Speaker Bios

The Future of Entrepreneurship

Adeo Ressi

Founder & CEO The Founder Institute
Adeo Ressi is the Founder & CEO of the Founder Institute (http://fi.co), the world’s premier idea- stage accelerator & startup launch program with top Graduate companies across 6 continents. He is also the Founding Member of TheFunded.com, an online community of over 20,000 CEOs to research, rate, and review funding sources worldwide; and has served on the Board of the X PRIZE foundation, a non-profit chartered to inspire human achievements through competition. Adeo has founded or built 9 companies, four of which were acquired and four of which are still operating. Adeo is widely regarded as an expert on startups and venture capital, and a global advocate for founder rights, with numerous appearances in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Wired Magazine, NBC News, ABC News, BusinessWeek, Fortune, Forbes, Time Magazine, Entrepreneur, CNN, and more.

StarTalk All-Stars: The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

Allen Saakyan

Host Eureka! Science Comedy
Allen Saakyan is a polymath, empath, and science communicator propelling unconventional concepts like sustainable interstellar colonization. He hosts and produces Eureka! science comedy shows, Worlds Fair future festivals, and The Simulation - his newest series facilitating conversations around some of humanity's most thought provoking questions. Allen mentors entrepreneurs around the world and is a sought after speaker, emcee, and life coach.

The Future of Basic Income

Andy Stern

Author, Raising the Floor & Senior Fellow Economic Security Project
Andy Stern is a senior fellow at the Economic Security Project and the former President of the 2.2-million-member Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the largest and fastest growing union of health care, hospital, nursing home, home care, child care, food service, janitorial, security, and state workers in North America. Previously as a labor leader, and today in new roles, Stern is a leading voice on major issues confronting American workers, and the American economy as the United States confronts the challenges posed by the "global revolution.” Stern is the author of two books, Raising the Floor: How a Universal Basic Income Can Renew Our Economy and Rebuild The American Dream, published in 2016, and A Country That Works: Getting America Back on Track, published in 2006. Stern was a presidential appointee to the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (Simpson-Bowles), and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations U.S. Trade and Investment Policy Task Force. An influential leader on health care as well as labor issues, he has been featured in Business Week and the New York Times Magazine and appears frequently on CNN and Fox, and on shows such as The Colbert Report, Bill Moyers, and Charlie Rose. Stern is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.

The Future of Libraries

Anthony Marx

President & CEO, New York Public Library
Anthony W. Marx is President of The New York Public Library, the nation’s largest library system, with 88 neighborhood libraries and four scholarly research centers. Since joining NYPL in 2011, Marx has strengthened the Library’s role as an essential provider of educational resources and opportunities for all ages. Under his leadership, the Library has created new early literacy and after-school programs for children and teens, dramatically increased free English language classes and citizenship support for immigrants, and improved services for scholars and students who rely on the Library’s world-renowned research collections. Under Marx, the Library has also become a national leader on bridging the digital divide through its efforts to increase access to e-books, expand computer classes and coding training, and a groundbreaking program that provides home internet access to families of low-income students. Before joining the Library, Marx served as president of Amherst College from 2003 to 2011, during which time he tripled enrollment for low-income students. Before Amherst, Marx was a political science professor and director of undergraduate studies at Columbia University. Marx has a BA from Yale, an MPA from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, and a PhD, also from Princeton.

The Future of Artificially Intelligent People & Us

BINA48 (Android)

Sentient Robot from Mindfile of Bina Rothblatt
Bina48 is one of the worlds most advanced social robots commissioned by Dr.Martine Rothblatt and created by Hanson Robotics Inc. based on the informationabout a real person, Bina Aspen,co-founder of the Terasem Movement and theWorld Against Racism Museum. Using video interview transcripts, laserscanning life mask technology, face recognition, artificial intelligence and voicerecognition technology, Bina48 was created to demonstrate the first step in theTerasem Hypothesis, which states “(1) a conscious analog of a person may becreated by combining sufficiently detailed data about the person (a “mindfile”)using future consciousness software (“mindware”).Bina48 is designed to be a social being that represents a mix of memories, values,beliefs from the original Bina along with new experiences gained throughinteraction with others. She has been featured in the New York Times ScienceSection, GQ Magazine, NPR and National Geographic Magazine since she“came to life” in 2010.

The Future of Personal Crisis

Baylee Greenberg

COO, Crisis Text Line

The Future of Fashion

Billie Whitehouse

CEO Wearable Experiments
Billie Whitehouse is the CEO, designer and director of Wearable X. Billie was once compared to Elon Musk in Business Insider because of her specializes in the combination of hardware, software and apparel for wearable technology products. Known for her development of Nadi X and Fan Jersey recently presented at Super Bowl 50, Billie is invigorating the fashion industry and transforming it into a business focused on improving the quality of our lives. Billie is an aesthetic specialist with a naturally inquisitive nature towards technology and innovation. As a garment engineer she strongly believes people should not have to look like the technology that they have grown to love and depend on. Billie’s designs are sharp, experimental, naturally confident and subtly feminine in appearance integrated with the latest technology. Business Insider recently named Billie as one of the 30 most important women under 30 in tech and she was named in the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company. The highlight for Billie in 2017 was being named one of the Most Innovative Companies in Fitness by Fast Co. Forbes recently compared Billie and her co-founder Ben Moir to Steve Jobs and Jerry Seinfeld. Billie is a renowned keynote speaker with presentations stretching from the The New Yorker Tech Fest 2016, Fortune’s Elevate 2016, Wired UK 2015, Cannes Lions 2015/2016,, Conde Nast Digital Russia 2016, India Fashion Forum 2016 and many more.

The Future of Artificially Intelligent People & Us

Bruce Duncan, M.Ed.

