Elizabeth grew up in San Diego, CA and is a survivor of the California public school system. She has played classical piano since she was four, which taught her discipline. She attended USC and SOAS in London, but most of what she has learned comes from traveling the world as a tourist, student and global citizen.
Short bio of this speakerLeah is a graduate of Boston University where she majored in Anthropology with a concentration in video journalism. She now works as a multimedia campaign producer for non-profits. She produced her first documentary for the Living Earth Foundation, Uganda. Her film is used by the foundation to attract critical and financial attention to their causes. Producing this film helped Leah recognize the growing value of grassroots reporting for non-profits. She has now worked with LEF in Cameroon as well as multiple Boston-based NGOs. She currently works with the Harvard Congo Initiative and the Enough Project to bring attention to the deadly supply chain that connects our electronics to rebel militias in the Democratic Republic of Congo. When she realized that the cell phone in her hand and the computer she typed on could be link to the rape and pillage of millions in the DRC she was furious at the electronic companies and was ashamed of her government. How can they stand by products made from minerals mined by slaves and smuggled by rebel militias responsible for the death of over 5 million people? Leah connected with organizations that show us how to turn our electronics into advocacy tools. As consumers and constituents our phone calls and letters can help pass the Conflict Free Minerals Act and therefore extinguish the militias’ power.
Sarah Sullivan is a third year Boston University student from Tampa, Florida. She is a modern dancer as well as the Co-director of Boston University’s volunteer-run Women’s Resource Center. Sarah is also an activist for young persons’ increased participation in government and political leadership.
Leila de Bruyne
Leila graduated from Salve Regina University in 2007 with a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology. While in college, Leila spent four summers volunteering in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya. Here, she realized that children living in crowded conditions, subsisting on bowls of rice and receiving a sub-standard education, would never be able to break the cycle of poverty. Recognizing that larger systematic changes needed to be made to significantly impact the children’s opportunities for a future, Leila and two colleagues decided to build an orphanage that could provide children with a higher quality of care in an exceptional environment. In 2007, the trio opened an orphanage and academy, named Flying Kites, a name chosen to invoke the image of the carefree childhood they felt orphaned children deserved. The orphanage’s model starts from the premise that every child can succeed and the Academy strives to create an environment where the world’s poorest children can discover and reach their full potential. As well as an innovative approach to delivering childcare in developing countries, Leila has helped to build an organization with a rigorous target-driven fundraising ethos, one that recognizes the importance of strong marketing and diversified and evolving funding streams to allow Flying Kites to deliver sustainable high-quality care. She currently splits her time between Newport, Rhode Island, and Kinangop, Kenya.
Riley is a sophomore duel-degree student studying Sociology and Finance. He is passionate about all aspects of business and people. His life necessitates that he spend a significant amount of time on a computer, but, despite the way he lives, he loves to break the connection and engage others.
Edward is one of Mullen’s four original partners. Over the last 26 years he has helped define the agency’s creative standards, established its public relations group, integrated digital design and production into all of the agency’s operations, and most recently launched its growing social influence practice. The latter -- comprised of strategy, PR, content and analytics -- is both a department and a mindset working to master marketing in the new consumer-driven world. Along the way, Edward has been an award winning copywriter, a celebrated creative director, and a never-ending advocate for ideas that build businesses. His campaigns have introduced new brands (Nextel, Monster.com, Lending Tree, Oxygen Media, Lotus 1-2-3) and invigorated established companies. During his tenure, Mullen has grown from a 12-person creative boutique to one of the country’s top 25 agencies offering digital production, social influence marketing, public relations, direct marketing, and advertising.
Kaitlyn is a Boston University Senior from Braselton, Georgia. She grew up in a small town and decided to travel many miles from home to get a different educational experience in the north. She was accepted to BU and immediately accepted the invitation without knowing a soul north of the mason Dixon line. She was the CGS student government VP, Treasurer for BU on Tap performance group, Scholarship director of Alpha Kappa Psi professional business fraternity, and a member of Delta Gamma. She has participated in political campaigns in the north and south, and traveled to DC for the Presidential Inauguration. Her experiences have flavored her into an independent girl with dreams that grew from her journey to another part of the country.
Eric is a BU senior who has interned with the New York Giants, Mills & Company, 451 Marketing, TeamBonding and TalentCulture. When not studying Public Relations and Business, he’s a reverse mentor at 4th Floor Digital and VP of BU’s Public Relations Student Society. Eric also coaches a competitive public speaking team in Newton, MA and spends his extra time experimenting in the kitchen.
