#BIF2018: It's Not Your Usual Conference

September 13 - 14, 2018 | Providence, RI
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the lineup


Andrew Hessel

An expert in biotech, Hessel helps people better understand and use living systems to meet the needs of society. His latest work as CEO of Humane Geonomics, Inc. is developing virus-based therapies for cancer, starting with dogs; and is the co-founder of the Genome Project-write.  

Stephanie Ewens

You've seen her work, and now it's time we hear from the woman behind the lens of BIF: Stephanie Ewens. Capturing years of BIF Collaborative Innovation Summit memories, we'll hear her story as she steps out from behind the camera to share her piece of history.  

Holley M. Murchison

An author, education producer, and entrepreneur whose work lies at the intersection of communication and culture with a focus on amplifying marginalized voices to catalyze change. As founder of Oratory Glory, an internationally-operating human development agency, she partners with communities, schools and organizations to design experiences and products that help multidisciplinary creatives cultivate the skills and attitudes to realize their full potential and confidently communicate and propel their ideas.  

Dave Gray

Visual thinking pioneer Dave Gray, whose practices brought illustration into the c-suite to help design more flexible, and innovative companies, is pushing boundaries once again with his latest project "The School of Possible," a research and activation lab whose purpose is to provide a platform to imagine and create a better world together.    

John Kao

A man of undoubtedly many talents Kao has been an HBS professor, a trusted advisor, a startup entrepreneur, a Tony-nominated feature film and Broadway producer, a doctor, a therapist and more. His latest endeavor takes him back to his first goal of learning classical piano as he continues to master and explore anything he sets his mind to.    

Rita J. King

On a mission to make the imaginative a reality, Rita is a futurist, helping leadership teams around the world align values and goals. She has served as Innovator-in-Residence at IBM, was a futurist at NASA, is a co-founder of Science House, a global influencer, and an artist. King's ability to harness the imaginative and make it a reality is unparalleled.    

Sam Seidel

BIF's director emeritus of our Student Experience Lab, author, and now Director of K-12 Strategy and Research at the Stanford D School, Seidel is focused on remixing high school education for the 21st-century learner through a shared passion for hip-hop.    

Dr. Nneka Jones Tapia

Dr. Tapia is the first clinical psychologist to lead one of the country's largest jails and hopes to catalyze efforts to reform the broken criminal justice system through better mental care.  

Vicki Rox

An adventurer and storyteller of life and work, Vicki, a native-born Ukrainian, is a MOTH StorySLAM winner and contributing writer for VICE. She lends her voice to bring the stories of people and things that inspire her in hopes of making the world a little sunnier.     

Kimberley Cy Motley

The first non-Afghan attorney to litigate in Afghanistan Criminal Courts and founder of Motley Legal Services, her work has focused on juvenile justice as well as training hundreds of Afghan Attorney's throughout the country, on top of being crowned Mrs. Wisconsin in 2004, running on a truancy abatement.     

Julian Saporiti

Inspired by his doctoral research as well as experiences growing up as the son of a Vietnamese refugee, Julian uses his original songs to create an immersive experience to tell the story of WWII Japanese Incarceration camp survivors. He is a musician, teacher, and Ph.D. student.    

Quentin Robinson

Aka SpecialFX, Robinson is breaking down social, cultural and economic barriers through dance and movement on top of being a teacher and Marine Corps veteran, having served combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.     

James Anderson

With passion and purpose, James shows us what you can do when you find the power of love and true self-worth. He evolved from drug addiction, gang membership, and a lengthy prison sentence, to becoming a double honors graduate from UCLA. A co-founder of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition, (one of California's leading advocates for the formerly incarcerated) and James sits on the board of several non-profits focusing on juvenile justice.      

Prince Charles Alexander

One of the most respected and sought-after sound engineers of his time, Alexander is a three-time Grammy Award winner with more than 40 Platinum and Gold certifications from the RIAA. He's worked with some incredible names such as Mary J. Blige, P. Diddy, Usher, Boys II Men, Sting, Aretha Franklin, and Faith Evans, to name a few, and also teaches advanced production and mixing at Berklee.    

Perry Raso

A Rhode Island native, Perry has grown his passion from harvesting a few oysters for a couple dollars at 12 years of age to operating one of the world's best restaurant's, promoting a farm-to-table, pond-to-plate practices in sustainable aquaculture. Matunuck Oyster Bar now employs over 200 people and has been named one of the top 10 oyster bars in the world.    

Amal Kassir

Born and raised in Denver, CO, Kassir is an international spoken word poet and activist, having performed in 10 countries and over 45 cities in venues ranging from youth prisons, orphanages, refugee camps, universities, and churches. A proponent of education and underserved populations, Kassir brings together communities with her powerful, gracefully delivered words.    

Darden Smith

No stranger to the BIF stage, Smith is a singer-songwriter whose 32-year career has produced 15 critically acclaimed albums and is also the founder of SongwritingWith: Soldiers.  The nonprofit offers a unique path to helping soldiers and their families cope with the aftermath of combat. Darden will also be releasing his first book The Habit of Noticing: Using Creativity to Make a Life (And a Living) in 2018.    

Sarah Beaulieu

Working to destigmatize conversations about sexual harassment and violence, Sarah Beaulieu is the founder of The Uncomfortable Conversation, a nonprofit that produces short-form videos that normalize conversations about consent, healthy relationships, advocacy and supporting survivors of sexual violence.    

Ken Falke

A 21-year combat veteran of the US Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal community and retired Master Chief Petty Officer, Ken's passion for taking care of his fellow vets led him to develop Boulder Crest, which focuses on an alternative approach to treating PTSD based on growth.  

Dave Ollila

A serial entrepreneur, Ollila President of 100K Ideas, based in Flint, MI, a non-profit on a mission to help passionate innovators to create products/services and startups of their own through mentorship.

Emily Levy

As the CEO and Co-Founder of Mighty Well, Levy and her team are working to transform the patient and caregiver experience, helping them to maintain their dignity and confidence through innovative products and a digitally-driven community. The company was formed out of her own experience as a patient battling Lyme disease and is a recent graduate of Babson College, with a scholarship for Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership.  

Sophia Pink

A Senior Product Design Engineering major at Standford with a keen eye for design and research, her past year has seen her drive 6,000 miles across 24 US states to interview 21-year-olds, welded a table for little kids, installed solar panels in rural China, and authored two papers for the largest American conference of engineering educators, to name a few standout achievements.

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