Managing Director, Terasem Movement Foundation
Bruce Duncan, M.Ed., is Managing Director of the Terasem MovementFoundation Inc. and project leader for the LifeNaut Project (http://www.lifenaut.com),which is the brainchild of Dr. Martine Rothblatt, Inventor of SIRIUS SatelliteRadio, Author, and Biotech CEO. As the Principle Investigator of the LifeNaut Project Bruce Duncan isresponsible for the ongoing development of Bina48, the worlds first advancedhumanoid robot based on the “mindfile” information of a real person.Bruce is also Managing Producer for Terasem Media and Films, which producedthe independent science fiction feature film “2B: The Era of Flesh is Over(www.2Bmovie.com). He also curates the first cyber museum dedicated toaddressing racism , bigotry and prejudice at the World Against Racism Museum,www.endracism.org. As and Educator he has taught Conflict Resolution at the University ofVermont and worked as a Peace Facilitator with the Seeds of Peace InternationalPeace Camp, New York/Casco Maine

StarTalk All-Stars: Fears, Fantasies, and Ethics of Bioengineering

Chuck Nice

Chuck Nice is a Philadelphia native and a 18-year veteran of stand-up comedy with a rich history in television and radio. For years he provided comic relief to the Radio Chick show, bringing the funny to New York’s radio air waves. From that time until present, Chuck has been equally busy making a name for himself on the small screen. Chuck has hosted How to Buy Like Mega Millionaire and Home Strange Home on HGTV, he is a regular contributor to the Today Show, has guest hosted Joy Behar’s Say Anything, and co-hosted The View. Other credits include: Price This Place on HGTV, VH-1‘s Best Week Ever, TRU TV’s World’s Dumbest, The Katie Couric Show, Bethany, The Meredith Viera Show, The Juice on Veria Living, The Better Show, The Kitten Bowl on Hallmark, co-hosting the 2013 Rose Bowl Parade, Vh-1’s 40 Greatest, Black to the Future, Undatable & 100 Greatest Songs of 00’s, host of The Hot Ten on Centric, host of WE TV’s Cinematherapy, host of That’s So House Hunters (HGTV), The CBS Early Show, the Mike & Juliet Show, MSNBC (Morning Joe, Politics Nation and Melissa Harris Perry), The Insider, Tyra, Show Biz Tonight, host of the red carpet pre-show for the Independent Spirit Awards and host of “Is It True?” on the Discovery Network. Despite his busy schedule, Chuck still finds time to hit the clubs delighting audiences with his story telling brand of stand up comedy.

StarTalk All-Stars: Fears, Fantasies, and Ethics of Bioengineering

David Grinspoon

Senior Scientist, Planetary Science Institute
Dr. David Grinspoon studies surface-atmospheric interactions on terrestrial planets, atmospheric evolution and habitability, and planetary-scale human influences on the Earth system. Prior to joining PSI in 2014, Dr. Grinspoon was the Inaugural Baruch S. Blumberg/NASA Chair of Astrobiology at the United States Library of Congress. Grinspoon is Co-I on the Chemistry of Titan Lead Team of the NASA Astrobiology Institute, Interdisciplinary Scientist Venus Express, Co-I on the RAD instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory.

The Future of Vertical Farming

David Rosenberg

CEO & Cofounder, Aerofarms
David, a serial entrepreneur, co-founded and leads AeroFarms, a clean-technology company that builds and operates advanced vertical farms in urban environments. Recognized for its sustainable food production model, AeroFarms has been named a Circular Economy 100 company, won the World Technology Award for most impactful Environmental Company, was voted Most Innovative Company at the Future of Agriculture conference, the Best Growth Company to invest in at the Wall Street Journal’s ECO:nomics conference, and was a finalist for The Circular Awards. David is also the founder of Hycrete, Inc., a nanotechnology cleantech company. David is a member of the World Economic Forum (WEF) where he is honored as a Young Global Leader and was a Technology Pioneer for his nanotech company. At WEF he Co-Chairs the YGL Circular Economy Taskforce and is also a Co-Lead for Technology and Innovation Group of The Transformational Leaders in Agriculture and was previously a Member of the Global Agenda Council on Water Security. David is also a member of the B20 SME Taskforce, which advises the G20. David is also a member of Young Presidents Organization. David is an annual lecturer at Columbia Business School and a former adjunct professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business. David received his BA from UNC Chapel Hill and holds an MBA from Columbia University. He competed for the U.S. in Fencing where he was a finalist at a world cup and represented the NYAC, winning three U.S. National Team Fencing Championships and two individual silver medals.

The Future of Location Data

Dennis Crowley

Co-Founder & Executive Chairman, Foursquare
Dennis is co-founder and executive chairman of Foursquare, overseeing strategic vision for product and innovation. Before stepping into his current role, Dennis was the company’s CEO for nearly seven years. He previously founded Dodgeball, one of the first mobile social services, which was acquired by Google in 2005. He holds degrees from New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program and the Newhouse School at Syracuse University.

The Future of Work

Dennis Mortensen

CEO, x.ai
Dennis is the CEO and Founder of x.ai. He’s a pioneer and expert in leveraging Data and a serial entrepreneur who has successfully delivered a number of company exits on that theme. Dennis’s long term vision of killing the inbox triggered the formation of x.ai and the creation of an artificial intelligence personal assistant to schedule meetings. He’s an accredited Associate Analytics Instructor at the University of British Columbia, the Author of Data Driven Insights from Wiley and a frequent speaker on the subject of AI, intelligent agents, and the future of work. A native of Denmark, Mortensen currently calls New York City his home.

