x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Ideas In Action

This event occurred on
November 18, 2017
Boston, Massachusetts
United States

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized (subject to certain rules and regulations).

JFK Presidential Library & Museum
Columbia Point
Boston, Massachusetts, 02125
United States
Event type:
Standard (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Abhishek Bajpayee

Abhishek is currently a PhD candidate at the MIT and his research focuses on the application of light field imaging and other computer vision techniques to help improve visual perception for autonomous vehicles. Prior to this, he worked on developing light field imaging driven 3D flow velocimetry techniques for fast processing of large data sets. Abhishek is an strong advocate of open source software, and is always willing to contribute to efforts that promote the adoption of open source in science, research and education. He has created to share all software he has developed for his doctoral research. He is also the co-founder of Gryd (, a cloud platform focused on enabling research, analytics and education using open source languages and libraries. When he is not collecting data in a robot car or writing code, he enjoys music, cooking, photography, and all things tech. He love watching movies and would love to make a few in the future.

Achuta Kadambi

Achuta Kadambi studies computer science and optics together. This joint approach will become necessary, as the interaction between billions of light paths, millions of pixels, and thousands of materials becomes increasingly high-dimensional and data-intensive. Achuta’s work has been recognized in the form of 15 US patents (all filed as a PhD student), and a few awards. Website:

Adam Graves

Adam is a Senior Analyst at Liberty Mutual, Partner at Brookline’s Rifrullo Café, and small business consultant. Using his corporate experience as a backdrop, he has experimented with ways to make powerful ideas, technology, and other important resources more accessible for smaller companies. Adam is a graduate of Bentley University (B.S. Economics 2012; MBA 2015), avid foodie, and happily self-diagnosed “armchair philosopher”. He currently lives in Boston’s South End with his wife and pup.

Alice Han

Alice Han is a Canadian physician with global health research interests in humanitarian settings and gender-based violence (GBV). She has published and presented internationally on GBV in Latin America and the Caribbean. Her current work includes examining disaster preparedness in the Philippines with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, and contraceptive practices of Syrian child brides in Lebanon.

Amit Sharma

Amit Sharma advises companies in social enterprise development, corporate “impact” strategy, and risk management. He is working to develop a digital financial services platform–FinClusive Capital–for those underserved and/or excluded from the financial system, leveraging technology and advanced analytics to drive financial inclusion, build economic resilience and protect financial system integrity. Previously, he led Operations and Strategy for Command Global Services (CGS), managing a team of investigators, financial forensic experts, analysts and legal professionals in the recovery of stolen sovereign assets and strengthening of financial regulatory systems. Prior to CGS, he was Chief of Staff and Head of New Products for Mitsubishi UFJ Securities, USA, and also Head of Project Management to the firm’s International Business and Global Markets Units. In Washington DC, Amit served at the US Department of the Treasury, first in the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence—developing and implementing tools to combat transnational threats and financial crime—and later as Chief of Staff to Deputy Secretary Robert Kimmitt and part of Treasury’s senior team under Secretary Henry Paulson. Amit has served/serves on several working groups, advisory councils and boards, including: IntegrityRisk International, Evidencity, the Center for Global Development (CGD), the Center for Sanctions and Illicit Finance (CSIF), Middlebury’s Center for Social Impact Learning (CSIL) and Georgetown University’s Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation. He was a Peace Corps volunteer in Mongolia, and makes Guilford, Vermont his home where he enjoys farming and making hard cider. Amit holds an MBA and MA from the Monterey Institute of International Studies and a BA from the University of Virginia.

Andrew Seligsohn

Andrew J. Seligsohn is president of Campus Compact. Before joining Campus Compact in June of 2014, Seligsohn served as Associate Chancellor for Civic Engagement and Strategic Planning at Rutgers University–Camden, where he worked across the campus to develop the university’s engagement infrastructure to maximize community impact and student learning. Seligsohn previously served as Director of Civic Engagement Learning in the Pace Center at Princeton University. He served as a faculty member in the Department of Political Science at Hartwick College, where he earned tenure and promotion to the rank of associate professor and was the elected chair of the faculty. Seligsohn also taught at both Princeton and Rutgers, and he has published articles and chapters on constitutional law, political theory, urban politics, and youth civic engagement. Seligsohn holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Minnesota and a B.A. in modern intellectual history from Williams College.

Andy Goldfarb

Andy Goldfarb believes in making life Magical, Meaningful, and Memorable. As co-founder and Executive Managing Director of Globespan Capital Partners, he has led investments in over 150 early stage technology companies. He is grateful to have worked with many dynamic and creative entrepreneurs over the past 25 years. He has been recognized on the Forbes Midas List of Top 100 Technology Dealmakers. Andy began his career in Japan working for Kikkoman Corporation helping start new businesses and made soy sauce for the Emperor of Japan. Andy founded to make Jewish home holidays Magical, Meaningful and Memorable by sharing ideas about food, fun, and philosophy. Breaking Matzo reaches a global audience of Jews, Christians, and Muslims across social media platforms. In addition, Andy founded Photo Butler, a revolutionary social media app which is changing the way the world shares memories. Photo Butler’s goal is to help people stay more fully present, free of distraction while experiencing life’s more important moments. Andy is the very proud father of two wonderful daughters and has an extensive garden gnome collection and obsession.

Angela Bair Schmider

In addition to living with my amazing husband and raising two energetic children, I am an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School, principle investigator of a laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital and teacher of life sciences at Harvard College. After earning my Ph.D. in Pharmacology at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2008, I moved to Boston for my research fellowship. I currently use sophisticated microscopes to study the organization of molecules in cells and correlate this organization to understanding inflammatory disease.

Ben Mezrich

Author of twelve books, Ben Mezrich has created his own highly addictive genre of nonfiction, chronicling the amazing stories of young geniuses making tons of money on the edge of impossibility, ethics, and morality. Mezrich is best known for Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas for Millions, which was his first book. It tells the story of a group of students from MIT using a sophisticated card counting system at casino to bet on blackjack games, winning millions of dollars. In 2008 the story was made into the movie “21”. In 2010, Aaron Sorkin adapted Mezrich’s book, The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding Of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal, the movie The Social Network. The book, written in 2009, debuted at No. 4 on the New York Times Nonfiction Bestseller List, and No. 1 on the Boston Globe Nonfiction Bestseller List.

Berri Jacque

Berri is an Associate Professor at Tufts Medical School and the Director of the Center for Translational Science Educating (CTSE). His scientific background is in immunology but like many of us, his career path and interests have been a circuitous journey. After graduating with his PhD, he became passionate about bridging the divide between health and science in high school classrooms and began a postdoctoral fellowship in curriculum design and evaluation. He now builds collaborative learning communities that partner biomedical scientists and teachers to improve science education for high school students that focus on connecting health and science. His research centers around understanding the relationship between scientific literacy, health education, and health literacy. The CTSE’s curricula are used in thousands classrooms around the country, where they engaging students as they learn about health and disease.

Bob Inglis

Bob Inglis launched the Energy and Enterprise Initiative (“E&EI”) at George Mason University in July 2012 and serves as executive director, where he promotes free enterprise action on climate change. For his work on climate change Inglis was given the 2015 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. He appears in the film Merchants of Doubt and in the Showtime series YEARS of Living Dangerously (episodes 3 and 4). Inglis was a Resident Fellow at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics in 2011, a Visiting Energy Fellow at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment in 2012, and a Resident Fellow at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics in 2014. Bob was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1992, having never run for office before. He represented Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina, from 1993-1998. In 2004, he was re-elected to Congress and served until losing re-election in the South Carolina Republican primary of 2010. Inglis grew up in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, went to Duke University for college, met and married his college sweetheart, graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law and practiced commercial real estate law in Greenville, S.C., before and between his years in Congress. Bob and Mary Anne Inglis have five adult children and live on a small farm in northern Greenville County, South Carolina.

Brian Anthony

Dr. Anthony is the Co-Director of MIT’s Medical Electronic Device Realization Center and Associate Director of MIT.nano. With over 25 years of experience in product realization, Dr. Anthony designs instruments and techniques to monitor and control physical systems. His work involves systems analysis and design, calling upon mechanical, electrical and optical engineering, along with computer science and optimization. He has extensive experience in market driven technology innovation, product realization, and entrepreneurship and commercialization at the intersection between information technology, design, and advanced manufacturing. Dr. Anthony spent the first part of his career as an entrepreneur. He developed and directed the development of products and solutions for the industrial and scientific video markets. He has been awarded 20 patents, published over 50 peer reviewed articles, and won an Emmy from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for innovations in sports broadcasting.

Cady Coleman

As an astronaut and veteran of three space missions, including a six month expedition aboard the International Space Station, Cady Coleman shares her unique perspective on how lessons learned in space apply to all of us, right here on earth.

