Environmentalist & Consumer Advocate
It’s been 12 years since Julia Roberts starred in the Oscar-winning tour de force Erin Brockovich. The Steven Soderbergh film turned an unknown legal researcher into a 20th-century icon by showcasing how her dogged persistence was the impelling force behind the largest medical settlement lawsuit in history. Since then, Erin Brockovich has become an environmental activist and law consultant working all around the world on cases similar to her famous fight against Pacific Gas & Electric. Erin is the bestselling author of Take It from Me: Life’s a Struggle But You Can Win and president of Brockovich Research & Consulting. She lives in Southern California with her husband, three children, and five Pomeranians.
Grammy Award-Winning Recording Artist
Platinum-selling, Grammy-winning recording artist Kendrick Lamar is one of the rare artists who has achieved critical and commercial success while earning the respect and support of those who inspired him. A native of Compton, California, young Kendrick released Overly Dedicated and Section 80 in 2010–11. Both made Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop charts and caught the attention of Dr. Dre, who signed him to his Aftermath label, releasing good kid, m.A.A.d city in 2012. The album debuted at No. 2 on Billboard’s Top 200 album charts, spawning three chart-topping singles and garnering seven Grammy nominations. In 2015, Kendrick released To Pimp a Butterfly, which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums. It was also nominated for a whopping 11 Grammys, tying the record set by Michael Jackson’s Thriller and winning five. In 2016, he surprised fans with the sudden release of untitled unmastered, again reaching No. 1.
Grammy Award-Winning Musician & Composer
Fourteen-time Grammy winner Herbie Hancock is an internationally renowned pianist and composer who has been an integral part of the jazz scene since the sixties. Born in Chicago, he made his way to New York to join Donald Byrd’s band. Hancock’s debut album, Takin’ Off, included “Watermelon Man,” the first of many top-ten hits. He became a member of the Miles Davis Quintet, and his innovations during this period are still studied by jazz musicians the world over. His 1983 Grammy winner “Rockit,” from the platinum-selling Future Shock, went on to become an anthem in the world of breakdancing and early hip-hop culture, cited by many major hip-hop artists as their original inspiration. His compositions “Chameleon” and “Maiden Voyage” are also considered classics in the jazz world and beyond. Herbie’s 2007 River: The Joni Letters became the first jazz album in 44 years to win the Grammy for Album of the Year. In 2008, Herbie was named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People, and in 2013 he received the Kennedy Center Honors Award. Still a creative force in jazz, Herbie today serves as chairman of the Thelonious Monk institute of Jazz, is a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, and established and co-chairs International Jazz Day.
Filmmaker, Screenwriter, and Actor
With his vibrant imagination and dedication to richly layered storytelling, writer and director Quentin Tarantino has established himself as one of the most celebrated filmmakers of his generation. Tarantino wrote and directed the internationally acclaimed films Django Unchained, Pulp Fiction—both of which garnered him an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay—Reservoir Dogs, Death Proof, Jackie Brown, Inglourious Basterds, Kill Bill: Volumes 1 & 2, and, most recently, The Hateful Eight. His other screenplays include True Romance, Natural Born Killers and From Dusk till Dawn.
Google | Alphabet Inc.
Since joining Google in 2001, Eric Schmidt has helped grow the company from a Silicon Valley startup to a global leader in technology. As executive chairman, he is responsible for the external matters of Google, including partnerships and government outreach. From 2001 to 2011, Eric served as Google’s CEO, overseeing the company’s strategic decisions alongside founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page. Prior to joining Google, he was the chairman and CEO of Novell and chief technology officer at Sun Microsystems. In 2013, Eric co-authored the New York Times bestselling book The New Digital Age: Transforming Nations, Businesses, and Our Lives. In September 2014, he published his second New York Times bestseller, How Google Works, co-authored with Jonathan Rosenberg and Alan Eagle.
Award-Winning American Poet
International Lecturer on Black Culture & Literature, Women’s Liberation, Peace and Racial Justice
Sonia Sanchez is an award-winning poet, playwright, professor, activist, and most often associated with the Black Arts movement (the artistic branch of the Black Power movement), the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and MADRE. Maya Angelou called Sonia, “a lion in literature’s forest. When she writes she roars, and when she sleeps other creatures walk gingerly.” She is the author of more than 16 books, including Homecoming, We a BaddDDD People, and I’ve Been a Woman. She is the Poetry Society of America’s 2001 Robert Frost Medalist -- ne of the highest honors awarded to a nationally recognized poe -- and a Ford Freedom Scholar from the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. She was the 2004 recipient of the Harper Lee Award for Alabama’s Distinguished Writer of the Year, and 2006 winner of the National Visionary Leadership Awards, and Philadelphia's first Poet Laureate, appointed by Mayor Michael Nutter. She was among 20 African-American women to be a part of "Freedom Sisters", a mobile exhibition initiated by the Cincinnati Museum Center and the Smithsonian Institution. To-date, Sonia has lectured at more than 500 universities and colleges in the United States and hosts live readings from Africa to Cuba to Australia to China.
President, Americans for Indian Opportunity
LaDonna Harris, an enrolled citizen of the Comanche Nation, is founder and president of Americans for Indian Opportunity. LaDonna embraces a multicultural approach and an indigenous worldview when building effective networks and creating systemic change. As a national leader, LaDonna has influenced the agendas of the civil rights, feminist, environmental, and world peace movements. She was a founding member of Common Cause, and in the past was the U.S. representative on UNESCO and to the OAS Inter-American Indigenous Institute. She has been appointed by Presidents Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Bill Clinton to several commissions, including the Mental Health of Children, the Celebration of Women in American History, and Al Gore’s Advisory Council on the National Information Infrastructure. Harris serves on the boards of Think New Mexico, the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.
Activist, President, Dolores Huerta Foundation
Dolores Huerta is a labor legend and civil rights activist who founded the Dolores Huerta Foundation and co-founded the National Farm Workers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers. Dolores has received numerous awards for her community service and advocacy for workers’, immigrants’, and women’s rights. Among these awards are the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights, the Eugene V. Debs Foundation Outstanding American Award, Mexico’s Order of the Aztec Eagle, and nine honorary doctorates from universities throughout the United States.
Entertainer, Producer, and Creative Innovator
will.i.am is a multi-faceted entertainer, producer, and creative innovator who has been recognized with seven Grammy Awards, an Emmy Award, a CLIO Award, and the World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award. He is the founder of i.am+, a culture tech company whose vision is to make artificial intelligence available to everyone by creating a community of creatives and coders. Through the Pledge 1% initiative, i.am+ donates one percent of sales proceeds, one percent of staff time, and one percent of product to the i.am.angel Foundation, which operates after-school tutoring programs like i.am College Track and supports FIRST robotics clubs and civic “appathons” that help underprivileged high school students gain hands-on access to science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) curricula.
Foster the People was founded by Mark Foster in Los Angeles in 2009. The group achieved success with the 2011 release of its debut album, Torches, selling nearly two million albums and more than ten million singles worldwide. Torches features the number-one hit “Pumped Up Kicks,” which Spin declared “the year’s anthem,” and the chart-topping singles “Don’t Stop (Color on the Walls),” “Houdini,” and “Helena Beat.” Foster the People garnered three Grammy nominations for its monumental debut, including Best Alternative Music Album, Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for “Pumped Up Kicks,” and Best Short Form Music Video for “Houdini.”
Owner, LA Rams and Arsenal F.C.
Denver sports and entertainment mogul E. Stanley Kroenke is the owner of the NBA’s Denver Nuggets, the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, the MLS’s Colorado Rapids, and the state’s lacrosse team, Colorado Mammoth, as well as the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams. He is also the majority shareholder of storied English Premier League football club Arsenal FC. His company, Kroenke Sports Enterprises, owns several TV networks, including Altitude Sports & Entertainment, the Sportsman Channel, World Fishing Network, and the Outdoor Channel. He also owns several FM and AM radio stations and oversees several venues in Denver: the Pepsi Center, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, the Paramount Theatre, and 1STBank Center. Away from the court, one of Kroenke’s priorities has been the Colorado community. More than $16 million in contributions have been made to Colorado charities through Kroenke Sports Charities and the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche community funds.
