Anna is a PhD student at Berlin Technical University. Together with the start-up Cellbricks she works on 3D-Bioprinting, an emerging technology to print living biological tissue and ‘mini-organs’. Her work focuses on the development of a 3D-bioprinted model of the human placenta. The placenta, or ‘afterbirth’, plays a crucial role for a successful and healthy pregnancy. A ‘mini-placenta‘ may enable research on, and substance testing for human pregnancy.
Professor of Law & Psychology
Dan Kahan is the Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor of Law & Professor of Psychology at Yale Law School. His primary research interests (for the moment, anyway) are risk perception, science communication, and the application of decision science to law and policymaking. He is a member of the Cultural Cognition Project, an interdisciplinary team of scholars who use empirical methods to examine the impact of group values on perceptions of risk and related facts. In studies funded by the National Science Foundation, his research has investigated public disagreement over climate change, public reactions to emerging technologies, and conflicting public impressions of scientific consensus. Current work of the Project is centered on integrating the methods of the science of science communication into the tool kits of professional communicators in diverse contexts ranging from local democratic decisionmaking to science-documentary filmmaking.
Designer & Builder
Dan Phillips’ mission is to reduce landfills. Having been a recycled builder for twenty years, he has pondered what causes the colossal waste in the building industry. The engines of waste are buried deeply in the human psyche, driven by a very powerful industrial/marketing complex, our craving for quick/ cheap /convenient, and the cultural influences that skew our decision-making.
Dani Clode is a product designer from New Zealand and a recent MA graduate from the Royal College of Art in London. Her award-winning work, The Third Thumb Project explores human augmentation and prosthetic extension. Dani is currently developing the project further with neuroscientists from the Plasticity Lab in the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London, exploring the brain’s ability to adapt to additional digits. She also collaborates with The Alternative Limb Project, designing sculptural prosthetic arms that have been exhibited worldwide. Dani is working to challenge the perception and boundaries of prosthetic design, incorporating new materials and design processes to extend the human form.
Devika Partiman is a social organizer and activist. As co-founder of the foundation 'Stem op een Vrouw' (Vote for a Woman), her work enhances the number of women elected and running for office in The Netherlands. A returning theme in her work is identifying flaws in our democracy and offering solutions. Political representation is always an important part of her solution.
Douglas Ridloff is a poet and visual storyteller creating original works in American Sign Language. He is the owner, executive director and host of ASL SLAM (www.aslslam.com) a monthly open mic event in NYC that functions as a space for the Deaf community to creatively play with ASL through poetry performances, improv, games and storytelling, often bringing special guests from around the world to perform. As a widely popular platform, ASL SLAM has now been established as a monthly event in Washington DC, Chicago and Orlando with Douglas's oversight and guidance. Recently, Douglas has organized performances at the Whitney Museum, the Jewish Museum, SITE Santa Fe and the 9/11 Memorial Museum, and has traveled to perform his own poetry and to bring ASL SLAM to Deaf communities around the world, including Jamaica, Cuba, Finland, England, Sweden and Australia.
Head of Research and Innovation
Elias Knubben has been Head of Research and Innovation at Festo since August 2018 and is also representing Festo in the Bionic Learning Network. In the Bionic Learning Network, a cooperation between Festo and renowned universities, institutes and development companies, principles from nature provide inspiration for technical applications and industrial practice. Numerous projects are awarded with design and innovation awards and have been exhibited beside others in the Museum of Modern Art. After completing his apprenticeship in metal construction with the artist Prof. Erich Hauser, he studied industrial design in Stuttgart at the Academy of Art and made his dissertation at the Institute for Lightweight Structures and Conceptual Design (ILEK) at the University of Stuttgart under supervision of Prof. Werner Sobek. From 2012 to August 2018, he headed the Corporate Bionic Projects department at Festo.
Engineer and Musician
Freddie Feldman is a Chicago-based inventor, musician, and engineer who spends way more time obsessing over throat microphones than anyone should admit. His work with beatboxers unexpectedly turned into a quest to create assistive devices that allow those with Parkinson’s, MS, ALS, and Muscular Dystrophy to communicate more effectively. Freddie holds both a BS in Computer Engineering and BMus in Vocal Performance from Northwestern University.
Prof. Gurit Birnbaum works at the School of Psychology, the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya (Israel). Her research is guided by complementary questions: How does the functional significance of sex change as relationships progress from initial encounters to long-term commitments and what are the processes whereby the sexual behavioral system contributes to relationship development, maintenance, and deterioration? Prof. Birnbaum frequently contributes to high-quality international academic journals, and her research has been cited in leading media outlets, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Time magazine.
Editor at large, Time Magazine
Jeffrey Kluger is the Editor at Large for Time magazine and Time.com. He is the author of seven nonfiction books—including 2007’s “Simplexity” and 1994’s “Apollo 13,” upon which the movie was based. He is also the author of two novels. In his time at Time more than 40 cover stories. He has appeared regularly on CBS This Morning, The Today Show, CNN, MSNBC and others and has made guest appearances on The Colbert Report and Late Night With Seth Meyers. He is the Executive Producer of Time’s Emmy Award-winning “Year in Space” series.
The life path of Julia Dujmovits is a prime example of how visions and dreams can become reality if you believe in your inner strengths. She is open minded, lives an urban lifestyle and is interested in sports, nature, yoga, fashion, art and people. Her thoughts and ideas are contagious and have inspired many. Already at the age of 11, this young girl from Burgenland envisioned her dream to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games. At only 13, she survived the Kaprun disaster, a tragic funnicular accident where she lost her entire team. This traumatic experience shaped her into the person she is today. After many painful setbacks, she finally reached her life long goal. In the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, Julia Dujmovits was crowned as the Olympic champion in snowboarding-PSL.
