SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY STRATEGIST
AJ Maestas is the founder of Navigate, a data-driven consulting firm specializing in sports and entertainment. Over the past 20 years he has established himself as a trusted advisor to Anheuser-Busch, ESPN, the NFL, the Chicago Cubs, and numerous other clients on all sides of the industry. AJ is a Sports Business Journal Forty Under 40 winner, a frequent speaker at conferences and events, and host of the Navigating Sports Business podcast, which has featured team owners, commissioners, coaches, and CEOs.
A native of Fairbanks, Alaska, Maestas received his MBA. in Sports Business from Arizona State University and his B.A. in Finance from the University of Washington.
Psychology of Sports, Culture, Coming Together
Ayelet Fishbach, PhD, is the Jeffrey B. Keller Professor of Behavioral Science and Marketing at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business. She is a distinguished expert on motivation and decision making, having authored books, articles, as well as earning numerous prestigious awards for her research including the Society of Experimental Social Psychology's Best Dissertation Award and the Society of Consumer Psychology’s Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award. In her book, "GET IT DONE: Surprising Lessons from the Science of Motivation," Ayelet combines her expertise with personal stories to offer practical insights on goal setting, sustaining motivation, and leveraging social support. Ayelet has also served as the president of the Society for the Science of Motivation and the International Social Cognition Network.
Motivation, Achievement, Future Best Self
PROFESSOR OF LAW
Aziz Huq is a distinguished constitutional law scholar at the University of Chicago, specializing in US and comparative constitutional law. His research ranges from democratic backsliding to AI regulation. In addition to his scholarly books and articles, he has written for Politico, the Washington Post, The Nation, and the New York Times. Aziz maintains a pro bono practice in civil liberties matters, and sits on the boards of the American Constitution Society, the Seminary Coop, and the ACLU of Illinois. Prior to teaching, Aziz litigated on behalf of ‘war on terror’ detainees at the Brennan Center’s Liberty and National Security Project. He was also a Senior Consultant Analyst for the International Crisis Group’s Asia division. And he was a law clerk for Judge Robert D. Sack of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the Supreme Court of the United States.
David Williams is the Chief Program Officer of Youth Advocate Programs, Inc. (YAP), a high-impact social justice nonprofit that provides community-based alternatives to youth incarceration, congregate placements and neighborhood violence. With extensive experience in youth advocacy and program management, having held numerous positions with YAP, David continues to show great commitment to empowering and supporting young people in many aspects of their lives. One of David’s most noteworthy accomplishments with YAP has been establishing Choose to Change™ (C2C™), a partnership with Chicago-based Brightpoint, formerly Children’s Home & Aid, that has reduced violent crime arrests by almost 50% for its youth participants. David’s outstanding leadership skills and passion for social justice, along with his knowledge of social justice reform, continue to make him a great support to young people and their communities nationwide.
Dr. Shana Kelley
SCIENTIFIC RESEARCHER AND INNOVATOR
Dr. Shana Kelley, the President of the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Chicago and the Neena B Schwartz Professor at Northwestern University is a renowned leader in her field. Her groundbreaking research focuses on new methods for tracking molecular and cellular analytes with unparallelled sensitivity. As a pioneer in her field, Dr. Kelley has also founded four successful life sciences companies. With numerous awards to her name, including the ACS Inorganic Nanoscience Award and the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, Dr. Kelley’s contributions to the scientific community have been widely recognized and celebrated. Her memberships in numerous esteemed societies and active editorial roles for scientific journals underline her wealth of knowledge and dedication to advancing her field.
Future of Cancer, Health Innovation, Immunotherapy
MATERIALS SCIENTIST AND DOCTOR FOR BATTERIES
Dr. Y. Shirley Meng is a professor at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, University of Chicago, and the Chief Scientist at the Argonne Collaborative Center for Energy Storage Sciences (ACCESS). Her research focuses primarily on energy storage materials and systems – including rechargeable batteries for electric vehicles and heavy-duty trucks, power sources for Internet of Things (IOTs), and grid-scale storage for deep renewable energy penetration. She is a member of scientific advisory boards to SES AI, LG Energy Solution, Shell and Ionblox. In addition, Dr. Meng is the principal investigator of Laboratory for Energy Storage and Conversion (LESC), from which startup companies such as South 8 Technologies, UNIGRID and ExPost are spun out. She serves as the Editor-in-Chief of Materials Research Society MRS Energy & Sustainability. She has authored over 300 peer-reviewed journal articles, two book chapters, and holds eight issued patents.
COMPUTATIONAL SOCIAL SCIENTIST
James Evans is the Max Palevksy Professor of Sociology, Director of Knowledge Lab and the Institute for Trusted Intelligence in Society, and Founding Faculty Director of Computational Social Science at the University of Chicago and the Santa Fe Institute. James’ research uses large-scale data, machine learning, and generative models to understand how collectives think and what they know. His work is supported by numerous federal agencies, foundations, and philanthropies, as well as being published in industry publications and journals including The Economist, The Atlantic, and The New York Times.