Founder, Dignity and Power Now
Artist, organizer, and freedom fighter Patrisse Cullors is the founder of Dignity and Power Now, co-founder of Black Lives Matter, and director of truth and reinvestment for the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. She has worked tirelessly promoting law enforcement accountability all across the nation, producing and directing a theatrical piece titled Power: From the Mouths of the Occupied. Her vision has earned her numerous honors, including Good magazine's 2016 Good 100, the Politico 50, and Fortune's World's Greatest Leaders.
President & CEO, New America
Dr. Anne-Marie Slaughter is the first woman to have served as the director of policy planning for the U.S. Department of State, from 2009 to 2011, and is currently president and CEO of the think tank New America, as well as the Bert G. Kerstetter ’66 University Professor Emerita of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University. Prior to her government service, Anne-Marie was the dean of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the J. Sinclair Armstrong Professor of International, Foreign, and Comparative Law at Harvard Law School. In 2012, she wrote “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” which became the most read article in the history of The Atlantic and formed the basis for her 2015 book Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family. Anne-Marie resides in Princeton with her husband and two sons.
Wim Hof is known internationally as "the Iceman." His daring feats to withstand extreme temperatures with no fluctuation in his core body temperature have garnered him international attention. They've included hiking Everest in nothing but shorts, running a marathon in the desert without water, and proving in a laboratory setting that he can withstand illness with the power of his mind. Residing in a houseboat in Amsterdam, Wim chalks up his superhuman capabilities to the power of meditation. Although not the first to credit meditation with having incredible mind-over-body power, Wim is the first to let science test how the power of his mind is indeed stronger than his body. His life work is to teach others these same techniques so they may live as fully as he has.
Producer / DJ Group
Thievery Corporation is a Washington, D.C.-based recording artist consisting of DJ duo Rob Garza and Eric Hilton and their supporting artists. Their music style mixes elements of dub, acid jazz, Indian classical, and Brazilian with a lounge aesthetic. Thievery Corporation is on the Eighteenth Street Lounge record label, but several of their singles and EPs appear on the 4AD and !K7 labels. The group's lyrics are in languages as diverse as English, Spanish, French, Persian, Portuguese, Romanian, and Hindi, reflecting their global feel and collaborative structure.
Singer / songwriter
Alternative R&B artist Gallant, born Christopher Gallant, is known for a striking falsetto utilized over drawn-out synthesizer lines and pointed electronic beats. After moving to Los Angeles post-graduation at NYU, Gallant released a handful of self-made albums and songs. Having impressed the manager of EDM acts Krewella and ZHU, Gallant then associated with Mind of a Genius Records, the outlet for 2015 releases "Open Up," and "Talking in Your Sleep." Like earlier tracks, these songs enhanced Gallant's expressive vocals with deep-probing bass, shadowy layers of percussion, and keyboards.
Founder, Island Records
Chris Blackwell is the founder of Island Records. He is widely credited with turning the world on to reggae music. Chris was born in London but grew up largely in Jamaica, where he formed the label in 1959, naming it after the Alec Waugh novel Island in the Sun. From 1959 to 1989, he developed the talents of some of the world's most beloved musicians—the Spencer Davis Group, Bob Marley, Toots and the Maytals, U2, Jethro Tull, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, the Cranberries, and Melissa Etheridge, to name a few. Blackwell was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.
Emmy Award Winning Producer
Norman Lear has enjoyed a long career in television and film and as a political and social activist and philanthropist. He wrote for both TV and movies, amassing Emmy awards for his hit TV shows "All in the Family," "Sandford and Son," "Good Times," and "The Jeffersons." In 1980, he formed People For the American Way, a non-profit organization designed to monitor violations of constitutional and Bill of Rights freedoms.
In addition, Norman has founded the Business Enterprise Trust (1989- 2000), which spotlighted exemplary social innovations in American business, the Norman Lear Center at the USC Annenberg School for Communication, and the Environmental Media Association, to mobilize the entertainment industry to become more environmentally responsible. Norman received the National Medal of Arts in 1999 and was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1984. Currently, he is chairman of Act III Communications, a￼￼￼￼￼￼￼ multimedia holding company with interests in television, motion pictures, and licensing.
In 2001, Norman purchased one of the few surviving original copies of the Declaration of Independence. During the decade that they owned it, they shared it with the American people by touring it to all 50 states. As part of this Declaration of Independence Road Trip, Mr. Lear launched Declare Yourself, a nonpartisan youth voter initiative that registered well over four million new young voters in the 2004, 2006, and 2008 elections.
Author & Spiritual Teacher
Acknowledged as one of the most insightful and provocative spiritual teachers of our time, bestselling author David Deida continues to revolutionize the way men and women grow spiritually and sexually. Known internationally for his unique workshops on spiritual growth and sacred intimacy, David has designed and developed a remarkably effective program of transformative practices that addresses spiritual awakening in mind, body, and heart. He is a founding associate of Integral Institute and the author of the bestselling underground classic The Way of the Superior Man, as well as Finding God Through Sex and Blue Truth. Watkins Mind Body Spirit magazine has included David in its annual Spiritual 100 List for four straight years.
Investigative Journalist & Author
All the President's Men
A Woman in Charge
Few journalists in America’s history have had the impact on their era and their craft that Carl Bernstein has. For 40 years, Bernstein’s books, reporting, and commentary have revealed the inner workings of government and politics. Carl is best known for breaking the Watergate story with his fellow journalist Bob Woodward during their time at the Washington Post. The pair and their paper won the Pulitzer Prize for the coverage and set a new bar for investigative reporting. The author of five bestselling books, Carl is currently at work on several multimedia projects, including a memoir and a TV series for HBO. He is also an on-air political analyst for CNN and a contributing editor for Vanity Fair.
Professional Skateboarder and Owner, Birdhouse Skateboards
Now the most recognized action sports figure in the world, Tony Hawk was nine years old when his brother changed his life by giving him a blue fiberglass skateboard. By age 14 he’d turned pro, and by 16 he was widely considered the best skateboarder on earth. In 1999, he became the first skater ever to complete a 900. Tony has created a brand portfolio that includes Birdhouse Skateboards, Hawk Clothing, Tony Hawk Pro Skater video games, and toys, and has authored the New York Times bestseller Hawk: Occupation: Skateboarder. His foundation has given more than $5.3 million to 560 skatepark projects throughout the United States.
Founder of MTV
Chairman and CEO, iHeartMedia
Bob Pittman is chairman and chief executive officer of iHeartMedia Inc., a leading global media, digital, and entertainment company that includes iHeartMedia, which has a greater reach than any other radio or television outlet in the United States, and Clear Channel Outdoor, which has more than one million displays in over 30 countries. Previously, Bob led the team that created MTV and has been CEO of MTV Networks, AOL Networks, Six Flags Theme Parks, Quantum Media, Century 21 Real Estate, and Time Warner Enterprises. He is also a founding member of Pilot Group LLC, a New York private investment firm, and is an established philanthropist.
Relationship Therapist, Author, and Speaker
Relationship therapist, speaker, and author Esther Perel is recognized as one of the most insightful and provocative voices on personal and professional relationships and the complex science behind human interaction. Fluent in nine languages, the Belgian native brings a rich multicultural perspective to her clinical practice and workshops. In addition to Esther’s 30-year therapy practice in New York City, she is also the bestselling author of Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence, translated into 25 languages and the topic of her first TED Talk. Esther is currently at work on her new book, The State of Affairs: Cheating in the Age of Transparency, the topic of her second and most recent TED Talk.
Chef and TV host of The Chew
Carla Hall is a co-host of ABC’s Emmy Award–winning series The Chew, seated alongside restaurateurs and Iron Chef America stars Mario Batali and Michael Symon. Carla is best known as a competitor on Bravo’s Top Chef and Top Chef: All Stars, where she won over audiences with her fun catchphrase, “Hootie hoo,” and her philosophy to always cook with love. Carla’s approach to cooking blends her classic French training and her Southern upbringing. She is committed to health and balance in everyday living. Carla is on the Twitter Food Council and is also active with a number of charities and nonprofit organizations that reflect her passion for causes close to her heart. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, Matthew Lyons, and stepson, Noah.
