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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 and 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.
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.
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.
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.
EVP of Corporate Relations and 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Cook
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Co-founder, The Kitchen Community
Kimbal Musk is on the board for Chipotle, Tesla, and SpaceX. His personal mission is to accelerate the local food economy in the US. Kimbal is the Co-Founder of The Kitchen, a growing family of businesses that pursues an America where everyone, everywhere has access to real food. The Kitchen accomplishes its mission via three major business units: The Kitchen Restaurants, The Kitchen Community, and The Kitchen Ventures. The Kitchen Restaurants, co-founded in 2004, source directly from local farmers, stimulating the local farm economy to the tune of millions of dollars a year, and create quality jobs. The Kitchen Community, co-founded in 2011, is a non-profit organization that 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. The Kitchen Ventures, co-founded in 2016, is the innovation and entrepreneurial arm that launched Square Roots, an urban, indoor vertical farming accelerator that seeks to empower thousands of millennials to become real food farmers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Co-Founder, Earthseed Consulting and Black Permaculture Network
Author, Shades of Green
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.
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).
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.
Activist, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.