Spoken Word Poet
A founding member of L.A.'s Da Poetry Lounge, In-Q is a National Poetry Slam champion and multi-platinum songwriter who's shared the stage with John Legend, Eminem, De La Soul, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. He's also performed on Russell Simmons’s HBO Def Poetry Jam, alongside Richard Branson at the first TEDx, and for President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Quincy Jones. His mission is to bring poetry back as a force in popular culture, and while he always entertains and inspires, he also challenges audiences to bring a greater curiosity to the human experience.
Producer / DJ
Equal is a New York City–based producer and DJ. Originally hailing from Asheville, North Carolina, he has played top-tier music and fashion events such as the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year awards, Art Basel at the Versace Mansion, and private parties for Marc Jacobs and Yves Saint Laurent. Though he's a lifelong drummer, the transition into production was an easy one, and kicked off with his 2013 single "Lost In The Evening." His brand of leisurely funk music easily translates from day to night and is capable of inciting a dance party in any situation.
Comedian, Writer, and Producer
Azhar Usman is a Chicago-based stand-up comedian, actor, writer, and producer. CNN called him "America's Funniest Muslim," and Georgetown University identified him as One of the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World. Azhar has worked with Dave Chappelle and is the co-founder of the international comedy showcase Allah Made Me Funny: The Official Muslim Comedy Tour. His comedy has been featured in more than 100 major world media outlets, including the New York Times, The Economist, The Guardian, Time, USA Today, BBC, NPR, Al-Jazeera, and Fox News. Besides appearing regularly on television and in numerous documentary and independent films, he served as executive producer of Mo Amer's new one-hour stand-up special, Legally Homeless, and most recently served as a creative consultant on Hannibal Buress's 2016 Netflix comedy special Comedy Camisado.
Comedian, Writer, and Producer
Mohammed “Mo” Amer is an internationally recognized stand-up comedian, writer, and producer. He has performed as part of the Allah Made Me Funny comedy trio and was featured on Al-Bernameg, the historic Egyptian news satire program hosted by Bassem Youssef. He regularly opens for Dave Chappelle and was the first Arab American refugee comic to perform for U.S. and coalition troops overseas. Mo recently filmed his first solo comedy special, working with longtime stand-up collaborator Azhar Usman through their production entity, Kalijaga Media.
Executive Chef, Summit
Haru Kishi studied under some of the world's greatest chefs, such as Joël Robuchon, chef propriétaire of Le Château, as well as television star chef Gordon Ramsay at the Conrad Tokyo hotel and au Trianon, a Waldorf Astoria hotel in Versailles, France. Haru traveled to West Hollywood in 2008 with Ramsay to work at the London Hotel, climbing his way up to executive sous-chef. When joining the Chaya family in Beverly Hills in 2010 as executive chef, he brought with him a seasonal Euro-Asia palette as a result of his worldly travels and experiences over the past 15 years. Today, Haru drives the culinary experience at Summit, finding inspiration from nature and informing the farm-to-table culture found at Summit Powder Mountain.
Composer & Performer
Composer, performer, and "artpreneur" Micahel Thurber is perhaps best known as the co-founder and music director of CDZA, a YouTube-based music collective that features over 100 young, conservatory-trained performers. Using popular culture as its base, CDZA translates and remixes the familiar into one-take music performance videos. Whether composing music for the Royal Shakespeare Company, creating a digital ad campaign for AT&T, or performing live with T-Pain at the YouTube Music Awards, Michael’s musical voice defies genre and category. He has forged an entirely individualized path that is based solely off his eclectic love of music, culture and people.
Comedian / TV Host / Political Podcaster / News Anchor
Ben Gleib is a stand-up comedian, actor, and host of the hit TV show Idiotest, now in its second season on GSN. He was also a roundtable regular on Chelsea Lately on E! throughout its seven-year run, appearing on the show more than 100 times. No stranger to the Internet, Gleib’s online videos have received a total of more than 16 million views. When in Los Angeles, he can often be seen performing at the legendary Hollywood Improv. You can catch him as the host of Idiotest on GSN every week.
Founder & CEO, No Small Plans, LLC
Co-founder, and former President & CEO, ’wichcraft, Riverpark, Riverpark Farm
Jeffrey Zurosfky is the co-founder and CEO of ’Wichcraft sandwich shop in New York City, which aims to serve fine dining in a casual and welcoming environment. He is also a partner in Riverpark, as well as the innovative Riverpark Farm, New York’s most urban farm, located adjacent to the restaurant. Jeffrey is the co-host of Bravo's new restaurant competition show Best New Restaurant and was a key adviser and contributor to Tim Ferriss's book The 4-Hour Chef. His passion for culinary and entrepreneurial endeavors has led him to cultivate and expand ’Wichcraft across the nation. He serves on a handful of boards and has advised more than a dozen well-known culinary companies.
Managing Partner & Chef-de-Cuisine, Cómodo
Carolina Santos-Neves is the Chef-de-Cuisine and managing partner of Cómodo in SoHo and Colonia Verde in Fort Greene. Born in Switzerland to a Brazilian father and an American mother in a trilingual household, Carolina’s fascination with food was inevitable when her nomadic childhood was spent growing up and eating her way through Brazil and Mexico. After graduating from Brown University, completing her chef’s training at the Natural Gourmet Institute and spending 5 years as an editor for Epicurious, Carolina ditched the desk job and jumped back into the kitchen to do what she does best – learning, exploring and educating diners about the bold flavors of Latin America.
Founders of MatchaBar
MatchaBar co-founders and brothers Max and Graham Fortgang come from eclectic backgrounds to bring true innovation to the matcha tea space. Max comes from a background in art history, and acts as head chef in the MatchaBar kitchen, having earned his stripes working in the food-and-beverage industry through college. He was one of the first chefs to experiment with non-dairy milks, fresh juices, and spices of all kinds in his matcha tea blends. Graham brings his entrepreneurial skills to the table, focusing MatchaBar's marketing and branding, and is the driver behind the wheel of the brand's recognition.
Archivist, The Source Family
Guitarist, Ya Ho Wa '13
Community member, The Source Family
The Source Family was a radical experiment in '70s utopian living. Their outlandish style, popular health food restaurant, and rock band, Ya Ho Wa 13, made them the darlings of Hollywood’s Sunset Strip; but their outsider ideals and the unconventional behavior of their spiritual leader, Father Yod, caused controversy with local authorities. They eventually fled to Hawaii, leading to their dramatic demise. The legacy of the Source Family lives on through it's remaining members and recordings of Ya Ho Wa 13, which is widely considered to be one of the most influential psychedelic bands of all time.
Made in Montreal but currently based in London, DJs Anstascia and Vivie-Ann have established themselves globally by proving that they don’t fit the quintessential stereotype. Fueled by sharp tastemaker instincts, Blond:ish has charmed the industry masses. In the past few years, the duo has carved out a unique production recipe that focuses on the art of creating organic, multidimensional music. Provocative bass lines contrast with smooth textures and sticky vocals that blend into a genre of house that rebels against being pigeonholed to any specific category.
Designer, Writer, and Earth Activist
Pandora is the co-founder of Earthseed Consulting LLC, a holistic consulting firm whose work expands the opportunities for sustainable living for diverse communities. She has taught groups as diverse as Iraqi and Indonesian youth to men serving in San Quentin creating inspiring and hands on programs around permaculture design, sustainability, and outdoor and environmental education.
Her most recent projects include co-founding the Black Permaculture Network, working with Toyota to design and currently serving as a coalition member of the Toyota Green Initiative, which supports African Americans in understanding the benefits of adopting sustainable lifestyles and co-designing, teaching with and directing Pathways to Resilience-a permaculture and social entrepreneur training program that worked with men and women returning home after incarceration,
She has studied four languages and lived and worked in over twelve countries and her other achievements include presenting at Tedx Denver and SF, and being awarded internships and fellowships to Columbia University, Green For All, the Bronx Zoo and the Applied Research Center.
When she is not working you can find her spending time with her beloved mother and cats or in the redwoods.
Musician and Feminist Activist
Kiran Gandhi is a Los Angeles–based musician and feminist activist. She has toured professionally, drumming for M.I.A. and Thievery Corporation, and produces electronic music under her own project, Madame Gandhi. She is perhaps most well known for running the London Marathon while bleeding freely, to combat period stigma around the world, which sparked a global viral conversation about how we treat menstruation across various cultures. Her goal is to combine her intellectual and musical talents in order to reimagine a music industry that is healthier for women and girls around the world. Kiran holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Georgetown and an M.B.A. from Harvard.
Stavroz was formed in 2011 by IJsbrand and Gert, DJs and sound engineers looking for a way to channel their musical antics. Maxim and Pieter joined for live shows and in the studio. The Belgian act's first vinyl on Délicieuse Records was picked up on international blogs, reaching No. 1 on Hype Machine, and was named vinyl of the month by Germany's Faze magazine. Known for injecting an ethnic, acoustic, and organic vibe to electronic music, these four friends pocketed releases for Kindisch, Bedrock, and their own label, Moodfamily, in Ghent.