Filmmaker, Organizer, & Writer
dream hampton is a writer, award-winning filmmaker, and social-justice organizer. Her credits include Treasure: From Tragedy to Trans Justice, Mapping a Detroit Story, Black August, I Am Ali, and BET Black Girls Rock. dream writes about music, culture, and politics for Vibe magazine, the Village Voice, Spin, the Detroit News, Harper’s Bazaar, The Source, Essence, Ebony, and NPR. She also collaborated with Jay-Z on the New York Times bestselling book Decoded. dream is currently the 2015 visiting artist at Stanford University's Institute for Diversity in the Arts, where she teaches "From Moments to Movements," a course on 21st-century activism, new media, and new narratives.
Photo Conceptual Artist
Hank Willis Thomas is a conceptual photo artist working primarily with themes related to identity, history, and popular culture. He has exhibited throughout the United States and abroad. Hank's work is also featured in numerous public collections, including some of the most notable museums across the nation. His collaborative projects have been featured at the Sundance Film Festival and installed permanently at the Oakland International Airport, the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, the Oakland Museum of California, and the University of California, San Francisco. He is also a recipient of the New Media grant from Tribeca Film Institute and the New Media Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography for his transmedia project Question Bridge: Black Males. Hank is represented by Jack Shainman Gallery in New York City and Goodman Gallery in South Africa.
Kamasi Washington is a jazz musician who's played with his band at festivals all across the world and, most recently, worked on Kendrick Lamar’s acclaimed 2015 album To Pimp a Butterfly. Kamasi received a full scholarship to study ethnomusicology at UCLA, where he explored many non-Western musical cultures. His own band, the Next Step, is a modern spin on a big band, and includes two drummers, two upright bass players, keyboard players, three horns players, a pianist, and a vocalist. In addition, Kamasi is part of a West Coast musical collective called the West Coast Get Down.
The duo Bob Moses is often lauded as underground electronica's hope in the mainstream music world. The Brooklyn-based band pumps out original scores of ghostly beats with an unmatched melodic depth. Overlaid with original songwriting, the music is firmly held in the underground electronic genre but dips its toe into something more familiar, for those new to the scene. The result is something for the dance floor and the spirit. In 2015, they released their debut album, Days Gone By.
Nina’s first big break in the art world came as an invitation to be the youngest artist in Don and Mera Rubell's historic exhibition 30 Americans, followed by a feature article in W magazine. Shortly thereafter, her work was acquired by the Brooklyn Museum and separately by that museum’s director, Arnold Lehman. Later that year, she appeared in the pages of Glamour, in an article showcasing the ten most popular women artists. Nina has been on the cover of Paper, in Juxtapoz, and, most recently, in Elle magazine's 12 Most Daring, Unexpected, and Exciting Women in Art Now. Her work has been shown at the Chrysler Museum, the Detroit Institute of the Arts, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Milwaukee Art Museum, and the Nassau County Museum. In 2017, she will have her first museum solo exhibition, containing more than 50 works, curated by Marshall Price at North Carolina's Nasher Museum.
Dara Torres is considered one of the greatest female competitive swimmers of all time. She entered her first international swimming competition at age 14 and competed in her first Olympic Games a few years later, in 1984. At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Dara became the oldest swimmer to compete in the Olympics and took home three silver medals. In addition to her five Olympic Games and 12 Olympic medals, Dara was the first female athlete ever to be featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, won the 2009 ESPY Award for Best Comeback Athlete, and was named one of the Top Female Athletes of the Decade by Sports Illustrated. She is the author of two bestselling books and recently released a fitness training app.
Former CEO, Apple Inc.
John Sculley is the legendary former Apple CEO who was recruited by Steve Jobs to help him launch the first Macintosh computer. During his tenure, Apple grew by more than 1,000 percent and revolutionized the ad world with the famous "1984" Super Bowl commercial. Prior to Apple, John was Pepsi-Cola co-CEO during the era of the cola wars with Coca-Cola, when Pepsi passed Coke as the number-one-selling consumer packaged good in the United States. Since leaving Apple in 1993, John has been an entrepreneur, mentor, and rainmaker for some of the most innovative and successful companies. His current focus is on reinventing health and patient care. He has served on various boards, ranging from the MIT Media Lab to his alma mater, the Wharton School of Business, to Stanford Graduate School of Business. John has also received 12 honorary Ph.D.’s from various universities around the world. He is a frequent TV and radio guest on CNBC, CNN, Bloomberg television, and Fox. He is also the author of two popular business books, Odyssey and Moonshot.
Co-Founder, Africa Rising Foundation
Kweku Mandela is a South African producer and philanthropist, known for producing films such as The Bang Bang Club and Inescapable, as well as the South African box office hit Fanie Fourie's Labola. He is currently president of Out of Africa Entertainment and co-founder of the Africa Rising Foundation, which works with the continent's youth to create a positive global perception of Africa. He is the global spokesperson for UNAIDS's Protect the Goal campaign and is on the boards of Born Free Africa, Pioneer Works Center for Art and Innovation, Africa Outreach Project's Ubuntu Council, and the Global Poverty Project.
Co-President, Activision Blizzard Studios
Stacey Sher is co-president of Activision Blizzard Studios, a creator of television and films based on the company’s library of globally recognized intellectual properties, including Call of Duty and Skylanders. She is a two-time Academy Award nominee who has produced more than two dozen major motion pictures, including The Hateful Eight, Erin Brockovich, and Garden State, as well as nearly a dozen TV series and movies. Stacey was honored by the ACLU for her commitment to films and television that empower, inspire, and provoke thought, dealing with issues from public safety to education, social justice to censorship. In 2007, Freedom Writers, which she produced, was the recipient of the Humanitas Prize. In addition, she received the 2002 Mary Pickford Award from the USC School of Cinematic Arts and the 2000 Women in Film Independent Vision Award. Stacey delivered the commencement address at the graduation ceremony of the 2013 USC School of Cinematic Arts, her alma mater.
Actor an Original Cast, Hamilton
Daveed Diggs burst onto the New York theater scene with his electrifying, Tony-winning performance in the dual roles of Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway sensation Hamilton. Daveed recently shot the Lionsgate feature Wonder, opposite Julia Roberts and Jacob Tremblay, and is featured in ABC’s Blackish and Netflix’s The Get Down. His next role is in HBO’s mockumentary “Tour de Pharmacy,” alongside Andy Samberg and Will Forte. Before originating the roles in Hamilton’s off-Broadway incarnation at the Public Theater, Daveed was already well respected in the underground hip-hop scene as a member of the West Coast–based experimental trio “clipping.” He has toured nationally and internationally, both as a solo artist and with clipping. Daveed is a true multi-hyphenate: a rapper who acts, a writer who teaches, and a performer who’s captivated audiences in Brooklyn, on Broadway, and beyond.
After moving to L.A. straight out of college, Shep Gordon fell into music management by chance when he befriended Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, and Jimi Hendrix poolside at his motel. Throughout his career, Shep managed stars such as Groucho Marx, Luther Vandross, Teddy Pendergrass, and Alice Cooper and later went on to manage chefs such as Emeril Lagasse, ushering in the era of celebrity chefs on television. For decades, Shep Gordon has been one of the most beloved and respected talent managers in the music industry, and he is also the star and subject of the recent documentary Supermensch.
Activis, Writer, and Actor
Princess Daazhraii Johnson is Neets'aii Gwich'in from Alaska. Her family is from Arctic Village which is located just outside the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. She has a B.A. in International Relations from the George Washington University and is currently pursuing her Master's in Education at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Her interests include expression in film/theater/creative writing and is a Sundance Fellow Alumni. She was appointed last year by President Obama to serve on the board of trustees to the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. She is the former ED of the Gwich'in Steering Committee where she worked towards further protections for the Arctic Refuge. She currently works for Resisting Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands (REDOIL) where her focus also includes finding a Just Transition off of fossil fuels in Alaska.
Showrunner and Co-Creator, House of Cards
Playwright and screenwriter Beau Willimon earned an Academy Award nomination for his work on The Ides of March, adapted from his play Farragut North. Beau made his first foray into television as the creator and showrunner of the Emmy- and Golden Globe–winning House of Cards. Through his company Westward Productions, he is currently producing several films.
Rhye is a low-key collaboration between two well-regarded producers, multi-instrumentalists, and vocalists: Denmark native Robin Braun (a.k.a. Robin Hannibal, member of Boom Clap Bachelors, Owusu & Hannibal, Parallel Dance Ensemble, and Quadron) and Canadian Mike Milosh (a.k.a. Milosh). In 2010, Hannibal contacted Milosh, who had released three albums on Plug Research, about working on a remix. The meeting was more productive than anticipated and developed into the initially secretive project Rhye. Their first album was titled Woman.