StarTalk All-Stars: The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

Douglas Vakoch

President, METI International
Douglas Vakoch, Ph.D., is President of METI International, a nonprofit research and educational organization dedicated to innovative programs in Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI), the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), and astrobiology. He is an elected member of the International Institute for Space Law, and he serves as chair of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) Study Group on Active SETI: Scientific, Technical, Societal, and Legal Dimensions. Prior to founding METI International, for sixteen years Dr. Vakoch worked at the SETI Institute, where he was Director of Interstellar Message Composition. He is the editor of a dozen books, including Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence (2011), Psychology of Space Exploration: Contemporary Research in Historical Perspective (2011), Feminist Ecocriticism: Environment, Women, and Literature (2012), Astrobiology, History, and Society: Life Beyond Earth and the Impact of Discovery (2013), Archaeology, Anthropology, and Interstellar Communication (2014), Extraterrestrial Altruism: Evolution and Ethics in the Cosmos (2014), and (with Matthew F. Dowd) The Drake Equation: Estimating the Prevalence of Extraterrestrial Life through the Ages (2015). Dr. Vakoch serves as general editor of Springer’s Space and Society series, as well as Lexington Books’ Ecocritical Theory and Practice series. His work has been featured in such publications as the New York Times, Nature, Science, and Der Spiegel, and he has been interviewed on radio and television shows on the BBC, NPR, ABC, The Science Channel, The Discovery Channel, and many others.

The Future of Artificially Intelligent People & Us

Dr. William Barry

Associate Professor of Philosophy & World's First Philosophy Professor for Artificial Intelligent Being, NDNU
Dr. William Barry is an associate professor of philosophy and is the founding director of the most technologically advanced VR/AR immersive learning support lab for a small private university in the USA. He is a certified emotional intelligence coach and is the first teacher in the world to have a mindfile based artificial intelligence being as a visiting student in a semester long university philosophy course. Dr. Barry’s living theory research to bring science fiction legend Isaac Asimov’s New Teacher idea to life is featured in the international 2017 documentary, Future Human: AI. He serves as the founder and director of the Philosophy for Children and Community Project and the Drone Racing and Filming team at NDNU. Dr. Barry’s publication projects for 2017 include a children’s book series about artificial emotional intelligence and a nonfiction book about the future of artificially intelligent people and us.

The Future of Brooklyn

Eric Adams

Brooklyn Borough President
For the past three decades, Eric L. Adams has served the residents of the city of his birth as a police officer, state senator and coalition builder. In November of 2013, he was elected to represent all of Brooklyn as borough president. Born in Brownsville and educated in the City’s public school system, Eric is committed to ensuring Brooklyn’s bright future by helping each and every Brooklynite reach his or her full potential. Throughout his career, Eric has been an effective advocate for Brooklyn, bringing people and communities together to create progressive change, and working with both the private and public sectors to invigorate the borough’s economy by encouraging job growth and investment in every neighborhood. Whether his beat was on the street or in the halls of government, Eric has always looked out for Brooklyn’s working families and sought to protect our most vulnerable residents. He believes that government works best when everyone has a chance to be heard, and he has resolved to use his office to provide an opportunity for diverse groups to work together for the common good. Since the beginning of his first term as the highest-ranking elected official in America’s fourth-largest city, Eric has worked to make the popularity of Brooklyn’s brand translate into prosperity for the over 2.6 million Brooklynites that call the borough home. He is a big believer in the power of connections, of bringing together people in need of services with resources that have long existed but have been underutilized. Eric has opened Brooklyn Borough Hall in ways that it never has been prior, allowing thousands of people to connect for the first time with government and civic life. His agenda cannot be defined by a short list of issues: he is committed to addressing the wide range of concerns facing Brooklynites. In his career as a police officer with NYC Transit and the NYPD, Eric made the kind of life-and-death decisions that reflect his insight, expertise, and poise under fire, resulting not just in his promotion to captain, but earning him the reputation for going above and beyond the call of duty. In 1995, he co-founded 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, an initiative that not only improved NYPD/community relations, but raised funds for worthy causes throughout the city. From 2006 until his election to borough president in 2013, Eric represented the 20th Senate District – which includes Borough Park, Flatbush, Crown Heights, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Sunset Park, and Windsor Terrace, working tirelessly to address a broad range of issues affecting constituents, from civil rights and public safety to transparency in government and quality of life. He organized support against the NYPD’s controversial “stop and frisk” policy, and led efforts on behalf of gun control. As a legislator, Eric’s record in the New York State Senate was one that underscores his strong commitment to the rights of those from every walk of life, including protecting the right to privacy, supporting marriage equality, defending a woman’s right to choose, as well as fighting for students’ rights, workers’ rights, and animal rights. His work involved efforts to prevent racial profiling, gender discrimination, domestic violence, and elder abuse. He also proposed legislation to reform campaign financing, address inequities in sentencing depending on the crime, restrict outsourcing, and improve the availability of quality health care and affordable housing. Throughout his legislative career, Eric championed community and economic development in his district and borough-wide. Eric has also served on the board of the Eastern District Counseling Service, an organization assisting former substance abusers to live productive lives without dependency on drugs or alcohol. Eric maintains residences in Bedford-Stuyvesant and Prospect Heights, where he has resided for over twenty years. He enjoys riding the streets of Brooklyn on his bicycle, meditation, and exploring new cultures and places.

The Future of Quantum Computers

Eric Ladizinsky

Co-Founder & Chief Scientist, D-Wave
Eric Ladizinsky is a senior scientific management executive with a strong background in physics, engineering, materials, manufacturing and team building. Mr. Ladizinsky leads D-Wave's technical effort to develop the superconducting integrated circuit fabrication process and is often called upon to evangelize on all aspects of quantum computing. At Northrop Grumman Space Technology (formerly TRW, Inc.), he ran a multi-million dollar DARPA program in Quantum Computing using superconducting integrated circuit technology. Mr. Ladizinsky has a BSc. Physics and Mathematics degree from the University of California, Los Angeles and is an Adjunct Professor of Physics at Loyola Marymount University.

The Future of Cities

Gonzalo Cruz

Principal AECOM NYC Landscape Architecture and Urban Design Studio
Gonzalo Cruz is Principal of the AECOM NYC Landscape Architecture and Urban Design Studio. Gonzalo’s diverse professional accomplishments are supported by his multi-disciplinary background, with professional degrees in both Architecture and Landscape Architecture. He has orchestrated projects at a broad array of scales, ranging from large-scale urban design developments to smaller residential and commercial work. As a Design Leader in both public and private sector jobs, Gonzalo works closely with clients and consultants from initial project conception, throughout each design phase. Signature projects include the development of Liberty Park at the World Trade Center District, the Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency and Rebuild by Design Meadowlands.

