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.
Former Football Player And Cancer Survivor Now Helps Patients And Families
Founded by former New England Patriots offensive guard Joe Andruzzi and his wife Jen in 2008, the Joe Andruzzi Foundation grew out of Andruzzi’s own successful battle with cancer and the couple’s ongoing work with young cancer patients.
Andruzzi's football career ended in 2007 when he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Burkitt’s lymphoma. He is now cancer-free, but a new passion grew from his own cancer experience: helping other cancer patients and their families. After witnessing firsthand the stress cancer can cause, the Andruzzis created a foundation to help cancer patients and their families meet life’s day-to-day challenges. And the Foundation’s (Up)Beat cancer initiative strives to keep families positive by organizing outings and visits with New England’s professional athletes.
The Joe Andruzzi Foundation provides financial assistance to cancer patients and families, helping them focus on recovery, not bills. It also funds cancer research at Boston Children’s Hospital, building on the Andruzzis’ longstanding commitment to cutting-edge pediatric brain cancer research.
In 2003, the Andruzzis founded the C.J. Buckley Cancer Research Fund at Children’s in memory of their young friend Buckley, who suffered a brain tumor. Buckley’s spirit inspired the Andruzzis to support the innovative work of Dr. Mark Kieran, Director of Pediatric Neuro-Oncology at Children’s, whose work centers on the molecular nature of pediatric brain tumors, novel therapies, and surgical alternatives, with the aim of making treatment more accessible to all.
Empowering Congenital Heart Disease Patients To Lead Full, Productive Lives
Dr. Ami Bhatt is an active cardiologist, researcher and educator. As Director of the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Multidisciplinary Program at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), she leads initiatives to provide state of the art subspecialty care to individuals at MGH as well as in the communities where they live. As an active TeleMedicine provider at the MGH Heart Center, she offers telemedicine patient visits and physician consultation, and is working towards building and testing mobile health and telemedicine platforms in order to bring the “virtual cardiologist visit” to individuals in the community. MGH's program’s research centers on using medical and patient reported data to create prediction algorithms which can be utilized in the community for risk stratification and at tertiary centers to optimize resource utilization.
Helping Houston From The Eye Of The Storm
Angela Blanchard is president and CEO of BakerRipley, a Houston-based community development agency. Under Blanchard’s leadership for more than 30 years, BakerRipley became the largest community development organization in Texas and among the top 1% of charitable groups nationwide, currently serves more than 500,000 people in 48 counties.
Breathing New Life Into Marginalized Communities
Social entrepreneur Mark Brand has successfully created 11 businesses in his home of Vancouver. His company MB Incorporated encompasses growth, sustainability, and fluidity in all its projects, undertakings, and partnerships. Brand and his teams at MB Incorporated breathe new life into marginalized and isolated communities through food, training, and meaningful employment. Brand challenges perspectives by constantly striving to improve the lives of others, while providing opportunities for growth and social change through emerging technologies, alternate currencies, and best practices.
Brand has been recruited to speak, mentor, and mediate on the topics of social inclusion, community collaboration, and food security everywhere from TED talks to correctional facilities. He brings the lens of community to government organizations, nonprofit boards, and business advisory committees. Through his social impact efforts and love for our neighborhoods, Brand proves that you can be successful in business while contributing to your community in a long-term, meaningful way.
Facilitating Courageous Conversations On Race And Equity In Education
Courtlandt Butts is Equity Program Manager of Government/NGO Partnerships at the Pacific Educational Group, where he provides racial equity leadership consultation and training for municipalities, law enforcement, and K-12 professionals. Pacific Educational Group is a consulting firm that has had 25 years of experience facilitating courageous conversations around race and equity.
The group is committed to forging racial equity through sustained partnerships with educational organizations to transform beliefs, behaviors, and results, so people of all races can achieve at their highest levels and live their most empowered and powerful lives.
Butts holds a BS in Education from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, and an MA in Educational Technology and Media from the University of Northern Iowa.
Hard-Won Insights Gained Through Adversity
Bob Cancalosi is one of 10 executives at GE Crotonville who is responsible for the company’s $1 billion annual investment in leadership development for its global employees and strategic customers. He currently leads GE’s Customer Leadership Education team at Crotonville.
A 29-year GE veteran, Cancalosi has been a cultural transformation leader at GE Healthcare, where he led in building a culture of boundary-less collaboration. He has also led a Leadership Simplification effort at GE Corporate.
Using Design To Fight Inequality And End Racism
Antionette D. Carroll is the founder and President and CEO of Creative Reaction Lab (CRXLAB), which holds workshops and pursues projects that address areas affecting marginalized communities, including education, employment, and gun and domestic violence. The Lab's workshops bring together designers, policy experts, speakers, community partners, and citizens working in different fields.
Ensuring Deeper Learning For All Students
Marc Chun is a Program Officer in Education at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. He manages a portfolio on deeper learning strategy, which aims to ensure that all students are prepared for careers and civic life post-graduation. In particular, he focuses on research grants, efforts to measure deeper learning competencies, and understanding how innovative teaching and learning tools spread within the educator community.
Director, Industrial Design department
Innovating NASA And Bringing Music To The Space Station
After 24 years and three trips to space, astronaut Cady Coleman left NASA in December 2016. During her time at NASA, she flew on two space shuttle missions and spent six months aboard the International Space Station.
Coleman spent a total of 180 days in space. During her time on the ground at NASA, she served in a variety of roles within the Astronaut Office, including chief of robotics, lead for tile repair efforts after the Columbia accident, and lead astronaut for integration of supply ships from NASA’s commercial partners, Space X, and Orbital ATK. Most recently, she led open-innovation and public-private partnership efforts for the Office of the Chief Technologist at NASA headquarters.
Coleman, a retired colonel in the U.S. Air Force, earned a BS in chemistry from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a doctorate in polymer science and engineering from the University of Massachusetts. Commissioned as a second lieutenant in the US Air Force, she worked as a research chemist at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base before being selected as an astronaut in 1992.
Can Theater Enable Community Transformation?
Curt Columbus became Trinity Repertory Company’s fifth artistic director in January 2006, and under his direction the company has deepened its commitment to education. Columbus has strengthened the connection between Trinity’s education programs and its other unique feature, its resident acting company. Many Trinity company actors are passionate teachers, at the heart of Trinity's education programs.
Trinity Rep’s K-12 Educational Enrichment program has grown threefold under Columbus' direction. Adult education offerings have also expanded, including weekly “talkbacks” for audience members, who get a chance to ask actors and directors questions and tell them what they loved and hated about what they saw on stage. Columbus also heads Trinity Rep’s MFA program in acting and directing, offered jointly with Brown University.
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