Creator of Prana Flow Yoga, Teacher, & Activist
Shiva Rea is a yogini fire keeper, sacred activist, global adventurer, and leading innovator in the evolution of Prana Flow Yoga--a transformational vinyasa flow integrating the Tantric bhakti roots of yoga, Krishnamacharya's teachings, and a universal, quantum approach to the body. Shiva is known for bringing the roots of yoga alive for modern practitioners in creative, dynamic, and life-transforming ways and for offering the synthesis form of Prana Flow out in the world. Shiva is the creator of Prana Flow Yoga, Samudra Global School for Living Yoga, Yogadventure Retreats, Yoga Trance Dance for Life, Moving Activism for 1,008,000 Trees, the worldwide Global Mala Project, and award-winning CDs and DVDs for home practice.
Founder & CEO, VaynerMedia
Fresh out of college, Gary Vaynerchuk took his family wine business and grew it from $3 million to $60 million in just five years. Today he runs VaynerMedia, one of the world’s hottest digital agencies, representing clients such as Chase, AB-InBev, and General Electric. Gary has been a prolific angel investor and venture capitalist, investing in companies including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Uber, and Birchbox before co-founding VaynerRSE, a $25 million investment fund. A prolific speaker and four-time New York Times bestselling author, Gary was also named to both Fortune’s and Crain’s 40 Under 40 lists, has been profiled in the New York Times, Fortune, and Inc., and frequently shares his expertise on CNN, Bloomberg TV, and CNBC.
Chairman of Biocon
Ms. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is a pioneer of the biotechnology industry in India and the founder of the country’s leading biotechnology enterprise, Biocon. Named among TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world, Ms. Mazumdar-Shaw is recognized as a thought leader who has made her country proud by building a globally recognized biopharmaceutical enterprise that is committed to innovation and affordability in delivering best-in-class therapeutics to patients across the globe.
As a global influencer, she is ranked among ‘World's 25 Most Influential People in Biopharma’ by Fierce Biotech, Forbes magazine’s ‘100 Most Powerful Women’ and Fortune’s ‘Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Asia-Pacific.’ More recently, she was featured in ‘The Worldview 100 List’ of the most influential visionaries by Scientific American magazine and named among the ‘100 Leading Global Thinkers’ by Foreign Policy magazine. She was ranked second among the 100 Most Influential People in the field of medicine in the ‘Global Medicine Maker Power List 2015’ published by a top UK-based medical publication.
Her rich contributions to research, innovation and affordable healthcare have been recognized by several national and international awards. The U.S.-based Chemical Heritage Foundation has conferred her with the ‘2014 Othmer Gold Medal’ and the Germany-based Kiel Institute for the World Economy has awarded her its coveted ‘2014 Global Economy Prize’ for Business. She has received two of India's highest civilian honours, the Padma Shri (1989) and the Padma Bhushan (2005). Other prominent awards include, Ernst & Young Best Entrepreneur: Healthcare & Life Sciences Award (2002), The Economic Times Business Woman of the Year Award (2004) and Nikkei Asia Prize for Regional Growth (2009).
Ms Mazumdar-Shaw holds key positions in various industry, educational, government and professional bodies. She is Non-Executive Chairperson of the Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises (ABLE), a not-for-profit pan-India forum representing the Indian biotechnology sector. She is a founder member of Karnataka's Vision Group on Biotechnology, which she currently chairs. She serves as a member of the Governing Body of the Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission and has previously served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the U.S. Pharmacopeia Convention.
Ms Mazumdar-Shaw is Chairperson of the Board of Governors of the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, and has recently been appointed as Global Alumni Ambassador for Australia by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia. She is also on the board of advisors for The National Society of High School Scholars, US and is a founder member of the Society for the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Bangalore.
She serves as Independent Member of the Board of Infosys Ltd and features on the Global Advisory Committee for the Women and the Green Economy Campaign (WAGE)™ initiative. She is also the Honorary Consul of Ireland in Bangalore.
Ms Mazumdar-Shaw’s commitment to affordable healthcare extends beyond business. Her philanthropic initiatives are directed at making a difference to the lives of the marginalized communities. Through Biocon Foundation’s primary healthcare centres, telemedicine initiatives, health awareness programs, public health and sanitation initiatives and preventive screenings for oral and cervical cancer, she is making an enduring impact on society.
She has also established the 1,400-bed Mazumdar-Shaw Cancer Center in Bangalore to deliver affordable world-class cancer care services to patients irrespective of socio-economic status. She has also set up the Mazumdar Shaw Center for Translational Research, a non-profit research institute dedicated to developing scientific breakthroughs for treating a wide range of human diseases. Her philanthropic efforts have led her to be featured in the Forbes’ List of ‘Heroes of Philanthropy’. Ms. Mazumdar-Shaw is also the second Indian to join the Giving Pledge global initiative created by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates that encourages billionaires to give the majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes.
Ms Mazumdar-Shaw holds a bachelor’s degree in science (Zoology Hons.) from Bangalore University and has earned a master’s degree in malting and brewing from Ballarat College, Melbourne University. She has been awarded with several honorary degrees from Ballarat (2004), University of Abertay (2007), University of Glasgow (2008), Heriot-Watt University (2008), National University of Ireland (2012) and Trinity College, Dublin (2012) for her pre-eminent contributions in the field of biotechnology.
Ms Mazumdar-Shaw is married to John Shaw, a Scotsman and Indophile, who headed a leading textiles MNC Madura Coats from 1991-1998 as Chairman and Managing Director. John Shaw is currently the Vice-Chairman of Biocon.
Charles "Lil Buck" Riley is a Los Angeles–based dancer originally from Memphis, Tennessee, who specializes in a style of street dance called jookin'. He gained popularity after director Spike Jonze's impromptu recording of an interpretive performance of "The Dying Swan" by Lil Buck and Yo-Yo Ma. He performs regularly all across the nation.
Dancer & Choreographer
Jon Boogz is a movement artist, choreographer, and director whose edgy contemporary work seeks to push the evolution of what dance can be – sharing with audiences of all backgrounds an appreciation of the melding of movement genres while inspiring and bringing awareness to social issues.
Originally motivated to begin dancing by the painstaking choreography of Michael Jackson, Boogz embarked as a movement artist 15 years ago and soon thereafter was participating in dance competitions around the world. Since then he has choreographed work for numerous notable icons including ballet’s Mikhail Baryshnikov, Naomi Campbell, and Gloria Estefan. His collaborations include work with the TriBeCa Film Festival, Lil Buck, and Bonobo and his choreography is used in the FOX TV show “So You Think You Can Dance,” the Cirque du Soleil MJ ONE show in Las Vegas, and he was recently featured at the Geffen Playhouse “Backstage at the Geffen” gala with his dance company Control Freakz and Lil Buck. His forthcoming works in progress seek to seamlessly merge movement with the worlds of fine art, film, and the stage.
Award Winning Actor, Director, & Education Advocate
Multi-award-winning actor, director, and education advocate LeVar Burton is best known to television audiences around the world for his portrayals of two iconic characters, Kunta Kinte in Roots and Geordi LaForge in Star Trek: The Next Generation, as well as his 23 years as producer and host of PBS's Reading Rainbow. LeVar is the co-founder of the award-winning Reading Rainbow digital library and has introduced Skybrary, the next generation of innovative children's educational media on the Web. He was co–executive producer of the History Channel’s remake of Roots and has received the Eliot-Pearson Award for Excellence in Children's Media from Tufts University, the 2014 Los Angeles Times Book Prizes Innovator’s Award, and the 2015 Chicago Tribune Young Adult Literary Award.
Miles Chamley-Watson is an American Olympic fencer and model. He competed in the 2012 and 2016 Summer Games and in 2013 became the individual foil world champion—the first American to do so. At the Rio Olympic Games, Miles and his team took home bronze for Men’s Team Foil. The Red Bull athlete is a transplant from London and attended Penn State, where he competed on the fencing team. His unique look and drive have garnered international attention and revived national interest in fencing.
