x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Ideas in Action

This event occurred on
November 19, 2016
Brookline, Massachusetts
United States

Started in 2012, TEDxBeaconStreet is one of the most innovative TEDx events in the world. Widely recognized in the TED and TEDx community for our unique vision, multi-generational emphasis, diverse and open audience, Ideas in Action theme, and Adventures throughout the year, it is our aspiration to be a Laboratory / Test Kitchen bringing innovation to the TED world. We value our audience and community as much as we value our speakers, creating a powerful community dedicated to lifelong learning and taking ideas into action.

Lincoln School
19 Kennard Road
Brookline, Massachusetts, 02445
United States
Event type:
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.


Khaliya Aga Khan is a philanthropist, venture capitalist, public health specialist and active advocate for social change. Both her professional and philanthropic work focus on the intersection of design, technology and social entrepreneurship.


The Harvard-Radcliffe Veritones are a co-ed a cappella group at Harvard University that performs original arrangements covering diverse musical genres.

Akino Watanabe

Akino Watanabe is passionate about bridging Eastern and Western culture through her music.

Alicia Carroll

Alicia Carroll is a producer and screenwriter, as well as a contributor to Stage & Candor, an online platform aimed towards conversations of parity and inclusion in the performing arts. She is an advocate for inclusion and representation in media and entertainment and has varied experience in the entertainment field working with CBS Corporation, the New York Television Festival, Improv Boston, and other brands in theater, television, and film. She holds a BA in Visual & Media Arts Production from Emerson College and is a board member of Junior Hollywood, Radio, and Television Society. Alicia is a fierce advocate for consent-aware entertainment media practices, and an advocate for the empowered prevention of power-based interpersonal violence.

Ani Liu

Ani Liu is a speculative technologist, artist, designer, and researcher at MIT. Lodged somewhere between science fiction and science fact, her work explores the intersection between technology, sensory perception, and the culture & implications of emerging technologies. Her work has spanned the scales of built installations, prosthetic wearables, virtual reality immersions, and synthetic biology as she searches for the epiphanies linking technological innovation with emotional affordance. She trained as an artist at Dartmouth, an architect at Harvard, and now a technologist at MIT, and continually seeks to discover the unexpected through playful experimentation, intuition, and speculative storytelling.

Anton Garcia

Antón García-Abril is an architect and a full professor at the School of Architecture and Planning of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He also leads Ensamble Studio, an innovative approach to architecture and urban spaces using emerging technology. His projects push the boundaries of material and space and include projects like the SGAE Central Office in Santiago de Compostela, the Martemar House in Malaga, the Telcel Theater in Mexico City and more. He has received awards in Architecture in both the U.S. and Europe.

Arkadiusz Stopczynski

Arkadiusz Stopczynski is a Data Scientist and People Analytics specialist at Google. In the past, he has worked as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Technical University of Denmark and at the MIT Media Lab in the Human Dynamics Group. He is particularly interested in mobile technologies and how they can be used to learn more about human activity. His current projects include the Smartphone Brain Scanner and High Resolution Networks.

Armando Carbonell

Armando Carbonell has chaired the urban planning program at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy since 1999. Starting out as a state land use policy official in Connecticut and academic geographer he went on to initiate a new planning system for Cape Cod as founding Executive Director of the Cape Cod Commission. Carbonell later taught urban planning at Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania and served as an editor of the British journal Town Planning Review. He is the author or editor of numerous works on city and regional planning, most recently Planning for States and Nation-States in the U.S. and Europe (2015) and Nature and Cities: the Ecological Imperative in Urban Design and Planning (2016). Carbonell attended Clark University and the Johns Hopkins University and was a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University. He is a fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners and the UK Academy of Social Sciences and is an honorary member of the Royal Town Planning Institute.

Barmak Heshmat

Barmak Heshmat is a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He leads the ‘inverse problems in light propagation’ subgroup in the Camera Culture group where they develop tools and solutions for imaging beyond conventional limitations of optics using ultrafast optics, nano optics and computational methods.

Ben Mezrich

Ben Mezrich is the author of 18 books including Bringing Down The House that was made into the movie 21, and Accidental Billionaires that was made into the movie The Social Network.

Bob Frankston

Mr. Frankston is the co-creator with Dan Bricklin of the VisiCalc spreadsheet program and the co-founder of Software Arts, the company that developed it. Frankston graduated in 1966 from Stuyvesant High School in New York City and in 1970 from M.I.T.