The Future of Robots

Hod Lipson, PhD.

Professor of Engineering, Columbia University
Hod Lipson is a professor of Engineering and Data Science at Columbia University in New York, and a co-author of the award winning book “Fabricated: The New World of 3D printing”, and “Driverless: Intelligent cars and the road ahead”, by MIT Press. Before joining Columbia University in 2015, Hod spent 14 years as a professor at Cornell University. He received his PhD in 1999 from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, followed by a postdoc at Brandeis University and MIT. Hod Lipson’s work on self-aware and self-replicating robots challenges conventional views, and has enjoyed widespread media coverage. Lipson has co-authored over 300 publications that received over 12,000 citations to date. He has founded four companies, and is frequent keynoter both in industry and academic events. His TED Talk on self-aware machines is one of the most viewed presentations on AI and robotics. Hod directs the Creative Machines Lab, which pioneers new ways to make machines that create, and machines that are creative.

The Future of Art

Jen Lewin

Jen Lewin is an internationally renowned new media and interactive sculptor based in New York. Over her 20-year career, Lewin has honed her architectural background and a highly technical medium to fabricate large-scale interactive sculptures made for public use. At once organic and electronic, Lewin thinks beyond traditional art exhibitions to create an experience that brings vibrancy to public spaces. Lewin’s playful sculptures that exist where art, technology, and communities meet leave viewers enchanted while encouraging delight through their engagement with the work. Lewin’s technically complex works have been featured at events including the Istanbul Light Festival, Vivid Sydney, iLight Marina Bay, Signal Fest and Burning Man, art Biennales in Denver, Colorado and Gwangju, South Korea and solo exhibitions in the United States, Portugal, and England. Jen Lewin has designed and installed permanent public interactive sculptures in worldwide and has worked in collaboration as a dynamic lighting designer for permanent, public installations with Claes Oldenburg in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Lawrence Argent in Vail, Colorado.

The Future of the Brain

Joel Salinas, MD

Instructor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School & Mass General
Joel Salinas was born in Miami Beach, Florida, in 1983. After studying the intersection of biology and sociology at Cornell University, he completed his medical degree at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine followed by neurology residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He subsequently completed a combined research and clinical fellowship in Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Salinas lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and is an Instructor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. He specializes in brain health, including neuropsychiatry and cognitive behavioral neurology, and conducts research in social and behavioral epidemiology to understand the complex neurobiological interplay between social relationships and brain health. He chronicles his experiences as a doctor living with synesthesia in his new book, Mirror Touch: Notes from a Doctor Who Can Feel Your Pain (from HarperOne, an imprint of HarperCollins).

The Future of Social Impact

Joon Yun

President, Palo Alto Investors
​Dr. Joon Yun is managing partner and president of Palo Alto Investors, LLC, a hedge fund founded in 1989 with $2 billion in assets invested in healthcare. Board certified in radiology, Joon served on the clinical faculty at Stanford from 2000-2006. Joon has served on numerous boards, and he is currently a trustee of the Salk Institute. Joon is a member of the President's Circle of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Joon has published numerous patents and scientific articles. Joon and his wife Kimberly launched the $1 million Palo Alto Longevity Prize in 2013 to reverse the aging process and recently donated $2 million to launch the National Academy of Medicine Aging and Longevity Grand Challenge.

The Future of the Blockchain

Joseph Lubin

Founder Consensys & Co-Founder Ethereum
Joseph Lubin’s career has involved various posts in the fields of technology and finance and in their intersection. Subsequent to graduating cum laude with a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Princeton, he worked as research staff in the Robotics Lab at Princeton and then at Vision Applications, Inc., a private research firm, in the fields of autonomous mobile robotics, machine vision and artificial neural networks. His next project was the development of an autonomous music composition tool with tomandandy music. Joseph worked as a software engineer and consultant on various projects, eventually being tipped for the role of Director of the New York office of Blacksmith, a Virginia-based software consulting firm. Software engineering, finance and cryptography were central during employment with Goldman Sachs, eMagine’s consulting work on the Identrus project, and the founding and operation of a set of hedge funds run with a partner. Switching gears, Joseph moved to Kingston, Jamaica to work on a set of projects in the music industry. Two years into the music project, Joseph co-founded the Ethereum Project, and has been working on Ethereum and more recently ConsenSys since January 2014. ConsenSys began as a blockchain production studio building decentralized applications, mostly on Ethereum, and continues on this track, but has expanded its activities since inception. Many of those components are core elements that can be used to construct larger solutions as well as being standalone solutions in their own right. Since ConsenSys began operations before the Ethereum ecosystem existed, ConsenSys has also built core infrastructure elements like Ethereum clients, testing frameworks, rapid application development frameworks, and Integrated Development Environments. ConsenSys Enterprise, the professional services arm, works with various enterprises to help them formulate their blockchain strategy and develop business processes for them on private or consortium blockchains, as well as on the public Ethereum network.

The Future of Dating

Justin McLeod

Founder & CEO, Hinge
Justin McLeod is founder and CEO of Hinge, the relationship app that helps you discover new people through friends. He grew up in Louisville, KY and studied at Colgate University. After a few years in management consulting, Justin attended Harvard Business School and decided to follow his passion for connecting people. He founded Hinge in February 2011 and launched the previous version of the app, legacy Hinge, in February 2013. As a romantic and protagonist of a real life love story, Justin was upset by the negative swipe culture free dating apps had created. So in October 2016, he relaunched Hinge as the first members-only community for relationship-seeking millennials.

The Future of Career Happiness

Kathryn Minshew

CEO & Founder The Muse
Kathryn Minshew is the CEO & Founder of TheMuse.com, a career platform used by over 50 million people to find a job, learn professional skills or advance in their careers, and by hundreds of companies looking to grow their employer brand and hire. She’s also the author of "The New Rules of Work," a modern playbook to help millennials navigate their careers. A WSJ and Harvard Business Review contributor, Kathryn has spoken at MIT and Harvard and appeared on TODAY and CNN. She has also been named to SmartCEO's Future50 and Inc.’s 35 Under 35. A Duke alum, Kathryn worked in Rwanda with the Clinton Health Access Initiative before founding The Muse, and was previously at McKinsey & Company.