A deep, artful thinker whose singular approach to songwriting and sonics sets him worlds apart, José González is in a class by himself. He has a voice. He has a sound. He has a point of view. Vestiges & Claws – musically gorgeous, strikingly profound in lyric — has a unique and quietly visceral power that is as an outstanding addition to what is now an impressive body of work. The album is, without question, the most highly anticipated of his career.
EVP of Corporate Relations & Chief Philanthropy Officer, Salesforce
Suzanne DiBianca is the Executive Vice President of Corporate Relations and Chief Philanthropy Officer of Salesforce. In this role, Suzanne leads Salesforce’s stakeholder strategy—including all corporate giving, community relations and sustainability efforts. Suzanne was previously co-founder and president of the Salesforce Foundation and Salesforce.org.
Under Suzanne’s leadership, Salesforce pioneered the 1-1-1 model of integrated corporate philanthropy, which dedicates 1% of Salesforce’s equity, employee time or product back into the community. Today, Salesforce serves as a successful model for corporate social responsibility, with hundreds of companies adopting this model through Pledge 1%.
Suzanne is a recognized leader in corporate philanthropy. She has been named one of Inside Philanthropy’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Philanthropy and is member of the San Francisco Business Times’ Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business hall of fame. She serves on the boards of Box.org, Classy, Inc., Tides, Twilio.org and the World Affairs Council’s Global Philanthropy Forum. Former board service includes Goodwill Industries, the San Francisco School Volunteers and Zynga.org.
Prior to joining Salesforce, Suzanne was a principal at CSC Consulting, where she led mergers, acquisitions and technology implementations for Fortune 500 companies. Before CSC, Suzanne was the marketing and program director for Partners for Democratic Change, an organization providing conflict management and dispute resolution training around the world. Suzanne is a graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Chefs & Restaurateurs
Eli Sussman is the co-chef/co-owner of Samesa and Ed and Bev’s restaurants and is a partner in Jetman Catering. He was previously the co–executive chef at Ruschmeyer’s in Montauk and the executive chef of Mile End Delis in Manhattan and Brooklyn. A 2014 semifinalist for the James Beard Rising Star Chef Award, Eli was named to Zagat NYC’s 30 Under 30 in 2012. He has co-authored four cookbooks with his brother Max and has contributed to *Saveur* and *Food & Wine.* Eli serves on the NYC board of the hunger charity Share Our Strength and was invited to the White House as part of a group of Share Our Strength chefs doing work to help end childhood hunger in the United States through the No Kid Hungry campaign.
Max Sussman is the co-chef/co-owner of Samesa and Ed and Bev’s restaurants. He was executive chef at the neighborhood favorite restaurant the Cleveland, in Manhattan. Max was also chef de cuisine at Roberta’s when the famed Brooklyn restaurant received two stars from the New York Times, and worked at Manhattan’s Michelin-starred Breslin Bar and Dining Room. In 2012, Max was a James Beard Award semifinalist for Rising Star Chef of the Year and was named to both Zagat NYC’s and Forbes’s 30 Under 30 lists. Along with his brother Eli he has co-authored four cookbooks. He resides near Detroit with his family.
Executive Director, Project Drawdown
Paul Hawken is the executive director of Project Drawdown and one of the environmental movement’s leading voices. He has authored bestselling books on environmental advocacy, founded successful, ecologically conscious businesses, and consulted with heads of state and CEOs on economic development, industrial ecology, and environmental policy. Paul is one of the pioneering proponents of corporate ecological reform. He holds nearly two dozen awards and has spoken at several hundred events. Among his books are Natural Capitalism (co-authored with Amory Lovins), The Ecology of Commerce, and Blessed Unrest.
Rapper and Producer
Born in Washington, D.C., to a Sudanese father and an African American mother, Amir Mohamed grew up in Maryland, influenced by soul and rap as well as myriad musicians on both sides of his family. He was all set to attend the Art Institute of Philadelphia to pursue visual art when a friend of his introduced him to hip-hop production. He was so enamored with it that he changed his plans and concentrated on making beats, ending up with the track "Musik Lounge" on DJ Jazzy Jeff's 2002 record Magnificent. He has released nearly 10 full-lengths and a handful of EPs and mixtapes, including his latest, The Odd Tape.
Owner & Executive Chef, Cómodo
Felipe Donnelly is the Executive Chef and owner of Cómodo in SoHo and Colonia Verde in Fort Greene. The Colombian chef was born in Madrid and spent his childhood living in Bogota, Sao Paulo, and Mexico City – an experience deeply imbued in his culinary style. Having lived across many Latin American countries, the act of experiencing and sharing food was the first step in calling a new place home. By producing bold, homegrown Latin flavors in both his restaurants, Donnelly is able to explore his culinary creativity through the lens of the heart of the Latin kitchen. With inimitable hospitality, dining at one of Donnelly’s restaurants is where a new restaurant quickly becomes home and new friends become family.
Partner at DFJ and Board Member of SpaceX, Synthetic Genomics, and Tesla Motors
Steve Jurvetson is a partner at the venture capital firm DFJ. His current board responsibilities include Planet Labs, SpaceX, Synthetic Genomics, and Tesla Motors. Previously, Steve was an R&D engineer at Hewlett-Packard, worked in product marketing at Apple and NeXT Software, and was a management consultant at Bain & Company. He holds a B.S. and an M.S. in electrical engineering, as well as an M.B.A., from Stanford University. Steve was named Venture Capitalist of the Year by Deloitte, one of Tech’s Best Venture Investors by Forbes, and one of the Ten Most Influential VCs by the VC Journal, as well as part of Fortune’s Brain Trust of Top Ten Minds, and “The Valley’s Sharpest VC” on the cover of Business 2.0.
Mission Director, The Dream Defenders
umi selah, Aka Phillip Agnew, a native of Chicago, Ill., found his voice as a community activist while a student at Florida A&M University. In 2005, he helped to organize students from FAMU, Florida State University and Tallahassee Community College in the creation of the Student Coalition for Justice, which was formed in response to the murder of Martin Lee Anderson in a Florida boot camp. In 2012, he co-founded the Dream Defenders, an organization founded after the murder of Trayvon Martin and committed to ending the prison industrial complex in Florida through the development of Free Zones. Selah is a 2008 graduate of FAMU and is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Aja Monet is a poet originally from Brooklyn, NY and the youngest person to win the legendary Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe Grand Slam title. As an educator, Aja uses poetry to empower and encourage holistic healing in youth education. She was awarded the YWCA of the City of New York’s “2014 One to Watch Award,” an award established in honor of Aja’s work to empower women and eliminate racism. Aja received a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts from Sarah Lawrence College and a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In 2012, she collaborated with poet Saul Williams to edit a poetry anthology entitled, “Chorus,” and has published several books and chapbooks independently, including, “The Black Unicorn Sings.” She is the co-founder of Smoke Signals Studio and currently resides in little Haiti, Miami.
Former Chief Negotiator in the Talks to End Apartheid
Roelf Meyer helped to negotiate the end of apartheid to help pave the way for democratic elections in South Africa in 1994. Alongside his counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa, chief negotiator for the African National Congress (ANC), Roelf acted as the chief negotiator for the National Party Government. He remained active in South African government until 2000 and is now an active consultant on peace processes, advising parties in many of the world’s most war-torn regions. In 2009, South Africa’s president, Kgalema Motlanthe, awarded him the Order of the Baobab in Silver for his role in ending apartheid. Roelf held the Tip O’Neill Chair in Peace Studies at the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland, in 2000–01 and is an honorary professor at the Gordon Institute of Business Science at the University of Pretoria.
Chef, restaurateur, and cookbook author Marco Canora has been doing his part to promote delicious, simple, and healthy food, which he believes is everyone’s birthright. Since 1996, his Italian-inflected cooking has been hailed as some of the finest on this side of the Atlantic. Hearth Restaurant, located in Manhattan’s East Village, is the current home of the widest range of Marco’s seasonally inspired dishes. He also owns the wine bars Terroir Tribeca and Terroir High Line. Marco’s first independent venture was La Cucina Ristorante, at the Tuscany Inn on Martha’s Vineyard, and his restaurant Insieme, at the Michelangelo Hotel in New York, was awarded a Michelin star. Marco's book Salt to Taste: The Keys to Confident, Delicious Cooking received acclaim from the culinary world.