Cass Sunstein

Cass R. Sunstein is currently the Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard. From 2009 to 2012, he was Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. He is the founder and director of the Program on Behavioral Economics and Public Policy at Harvard Law School. Mr. Sunstein has testified before congressional committees on many subjects, and he has been involved in constitution-making and law reform activities in a number of nations.

Charles Jacobs

Charlie is the founder and managing partner of 180 Partners, and the author of the award winning Management Rewired: Why Feedback Doesn’t Work and Other Surprising Lessons from the Latest Brain Science. Previously, he was the founder and CEO of the Amherst Consulting Group. For close to three decades, he has helped the leadership of the most renowned corporations in the world improve the performance of their businesses. He numbers among his clients fifty of the Fortune 100, and has worked in Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, and the U.S. Charlie is a pioneer in the application of neuroscience to business. His unique approach uses data-driven narratives to transform individuals and organizations. By leveraging the way the mind naturally works, he enables his clients to comprehensively rethink their businesses, creating more robust competitive strategies and the performance-oriented organizations needed to implement them. The Harvard Business Review calls his work “a solid job of surveying some sensible management practices.” The Financial Times declares his “book raises fascinating and important questions. Managers should take them seriously.” Business Week states his approach “will boost the effectiveness of many a corporate drill sergeant.” He completed his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. work at the University of Michigan. He lives in Boston with his two daughters.

Charlotte Golar Richie

Volunteerism, near and far, enriches all dimensions of a person’s life, as well as the life of the community at large. From the Peace Corps to local supports, communities are made more meaningful and individual lives are enhanced.

Chris Nowinski

Chris Nowinski, Ph.D., is founding CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation ( a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to solving the concussion & CTE crisis through research, advocacy, and education. He is also co-founder of the Boston University (BU) CTE Center and the VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank. A former Harvard football player and WWE Superstar, he wrote Head Games: Football’s Concussion Crisis after post-concussion syndrome ended his career in 2003. He received his doctorate in behavioral neuroscience from Boston University School of Medicine.

Colleen Suhanosky

Colleen is the founder and manager of Rifrullo cafe in Brookline, MA.

Dan Fenn

Dr. Dan Fenn, Jr. has had a long career as a public servant, first in the Army Air Corps in World War II, and then as a member of the White House Staff for President Kennedy, vice chairman of the U.S. Tariff Commission, and Founding Director of the Kennedy Library and Museum. He is being recognized today not for his formal public service career but for what he has done since his “retirement” sixteen year ago. Dr. Fenn was a founding member and chair of the Advisory Board of the Lexington, Massachusetts Education, and has helped raise more than $4 million as vice-president of the Cary Memorial Library Foundation Board of Directors. He has also served for more than 40 years as an elected member off the Lexington Town Meeting, for two terms in the 1990s on the Board of Selectmen, and as a member of numerous boards, such as the Lexington Council on Aging and the Old South Meeting House in Boston-which is the Boston Tea Party Church. Dr. Fenn has focused on developing current and future government leaders by teaching more than 200 sessions at institutions such as the Kennedy School of Government, Baruch College, American University, the Federal Executive Institute, and the South Carolina Executive Institute. He served as a senior associate with the John W. McCormack Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Massachusetts at Boston for twelve years after “retirement,” and has mentored many local government leaders and civic volunteers. As one of those who supported his nomination said, “Dan cares only about service and giving. He is a valued friend and model public servant. He deserves special recognition for more than 50 years of unselfish service to his country and to his local community

David Collins

Managed the development of the original barcode system, and mainstream barcode systems that follow to this day.

David Hooker

Once up on a time, David Hooker was a writer, you can tell that from the opening to this bio. Somewhere along the way he got lost and ended up leading a team of world-class designers who make beautiful visuals for rockstars, scientists, entrepreneurs, TV hosts, filmmakers, politicians, educators, and a guy who likes to jump into volcanoes. He is the Lead Evangelist for Prezi, the presentation platform that’s changed the way 85 million people share their ideas; a mission David takes so seriously that he helps 100s of people every year do just that.

David Smith

David Alan Smith Smith is the CTO and Founder of Wearality Corporation – dedicated to creating and delivering the highest quality and most accessible AR and VR products to both consumer/commercial and defense industries. Smith is a computer scientist and entrepreneur who has focused on interactive 3D and using 3D as a basis for new user environments and entertainment for over thirty years. His specialty is system design and advanced user interfaces. He is a pioneer in 3D graphics, robotics, telepresence, artificial intelligence and augmented reality (AR). He creates world-class teams and ships impossible products. Smith was Chief Innovation Officer and Lockheed Martin Senior Fellow at Lockheed Martin Training and Logistics Services, where he was focused on next generation human centric computing and collaboration platforms. While at Lockheed Martin he developed a number of key technologies including extreme wide field of view lenses for AR (over 140° field of view) and immersive VR (180° field of view) and was the designer of the Department of Defense Virtual World Framework – a browser based collaboration system that leverages WebGL and WebSockets and will act as a common platform for training across all of the services in the Department of Defense. He won the Lockheed Martin TLS Inventor of the Year for the last four years (every year he has been eligible). Before joining Lockheed Martin, Smith was the chief architect of the Croquet Project, an open source virtual world collaboration platform where he worked with Alan Kay (Turing Award winner, father of the personal computer, inventor of object oriented programming, and creator of the Dynabook), Andreas Raab, and David P. Reed (architect of TCP/IP). Smith was later CTO and co-founder of Teleplace, Inc. providing a collaboration platform developed specifically for enterprises based on Croquet. In 1987, Smith created The Colony, the very first realtime 3D adventure game/shooter and the precursor to today’s first-person shooters. The game was developed for the Apple Macintosh and won the Best Adventure Game of the Year” award from MacWorld Magazine. In 1989, Smith used the technologies developed for the game to create a virtual set and virtual camera system that was used by James Cameron for the movie The Abyss. Based upon this experience, Smith founded Virtus Corporation in 1990 and developed Virtus Walkthrough, the first real-time 3D design application for personal computers. Virtus Walkthrough won the very first MacWorld/MacUser Breakthrough Product of the Year. Fred Brooks, another Turing award winner and the man that decided there would be 8 bits in a byte was an adviser and member of the board at Virtus. Smith also co-founded several other companies including Red Storm Entertainment with author Tom Clancy (Rainbow Six, Hunt for Red October), Timeline Computer Entertainment with author Michael Crichton (Andromeda Strain, Jurassic Park) where David was CEO, and Neomar, a wireless enterprise infrastructure company. David has been happily married to Teri for 30 years. They have four children. He graduated in 1981 from the University of Chicago with a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics.

Dishita Turakhia

Dishita Turakhia is a researcher at MIT CSAIL’s Human Computer Interaction lab. Prior to MIT, she studied and worked in UK, Switzerland, India and Singapore. Architect and researcher by profession, writer and photographer by passion, she considers herself forever a student at heart. Creativity, technology and culture are her favorite subjects and she aspires to connect them through her research. Her current work focusses on building machines capable of being creative partners for human designers.

Elizabeth Toupin

I was born in Hawaii, educated in an English standard school system (segregated), tutored by Peter F. Drucker at Bennington College where I received my B.A. My father W.K. Ahn was the leader of the Korean Independence movement in the U.S.; My mother, a graduate of Ewa College, headed the Korean language school and was a cultural leader. I received an M.A. in Economics( U. of Hawaii), worked in Washington D.C. in foreign aid, and later as Communications Director for the late Senator K. Inouye. My husband’s job with IBM required us to move to Westchester, N.Y. With three children, Christine, Cecile and John, I settled into the life of a suburban housewife and wrote two cookbooks, including the best selling “HAWAII” cookbook.(120,000 hardback, 50,000 paperback), both still available. A chance meeting with Antonia H. Chayes placed me in a Dean’s job at Tufts University in 1968, the year of my divorce. My work as a Dean covered 24 years (1968-92) student activities as well as an academic dean. It was a period of incredible change in higher education as the children of the greatest generation challenged the institutions and society to change.

Elliot Kronefeld

Elliott Kronenfeld is a certified sex and couple’s therapist who specializes in intimacy, infertility and infidelity. He is known for helping finding their passion and connecting it to their lives. He’s the founder of Insight Brookline Psychotherapy and Insight Newton Psychotherapy and Colibri Integrative Group, LLC. Elliott specializes in therapies for individuals, couples and families that are dealing with issues that inhibit future growth and happiness. His specialties include infertility, Surrogacy/Adoption/Foster Care, family formation, life transitions/personal growth, men’s issues, military, and GLBTQQIA issues. He also work with people who are dealing with anxiety, grief and loss, adjustment/mood disorders and other concerns. His approach is solution focused, varied and includes a strength based perspective. Narrative therapy, CBT and interpersonal methods are often used.