Camelia Simoiu

Camelia is a PhD candidate at Stanford University in the Management Science and Engineering Department. Previously, she was a Fellow of the University of Chicago’s Data Science for Social Good program, and a visiting researcher at the MIT Media Lab in the Human Dynamics group. She received a B.S. in applied statistics (actuarial science) from the University of Toronto and a M.S. in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Amsterdam. Prior to graduate school, she worked as a consulting actuarial analyst at Mercer, focusing on quantitative risk modeling.

Cecilia Smith

Cecilia Smith has performed nationally and internationally as a leading vibraphonist of the four-mallet technique. She is an avid composer and arranger with six internationally released albums, and has recorded and performed with renowned artists such as Gary Bartz, Cassandra Wilson, Milt Hinton, Randy Weston, Greg Osby, Marian McPartland ("Piano Jazz" NPR), Donald Harrison, Billy Pierce, Mulgrew Miller, and Cecil Bridgewater. She received a Joyce Award for her multimedia work CROSSING BRIDGES, and is currently developing a multimedia work titled DECISIVE MOMENTS in collaboration with Blue Man Group collaborating video artist and filmmaker Kevin Frech. She is the 2016 Ziegfeld Club Elizabeth Swados Inspirational Awardee for her work as a teaching artist. She is the Artistic Director of the Mary Lou Williams Resurgence Project, for which she received a National Endowment for the Arts American Masterpiece Award. She is a graduate and formal faculty member of Berklee College of Music.

Cesar Hidago


Charles Facchia

Charles McKinney

As a Public Realm Visioneer, Charles McKinney envisions ways to weave parks into the daily lives of everyone, and advances citizen initiatives to improve public space. As the former Principal Urban Designer for NYC Parks, Charles led the preparation of master plans that corrected problems, highlighted natural attributes, and addressed emerging recreational needs. Previously, as Chief of Design at NYC Parks, he provided design direction for the largest amount of investment in parks since the 1930’s. His projects broke new ground in the design of park architecture, landscape and ecological restoration. They improved the happiness, fitness and health of community members, and addressed climate change. The American Institute of Architects and the American Society of Landscape Architects awarded him honorary membership. He has a Bachelor’s of Architecture from the University of Arkansas, a Masters in Urban Design from City College; he was a Loeb Fellow at the Harvard GSD in 1994.

Cheyenne Cochrane

Cheyenne is a Development and Non-profit Management professional with a focus on K-12 education. She is a passionate and results-driven team player and critical thinker with excitement for innovation and project-based initiatives. As Manager of Development at the Achievement Network, she helped ANet’s President, CEO, and fundraising team steward prospective major funding partners and secure committed or projected philanthropic revenue. She helped manage fundraising operations for the Achievement Network while developing compelling written content for funding partners. Cheyenne also developed and strengthened the quality of grant management systems that enable ANet to run an effective and efficient fundraising operation, as ANet scales and managed projects across team, while helping to manage key aspects of grant-funded work.

Chip Fisher

For twenty years now, Fisher Wallace Laboratories has been working to improve the awareness of cranial electrotherapy stimulation in the medical community and to reduce dependencies on medications. To that end, the company, led by founder Chip Fisher, has marketed its Cranial Stimulator, a drug-free device available through prescription from any health practitioner licensed for electrotherapy in the United States, since 1991. The FDA-sanctioned device treats anxiety, stress, insomnia, and depression using micro-current frequencies that are said to increase the natural ability of neural cells in the brain to produce various neurotransmitters that help to normalize mood and sleep. These neurotransmitters also lower the cortisol levels that occur during periods of long-term stress.

Crystal Emery

Crystal R. Emery is founder and CEO of URU, The Right to Be, Inc.,a non-profit content production company that tackles social issues via film, theatre, publishing, and other arts-based initiatives. She holds a BFA from the University of Connecticut. After graduation Ms. Emery garnered an apprenticeship with renowned theater director Lloyd Richards (“Piano Lesson”). She polished her craft under the tutelage of film industry giant Bill Duke (“A Rage in Harlem”) and her independent theatrical productions have since toured national and international stages. She holds an MA in Media Studies from The New School for Public Engagement and consults as a Public Engagement and Media Specialist. Ms. Emery’s work was recognized by the Congressional Black Caucus with the Health Brain Trust Award in Journalism. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications, including Time Magazine and Huffington Post. Ms. Emery’s latest film, “Black Women In Medicine,” is Academy eligible.