Human Rights Lawyer and Activist
Teng Biao is a human rights lawyer, formerly a lecturer at the China University of Politics and Law, a visiting scholar at Harvard, Yale and New York University, currently a visiting fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He co-founded two human rights NGOs in Beijing – the Open Constitution Initiative, and the China Against the Death Penalty, in 2003 and 2010 respectively. He is one of the earliest promoters of the Rights Defense Movement in China, and the manifesto Charter 08, for which Dr. Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Teng defended for freedom of expression, religious freedom, Tibetans and Uyghurs. He obtained Prize for Outstanding Democracy Activist (2011) , NED Democracy Award (2008) , and Human Rights Prize of French Republic (2007).
Crussen started his DJ career in Oslo, Norway, while completing his studies in sound design. He brings a tropical, laid-back vibe to every set, along with his shining smile, capturing the spirituality of nature through his music.
Human Rights Advocate
Clemantine Wamariya is a passionate social entrepreneur and human rights advocate committed to cultivating diverse leaders and innovators through the power of storytelling and professional development. She uses personal stories of her childhood in war-torn countries and refugee camps to inspire thousands to persevere despite great odds.
A charismatic and authentic public speaker, Clemantine has shared her message with over million people. She has been a four-time guest on the Oprah Show, a speaker at TEDx, Forbes Women,Global Citizen Festival and at many university campuses and distinguished organizations. In 2011, President Obama appointed her to the board of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Clemantine also serves on the Women for Women International Board. In recognition of her dedication towards improving the lives of others, Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls organization recently described Clemantine as “a compelling storyteller and fierce advocate for girls worldwide.”
Clemantine’s life is a testament to the power of seized opportunities. With no formal education before age 13, Clemantine received her BA in Comparative Literature from Yale University in 2014. Clemantine is committed to connecting the brightest young colleges and universities students with professional opportunities at global companies where they can thrive.
Producer / DJ Trio
Basecamp hails from Nashville, but their sound has little if anything in common with the music typically associated with Tennessee. The trio, consisting of Aaron Miller, Aaron Harmon, and Jordan Reyes, creates moody electronic pop songs with subtle, glitchy production effects, haunting cello and guitar, and R&B-inspired vocals. Their measured, detailed beats are reminiscent of UK garage/post-dubstep artists such as Mount Kimbie and SBTRKT. They typically maintain a slow tempo but occasionally quicken the pulse to emphasize particularly dramatic moments.
Director of MIT's Glenn Laboratory for the Science of Aging, Co-Founder and Chief Scientist of Elysium Health
Leonard P. Guarente is the director of MIT's Glenn Laboratory for the Science of Aging, where he is a Novartis Professor of Biology. Dr. Guarente is best known for his research in longevity, in which his lab discovered that sirtuins, a type of protein, slow the aging process in a wide variety of organisms. He is the author of Ageless Quest: One Scientist's Search for Genes That Prolong Youth. In addition, Dr. Guarente is also co-founder and chief scientist of Elysium Health, a company dedicated to delivering scientific breakthroughs in health and making them accessible to consumers.
Consultant, Creative, and Entrepreneur
Katherine Li Johnson is a consultant based in Bali and India. She previously lived and worked in Tokyo as the Asia regional manager for American Apparel. After spending a year traveling through Kenya, Thailand, Indonesia, and India, she has developed an attention to women’s rights issues in Asia and emerging economies. As a frequent traveler and voracious learner, Katherine’s interests range from technical scuba diving and whitewater rafting to conquering new languages. She grew up between New York and Hong Kong and attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.
Producer / DJ
San Francisco native Viceroy has seen success in his self-made summertime disco genre and is a staple at the top of the Hype Machine charts. One day he’s at school, playing local parties under a different moniker, and the next he’s earning a spot on the forefront of the nu-disco world. Creating a genre of his own, Viceroy has been featured heavily in music media and travels the world playing at festivals and shows.
Creator of Innovative Underwater Media
Coral Morphologic is a Miami-based creator of innovative underwater media chronicling Earth’s imperiled coral reefs. It was founded in 2007 by marine biologist Colin Foord and musician Jared McKay as a multi-faceted platform for the advancement of symbiosis between humans and coral. By elevating coral into the iconography of modern art, design, and popular culture, Coral Morphologic entreats mankind to better understand and preserve Earth’s endangered reef ecosystems through works that convey color and depth to the human experience.
Kristian Vallas is a southern California native living in Venice Beach, California with his two sons and wife, Breegan. In 2015, he opened LEONA in Venice Beach with Chef Nyesha Arrington which quickly rose to the LA Times' 101 Best Restaurants list in year one. Prior, Kristian had founded a commercial and residential real estate development firm and has 20 years experience in technology, entertainment, media and marketing.
Norberto Piattoni is an Argentine chef whose work has taken him from Argentina to San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York. He has worked closely alongside renowned Argentine chef Francis Mallmann, opened a series of pop-up diners in Venice Beach with Max Chow, and spent a summer cooking at a pop-up in Rockaway Beach, showcasing Argentine street food. Now based in Brooklyn, Norberto was the consulting chef for the Commissary at the Metrograph theater and Pietro, both in Manhattan. He’s also partnered with Brooklyn restaurateur Henry Rich as the incoming executive chef at Fitzcarraldo, in Williamsburg, and Cassette, in Greenpoint; they are also working to create Norberto’s open-fire kitchen in the heart of Fort Greene, due in late 2016.
Founder, Choson Exchange
Geoffrey See is the founder of Choson Exchange, the leading nonprofit promoting entrepreneurship in North Korea, a society that is rapidly changing in ways hidden from most reporting about the country. Since 2009, more than 1,500 North Koreans have attended Choson’s workshops on business, economic policy, and law. They have helped more than 100 Koreans gain exposure abroad through study trips, internships, and scholarships. Alumni have launched innovative business concepts, incubators, and economic zones. Geoffrey also mentors and invests in entrepreneurs in Vietnam. A Kauffman Fellow and graduate of Yale and the Wharton School, he resides in Vietnam and Singapore. Choson Exchange has been featured in The Economist, the Financial Times, and the Washington Post and as a Harvard Business School case study.
Visual and Movement Artist
Taina Larot is a visual and movement artist homegrown from the Bay Area, California. Her passion for the arts developed at an early age though family gatherings filled with song and dance. The importance of art as a way to unite souls and create community sparked her drive to pursue the craft professionally. Her formal dance training began with choreographer Roland “RoRo” Tabor (whose credits include Aaliyah, Usher, Omarion, Missy Elliot and Ciara.) Through dance she has shared the stage with artists such as: Ne-yo, Pit Bull, Rupee, Noriega and choreographed for Panamanian artist Los Rakas. Her ambition lead her to New York City, where with a strong connection to the youth, landed her a position spearheading one of the biggest arts/education programs: The Academy at Urban Arts Partnership. At UAP she explored the methodology of creative movement and how it shapes the lives of young people from a political standpoint. As a visual artist, she works under the surname E’KWEL. She invites people of all walks of life to investigate equality through the mediums of styling, visual storytelling and dance. In December of 2015, E’KWEL arrived in Bogota Colombia to style and be featured in Pillar Points Music video DOVE. This lit a fire under her to travel the world, building a foundation for E’KWEL by working with artists from countries across the globe. Currently she is finishing her first self produced short film, which is set to be released at the end of 2016.
Marcella has recently become a fan favorite on Comedy Central’s @midnight and will be featured on an upcoming episode of The UCB Show on Seeso, as well as Tru TV’s Comedy Knockout. She was featured on Viceland’s Flophouse, and in 2015 on NBC’s Last Call with Carson Daly; her stand up has been highlighted on rapper Tyler, The Creator’s mobile app and most recently on The Real. Her Twitter account (@marcellacomedy) has been featured on TIME.com, CNN, Comedy Central and various entertainment websites. She is a regular opener for Last Comic Standing Winner, Felipe Esparza as well as MTV’s Jessimae Peluso. She has opened for David Alan Grier, Norm MacDonald, J.B. Smoove, Hannibal Buress, Ron Funches, Godfrey, Bryan Callen, Aries Spears, Hasan Minhaj, Al Madrigal, Joey Coco Diaz, Melanie Comarcho, Melissa Villasenor and has shared a stage with Bill Burr, Paul Mooney and Robin Williams.
Breathwork Meditation Teacher
Lisa De Narvaez has been immersed in studying, teaching, and facilitating the healing arts for over two decades. She is an NYU certified life coach, breathwork facilitator, and human design specialist. Her primary work is to help her clients realize their full potential and heal their deepest fears, blocks, and negative beliefs by helping them tap into and remember who they truly are with compassion and grace. She specializes in working with individuals who are seeking to deepen their own awareness and find true life balance and fulfillment and has worked with clients in the US, Europe, Africa, and South America. Her vision, commitment, and driving force is to facilitate a true and sustainable shift from a paradigm of fear, limitation, and separation to a paradigm of love and connection.
