Lifetime Achievement Award – Jack Dorsey, Co-Founder and Chairman of Twitter and Co-Founder and CEO of Square


Originally from St. Louis, Dorsey had an early fascination with mass-transit and how cities function, which led him to Manhattan and programming real-time messaging systems for couriers, taxis, and emergency vehicles. Through this work, Dorsey witnessed thousands of workers in the field constantly updating where they were and what they were doing; Twitter is a constrained simplification designed for general usage and extended by the millions of people who make it their own every day…. [See Full Post]

Lifetime Achievement Award – John Wood, Founder and Board Co-Chair of Room to Read


Wood’s organization focuses on improving literacy and gender equality in education in the developing world. Since 2000, they have established over 13,500 libraries, 1,600 schools and distributed over 10 million books, impacting over 6 million children in the developing world. Twitter: @johnwoodRTR Website:  Room to Read



Perry Chen and Yancey Strickler, Co-Founders



Dr. Patricia Bath, President, American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness – When Dr. Bath became the first person to demonstrate Laserphaco cataract surgery she also became the first African American woman to receive a medical patent. She recently published “ilaser,” an educational science App designed to inspire the next generation of inventors. Her next mission: “to help the blind see.”



Kevin Carroll, MS, CP, FAAOP, Vice President of Prosthetics for Hanger Clinic & Dan Strzempka, CPO, Area Practice Manager for Hanger Clinic – Carroll and Strzempka worked with engineers to develop WintersGel™, a unique prosthetic liner that serves as the critical interface between delicate skin and prosthetic devices. First developed for a tail-less dolphin at Clearwater Marine Aquarium (and dramatized in 2011 hit movie Dolphin Tale), WintersGel has since been adapted for human use, providing comfort… [See Full Post]

Alec Ross – Senior Advisor for Innovation, U.S. Department of State


Ross serves as Senior Advisor for Innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, where he is tasked with maximizing the potential of technology and innovation in service of America’s diplomatic goals and stewarding Secretary of State Clinton’s 21st Century Statecraft agenda. In this role, Alec helps ensure America’s leadership and advances the State Department’s interests on a range of issues from Internet Freedom to disaster response to responding to regional conflicts. Twitter: @AlecJRoss

Dr. Steven A. Curley

Steven Curley

Steven A. Curley, Professor of Surgical Oncology, M. D., F.A.C.S. MD Anderson Cancer Center – Kanzius Cancer Research Foundation – Curley led the development of a promising, non-invasive nano-particle radio-wave cancer treatment that fries hyper-targeted cancer cells.

Fonderie 47


Peter Thum, CEO & Co-Founder, Fonderie 47 – Fonderie 47 transforms AK47s from war zones in Africa into branded jewelry, watches and accessories with prices ranging from the thousands into hundreds of thousands. The sale of each piece of their jewelry funds the destruction of more weapons in Africa. To date, Fonderie 47 has funded the destruction of over 12,000 assault weapons in Africa. Peter also founded Ethos Water, which has provided water and sanitation… [See Full Post]


Cheetah, developed by DARPA’s M3 (Maximum Mobility and Manipulation) program, Dr. Gill Pratt, Program Manager and Boston Dynamics, Dr. Marc Raibert, Project Manager – Robots hold great promise for improving both the safety and productivity of human beings. But, compared to humans present day robots have poor mobility. The goal of the Cheetah prototype, which recently broke the speed record for legged robots, is to develop and test technologies that will enable future robots to… [See Full Post]



Hummingbird, developed by DARPA’s Nano Air Vehicle (NAV) program, Dr. Gill Pratt, DARPA Program Manager and AeroVironment, Matt Keennon, Project Manager – The latest in nano-drone technology, the Hummingbird brings strategic surprise to a new level of realism. The life-size prototype uses flapping wings for propulsion and control. Carrying a video camera and downlink, it has a wingspan of 16 cm (9.5 in) and weighs just 19 grams (0.66 oz). It can hover for 8 minutes, remaining… [See Full Post]

Bre Pettis


Bre Pettis, Co-Founder & CEO, MakerBot Industries – With “The Replicator,” a desktop 3D printer that can make objects about the size of a loaf of bread, Bre Pettis has created an entire ecosystem for desktop 3D printing, a cutting-edge consumer brand, and a flourishing open source design community on MakerBot offers a simpler, more affordable, 3D desktop printer, giving consumers access to 3D printing for under $2,000. Twitter: @bre

Thomas Suarez – Founder and Chief Engineer, CarrotCorp, Inc.