Dan Bricklin

Dan Bricklin is best known for codeveloping VisiCalc, the first electronic spreadsheet, while he was a student at the Harvard Business School. VisiCalc is widely credited for fueling the rapid growth of the personal computer industry. Dan Bricklin is CTO of Alpha Software Corporation. He is also president of Software Garden, Inc., a small consulting firm and developer of software applications that he founded in 1985.

David Howse

David C. Howse is a recognized speaker and commentator on the arts and social integration.  In his role as Associate Vice President at Emerson College and Executive Director of ArtsEmerson, Howse is fiscally and administratively responsible for multiple cultural venues in Downtown Boston.    Howse previously served as the Executive Director of the award-winning Boston Children’s Chorus (BCC), an organization that brings youth from the ages of 7 to 18 from the Greater Boston area to create harmony both musically and socially through a shared love of music.  As a founding staff member, Howse was instrumental in helping grow BCC from a pilot project to a vibrant organization.   Howse holds degrees from Bradley University and New England Conservatory of Music and is a graduate of Harvard Business School's Next Generation Executive Leadership Program. 

Deblina Sarkar

Deblina Sarkar is a neuro-technologist and nano electronics researcher. She is currently a postdoctoral associate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Her research aims to bridge the gap between nanotechnology and synthetic biology to create a new paradigm for computational electronics and invent disruptive technologies for neuroscience. She invented the world’s thinnest channel transistor which overcomes the fundamental thermal limitations and leads to record power-reduction and beyond-Silicon scalability. Her doctoral dissertation has been honored as one of the top 3 dissertations throughout USA and Canada in the fields of Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Engineering. More at

Deborah DiSanzo

Deborah DiSanzo is the General Manager for IBM Watson Health, the business unit founded to achieve IBMs next ‘moonshot’: to advance health at a global scale. She leads more than 7,000 IBMers worldwide from the unit’s headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Deborah has a distinguished career working at the intersection of healthcare and technology. Prior to joining IBM, she was CEO of Philips Healthcare, a $10 billion euro healthcare technology company. Previously, she held management roles at Hewlett-Packard and Apollo Computer. Deborah is a dedicated community leader, working on domestic and global programs with organizations including the World Economic Forum, Project Hope, and the American Heart Association. Deborah earned an MBA from Babson College and a BS from Merrimack College.

Donald Holder

Donald Holder is an American lighting designer in theatre, opera, and dance based in New York. He has been nominated for eleven Tony Awards, winning the 1998 Tony Award for Best Lighting Design as well as the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lighting Design for The Lion King.

Doug Ambrose

Douglas Ambrose (Ph.D. SUNY-Binghamton) is the Carolyn C. and David M. Ellis Distinguished Teaching Professor of History at Hamilton College in Clinton, NY, where he has taught since 1990. His teaching and research interests include early America, the Old South, and American religious history. His publications include Henry Hughes and Proslavery Thought in the Old South (LSU 1996) and The Many Faces of Alexander Hamilton: The Life and Legacy of America’s Most Elusive Founding Father (NYU 2006), a volume he co-edited with Hamilton colleague Robert W. T. Martin. He has also written numerous articles, book reviews and encyclopedia entries about Southern slavery and Southern intellectual life. Ambrose is one of three co-founders of the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization in Clinton, NY. He is a recipient of Hamilton College’s Class of 1963 Excellence in Teaching Award and the Hamilton College Student Assembly's Sidney Wertimer Award for mentorship.

Emily Avant

Emily Avant is a technology attorney and STEAM (i.e., Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) evangelist. She focuses on drones, mobile applications, and “big data,” and led the efforts of her company, CNN, in obtaining the first license from the federal government to operate drones over people. Emily is a passionate advocate for gender equality in the technology industry and believes in creating opportunities for girls and women to succeed in the field of tech at all stages of their lives. Emily lives in Atlanta with her husband, Sewell, and two children. She is an avid kayaker and is a voracious consumer of news and politics.

Emmanuel Schanzer

Dr. Emmanuel Schanzer is a CS-expat, having spent several years as a program manager and developer before becoming a high school teacher and middle school academic coach. He is the founder and creator of Bootstrap, which he first designed as a curriculum for his own students in Boston. He has long been involved in connecting educators and technology, connecting parties at the Computer Science Teachers Association, Google, Microsoft, Facebook and at universities across the country. He holds degrees in computer science and curriculum development, and is a Doctor of Education with a research focus on using programming to teach algebra.

