#BIF2018 is Here
Sheryl Winarick is a U.S. immigration lawyer with an infectious joie de vivre. She is committed to providing high-quality legal advice and representation to her clients and treating each of them with respect and dignity. In 2017 Sheryl merged her immigration and naturalization practice with Blue Dot, in part to strengthen her capacity to serve her clients’ needs while engaged in a year-long U.S. Listening Tour.
Royce Mann is a 16-year-old activist and poet. Since videos of his original poem "White Boy Privilege" went viral in 2016, landing him on every major network and in countless international publications, Royce has had the opportunity to perform and speak around the country, including at the inaugural Obama Foundation Summit, the NEXUS Leadership Summit, the National Youth Leadership Council, Points of Light Foundation, GLAAD Annual Awards, and the True Colors Conference.
A serial entrepreneur, Ollila is 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. They work across sectors and industries to meet true citizen needs while transforming each of the latter, finding true gold in the grey spaces.
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. A recent Babson College graduate, Emily formed the company out of her own experience as a patient battling Lyme disease.
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.
Marcel Botha is an entrepreneur, engineer, architect, and investor who experiments with simple hardware ideas on the edge between consumer and medical products, commercializing relevant experiments when they arise. Marcel specializes in guiding product development teams from concept to viable product and has a passion for product acceleration and digital manufacturing.
A Philadelphia-based poet, educator and curator whose work focuses on genealogy, urban life, and public art, Wisher performs a unique blend of poetry and song with her band The Afroeaters. A Pew Fellow & Hedgebrook Writer-in-Residence, Wisher was named the inaugural Poet Laureate of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, in 1999 and the third Poet Laureate of Philadelphia in 2016. Wisher taught high school English for a decade, served as Director of Art Education for Philadelphia Mural Arts, and founded and directed the Germantown Poetry and Outbound Poetry Festivals. She is currently the Curator of Spoken Word for Philadelphia Contemporary.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dr. Nneka Tapia is an experienced psychologist who is passionate about mental wellness, criminal justice reform, and supporting young people who have experienced trauma. Today Dr. Tapia serves as the inaugural Leader in Residence at Chicago Beyond, a youth equity platform that fights to give young people the opportunity to achieve their fullest human potential.
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.
Inspired by his doctoral research as well as experiences growing up as the son of a Vietnamese refugee, Julian and Erin use their original songs to create an immersive experience to tell the story of WWII Japanese Incarceration camp survivors as No-No Boy. Their aims is to shine a light on experiences that have remained largely hidden in the American consciousness.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Determined to breathe new life into our struggling and disjointed communities through his work in social impact business, Brand shares his message on the importance of sustainable business models that make a difference, while also creating successful bottom lines. His token based meal program championed in Canada provides those living in homelessness with dignified, quality meals bringing community and support together.
Founder and CEO of the Children's i Foundation centered in Uganda, Lucy and her team are on a mission to ensure that every child there receives short-term life-saving care, trace their extended families and reunite them, the idea behind the foundation to create a worldwide community to give love, time and money to change the system.