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. 

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?

Keeping Intel's Brand Steady Amid Technology's Rapid Changes

Penny Baldwin manages all facets of Intel’s global brand strategy.
Read their Story

Professor

Institute for Exploration and University of Rhode Island

Robert Ballard is best known for his 1985 discovery of the Titanic. Ballard is director of the University of Rhode Island's Institute for Archaeological Oceanography.

Founder and CEO

BzzAgent, Inc.

As consumers, we are all word-of-mouth marketers. We buy a product, love it and share our opinion with a couple of our friends. Conversely, if we hate the product, well we certainly don't keep that view to ourselves. Either way, what we say can have a dramatic impact on a company's bottom line.

Of course the difficulty for marketers is creating the right kind of buzz with enough momentum to carry it over the tipping point. Dave Balter, founder and CEO of BzzAgent and his network of 300,000 volunteer agents believe they've figured out a way to crack that code.

Reimagining Corporate Innovation Strategy For The 21st Century

Brandon Barnett is a pioneer in strategy development through a hands-on process of systems transformation. His goal is to reveal the hidden forces that reshape industries and discover actionable levers that steer transformation for the good of the organization and society. Currently, Brandon is Director of Corporate Strategy at Intel Corporation where he works in areas ranging from the Internet of Things to Artificial Intelligence. He thrives leading diverse teams to adopt big data, ethnography, and complex systems techniques to find unseen opportunities in uncertain and rapidly changing ecosystems.


Read his Story

Robotocist,

Beatty Robotics

Fourteen-year-old Camille Beatty makes robots with her Dad (Robert) and eleven-year-old sister Genevieve. Last year they built two Mars Rover replicas for the New York Hall of Science. While her specialty is machining, she also loves riding horses and playing the piano.

Founders of Blue Shirt Nation

Best Buy

Steve Bendt and Gary Koelling are two of the more unusual change agents you're likely to come across. Laid-back hipsters with modest demeanors, they shatter the myth of typical change agents who are aggressive, decisive and demanding.

Yet somehow this duo managed to create something most established companies only dream of: real and informed employee engagement that cuts across boundaries, silos, departments and disciplines.

Architect

Chris Benedict, R.A.

Shortly after Chris Benedict arrived on the Lower East Side of Manhattan to study art at the Cooper Union in 1978, she lost her inspiration. "Art got very empty for me," she says. No longer satisfied with the purely aesthetic, she began to focus on "making things work on the ground." So, she became an architect.

State Poet,

Rhode Island

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

Co-Founder and CEO

SeeClickFix.com

The New Yeoman Farmer Ben Berkowitz wants to create a little disruption to keep government honest. Along with three co-creators, he has developed a new mobile phone and web app, SeeClickFix, that enables citizens to instantly report local community problems to government officials and the media. Built on open source software and Google Maps, it provides a paperless, transparent hub of information about civic problems begging for resolution.

Principal

Flagship Ventures

After finishing a Bachelor's degree in neuroscience at MIT in 2000 and reaching the thesis stage of his medical training at Harvard University, David Berry asked himself what most people would not ask themselves at this point: Why not throw on a Ph.D. thesis in biological engineering too? Indeed, why not? Berry calls his combined degrees an "ad hoc M.D.-Ph.D." And despite the incredible focus and determination he needed to accomplish such a feat in six years, Berry is disarmingly relaxed and personable. He just likes to do things fast.