Eric Kowalczyk

J. Eric Kowalczyk specializes in critical incident mitigation, strategy development for crisis resolution, crisis communications, public affairs, municipal communications, internal/external communications strategy, video production for social media, social media, media relations/training, community development and mediation, community problem solving, deployment planning, and neighborhood outreach. Kowalczyk served as the Chief Spokesman for the Baltimore Police Department, the 8th largest police department in the nation. A senior strategy advisor to the Police Commissioner, he was responsible for the planning and execution of all internal and external communication strategies. In addition, he helped to develop and implement new community engagement programs to build legitimacy in the community and enhance the ability of the Baltimore Police Department to reduce violent crime.

Eric Shilling


Ethan Rubin

Ethan Rubin is a “recovering violinist” and an English teacher at Roxbury Prep High School. He has played in bands and ensembles across multiple genres, including punk, soul, metal, jazz, and Middle Eastern folk. Ethan graduated from Boston University with an undergraduate degree in philosophy and Spanish and went on to work at YouthBuild Just-A-Start, where he taught construction and employment skills to at-risk urban youth. He attended the University of Cambridge on a Gates Scholarship, where he obtained an MPhil in Educational Leadership and School Improvement. Ethan also has a passion for the outdoors, and recently spent a summer backpacking and rock climbing in the Wind River Mountains with the National Outdoor Leadership School. He now teaches in a charter network dedicated to social justice and racial equality, and plays his fiddle at every opportunity.

Guy Satat

Guy Satat is a PhD student and research assistant in the Camera Culture Group at the MIT Media Lab. His interests include imaging through scattering, time-resolved imaging, compressive imaging, and medical imaging. He holds a Master’s degree from MIT Media Lab. His Master’s thesis proposed two novel radiation-free medical imaging technologies. He graduated with honors from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, where he obtained a BSc in both Electrical Engineering and Physics.

Jeff Saviano

Jeff Saviano serves as the global EY organization’s Americas Tax Innovation Leader, directing a team which discovers and brings to market new tax services. Jeff also leads EY’s Americas Indirect & State / Local Tax Services practice, which helps companies manage their state and local taxes in the United States and non-income-based taxes globally. Jeff’s team identifies and secures business and tax governmental incentives for companies making innovation, capital and labor investments across the globe. He advises clients on indirect / state tax policy matters affecting corporate taxpayers. Jeff is a frequent writer and speaker on professional services firm innovation and tax policy. Outside of EY, Jeff is a founding Board Member of World Orphan Project, Inc. a nonprofit organization providing relief to orphan children across the globe. Jeff also serves on the Board of Directors for the Boston Municipal Research Bureau.

Jiten Dajee

Jiten Dajee is a digital strategist specializing in exponential technologies. He is focused on understanding our society’s future with augmented and virtual reality, machine learning, and the internet of things. As a passionate disciple of science fiction, from space operas to dystopian novels, Jiten has been chasing his imagination his whole life. He now works with Fortune 500 companies to turn dreams into reality with the breakthrough technologies that are shaping the future.

Joe Davis

While earning his Creative Arts degree (1973) from Mt Angel College in Oregon, Joe Davis pioneered sculptural methods in laser carving at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, NJ, University of Cincinnati Medical Center Laser Laboratory and other nationally renowned laboratories.

Joe Gels

Joe Gels doesn't believe in having free time and fills it with the performing arts. In addition to ImprovBoston's Family Show, he performs with ComedySportz Boston and Improv Jones Boston. He is also the Artistic Director of Boston's newest comedy theater The Riot Theater. To actually make money, he teaches and directs theater at Boston Latin School. In the world of scripted theater, he is the artistic director and producer of the fringe theater company: Amazing Mustache Productions with whom he has produced David Ive's All In The Timing, Two David Mamet plays, and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare: Abridged. He thinks you look nice today.

John Polit

John Polit is a Data Scientist and Musician based in Cambridge, MA.

Jon Hirschtick

Jon Hirschtick is a leading innovator in CAD software development, responsible for two of the field's major paradigm shifts: SolidWorks, the first solid modeling 3D CAD and CAE system created for Microsoft Windows, and Onshape, the first CAD program developed fully for cloud implementation. Hirschtick is one of a handful of CAD executives to be awarded the prestigious CAD Society Leadership Award

Joscha Bach

Joscha Bach, Ph.D. is an AI researcher who worked and published about cognitive architectures, mental representation, emotion, social modeling, and multi-agent systems. He earned his Ph.D. in cognitive science from the University of Osnabrück, Germany. He is especially interested in the philosophy of AI, and in using computational models and conceptual tools to understand our minds and what makes us human. Joscha has taught computer science, AI, and cognitive science at the Humboldt-University of Berlin, the Institute for Cognitive Science at Osnabrück, and the MIT Media Lab, and authored the book “Principles of Synthetic Intelligence” (Oxford University Press).

