BIF2015 Storytellers

  • Retired Founding Chairman,

    Boston Scientific Corporation

    John is the retired Founding Chairman of Boston Scientific Corporation and an early pioneer in the then (1970s) counter-intuitive concept of “less invasive surgery”. 

  • State Poet,

    Rhode Island

    Rick Benjamin is a poet, essayist, and teacher, currently serving as poet laureate of Rhode Island.
  • Chief Education Evangelist

    Google, Inc.

    Jaime Casap is the Chief Education Evangelist at Google, Inc.  Jaime evangelizes the power and potential of the web, technology, and Google tools as enabling and supporting capabilities in pursuit of creating powerful learning models.
  • Transportation Entrepreneur

    and Author

    Robin Chase is a transportation entrepreneur and author of Peers Inc, How People and Platforms are Inventing the Collaborative Economy and Reinventing Capitalism.
     

  • Founder

    Tuple Health

    Dr. Chaudhry is an internal medicine physician and medical technologist whose expertise focuses on healthcare payment, clinical service redesign, and the use of data analytics to improve clinical and financial performance in healthcare.

  • Co-Founder

    Epic Magazine; Contributing Editor, Wired

    Joshua Davis loves an adventure,armwrestling, bullfighting, sumo, sauna and backward running. Not to mention, the book he wrote Spare Parts, a chronicle of a small robotics team that has been made into a movie releasing in 2015.
  • VP and Chief Privacy Officer

    Cisco

    In the male dominated cybersecurity landscape Michelle Dennedy VP and Chief Privacy Officer at Cisco brings a much needed diversity of thought to the field. Michelle is an advocate and expert on the growing crime of child ID theft.

  • Mezzosoprano, Founder and Artistic Director-El Camino Project, Humanitarian

    Mezzosoprano Carla Dirlikov is gaining international attention as a dynamic classical singer, humanitarian and active advocate for the arts & education.
  • Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology at Teachers College

    Columbia University

    Chris prepares teachers for STEM classrooms, conducts research in urban science education, and coordinates both the Science Genius B.A.T.T.L.E.S. and the #HipHopEd social media movement. The Science Genius B.A.T.T.L.E.S. are focused on bringing attention to transforming teaching, learning, and engagement in science by using hip-hop culture to create science competitions among youth in New York City Public schools. The #HipHopEd movement focuses on engaging the public in conversations about the intersections of hip-hop and education. 
  • Artistic and Executive Director

    WaterFire

    WaterFire is an award-winning sculpture by Barnaby Evans installed on the three rivers of downtown Providence, has been praised by Rhode Island residents and international visitors alike as a powerful work of art, and is now considered an early exemplar of successful Creative Placemaking.
  • Global Security Advisor and Futurist

    Marc is a global security adviser and futurist. He focuses on the disruptive impact of advancing technologies on security, business and international affairs. His new book Future Crimes takes readers deep into the digital underground to expose the alarming ways criminals, corporations, and even countries are using new and emerging technologies against you—and how this makes everyone more vulnerable than ever imagined.
  • Founder & CEO

    Defy Ventures

    Catherine left behind a career in venture capital and private equity to pursue her calling. At age 27, she founded the Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP), a nonprofit organization that serves men in the Texas prison system. PEP was nationally recognized for its groundbreaking results, including a recidivism rate of less than 5%, and an employment rate of 98%.In October 2010, Catherine established Defy Ventures in New York City, with her vision to build a replicable model that will impact every urban community in America.
  • Co-Creator

    Tampon Run

    Sophie Houser is the co-creator of the video game Tampon Run, a simple game that uses humor and satire to combat the taboo in society around menstruation.
  • Advocate, Open Source Patient Data; Doctoral Candidate,

    MIT Media Lab

    In 2007 after a voluntary academic scan of his brain Steven accidentally found out he had a small anomaly in his brain. In August 2014 that anomaly had turned into a baseball size cancerous tumor. Steven's brain tumor was successfully removed in a 10 hour awake surgery. Now an advocate for other patients, Steven has shown the power of open source health data.
  • Lead, Senior Executive Leadership Development

    GE Crotonville

    Kimberly Kleiman-Lee heads the Executive Learning Team for GE Crotonville, focusing on the learning and development needs of the company’s senior-most leaders.  Kimberly has been with GE for 15 years; 12 of those years at GE Healthcare. Most recently, she served as Senior Faculty Lead for the GE Officers. 
  • Food & Travel Writer; Author; Judge on Food Network's Iron Chef and Cutthroat Kitchen

    Simon is a Food & Travel Writer. Judge on Iron Chef, Next Iron Chef & Cutthroat Kitchen. Author of new book “Fed, White and Blue” which catalogues his journey to American citizenship through extraordinary food experiences, will be published by Hudson St. Press in April 2015.
  • Author

    The Pirate's Dilemma; former Chief Content Officer, BitTorrent

    Voted #11 on Fast Company's Most Creative People in Business list, I’m a senior executive with 15 years experience in strategy, marketing, product, branding, growth-hacking and content creation.