Visual Artist and Filmmaker
Fab 5 Freddy is a late-1970s graffiti artist and one of the first to exhibit his paintings internationally. Along with friends and contemporaries like Futura 2000, Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Lee Quinones, Fab was key in elevating New York graffiti into the art movement that would eventually give birth to street art. Born Fred Brathwaite in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, his introduction to pop culture came courtesy of a name check on Blondie’s 1980 hit “Rapture.” In addition to his art, Fab produced, starred in, and composed the cult classic movie Wild Style and went on to produce music videos for numerous hip-hop stars. He hosted Yo! MTV Raps and was later the head of independent label Pallas records. Fab has lectured at schools and universities around the world, published articles for publications including Vibe, XXL, and The New York Times Magazine, and written a book on hip-hop slang called Fresh Fly Flavor, Words and Phrases of the Hip-Hop Generation. Today Fab is focused on making visual art, and was recently featured in the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art’s Art in the Streets.
Cofounder and Chair, Eliza Corporation and Cofounder, Engage with Grace
Alexandra Drane is the cofounder and chairman of the board of Eliza Corporation and cofounder of Engage with Grace. She has founded four companies and two nonprofits and sits on the boards of multiple health organizations, including TEDMED, the Harvard Executive Sleep Council, and Coalition to Transform Advanced Care. Alex was appointed by the governor to the Board of Directors for the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative and is part of the Health Executive Leadership Network. She was named one of Disruptive Women in Health Care’s Women to Watch in 2014, and one of the *Boston Globe*’s Top 100 Women Leaders in 2013. Alex, whose name is on several patents, appears on *Boston Business Journal*’s 40 Under 40 and Healthspottr’s Future Health 100 list.
Writer and Media Maker
Darnell L. Moore is a senior editor and correspondent at Mic and co-managing editor at The Feminist Wire. He is the host of The Movement, a critically acclaimed digital docu-series. He is writer-in-residence at the Center on African American Religion, Sexual Politics and Social Justice at Columbia University and is presently working on a memoir tentatively titled, No Ashes In The Fire.
Einat Admony is chef and owner of the Balaboosta, Bar Bolonat, and Taïm restaurants in New York City and author of Balaboosta: Bold Mediterranean Recipes to Feed the People You Love.
Her life has been an adventure. After growing up in Tel Aviv, she secured illicit rations for her kitchen as a cook in the Israeli Army, walked away from college after two months, traipsed around Germany as a gypsy, then packed up her life to move to New York City and work at “a million venerable kitchens around the city,” according to The New Yorker.
Then things got interesting. Inspired by the street food of her native Tel Aviv, Einat opened the falafel joint Taïm (tah·eem) in Manhattan’s West Village in 2005. In 2010, she launched Balaboosta in Nolita where the manner of cooking is not so much Middle Eastern as Mediterranean. Her most recent venture is Bar Bolonat, a West Village eatery named one of the best new restaurants of 2014 by New York Times critic Pete Wells.
Her way with ingredients has been lauded repeatedly by The New Yorker, The New York Times, and New York Magazine, among many others, and her way with people was noted by The New York Times’ critic Sam Sifton: “Admony…runs Balaboosta exactly as if she’d invited a room full of strangers for dinner, then told her family to be nice to them.”
Einat is married to Stefan Nafziger. Together they own and operate Balaboosta, Bar Bolonat, and Taïm. They live in Brooklyn with their two young children, Liam and Mika. When Einat is not at the restaurant she can be found at home, cooking for the crowd of family and friends continually gathered around her dining table.
Rabbi and Director of International Relations, Shorashim/Judur/Roots
Hanan Schlesinger is an Orthodox rabbi and teacher, and a passionate Zionist settler who has been profoundly transformed by his friendship with Palestinian peace activist Ali Abu Awwad. His understanding of the reality of the Middle East conflict and of Zionism has been utterly complicated by the parallel universe that Ali has introduced him to.
Originally hailing from New York, Rav Hanan made aliya (ascent) to the Holy Land on his own at the age of 20 and has lived over the Green Line, in Alon Shvut, Gush Etzion, for over 30 years. His family background is Reform, but already at the end of high school he began delving into observant Judaism. He has spent over 10 years learning in Israeli Talmudic seminaries and also studied towards a MA in Jewish Philosophy at Hebrew University. His professional career has been dedicated to teaching Jewish studies in various colleges and seminaries in the Jerusalem area, and well as in different frameworks in Florida and Texas.
It was in Dallas about 9 years ago that he began to become involved in interfaith work, first with Christians and then with Muslims. There he founded Faiths in Conversation, a framework for Jewish - Christian – Muslim theological dialogue. The mind-expanding experience of these trialogues inspired him to attempt to meet Muslims and Christians back in the Holy Land.
Although always drawn to pluralism and deeply empathic for the other, and sporadically involved in the religious peace movement over the course of the past 3 decades, Rav Hanan never ever met a Palestinian as an equal until he returned to Gush Etzion from Dallas about two and a half years ago. The meetings that began then have become far more meaningful than he could ever have imagined. He found himself part of the small team that founded Roots/Shorashim/Judur, a Palestinian Israeli Local Initiative for Understanding, Nonviolence and Transformation, and has dedicated himself to bringing reconciliation to that tiny sliver of land that both Palestinians and Israelis call home.
Founder & Co-CEO, Thrive Market
Gunnar Lovelace is a serial entrepreneur in nonprofits, technology, fashion and real estate. Most recently he is the founder and Co-CEO of Thrive Market, an online wholesale buying club on a mission to make healthy living easy and affordable for every American family. Thrive Market currently offers the 4,000 most popular natural and organic products in the world at 25-50% off retail, shipped anywhere in the U.S. for free. For every paid member on the site, the company also sponsors a free membership for a low-income family. Previously he co-founded Love Heals - a conscious jewelry company that has funded the planting of over 1,500,000 trees and sponsored of over 50,000 malnourished children. Prior to Love Heals, Gunnar started two technology companies in Los Angeles in software education and natural language processing, both of which were sold. In addition to his for-profit companies, Gunnar has started two non-profits in education and environmental training.
Founder & Creative Director, Bounce Fitness
A native of New Iberia, Louisiana, Marissa “MoeJoe” Joseph specializes in folk dance, labeling her dance style, as well as herself, Afro-Creole. MoeJoe is a performer, teacher, dance fitness leader, and entrepreneur who showcases the Southern and Creole dance experience through her dance workout, Bounce Fitness, for which she is the founder and creative director.
Ph.D. Journalist, Historian & Spiritualista
Maytha Alhassen is a University of Southern California (USC) Provost Ph.D. Fellow in American Studies and Ethnicity. Her work in and outside academia bridges the worlds of social justice, academic research, and artistic expression. In 2007, an unexpected foray into hosting and broadcast journalism began with the Arab American TV variety show, “What’s Happening.” For the last five years, she has been a guest co-host and digital producer on Al Jazeera English's social media focused program, "The Stream," and has appeared or written for various major media outlets and academic journals. In 2012, Alhassen co-edited a book on the Arab uprisings, youth, and social media with journalist Ahmed Shihab-Eldin, Demanding Dignity: Young Voices from the Front Lines of the Arab Revolutions.
Director, Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine
Dr. Mark Hyman is dedicated to tackling the root causes of chronic disease by harnessing the power of functional medicine and social networks to transform healthcare. Mark is a ten-time No. 1 New York Times bestselling author, and an internationally recognized leader, speaker, educator, and activist in his field. He is also the director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, the founder and director of the UltraWellness Center, chairman of the board of the Institute for Functional Medicine, and a medical editor of The Huffington Post. In 2015, Mark helped introduce the ENRICH Act into Congress to fund nutrition in medical education.
Artist, APACHE Skateboards
Douglas Miles is a designer, artist, critic, writer, actor, photographer, producer, director, muralist, public speaker, and curator. His brand, Apache Skateboards, is a platform for creative projects and collaborations. He sponsors a team of Native youth who provide skate events in Indian Country.
Thomas Dale is one of the fastest-rising talents in the stand-up comedy world. He’s been seen on Adam Devine’s House Party and Fox’s New Girl, was a regular on Chelsea Lately, and can be seen on HBO’s Funny as Hell and Seeso. His late-night debut was on the Craig Ferguson show. In 2012, he was a New Face in Montreal’s Just for Laughs comedy festival and returned to the festival in 2016 to perform on “The Nasty Show.” He will be one of the featured comics at this year’s festival, JFL42 in Toronto. In 2015, Thomas released his debut comedy album, Love, Me.
For the past ten years, Ally Bogard has led yoga classes, retreats, alignment immersions, and teacher trainings for dedicated students and teachers throughout the world. Co-owner of Canada-based school Gaiatri Yoga, she teaches with an emphasis on thoughtful alignment and sequencing to allow the physical and energetic body to hold and emit higher frequencies of light and power. Asana, meditation, self-observation, shamanic and prayer-based practices, and time spent in deep nature inform her practice and teaching. To Ally, there is no greater act of creativity than the re-creation of the self as love.
