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Richard is a creative instigator working with bold leaders that challenge the status quo.
As co-founder of Project X, a boutique consultancy, he leads strategic planning and organizational design for a wide range of clients including global brands, tech start-ups and non-profits. Previously, Richard was the CEO of Common, where he partnered with a group of leading marketers and designers to build a new kind of agency and collaborative network, helping social entrepreneurs and global brands create new, profitable business models and creative approaches to market for the common good.
In 2012, Richard also co-founded The Give, a community workshop series that gathers a thoughtfully curated group of leaders to solve the greatest problem facing an early stage social enterprise. He began his career at the Endeavor talent agency before rising to partner at Fuse Entertainment, where he managed the writers, producers and creators behind hit TV shows such as Gotham, The Mentalist, Burn Notice and Prison Break, and feature films such as Sherlock Holmes and Lego.
He was recently selected as one of GOOD Magazine’s GOOD 100, which honors 100 people moving the world forward through “doing.”
Eli Malinsky has been a champion of collaboration and innovation in the social sector for the past twelve years. A deep believer in the potential of ‘everyday people’ to create social change, Eli’s work is centered on new models that unleash creativity and catalyze impact.
During the past ten years, Eli has been a key force behind the growth of the Centre for Social Innovation, a coworking space, community and launchpad for nonprofits and social entrepreneurs. During his time at CSI, Eli has occupied a handful of positions including Director of Operations, Director of Programs, and Director of Strategy & Partnerships. Through his various roles, Eli has overseen a ten-fold increase in the Centre’s revenues, a twenty-fold increase in its footprint and a thirty-fold increase in its membership.
Most recently, Eli was the Executive Director of the Centre for Social Innovation in New York City.
Daniel KarpantschofCommunity Designer
Daniel Karpantschof, misfit, creator and convener. Karpantschof has been working at the frontier of communities, design, technology and society for non-profits, corporations and government agencies since 2001. He was previously a member of sub-cabinet level committees in the Danish government (including the Council on European Policies and the Board of Education), acted as Danish representative to UNESCO General Conferences, UN World Summits on Information Society.He served on several private and public boards, including the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies’, Danish Evaluation Institute’, the creative urban development and design project Copenhagen – The Thinking City and given guest lectures at the Danish School of Design, NYU, the Chaos Pilots, Copenhagen Business College, and was declared part of Denmark’s “New Creative Elite” by leading Scandinavian think-tank, Monday Morning, Summer of 2013
At age 15 Karpantschof co-created a chain of gaming cafes and gaming portal. At 16 he launched a cell phone service provider, at 18 had a screenplay nominated for Palm d’Or, by age 23 he co-created a supplier of clean and renewable energy, at 24 an agency specializing in gender equality in executive management.
At 26 he co-founded a global community of young philanthropists and social entrepreneurs, before moving from DC to New York, to head The Economist Group Ideas Lab, an internal think-and-do-tank focused on innovation and re-design of The Economist audience, community and global readership. In 2013 he left to serve as Head of Global Affairs at the international community of entrepreneurs and fellow misfits, Sandbox, where he facilitated the transition of ownership, exited and went back to help organizations and companies design, develop, deploy and direct communities as strategic tools. He is about to commence work on the book on communities and tools to work with.
Jason Briscoe is a graphic designer with over a decade of experience spanning identity, print, packaging, web & product. He co-founded The Workshop in 2012 – a creative partner for emerging businesses and established brands. His creative heart also serves him well as co-founder of The Give, a free workshop series that accelerates positive change for social enterprises. Jason is also an accomplished musician and recognised on the world stage as a top-notch bagpiper.
Nadia AlcideProject Manager, The Give
Nadia is a Project Management specialist with a passion for making operations run smoothly.
She is a problem-solver with over 5 years of managerial experience in a variety of industries. Before joining The Give and Project X, she worked with leading entrepreneurs and businesses in digital media/branding, hospitality, and business investment, including ABC and Westaway Law, the leading social enterprise law firm.
Nadia received a degree in Hospitality and Business Entrepreneurship from the University of Florida.
Ruthie AckermanVice President, Philanthropy, BerlinRosen
As Vice President for Philanthropy, Ruthie Ackerman helps lead BerlinRosen’s expanding philanthropy practice. She has over ten years of experience in nonprofits, journalism, communications and philanthropy. Prior to joining the firm, Ruthie served as a communications and strategy consultant for a range of foundations, businesses and advocacy clients including the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, the 92nd Street Y’s #GivingTuesday initiative and VoteRunLead. She also worked as the senior program manager for the Tory Burch Foundation, which focuses on women’s economic development, and as a journalist reporting for Forbes and The Wall Street Journal, among other publications.