Joy Buolamwini

Joy Buolamwini is the founder of Code4Rights and a graduate researcher with the Civic Media group at the MIT Media Lab. Joy is a Rhodes Scholar, aFulbright Fellow, an Astronaut Scholar, a Google Anita Borg Scholar, and a Carter Center technical consultant recognized as a distinguished volunteer. As the Chief Technology Officer for Techturized Inc, a hair care technology company and Swift Tech Solutions, a global health tech consultancy, Joy gained technical competency by developing software for under-served communities in the US, Ethiopia, Mali, Nigeria, and Niger. During her Fulbright Fellowship in Zambia, she explored empowering engaged citizens with skills to create their own technology through the Zamrize Initiative

Karen Feinstein

Dr. Feinstein is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) and its two operating arms, the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI) and Health Careers Futures (HCF). Together they perform a unique mix of grantmaking, research, teaching, coaching, and project management. Under her leadership, JHF and PRHI have become a leading voice in patient safety, healthcare quality, and related workforce issues. When Dr. Feinstein founded PRHI, it was among the nation’s first regional multi-stakeholder quality coalitions devoted simultaneously to advancing efficiency, best practices, and safety by applying industrial engineering principles. Dr. Feinstein is also the co-founder of the Women’s Health Activist Movement Global (WHAM Global), which empowers women to lead efforts to advance healthcare systems that are transparent, respectful, accountable, and equitable.

Karen Firestone

Karen Firestone is the CEO of Aureus Asset Management, a wealth advisory firm that manages over $1 billion of clients’ assets. She has a strong focus in her professional life on risk taking and understands how it plays a major part in almost every decision we make, professionally and personally. In Karen’s blog and book, Even the Odds: Sensible Risk Taking in Business Investing and Life, she describes how to consider and evaluate risk in the decisions we make and offers practical advice and guidance to help us make the best decisions we can, across our professional, investing, and personal lives.

Kate Adamala

Kate Adamala is a biochemist working on building cell-like bioreactors that mimic live organisms. She is an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota. Her research group aims at using those cell mimics, aka synthetic minimal cells, to develop new tools for bioengineering, drug development and for understanding how biology works. Kate’s research spans questions from the origin and earliest evolution of life, through using synthetic biology to colonize space, to the future of biotechnology and medicine.

Katie Bouman

Katie Bouman is a Ph.D. candidate in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), under the supervision of William T. Freeman. She previously received a B.S.E. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI in 2011 and an S.M. degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT, Cambridge, MA in 2013. The focus of Katie’s research is on using emerging computational methods to push the boundaries of interdisciplinary imaging.

Kip Hollister

Kip Hollister began Hollister Staffing in 1988 because she realized that helping the right people and the right companies come together was not about transactions – it was about relationships. Since then, as the leader of a prominent women-owned, full service recruiting firm in New England, Kip has fulfilled the promise she made when opening the company’s doors, continuing to strive to create successful relationships between great companies and the people who anchor their work. Kip serves on the Workforce Investment Board and the Workforce Development Committee of Massachusetts. She sits on the Board of The Alliance for Business Leadership and on City Year’s, Seventh Generation Board. In her time leading Hollister, Kip has won numerous awards, including the 2012 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award as a National Finalist, the YMCA Training Inc. award as Employer of the Year, and one of the Small Business of the Year Award winners by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.

Kristen Puchek

Kristen Puchek is a leader in Deloitte Consulting’s Human Capital practice, specializing in Diversity & Inclusion (D&I), Organization and Talent strategies. Kristen currently co-leads Deloitte’s Strategic Inclusion practice for the US firm, where she manages the go-to-market strategy as well as methods and tools for delivering D&I work to clients. Kristen partners with senior executives in global Fortune 50 clients across industries to design D&I and leadership strategies that develop inclusive leadership behaviors, enhance and leverage multi-generational engagement, and drive authenticity and innovation throughout the organization. Kristen is a frequent speaker on topics of inclusive leadership and generational strategies, as well as facilitates immersive learning and strategy sessions for senior executive teams. Kristen holds a MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management, and BS/BA in International Business and Economics from Valparaiso University.