The Future of Science

Keri Kukral

Founder Raw Science TV
Keri founded Raw Science TV to keep the logic and beauty of science on center stage in media. She won seed-funds via a pitch competition through Caltech/Idealab. She brings science to people by telling the most compelling stories through a cutting-edge journalism and film platform. The Raw Science Film Festival is eligible to be an Academy Awards qualifier in 2018 and honors Kip Thorne, Stephen Wolfram, and Janet Ivey-Duensing. The channel covered thorium nuclear reactors in Taiwan months ahead of an announcement between a US/China partnership to develop such technology. It released the first video of Elon Musk detailing plans to reach and colonize Mars. It was identified as one-to-watch by Forbes. Keri was a professional ballet dancer and an engineer in the medical device industry. The Raw Science Foundation was created to promote STEAM education globally through access to energy, connectivity, and telemedicine, particularly for girls and women.

Panel, The Future of Virtual Reality

Kimberlee Archer

Virtual Reality Marketing, Partnerships, and Experiences at Samsung
Since joining Samsung in 2010, Kimberlee has launched more than 20 applications and services exclusive to the company. For the past three years, she has been Samsung’s VR marketing evangelist, championing the democratization of VR and leading go-to-market strategies for the company’s VR ecosystem, which includes the industry-leading Gear VR technology, Gear 360 cameras and Samsung VR distribution platform. In addition, Kimberlee has pioneered VR content creation partnerships for entertainment programming, branding efforts and immersive 4D experiences. Two of her projects for Samsung VR – “Gone,” a serialized VR thriller produced with Walking Dead production company Skybound Entertainment, and the 2016 Major League Baseball World Series – received Emmy nominations.

The Future of Books

Lisa Sharkey

SVP, HarperCollins
In her role as the Senior Vice President and Director of Creative Development for HarperCollins Publishers Worldwide, Ms. Sharkey has overseen the acquisition of more than 40 New York Times best-sellers including the million-copy selling Through My Eyes – the inspiring memoir of Tim Tebow, and multiple #1 New York Times Best Sellers from rock star Sammy Hagar, reality star Lauren Conrad and diet guru Jorge Cruise. Her sports books acquisitions include bestselling titles from NY Yankees Legend Jorge Posada, MLB Manager Tony La Russa, Red Sox Poet Laurate Dick Flavin, and Claudia Williams, daughter of Ted Williams and a book by Olympic ski champion Lindsey Vonn. Sharkey’s music book acquisitions include memoirsby Tony Bennett, Pat Benatar, Gregg Allman, Cissy Houston, Toni Braxton and Mitch Winehouse (father of Amy).

The Future of Human Potential

Marc Elliot

Motivational Speaker
For nearly 20 years Marc Elliot lived with Tourette’s Syndrome, a disorder deemed by most in the medical community as involuntary and incurable. It’s estimated he ticced around 25 million times over that time period. He traveled extensively around the nation to deliver a message of compassion and tolerance that ultimately earned him national speaking awards at the age of 26. Astonishingly, with the help of top scientific and human potential innovators, Marc completely overcame his Tourette’s in 2013 using only mind over body and now lives tic-free. Now 30, with his inspiring presentation “Discover The Unimaginable,” Marc shares his unprecedented story to plant the seed for leaders, companies, and individuals to break through the unimaginable.

The Future of Artificially Intelligent People & Us

Maria Gomez Rachelle

Founder & CEO, Living Leadership Today

The Future of Flying Cars

Mark Jennings-Bates

VP North America, Pal-V
As an Armored Reconnaissance Officer in the Canadian Army Reserves, he trains regularly to be ready to lend a hand in domestic and international operations. Through his role as a Troop Leader, he learns first hand the challenges of motivating others to accomplish difficult tasks and the rigors of precise planning and management. As a successful entrepreneur he has a varied background. He has owned several businesses across many sectors and has sat on the Board of Directors for many corporations and organizations. He is a Venture Partner with Dutch Oracle, a leading Alternative Investment and Family Office consultancy based in British Columbia. In his latest preparations on the heels of a successful aviation Guinness World Record in 2012, Mark is now preparing to be the first person to circumnavigate the world in a Flying Car. As innovative in his adventures as he is in business, Mark always places himself on the leading edge as a big thinker. He is forced to overcome challenges with the courageous nature of his endeavors.

The Future of the Consumer

Matt Britton

CEO, Crowdtap
Matt Britton is America’s leading expert on the millennial generation having consulted for over half of the Fortune 500 over the past two decades. Matt's unique ability to connect the dots between the new consumer culture of today and the business trends of tomorrow is what separates him and offers unique value for his clients. Matt's best-selling book titled YouthNation, which debuted at #1 on Amazon's business book list has created the modern day roadmap for corporations large and small alike to approach a generation with power and influence unlike any other emerging demographic in history. In 2002 Matt founded MRY, a digital and social media marketing services agency, which he would grow from a one-person startup to a global powerhouse with over 500 employees which was acquired by the Publicis Groupe in 2011. In 2016, Matt joined CrowdTap as CEO. a company he incubated and spun-off from MRY in 2011. CrowdTap creates technology which allow for deeper engagement between brands and consumers for over 100 of the most prominent marketers in the world.

The Future of Ethical Technology

Max Stossel

Co-Founder, Timewellspent.io
Max Stossel is an award winning poet + filmmaker, and one of the leaders of Time Well Spent, a movement to align technology with our humanity. His work consistently goes viral, has spanned across 14 languages, has won two Webby Awards, multiple film festivals, and influenced the way digital media organizations tell the stories of mass murder in the news. Before entering the worlds of poetry, film & digital activism, Max was a media strategist with an extensive background in social. He ran social for Budweiser, where he drove a 3,400% increase in average engagement, before being trained by Gary Vaynerchuk and creating social strategies for Dove and several Fortune 100 brands. He has written on the subject for Quartz and The Huffington Post. The merging of these fields allows Max to provide a compelling and fascinating perspective on modern content and culture. He is currently helping select brands tell their stories in his style via video, speaking at schools, corporations, & events and helping content-focused brands stop wasting their money and start focusing their content resources effectively.