Ruthie is a sought-after speaker, having keynoted The Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth’s National Conference for Entrepreneurs, and moderated a panel on Empowering Women as Change Agents for the Commission on the Status of Women for International Women’s Day 2014. She has also led communications trainings for clients such as The Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College.
Brian ThompsonStrategist, Project X
Brian is a deep thinker who’s fascinated by what happens at the intersection of digital media and culture.
Fueled by this, he completed a PhD in the interdisciplinary study of media, communities, expertise, and the design factors influencing them at Stanford University. He now brings his own expertise in these subjects as well as in applied research, education, game design, and communication to bear on as broad and interesting a variety of problems as he possibly can.
Divya Kapasiecommerce consultant + Founder, GoodList
Divya Kapasi is an international ecommerce consultant and social entrepreneur. She has over 12 years experience working for Fortune 500 companies and startups around the world. Her professional and consulting experience includes senior level strategy positions at Walmart.com (USA/China), OneKingsLane.com, Wysada.com (Middle East), WestWing.com (Germany/Europe), Vente-Privee.com(USA/France) and the Ministry of Quebec (Canada). In addition to her expertise in digital commerce, she created GoodList, an online guide for consumers to find purpose-driven merchants and organizations.
Divya also has the esteemed pleasure of being the New York City Coordinator for Nexus Global Youth Summit, a global community of young people working to increase philanthropy and impact investing by bridging communities of wealth and social entrepreneurship. Divya was formerly on the Board of Directors at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and Hostelling International in San Francisco. She holds a BA in Political Science from Boston College, is fluent in Spanish, moderate in French and resides in New York City.
Carlie LawrenceFounder, Creative Conspirators
Brand Builder. Creative Problem Solver. Strategist. Challenger of the Status Quo. Passionate about helping people become better.
For 16 years Carlie has launched new brands and rejuvenated tired ones, both working within and consulting to some of the world’s most admired organizations from Coca-Cola to Google to Barclays. Her magical superpower is providing the structure within which creativity can flourish, so he is in her element when provoking and steering leadership groups in conversation about transforming their future, or when guiding consumers and executives to work side by side in co-creating new services and products. Carlie runs her own innovation & strategy consulting business, Creative Conspirators, and is is co-founder of TigerTalk.co where she coaches entrepreneurs on how to pitch their ideas. She loves to travel the globe, hunt out New York’s best ramen, sing Fleetwood Mac (out of tune) to her two sons and train for her next marathon.
Nina BeckhardtFounder, Dovetail
Nina Beckhardt is the founder of Dovetail, which exists to help brands, organizations and communities tell their stories through meaningful private and public art. A classically trained artist and pioneer in brand naming, she combines years of expertise in the industry and a well-honed process of brand development with her work across all fine art mediums – from mural to fabric collage.
Before starting Dovetail, she founded one of one of the top global naming agencies, The Naming Group. She has helped some of the biggest brands and most influential startups distill their brands and create powerful, recognizable names such as the Capital One Venture Card and the Chevy Sonic.
A classically trained artist, Nina’s decision to sideline her artwork for a few years after graduation, eventually, thankfully, backfired and Dovetail was born. Nina applies her years of expertise in the industry and well-honed process of brand distillation at Dovetail to create vibrant, storyful brand art.
Alex AbelinCo-Founder + CEO, LiquidTalent
Alex Abelin is the Co-Founder and CEO of LiquidTalent, a new generation job platform modernizing the way professionals discover, connect and work together. The LiquidTalent platform connects exceptional professionals in the Technology and Creative fields with local businesses. We believe the Future of Work will be more mobile, independent, and lifestyle driven.
Prior to starting LiquidTalent, Alex served as Google’s Public Affairs Manager from 2005 to 2013. Alex’s career was divided between the Sales and Policy departments. In Sales, he worked with Fortune 500 companies under the Financial Services vertical. In Policy, he held the position of External Affairs Manager. His duties included building relationships with government officials, managing an investment fund for nonprofit entities, acting as the intermediary between external membership organizations and local schools, and producing Google focused seminars and events for key stakeholders. Alex served as the chief architect in developing eight Google sponsored outdoor WiFi networks; the most notable being the Chelsea CIC WiFi network, the largest contiguous NYC WiFi network ever created.
Alex loves San Diego, New York and his alma mater, UC Berkeley and the Haas School of Business. Alex is a committed optimist.