Rev. Osagyefo Sekou, Pentecostal Preacher, Author, Artist and Activist
Jay-Marie Hill, Artist, Musician, Activist and Renegade
Rev. Sekou & the Holy Ghost is a symphony of gospel, blues, soul, funk, and freedom songs laced with sanctified blues and lyrics that range from religious to risqué. The group's members, Reverend Osagyefo Sekou & Jay-Marie Hill, met at The Movement for Black Lives gathering in July 2015 when Rev. Sekou washed pepper spray off Jay-Marie's face after police sprayed the crowd. Unexpectedly reuniting weeks later in Oakland, Calif., they penned “The Revolution Has Come,” and released the album in January 2016. Writer, producer, and lead vocalist Rev. Sekou is a third generation Pentecostal preacher and long time organizer, author, and activist grounded in the traditions of liberation theology and the Arkansas Delta Blues. Singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist Jay-Marie Hill (she/they) is a Black y Boricua genderQueer activist, teacher and renegade born and raised in the Oakland Bay Area.
Founder and CEO, Working Nation
Art Bilger is founder and CEO of Working Nation, a national nonprofit campaign to educate Americans about the looming unemployment crisis and to start overcoming the challenge. Art is an active investor in early-stage private companies focused on online education, digital media, and data analytics. He is a member of the board of overseers and the executive committee at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, where he is also the founding funder of the Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative, an entity focused on the evolution of data analytics in the corporate world. Art also works with the Skirball Cultural Center, Bet Tzedek, the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging, and the Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy and Jobs.
Founder and CEO, Global Institute for Tomorrow
Chandran Nair is the founder and CEO of the Global Institute for Tomorrow, an independent pan-Asian think tank based in Hong Kong that is focused on advancing a deeper understanding of global issues affecting Asia. He is a biochemical engineer by training and was chairman of Environmental Resources Management in Asia Pacific until 2004, establishing the company as Asia’s leading environmental consultancy. Chandran is a regular speaker at the World Economic Forum, APEC Summits, OECD events, and various UN conferences, and a member of WEF’s Global Agenda Council on Governance for Sustainability. He is the author of Consumptionomics: Asia’s Role in Reshaping Capitalism and Saving the Planet, and the creator of the Other Hundred, a nonprofit global photojournalism initiative to present a counterpoint to media consensus on some of today’s most important issues.
Kia LaBeija is a multidisciplinary artist born and raised in the heart of New York City’s Theater District. Her work explores the intersections of community, politics, fine art, and activism. A performer by nature, LaBeija is a former member of the iconic House of LaBeija and an active member of New York City’s ballroom community and holds titles from the New York Awards Ball, the Latex Ball, and House Dance International. In this vein, she has performed and curated events in collaboration with MoMA PS1, the Brooklyn Museum, Afropunk, H&M, Fergie, and Red Bull Music Academy. She speaks frequently on the subject of HIV/AIDS and is an advocate for underrepresented communities living HIV-positive lives. Kia is a featured artist in the 2016 exhibition Art AIDS America.
Founder, President, and Director of Research, Soil Foodweb
Dr. Elaine Ingham is the founder, president, and director of research for Soil Foodweb, a business that grew out of her Oregon State University research program. Her research encompasses organisms and their relationships to the natural environments around them. Behind her user-friendly approach to research lies a wealth of knowledge gained from years of study of the organisms that make up the soil food web. Her goal is to translate this knowledge into actions to ensure a healthy food web, promote plant growth, and reduce reliance on inorganic chemicals. Elaine also offers a pioneering vision for sustainable farming, one that restores soil to a healthier state without damaging any other ecosystem.
Model and Founder of Gender Proud
Geena is the founder of Gender Proud, an advocacy and media production company that tells stories to elevate justice and equality for the transgender community. She is a model, producer, trans-rights advocate, and co-host of ASPIREist, on USA Network. Along with Gender Proud Productions, she produced and presented Beautiful as I Want to Be on LogoTV, highlighting trans youth, and received a Special Recognition Award at the 2016 GLAAD Media Awards. Gender Proud also produced Willing and Able, a Web series about transgender employment, and No League of Their Own, a TV documentary about transgender athletes. Geena has spoken at the White House and the United Nations, appeared on such shows as I Am Cait and Today, and been featured in New York magazine, Vanity Fair, The Advocate, and other publications.
Executive Chef and Partner, Leona
Chef Nyesha Arrington was named a Rising Star by Brad Johnson of Angeleno in 2010. In 2011, she appeared simultaneously on two reality cooking shows as a contestant: Bravo’s Top Chef: Texas and the Food Network’s Chef Hunter, where she won the competition. In 2012, Nyesha was recognized by Zagat.com as one of the 30 Under 30: L.A.’s Hottest Up-and-Comers, as well as Where LA’s top talent under 30. She was also profiled in the LA Weekly’s People issue as one of the 69 most interesting people to watch in 2012. She has appeared on KTLA and on KCRW’s Good Food. She is an enthusiastic supporter of the Santa Monica Farmers Market and numerous community organizations, including Taste of the Nation for Share Our Strength; California Spirit for the American Cancer Society; Plate by Plate for Project by Project; and the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Cooking for Solutions. Most recently, Chef Arrington has crafted the creative cooking vision behind Leona, a neighborhood restaurant in the heart of Venice, California. While in their first year Nyesha has received the title of Chef of the Year from Eater Los Angeles.
Chief Community Builder, Drawdown
Allison Wolff is chief community builder of Project Drawdown, which facilitates a broad coalition to assemble and present the best available information on climate solutions to describe their beneficial financial, social, and environmental impact. She engages a thriving, open ecosystem of developers, creatives, artists, companies, funders, nonprofits, scientists, sages, and citizens that will develop apps and services that enable Project Drawdown’s science to be applied in a variety of contexts, and at scale. In 2004, Allison started Vibrant Planet, where she worked with some of the world’s most well-known brands, including Facebook and Google, on social and sustainability innovation. She has also launched and managed retail brands globally and led marketing at Netflix, where she oversaw the development of the brand and customer experience. At Sypartners, a world-class strategy, communications, and design firm, she devised strategy and culture change initiatives for Nike, HP, and Gap.
Co-Founder, Roots. Founder, Tagyheer
Ali Abu Awwad is a leading Palestinian activist who teaches his countrymen nonviolent resistance and reaches out to Jewish Israelis at the heart of the conflict. He tours the world to tell his riveting story of violent activism, imprisonment, bereavement, and discovery of the path of nonviolent resistance. Jailed by Israel during the First Intifada for stone throwing and membership in a terrorist cell, he learned the tremendous power of nonviolence through voracious reading, being influenced by Gandhi, King, and Mandela. During the Second Intifada, Ali was shot by an Israeli in a drive-by shooting and evacuated to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment. While in the hospital, he received word that his beloved brother had been shot and killed by an Israeli soldier at a checkpoint. It was in the context of the Bereaved Families Forum with people from both sides who have lost loved ones in the conflict that he began to learn how to channel his pain and anger into nonviolent resistance and reaching over the chasm that divides Palestinians and Israelis.
Two-Spirited Indigenous Educator
A Canadian two-spirit/transgender, male-to-female indigenous woman from the province of British Columbia, Saylesh Wesley has worked diligently to understand what it means to be a two-spirited person in the Coast Salish family and community. Historically, two-spirited people existed all across “Turtle Island” (North America) and had specific roles that were often accepted and valued. She has focused her work on re-imagining and re-creating what this role means for her traditional territory. Saylesh is also a certified educator in the K–12 system and has served as a post-secondary lecturer. Prior to her work as a graduate student, queer indigenous theory did not have anything to turn to as it relates to Sto:lo People, one of many Coast Salish nations. She made it her mission to make this contribution, publishing a mini-auto-narrative in 2014 alongside her current work in schools.
Born and raised in northern New Jersey, Jess Bielski ditched the snow and earned her degree in communication from the University of Miami. She found her passion for teaching indoor cycling at an early age and knew she had to create a career around it. Jess loves that she can motivate others to reach their goals, crush them, and set new ones. When she’s not teaching, she can be found boxing at the World Famous 5th St. Gym in Miami Beach, lounging on the beach at Soho House, or out with friends indulging in all Miami has to offer.
