A native of Cambridge, Massachusetts, Arto Vaun is a poet and musician who moved to Armenia in 2014 after being offered a faculty position at AUA where he is a senior lecturer in English and Communications. In 2016 he founded and directs AUA's Center for Creative Writing (CCW), the first such center in the region that is focused on Anglophone creative writing. The CCW has quickly established itself as a champion of high quality literary production in Armenia and beyond. Locomotive, one of the CCW's major initiatives, is the first non-Armenian literary journal that is edited, published, and exported by Armenia to various bookstores around the world. The first issue, which includes a number of award-winning American and European poets, was published in 2016. Vaun's first book of poetry, Capillarity (Carcanet Press), was published in 2009. His poems have appeared in various journals, magazines, and anthologies in the U.S. and U.K.
Co-founder, Artha Networks, Inc.
Audrey Selian currently serves as Director of the Artha Initiative associated with Rianta Capital Zurich and is a team member/advisor to the Halloran Philanthropies. She has been active in the impact investing sector since 2006, and is founder of Artha Networks Inc., an online impact investment ‘operating system’ platform that is designed to tackle the economics of due diligence around high impact, small scale SMEs/SGBs. Audrey has a particular interest in high impact sustainable businesses, and has focused on building an investment portfolio in India, while helping find ways to galvanize like-minded ‘impact’ investors. Audrey has a background in management consulting from PricewaterhouseCoopers, and her entrepreneurial experience includes several years spent in business development, marketing and sales at an NSF-funded software start-up called Wireless Grids Corporation. She holds a PhD in Technology Policy & Development Studies from The Fletcher School at Tufts University
Graphic and Concept Designer
Luiza Petrosyan was born in Armenia, and at the age of 4th she with her family moved to live in Belarus. She returned to Armenia when after graduating Lyceum and decided to live and continue her education in her home town. In 2015, she has graduated from State Academy of Fine Arts of Armenia, department of Computer design with honor, and got Master degree in Fine Arts. Since 2013 she has been working at Public TV Company of Armenia, as a Graphic and concept designer. Her works include brandings and logos for “Baze 2015’ and “Baze 2016” Armenian youth camp, “Haykin-2016” award ceremony, Full branding for Armenian delegation and participants for Eurovision Song and Junior Eurovision Contests since 2014, Image branding for Public TV Company of Armenia, logo for AGBU Young Professionals “Grqabats” project.
Mher is an Armenian singer/songwriter and the co-founder of “Lav Eli”, alternative folk-rock band from Vanadzor. The band was formed in 1995, and is performing for already the third generation of listeners. Among the most popular songs of the band are “Spring Has Come” («Գարուն է եկել»), “Your Eyes” («Քո աչքերը»), “The First LAV Song/I Found You in Heaven” («Առաջին ԼԱՎ երգ/Գտա քեզ երկնքում»). Mher is also a translator (J.R.R. Tolkien, Michael Ende, Karen Swassjan), and a PR/communications expert. He is a proud father of four, and the coordinator of parents’ council at “Aregnazan” school. Mher is a graduate of the Yerevan State University, the faculty of International Economic Relations.
"Black Maria” Gallery Founder
Samvel Saghatelian (aka Sam Saga) was born in Yerevan, Armenia in 1958.
He graduated from Yerevan Institute of Architecture and pursued a career in architecture. In 1988, at the brink of the collapse of USSR and Armenia’s independence, he started his journey as an artist.
In 2001, Saghatelian was one of the artists representing the Armenian Pavilion in the 49th Venice Biennale in Italy, Plateau of Humankind.
In 2002, he was awarded a Fellowship from Arts Link (New York) for a residency program at Vermont Studio Center in Vermont, one of the largest international artists and writers program in the United States. He had his first solo exhibition there.
Very much attracted to the US art scene, Saghatelian moved to Los Angeles, California.
Serob Khachatryan was born and raised in Gyumri, Armenia. He is a graduate of Yerevan State University, Faculty of Philosophy and Psychology. After working as a translator, journalist, editor, education expert, project coordinator, and director, he has realized that he is most excited when he works with children in Armenian villages sponsored by Children of Armenia Fund (COAF). He now spends most of his work week in the villages, working with children and teachers. Serob is an author of several text book and books. He has two sons, who love playing chess.
Tmba Ta band
Tmba Ta Orchestra was created in 2013 in TUMO. This orchestra was formed during the workshop called Levels of sound, led by Arik Bambir. Since the end of the workshop the orchestra has been active as a TUMO project.
Tmba Ta orchestra consists of 30 TUMO students, most of whom are not musicians or singers. The artistic director of the orchestra is flutist and composer Arik Bambir.
Co-founder of Kopernik
Toshi is co-founder of Kopernik which finds out smart solutions to reduce poverty. The idea was driven by insights from his extensive career in international development. Toshi dealt with governance reform, peace building processes and post-disaster reconstruction during his tenure at the United Nations (UN) in Timor-Leste, Indonesia, Sierra Leone, the United States and Switzerland. Prior to joining the UN, Toshi was a management consultant for McKinsey and Company in Tokyo. He holds an LLB from Kyoto University and MSc Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and is a Guest Associate Professor at Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University. Toshi was selected as a World Economic Forum (WEF) Young Global Leader in 2012, and is a member of the WEF Global Agenda Council on Sustainable Development 2014-2016.Toshi's young daughter with Kopernik co-founder Ewa Wojkowska already speaks Indonesian, Japanese, English and Polish.
Founder of AdviseArmenia
Vahe Baloulian is the founder of AdviseArmenia, an informal education and advisory network aiming to assist young Armenian entrepreneurs. Vahe is also the co-founder of DiVine & Partners, a group that includes six restaurants and a vineyard in Armenia, France and USA.
In addition, until recently, Vahe has served as the chief executive officer of an award-winning global gaming technology company.
Vahe makes his home in the US but spends most of his time in Armenia and travelling