Author, Chef, and TV Personality
Finesse and grit: that is what defines author, chef, and TV personality Georgia Pellegrini and makes her a motivational speaker unlike any other. In 2004 she left the fierce world of Wall Street behind and stepped into the wild—reconnecting with nature to discover a simpler, more authentic, and self-sufficient life. Pellegrini is a modern-day pioneer with "Superwoman Skills" who empowers audiences to step outside of their comfort zones and discover inner bravery and resourcefulness. Her critically acclaimed books include Food Heroes, Girl Hunter, and most recently, Modern Pioneering, a cookbook for homestead cuisine and living off the land. Called “an empowerment guru” by The New York Times, Pellegrini is a phenomenally gifted speaker, and her stirring lectures reach audiences from all backgrounds. Growing up on her family’s farm in upstate New York, Pellegrini developed a passion for simple farm-totable food and a deep connection to the outdoors. Having worked in the finance world after college, she decided to leave her cubicle and reconnect with her roots. After graduating from the French Culinary Institute, she began working in Michelin restaurants in New York and France, including Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Gramercy Tavern, and La Chassagnette. Soon she started leading her renowned Adventure Getaways: excursions around the country aimed at promoting “manual literacy” and helping participants step outside of their comfort zone and experience life more viscerally. Motivational and approachable, Pellegrini teaches leadership, confidence building, and personal branding. She is a firm believer in empowering women to be self-sufficient and encourages her audiences to identify personal strengths and pursue their life passions. Her words go “beyond-the-podium” and inspire audiences to put pioneering principles to use anywhere, from the suburbs to the heart of the city, from the hunting perch to the board room. Georgia Pellegrini has been featured on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Iron Chef America, Today, HBO’s Real Sports, ABC’s The Chew, NPR, among hundreds of other radio, TV, and newspaper outlets. She also writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal.
Chief Executive Officer of the David Lynch Foundation
Bob Roth is one of the most experienced and sought-after meditation teachers in America. Over the past 40 years, he has taught Transcendental Meditation to thousands and authored a book on the subject. Currently serving as the executive director of the David Lynch Foundation, Bob has brought meditation to more than 500,000 inner-city youth in 35 countries, 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, which brings meditation to Fortune 100 companies, government organizations, and nonprofit charities. He's the host of the radio show Success Without Stress and has spoken about meditation to industry leaders at such gatherings as Google Zeitgeist, Aspen Ideas Festival, and Wisdom 2.0.
Executive Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights
Kate Kendell leads the National Center for Lesbian Rights, a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of LGBT people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education. After receiving her degree from the University of Utah College of Law in 1988, Kate served as a corporate attorney and went on to become the first staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah. In 1994, she accepted the position of legal director with the NCLR and made the move to San Francisco. In 1996, Kate was named NCLR’s executive director. She regularly appears in the media on behalf of NCLR and resides in San Francisco with her wife and two children.
Activist and North Korean Defector
Hyeonseo Lee is a North Korean defector, activist, and author living in Seoul, South Korea. Her recently published memoir The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story has appeared in 18 languages in 25 countries. Her TED Talk about life in North Korea, her escape to China, and her struggle to bring her family to freedom has been viewed more than eight million times. Hyeonseo has given testimony about North Korean human rights in front of a special panel of the UN Security Council in 2014 and at the UN Commission on the Status of Women in 2016. She has written articles for the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal and has been interviewed on nearly a dozen major networks, radio programs, and newspapers throughout the world.
Psychologist & NYT bestselling author
Sex at Dawn
Dr. Christopher Ryan is co-author of the New York Times bestseller, Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What it Means for Modern Relationships (written with his wife, Cacilda Jetha, M.D.). His next book, Civilized to Death: Why Everything's Amazing but Nobody's Happy (Simon and Schuster) is due out next year. His research is focused on fostering an accurate understanding of prehistoric human life in order to better understand and address contemporary crises.
Co-Founder, Legion of Creatives
In a career spanning 30 years, Orlando Jones has demonstrated a well-documented versatility. He launched an advertising agency in his teens and then worked behind the scenes as a writer/producer on A Different World, Martin, and Roc Live. As a writer and on-camera personality, he was part of the creative team that launched the FX Network into 18 million homes. Orlando was handpicked by Quincy Jones to join the sketch comedy franchise MADtv as a writer/performer. In addition to starring in many beloved films and television shows, he’s one of the founders of the immersive content studio Legion of Creatives.
Producer / Songwriter
Hip-hop artist, producer, and songwriter Jermaine Dupri has collaborated with artists such as Usher, Mariah Carey, and Nelly over the span of his 20-plus-year career in the music business. In 2011, Jermaine launched Global 14, which consists of more than 1,100 groups that share common interests, from fashion to hip-hop and R&B. He has been steadily building Global 14’s international presence, expanding into Europe and Latin America. Jermaine is also the CEO of So So Def Recordings, which he founded in 1989.
Partner, Benchmark Capital
Scott Belsky's mission is to empower the careers of creative people. He is the co-founder and former CEO of Behance, the leading online platform for creatives to showcase and discover creative work. When Behance was acquired by Adobe in 2012, Scott moved in as vice president of products for that company, rebooting its mobile product strategy and leading Behance. He also started 99U, Behance's think tank and annual conference devoted to execution in the creative world, and authored the international bestseller Making Ideas Happen. Scott is general partner at Benchmark and actively invests in businesses that cross the intersection of technology and design. He was an early investor and adviser in Pinterest, Uber, Warby Parker, and Periscope.
Producer, An Inconvenient Truth and Fed Up
Author, The Family Dinner and The Family Cooks
For more than a decade, Laurie David has brought her passion and dedication to a variety of important environmental and food issues, from global warming to America’s overconsumption of sugar. She is a documentary producer who has garnered a handful of prestigious awards for her work on the Academy Award–winning An Inconvenient Truth and Fed Up. Laurie is executive-producing the documentary The Last Animals, which delves into the wildlife-trafficking crisis pushing the African elephant and rhinoceros toward extinction. Her list of honors includes the Producers Guild of America’s Stanley Kramer Award, a Humanitas Prize Special Award, and a Gracie Allen Award. Laurie has also been honored with the Audubon Society’s Rachel Carson Award, the Feminist Majority’s Eleanor Roosevelt Award, and the NRDC Forces for Nature Award.
Quantic is the recording alias of British-born musician Will Holland. Will's sound is rooted in the richness of the golden age of recording, with a fearless modern bite made for the dance floor. His pioneering and enigmatic productions as a guitarist, accordionist, DJ, studio engineer, and music compiler have earned him an international fan base and constant engagements as a music selector, remixer, and band director. He has 16 studio albums under his belt and has collaborated and recorded with the likes of Ana Tijoux, Jorge Drexler, Shinehead, Anibal Velasquez, and more. Currently residing in Brooklyn, Will has a new musical release (or two!) planned for 2016.
Co-founder, Beyond Conflict
Timothy Phillips is a pioneer in the field of conflict resolution and reconciliation. In 1992, he co-founded Beyond Conflict, a global nonprofit initiative that helped catalyze the field of transitional justice in post-communist Europe and is credited with contributions to peace and reconciliation processes in Northern Ireland, El Salvador, South Africa, and other nations. Tim’s work was featured in The Visionaries on PBS and The New York Times Magazine. Under his leadership, Beyond Conflict recently published Beyond Conflict, featuring leaders who worked with the organization, and partnered with MIT to research the relationship between neuroscience and social conflict. He frequently speaks in national and international forums and has advised the United Nations, the U.S. State Department, and the Council of Europe. Tim helped launch and serves on the advisory committee of the Club of Madrid, a forum for former democratic heads of state. As a founder of Energia Global International, which developed privately owned renewable energy facilities in Central and South America, he has helped lead the movement to implement renewable energy worldwide. Tim also serves on the boards of several international organizations and cultural and educational institutions, including the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
Founder and CEO, Timebanks USA
Former Counsel and Speechwriter to Robert F. Kennedy
Christine Gray, Ph.D.
Scholar, Consultant, Adjunct Faculty
University of District of Columbia, School of Law
Full biographies forthcoming.