Elliot Kronenfeld

We are never given a class on how to have a relationship and how to talk about real connection...but imagine if there was a language! Learn a new language to talk about connection in relationship!

Emily Cherniack

For President Kennedy, politics was about service, and he brought an approach to public leadership that was undoubtedly informed by his own military service. This Greatest Generation put country first. Decades later, a new generation have served their country through military, AmeriCorps and Peace Corps programs. These servant leaders are part of a new generation of dedicated citizens who, forged by military and national service, have demonstrated both the leadership skills and the commitment to serve a cause larger than self. At a time when our politics lack leaders who know what it means to put country first, this new great generation is just what we need right now.

Eve Bridburg

Eve Bridburg is the Founder and Executive Director of GrubStreet. Under her leadership, the organization has grown into a national literary powerhouse by expanding offerings to better educate and equip writers in the digital age, launching new, innovative programming for advanced students, and significantly expanding scholarship opportunities to ensure access. Eve curated GrubStreet’s NEA-funded Publish it Forward lecture series and our innovative Launch Lab, led GrubStreet’s Diversity Task force, laying the foundation for GrubStreet’s next chapter, and was the driving force behind establishing the country’s first Literary Cultural District in downtown Boston. Eve’s work has been recognized by Boston Magazine, who named her one of Boston’s 50 most powerful women in 2010, and by BostInno Magazine who gave her their 2014 Arts and Entertainment Award for driving innovation in Boston. Having graduated from its inaugural class, Eve remains active with the National Arts Strategies Chief Executive Program, a consortium of 200 of the world’s top cultural leaders, which addresses the critical issues that face the arts and cultural sector worldwide. Eve has presented on publishing, the future of publishing, and on what it takes to build a literary arts center at numerous conferences, including AWP, O’Reilly’s Tools of Change, GrubStreet’s own The Muse and the Marketplace, Whidbey Island Writers Conference, The Sanibel Island Writers Conference, and Writers at Work. Her essays and op-eds on publishing, the role of creative writing centers and the importance of the narrative arts have appeared in The Boston Globe, Huffington Post, Cognoscenti, Writer’s Digest and TinHouse. Eve worked as a literary agent at The Zachary Shuster Harmsworth Literary Agency for five happy years where she developed, edited, and sold a wide variety of books to major publishers. Before starting GrubStreet, she attended Boston University’s Writing program on a teaching fellowship, farmed in Oregon, and ran an international bookstore in Prague.

Frances Firzgerald

Frances Fitzgerald TD was served as Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise and Innovation 14 June 2017 till November 2017. She previously served as Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality from 6 May 2016. She previously served as the Minister for Justice and Equality from May 2014. She previously served as Minister for Children and Youth Affairs from March 2011. She represents the constituency of Dublin Mid-West. As an experienced national politician, Frances has both the knowledge and experience to best represent the people of Dublin Mid-West at national level. Frances is Chairperson of the Fine Gael National Election Strategy Committee and has previously served as a member of the party’s Executive Council. As Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances has been actively involved in delivering the Government’s comprehensive programme reform which includes the establishment of an independent Policing Authority; the appointment of the Garda Commissioner by open competition and the enactment of new legislation to reform and strengthen the role, remit and operation of GSOC. In 2014, Frances oversaw recommencement of Garda recruitment for the first time since 2009 and has increased investment in vehicles for Gardaí. Frances introduced legislation for the Marriage Equality referendum. On 23rd May, Ireland became the first country in the world to vote in a referendum to introduce an equal right to civil marriage for same-sex couples. Frances has overseen the enactment of the Children and Family Relationships Act which provides for the most comprehensive reform of family law since the foundation of the State. As Ireland’s first senior Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, France led a complete reform of child protection and welfare system in Ireland. She oversaw the successful Children’s Referendum in 2012; she established Tusla, a dedicated Child and Family Agency; she oversaw the introduction of Children First Legislation, putting these guidelines on a statutory footing and other major improvement on the promotion, regulation and enforcement of standards in early years and childcare settings. Frances trained as a social worker and family therapist and worked in inner-city London and Dublin for 20 years. Frances was motivated to go into politics chairing the National Women’s Council and the Women’s Political Association. Frances is married to Michael and has three sons. Frances lists John Hume as her political hero.

Fred Vogelstein

Fred Vogelstein is contributing editor at Wired magazine in San Francisco where he writes about the business and technology of Silicon Valley. There and at previous jobs at Fortune magazine and US News & World Report he’s authored some of the seminal stories about the region’s transformation from computer industry hub into ground zero for the most powerful companies on the planet. They include some of the earliest investigations into Bill Gates’ fear of Google, the mess at Yahoo, the rise of Facebook, and the revolutionary impacts of the iPhone and Android phone. He’s been a finalist for The Gerald Loeb Award, business journalism’s top prize. His 2013 book Dogfight: How Apple and Google went to War and Started a Revolution was published in 17 countries.

Gina Ford

Gina is a principal and landscape architect in Sasaki’s Urban Studio. Her teaching includes guest critic and studio instructor roles at the Harvard Design School, MIT, and RISD. She holds degrees in architecture from Wellesley College and landscape architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and was the recipient of Wellesley’s Shaw Fellowship, the Janet Darling Webel Prize, the Hyde Chair at the University of Nebraska, and the Charles Eliot Travelling Fellowship. Gina was also recently elevated to the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Council of Fellows, after having been nominated by the Boston Society of Landscape Architects (BSLA).

Henry Lieberman

Henry Lieberman is a Research Scientist at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL). Before that, he ran the Software Agents group at the MIT Media Lab. He has published over 120 papers and 3 books. Christopher Fry and Henry Lieberman’s new book, “Why Can’t We All Get Along: How Science Can Enable a More Cooperative Future”, expands upon the topic of this TEDx talk. It shows how AI and personal manufacturing can usher in a new era of cooperation, and presents radical new designs for the economy, government, and society.

Hiroshi Ishii

Associate Director, MIT Media Lab

Jaimi Lard

Jaimi Lard loves adventure. She has surfed, skied, swung on a trapeze and testified before Congress. Born deaf and blind, she is extraordinary, but she is also as ordinary as anyone: she eats out at restaurants, enjoys meeting friends for coffee and rides a bike. She was a Girl Scout. As spokesperson for Perkins, Jaimi has spent the past 13 years breaking down barriers and changing perspectives about people with disabilities. In a typical year, Jaimi speaks to dozens of groups and thousands of individuals about living independently as a person who is deafblind. She annually testifies before Massachusetts legislative committees, advocating for programs and services for people with deafblindness. In 2006, she addressed over 10,000 people at the Lions International Convention, the first person who is deafblind to address this convention since Helen Keller did in 1925. In 2008, to a thunderous ovation, Jaimi received the “Hero Among Us” award from the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation for her advocacy work for people with disabilities. Jaimi brings her highly personal, insightful and interactive multimedia presentations to universities, community groups, professional associations, schools and conventions. With the assistance of her interpreter, Jaimi invites her audiences to experience her world, which is defined more by ingenuity than by disability. You’ll see Jaimi’s rapport with her audiences when she urges the crowd to connect with her. “If you applaud,” she says, “I will not be able to hear you. But if you stamp your feet, I will feel the vibrations and know you enjoyed our time together.”

Jason Kahn

Jason Kahn is the Founder and Chief Science Officer of Neuromotion, a company that builds mobile video games for emotional strength. Their games helps children and families stay calm and focused, building important neural connections for emotional well-being. Built on my research at Boston Children’s Hospital, he founded the company to get the important tool into as many hands as possible. Jason’s research broadly focuses upon the creation of new technology to aid in mental health care. In particular, he develops video games and toys that help children build emotional strength. These tools are emotionally aware, but also place children in demanding cognitive and social situations. Children learn to compete, cooperate, and focus while remaining in emotional control. Early results have been promising, and future directions include adapting the tools for a wider age range, a greater range of diagnoses, and introducing the tools to new settings. Additionally, Jason has worked on developing systems that can improve systems of care. He works on tools that allow for online reporting of patient outcomes, and is currently studying the impact of these tools on the quality of care. Jason holds a PhD in Science Education from Tufts University and has a background in cognitive development and physics.

Jeff Freedman

Jeff Freedman is the founder and CEO of Small Army, one of Boston’s top 20 ad agencies (Boston Business Journal) and recently named one of Boston’s top 10 small businesses by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. Jeff is also the founder and CEO of Small Army for a Cause, the non-profit organization behind the national Be Bold, Be Bald! cancer fundraiser, which he founded after losing his business partner to cancer in 2009. Jeff is a regular speaker, panelist and blogger about brand storytelling, business leadership and corporate social responsibility.