Artificial Intelligence Researcher
Kavya Kopparapu is an artificial intelligence researcher, nonprofit leader, and student at Harvard University. Her research interests lie in the intersection of artificial intelligence and medicine and making cutting-edge medical technology more accessible to every patient. In this line of work, she was recognized as a 2017 WebMD Health Hero, 2018 Regeneron STS "Junior Nobel Prizes" Finalist, and 2018 US Presidential Scholar. Kavya is passionate about providing students the resources to learn computer science and is active in discussing the ethical and societal implications of cutting-edge technology at conferences across the world.
Kayla X. Nguyen is currently a PhD Candidate at Cornell University. She was inspired to pursue a career in science after going to an outreach event where Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, was the plenary speaker. Kayla later went on to study physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara as part of the College of Creative Studies. Afterwards, she moved from sunny California to the temperate, deciduous forest of Ithaca, NY where she continued her studies as a PhD student under Professor David Muller. While at Cornell, Kayla focuses her time developing new electron microscopy techniques, encouraging middle and high school students to pursue careers in science, and teaching rock climbing. Upon completion of her PhD, Kayla plans to continue research as a postdoctoral scientist at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign under Professor Pinshane Huang.
Kevin Lieber hosts and produces Vsauce2, part of the most popular education network on YouTube. Vsauce’s videos have been viewed over 2 billion times and won both the 2016 Webby for Best Science & Education Channel and the People’s Choice award three years in a row. Kevin weaves together science, technology, psychology, philosophy and history to explain the complexities of the human experience in mind-feeding videos that have been watched over half a billion times.
Game Designer and Author
Leslie Scott is a business woman, author and professional board game designer, who is probably best known as the creator of the game JENGA. Currently a Senior Associate of Pembroke College, University of Oxford, Leslie is researching for book about why we play and why we play games in particular.
Liron Lavi Turkenich
Liron Lavi Turkenich is an independent typeface designer and researcher based in Israel. She holds a B.Des in Visual Communications from Shenkar College in Tel Aviv and an MA in Typeface Design from University of Reading, UK. Liron designs multilingual typefaces for international companies, specializing in Hebrew and Amharic. Among them is Aravrit, a new hybrid writing system which merges Hebrew and Arabic, and has received wide recognition for its ingenuity and scope. In addition to design, she writes about letterforms, interviews designers, teaches and researches Hebrew type design. Liron is a senior level events coordinator at ATypI, organizing the yearly conference and its routine activities. She also shares her knowledge and experiences in lectures and workshops around the world. Liron loves traveling, talking with people, and searching for typographic treasures in dusty archives.
Activist & Photographer
Maud Fernhout is a 22-year-old Dutch photographer and artist with a background in psychology and anthropology (University College Utrecht). She often uses this social sciences background to inform her work, which aims to challenge or critique societal norms and values. An example of such work is the "What 'Real' Men Cry Like" series, challenging the gendered stereotype that men don't and/or shouldn't show excessive emotion.
Managing Director Forum Alpbach
Philippe Narval (1977) was raised on a farm in Salzburg, graduated on scholarship from Lester B. Pearson UWC in Canada and holds university degrees from Kings College London & University of Oxford. Currently he manages the Alpbach Forum, Europe's foremost festival of ideas. In 2018 his book “Die Freundliche Revolution” was published in German; portraying a number of successful democratic innovations all across Europe.
Ramin is a PhD research assistant in Computer Science at TU Wien, Austria, where he works on developing interpretable artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms for real-world applications. By bringing insights from neuroscience to machine learning he is improving the functional transparency and robustness of AI systems. On his brain-inspired AI research, Ramin is collaborating with leading neuroscience and AI experts from around the world including researchers at MIT in USA, IST and IMP in Austria. Ramin has completed an M.Sc. in Electronic Engineering at Politecnico di Milano, Italy and has received his B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering at FUM, Iran.
Co-founder of CryptoKitties
Axiom Zen Founder, CEO of Dapper Labs, Co-founder of CryptoKitties. Roham is the co-founder and CEO of the world’s most successful blockchain-based consumer game: CryptoKitties. Outside of exchanges, CryptoKitties is the most used smart contract in blockchain history, one of the few practical products in blockchain, and the most innovative use case of the technology since cryptocurrency. Roham is also the founder of Axiom Zen, a venture studio with dozens of products that explore the impact of emerging technology.
As he approached his 33rd birthday, Tal’s life couldn’t have been better: he had a great job at a great company, he got to travel the world and purchase most of the unnecessary things he found on the internet. But one thing had started to bother him: The better his materialistic life became, the less excited he became about living it. To wake up from his existential slumber, Tal created “Hackmethon”, a Hackathon of the self, if you will, where family and friends gathered to help him re-launch his life. A year later, Tal’s life has transformed: he left his job with LinkedIn, relocated back to Tel Aviv and joined Jolt, an EdTech startup whose purpose is to make learning a lifelong habit, helping people like him relaunch their own lives and careers.
Author / traveller
Author Tony Giles was born in Weston-super-Mare, southwest England in 1978. Diagnosed at a young age with Cone Dystrophy, a rare eye condition, and Photophobia, an extreme sensitivity to light. He maintained some vision until the age of approximately 12 when he lost all sight except for his ability to sense bright sunlight. At the age of four, he developed nerve sensory hearing loss that has progressively worsened over time. Despite these disabilities, Tony has travelled globally, seeing countries through his sense of smell, sound, touch, spatial awareness, taste and interaction with the local people. Because of these experiences Tony has an inspirational story to share that illustrates to people that any imagined difficulty can be overcome regardless of the complexities of life. Tony will illustrate, through his first hand knowledge, how he simplifies complex problems during his journeys.