Founding Scientist, President, Regeneron Laboratories & Chief Scientific Officer
Dr. Yancopoulos graduated as valedictorian of both the Bronx High School of Science and Columbia College, and earned his advanced degrees at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. Following widely-recognized work in the field of molecular immunology at Columbia with Dr. Fred Alt, Dr. Yancopoulos left academia in 1989 as founding scientist for Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, where he continues to serve as President of the Laboratories and Chief Scientific Officer. He is also adjunct full professor at Columbia University and was awarded Columbia’s Stevens Triennial prize for Research and the University Medal of Excellence for Distinguished Achievement. Dr. Yancopoulos is widely regarded as a world leader in several fields of biology and has authored more than 350 scientific manuscripts. According to a study by the Institute for Scientific Information, Dr. Yancopoulos was the eleventh most highly cited scientist in the world during the 1990's. In 2004, he was elected to both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Sciences. Dr. Yancopoulos’ scientific efforts have focused on the discovery of growth factors (such as the neurotrophins, ephrins and angiopoietins), their receptors, and their signaling pathways, as well as on developing new platforms for target and drug discovery such as Trap Technology, VelociGene and VelocImmune. His research has led to unifying models of molecular and biologic function, as well as new approaches to treating disease. Dr. Yancopoulos and his team have progressed numerous drug candidates to human trials, including the IL1-Trap which has recently been approved for treatment of an orphan inflammatory disease, the VEGF Trap for cancer and blinding eye diseases, and several fully human monoclonal antibodies for various indications, derived using VelocImmune technology.
General Manager, Agern Restaurant
Katie Bell was born in New Zealand, grew up in Iowa, and spent summers in Germany and the South Pacific. After coordinating special events for the Hawaii International Film Festival, she moved to Los Angeles to work in advertising for Apple. While those years honed her sense of design and branding and love of skinny jeans, she missed the culinary world. She returned to restaurants to run Ford’s Filling Station in Culver City. After moving to New York City, she worked at Thomas Keller’s Per Se and became the service director for Blue Hill restaurant. In 2015, Katie oversaw Dan Barber’s pop-up restaurant Wasted, then helped open Union Square Hospitality Group’s Untitled Restaurant in the Whitney Museum of American Art, before she fell in love with a construction site in Grand Central Terminal. Katie is the general manager of Agern restaurant in Grand Central, where she works to create a fine dining experience for guests with warmth, humor, and refinement and aims to offer a place for the restaurant’s team to grow, invest in their community, and be a part of a larger ecosystem of sustainable sourcing, partnerships, and employment.
Media Maker and Human Rights Activist
Tiq Milan is a prolific writer and inspirational public speaker who has been a national spokesman for GLAAD and a strategic media consultant. He began his work over a decade ago as a frontline youth worker for homeless and marginalized youth in New York City while freelancing as a pop culture and music journalist. He started his gender transition in 2007 and subsequently stepped back from journalism to focus on community building and his own transgender journey. It was during this time that he realized his transition was a model of possibility, and media was going to be his tool for advocacy. Tiq now speaks nationally, with his wife, Kim Katrin Milan, about reimagining black masculinity and centering love as a pillar of social activism and cultural change. He is one of the leading voices for transgender equality and racial justice in the country, whose essays have appeared in the Guardian, the New York Times, Mic, BET, Ebony, and a host of other publications, discussing race, trans-ness, and masculinity. He was named part of the New Black Vanguard by Out Magazine. Tiq has won several awards for his media advocacy from organizations like the Hispanic Black Gay Coalition, Black Transman Advocacy Inc., the National Trans Latina Coalition, and the National Pride Index. He’s been recognized by BET, Vanity Fair, and MTV as well. He recently had the honor of presenting Logo’s posthumous Trailblazer award to Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson, legendary transgender activists.
Straight out of culinary school, Jesse Barber completed an externship at the French Laundry and Bouchon Bistro in Napa, California, where he refined his French techniques and experienced the intensity and discipline required to run a restaurant. Jesse was the chef de cuisine at Marché in Eugene, Oregon and worked with the acclaimed Bruce Carey Restaurant Group in Portland. He moved to Los Angeles and became the chef de cuisine at the Tasting Kitchen, named one of GQ’s Best New Restaurants in 2010. He curated the culinary program for Summit Eden, hosted a series of pop-up dinners around Los Angeles, and was the chef of Barnyard. With Jesse’s classical French training, experience in Italian kitchens, and love of Japanese cuisine, he has found a unique, clear voice. He opened Dudley Market in 2015 to give the Venice neighborhood of Los Angeles an elevated version of the neighborhood bistro. It received rave reviews from critics and customers for its approach to everyday luxury and its contemporary approach to fine dining.
Academic, Creative Director, and Storyteller
Sahar Ullah is a Ph.D. candidate in Arabic and comparative literature at Columbia University, where she teaches and is completing her dissertation on the erotic prelude in medieval Arabic-Islamic poetry. She is a recipient of the 2016 Literature Humanities Teaching Award, and her interests include representations of Islam and Muslims in medieval and early modern European literature. Sahar is a Public Humanities fellow for the New York Council for the Humanities. She is also co-founder, creative director, head writer, and performer for the Hijabi Monologues theater project. In addition to offering storytelling workshops, Sahar consults for international theater partners in the development of local productions. She has been featured in a number of media outlets and was invited to speak at the United Nations about her work.
Founder, Four Sigmatic Foods
Tero Isokauppila is a 13th-generation family farmer hailing from Finland. Now based in Santa Monica, California, Tero lectures and teaches the alchemy of chocolate making and the benefits of various superfoods. In 2012, Tero founded Four Sigmatic, best known for its mushroom coffee products.
CEO/Founder, Performance Freediving International
Kirk Krack is one of the world’s leading authorities on freediving, a sport that relies on holding one’s breath underwater instead of using scuba gear. He coached seven people to 23 world records and teaches a breath-hold special operations program to three countries’ special operation forces. Kirk has trained many celebrities, including Tom Cruise for an underwater scene in the latest Mission Impossible movie, Margot Robbie for Suicide Squad, and David Blaine for his 2008 world record oxygen breath-hold of 17 minutes, 4 seconds. Kirk played Batman in the underwater scene in Suicide Squad and worked as an underwater videographer on the Oscar-winning movie The Cove and the Emmy-winning documentary Racing Extinction. Kirk is a safety adviser for Divewise.org and was a founder of the Canadian Association of Freediving and Apnea and the United States Apnea Association. His company, Performance Freediving International, is the longest-running freedive certification agency in North America, having trained more than 10,000 people since its formation in 2000.
Breaking seven world records and thirteen national records has made Mandy-Rae an inspiration to many. She is frequently seen at places like Red Bull camps, sharing insights with well-known athletes, speaking to corporate groups about breaking through personal boundaries, and working with the best of the business world, where she shows them that even the best of the best can do the seemingly impossible and become even better. When Mandy-Rae is not at special events, she teaches freediving as a PFI instructor and runs the operational side of the family business. Performance Freediving has been around since 2000, teaching PFI freediving programs to people all over the world. Its offerings range from snorkeling to courses for aspiring competitive freedivers or spearfishermen to programs for those wanting a career in freediving as a PFI instructor.
Founder of Beaming
Lisa Odenweller is the visionary behind Beaming, a fast-growing lifestyle brand on a mission to inspire vibrant wellness in people of all ages. Chosen as one of Mindbodygreen’s 100 Women to Watch in Wellness, Lisa is dedicated to sharing the power of plant-based food in a way that changes lives and supports healthy families and communities. Her combined passion for food and wellness drove the creation of Beaming Organic Superfood Cafes, unique settings for experiencing the abundant benefits of clean eating. Beaming has six locations in Los Angeles and San Diego, plus an online store and diverse educational resources to broaden its reach. Previously, Lisa was a director at numerous Silicon Valley software companies, including Oracle and Broadvision, and founded LMO Designs, a successful window-coverings and interior design company, and Peppered Pearl, a philanthropic online jewelry store representing artisans around the world. Lisa has been featured on Fox 11 in Los Angeles and ABC News as well as in Vogue, Self, and the Los Angeles Times.
Food Innovator, Hotelier, and Entrepreneur
Daniella Hunter is a holistic food innovator, hotelier, and entrepreneur. Her conscious-living brands, the Real Coconut Cafe and Sanará Tulum hotel, have received many accolades. Severe childhood asthma and a lifetime of poor health inspired Daniella’s journey toward healing; she delved into many different diet and cleanse programs to seek the answers for a vital life for herself and to share with others. Dissatisfied with what she found, she formulated her philosophy of digestive health and sustainability, personally and for the planet, which led to the birth of the Real Coconut in Mexico. The café is expanding into the United States with new outlets and a retail product line that will be available in Whole Foods in 2017. The development of a new Sanará Belize beach hotel and residences development is under way. Daniella is director of the Belize Sustainable Development Corporation, coordinating wild harvesting and boutique farming of crops used by the Real Coconut and its partners. She dedicates her free time to wildlife rehabilitation and, as a co-founder and governor of the Tulum International School, to providing a passion- and inquiry-based curriculum to children in Tulum.
Master Sommelier and Co-Founder, Verve Wine
Dustin Wilson is a master sommelier based in New York City. He has worked at some of the top restaurants in the United States, including Frasca Food & Wine in Boulder, Colorado, the Little Nell in Aspen, Colorado, and RN74 in San Francisco. Dustin served as wine director of the three-Michelin-starred restaurant Eleven Madison Park. He had a leading role in the critically acclaimed wine documentary Somm and was featured in the sequel, Somm: Into the Bottle. He has also appeared on the Esquire TV show Uncorked. Dustin is the co-founder of Vallin, a winery in Santa Barbara, California, that focuses on making Syrah and other Rhône grape varieties. He is also the co-founder of Verve Wine, an e-commerce wine retailer startup based in New York City.