Laura Ingalls

Laura J. Ingalls began her professional career as a comedic actress and singer. While enjoying great success on the stage, her own health and well-being needs led her to pursue formal education in the field of coaching, personal training, wellness, and holistic health. In wellness, she discovered a second passion in life that equaled her love of the theater. She developed and taught classes for the Orlando Weight Management and Nutrition Center in Orlando, FL, and became a marathon coach for Team in Training and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the largest endurance sports training program in the world. A move back to her hometown of Boston brought her into the field of worksite wellness as a Wellness Program Manager and Health Coach for Massachusetts-based corporations. She has raised thousands of dollars for charity as a marathon runner and Ironman triathlete, and is a passionate supporter of grassroots free fitness movements.

Lee Collins


Matt Carroll

Matt Carroll has worked at the Boston Globe since 1987 and has been a member of the Spotlight team since 1997. Before becoming a reporter, he worked as a copy editor on the Business desk for two years. As a reporter, Carroll has covered real estate and the MetroWest area. In 1994 he started the Globe’s first internal website, which is used by reporters and editors, under the tutelage of the Information Technology Department. Carroll specializes in computer-assisted reporting and handles the paper’s growing library of databases. A 1979 graduate of Northeastern University, he lives in West Roxbury with his wife, Elaine, and their four children, Kasey, Alex, Leigh, and Jack.

Matthew Henshon

Matthew T. Henshon is a founding partner of Henshon Klein. His practice encompasses a wide range of issues affecting corporations including governance, intellectual property and technology licensing, and mergers and acquisitions, and his experience includes representation of all sides of the privately-held, emerging company: founders, investors, and employees.

Michael Scott Moore

Michael Scott Moore is an American writer living in Berlin. He’s published a novel about L.A., Too Much of Nothing, and a travel book about surfing, Sweetness and Blood, which was named a book of the year by The Economist in 2010. He covered the 2011 trial of ten Somali pirates in Germany for Spiegel Online, then traveled to Somalia in 2012 to research a book. He was kidnapped by pirates and held hostage for two and a half years. He’s written about politics, travel, and literature for The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic, Der Spiegel, The Guardian, Pacific Standard, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and The L.A. Review of Books. His memoir about the Somalia ordeal is due out from HarperCollins in late 2017, and website can be found at

Mike Festa

Mike Festa leads Wayfair’s research and development team, Wayfair Next, where he spearheads developments in augmented reality, virtual reality and 3D scanning. He is the Boston chapter president of the VR/AR Association and founder of – the virtual world that anyone can edit. Festa has a B.S. in Computer Science from The George Washington University, and studied Computer Science at the United States Air Force Academy.

Nagin Cox

Nagin Cox is currently on the mission operations team for Mars Science Laboratory (MSL)- NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover. She graduated from Cornell University with a BS in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering and a BA in Psychology and was commissioned as an officer in the US Air Force. As a captain, she served as an Orbital Analyst at NORAD/Space Command in Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado Springs. In 1993, Nagin joined the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and has since served as a systems engineer and manager on multiple interplanetary robotic missions including NASA/JPL’s Galileo mission to Jupiter, the Mars Exploration Rover Missions and the Kepler telescope mission to search for earth-like planets around other stars.

Naomi McDougall-Jones

Naomi McDougall Jones is an award-winning writer, actress, and producer based in New York City. She wrote, produced, and starred in the award-winning feature film, IMAGINE I’M BEAUTIFUL, for which she received three Best Actress Awards and “The Don Award” for Best Independently Produced Screenplay of 2014. Naomi was additionally one of the writers for Amazon’s new TV series THE NEW YORKER PRESENTS, which premiered at Sundance. Naomi has become an advocate and speaker for bringing gender parity to cinema. She is the Founder of The 51 Fund, an investment equity fund focused on financing films written, directed, and produced by women. More at

Phil Sanderson

Philip Sanderson, Managing Director of IDG Ventures, focuses on media technology and information technology investments. He has worked for WaldenVC, Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Robertson Stephens. Mr. Sanderson is the Co-Chairman of the VCNetwork and YVCA, two non-profit organizations consisting of more than 1000 venture capitalists. He also serves on the Board of the Western Association of Venture capitalists (WAVC). Mr. Sanderson received his MBA with Honors from Harvard Business School. He holds a A.B. from Hamilton College, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude.