  • Ski Mountaineer

    Andrew McLean has been pursuing steep skiing challenges in remote locations for over two decades and has accumulated over 100 first descents. In 2007 he completed a long term quest to capture first descents on all seven continents when he traveled to Morocco to ski in the High Atlas Mountains. 
  • Co-Executive Director

    Big Picture Learning

    Carlos Moreno was just appointed Co-Executive Director at Big Picture Learning. He began his journey at Big Picture Learning as an advisor at the Met in Providence in 2002. Carlos went on to serve as a principal, district leader, Regional Director, and most recently as National Director for School and Network Support. 
  • Entrepreneur, speaker, author

    Alexander Osterwalder is an entrepreneur, speaker and business model innovator. Together with Professor Yves Pigneur, he co-authored Business Model Generation, a global bestseller on the topic of business model innovation.

  • CEO and Co-Founder

    Print Syndicate, LLC

    Tanisha Robinson is a serial entrepreneur, active member of the Columbus technology and startup community and CEO of Print Syndicate. Tanisha served as an Arabic Linguist in the United States Army and was then awarded a fellowship which enabled her to travel to Syria, and later all across the Middle East, teaching English and working for women’s rights.
  • CEO

    High Tech High

    Larry Rosenstock is the founder and CEO of High Tech High, a public charter school that redefines the meaning of quality education. There are no bells, there are no security guards, but there is a methodology that includes project based learning, internships, and an education that prepares students for the workplace.
  • Author, Adventurer, Lecturer

    Michael Samuelson is an expert on leadership, health and wellness, patient experience, health policy, disease prevention. Practicing what he preaches, Michael is an avid world trekker with high altitude mountain adventures logged in Asia, Europe, Africa, South America, Alaska and the US lower 48. All after the age of 50 and after being diagnosed with cancer. Michael’s latest book is, Beyond Cancer Survival: Living a Life of Thrival 39 Reflections from Glaciers, Mountains, Rainforests, Boardrooms & Life
  • Founder & Director

    Food4Good

    Julius Searight was in 13 foster homes before the age of three when he moved into his adoptive home. An experience that left him gravitating toward community service. After graduating from Johnson & Wales University he set about starting his own non-profit. Food4Good is a mobile foodtruck that serves paying customers through the day and turns into a mobile Soup Kitchen at night. 
  • Singer/Songwriter

    Dani Shay is a singer/songwriter, actor and activist who is most well known for her television spots on America's Got Talent and The Glee Project 2. Her YouTube videos have also been a great source of recognition, as they've garnered over 20 million views worldwide.
  • Author, Journalist, Lecturer

    A world-renowned author, journalist, and popular lecturer, Gail Sheehy has changed the way millions of women and men around the globe look at the their lives. In her 50 years as a writer, she has interviewed thousands of women and men and written 17 books.

  • President

    KaBOOM!

    James Siegal is President of KaBOOM!, the national non-profit that seeks to give children the childhood they deserve filled with balanced and active play, so they can thrive.
  • Co-Founder

    PeaceLove

    PeaceLove Co-founder Jeff Sparr is a man on an audacious mission – a mission to make mental illness cool. Not cool to have, but cool to support. A family man, mental health advocate, teacher and self-taught artist, Jeff is above all a survivor, battling Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) much of his life. Read his story below to meet the man behind PeaceLove.

     
  • Founder

    Svigals + Partners, LLP

    Barry was drawn to architecture because it combined so many of his interests: imagining, drawing, communicating, and storytelling. And it’s not just about making things. For Barry it’s about making something that serves a meaningful purpose. This drives him and unites his talents, inspiring him to bring them to the world at large.
  • Co-author, upcoming book

    Blockchain Revolution

    Alex Tapscott is the CEO and Founder of Northwest Passage Ventures. A passionate advocate for the disruptive potential of new technology, Alex is the co-author with Don Tapscott of the upcoming book: Blockchain Revolution: The Brilliant Technology Changing Money, Business and The World to be released in 2016.
  • Co-Founder, Global Giving; Director and Co-Founder,

    Feedback Labs

    Dennis Whittle is co-founder of GlobalGiving, where he was CEO from 2000-2010. Currently he is Director and Co-Founder of Feedback Labs.
  • Founder and CEO

    Stupid Cancer

    Diagnosed with brain cancer at 21, Matthew Zachary founded Stupid Cancer. This social movement disrupted and innovated the nonprofit model and united several industries all in service of young adult cancer survivors.

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