Casey GeraldCEO + Co-Founder, MBAxAmerica, HBS 2014
Casey is the co-founder and CEO of MBAs Across America, a national movement of MBAs and entrepreneurs working together to revitalize America. He began his career in economic policy and government innovation at the Center for American Progress, and has worked as a strategist with startup social ventures, including Reboot and The Future Project, as well as companies like The Neiman Marcus Group.
A native Texan, Casey received an MBA from Harvard Business School, and a BA in Political Science from Yale College, where he was a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship. He has been featured on MSNBC, in the New York Times, Financial Times, The Guardian, and other media outlets.
Casey gave the commencement speech at the 2014 Harvard Business School graduation. The speech has gone viral and since then, he has been featured on the cover of Fast Company, which also named him one of the “Most Creative People in Business.” Casey serves on the advisory boards of the Aspen Institute’s Franklin Project and NPR’s Generation Listen, and has emerged as a voice of the millennial generation for business, entrepreneurship, and finding your purpose.
Allie MahlerExperience Lead, IDEO
Allie Mahler is the Experience Lead at IDEO in New York City. A self-described choreographer, Allie crafts relationships between people, environments, space, and ideas. She digs deep to understand the needs and desires of individuals and teams, and gives expression to them through unique experiences in likely and unlikely places.
Allie is particularly interested in the intersection of organizational design, company culture, and community building. Most recently, she joined the founding team of the Centre for Social Innovation to create a home for the non-profit and social enterprise sector in New York City. Leading the Community Animation team, she designed experiences that ranged from social entrepreneurship classes to guacamole challenges. She has helped create new spaces for people to come together with her passion for building community — she hosts meet-ups around New York City and is the co-founder of a non-profit, Be Social Change. Today, Allie is thinking about questions like: “how do individual experiences give voice and texture to a larger whole?” and “how might we design smart networks that connect and scale social change?”.
Blair CobbDirector of Business Development, Change.Org
Blair Cobb is passionate about helping companies and individuals unlock their potential for doing well by doing good. She is currently a Director of Business Development at Change.Org, where she is responsible for cultivating relationships with a wide range of non-profit organizations, foundations, and corporations looking to amplify their social impact with our audience of 100 million globally engaged, mission driven supporters.
Prior to joining Change, Blair was appointed by the CEO of AOL to create and lead the company’s Cause Marketing department. In this capacity she worked across AOL’s portfolio of brands to drive awareness around causes that the company’s consumers, advertisers, and employees cared about. Her work resulted in $80 million dollars worth of pro-bono media donated to over 500 non-profit organizations. In addition she managed AOL’s employee volunteerism program, which included the execution of its global day of giving for 5,000+ employees.
Blair has been recognized by the Aspen Institute as a First Mover fellow for her strong ‘intrapreneurial’ skills, and sits on the board of Citizen Schools, an education reform non-profit that partners with inner-city schools to extend the school day. She is a frequent speaker on the topic of corporate responsibility, both for professional and graduate school audiences.
Blair resides in New York City with her fiancé and Labradoodle named Buckley.
Erika CartagenaOrganizational Development Consultant
Erika is an organizational development consultant, with proven accomplishments and exceptional results across multiple industries, geographies and stages of growth (from accounting, banking, tech/creative, start-up to IPO). She has consistently developed innovative, strategic solutions to meet the unique demands of diverse humans and the business at large. Most recently Erika was the Senior HR Business Partner at Etsy. Prior to Etsy, she was the HR Business Partner in Global Banking at Citi, and the Senior HR Generalist in Banking and Capital Markets at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Erika is fluent in Spanish and conversational Portuguese, and has extensive experience operating globally with a strong focus in the UK and Latin America.
Susan McPhersonFounder + CEO, McPherson Strategies
Susan McPherson is a serial connector, passionate cause marketer, angel investor, and corporate responsibility expert. She is the founder and CEO of McPherson Strategies, a communications consultancy focusing on the intersection between brands and social good, providing storytelling, partnership creation and visibility to corporations, NGOs and social enterprises including Intel, Girl Rising, Positive Luxury, IF Hummingbird Foundation, THNK, The School of Creative Leadership and Plum Alley. She’s a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review, Triple Pundit and Forbes and has 25+ years experience in marketing, public relations, and sustainability communications. She is a featured speaker at industry events including Net Impact, Center for Corporate Citizenship’s Annual Summit, DLD, Sustainable Brands, and Committee to Encourage Corporate Philanthropy’s Summit. McPherson founded and hosts the bi-weekly #CSRChat on Twitter.