Neuroscience Professor, Stanford University
Andrew Huberman is a tenured professor of neurobiology and ophthalmology at Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California. His laboratory studies neural plasticity, regeneration of the healthy and diseased brain, and the question of how emotional value is assigned to sensory experiences. Andrew lives with one foot planted in elite experimental neuroscience and the other foot in the future of applied neuroscience. This makes him uniquely positioned to act as a bridge between where the field is now and where it’s going. Above all, Andrew is passionate about bringing awareness to the world about how the brain works, and is developing state-of-the-art tools to rewire the brain in order to enhance cognitive and physical performance and to alleviate suffering and positively shape the human experience.
Chef, Consultant, and Entrepreneur
Recognized as one of Zagat’s 30 Under 30 in 2013, Tim West is a slow-food chef turned social entrepreneur. He is a Culinary Institute of America graduate and grandson of Arch West, the inventor of Doritos. Tim cut his teeth in the kitchens at the St. Regis New York and the Facebook headquarters in California before entering the world of entrepreneurship. Tim co-created the Food Hackathon + Forum as a business-plan competition and alternative-educational experience to encourage entrepreneurs to work on more meaningful problems and to expose corporate teams to a more collaborative and inspiring working methodology. He founded True West Ventures, a consulting and experiential-educational design agency specializing in facilitating conversations on the future of food, food systems, food hacking, food entrepreneurship, and food culture. Tim has designed learning journeys, spoken on panels, and advised and worked with various large companies and small startups, including Airbnb, the Deloitte Center for the Edge, Singularity University, and Barnraiser.
Los Angeles native Kassia Meador grew up surfing in the Pacific, refining her skills on the plentiful point breaks. She turned pro at 17 and started traveling the world. Being exposed to a variety of people and cultures inspired her to document her experiences through photography. She also designed wetsuits for Roxy, igniting a women’s wetsuit revolution. In 2011, her explorative nature led her to play crystal singing bowls with UFO 2012. They toured for two years, playing sound baths and experiential performance art shows. Kassia has since played ambient music shows, private sound baths, and explorative sound healing sessions individually and in collaboration with other musicians, energy workers, and sound healers. She left sponsored surfing in 2012, and in 2015 launched Kassia + Surf, a line of visually dynamic, superior-quality space tie-dyed women’s wetsuits, neoprene swimsuits and tote bags, and palo santo–infused surf wax. She creates her pieces in the same conscious, sustainable way she lives.
Professor of Dance and Cultural Storyteller
Chris Walker is an associate professor of dance at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the recipient of numerous scholarships and awards, including the Thayer Fellowship and the Romnes Faculty Fellowship from UW-Madison. He is a choreographer with the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica and program director for the New Waves Dance and Performance Institute, which is based in Trinidad and Tobago and has programs throughout the African Diaspora. Walker is known for his unique blend of traditional and popular dance that creates critical conversations in contemporary dance language. His works investigate performance in the Diaspora, with a focus on how rhythm and movement language is generated, shared, stored, and passed down, and the spaces that make this possible. He has collaborated and presented work with artists throughout the Caribbean, North and South America, Asia, and Europe. His collaboration with Kashedance, Facing Home: Love & Redemption, is touring in North America and features philosophical and theatrical elements from Jamaican dancehall as central movement and space expression.
Officially recognized by the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism, Lama Rod Owens received his teaching authorization after spending more than three years in silent group retreat at Kagyu Thubten Chöling Monastery, in New York. Lama Owens served as the resident lama and program director for Kagyu Drupgyu Chödzong, in Washington, D.C. One of the emerging leaders of the next generation of dharma teachers, Lama Owens encourages conversations about subjects that affect everyone but that we’re scared to talk about, like sex, race, identity, gender, class, power, and depression, through his platform, Unmasked. He is a core teacher with the Natural Dharma Fellowship and is pursuing a master’s at Harvard Divinity School, where he focuses on the intersection of social change, identity, and spiritual practice. He has written for and been featured in several publications, including Buddhadharma, Lion’s Roar, and the Harvard Divinity Bulletin. As part of his commitment to inspiring social change, he recently co-wrote Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation.
Co-Founders, Sky Ting Yoga
Krissy Jones and Chloe Kernaghan founded Sky Ting Yoga in July 2015. By leading programs to train yoga teachers and yoga retreats together and studying with their mentor, Nevine Michaan of Katonah Yoga, Krissy and Chloe developed a unified vision for Sky Ting. Since the studio opened, their team has built a prominent brand, a devoted student body, a vibrant community, and an inspired group of teachers.
Creator and CEO, GROOV3
Benjamin Allen is an entertainment industry insider and the mastermind behind the fitness movement GROOV3. Named the Best New Fitness DVD of 2015 by American Fitness magazine and the “coolest all-levels dance class” by Elle, GROOV3 engages hundreds of people weekly as they sweat to the beat of a live DJ in a unique music video environment. The motto is instructive and simple: dance, sweat, live. The mission of GROOV3 is to inspire change and build communities through the power of dance. The movement has caught the attention of Ellen, Extra, and ABC News.
Jason Nemer is the co-founder of Acroyoga, which combines acrobatics, yoga, and healing arts. As an adolescent, Jason discovered acrobatics and was hooked. During his teenage years he trained with some of the top Russian and Bulgarian acrobatic masters and competed internationally. When Jason was 16, he represented the United States at the 1991 World Championships of Sports Acrobatics in Beijing. In 1996, he performed acrobatics in the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. Yoga came into his life during his last semester of college, and after that first class in 2001 there was no looking back. Connection to the breath and the lifestyle philosophy of yoga captured him, and Acroyoga was born shortly after. Jason believes this practice can be used as a tool to heal and connect people in a playful dance that can promote global peace.
Founder, Ziva Meditation
Emily Fletcher is one of the world’s leading experts in meditation. She has been invited to teach at Google, Harvard Business School, Viacom, and Relativity Media. Emily began her ten years of training in meditation in Rishikesh, India, under world-renowned instructors. She was inspired to share this practice with others after experiencing the profound physical and mental benefits it provided her during her career on Broadway, which included roles in Chicago, The Producers, and A Chorus Line. With her high-performance background and her eight years of meditation experience, Emily is perfectly suited to teach busy people how to incorporate meditation, a simple and hugely effective practice, into their lives. She was a speaker at the Global Alliance for Transformational Entertainment with Jim Carrey and Eckhart Tolle, and at the Omega Institute with Jon Gabriel. Emily was chosen as one of Mindbodygreen’s 100 Women to Watch in Wellness and has appeared on Huffpost Live
Nicholas Morgenstern has worked for the past nine years as a pastry chef in some of this country’s most prestigious kitchens. He has spent time in the kitchen of Daniel Boulud’s New York Times four-star-rated restaurant Daniel. Nicholas’s most recent work was as the pastry chef under Paul Liebrandt at Gilt, and before that he was at Gramercy Tavern, where he developed an unparalleled reputation as a master of his craft. In July 2008, he opened the General Greene, a full-service restaurant in Brooklyn, where he brought to bear the experience he’d gained from working in acclaimed kitchens. In 2010, he opened Goat Town, in Manhattan’s East Village, serving seasonal American fare with a focus on simple quality; he turned this into GG’s pizzeria in 2014. In 2013, he opened El Rey Coffee Bar & Luncheonette, a café in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. In 2014, Nicholas opened his first ice cream parlor, Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream.
Principal Investigator and Director, OpenAG Initiative
Caleb Harper is the principal investigator and director of the Open Agriculture (OpenAG) Initiative at the MIT Media Lab. He leads a diverse group of engineers, architects, and scientists in the exploration and development of future food systems. His group is developing an open-source agricultural hardware, software, and data common with the goal of creating a more agile, transparent, and collaborative food system. Caleb is a National Geographic explorer and a member of the World Economic Forum’s New Vision for Agriculture Transformation Leaders Network. His work has been featured in *Time, Wired, The Economist,* IEEE, the World Urban Forum, USAID, and TED. Prior to joining the Media Lab in 2011, Caleb was a professional architect, designing and developing data centers, healthcare facilities, and semiconductor fabrication facilities. He has also consulted for several international development agencies.
Producer, Writer, and Actress
Cristela Alonzo made TV history in 2014 by being the first Latina to create, produce, and star in a network TV sitcom, Cristela. This capped a whirlwind year during which she released Some of the Hits, her first stand-up CD, through Comedy Central, was a viewer favorite as a featured guest host on ABC's The View, and acted in her first feature film, Angry Birds. She will be releasing her first hour stand-up special on Netflix in early 2017. Cristela has performed at the Melbourne Comedy Festival and the Bonnaroo Music Festival and is a favorite at the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal. The Half Hour, her first half-hour special, filmed in Boston, premiered in June 2013 on Comedy Central.