Frontman, Jane's Addiction
Perry Farrell is the frontman of Jane's Addiction and the founder of Lollapalooza, a music festival that has been featuring and launching music acts for 25 years. He is often called the Godfather of Alternative Rock and is praised by music legends and record producers alike. The only major promoter who is a prominent musician himself, Perry has always had a golden ear. An early adopter of everything from punk rock to electronic dance music, he has flawless taste and an ability to detect shifts in culture that has transformed Lollapalooza from a chaotic traveling circus into the best-attended stand-alone music-and-lifestyle event in the country.
American attorney Kimberley Motley is one of the world’s most respected and successful international lawyers. A former beauty queen and Mrs. Wisconsin-America 2004, she is the first and only Westerner to practice law in Afghanistan's courts. Kimberley has garnered respect and admiration worldwide for her international litigation prowess and has expanded her legal practice to represent clients on almost every continent. She has spoken at the TED Global conference, and an award-winning documentary called *Motley's Law* covers her experiences practicing law in Afghanistan and the States.
Co-Owner and Mission Fulfillment Officer of Cafe Gratitude and Co-Founder of Kiss The Ground
Ryland Engelhart is a co-owner and mission fulfillment officer of Cafe Gratitude, and the co-founder of Kiss The Ground, a non-profit educating the public about the connection between soil, human, and planetary health. Ryland was the co-creator of the award-winning documentary film, “May I Be Frank.” He is an activist, inspirational speaker, and life coach dedicated to culture, love, building community, and demonstrating sustainability in business. He leads workshops and speaks on sacred commerce, building community, and soil.
Author & Leading Medical Researcher
Dean Ornish, M.D., is the founder and president of the nonprofit Preventive Medicine Research Institute and clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. For more than 36 years, Dr. Ornish has directed clinical research demonstrating, for the first time, that comprehensive lifestyle changes may begin to reverse even severe coronary heart disease, without drugs or surgery. Recently, Medicare agreed to provide coverage for this program, marking the first time a program of comprehensive lifestyle changes has been covered by Medicare. Dr. Ornish was appointed by President Clinton to the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy and by President Obama to the White House Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health.
Writer and Poet
Hailing from the Bay Area, musician, writer, producer, and poet Rafael Casal was a champion of the National Poetry Slam as a teen. He has since performed at hundreds of venues across the country, sharing the stage with greats like Carole King, Kanye West, Ludacris, Lauryn Hill, Alanis Morissette, and George Clinton. Rafael’s music projects include The Monster LP, Mean Ones, The Bay Boy Mixtape, and Black Mushroom, a collaboration with Nico Cary.
Aaron Taylor Kuffner is the creator of the Gamelatron, a sound-producing kinetic sculpture inspired by the music of Indonesia. A fusion of Eastern and Western traditions, the Gamelatron consists of vibraphones, drums, chimes, bells, and resonating bronze gongs played by robotics-controlled mechanical mallets. Aaron’s artwork often takes the form of multi-year projects that require in-depth research, collaboration with field experts, and the development of specialized skills. Each project aims to further the evolution of consciousness through the experience of beauty and the sublime.
Co-founder and Executive Chairman, New Peak Group
Gang Yu is the co-founder and Executive Chairman of New Peak Group (www.111.com.cn). Dr. Yu received Bachelor of Science from Wuhan University, Master of Science from Cornell University and Ph. D. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Prior to founding New Peak Group, he was the co-founder and Chairman of Yihaodian - a leading ecommerce company in China.
Dr. Yu served as Vice President; Worldwide Procurement at Dell Inc. and Vice President, Worldwide Supply Chain at Amazon.com.
Before Amazon, Dr. Yu served as Chair Professor at University of Texas at Austin, and Director of the Center for Management of Operations and Logistics, and co-Director of the Center for Decision Making under Uncertainty.
Dr. Yu has received numerous international awards including: the 2002 Franz Edelman Management Science Achievement Award from INFORMS, the 2002 IIE Transaction Award for Best Application Paper, the 2003 Outstanding IIE Publication Award from the Institute of Industrial Engineers, the 2012 Martin K. Starr Excellence in Production and Operations Management Practice Award from POMS. Dr. Yu has published over 80 journal articles, 4 books, and he holds 3 US patents.
Dr. Yu is the founder and CEO of CALEB Technologies Corporation in 1995 in the US, the company was later acquired by Accenture.
Chances with Wolves is an eclectic online music phenomenon with a six-year-running radio program on East Village Radio in NYC. Operated by two Brooklyn-raised DJs, Kenan and Kray—whose love of music has bonded them since they were kids—Chances with Wolves has freed itself of the traditional constraints of modern-day radio programming by ignoring genre categories in favor of "feel" and "mood." The duo spin obscure, older records, mixing in different genres of music, quotes from movies, and of course high-pitched wolf howls.
Allen Stone's music melts moods into the feelings his songs bring. The soulful American musician, from Chewelah, Washington, takes his listeners with him on a journey of love and life with his down-to-earth lyrics and R&B-style music. Pulling from retro influences like Stevie Wonder, Prince, and Bill Withers, the tunes switch from funky and lighthearted to deep and introspective, all the while keeping a strong, relatable tone. Describing himself as a "hippie with soul," Allen and his music feel like an old friend with an old soul.
Producer / DJ
Nineteen-year-old Kweku Collins (pronounced kway-koo) is from Evanston, Illinois, living just beyond the fray of the city dubbed Chiraq—and the distinctive music scene that has arisen there. While still in high school, he was signed to buzzing Chicago label Closed Sessions on the strength of his prolific sound, which resonates upon listening to just a track or two.
Timothy Goodman is a designer, illustrator, and art director based in New York City. His clients include Airbnb, Google, Ford, J.Crew, Target, The New Yorker, and the New York Times. Previously, Timothy worked in-house at Apple Inc., and with the experiential design firm Collins. He has received awards from most major design and illustration groups and publications, including the ADC's Young Guns, GDUSA’s People to Watch, and Print’s New Visual Artists. Timothy began his career as a book jacket designer at Simon & Schuster, and he graduated from the School of Visual Arts in NYC. He co-created the blog and book 40 Days of Dating, with Jessica Walsh, to much acclaim, and the film rights were optioned to Warner Bros. His Instagram writing series Memories of a Girl I Never Knew was exhibited at Colette in Paris, France. His second book, Sharpie Art Workshop, is out now.
Leading ANC Activist and Former South African Ambassador to the United States
Ambassador Ebrahim Rasool is a distinguished scholar-in-residence at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. He works in the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, advancing an alternative paradigm to the inertia of orthodoxies in the face of extremisms. Rasool previously served as South Africa’s ambassador to the United States from 2010 to 2015, a member of the National Assembly in the Parliament of South Africa, and special adviser to the state president. As a provincial minister, he built up extensive experience in the Health, Welfare, and Finance and Economic Development departments. He founded the World for All Foundation, where he is actively rethinking the intellectual tools for cooperative relations between faiths, cultures, and communities at a global level, and establishing dignity, inclusion, and equity for those marginalized and excluded. The World for All is especially active among Muslim minority communities, transferring examples of coexistence from South Africa, and increasingly is acting as a conduit for Nelson Mandela’s lessons to the Muslim heartlands in need of freedom, democracy, and human rights.
Spending her time between Los Angeles and London, Sequoia Ziff’s aesthetic and eye has been compared to iconic photographers such as Annie Leibovitz and Helmut Newton. Ziff says she’s in love with people and light, something that’s apparent throughout her body of work.
Co-founder, The Kitchen Community
Kimbal is on the board for Chipotle Mexican Grill, Tesla Motors and SpaceX. His personal mission is to strengthen communities through food. Kimbal is a co-founder of The Kitchen, a growing family of restaurants that sources directly from local farmers, stimulating the local farm economy to the tune of millions of dollars a year, and creating quality jobs. In 2011, Kimbal co-founded The Kitchen Community, a complementary non-profit organization. The Kitchen Community builds Learning Gardens in schools around the U.S. reaching hundreds of thousands of students every school day, improving their vegetable intake and academic achievements.