Thomas Suarez

Thomas Suarez, Founder and Chief Engineer of CarrotCorp, Inc., App Creator, TEDx speaker – Suarez is hardly an average sixth-grader. The 12-year-old app developer has started a movement for app clubs for schools. Thomas’ inspirational TEDx talk has attracted nearly 2 million online views. Twitter: @tomthecarrot

OpenCourseWare & MITx


From school clubs to online education, the traditional classroom is no longer the only venue for education. In 2001, MIT created MIT Open Course Ware. They made MIT lectures, notes and materials of more than 2,100 courses free and available to the world. Since that time, more than 125 million people have logged-on. Now MITx is taking online learning at step further. MITx will offer a portfolio of actual MIT courses that will include student-to-student… [See Full Post]

Stanford University Office of Technology Licensing


Stanford University Office of Technology Licensing (accepted on Stanford’s behalf by Katharine Ku, Director, Technology Licensing & Luis Mejia, Senior Licensing Associate) – For more than 40 years, OTL’s goal has been to successfully transfer Stanford cutting edge technology to industry via both start-ups and existing companies. Notable Stanford licenses include the exclusive license to Google and the 440 nonexclusive licenses to the basic gene-splicing patents. To date, OTL has received over 8,900 inventions that… [See Full Post]

Small Enterprise Economic Development (SEED) Program


SEED, University at Albany, SUNY, SEFCU and the Empire State Development Corporation – SEED links faculty, staff and graduate students from the UAlbany School of Social Welfare, the UAlbany School of Business and its Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to local entrepreneurs. It has $2.5 million in financial support from SEFCU and $96,700 from ESD. It is designed to stimulate the creation and growth of small businesses in New York’s Capital Region. Don Siegel, Dean… [See Full Post]

Street Bump App


Nigel Jacob & Chris Osgood, Co-Chairs, Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, Street Bump App – City of Boston’s newest mobile phone app designed to help Boston residents improve their neighborhoods. Taking advantage of the sensors on smart phones, Street Bump will provide the City with a near-real time picture of Boston’s road conditions and the location of its potholes.  

Marci Harris


Marci Harris, Founder & CEO, POPVOX – Harris introduced an innovative, distributed solution for online, grassroots advocacy. The platform organizes citizens around important issue, disrupting the traditional lobbying industry. Twitter: @POPVOX

Rachael Chong


Rachael Chong, Founder & CEO, Catchafire Inc – Chong created an online matching service for social entrepreneurs and non-profits in need of pro-bono professional services, engaging a network of professionals seeking worthy projects for the public good. Twitter: @CatchafireCEO

Jaqueline Novogratz

Jacqueline Novogratz

Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO, Acumen Fund – Novogratz created a new philanthropic business model for patient, disciplined investment in disruptive innovations in emerging markets. Acumen Fund’s mission is to create a world beyond poverty by investing in social enterprises, emerging leaders, and breakthrough ideas. It invests patient capital to identify, strengthen and scale business models that effectively serve the poor. And it champions the spread of this approach as a complement to traditional aid, which can… [See Full Post]



Yvette J. Alberdingk Thijm, Executive Director, WITNESS – Co-founded in 1992 by advocate and musician Peter Gabriel, WITNESS was created in the aftermath of the Rodney King incident, in which a bystander recorded police brutality. Its founding vision sought to amplify grassroots voices through stories and transform them into powerful agents of change. Today—20 years later—WITNESS has partnered with more than 300 human rights groups in over 80 countries, trained over 3,000 human rights defenders… [See Full Post]