Artist and Activist
As an artist and activist, Scott Whitaker creates multi-dimensional art using a unique combination of technology and design. Scott works entirely from recycled materials from virtually every medium, incorporating new technologies into his pieces, which not only educate and inspire a clean, healthy planet but also are useful to the community. Through his large-scale, public, and often mobile art, Scott has acted as an advocate for the environment and touched thousands with his study of light, sound, sacred geometry, and electricity.
President, CEO, and Founder of Acorda Therapeutics
Ron Cohen, M.D., is president, CEO, and founder of Acorda Therapeutics, a public biotechnology company developing therapies for disorders of the nervous system, including multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and epilepsy. Ron was previously principal in the startup and an officer of Advanced Tissue Sciences, a biotechnology company engaged in the growth of human organ tissues for transplantation uses. He sits on many boards, including the Biotechnology Industry Organization and VBL Therapeutics, and has served on the board for the emerging-companies section of BIO, the New York Biotechnology Association, and Columbia-Presbyterian Health Sciences Advisory Council. Acorda Therapeutics has been recognized as one of the Best Companies to Work for in New York State.
Breathwork Meditation Teachers
Goldish was founded in New York City by mother-daughter duo Yafit and Tyler Goldfarb. It is a shop, temple space, and photo and recording studio, encompassing all elements that activate the body and mind. The shop, which consists of handmade jewelry, designed and produced in-house, local goods, and instruments such as crystal singing bowls, tuning forks, kong drums, and flutes, serves as a place to educate and inspire. The temple space hosts sound experiences, yoga, meditation, dinners, and other gatherings. The photo and recording studio offers a space for artists to collaborate or rent. Together, Yafit and Tyler have cultivated a shared sound experience that includes a water ceremony, sound bath, and energy work. The focus is on activating the stagnant water and energy inside your body to move and awaken your potential.
Mixed Media Artist
Los Angeles–based artist Alexa Meade is known for creating human body portraits, in which she transforms real live people into seemingly 2-D works of art. Growing up in Washington, D.C., she originally carved out a career in politics, interning on Capitol Hill and working for the 2008 Obama campaign. After graduating from Vassar College, she found her true calling as an artist and started with a simple idea to put black paint over natural shadows. This evolved into her painting the mapping of light directly on top of 3-D spaces, creating the illusion of a world as a 2-D painting. Alexa now travels the world creating art installations and commissioned portraits and exhibiting her work, which has received critical acclaim from CNN, Wired, the Wall Street Journal, and more.
Carmen Vicente is a medicine woman, a carrier of the sacred art of altars, and the creator of the School of Secrets and Gatherings of the Vagina events in America and Europe. Born in the province of Loja, Ecuador, she is the heir of a spiritual lineage and has been recognized in her community since birth for her gifts as a healer. Since 2004, Carmen has led women’s gatherings in Ecuador, Chile, Colombia, the United States, and Europe. A regular speaker and lecturer in diverse festivals and educational spaces, she continues to work to strengthen the design of women’s gatherings. Carmen resides between Ecuador and Canada.
Percussionist, Educator, and Performing Artist
Nakeiltha “Nikki” Campbell is a percussionist, educator, and performing artist who travels worldwide promoting empowerment through celebration of African cultural heritage. Nikki founded Bridges of Power (Puentes de Poder), a movement highlighting the transcendence of art across boundaries. Born in Colón, Panamá, she’s committed to women’s exploration of drumming. Her recording credits include collaborations with Kahlil Cummings, Aloe Blacc (on “Let the Games Begin,” the theme song from the film Race), and Kendrick Lamar (for the African drums on “Alright” at the 2016 Grammy Awards). She’s toured with Les Amazones de Guinée, Viver Brasil, Adaawe, and the Rebirth. Nikki has performed with Stevie Wonder, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson Ensemble, Rihanna, and Candi Sosa, at the NAACP Awards with will.i.am, on American Idol with Janelle Monáe, and in Shakira’s music video “Waka Waka.” Nikki participates in jazz festivals as a performer and teacher, locally and internationally.
CEO and Founder, Huxley
Ryan Hooks is the CEO of Huxley, which creates self-optimizing smart hydroculture systems. He has spent the past decade creating identities for companies such as Google, UNICEF, and Vevo. Working in the media space, he has helped communicate food, water, population, and resource issues via Food Inc., the G8 summit, and other organizations. In 2013, he entered the tech world with Avbl to help the freelance world connect in real time. In 2014, he created Isabel, a smart food system for the growth and transportation of deliciously efficient produce. Plant Vision by Huxley will be debuting at this year’s Summit at Sea.
Founder, Revolve Impact
Mike de la Rocha is an artist, entrepreneur, and organizer. He is the founder and CEO of Revolve Impact, a global social impact firm combining organizing and the arts to drive communities to action, with an impact portfolio spanning 20 years. Revolve Impact is currently producing #SchoolsNotPrisons, a historic statewide arts and music tour, and recently released Jay Z's scathing illustrated video of the War on Drugs that has gone viral worldwide. In 2014, Mike was selected as one of GOOD Magazine’s top 100 people changing the world and Stanford Social Innovation Review’s top innovators in America, and he received the Hispanicize Positive Impact Award for his work to reduce gun violence. He serves on the board of directors of Harry Belafonte’s Gathering for Justice and the San Fernando Valley Coalition on Gangs. Mike also volunteers for the Last Mile and Jail Guitar Doors, two nonprofit programs working inside state prisons and jails throughout the United States.
Sam Jay is an African American lesbian comedian who hails from Boston. She is creating a buzz in the comedy scene with her new, refreshing perspective. She has performed in venues all along the East Coast and festivals throughout the United States, including Portland’s Bridgetown Comedy Festival, the Laugh Your Asheville Off Comedy Festival, and the Women in Comedy Festival, in Boston. Opening for powerhouse acts like Hannibal Buress and Dave Attell, she has established herself as a rising star. A regular at Gotham Comedy Club and Hollywood Improv, Sam will appear in the upcoming season of The Meltdown on Comedy Central. Sam’s unique but warm style makes her a comedian worth seeing, and one you won’t forget.
Futurist, Artist, Philosopher, Semiotician, Social Justice Evangelist, Practitioner, and Innovator
Tracy Ann Essoglou unpacks social complexities to help others develop their own senses and and competencies. She scapes the particles and particulars of culture, meaning, and power as a concept technologist. Tracy helps build materials whose properties, strengths, vulnerabilities, and limits may or may not carry the weight needed to create the structure desired or required to understand themselves and the society around them.
Actor, Comedian, and Director
Ramy Youssef is an actor and comedian from New Jersey. He has appeared in MTV’s I Just Want My Pants Back and in the Nick at Nite sitcom See Dad Run. Ramy tours internationally doing stand-up comedy and serves as the artistic director for the New York Arab-American Comedy Festival. He has been featured on the BBC and in The Atlantic. Ramy resides in Los Angeles, where he misses New York.
Arthur Baker started his career as a DJ, spinning 45’s in the days before USB sticks and 12-inch discs, before becoming one of the most visible, widely imitated early hip-hop producers. He masterminded breakthrough experimentation with tape edits, sampling, and synthetic beats on songs like Afrika Bambaataa and the Soulsonic Force’s “Planet Rock.” He won a Billboard Trendsetter Award in 1984. Arthur is an internationally renowned producer who has worked with such legends as Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and New Order. He served as music supervisor and produced songs for movies, including Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Pretty in Pink, and ads for Levi’s and Ikea. Throughout his career, Arthur has expressed his social consciousness through music; he produced the anti-apartheid benefit record Sun City, Al Green’s “Leave the Guns at Home,” and a cover of “It’s Only Rock and Roll” that benefited Children’s Promise. He recently produced the music documentaries Finding the Funk and 808 and launched Baked Recordings, which released Good Thing by Paul Young. Arthur continues to DJ worldwide at clubs, fashion shows, and private events. He has residencies at Razzmatazz in Barcelona and the Saxony Bar in Miami and co-owns the fashion label Felder Felder.
CEO, Oxygen Beach Investments
Charlie Stuart Gay is an international businessman and CEO of Oxygen Beach Investments, Sanará Tulum, and related land and sustainability companies in Belize. He is also cofounder of the Real Coconut with his wife, Daniella Hunter. Charlie has a background in entertainment, having managed Cher’s touring and commercial activities. Over his 18 years in entertainment, Charlie produced multiple stadium and arena events and partnered with the former head of Paramount and MGM on film fund financing, marketing, and distribution. He produced a live 3-D concert in South Africa in 2010 and co-founded digital organizations that pioneered live broadcasts on Facebook and other social media platforms. After being invited to be executive director of a land-mine detection 501(c)3, with Nelson Mandela and his wife as patrons, he went on to found a for-profit social enterprise entity, Humanity Unites Brilliance, supporting multiple initiatives in Africa and South America.