Disability Rights Advocate and White House Honoree
White House Champion of Change, Forbes 30 Under 30 leader, and a featured hero on BBC’s Women of Africa, Haben Girma is the first deaf-blind person to graduate from Harvard Law School. An acclaimed inclusion advocate, Haben champions equal access to information for people with disabilities. Drawing on her training in law, sociology, and technology, she advocates for design of digital services and development of policies that will ensure future opportunities for everyone. Haben recently had the honor of introducing President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden at the White House Celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Writer, Esquire Magazine
Journalist Cal Fussman is a New York Times bestselling author and a writer for Esquire, GQ, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, and The Washington Post Sunday Magazine. He has transformed oral history into an art form, conducting probing interviews with the icons who’ve shaped the past half-century of world history, such as Ted Kennedy, Jeff Bezos, Robert De Niro, Clint Eastwood, Al Pacino, George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio, Serena Williams, and Muhammad Ali. Born in Brooklyn, Cal has spent ten straight years traveling the world, swimming over 18-foot tiger sharks, rolling around with mountain gorillas in Rwanda, and searching for gold in the Amazon. He now lives with his wife—whom he met while on his quest to discover the world’s most beautiful beach—and his three children in Los Angeles.
Nervous System is a generative design studio that works at the intersection of science, art, and technology. Designers Jessica Rosenkrantz and Jesse Louis-Rosenberg create using a novel process that employs computer simulation to generate designs and digital fabrication to realize products. Drawing inspiration from natural phenomena, they write computer programs based on processes and patterns found in nature and use those programs to create unique and affordable art, jewelry, and housewares.
Nervous System has pioneered the application of new technologies in design, including generative systems, 3-D printing, and WebGL. Nervous System releases online design applications that enable customers to co-create products in an effort to make design more accessible. Jessica Rosenkrantz holds degrees in architecture and biology from MIT. Jesse Louis-Rosenberg studied math at MIT and worked as a consultant for Gehry Technologies. Their designs have been featured in Wired, the New York Times, the Guardian, Metropolis, and Forbes. Their work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art and the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.
Award-Winning Filmmaker and Photographer
Louie Schwartzberg is an award-winning filmmaker and photographer whose four decades behind the lens have provided breathtaking imagery, using time-lapse, high-speed, and macro cinematography techniques. His theatrical releases include the 3D IMAX film “Mysteries of the Unseen World,” with National Geographic, and the documentary *Wings of Life,* for Disneynature. Louie also directed the popular theme-park ride film “Soarin’ Around the World,” now showing at Disney parks worldwide. He is also a visual artist who breaks barriers, connects with audiences, and tells stories that celebrate life and the mysteries of nature. Louie received the NAAPC Pollinator Protector Award in 2013 and is the first filmmaker to be inducted into the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Lemelson Foundation’s Invention Ambassadors Program.
Sam Kass is a food entrepreneur and former White House chef and senior policy adviser for nutrition. He is the founder of Trove and a partner in Acre Venture Partners. Sam joined the White House kitchen staff in 2009, becoming food initiative coordinator the next year. He took on several additional roles, including executive director of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign, and became the first person in the history of the White House to have a position in the executive office of the president and the residence. As one of the first lady’s longest-serving advisers, he served as senior policy adviser for healthy food initiatives and helped Mrs. Obama create the first major vegetable garden at the White House since Eleanor Roosevelt’s victory garden. In 2011, Fast Company included Sam in its list of the 100 Most Creative People, and in 2012 he helped create the American Chef Corps, which is dedicated to promoting diplomacy through culinary initiatives. He is also an MIT Media lab fellow, entrepreneur, and adviser.
Producer / DJ
Hailing from Berlin, Rampue produces a sound that can be called Berlin disco/house at the same time that it is defiant of such genres. His music combines soul vocals, deep bass lines, and accurate high-hat placement in a continuous search for just the right sounds. Rampue has performed all over the world, from Fusion Festival to Burning Man.
Graham Hancock is the author of several international bestsellers, which have sold more than five million copies worldwide and been translated into 27 languages. His ideas and controversial questions about humanity’s past have reached audiences of tens of millions. Hancock is best known for his radical reassessment of our past in his international bestseller Fingerprints of the Gods and its sequel, Magicians of the Gods, and for his work on the mysteries of consciousness and the role of plant medicines in the human story.
DJ Green Lantern, a.k.a. the Evil Genius, rose to prominence practically overnight when he aligned himself with Eminem, who wanted to get his Shady Records label into the mixtape game. Green Lantern first hooked up with Em for Shady Invasion, which highlighted the Detroit rapper's then-ongoing battle with Benzino. His other highlights include his own remix of the Nas/2Pac collaboration "Thugz Mansion."
Clinical Psychologist and NYT Bestselling Author
The Awakened Family
Dr. Shefali Tsabary is a world-renowned clinical psychologist and author of the New York Times bestseller The Conscious Parent. Heralded by Oprah as “the best parenting expert,” Dr. Shefali is creating a revolution in the parenting paradigm. Integrating Eastern philosophy and Western psychology, Dr. Shefali teaches us how to infuse our lives with mindfulness and present-moment awareness. Her conscious parenting movement is shifting the ways in which families treat their children. In 2016, she released The Awakened Family.
Co-creator and Host, NPR’s TED Radio Hour and How I Built This
Guy Raz is co-creator and host of three radio programs. His best-known is NPR's TED Radio Hour, a show about big ideas. He also hosts NPR’s newest podcast “How I Built This,” a show about the greatest living entrepreneurs in the world, and “The Breakfast Blast Newscast,” a weekly children’s news show on Sirius XM’s KidsPlace Live Channel. For several years, he was also a host of NPR News' signature afternoon news magazine, “All Things Considered.” Guy was a foreign correspondent for NPR and CNN for six years where he reported from more than 40 countries and covered the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Macedonia, Israel, and the Palestinian territories.
Producer / DJ
Founded in Istanbul by Safak Oz Kutle, Oceanvs Orientalis is a formation that aims to challenge the aesthetic perception in electronic music. It blends itself with the archaeological tunes of mankind’s cumulative musical history. Despite being an electronic-based formation, Oceansvs Orientalis intends to transform into a dance orchestra where each instrument will be played by its own instrumentalist.
Escort, enjoying accolades ranging from the New York Times to Pitchfork, NYC's disco champions are an incredible cast of musicians including founder/producer Eugene Cho, JKriv, Dave Sharma and lead singer Adeline Michèle.
Escort’s long awaited second LP “Animal Nature” is a leap forward from their critically acclaimed debut. “Animal Nature” stays true to the tradition of clubland’s holy trinity – New York, Chicago and Detroit – while staying on the forefront of modern disco and a new era of not-so-underground dance music. In an age where the dance music is over saturated with countless producers churning out an endless stream beats and remixes, Escort stands out, in part, by creating dance music the old fashioned way: with impeccable production, musicianship, and songwriting. Their explosive live performances have cemented their reputation as one of the city's premier live acts and has enabled them to showcase their unique live dance sound around the globe.
Powel is a German DJ based in Berlin who mixes a chilled-out melodic and lush vibe through his boards. He has a penchant for a sensual after-hours vibe and an outer-space sound. Powel recently toured from Berlin to San Francisco, and his 2016 EP Kalophain was released by Das Sind Wir.
Producer / DJ
Viken Arman is a French producer, born and raised in Paris. He considers music the mirror of his feelings. Having worked in everything from jazz and classical to film scores and electronic music, the versatile and elusive artist doesn't like to restrict himself to a single musical universe. He founded the French collective Minimal Trip, which allows him to collaborate with great artists from all over the world, and he is becoming more and more recognized for his creativity. Viken always strives to maintain a surprising perspective. He is now at work on his debut album.
Co-Owner of The Fat Radish
Phil Winser is the co-founder of Silkstone, one of New York’s leading creative events agencies and catering companies. He’s used innovative event design, marketing campaigns, and digital strategy to create large-scale dinners from the Nevada desert to New York City. With partner Ben Towill, Phil designed and opened the The Fat Radish, one of the city’s leading seasonal restaurants, and he’s followed that with Ruschmeyers, the Leadbelly oyster bar, and the East Pole. Phil believes that healthy, locally sourced ingredients should be the core of the meal, and he’s passionate about food as a way of bringing people together.
Producer and Musician
Satori is inspired to capture electronic world music, in which he combines blends of seductive trance and mind-altering earthy tones. Satori satisfies meditative music lovers by provoking a spiritual journey through his infinite sound-garden. Listen as you take on new dimensions of his musical world, where movement, dreaming, and creativity are endless. Satori’s sound is more than just a switch on a soundboard; he is the man behind the instrument, creating melodies from the piano, kora, kalimba, and guitar in combination with a deeper form of electronic music.