x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Universities Driving Global Change

This event occurred on
February 25, 2011
4:00pm - 8:00pm EST
(UTC -5hrs)
Durham, North Carolina
United States

TEDxAshokaU featured distinguished social entrepreneurs who had an idea worth spreading about the role of colleges and universities as drivers of positive social change. We had a total of 20 speakers ranging from social entrepreneurs, university faculty, local business entrepreneurs and students. Speaker gave TEDTalks for 3-12 min each.

Duke University
Durham, North Carolina
United States
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Paul Rice

Paul Rice is the President & CEO of TransFair USA, the only Fair Trade certification organization in the U.S. today. Since launching the Fair Trade Certified label for coffee nine years ago, Paul has helped establish Fair Trade as one of the fastest growing segments of the food industry. This success is rooted in TransFair’s innovative approach which helps companies incorporate social responsibility into their business strategies by igniting consumer awareness and building demand for certified products. The result: a market-based model for poverty alleviation and sustainable development that actually boosts growth, profitability and brand reputation.

Maya Ajmera

Maya Ajmera is the founder and president of The Global Fund for Children (GFC), a philanthropic intermediary that makes small grants to innovative, community-based organizations working with some of the world’s most vulnerable children and youth. GFC has awarded 2,606 grants, totaling over $15.3 million, to 376 grassroots organizations in 73 countries. In addition, GFC has a dynamic media program focused on children’s books, films, and documentary photography. She is also the co-author of many Global Fund for Children books, including the award-winning Children from Australia to Zimbabwe and Faith.

Craig Wing

As an electrical engineer, MBA student, South African of Chinese descent, founder of not one, not two but three companies, world traveler, former missionary, and current blogger, it’s pretty hard to keep up with Craig Wing, let alone categorize him. Craig has a BSc in Electrical Engineering and an MSc in Usability Engineering from the University of Witswatersrand, South Africa, and an MBA from Babson College. While at Babson, Craig served as President of the Graduate Student Council and as an Ashoka U Changemaker, and was recognized for entrepreneurial and leadership achievements.Craig is currently the Executive Director of CleanTech U (, to which he brings a wealth of business and start-up experience. in a few short months, CleanTech U has launched at 10 U.S. universities, been recognized at the Clinton Global Initiative and begun to develop the program in China.

Derek Ellerman

Derek Ellerman is a co-founder, former Co-Executive Director, and current Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Polaris Project. Mr. Ellerman supervised the development and implementation of Polaris Project programs in the United States and Japan. An expert on US-based sex trafficking networks, Mr. Ellerman has trained and worked closely with federal and local law enforcement, testified before the U.S. Congress, and worked directly with survivors of trafficking. Formerly an Adjunct Professor at Trinity University, Mr. Ellerman taught at the graduate-level on international criminal network operations and counter-trafficking strategies. In 2004, Mr. Ellerman was selected as an Ashoka Fellow and then as an Ambassador with Ashoka Innovators for the Public, where he provides consultation services as a Senior Venture Advisor. Mr. Ellerman has a Sc.B. in Cognitive Neuroscience from Brown University.

Kevin Trapani

Kevin A. Trapani (tra-pan-ee), 54, is president and chief executive officer of The Redwoods Group, an insurance provider dedicated to protecting YMCAs, Jewish Community Centers and nonprofit resident camps around the nation. He is also president of The Redwoods Group Foundation. Prior to forming The Redwoods Group in 1997, Trapani was executive vice president of Burlington Insurance Group; senior vice president and chief underwriting officer of Coregis Insurance Group; and held senior leadership positions at Great American Insurance Companies and the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies. Trapani also started the first statewide health maintenance organization in New Jersey. Trapani grew up in the YMCA community, working as a Y camp counselor, lifeguard, swim coach and aquatics director. He also served on a YMCA board of directors and chaired a public school board of education. He was the aquatic director and swim team coach at the New Haven Jewish Community Center in New Haven, CT, and ran a program there to teach autistic kids to swim.