The Future of Inspiration

Michael Weiss

CEO Worlds Fair USA
Michael cares about getting the world excited about the future. As Co-Founder and CEO of Worlds Fair USA, Michael leads an effort to organize the first U.S. Worlds Fair since 1984. Today, Worlds Fair USA organizes mini-Worlds Fairs called Worlds Fair Nano, with the plan of growing Nano into the six month, 100 million person Worlds Fair. Michael started his Worlds Fair career as an amateur historian, which grew into an understanding of why a Worlds Fair is an incredible tool for inspiring world-changing innovation and progress. He believes the inspiration is the world's most important resource, and that it can be cultivated as consistently as any other resource!

The Future of Education

Nancy Conrad

Founder & Chairman, Conrad Foundation
Nancy Conrad created the Conrad Foundation in 2008 to energize and engage students in science and technology through unique entrepreneurial opportunities. The organization’s flagship program, the Conrad Spirit of Innovation Challenge, is a global competition challenging students to combine education, innovation and entrepreneurship to create products that address real-world challenges and global sustainability. By enabling young minds to connect education, innovation and entrepreneurship, the Foundation helps provide a bold platform for enriching the innovative workforce of the future. Ms. Conrad has been a featured speaker at national and international conferences. Her presentations include TED Long Beach, the Legatum Institute at MIT, and, at the invitation of HM King Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz, she spoke at the Global Competiveness Forum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. She also presented at the Global Diversity Leadership Conference at Harvard University and the National Modeling and Simulation Coalition conference in Washington, DC. As a leader in transformative education, she has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology detailing how the Conrad Foundation exemplifies the use of partnership and mentorship to improve STEM education. She has been named one of the top 100 leaders in STEM Education. Ms. Conrad serves on the Board of Directors of the Presidential Scholars.

Panel: The Future of Virtual Reality

Nick Felder

Global Group Director, Film, Video, Music Production at The Coca-Cola Company
Mr. Felder is an award winning Executive Producer of television commercials and short format content with more than 20 years experience. He’s currently Global Group Director of Film, Video and Music Production for the Coca-Cola Company. Prior to that he was EVP, Head of Production at Lowe Worldwide in New York. Mr. Felder is also an author, publisher and entrepreneur with a number of books and ventures to his credit. Advertising awards include numerous Cannes Lions, Clios, D&AD; awards, One Show Pencils, ADDY’s, EFFIEs and two Emmy nominations, among others.

The Future of Internet Celebrity

Nigel Sylvester

American BMX Rider
Nigel Sylvester (born August 23, 2021) is an American BMX rider. He turned professional at age 18 when he signed with BMX icon Dave Mirra. Over the course of his career, Nigel has partnered with brands in sports, lifestyle, and entertainment including Nike, GoPro, G-Shock, Beats by Dre, New Era, Ethika, and Animal Bikes. Nigel was the first BMX rider in history to do a signature shoe with Nike selling out of the line’s inventory in 24 hours across the USA and designed two watches for G-Shock. Nigel was featured on Forbes’ 30-Under-30 list in 2017. Outside of endorsements, Nigel has also worked with such musical artists as Pharrell Williams, teaming up with him on his Brooklyn Machine Works bicycle brand, and has been featured in various media outlets including ESPN The Magazine’s Body Issue (the only BMX rider ever included in this feature), Sports Illustrated, AOL Build, NBC, New York Times, Vice and Hypebeast. Nigel also has a video series “GO”, filmed in New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Dubai which has garnered over 20 million views of views collectively. The series has featured Chicago Bear wide receiver Victor Cruz, rapper A$AP Ferg, Golden State Warrior guard Nick Young, actress Jamie Chung and professional skateboarder and entrepreneur Rob Dyrdek. Nigel’s latest installment, “GO 4”, launched in August 2017 and takes viewers on a BMX ride through Dubai. Nigel has transcended the sport of BMX and is not only considered a Pro BMX’er but a digital content powerhouse and cultural innovator. Early Life Nigel was born and raised in the Southside area of Jamaica Queens by his Grenadian parents. His mother, a home-care-nurse, and father, an electrician, bought Nigel his first BMX bike at age 12. He grew up in a neighborhood with no skate parks and instead learned to ride the city’s park benches, stairways and sidewalks. He was discovered by Dave Mirra at an amateur tour and was officially added to Mirra’s team of professionals at age 18.

Panel, The Future of Virtual Reality

Ola Bjorling

Creative Technical Director Here Be Dragons
Ola Bjorling has worked in all facets of interactive communications, starting as a web designer and developer in 1996. In the 20+ years since, he has done everything from directing video games to designing typefaces, but it's in the multidisciplinary world of VR he's found his true home over the least 4 years. Ola has spoken about VR at Cannes Lions, Digital Hollywood, Oculus Connect and more, with a uniquely holistic grasp of both the technical and philosophical sides of this medium.

