BIF2015 Storytellers

  • 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.
  • 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

    Intel Security

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

  • 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. 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • Director of Event Design

    Forget about number games, Lakshmi is redefining dating as a storytelling exercise, one we can all learn from.
  • 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.
  • Head of Glass,


    At Google Glass Ivy Ross works to answer two rather simple sounding questions. Can technology be something that frees us up and keeps us in the moment, rather than taking us out of it? Can it help us look up and out at the world around us, and the people who share it with us?

  • 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


    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. 
  • 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.

  • 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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