Jennifer Brea

Jennifer Brea is an independent documentary filmmaker based in Los Angeles. She has an AB from Princeton University and was a PhD student at Harvard until sudden illness left her bedridden. In the aftermath, she rediscovered her first love, film. Her feature documentary, Unrest, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, where it won a Special Jury Prize. She is also co-creator of Unrest VR, winner of the Sheffield Doc/Fest Alternate Realities Award. An activist for invisible disabilities and chronic illness, she co-founded a global advocacy network, #MEAction and is a TED Talker.

Jim McNeil

Jim is a co-creator and Executive Producer of Werner Herzogs: Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World. Jim is a 30-year technology veteran who is both a huge fan of tech and what it can do, as well as a concerned observer. As the Creator and Executive Producer of the feature documentary Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World, Jim is eager to explore and discuss the promise and the pitfalls poised by our technology centric world and where it is taking us. Who owns your data, what is it worth, what are the pros and cons of sharing it. Jim will explore these questions and pose of few of his own. Jim has worked at LucasFilm, AST, Cheyenne Software, Pequot Capital and NETSCOUT Systems. He has experience ranging from programming, marketing, investing and recently: film production. Jim firmly believes it is time we created the role of Data Ethicists to govern the correct and ethical usage of our personal data.

Jim McNiel

Jim is a co-creator and Executive Producer of Werner Herzogs: Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World. Jim is a 30-year technology veteran who is both a huge fan of tech and what it can do, as well as a concerned observer. As the Creator and Executive Producer of the feature documentary Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World, Jim is eager to explore and discuss the promise and the pitfalls poised by our technology centric world and where it is taking us. Who owns your data, what is it worth, what are the pros and cons of sharing it. Jim will explore these questions and pose of few of his own. Jim has worked at LucasFilm, AST, Cheyenne Software, Pequot Capital and NETSCOUT Systems. He has experience ranging from programming, marketing, investing and recently: film production. Jim firmly believes it is time we created the role of Data Ethicists to govern the correct and ethical usage of our personal data.

Jody Asbell-Clark

Dr. Jodi Asbell-Clarke is the co-founder and co-director of the Educational Gaming Environments Group (EdGE) at TERC. TERC is a non-profit research and development organization focusing on innovative, technology-based STEM education. Jodi and the EdGE team of game designers, educators, and researchers study implicit STEM learning in digital games to transform science education. A believer in Seymore Papert’s term ‘hard fun’, EdGE applies it to education by designing challenging free-choice STEM learning games that are within the grasp of the player motivating them to keep playing and learn advanced science content in their free time. EdGE researchers also use educational data mining to measure implicit learning in games, and work with educators to understand how it can be leveraged to measure classroom learning of related STEM content. EdGE is currently researching how AR and VR can enhance learning, especially for learners with particular skills and challenges, such as ADHD and autism. Before joining TERC, Jodi dreamed of being an astronaut and went to Houston where she was an onboard software verification analyst for IBM during the first 25 space shuttle missions. She also taught Physics and Astrophysics to some of the brightest students in the country at the laboratory school at University of Illinois. Jodi’s academic background includes an MA in Math, an MSc in Astrophysics, and a PhD in Education.

Joe Kvedar

Dr. Joe Kvedar is creating a new model of healthcare delivery, developing innovative strategies to move care from the hospital or doctor’s office into the day-to-day lives of patients. For more than two decades leading Partners Connected Health, he has launched innovative mobile health programs, virtual care initiatives and clinical research programs to improve care delivery and put the patient at the center of their health and wellness.

John Ryan

John leads two projects aimed at rethinking Internet-for all: WireTheWorld, with a business approach that builds on the capabilities of village merchants; People Centered Internet, that aims to leverage the value of data about poor individuals and communities. A former Google [x] director, and serial entrepreneur, John works on strategies for projects where the underlying physical technologies are difficult. John has founded and run several tech companies. He founded, with two colleagues, a renowned telecom / tech consulting firm, Ryan Hankin Kent. For 14 years, RHK was renowned for technically-derived and precise insights in strategy. He co-founded Pixel Qi Corp., which pioneered fabless display development.

John Sharp

Dr. John Sharp is a seasoned medical professional, a board certified psychiatrist who practices on both coasts. He is on faculty at the Harvard Medical School and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Dr. Sharp is renowned for clearly conveying evidenced based messages regarding standards of professional competence. A sought after expert in the media, he has given over 1000 presentations on mental health issues in America. Dr. Sharp is a member of The American College of Psychiatrists and the Examining Committee of The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He is a distinguished, award winning educator and Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine. He has been voted by his peers for inclusion in Best Doctors in America for past seven years. His first book, The Emotional Calendar: Understanding Seasonal Influences and Milestones to become Happier, more Fulfilled and in Control of your Life, was published in 2011 by Times Books and translated into five languages.

John Shattuck

John Shattuck has spent more than three decades in higher education, international diplomacy, foreign policy and human rights. Shattuck served as the President and Rector of Central European University, CEO of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, and Senior Fellow at Tufts University, where he taught human rights and international relations. Shattuck served as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor under President Clinton, playing a major role in the establishment by the United Nations of the International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia; assisting an international coalition under UN authority to restore a democratically-elected government to Haiti; and negotiating the Dayton Peace Agreement and other efforts to end the war in Bosnia. Subsequently he served as US Ambassador to the Czech Republic, working with the Czech government to assist in overhauling the country’s legal system, and with Czech educators to support innovative civic education programs in the country’s schools and universities. In recognition of his human rights leadership, he has received the International Human Rights Award from the United Nations Association of Boston; the Ambassador’s Award from the American Bar Association Central and East European Law Initiative; and the Tufts University Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award. Prior to his government service, Shattuck was a Vice-President at Harvard University, taught at the Harvard Law School, and was a Research Associate at the Kennedy School of Government. While at Harvard he founded the Cambridge Partnership for Public Education, and worked to expand Harvard’s role in assisting public schools. He received the Distinguished Service to Public Education Award in 1990 from the Massachusetts Board of Education, and the Yale Law School Public Service Award in 1988.

Josh Simpson

Josh Simpson has been an artist and glass-maker for almost 50 years. His current work includes imaginary planets, vessels, and other sculptural objects. Each piece is connected to every other by either obvious physical traits or conceptual threads, usually involving scientific or astronomical themes. He uses traditional tools and ancient hand blowing techniques. Every piece is personally made and signed by Josh himself.

Justin Werfel

Justin Werfel leads the Designing Emergence Laboratory at the Wyss Institute at Harvard. His research focuses on complex and emergent systems, including work in swarm robotics, social insect behavior, evolutionary theory, engineered molecular nanosystems, and educational technology.

Kathy Kleinman

Kathy Kleiman discovered the ENIAC Programmers as a Harvard undergraduate and a female programmer in search of role models and inspiration. Her junior paper and senior thesis explored the missing chapter of computer history – the ENIAC Programmers and many other women who were pioneers in early programming and software. A decade later, upon learning that most of the ENIAC Programmers were not invited to the ENIAC’s 50th Anniversary she set out to record their oral histories, seek recognition for their accomplishments and produce the first feature documentary to tell their dramatic story. So much of the work is done. Kathy and award-winning film producer David Roland recorded 20 hours of broadcast quality oral histories with the ENIAC Programmers. Nominated by Kathy, the Programmers have received awards at the highest level of computing. Now Kathy seeks to turn these oral histories, and the story entrusted to her, into an inspiring documentary. Further, with the passing of Jean Bartik just recently, on March 23, 2011, Kathy has decided to devote this year to the completion of documentary, and the full telling of this powerful story to all – especially young women. Recent Director of Policy for .ORG, The Public Interest Registry, Kathy has been a leader in debates over the future of the Internet and helped shape policies of the Domain Name System. Part of the group that founded the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers(ICANN), and a co-founder of ICANN’s Noncommercial Users Constituency, Kathy speaks regularly and works frequently on issues of online free speech, fair use, online security and privacy. The ENIAC Programmers remain a constant inspiration to her work.

Kendall Spencer

Kendall Spencer, became the first student-athlete to serve on the NCAA Division I Board of Directors in 2015 as part of the new governance structure. Spencer recently served as chair of the National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee after joining national SAAC in 2013 and his school’s SAAC in 2011. His leadership within college athletics helped athletes successfully advocate for representation and voting power at all levels of the NCAA governance structure. He has lead quarterly national SAAC meetings, established priority items and guides other SAAC members in discussions on legislation, health and safety issues and various student-athlete initiatives. He has since had the opportunity to present to a variety of audiences on the intricacies of college athletics as they relate to student-athletes and the greater model of higher education. Recently he helped national SAAC conduct the most comprehensive survey to date of current student-athletes on their overall experience in college. Results from this survey are leading the ongoing discussion of student-athlete time demands in Division I and other divisions. Spencer earned his bachelor’s degree in Psychology with minors in Business and Sociology from the University of New Mexico. After graduation, he studied Neuroscience at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and in the wake of the nation’s controversy on racial injustice decided that his talents were best served in the legal industry. As a student-athlete, Spencer has won a National Championship in the Long Jump, earned First Team All-American honors in addition to numerous conference honors and has since competed at the Olympic Trials. Last year he spent his time as a volunteer coach at Harvard and the Kennedy School of government prior to starting school in the fall of this year. Kendall is currently attending Georgetown University Law School and hopes to use the lessons learned in intercollegiate athletics to serve the community through advocacy and ultimately pursue a career in government/public policy.