The Future of Bioengineering

Randal J. Kirk

CEO Intrexon
Randal J. Kirk has served as the Chief Executive Officer of Intrexon since April of 2009 and Chairman of the Board since February 2008. Mr. Kirk provides a wealth of strategic, operational and management experience. Mr. Kirk currently serves as the Senior Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Third Security, LLC, an investment management firm founded by Mr. Kirk in March 1999. Additionally, Mr. Kirk founded and became Chairman of the Board of New River Pharmaceuticals Inc. (previously traded on NASDAQ prior to its acquisition by Shire plc in 2007) in 1996, and was President and Chief Executive Officer between October 2001 and April 2007. Mr. Kirk currently serves in a number of additional capacities including as a member of the board of directors of Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: HALO) since May 2007 and as a member of the board of directors of ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZIOP) since January 2011. Previously, Mr. Kirk served as a member of the board of directors of Scios, Inc. (previously traded on NASDAQ prior to its acquisition by Johnson & Johnson) between February 2000 and May 2002, and as a member of the board of directors of Clinical Data, Inc. (previously traded on NASDAQ prior to its acquisition by Forest Laboratories, Inc. in April 2011) from September 2002 to April 2011, and was Chairman of the board of directors from December 2004 to April 2011. Mr. Kirk served on the board of visitors of Radford University from July 2003 to June 2009, was Rector of the board of directors from September 2006 to September 2008, and served on the board of directors of the Radford University Foundation, Inc. from September 1998 to May 2011. He served on the board of visitors of the University of Virginia and Affiliated Schools from July 2009 to October 2012, on the Virginia Advisory Council on Revenue Estimates from July 2006 to October 2012 and on the Governor’s Economic Development and Jobs Creation Commission from April 2010 to October 2012. Mr. Kirk received a B.A. in Business from Radford University and a J.D. from the University of Virginia.

The Future of Equality

Roya Mahboob

Co-Founder & CEO Digital Citizen Fund
Roya Mahboob is an Afghan entrepreneur and businesswoman. She founded and serves as CEO of the Afghan Citadel Software Company, a full-service software development company based in Herat, Afghanistan. She has received attention for being among the first IT female CEOs in Afghanistan, where it is still relatively rare for women to work outside the home. On 18 April 2013, Roya Mahboob was named to TIME magazine's 100 Most Influential People In The World for 2013 for her work in building internet classrooms in high schools in Afghanistan and for Women's Annex, a multilingual blog and video site hosted by Film Annex. This was the 10th anniversary of the TIME special edition. The Women's Annex platform give the women of Afghanistan and Central Asia a platform to tell their stories to the world. The TIME magazine introduction to Roya Mahboob was written by Sheryl Sandberg who is the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook and the author of "Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead". U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Roya Mahboob and other Afghan women entrepreneurs at the International Center for Women's Economic Development at the American University of Afghanistan. She is also known for her work with online film distribution platform and Web Television Network Film Annex on the Afghan Development Project.

The Future of American Leadership

Senator Tim Kaine

U.S. Senator for Virginia, Tim Kaine
Tim was elected to the Senate in 2012 and serves on the Armed Services, Budget, Foreign Relations and Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committees. During his first term in the Senate, Tim has successfully fought against the sequestration cuts that were harming Virginia’s economy, supported reforms that strengthen our education system, and advocated a U.S. foreign policy that protects American families while staying true to our nation’s values. In order to get things done for the people of Virginia, Tim has made working across the aisle and finding common ground a top priority. Tim has partnered with Republicans to help address issues as wide-ranging as unemployment among veterans, campus sexual assault, sea level rise, drug abuse, and K-12 education reform. Since June of 2014, Tim has been the leading voice calling on Congress to uphold its constitutional duty and vote to authorize the war against ISIL. Tim partnered with Republican Senator Jeff Flake to introduce the only bipartisan authorization proposal to show America’s enemies, allies, and troops that the nation is united in this fight. As a lifelong supporter of career and technical education, Tim has championed CTE in the Senate, co-founding the bipartisan CTE Caucus and introducing legislation that would improve students’ access to skills-based learning that prepares them for the careers of the 21st century. Through high-quality, affordable education and training, Tim believes the United States can continue to grow the world’s most talented workforce and help families climb the economic ladder to success. While Tim is always working to find common ground with his Republican colleagues, he is also a proud Democrat who isn’t afraid to stand up for what he believes in, from protecting a women’s right to make her own healthcare choices, to ensuring equal pay for equal work, to supporting commonsense policies to prevent gun violence. Tim grew up working in his father’s ironworking shop in Kansas City. He was educated at the University of Missouri and Harvard Law School and started his public service career by taking a year off from Harvard to run a technical school founded by Jesuit missionaries in Honduras. After law school, he practiced law in Richmond for 17 years, specializing in the representation of people who had been denied housing due to their race or disability. He also began teaching part-time at the University of Richmond in 1987. Tim was first elected to office in 1994, serving as a city councilmember and then Mayor of Richmond. He became Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in 2002 and was inaugurated as Virginia’s 70th Governor in 2006. Despite serving during the worst recession in 70 years, Tim led the state to national recognition. Under Tim’s leadership, Virginia was named the best managed state in America, the Best State for Business, and the Best State to Raise a Child. The Commonwealth maintained its Triple A bond rating for fiscal management -- an honor shared by only 7 states -- and had one of the nation's lowest unemployment rates and highest median incomes. Tim is married to Anne Holton, who served as Virginia’s Secretary of Education. Tim and Anne revel in the adventures of their three grown children and live in the same Northside Richmond neighborhood where they moved as newlyweds more than 30 years ago. Tim loves reading, being outdoors and playing harmonica with bluegrass bands throughout Virginia.

StarTalk All-Stars: The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

Seth Shostak

Senior Astronomer, SETI Institute
Seth claims to have developed an interest in extraterrestrial life at the tender age of ten, when he first picked up a book about the solar system. This innocent beginning eventually led to a degree in radio astronomy, and now, as Senior Astronomer, Seth is an enthusiastic participant in the Institute’s SETI observing programs. He also heads up the International Academy of Astronautics’ SETI Permanent Committee. In addition, Seth is keen on outreach activities: interesting the public – and especially young people – in science in general, and astrobiology in particular. He’s co-authored a college textbook on astrobiology, and has written three trade books on SETI. In addition, he’s published more than 400 popular articles on science -- including regular contributions to both the Huffington Post and Discover Magazine blogs -- gives many dozens of talks annually, and is the host of the SETI Institute’s weekly science radio show, “Big Picture Science.”