Johanna Mair

JJohanna Mair is a Professor of Strategic Management at IESE Business School and the Hewlett Foundation Scholar at the Stanford’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society. She currently serves as the Academic Editor of the Stanford Social Innovation Review. In 2007 she was recognized as a "Faculty Pioneer" by the Aspen Institute and received the Ashoka Award for Social Entrepreneurship Education. She is the co-author of three books on social entrepreneurship and has written or co-written numerous book chapters and articles. Today, alongside her academic responsibilities, she advises governments on innovation; is a member of the Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum; carries out consultancy work for several multinational companies and international institutions such as the World Bank, and serves on the advisory board of globally operating entrepreneurial companies, foundations and social venture funds.

Holden Thorp

At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Holden Thorp has been an undergraduate student, a chemistry professor, a planetarium director, an inventor and entrepreneur, as well as a dean. He graduated with honors, won teaching awards, led a powerhouse chemistry department, developed technology for electronic DNA chips, founded spin-off companies, and succeeded as an administrator. Now, as the 10th chancellor, Thorp draws from all of those experiences in leading Carolina. Thorp is an inaugural member of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship and serves on a new U.S. Manufacturing Competitiveness Initiative for the Council on Competitiveness. He has published 130 scholarly articles on the electronic properties of DNA and RNA. He invented technology for electronic DNA chips that led to 19 issued or pending U.S. patents. He also co-authored a new book, “Engines of Innovation –The Entrepreneurial University in the 21st Century,” which makes the case for the pivotal role of research universities as agents of societal change.

Buck Goldstein

Buck Goldstein has been involved in entrepreneurship most of his professional life. After six years as a practicing attorney, in 1982 he co-founded Information America, an online information company that developed hundreds of products from databases of public records collected and compiled from courthouses throughout the United States. Over the next sixteen years he led the company from start-up through several stages of venture capital financing to an initial public offering. In the spring of 2004, Goldstein was appointed University Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Subsequently he was named Professor of the Practice in the Department of Economics.

Matt Barr

Matt is a junior at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI majoring in Entrepreneurship and Supply Chain Management. After facilitating the initial partnership with Ashoka U, he created the Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Student Organization to educate students on current social ventures and to assist the campus-wide effort to embed social entrepreneurship across the curriculum. He has also spent time with other undergraduate representatives from Ashoka Changemaker Campuses on a web based project called One Card at a Time that will provide individuals around the world with a platform to discuss how they positively impact the lives of others.

Iman Bibars

Iman Bibars has more than 25 years of experience in strategic planning, policy formulation, community development, and project design. She has dedicated her life to working with marginalized and voiceless groups: female heads of households in Egypt's poorest areas, street children, street vendors, and garbage collectors. She has also worked with UNICEF, Catholic Relief Services, CARE-Egypt, GTZ, and KFW. Lastly, Iman is herself a social entrepreneur, co-founding and currently chairing The Association for the Development and Enhancement of Women, a community service organization providing credit and legal aid for impoverished women heading their households.

Whitney Burton

Whitney has founded a student social entrepreneurship group at Mason called Mason ChangeMakers and works with Innovations journal focused on entrepreneurial solutions to global challenges. Whitney worked in Tanzania with APOPO, an Ashoka Fellow organization that trains rats to detect both landmines and Tuberculosis. She successfully led a fundraising effort to build a school in Sierra Leone and was selected to participate at the 2008 World Economic Forum.


Founded on the pillars of service and multiculturalism, Defining Movement was created out of a need seen on Duke’s campus for a diverse organization that transcends the lines of race, gender, background, beliefs, and more. Defining Movement uniquely promotes acceptance, unity, and diversity through art. With a common passion for dance, students of completely different backgrounds come together to try new dance styles, explore other cultures, and learn more about one another, all while bringing their own experiences to the group.

Regina Duran

Regina Duran is a third year undergraduate student at Arizona State University double majoring in Nonprofit Leadership & Management and Business Global Politics. Her passion for the nonprofit sector stems from her involvement during her high school years in New Global Citizens, a group that supports young leaders as they help solve challenges faced by communities around the world. During her senior year as the leader of her student organizing, her team raised $2,500 for their partner organization in Southern Sudan who helped deliver clean water to over 250,000 people by training local leaders to fix wells. During that year, they helped educate 3,000 people in the community about water scarcity.