Kevin Frech

Why do poachers poach? The was the question that lead film maker and documentarian Kevin Frech to go to Africa. What he found are the real reasons: lack of income, lack of education, lack of opportunity, and options so limited that poaching elephants was desperate action to achieve basic sustenance and basic family support.

Larry Lessig

Lawrence Lessig is the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School. Prior to rejoining the Harvard faculty, Lessig was a professor at Stanford Law School, where he founded the school’s Center for Internet and Society, and at the University of Chicago. He clerked for Judge Richard Posner on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and Justice Antonin Scalia on the United States Supreme Court. Lessig serves on the Board of the AXA Research Fund, and on the advisory boards of Creative Commons and the Sunlight Foundation. He is a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Association, and has received numerous awards, including the Free Software Foundation’s Freedom Award, Fastcase 50 Award and being named one of Scientific American’s Top 50 Visionaries. Lessig holds a BA in economics and a BS in management from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA in philosophy from Cambridge, and a JD from Yale.

Lillian Medville

Lillian Medville is the creator and facilitator of Your Privilege is Showing. She developed this unique experience-based card game that allows for conversations about privilege and social justice through her own personal evolution with understanding culture and power. She has brought the game to MIT Media Lab, Harvard School of Ed, The Humanist Hub, Berklee College of Music, SXSWedu in March 2017, and is currently working on a documentary film about the Berklee College Pilot program that took place fall 2016. Lillian is creative and honest in her approach to doing what works through art. She works on projects related to social justice, bravery, and permission to be exactly who you are. More info at

Lindiwe Matlali

Lindiwe is the Founder and CEO of Africa Teen Geeks a non-profit organisation that teach school children and unemployed youth how to code. She holds a Bcom degree from the University of Cape Town and recently completed a General Management Programme at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS). She is currently studying towards MS in Technology Management from Columbia University in New York as well as a Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Stanford University. Her numerous accolades includes Young Business awards top 3 finalist, Mail & Guardian Top young South Africans 2014 , TechWomen Fellow 2017 and Recently Named Innov8tive Magazine Top 50 Visionary Women in #Tech To Watch in 2017.

Louis Smith

As a child growing up in a declining neighborhood in Detroit, I dreamed that the burned buildings and vacant lots might be replaced with brilliant new structures that would invigorate the community. As I matured and took up architecture, I found myself in a world where faceless modernism seemed to decry the death of spirit. You could not tell what city you were in if dropped in the middle of downtown "anywhere." Most buildings had no meaning and did not feel part of any certain community. It doesn’t have to be this way. Architecture can strengthen Identity, Community and Purpose when buildings have meaning.

Lynn Margherio

With the conviction that, if donating were easy, families would gladly pass on new or gently used children’s items to families in need, Lynn launched Cradles to Crayons in Boston in 2002 and later expanded to Philadelphia and Chicago. Annually, Cradles to Crayons now provides nearly 250,000 children in poverty with essential items including clothing, shoes, winter coats and filled backpacks, and the organization’s unique operating model engages volunteers to fill 75,000 workshifts. A graduate of Georgetown University, Lynn began her career as a business strategy consultant. She served as a senior policy analyst on the White House Domestic Policy Council during the Clinton Administration, focusing on health care and the potential impact on the economy of the Internet and electronic commerce. She later served as Executive Vice President of the Clinton Foundation’s HIV/AIDS Initiative where she led international health care and policy teams. Lynn lives in Cambridge with her husband and children.

Manisha Mohan

Manisha Mohan is a second-year master’s student in the Living Mobile group at the MIT Media Lab. Her research interests include wearable technology for safety and security and biomaterials science for wearables. Her work lives at the intersection of social issues and engineering, with a specific focus on technologies that can create positive impact in people’s lives and the environment. Her thesis research explores on-body safety via the seamless integration of wearables into users’ existing clothing. The research currently focuses on three specific groups: infants and toddlers, college students, and the elderly and disabled. Prior to joining the Media Lab, Manisha worked at the Production Technology Center in Sweden, where her work was related to tribology (thermal barrier coatings). Her past work also includes microfabrication, inclusive design, and automotive structural design and engineering. Manisha received her bachelor’s degree in automobile engineering from SRM, Chennai, India, where in 2014 she was one of five Presidential Fellows. Resume

Marcus Quigley

Marcus Quigley is the CEO and Founder of OptiRTC, a technology company focused on delivering a cloud-based platform for Continuous Monitoring and Adaptive Control (CMAC) of distributed stormwater infrastructure. Mr. Quigley has more than 20 years of experience in solving complex engineering problems as well as leading and managing major projects and running organizations. As a national technical leader, he has extensive experience in passive and active stormwater and green infrastructure design and construction, research and development, modeling, data analysis, integration of information technologies, and environmental field data acquisition. Mr. Quigley has co-authored numerous national guidance manuals for monitoring of stormwater runoff and evaluating and designing stormwater best management practices. Mr. Quigley holds an MS in Civil Engineering from Oregon State University and a BS in Environmental Engineering from Notre Dame.

Mary Ann Bates

Mary Ann Bates is Deputy Executive Director of J-PAL North America at MIT. She worked closely with Amy Finkelstein and Lawrence Katz on the launch of the newest regional office of J-PAL. In her six years at J-PAL, her work has cut across multiple sectors, including health, energy, and education, and has focused on U.S. domestic policy as well as international development. She is a co-chair of J-PAL North America’s State and Local Innovation Initiative, which provides resources to U.S. state and local governments interested in testing important policy questions with randomized evaluations. She was also instrumental in designing and launching the U.S. Health Care Delivery Initiative, which supports building the evidence base on interventions that can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of health care delivery. She is currently a co-investigator of a large-scale randomized evaluation of the Nurse-Family Partnership as a part of a pay-for-success initiative by the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. She holds a Master of Public Policy from UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy, where she received the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fellowship, and has conducted research as a Fulbright Scholar in Switzerland.

Masha Gershman

Masha Gershman is the Director of Outreach at Russian School of Mathematics, a rapidly growing K-12 afterschool mathematics program, with a mission to instill in every child a strong foundation and appreciation for mathematics. Today, RSM serves over 15,000 students of all levels and backgrounds across the United States. Yet, our proudest achievement remains are our outstanding students and accomplished alumni across the US. Masha joined RSM in 2013 to help the company spread the message that advanced mathematics, when taught appropriately, is not only within the grasp of every child, but is also a crucial skill for achieving success in any field.

Mel Schwartz

Mel Schwartz LCSW MPhil is a psychotherapist, marriage counselor, author and speaker. He’s in private practice in Westport, CT and NYC and also works with individuals globally. Mel is the author of The Possibility Principle: How Quantum Physics Can Improve the Way You Think, Live and Love and The Art of Intimacy, The Pleasure of Passion. He is one of the first psychotherapists to integrate the basic principles of quantum physics into a therapeutic approach, enabling people to overcome their challenges and live to their potential.

Mike Dubke

Michael Dubke is an entrepreneur and political aide who was the White House Communications Director for U.S. President Donald Trump during the first year of his presidency.

Mina Khan

Research scientist

Mitchel Resnick

Mitchel Resnick, LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research at the MIT Media Lab, develops new technologies and activities to engage people (particularly children) in creative learning experiences. His Lifelong Kindergarten research group develops the Scratch programming software and online community (, used by millions of young people around the world. The group also collaborates with the LEGO Company on the development of new educational ideas and products, including LEGO Mindstorms and WeDo robotics kits. Resnick co-founded the Computer Clubhouse project, an international network of 100 after-school learning centers where youth from low-income communities learn to express themselves creatively with new technologies. Resnick earned a BA in physics at Princeton University (1978) and MS and PhD degrees in computer science at MIT (1988, 1992). He worked as a science-technology journalist from 1978 to 1983. He is author of Turtles, Termites, and Traffic Jams (1994), co-editor of Constructionism in Practice (1996), as well as co-author of Adventures in Modeling (2001) and The Official ScratchJr Book (2015). He was awarded the McGraw Prize in Education in 2011 and the AACE EdMedia Pioneer Award in 2013.