Trish Garrity grew up in Rockville Centre, NY and has recently moved to Boston to study at Boston University. She studies, and is quite passionate about, International Relations, African Studies and Public Health. Trish hopes to pursue a career in community programming and planning in Central Africa after she graduates. She hopes to focus her work around education for all, access to clean water or sexual violence prevention. Trish has always loved to travel and hopes to learn first hand about many different cultures by doing more traveling in the future. When not thinking of the future, she enjoys traveling by bike, cooking for friends, painting her opinions, experiencing music and meaningful conversation.
Julian is a 20-year-old photographer with 12 years of experience. He has archived over 15,000 photos of his life online. He is ethnically half Danish and half Chinese. He is highly interested in how we grow from our experiences and believes that the journey is way more important than the end result.
Conor was born Dublin, Ireland. His family moved around a lot, and by the time he started high school, he had already lived in England, Singapore, and California. He had his first music lesson in 2nd grade (recorder) and from that point on has always been learning and/or playing one instrument or another (piano, alto saxophone, ukulele, drums, guitar, etc). He came to BU in 2006 with the intention of studying film and becoming a music supervisor. Inspired by a well-placed Google Ad, he decided to take a more direct path to the music industry, and in November 2007, he created Base Trip Records with a few of his closest friends. For the next two years he took just about every opportunity he could to learn about the music industry and gain experience. He spent a summer working for Amalgam Digital, booked and promoted weekly shows for a venue called The Channel Café, hosted a radio show at WTBU, and read as much as he could on the subject (in addition to his classes and social life)
Neil Anand is a hip-hop artist from Dutchess County, New York. For over 12 years, he has been actively writing and performing music under the name Aviator. After graduating from Boston University in May of 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology, he embarked on his first New York City tour. Shortly afterwards, he released his first mixtape Thank You Come Again. This past March, he had the privilege of opening for international hip-hop star KID CuDi at the House of Blues for Boston University’s Spring Fever concert. He is currently wrapping up his feature-length LP Bigger Than My Matador with younger brother InfinitiRock and Boston Hip-Hop Producer of the Year, Matty Trump. He plans to release the project in the upcoming months under Base Trip Records.As a seasoned artist and listener, he believes that he has a unique perspective on the state of affairs in hip-hop, today. With his music, Aviator is setting out to shed light on our society’s assumptions, predispositions, and misgivings about hip-hop and redefine the lens through which we view the genre and culture, as a whole. He hopes that he can one day create music that promotes tolerance, compassion, diversity, and emotional depth while still remaining accessible.
Hakim J. Walker is a recent graduate of Boston University (class of 2009), with a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics, with a minor in Philosophy. As a student at BU, Hakim was a Co-President of a spoken-word poetry group known as Speak For Yourself, and continues to write poetry in his spare time.
Raul Fernandez (COM ‘00) is assistant director of the Howard Thurman Center at Boston University and a member of the Multicultural Audience Development Committee at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Though he possesses no artistic talent of his own, he remains passionate about appreciating the mixing and mashing of all forms of art including music, film, spoken word, fashion, painting, sculpture and more. A native New Yorker with roots in Puerto Rico, Raul grew up listening to a mix of everything from salsa to hip-hop, freestyle, and a whole lot of soul. Some of his favorite artists from that era include Tracy Chapman, La India, KRS ONE, Sade, A Tribe Called Quest, and Marc Anthony. Raul’s also has an unabashed passion for social justice, and looks forward to a day when people around the world will have equitable access to health, peace, prosperity and personal freedom.
Ali Wyne is a researcher at the Harvard Kennedy School. A prolific writer, he has published in outlets including the Washington Post, the International Herald Tribune, the Financial Times, and Foreign Policy. He also contributed a chapter to the Routledge Handbook of Public Diplomacy (2008).
Ben Schanker is a 1st year student at Harvard Medical School who graduated from Sargent & CAS in 2009. He studied Human Physiology, Biology, and Philosophy as an undergrad, and is currently an educator, researcher, and author in neuroscience, ethics, biotechnology, and health policy.
Nick is a Co-Founder of 829 Studios, a Boston-based strategic marketing, web development, and business consulting firm. Nick’s areas of expertise include website development, integrated marketing, user interface design, SEO, search engine marketing, and social media.
