Stories to change the world

At BIF, we believe storytelling can change the world. We act on that belief every year with our annual BIF Summit. Explore the archive of stories through which we've been inspired, learned together, and co-created the future narrative. 

Distinguished Research Scientist

Autodesk

Andrew Hessel is a Distinguished Research Scientist with the Bio/Nano Research Group at Autodesk, a leader in 3D design, engineering, and entertainment software. His team focuses on developing tools of computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing to biotechnology and nanotechnology. He...

Author, Co-Founder

Rose Parks Avenue

Whitney Johnson was recognized as one of the world's leading management thinkers in 2015 (Thinkers50), and is best known for her work on driving corporate innovation through personal disruption. She is a former award-winning Wall Street equity analyst and the co-founder of a boutique...

President

The Good Life Alliance, PBC

Roberto Rivera leads The Good Life Alliance PBC, an organization that publishes multi-media educational tools and trains educators, youth workers, and parents to connect positive youth development to community development...

Chief Marketing Officer

Pandora

Simon Fleming-Wood serves as Chief Marketing Officer at Pandora.  In this role, Simon oversees the marketing, business development, and communications functions, as well as the Pandora One subscription business.

Prior to joining Pandora in 2011, Simon was the founding Vice...

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”. 

Director, Industrial Design department

RISD

Internationally recognized design and project leader Mickey Ackerman has spent decades teaching designers how to define problems clearly and then solve those problems through multidisciplinary teamwork. As Director of RISD's Industrial Design department, Ackerman established a portfolio of sponsored projects and created real-world design solutions for industry leaders such as Intel, Rubbermaid, Frigidaire and General Mills.

CMO,

Extreme Networks

Vala Afshar is the CMO for Extreme Networks, responsible for global marketing and customer service and support operations. An award-winning inventor of social technologies and customer services operations, Vala is considered a pioneer in cloud computing, social collaboration, business intelligence, and customer relationship management. Vala is also the author of The Pursuit of Social Business Excellence.

Artist

Marla Allison is trying to do something that hasn’t been seen yet. As an artist living and working in Laguna Pueblo, New Mexico, the influences on her work date back to the pre-Columbian era. So, it’s difficult to do something new under the sun.

Nevertheless, Allison brings freshness to ancient Native American artistic practices by putting her own twist on centuries-old patterns in pottery, painting and weaving, and by beautifully blending her traditionally-derived sensibilities with the best of today’s mixed media.

President

Innosight

Scott is President of strategy and consulting firm Innosight. Scott has worked with Fortune 500 and start-up companies in industries such as media (print and broadcast), consumer products, investment banking, transportation and logistics, healthcare, medical devices, software, petrochemicals, and communications equipment.

CEO

Swat Team Partners

Randy Antik is currently CEO of Swat Team Partners. Swat Team Partners provides growth strategy consulting to marketing leaders for major corporations at the CEO/CMO level in technology, retail, marketing services, and health care. Clients/projects include: EDS, RadioShack, AMD, Agere, Neiman...

Senior Curator, Architecture & Design

Museum of Modern Art

Paola Antonelli is one of the world's foremost design experts and was recently rated  one of the top one hundred most powerful people in the world of art by Art Review. She is a Senior Curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art. Antonelli received her MA in Architecture from Milan Polytechnic in 1990, and worked at the design magazines Domus and Abitare before coming to MoMA in 1994. Antonelli is known for her eclecticism, and has curated well-received shows such as Design and the Elastic Mind (2008), an exhibition on science, design, and innovation and Workspheres (2001), devoted to the workplace of the near future. Antonelli has taught design history and theory at UCLA and Harvard and is the author of Humble Masterpieces: Everyday Marvels of Design, and co-author of 2008 book Design and the Elastic Mind.

Co-Founder

23andMe

In promoting her new genetic testing company, 23andMe, Linda Avey finds that people are highly inquisitive about how the process works. How long after mailing my saliva collection tube will my genetic data be posted on the Web site? What will I learn about my genetic predispositions to hundreds of inherited diseases or physical traits? What, exactly, is my ancestral path?