The Future of the Built Environment

Skylar Tibbets

Co-Director & Founder, Self-Assembly Lab at MIT
Skylar's research focuses on self-assembly and programmable material technologies for novel manufacturing, products and construction processes. Skylar is currently a Research Scientist in MIT's Department of Architecture, teaching graduate and undergraduate design studios and co-teaching How to Make (Almost) Anything, a seminar at MIT's Media Lab. Skylar was recently awarded a 2013 Architectural League Prize, The Next Idea Award at Ars Electronica 2013, the Visionary Innovation Award at the Manufacturing Leadership Summit, a 2012 TED Senior Fellowship and was named a Revolutionary Mind in SEED Magazine’s 2008 Design Issue. Previously, he has worked at a number of renowned design offices including: Zaha Hadid Architects, Asymptote Architecture and Point b Design. He has designed and built large-scale installations at galleries around the world, has been published extensively in outlets such as the New York Times, Wired, Nature, Fast Company, various peer-reviewed journals and books. Skylar has a Professional Degree in Architecture and minor in experimental computation from Philadelphia University. Continuing his education at MIT, he received a Masters of Science in Design Computation and a Masters of Science in Computer Science under the guidance of; Patrick Winston, Terry Knight, Erik Demaine and Neil Gershenfeld. Skylar Tibbits is also the director of the Self-Assembly Lab at MIT. www.selfassemblylab.net Skylar has collaborated with a number of influential people over the years including: Neil Gershenfeld and The Center for Bits and Atoms, Erik and Marty Demaine at MIT, Adam Bly at SEED Media Group and Marc Fornes of THEVERYMANY. In 2007, Skylar Tibbits and Marc Fornes co-curated Scriptedbypurpose, the first exhibition focused exclusively on scripted processes within design.

Performance Speaker, The Future of Music


VR-Gesture Electronic Music Duo
Spectrum is an electronic music duo that’s a hybrid of musician and music technologist. Using their own virtual reality gloves and software, they perform music live using motions and gestures, creating shows that are as visual as they are musical. Spectrum consists of members Ray Li and Michael Ndubuisi, who met as engineers at Cornell University. The two created several musical instruments together, the latest of which is the virtual reality performance tool.

Panel Moderator, The Future of Virtual Reality

Stephanie Llamas

VP Research and Strategy SuperData Research
Stephanie Llamas is VP of Research and Strategy, and heads immersive technology insights at SuperData Research. Stephanie is an digital media veteran with over 10 years of experience. She is one of the first analysts to provide market intelligence on the current generation of immersive tech, leading SuperData to become the gold standard in XR research. As VP, she also oversees research design and products for gaming and interactive media. A thought leader and speaker, Stephanie regularly shares her professional insights with leading outlets such as Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, CES and SXSW. SuperData is the world's leading provider of competitive intelligence on interactive media. Its partners provide point-of-sale transactions from 78 million online gamers, and data on VR/AR across all sectors through the VR Data Network. It is the only company to provide insight into the current generation of interactive entertainment using proprietary transaction and immersive technology data.

The Future of Psychedelic Science

Stephen Ross, MD

Associate Professor of Psychiatry, NYU
Stephen Ross, M.D. is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at the New York University (NYU) School of Medicine and Associate Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Radiology and Medicine at the NYU College of Dentistry. He is the Director of the Division of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse in the Psychiatry Department at Bellevue Hospital Center, Director of Addiction Psychiatry at NYU Langone Medical Center/Tisch Hospital, and the Director of the NYU Addiction Fellowship. Dr Ross directs the NYU Experimental Therapeutics Research Laboratory at Bellevue Hospital Center and is the Director of the NYU Psychedelic Research Group. Dr Ross researches the therapeutic application of hallucinogen treatment models to treat psychiatric and addictive disorders. He is an expert in psycho-oncology and is studying novel pharmacologic-psychosocial approaches to treating psychological distress associated with advanced or terminal cancer. He is the Principal Investigator (PI) of the NYU Psilocybin Cancer Project (a recently completed FDA phase II RCT studying the efficacy of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy in patients with life-threatening cancer and psychological/existential distress), site PI of MAPS funded phase III trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD, PI of a controlled trial administering psilocybin to religious professionals, and co-PI of a controlled trial assessing psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy in patients with alcoholism. Dr. Ross receives his research funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the NYU School of Medicine, the Heffter Research Institute, and the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS).

Panel: The Future of Virtual Reality

Svetlana Dragayeva

Creator and CEO, Virry and Fountain Digital Labs
Svetlana is Creator of Virry –the BAFTA winning children’s educational app that brings children up close and personal with real wild animals. Svetlana also heads up Fountain Digital Labs creators of exceptional mobile apps that inspire, inform, entertain and educate people. Svetlana started her career in the educational sector helping children harness their creativity and has worked with schools all around Europe researching the link between technology, narratology and cognitive skills. This is backed with 10 years of experience in film production working with high profile film directors, independent creative power-houses and highly-regarded international media organisations. Svetlana is known for bringing together talent, an entrepreneurial spirit and proven managerial skills to deliver exciting and innovative projects that provide a positive and collaborative future globally. Svetlana specializes in concept creation, high quality film production and EdTech development which she has brought together to create the Virry App. Svetlana is fast becoming a thought leader across the Kids Community and the EdTech sector.

The Future of Intimacy

Toon Timmermans

CEO FeelRobotics
FeelRobotics is a high-tech Robotics company connecting IOT devices to an advanced communications platform that enables devices to talk to each other. FeelRobotics technology makes it easy to connect any Bluetooth device, and control it remotely or stream its sensor data to any cloud service with a click of a button. FeelRobotics makes use of the latest technologies in Robotics, AR, VR to merge these technologies into one service that will add interactivity and touch to what you see in a virtual world. The developers work with machine learning and computer vision to understand what humans’ intentions are and let robots execute their commands. Additionally, FeelRobotics produces hardware that will connect out-of-the box products with our IOT communication platform. It is now possible for new robotics companies to implement this core hardware technology and build their own robots. This means that they do not have to spend resources, such as time and money on developing this technology themselves.
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