these grants, teachers and administrators have reimagined what’s possible when you bring left and right-brain learning together, instead of keeping them apart.

In the SMArT Lab at Butler Senior High School, a STEAM Grant helped turn an under-used space into an engaging multidisciplinary workshop where students and teachers work side-by-side to work on project-based learning activities that focus on inquiry and creativity.

Chartiers Valley Intermediate School used their STEAM Grant to create a ‘Locomotion Lab’ where students are using repurposed materials and circuitry components to turn art projects into working robots that can respond to their surroundings.

And at Elizabeth Forward Middle School, they’ve razed the silos between shop class, the art room, and the computer lab so students can move seamlessly between all three as they develop creative ideas, design solutions, and manufacture prototypes.

And that’s just scratching the surface of how STEAM learning can do to reset the debate about education and inspire more students to envision themselves as the creative innovators of tomorrow.

As a region that has embraced STEAM learning on a local level, it’s exciting to see the movement gain national momentum. After witnessing the transformational impact STEAM learning has had on students in our region, we’re more confident than ever that it’s not only what students need, but it’s what they want as well. Kids are curious, imaginative, and daring. Why not nurture those gifts of youth and unleash that creative potential?

Imagine if we could commit to providing all of our nation’s children with learning experiences that not only equip them with the technical skills they’ll need to solve our most pressing challenges, but also the inventive creativity to make a better world. If we can do that, today’s youth will be more empowered to enter their futures full STEAM ahead.

 

 

Gregg Behr 

In his eighth year as executive director of the Grable Foundation, Gregg Behr manages a grantmaking portfolio advancing high-quality early childhood education, improved teaching and learning in public schools, and robust out-of-school time support. Nationally, Mr. Behr is a trustee for Grantmakers for Education and GreatNonprofits.org; he is also a trustee and former board chair of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations. In Pittsburgh, he is a trustee for A+ Schools and the Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Partnership. In 2012, he received an honorary doctorate from Saint Vincent College for his work on behalf of children and youth.

Linda Hippert 

Dr. Linda B. Hippert began her career in education by serving as a high school mathematics teacher for 14 years.  She then became a high school principal for five years and was the superintendent of schools in the South Fayette School District for 13 years prior to accepting her position as Executive Director on July 1, 2009. Dr. Hippert’s vision is for the Allegheny Intermediate Unit to be the premier resource for educational services for the region with an emphasis on continually striving to achieve excellence in meeting the educational needs of children and adults and those who serve children and adults.

Cathy Lewis Long

Cathy Lewis Long is the founding Executive Director of The Sprout Fund, a non-profit organization that supports innovative ideas and grassroots community projects that are catalyzing change in Pittsburgh and the surrounding communities of Southwestern Pennsylvania. Under Cathy’s leadership, The Sprout Fund stewards the Kids+Creativity Network, a cross-sector, multidisciplinary coalition of researchers, educators, innovators, and civic leaders representing more than 200 organizations including university labs and research centers, regional cultural institutions and child-serving agencies, public, private, and charter school systems, and a burgeoning entrepreneurial private sector focused on technology and media—all working together to build an innovative model for 21st century learning in the greater Pittsburgh region.

VIDEO: TDIA Profiled on HLN

During the week leading up to this year’s Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards, HLN introduced the world to four of the newest key players in disruptive innovation (above) on national television.

Watch their reel featuring four of our honorees — Kevin Kelley (“The coach who never punts”), Debbie Sterling (“GoldieBlox”), Yael Cohen (“Fuck Cancer”) and Adam Braun (“Pencils of Promise”).

WHAT’S YOUR SPUTNIK MOMENT?

In 1957, the launch of the world’s first artificial satellite, Sputnik I, changed the world forever. HLN also spoke to these honorees about their own “Sputnik moments” that changed the course of their innovative thinking:

DEBBIE STERLING

KEVIN KELLEY

YAEL COHEN

ADAM BRAUN