Mohammad Ghassemi

Mohammad Ghassemi is a doctoral candidate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As an undergraduate, he studied Electrical Engineering and graduated as both a Goldwater scholar and the University’s “Outstanding Engineer”. Mohammad later perused an MPhil in Information Engineering at the University of Cambridge where he was a recipient of the prestigious Gates-Cambridge Scholarship. Since arriving at MIT in 2011, he has perused research which has allowed him to leverage his knowledge of machine learning and background in hardware/sensor design to enhance critical care medicine. Mohammad’s doctoral focus is machine learning techniques in the context of multi-modal, multi-scale datasets. He has currently put together the largest collection of post-anoxic coma EEGs in the world, which he is investigating for his doctoral thesis. He has published in several top Artificial Intelligence and Medical venues including: Nature, Science, Intensive Care Medicine, AAAI and KDD. Mohammad’s work has been internationally recognized by venues including: BBC, NPR, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek. In addition to his research efforts, Mohammad is also involved in a range of entrepreneurial activities including a platform to facilitate connections between students, and an algorithm for social coaching.

Monalisa Johnson

"Monalisa Johnson spent time in jail while undercover on the hit TV show ""60 Days IN' (A & E), and she also has a daughter who was sentenced to 10 years in prison. She makes the case that we are our brothers and sisters keepers, and she calls upon her audience to participate in a human rights movement of ""a major awakening in our consciousness for people of all colors"" to the right to have an education, to have opportunities to work, and have shelter and food. In the 1970's there were 300,000 inmates in the U.S. Now there are 2.5 million. Mass incarceration is a humanitarian crisis that destroys families, creates a group of second class citizens, and costs 80 billion dollars a year. Bad conditions are not going to create good people. We must awaken to the thought that we have reasons to care about returning citizens, because it is a humanity, financial, and community issue. We are our brothers' & sisters' keepers. Love and acceptance is what we must work towards...moving from a punitive approach to a restorative approach to return the dignity of all people, regardless of color."

Neil Gaikwad

Neil Gaikwad is an inventor and a graduate researcher at the MIT Media Lab. His work focuses on using Artificial Intelligence and Human Computer Interaction for Social Good and humanitarian efforts. Neil designs and engineers self-organizing systems that fuse human and artificial intelligence to solve problems that neither can solve alone. Neil’s research envisage human-machine symbiosis that can help solve pressing societal challenges related to market design, healthcare, collective-governance, and crisis response. His work has appeared in the major academic journal and conferences, including PNAS, ACM UIST, and ACM CSCW. At the MIT Media Lab, Neil is a part of the Innovating for Billions in Emerging Worlds Leadership Council and a member of the Space Exploration initiative. He is also one of the chairs of the Committee on Scholarly Interactions at Sidney Pacific, MIT’s largest graduate residence. Neil is one of the principal creators and lead technical architect of Daemo, a Self Governed Marketplace that is redefining the future of work. He was also one of the principal creators, inventors, and founding members of EteRNA, crowdcomputing game that harnesses human intelligence with machine learning to help invent medicine. EteRNA has reached over 100,000 citizen scientists across the world and was featured in the legendary director Werner Herzog’s film “Lo And Behold: Reveries of the Connected World’’. Neil comes from Nagar, a small town near the Western Ghats (Sahyadri in Sanskrit) of India. He is an artist and a guitarist; his photograph `Glacial Place’ has featured on National Geographic. One of the major missions of his life is to democratize the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) educational opportunities for students, women, and minorities across the globe. He and his collaborators have been working on democratizing the research process through Massive Open Online Research project that has benefited students from the six continents. Neil has mentored over dozens of students who are now pursuing undergraduate and graduate studies at Carnegie Mellon, UC Berkeley, UCLA, and Cornell University.

Olle Ljungqvist

Olle Ljungqvist MD, PhD received his medical degree and obtained his PhD on glucose metabolism in hemorrhage at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. He completed his residency and held several clinical positions in gastrointestinal surgery at the Karolinska Hospital and was appointed Professor of Surgery Nutrition and Metabolism in 2005 at the Karolinska Insitutet. He chaired the Center for Gastrointestinal Disease at Ersta hospital 1999-2008, Stockholm before taking up his current position as Professor of Surgery at Örebro University, Sweden in 2009. Dr Ljungqvist has served as Chair of the European Society for Clinical Nutrition (ESPEN), the International Association for Surgical Metabolism and Nutrition (IASMEN) as part of the International Surgical Society. He co-founded the Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) Society 2010. He proposed the use of preoperative carbohydrates instead of overnight fasting for elective surgery and has been active in research in surgical stress, metabolism and nutrition and outcomes focusing on ERAS publishing more than 200 original contributions and reviews.

Peter Nguyen

Peter Nguyen works at the Harvard University’s Wyss Institute of Biologically Inspired Engineering on commercializing synthetic biology technologies.

Rama Chakaki

Rama Chakaki is the co-founder of Her passion is to promote a collaborative approach, invest in social enterprises, use technology for social development and nurture a generation of social entrepreneurs among youth and women in the Arab world. As co-founder and CEO of Dubai-based Baraka Ventures, Rama facilitated women and youth leadership, entrepreneurship and civic engagement workshops, advised regional government and large enterprise on social investments in youth and women lead social enterprise, and incubated sustainable social ventures and Web Technologies. In addition to a grass-roots community engagement approach, Rama worked with GCC institutions in the public, private, non-profit and education sectors to deliver the Baraka Ventures vision of being a positive change agent to build and support social ventures and sustainable businesses with a triple bottom line. Ms. Chakaki holds a MS in Computer Science and a MS in Engineering Management from George Washington University.

Rébecca Kleinberger

Rébecca Kleinberger is the mother of hedgehogs and a PhD candidate doing research at the MIT Media Lab. Her work mixes science, engineering, design and art to explore ways to craft experiences for self-reflection and human connection. As part of the Opera of the Future group at the MIT Media Lab, she creates unique experiences to help people connect with themselves and with others. She accomplishes this using approaches that include virtual reality, rapid prototyping, deep learning, real-time digital signal processing, lasers, wearable technologies and robotics. Through 5 years of work on self-reflection technologies, Rébecca has developed unique expertise on the human voice as a means of expression, both to others and within ourselves. Her research spans a wide range of fields, including neurology, human-computer interaction, psychology, cognitive sciences, physics, biology, clinical research, linguistics, communication theory and assistive technologies. This broad range of work has enabled her to create tools and experiences that help people discover more about themselves through the uniqueness and expressivity of their own voice. Rébecca's work was used for a Financial Times magazine cover and has been shown at a wide range of events and venues including, the Museum of Fine Art in Boston, Le Laboratoire in Paris, Siggraph Art exhibition in Los Angeles, “Hacking Consciousness” at Harvard divinity school, and EMF camp in the UK. She has collaborated with Microsoft Research UK and the Google Magenta team and has presented her research at a host of international conferences. Working with Tod Machover’s team, her research has also been used outside of the MIT Media Labs as part of live shows and novel esthetic experiences at Maison Symphonique de Montreal, the Luzern Festival in Switzerland, and the Winspear Opera House in Dallas. Rébecca graduated from École National des Arts et Métiers in Paris with a Masters of Mechanical Engineering, and from University College London with a Master of Research in Virtual Environments, Imaging and Visualization. She is home-schooled in the art of raising hedgehogs.

Roberta Shapiro

Dr. Shapiro received her undergraduate degree from George Washington University in 1981 and her Osteopathic Medical degree from Southeastern College of Medicine in 1987. She went on to complete an Internship at Brookdale Hospital in New York in June 1987. She completed a Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation residency at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in June 1992 also in New York. She completed an additional year as a Fellow in Pediatric Rehabilitation in 1993 at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. For the next two years she served as Associate Director of the Myofascial Pain Program and Director of Pediatric Rehabilitation at Danbury Hospital in Connecticut, an affiliate of Yale University Medical Center. During this time, she became Assistant Clinical Professor in the Departments of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Pediatrics at Albert Einstein. She is currently Assistant Clinical Professor at Columbia University Medical Center in the Department of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicines.. Dr. Shapiro was Chair of the Myofascial Special Interest Group for the American Academy of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and has remained active in creating legislation regarding proper treatment and billing regulations for this entity. In January 1996, Dr. Shapiro opened a private practice in New York City. She has lectured widely on Musculoskeletal Pain Syndromes as well as autoimmune diseases associated with inflammatory conditions both nationally and internationally. Her greatest passion is problem solving in the field of chronic conditions and the application of regenerative therapies for such. She has appeared on FOX Cable network and Lifetime. Dr. Shapiro is also one of six contributors to the revision of Volume I of Travell & Simons’ text on Myofascial Pain & Dysfunction, published in 1999. She has worked on an independent workshop series on Musculoskeletal Pain Syndromes and remains an active participant in the international field of regenerative medicine, stem cell therapies and the treatment of chronic inflammatory conditions.