Chairman and CEO, Roubini Macro Associates
Nouriel Roubini is the chairman and CEO of Roubini Macro Associates, a global macroeconomic consultancy firm, and an economics professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business. Nouriel has extensive policy experience as well as broad academic credentials. From 1998 to 2000, he served as the senior economist for international affairs on the White House Council of Economic Advisers and then as the senior adviser to the undersecretary for international affairs at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, helping to resolve the Asian and global financial crises, among other issues. The International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and numerous other prominent public and private institutions have drawn upon his consulting expertise. He has published numerous theoretical, empirical, and policy papers on international macroeconomic issues and co-authored Political Cycles and the Macroeconomy, Bailouts or Bail-ins? Responding to Financial Crises in Emerging Economies, and Crisis Economics: A Crash Course in the Future of Finance. Nouriel’s views on global economic issues are widely cited by the media, and he is a frequent commentator on business news programs. He has been the subject of profiles in The New York Times Magazine and other leading publications.
Chairman & CEO Affinia Global Insurance
Barry Johnson advises entrepreneurs, multinational corporations, private equity, and governments as an expert in foreign direct investment, global business expansion, and economic development. Barry is the chairman of Affinia Global, a New York–based holding company established to acquire, modernize, and expand commercial insurance assets, and a global fellow in the University of Texas at Austin’s IC2 Institute, an interdisciplinary “think and do” tank that works to advance wealth creation through entrepreneurship. He is also an executive producer of *The Championship Rounds*, a drama about the cycle-breaking journey of a widowed deaf boxer, and a film based on Jarid Manos’s memoir *Ghetto Plainsman*. Barry served as a senior adviser and director of innovation in the U.S. Economic Development Administration, and then as the founding executive director of SelectUSA, a federal initiative that promotes and facilitates foreign direct investment into the United States. He previously held management positions in the private sector in investment banking, media, and IT. He built a strong track record of skillfully shepherding new concepts from idea to implementation and of launching successful “intrapreneurial” businesses within companies such as Disney and Sony Music.
Futurist Comedian, Writer, and Cultural Critic
Baratunde Thurston recently served as supervising producer for The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, where he oversaw digital expansion. He co-founded Cultivated Wit and Panoply’s About Race podcast and wrote the New York Times bestseller How To Be Black. He is a correspondent with Nat Geo’s Explorer series and the host of Clarify, a video series produced by Spotify and Mic, featuring political conversations with musicians. Baratunde is a highly sought-after public speaker and Internet person whose credits include: columnist for Fast Company, closing speaker for TED and host of TED Talks on PBS, director’s fellow at the MIT Media Lab, director of digital for The Onion, national board member for Build, and gentrifier of Brooklyn, New York.
Executive Director, Kiss the Ground
Lauren Tucker is a community organizer and the executive director of the nonprofit Kiss the Ground. She is most passionate about connecting people to viable solutions for regenerating our ecosystems and communities. Lauren’s passion for community building has led her to projects in Washington, D.C., West Africa, New Orleans, and Southern California. Lauren has studied permaculture design and biodynamic farming, and earned a B.A. in international studies and psychology from American University. She is a mother and an urban farmer.
Founding Faculty Member, Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, New York University
Jason King, Ph.D., is associate professor, director, and the founding faculty member at New York University’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music. A journalist, musician, DJ, and producer, he worked alongside Clive Davis to build and develop the program and served as the first interim chair, associate chair, and artistic director. Jason’s academic essays have been published in numerous anthologies, and he is the author of The Michael Jackson Treasures and a forthcoming book called Blue Magic, on the role of metaphysics and energy in music. He has also written a revisionist biography of Freddie Mercury. Jason is a regular contributor to publications like Pitchfork, Billboard, Buzzfeed, and Slate, and he is a technology writer for Vice. Jason hosts and co-produces NPR’s Noteworthy, a series on the creative process of music superstars, as well as the curator of NPR&B, the radio’s 24/7 R&B channel, and a member of the NPR music team.
Founder and CEO, YING
Karla Ballard is founder and CEO of YING Bank, a time bank and loyalty marketing solution engaging consumers and brands in a complementary currency supporting community and individual rewards. Previously, Karla worked with brands to drive social action. She’s been SVP of Participant Media’s TAG division, an account lead at Ogilvy & Mather for the Affordable Care Act content marketing engagement, and global account lead for Sony Pictures Entertainment. She is an appointee to the Federal Communication Committee on Diversity in a Digital Age and advises corporate 500 brands on total market strategy through Reframe the Brand. She is a board member of Alliance for Women in Media and co-chairs the Gracie Awards Gala and the Marcus Graham Project. Karla is also the co-founder of the first Urban League in the state of Delaware.
Director of Global Initiatives, Human Rights Watch
As Human Rights Watch’s director of global initiatives, Minky Worden develops and implements international outreach and advocacy campaigns. She previously served as Human Rights Watch’s media director, working with the world’s journalists to help them cover crises, wars, human rights abuses, and political developments in some 90 countries worldwide. Before joining Human Rights Watch in 1998, Minky lived and worked in Hong Kong as an adviser to Democratic Party chairman Martin Lee, was a speechwriter for the U.S. attorney general, and worked in the executive office for U.S. attorneys. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Minky speaks Cantonese and German and is an elected member of the Overseas Press Club’s Board of Governors. She is an adjunct professor at Columbia University and the editor of three books: The Unfinished Revolution, China’s Great Leap, and Torture.
Professor of Environmental Sustainability and Justice, Patel College for Global Solutions, University of South Florida
Dr. T. H. Culhane is a professor of environmental sustainability and justice at the Patel College for Global Solutions at the University of South Florida, in Tampa. He has a passion for transforming food waste into fuel and fertilizer, harnessing this neglected form of solar energy. Thomas is the co-founder and president of Solar Cities, a nonprofit environmental-technology training organization teaching international leaders of impoverished urban and rural communities how to build their own home and community-scale biodigesters and vertical-aeroponics food production systems. As a National Geographic explorer since 2009, Thomas champions the use of small-scale biogas to protect the health of our oceans and has lectured and demonstrated extensively on biodigester technology. Most recently, Solar Cities has become a member of the Clinton Global Initiative and is fulfilling a commitment to bring the HomeBiogas solution to the Zataari Refugee camp in Jordan, to make sure that food and toilet wastes are turned from grave health problems into solutions for healthier living.
Founder and CEO, Thinx, Wild, and MikiAgrawal.com
Miki Agrawal is a serial social entrepreneur. She was a recipient of the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival’s Disruptive Innovation Award and named to Forbes’s Top 20 Millennials on a Mission in 2013. She is the founder of the acclaimed farm-to-table, alternative pizza concept Wild, in NYC. She has since partnered with Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh to open the concept in downtown Las Vegas. Her next undertaking is Thinx, a high-tech underwear solution for women during their menstruation period. She and her partners teamed up with AFRIpads in Uganda to fund seven reusable cloth pads for every underwear sold to get millions of girls back in school. Miki is also a partner in Super Sprowtz, a children’s media company to get kids to eat more vegetables. Most recently, she’s published the book Do Cool Shit, on entrepreneurship and lifestyle design.
Founding CEO of MaGIC and Entrepreneur
Cheryl Yeoh is an entrepreneur, board member, and angel investor. She was the co-founder of a venture-funded e-commerce app acquired by Walmart Labs in 2013. Today she serves on the board of Flexiroam, a public-listed tech company based in Australia, and is CMO at Hack Reactor, a 12-week immersive school for software engineers. Cheryl is also known as the founding CEO of the Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC) and created the MaGIC Accelerator Program (MAP), Asia's most robust government-funded program, with 150 Southeast Asia–focused startups.
Editor at Large, Outside Magazine
Grayson Schaffer has spent the past 15 years covering stories around the globe for Outside as one of the magazine's editors at large. In 2012, he reported from the middle of what at the time was the deadliest incident on Mount Everest. Unfortunately, that record was eclipsed in 2014 and again in 2015. Grayson wrote the definitive stories on those tragedies as well. He’s been a frequent guest on NPR’s Weekend Edition, discussing the world of adventure, and on Fresh Air to discuss the recent mountaineering tragedies among Nepal's Sherpa people. Since 2015, Grayson has moved into filmmaking, producing and directing a half-dozen shorts for film festivals like MountainFilm and the Banff Mountain Film Festival. He has moderated the North Face’s Never Stop Exploring speaker series, as well as the company’s 50th anniversary launch event in Manhattan.
“E” came to Father and the Source Family in 1974. Father named him Electricity the Aquarian. All family members’ last names were “Aquarian” to help them prepare for the Aquarian Age. He goes by “E” because Electricity is a bit shocking even for him. E managed Father & Sons United Labor Force in the Family; co-authored Father Yod; YaHoWha 13; The Source Family: No More Secrets; and The Path of the Pearl. He co-edited Father’s book Liberation and the Mystic Road, a 22-week series of meditations, and shares powerful keys with people under that name. He was founder and president of the Source Foundation, SoulGrowth.org, and the Muse List. Once in awhile, E goes into a phone booth and comes out the mild-mannered real estate broker Jim Edmonds, on Kauai. E is blessed to have been married to Harvest Moon Aquarian for 39 years, and they have three extraordinary young adult sons.