Yuki Suzuki is attending Boston University as an exchange student from Keio University, Japan. His interests are poverty and environmental problems. He was born in Kyoto and raised in Tokyo. He went to Wisconsin as an exchange student for a year when he was a senior in high school. He was homecoming King and really liked the U.S, so he decided to come back. After he entered the university in Tokyo, he went to the small island country, Tuvalu, by himself during spring break. Tuvalu might sink in the future because of climate change. He met a French journalist and former prime minister of Tuvalu. He interviewed them using a video camera. He was inspired by them about the need of talking to people. His hobbies are baseball (especially, the RED SOX), travel, and talking to people. His goal is to make a peaceful world and make people love Japan.
(Sid) is the founder of Hug Don’t Hate. He graduated from CAS in 2009 with a major in International Relations. He is currently living in Germany, where he will earn a Purdue University MBA in July 2010. Sid has found happiness, and considers it his life’s calling to help others do the same.
Hobert is a graduate of Middlebury College (BA in French and Political Science, 1983; MA in Spanish, 1991) and of the Tufts Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy, 1993). He founded Axis of Hope in January, 2002 to teach international conflict analysis, management and prevention skills to youth in their formative years using the principles of Fisher, Ury and Patton's Getting to Yes. He has worked with students, teachers, administrators and parents in public, private and parochial schools around the US, as well as in Mexico, Central America, France, Spain, England, China, Denmark, Norway and Africa.
Danny Bradley is a freshman at Boston University majoring in International Relations and minoring in French, with the hope of someday becoming the U.S. Secretary of State. As a recipient of BU’s Cardinal Medeiros Scholarship, Danny has found a second home at BU through various activities and incredible people that have impacted his life in so many ways. Striving to make a positive impact on other people’s lives, Danny created the Twitter account @ShareOptimism to spread optimistic thoughts, resources on positive thinking, inspirational videos, etc. He is inspired by the power of human potential of those around him, and he believes that optimism is the key to actualizing one’s potential. Danny leads his life by his motto: “Keep me where the light is,” found in the last line of John Mayer’s song “Gravity.” He lives to connect with people on deep levels that go beyond the surface of everyday conversation and hopes to someday come in contact with each and every one of you so you can share your thoughts on life and optimism with him.
Neal is a Biology and Philosophy double major at Boston University. Of Egyptian and Puerto Rican decent, Neal was born and raised in and around Boston Massachusetts. An avid thinker, Neal likes to challenge and refine his problem solving skills. Neal believes that through research, discussion, and innovation any problem can be solved; he values lateral thinking as well as linear thinking and is always willing to question and try to find holes in established beliefs and ideas. When not contemplating burning questions of reality, Neal can be found at the Howard Thurman Center where he is a student ambassador and co-editor of www.bucultureshock.com. Neal tends to not shut up, so whoever gave him and is willing to debate and argue with individuals about scientific method, ethics, video games, religion, social issues, superheroes, sports teams, and what came first, the chicken or the egg, among many other things. By the way, the egg came first. Neal truly doesn’t think that there is anything un-doable or unknowable; he just thinks that we haven’t figured out how to do it yet.
A social entrepreneur and New York native, Alexandria seeks out partners in health, art, and economic development to create opportunities for the future. She has consulted non-profits, worked in government, and launched a media enterprise aimed toward these ends.
Steph is a certified Master NeuroStrategist, hypnotherapist, & fitness instructor; studies psychology at BU, ran in Disney marathon and has traveled the country learning and teaching others about personal development. She loves to have fun and help people change their lives by sharing her story.
Grigori was born in Moscow, Russia. At the age of ten, he and his mother moved to the U.S. Living in Cambridge, MA, Grigori took a deep interest in robotics, music (piano and composition), and later neuroscience. Grigori is currently a junior at Boston University.
Bru was originally born in São Paulo, Brazil and lived in Florida for most of her adolescent life. She is a BU senior, majoring in International Relations with a minor in Spanish language. She is the President of a grassroots peace-building student organization called Hug Don’t Hate. She loves learning new languages and meeting new people from different backgrounds and life experiences. In May, Bru will be moving to New York City to pursue a career working with social entrepreneurships and continue to live a fulfilled life!
Lauren is a senior at BU earning a degree in Political Science. Passionate about technology and photography, she has traveled extensively to photographically record human rights and social issues. She is an advocate for adults with autism, in large part influenced by her younger brother who has autism. She has been a TED-addict for several years, and she was thrilled to be able to attend TEDGlobal 2009. She looks forward to attending TEDGlobal 2010 this summer. After graduation, she will be working on a campaign in New Hampshire, after which point she is excited to see what the future will bring!