Rodrigo Martinez

Rodrigo lives at the crossroads of BIOLOGY + TECHNOLOGY + DESIGN. As Chief Marketing & Design Officer at Veritas Genetics, he creates experiences to engage people in the genomic revolution. For the last 20 years, Rodrigo has participated in and lead different initiatives in life sciences. Before joining Veritas, Rodrigo was Life Sciences Chief Strategist at IDEO. Prior to that he was a Principal with The Boston Consulting Group. With Juan Enriquez, Rodrigo co-founded Harvard Business School’s Life Sciences Project and coined the term ‘bioeconomy’ in a series of papers and articles starting in 1997. Rodrigo’s work has been recognized by awards including MDEA Gold Award, Core 77 Design Strategy, Webby; and has appeared in publications and books including WIRED, HBR Brasil, EDGE-Serpentine Gallery. Rodrigo has been a keynote speaker & presenter at: Summit at Sea, ARC Fusion, TEDx events, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, HBR Brasil, among other. He has been a regular guest lecturer at Harvard and MIT. Educated at Mexico City’s ITAM and Harvard, he mostly learns creativity and innovation from his 10-yr old daughter. Rodrigo is a freediver and loves spicy food.

Ron Carucci

Ron Carucci is co-founder and managing partner at Navalent, working with CEOs and executives pursuing transformational change for their organizations, leaders, and industries. He has a thirty year track record helping some of the world’s most influential executives tackle challenges of strategy, organization and leadership. From start-ups to Fortune 10’s, turn-arounds to new markets and strategies, overhauling leadership and culture to re-designing for growth, he has worked in more than 25 countries on 4 continents. He is the best-selling author of 8 books, including the recent Amazon #1 Rising to Power. He is a regular contributor to HBR and Forbes, and has been featured in Fortune, CEO Magazine, BusinessInsider, MSNBC, Business Week, Smart Business, and thoughtleaders.

Rosabeth Moss Kanter

Rosabeth Moss Kanter wrote her first novel at the age of 11. Not one to rest on her childhood laurels, Kanter’s ambition and fierce intellect earned her a BA in sociology and English Literature from Bryn Mawr, followed by an MA and PhD in Sociology from the University of Michigan. Her dissertation on 19th-century utopian communities set the stage for a long and incredibly distinguished career in business research and academia. Kanter taught at Brandeis, Harvard and Yale before joining the faculty at Harvard Business School as the Ernest L. Arbuckle Professor of Business and director and chair of the Harvard University Advanced Leadership Initiative. A prolific writer, Kanter has published numerous books on business management, gender and race in the workplace. She served as economic adviser to Michael Dukakis during the 1988 presidential election, co- founded Goodmeasure, Inc. a consulting firm that counts IBM and British Airways among its clients, and was the last academic to edit the Harvard Business Review. Kanter’s numerous accolades include 23 honorary degrees, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and an award in her name, which recognizes the best in work-family research. A trail-blazer by any measure, Kanter was named one of Boston Magazine’s “50 most powerful women” and one of Good Housekeeping’s “125 women who changed our world.”

Sam Rodriques

Sam Rodriques was trained as a theoretical physicist, and now works at the Media Lab building new tools to map the activity and spatial organization of neurons in the brain, with the goal of understanding how the brain changes over development and during disease.

Satchin Panda

Dr. Satchidananda Panda, a professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California. Satchin’s work deals specifically with the timing of food and it’s relationship with our biological clocks governed by circadian rhythm and also the circadian rhythm in general. Professor Panda explores the genes, molecules and cells that keep the whole body on the same circadian clock. A section of the hypothalamus called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) lies at the center of the body’s master clock and gets input directly from light sensors in the eyes, keeping the rest of the body on schedule. Panda discovered how these light sensors work, as well as how cellular timekeepers in other parts of the body function. He also uncovered a novel blue light sensor in the retina that measures ambient light level and sets the time to go to sleep and wake up every day. In the process of exploring how the liver’s daily cycles work, Panda found that mice which eat within a set amount of time (12 hours) resulted in slimmer, healthier mice than those who ate the same number of calories in a larger window of time, showing that when one eats may be as important as what one eats. If the benefits of this “12-hour diet” hold true in humans, it could have profound impacts on treating overeating disorders, diabetes and obesity. The circadian clock, he found, even mediates the immune system. Mice with a crucial circadian molecule missing had higher levels of inflammation in their bodies than other mice, suggesting that genes and molecules involved in the circadian clock could be drug targets for conditions linked to inflammation, such as infections or cancer.

Sharon Levy

Sharon Levy is a pediatrician that has evaluated and treated hundreds of teens with substance use disorders over the past two decades. She also works to support her colleagues in primary care to more competently identify and address adolescent substance use.

Shriya Srinivasan

Shriya is a PhD candidate in the MIT-Harvard Division of Health Sciences and Technology, working on novel neural interfacing strategies in Dr. Hugh Herr’s Biomechatronics Lab. She is also an accomplished Bharathanatyam dancer and has performed widely around the United States and in India. She co-founded her own dance company in 2015 and has toured the country, winning critical acclaim.

Simmie Foster

As a psychiatrist seeing patients with pain and depression, immunologist, neuroscientist, former pain patient, and woman, I’m lucky to have experienced multiple perspectives. Currently, I am establishing collaborations to bridge the gaps in communication between disciplines so we can increase understanding and discovery. I’m enjoying teaching and mentoring in the lab and in the clinic—I’ve been extraordinarily lucky to have wonderful role models and now hope to give back.

Suhas Subramanyam

Suhas Subramanyam is an entrepreneur, investor, and policy expert who has advised Presidents and Members of Congress on technology, infrastructure, and economic empowerment. He currently a Partner at Global Corridor Group, where he helps catalyze technology, transportation and infrastructure projects and investments around the globe. He joined Global Corridor Group after serving almost two years at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where he ran the White House Tech Policy Task Force and served as a Policy Advisor to the Chief Technology Officer. There, he advised President Obama on all aspects of technology and innovation, most notably infrastructure policy, economic development in rural and underserved areas, and improving government services and policy processes. He also worked to identify opportunities and challenges related to emerging technologies like the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and Augmented/Virtual Reality. Before joining the White House, Suhas handled a range of technology and trade issues for major U.S. law firms and worked as an advisor to Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. He is a resident of Ashburn, Virginia, where he serves as a volunteer firefighter and remains an active member of the Rotary Club of Ashburn. He holds a J.D. from Northwestern University.

Susan Dahl

Susan is an accomplished executive with over 20 years of experience in financial services and a proven record of success navigating and advancing change. Her experience includes both public and private companies, high growth and turn-around situations. Strong leadership skills have helped her succeed in promoting a forward thinking vision. “Battle tested” insights from years as a portfolio manager of institutional and endowment assets have been essential ingredients in the development of the highly successful, process driven approach utilized in the management of assets for both domestic and international clients. Her hands on investment experience spans asset classes from emerging markets to structured fixed income to currencies to U.S. equities and has a breadth that is unique in this industry. Clients appreciate her ability to leverage that experience in a way that speaks directly to them. Known for high integrity, critical thinking and an ability to lead. Susan is a champion of simplicity and purpose as roads to success.

Sydney Chaffee

As Teacher of the Year, Sydney Chaffee is committed to taking risks for her students and, as National Teacher of the Year, will encourage all educators to take risks – on their students, on each other and on themselves. As a humanities teacher at Codman Academy Charter Public School in Boston, Sydney takes risks every day to improve learning for all of her students. In the classroom, she strives to create lessons that demonstrate how education can be a transformative tool for social justice, and she encourages her students to see themselves as having the power to make change in the world based on lessons from the past. “Education must be authentic. There is no use in studying history if we believe it to be static and irrelevant to the future,” she says. “Authentic learning enables students to see and create connections in the world around them.” She tries to infuse the hard work of learning with joy, not only in her classroom but throughout the school. For example, she is the coordinator of a schoolwide Community Circle every Thursday where all students in the school come together to celebrate successes, share good news and dig into serious conversations together. As the 2017 National Teacher of the Year, Sydney is looking forward to advocating for all teachers to take risks on behalf of their students and giving a voice to the issues that affect her students. “When smart, driven teachers are given time and space to collaborate, we can help all of our students in all of our schools succeed. We have a lot of work to do, but we can achieve so much for kids when we commit-together-to being simultaneously optimistic and daring,” she says. Sydney has taught for the past 10 years, 9 of which have been in her current role. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from Sarah Lawrence College and a Masters of Education from Lesley University. Sydney is a National Board Certified Teacher.