Pitichoke Chulapamornsri

Pitichoke Chulapamornsri is an entrepreneur with expertise in bridging technology, business, and government to achieve impactful outcomes. He serves as the Director of Business Development at Neighborly, a mission-driven FinTech that empowers community members to directly invest in public projects they care about. Prior, he developed Happy Farmers, an online platform that connects farmers with consumers in Thailand. He also worked as a senior analyst at Goldman Sachs Private Equity Fund with extensive experience in financial analytics and risk management. He is a research fellow at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University. Pitichoke received a Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, where he served as the student body president.

Robert Cocuzzo

Robert Cocuzzo was raised by storytellers. Grandfathers, uncles, teachers—the people whom he came to admire most were the ones with the stories. The kind of people who measured their education not by the diplomas on their walls but by the stamps in their passports. So as a kid growing up in a suburb of Boston, Cocuzzo knew that he wanted to put many miles on his tires—and make each mile worth writing home about. He’s captained a fishing boat on the Atlantic. Attended black tie soirées in Scotland. Raced a Ferrari through Time Square and swam with sharks off the coast of Nantucket. Been bitten by a bat in Moab and stung by a scorpion in Uruguay. Then his life as a storyteller found the ultimate muse. His name was Doug Coombs: the greatest skier to ever slide down snow. Today, Cocuzzo is the author of Tracking the Wild Coomba: The Life of Legendary Skier Doug Coombs, the editor of Nantucket Magazine, and a contributor to Outside, Departures, Town & Country, Esquire, & Boston Common.

Robert Konrad

Robert is a 3rd year PhD candidate in the Electrical Engineering Department at Stanford University, advised by Professor Gordon Wetzstein. His research interests lie at the intersection of computational displays and human physiology with a specific focus on virtual and augmented reality systems. He is specifically interested in the vergence-accommodation and visual-vestibular conflicts present in current VR and AR displays. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from the ECE department at the University of Toronto in 2014, and his Master’s Degree from the EE Department at Stanford University in 2016.

Ronald Sullivan

Ronald S. Sullivan Jr. is a law professor at the Harvard Law School. Sullivan graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Morehouse College in 1989 and received his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1994.

Ruthe Farmer

Ruthe Farmer has focused her efforts on diversity and inclusion in technology and engineering since 2001. She currently serves as Senior Policy Advisor for Tech Inclusion at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy focusing on President Obama’s call to action for Computer Science for All and other tech related initiatives. Over the course of her career, Ms. Farmer has successfully launched and scaled up multiple national programs including Intel Design & Discovery, LEGO Robotics for Girl Scouts, NCWIT Aspirations in Computing, the TECHNOLOchicas campaign for Latinas in technology, the AspireIT computing outreach program, and more. She served as the 2012 Chair of Computer Science Education Week, was named a White House Champion of Change for Technology Inclusion in 2013, received the Anita Borg Institute Award for Social Impact in 2014, and the Education UK Alumni Award for Social Impact in 2015.

Salva Dut


Sarah Beaulieu

Sarah Beaulieu is a Boston-based writer, speaker and advocate who has spent the last several years interviewing men and women about sexual violence. Sarah writes frequently about sexual violence with her work appearing in the Providence Journal,, Cognoscenti (WBUR), the Nonprofit Quarterly, Commonhealth (WBUR) and the Stanford Social Innovation Review. She graduated from Brown University with a degree in women's studies and earned an MBA from Boston College's Carroll School of Management. Sarah serves on the board of the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, one of the oldest and largest rape crisis centers in the country. Sarah lives in Boston with her husband, Marc, two children and crazy dog. Sarah's mission is to spark 100,000 conversations about sexual violence with men. You can join the conversation and follow her work at

Seth Shipman

Seth Shipman is a scientist working in George Church’s lab at Harvard Medical. He is currently developing methods to write new information into the DNA of living cells. New information written over time forms the basis of a recording. Cells that can encode events over time become molecular record keepers. Seth earned his PhD in Neuroscience from UCSF and his BA in Neuroscience from Wesleyan University.

