Andrew Taggart is a practical philosopher. He asks and seeks to answer the most basic questions of human existence with others around the world. In this capacity, he speaks daily over Skype with business executives and tech entrepreneurs throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe about the nature of a good life. During the past six years, he began to notice that work had come to be central in the lives of those with whom he spoke and that they were suffering as a result. “Total work,” a term coined by the philosopher Josef Pieper, is the process by which human beings are transformed into workers as work comes to engulf all other aspects of life. To discover how total work arose and in hopes of diminishing unnecessary human suffering, Taggart is currently writing a book on the subject.
Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, technology and media. He is a news analyst with NPR's afternoon show “Here and Now," appearing weekly on Mondays, and an on-air contributor to CBS News. The recipient of several honors, including the 2016 Best in Business award for Columns and Commentary from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, he is the author of the national bestselling book Hit Makers: How to Succeed in an Age of Distraction.
Devan Tracy designed her own role as an energy engineer at Lockheed Martin, focused on eradicating the world’s addiction to excessive, non-renewable energy consumption. Most recently, she is responsible for 6,525 megawatt hours per year of onsite solar power development, the equivalent of powering 606 U.S. households. She holds a MEng degree in sustainable systems engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a BS degree in mechanical engineering from Binghamton University. An Engineer in Training (EIT), Energy Manager in Training (EMIT) and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accredited Professional, Tracy is also a Spotify-streaming, acoustic-folk/pop singer-songwriter and performer in classical percussion who also specializes in jazz drumming, hand-drumming, marching tenor drums, keyboard and ukulele. During her college career, Tracy opened for the Lumineers (via the transitive property). In her free time, she tours on bicycle, including trips to circumnavigate Iceland and traverse the United States.
During 35 years of practice, interdisciplinary artist Guy Laramée has created in varied and numerous disciplines including theater writing and directing; contemporary music composition; musical instrument design; and building, singing, video, scenography, sculpture, installation, painting and literature. He has received more than 30 arts grants and was awarded the Canada Council's Joseph S. Stauffer award for musical composition. His work has been presented in the United States, Europe, Japan and Latin America. From the late ’90s to the early 2000s, Laramée realized that the visual arts was where he could more easily explore his long-standing interest for modes of consciousness. Studies in ethnology helped him refine an anthropology of the artistic condition, from which emerged his project “Biblios,” which, with his subsequent “book landscaping” won him international recognition. His book sculptures now travel extensively among American museums and are included in numerous prestigious publications.
Raj Jayadev is co-founder of Silicon Valley De-Bug, a community organizing and advocacy organization based in San Jose, Calif. Through De-Bug's Albert Cobarrubias Justice Project, De-Bug created "participatory defense,” a methodology for families whose loved ones are facing the criminal court system aimed at impacting the outcome of the cases and changing the landscape of power in the courts. De-Bug has incubated participatory defense hubs across the country and is building a National Participatory Defense Network of community organizations to partner with public defender offices and make systemic change in the courts. Jayadev’s community organizing and writing have been featured in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Time.com and media outlets across the country. He is an Ashoka Fellow, Rosenberg Leading Edge Fellow and a Social Entrepreneur in Residence co-teaching a course on social innovation at Stanford University. In 2017, he was also listed on the Nonprofit Times “Power and Influence” Top 50 List.
As a board-certified pediatrician and adolescent medicine specialist at the University of Rochester, Dr. Richard Kreipe, MD, has applied the biopsychosocial approach developed more than 50 years ago. Rather than dichotomize illness into medical or psychiatric domains, the approach considers all levels of the “person” — from molecules to community — to be dynamically interactive. This approach is guided by an ecological framework, recognizing that young people have a powerful influence on their environment (including parents, siblings, family, peers, school, neighborhood, etc.) and their environment profoundly influences their growth and development with potentially long-lasting effects. In 1985, Kreipe established the interdisciplinary Child and Adolescent Eating Disorder Program in Pediatrics at the University of Rochester. He has served as the medical director of the New York State Department of Health’s Western NY Comprehensive Care Center for Eating Disorders since its inception in 2005, covering a 30-county area. His best teachers have been patients and their families.
Sarah Dudas is a biologist at Fisheries and Oceans Canada, a biology professor at Vancouver Island University and an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Victoria. For the last seven years she has led the Ecological Interactions Research Program, working with federal and provincial governments, industry and non-profit organizations to study the effects of human activities on coastal ecosystems. Her research includes investigating marine biodiversity across regional and local scales and the effects of historical and contemporary shellfish farming practices on surrounding ecological communities. Recently, she has focused on the issue of microplastics and their presence in the marine environment and our seafood. Dudas’s professional affiliations include the Hakai Institute, Canadian Society of Ecology and Evolution and the Aquaculture Association of Canada. She is also a member of the United Nations-led Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection microplastics working group.
Binghamton University senior biochemistry major Stone Geise is a very active student on campus outside of academics. In his second year as a resident assistant (RA) in College-in-the-Woods, where he serves as both a mentor RA to new RAs and as a member of the committee responsible for planning the semesterly RA training program, he also serves as the operations coordinator assistant in Residential Life, doing tasks ranging from inventory to tuning pianos. Highly involved in the University’s greater a capella community, he has been a member of Note to Self, the University’s community service a capella group, for three years. The beat boxer for the group, he is also in his second year as the group’s musical director, running rehearsals and writing their music. Music is a big part of his life and he can regularly be seen playing piano, singing or writing music. He comes from Niagara County, N.Y. (even though his closest friends will try to convince you he’s actually from Canada). He hopes to pursue a career as a physician.