Jason Kottke


Jason Kottke, Designer & Blogger, – A pioneering blogger since 1998, Kottke used crowd funding to keep his blog running and has created one of the most influential voices on the Internet through consistent yet eclectic curation. Twitter: @jkottke

Tiffany Shlain


Tiffany Shlain, director of acclaimed documentary Connected: An Autoblogography about Love, Death & Technology – Shlain is an award-winning filmmaker and founder of The Webby Awards. She created disruptive innovation both in the way she made Connected and the way she is using the social media itself to further the conversation about its subject: “connectedness” in the 21st century. Twitter: @tiffanyshlain

James P. Steyer

James Steyer

James P. Steyer, Founder and CEO, Common Sense Media – Steyer created and runs Common Sense Media, the nation’s leading advocacy organization for kids and media. He is also a founding board member of the Center for the Next Generation, a nonpartisan organization supporting programs and policies that benefit the next generation of young Americans, and author of Talking Back to Facebook. Published this year by Scribner, the book is a timely look at how… [See Full Post]

Jourdan Urbach


Jourdan Urbach, Executive Director, Concerts for a Cure Executive Director, International Coalition of College Philanthropists Goodwill Ambassador and Artist-in-Residence, UN Arts for Peace – Urbach is a 20-year-old, award-winning, Juilliard-trained violin virtuoso, a composer/film scorer, a Yale University senior and Founder/Executive Director of Concerts for a Cure. He stands alone as the only young, classical music star who has ever devoted himself to touring the country for the express purpose of performing Concerts for a Cure,… [See Full Post]

Playing for Change


Mark Johnson, Co-Director & Producer and Whitney Kroenke, Executive Director, Playing for Change – Johnson and Kroenke created a multimedia phenomenon uniting musicians, stars and unknowns from around the world demolishing the notion of time and space in bone-tingling renditions of our most cherished music, captured on film on a shoestring budget. Upon completion of a second Playing For Change film, Playing For Change: Peace Through Music, the team decided to create the Playing For… [See Full Post]

Pat Metheny & Linda Manzer

Pat Metheny and Linda Manzer – Legendary jazz guitarist Metheny and pioneering designer Manzer have had a three-decade collaboration, which began with the creation of the 42-string Pikasso guitar in 1984. It has a special feature known as “The Wedge,” a tapered body shape that makes the side closest to the player thinner than the side that rests on the player’s knee. That design makes the top lean back toward the player for a more… [See Full Post]

Rick Rubin – Founder, Def Jam Records

photo courtesy of Annabel Mehran

                          Rick Rubin, Def Jam Records – One of the world’s most influential record producers, Rick Rubin has worked with artists as diverse as the Beastie Boys, Adele, Jay-Z, and Johnny Cash. Rubin co-founded Def Jam Records in his NYU dorm room in 1982, and, by fusing rock with hip hop, he broke the rules and a niche market became mainstream – proving that… [See Full Post]

Nimble TV


Anand Subramanian, Founder and CEO

Ed Burns


Ed Burns – Writer, Director, Actor – Newlyweds – When a feature film can be shot on a micro-budget of $9,000 with no fixed sets, in live environments and on a small HD camera, watch out. Burns’ Newlyweds is a case in point. Shot in the neighborhood of Tribeca, it was the Closing Night film at the 2011 TFF and was later acquired and released by distribution label Tribeca Film. Newlyweds shows how disruptive innovation… [See Full Post]

Justin Bieber, Global Superstar and Scooter Braun, Music Manager and Entrepreneur

Justin Bieber, Global Superstar, and Scooter Braun, Music Manager and Entrepreneur –  In the first major discovery of an artist on YouTube, videos posted by Bieber and seen by Braun on YouTube led to an unprecedented success story that disrupted the traditional gatekeepers of the music industry. Bieber has sold more than 15 million albums worldwide to date and has amassed more than 2.7 billion video views on YouTube, plus more than 41 million Facebook… [See Full Post]