Sheryl Winarick

Sheryl Winarick is an immigration lawyer & digital nomad with home bases in Washington, DC & Texas. Her clients include organizations like Oxfam International & TED, small businesses & start-ups, as well as individuals & families from all over the world. She is a TED Resident, Aspen Institute Scholar & HIAS Public Policy Committee member. Before starting her law firm in 2007, she spent eight years working for national, faith-based organizations – Catholic Legal Immigration Network & the United Methodist Committee on Relief. Sheryl is now traveling around the USA on a “listening tour” to explore & celebrate the country’s rich cultural heritage, while challenging communities to think creatively about navigating change & innovating forward together. Local & national partners are helping to plan inclusive events to promote unity & deepen understanding through personal interaction. You can follow her journey, find local events & join the conversation at

Stéphane Bancel

Stéphane Bancel is the CEO of Moderna, a pharmaceutical company that is pioneering the development of a new class of drugs made of messenger RNA (mRNA). He was previously CEO of bioMérieux, a world leader in the diagnostics industry. bioMerieux has more than 6,000 employees, a market capitalization of €2.5 billion, and sales of more than €1.3 billion. He holds a Master of Engineering from École Central Paris, a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Mr. Bancel was elected a 2009 Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. He was elected best CEO for investor relations in France in 2009 and was ranked the number one CEO in the biotech sector according to the 2011 Thomson Reuters EXTEL Study. Mr. Bancel serves as a supervisory director of Qiagen N.V., and on the Board of Directors of Syros Pharmaceuticals.

Steve Rothstein

Steven M. Rothstein is the Executive Director of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.

Tanis Chalopin

Tanis Tian-Xi Chalopin is a French and English music artist, singer, songwriter, photographer and composer.[1] Half-Singaporean and half-French, and based out of Paris, she was born to writer-producer Jean Chalopin[2] and one of Singapore’s first supermodels, Ethel Fong.

Terah Lyons

Terah Lyons is a Policy Advisor to the U.S. Chief Technology Officer at The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Thomas Ermacora

Thomas Ermacora is a Danish-Italian Urbanist, technologist and futurist focused on social impact design, open source thinking and the circular economy. Since 2002 he has acted as a creative director and strategic consultant for mayors, developers, social landlords, local authorities and curated exhibitions to promote innovations in sustainability. In 2008 he founded the regeneration and acupuncture architecture non-profit Clear Village imagining new commons to restore community wellbeing and build capacity for local resilience of fragile communities. His book 'Recoded City : Co-Creating Urban Futures' (Routledge 2016) is a vibrant and critically acclaimed global survey of the potential of participatory placemaking to empower citizens today. Ermacora’s anchor project now is the Limewharf cultural innovation complex in east London which houses his Machines Room Fablab - the heart of a tech-for-good cluster dubbed the “Maker Mile” part of the MIT Fabcity initiative.

Tom Baran

Tom Baran is Co-founder and CEO of Lumii, a Boston-based company focused on delivering deeply-engaging hologram-like 3D experiences to the world of printed media. Lumii was co-founded in 2015 along with MIT Ph.D.s Matt Hirsch and Daniel Leithinger, with the goal of using sophisticated algorithms and signal processing to empower designers to deliver hologram-like 3D experiences, using readily-available printers, media and ink. Tom’s Ph.D. and M.S. degrees are from MIT and his S.B. degree is from Tufts University. Tom is also co-author of the widely-used MIT-based MOOC 6.341x: Discrete-Time Signal Processing, available on

Tony Batts

Anthony W. Batts is the former Police Commissioner of the Baltimore Police Department, the eighth largest municipal police department in the United States. Batts has received various awards and commendations for heroism, crime reduction, community activism, and innovative programs, including California State University Long Beach Alumni of the Year, Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Citizen Award in the cities of Long Beach and Oakland, and Leadership Long Beach Alumnus of the Year. Batts was also honored by the Anti-Defamation League for community outreach efforts to erase anti-Semitism, bigotry, and intolerance.

Viirj Kan

Working at the intersection of materials, chemistry, and robotics, Viirj Kan develops interfaces that connect humans to a broad range of systems. Currently at MIT Media Lab, she translates molecular signals to human senses – environmental information to user experience. Utilizing organic compounds from food, she develops smart biomaterials that change color, scent and form in response to chemical stimuli. Prior to joining MIT, Viirj conducted human-robot interaction research at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and worked as a design consultant. Her work has been featured on Fast Company, CNN, Vice, MIT News and the Museum of Fine Arts. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Design from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and a Master of Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Yoshino Watanabe

Yoshino Watanabe is also passionate harp and teaching culture through her music.

Organizing team


Brookline, MA, United States

Byerly Rezendes

Cambridge, MA, United States
  • Bruce Hecht