Tal Achituv

Following a thesis from the MIT Media Lab, Artmatr is building art robots, leveraging digital input technologies to control physical output technologies. Many digital inputs are accessible to populations to whom traditional art tools are inaccessible. The talk encourages inclusion of art and robotics in traditional STEM education (to form STREAM) to allow for creative physical outputs as part of the process. The work is inspired by artist Benjamin Tritt who taught the team at MIT how to reverse engineer the process of painting and design robots that serve as brushes, thus bridging the physical and digital domains, and by Cristina Powell of A Brighter Way - an artist diagnosed with cerebral palsy and who has dedicated her life to painting in order to help others.

Tal Zaks

Tal Zaks is the Chief Medical Officer of Moderna Therapeutics.

Tim Savas

Hey now. I’m an engineer based in Boston, MA. You can currently find me making hardware with OpenAgat the MIT Media Lab. Our latest prototype just went to the White House. Before that, I was running research operations for a few scientists at Woods Hole, MA, and Harvard University. I like makinggadgets for cameras as much as I do photos with them. What’s next? A small business is set to be reborn. New rap music with friends is on the horizon. I like taking deep dives into projects. It’s warmer in the water.

Timothy Fitzgerald

Tim specializes in moving new ideas and technologies from the drawing board to market adoption. As CEO of ForeLight Inc., he leads the commercialization of ForeLight’s innovative, indoor photosynthesis platform, which bio-manufactures naturally-derived ingredients for large-scale food and beverage, cosmetics and animal feed customers. Tim has held senior leadership roles in business strategy, product/content development, brand building, financial strategy and sales — focused primarily on energy and technology. He has extensive international experience in more than 25 countries, and across both start-up and public company cultures. Prior to ForeLight, he was a founding partner in a clean-tech financial advisory boutique, a lead executive for more than a decade with IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates, and an energy and environmental advisor with Argonne National Laboratory. He has been a speaker/presenter at The World Economic Forum; CERAweek; Private Equity International; the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators. He holds a Masters from Johns Hopkins University, a BA from Colorado College and a General Course Diploma from the London School of Economics.

Tony Tjan

Over the course of a high-velocity career founding, leading, and now investing in and advising transformative businesses, Anthony Tjan has emerged as a leading expert on how to strategically innovate business models and channel the power of people and culture into enduring value. Across four different industries – Internet, media, tech-enabled retail, and financial services – Tjan has used the power of people and culture to challenge industry conventions. One of his largest transformations was serving as the chief strategic advisor to Thomson Corporations radical evolution from a newspaper company to the one of the largest information media conglomerates today, Thomson Reuters. With his latest book (Good People) and research initiative (The Good People Project), Tjan challenges leaders to re-frame traditional thinking around how we build our teams, cultures and our people ecosystems and to acknowledge and embrace leadership of character over leadership of competency. What do we need to look for when we evaluate goodness of character and values? Why is it that we tend to evaluate candidates and employees by their measurable accomplishments than by their “softer” qualities, like self-awareness, empathy, and respect? Why is it so hard to practice being good and what can we do about it in terms of talent assessment and mentorship? After reviewing nearly 100 case studies in organizations and leadership Tjan has established that there is a hard truth to soft matters in terms of what really drives long-term value and competitive advantage. With this in mind, Tjan is leading a movement to change the way we think about goodness, so we can become better judges of people, better leaders, and create more goodness in ourselves and our organizations.”

Tyler Lagasse

Tyler Lagasse describes in vivid detail the gift of autism with humility, detail, and courage. He describes how he doesn't use is autism as an excuse, but a strength to overcome and break down barriers usually associated with people living with autism. He is a pubished author, a motivational speaker, an ESPY award winner, a national Special Olympic medalist and an honor student attending UMass Lowell.

Udayan Umapathi

Udayan is a designer, artist, an experimental physicist, researcher at MIT, and CEO of Droplet.IO Inc. His work is underlined by the idea that “computation is a way of understanding the universe”. He asks, “if the universe is a computer, then how do we program it?”. His most recent work showed how to bring programmability to water droplets. What started out as experiments to create computer interfaces with liquid matter, has resulted in a new paradigm in programmable materials which he calls “Programmable Droplets”. Trained as an engineer at RVCE, artist and scientist at MIT he seeks to blur the boundary between the natural and synthetic computation through Droplet.IO Inc. a Boston based start-up that he co-founded. Through the start-up he is creating tools to “program biology”, the ultimate form of programmable material. Udayan has worked with Prof.Hiroshi Ishii and Prof.Neil Gershenfeld while at the MIT Media Lab. In the past he has also worked at various research labs, in the industry and he has also co-founded a couple of start-ups. His work has been showcased at international venues such as ACM UIST, ACM CHI, MRS, and exhibited at various art galleries including ARS Electronica.

Valerie Mosley

Valerie Mosley is Chairwoman and CEO of Valmo Ventures, which creates, collaborates and invests in companies, assets, and efforts that have significant potential to grow, profit and add value to society. Prior to Valmo Ventures, Valerie was Partner, Senior Vice President and Investment Strategist at Wellington Management Company, LLP, an $800 billion global money management firm. Over a 20 year investment tenure at the firm, she personally managed billions of fixed income portfolios for corporate and public pension funds, insurance company general accounts, endowment funds and mutual funds. Valerie chaired Wellington’s Industry Strategy Group, which was comprised of equity and fixed income experts and identified key, secular headwinds and tailwinds impacting specific industries. Unlike the quarterly earnings focus typical of research analysts, the Industry Strategy Group applied a three to five-year perspective, comprised thought leaders from across the firm, and provided a big picture investment framework and firm-wide discussion platform. Valerie was also a member of two of the firm’s key investment strategy groups, which established investment decisions and parameters for several of the firm’s fixed income mandates. Valerie began her career at Chase Manhattan Bank, where she was a Commercial Lending Officer for financial institutions (1982 – 1984). After graduate school, Valerie worked in institutional corporate bond sales at Kidder Peabody (1986 – 1990). Prior to joining Wellington Management in 1992, she spent two years as Chief Investment Officer and Portfolio Manager at P.G. Corbin Asset Management (1990 – 1992). Valerie is a director of The Eaton Vance Fund Family, Dynex Capital (NYSE: DX), and Progress Investment Management Company, a privately-held fund of funds. She is an advisor to both the New York State Common Retirement Fund and the Risk Audit Committee of the United Auto Workers Retiree Medical Benefits Trust. She serves on the board of New Profit, a venture philanthropy fund, and also funds early-stage technology companies through Mass Ventures, a public-private venture capital fund in Massachusetts. Valerie formerly served on the Presidential Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the statewide Public-Private Partnership Infrastructure Commission to explore creative financing options for infrastructure needs in Massachusetts. She is a member of the Harvard Women’s Leadership Board of the Harvard Kennedy School. Valerie graduated in 1982 with a BA in History from Duke University, where she served as President and Vice President of the student body. She received her MBA in Finance from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania in 1986, and served as President of The Wharton Club of Atlanta. Valerie has been honored several times by Black Enterprise Magazine, as one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business in the country and one of the Top 50 and 75 African Americans on Wall Street. With a passion and calling to share messages globally, Valerie speaks on issues related to the economy and investments, personal empowerment, and financial literacy. She co-founded the Financial Fluency Program, which empowers teachers to infuse personal finance into core math classes and simultaneously help prepare students for national testing standards. Valerie is proud to be the mother of three children: Taylor, Ryan, and Amanda.

Wendy Sachs

Wendy Sachs is a master of the career pivot. She is the author of the critically acclaimed Fearless and Free: How Smart Women Pivot and Relaunch their Careers. An Emmy-award winning TV news producer, Wendy has worked at Dateline NBC, Fox and CNN. She was also a Capitol Hill press secretary, public relations executive, CNN contributor and editor-in-chief of And in a more random move, Wendy worked as the on-air spokesperson for Trip Advisor. A frequent speaker, Wendy has written about work/life balance and women’s issues for multiple publications and appeared on dozens of radio, podcasts and TV shows including the TODAY show, Good Morning America, Fox, MSNBC and CNN’s Headline News. Wendy is also the author of the working mom’s bible on work/life balance, How She Really Does It: Secrets of Successful Stay-at-Work Moms.

Yan (Ryan) Zhang

Yan Zhang ‘Ryan’ is a Ph.D. researcher in City Science research group at the MIT Media Lab. He is developing and deploying CityScope – an A.I. enabled urban decision support system, which aims to democratize the urban decision-making process in an early stage. This dynamic Lego city model gives people the right tools to understand and participate the urban design intuitively. His research work also includes a variety of interdisciplinary projects focusing on data visualization, optimization, complex geometry, machine learning, etc. Ryan has a background in architecture design with a particular emphasis on computational design for more than ten years.

Organizing team


Brookline, MA, United States

Byerly Rezendes

Cambridge, MA, United States