Peter Frumkin

Peter Frumkin is Professor of Public Affairs and Director of the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin. His research and teaching focus on nonprofit management, philanthropy, and social entrepreneurship. Professor Frumkin is the author of multiple articles and books including Strategic Giving: The Art and Science of Philanthropy and On Being Nonprofit (Harvard University Press, 2002), which won the best book award from the Academy of Management’s public and nonprofit section.

Parag Gupta

Having conducted due diligence globally on hundreds of social entrepreneurs as Associate Director of the Schwab Foundation, Parag was drawn to the urgency and impact of solid waste management. He created a global blueprint for commercially-viable developing world solid waste management with local partners and field staff which formed the basis for Waste Ventures. Parag also founded IDEAS which applied venture philanthropy principles to advocacy outcomes in developing countries and was an Echoing Green Finalist. When not creating a triple-bottom line solution, Parag dreams of opening a vineyard and supper club on Maui at which he could sing.

Matthew Jelacic

Matthew Jelacic is an Assistant Professor of Architecture and an Adjunct Faculty member of the Mortenson Center in Engineering for Developing Communities at the University of Colorado. In 1999 his firm won the first Architecture for Humanity competition to design transitional housing for the Balkans. His current research includes sustainable materials for sheltering displaced people and the role of alternative organizational paradigms for traumatic urbanization planning. In 2009 he began working with the Apsáalooke (Crow) Nation to develop a job training program and affordable homes made with compressed earth block. Following the 2010 Haitian earthquake, he began developing several projects that will provide employment opportunities and affordable shelter. He is currently a member of the USAID task force on post-disaster infrastructure reconstruction and member of the Fetzer Institute’s Inter-Generational Mentoring Community.

Kimberly Jenkins

In her current role as Senior Advisor to the President and Provost for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Duke University, Kimberly is responsible for building, enhancing and promoting entrepreneurial initiatives across the entire university. Her work is with faculty, staff, students and alumni engaged in a wide array of curricular, co-curricular, and translational research programs. She supports initiatives across the full continuum of entrepreneurship, including both social and commercial ventures. During her career as a senior corporate executive, Kimberly created Microsoft's Education Division and ran market development at NeXT, a technology start-up company founded by Steve Jobs. She also served as a consultant to companies such as Microsoft, Apple, Sun, Oracle, and Cisco Systems. She has extensive experience working with early stage start-up companies. For the last nine years, Kimberly was a member of the Duke University Board of Trustees.

Lisa Lepson

Lisa Lepson has extensive experience building start-up non-profit and for-profit social ventures. She is currently the executive director of Joshua Venture Group, which identifies, funds, and cultivates social entrepreneurs who are transforming the Jewish landscape. Previously, Lisa served as the global director of non-profit services at RockCorps, a social venture dedicated to engaging youth in volunteerism through the power of music. In this role, she established a department that developed more than 400 volunteer service projects with over 300 non-profits in three countries, engaging a total of 45,000 volunteers.This summer, Lisa will be developing and teaching a new course on social entrepreneurship for high school students in the Genesis program at Brandeis University.

Jacqueline Smith

Jacqueline is the Director of Social Embeddedness in the Office of University Initiatives (UI) at Arizona State University. Jacqueline focuses on the design, implementation, and evaluation of university-wide social embeddedness initiatives. Jacqueline focuses on the design, implementation, and evaluation of university-wide social embeddedness initiatives including a strategic partnership with Ashoka: Innovators for the Public. Under Jacqueline’s leadership, in August 2010 ASU was selected to join Ashoka’s Changemaker Campus consortium, a network of ten colleges and universities at the forefront of the field of social entrepreneurship. She works with students, faculty and staff across the university and actively collaborates with community partners to advance ASU’s engagement and impact.

Alan Webb

Alan s supporting open, peer-to-peer learning for social innovation around the world through Citizen Circles. Alan's background includes corporate sustainability strategy for Lend Lease, an international property group based out of Australia, minimalist systems engineering with Night Train Consulting, and co-founding, the student-run course evaluations forum for the University of Virginia. Alan has lived, studied, worked, and travelled across the US, Western Europe, the Middle East, Australia, and China, including a recent trip to Tibet organizing the first social business conference there and teaching about social entrepreneurship.

Organizing team


Washington, DC, United States
  • Erin Krampetz
    Communications Mastermind
  • Romina Laouri
    Executive Producer
  • Beeta Ansari
    Social Media Guru