Currently, McPherson invests in, and advises technology start-ups, including ZADY, TheLi.st, Lover.ly, News Deeply and The Daily Muse. She serves on the boards of USA for UNHCR, Girl Rising, a social action campaign/platform funded by Intel to expand girls’ education in the developing world, The PVBLIC Foundation and served on the board of Bpeace, a nonprofit dedicated to assisting women in regions of conflict and post-conflict start businesses from 2006-2012. She is also a member Social Media Week’s New York Advisory Council and a contributor/fundraiser to Mission 31. Additionally, she serves as an adviser to several non-profits, including Girls Who Code, She’s The First, The Adventure Project, and The OpEd Project. Recently, McPherson was selected as a Vital Voices global corporate ambassador and was named as one of 40 Women to Watch Over 40, Fortune’s 55 Most Influential Women on Twitter, and Fast Company’s 25 Smartest Women of Twitter.
Elfie CampbellSenior Vice President, Human Resources, Make Up For Ever
Elfie is a creative leader focused on unlocking human potential though organizational design. She is the Senior Vice President, Human Resources at Make Up For Ever. Elfie is also the principal and founder of Beyond the Brand, a Human Resources consulting company helping organizations optimize performance, develop talent and drive business results. Previously, she was the Executive Vice President of Human Resources for St. John Knits, the Vice President of Human Resources for Hermes, and the Director of Human Resources for Clinique.
Evan ShulmanProgram Manager, Centre for Social Innovation in NYC
What do you get when you combine a cognitive scientist, systems thinker, design doer, and experienced improviser? Evan Shulman – a facilitator who seamlessly synthesizes on-the-fly, while simultaneously driving towards impact and building cohesion amidst participants. He’s passionate about creating effective impact through effective means, and finds joy in continually learning in order to continually refine his own approaches. After four years in Google’s Technical Client Services division, Evan currently brings his experience and skills to bear as the Program Manager of the Centre for Social Innovation in NYC. There, he helps drive CSI member success by seeing and cultivating systemic interventions within the community. The Give provides a new platform for Evan to foster real change, and he’s looking forward to the journey and the results.
Joseph RizkTechnology Advisor and Investor
Joe is an advisor and investor in technology, specializing in the fields of design research and growth strategy.
Most recently, Joe served as Ventures Lead at IDEO, managing an effort to design ways to build and launch new ventures with a human-centered approach. He is passionate about the evolving forms of expression in online networks, the intersection of physical and digital applications, and the psychology and behaviors that inform products across mediums. In serving as part of the Business Design discipline, he has concepted, designed and piloted innovations for both early and late stage enterprises including Heineken, Soul Cycle, Ritz-Carlton, JPMorgan, Keurig Green Mountain, Celmatix & Estimote.
Previously, Joe worked as an investor with Lerer Ventures, a seed-stage venture capital firm (portfolio companies including Warby Parker, Buzzfeed, Makerbot, Venmo, IFTTT), and within the Business Development group at GroupMe, a mobile messaging company (sold to Skype/Microsoft).
Joe is a Board Member of the Columbia Venture Community (CVC) and is Founder of Venturing Hoyas, collectively 4,500 members that foster entrepreneurship and community in the NYC area.
Joe holds an MBA from Columbia University, where he was an InSITE Fellow, and a BS from Georgetown University, where he double majored in New Business Management and Finance. He has guest lectured and led design and strategy workshops at School of Visual Arts (SVA), Columbia University, Venture for America and others.
Joe enjoys exploring and reading about behavioral psychology, interaction design and hip-hop. He tweets @jfrizk and writes at rizkonceptions and medium.
Alex TeitelSenior Director, National Growth Strategy, BUILD
As Senior Director of National Growth Strategy for BUILD, I have the honor of facilitating the development and expansion of our entrepreneurship-based, college readiness program so that we can reach more high school students in under-resourced communities around the country. My work is currently focused around our NYC launch, which is especially exciting for me, as NYC is my hometown. Prior to this role, I served as the Site Director for BUILD East Oakland in California, overseeing student engagement, staff performance, school and community partnerships, and volunteer participation. Before coming to BUILD, I taught for five years in the Boston Public Schools, first entering the classroom as a Citizen Schools Teaching Fellow. Whether as a classroom teacher or program provider, my goal has always been to enhance educational opportunities and experiences for students, families and schools in order to break down the systemic barriers that hinder social equality and justice. When not at work, I can be found hiking, biking, baking or jumping in whatever body of water is most nearby!
Emily BrenesCommunications & Development, Blue Engine
Since 2010, Emily has worked with an inspiring team of entrepreneurs and innovators to build NYC-based education nonprofit Blue Engine from the ground up. Blue Engine aspires to design the public school classroom of the future — a systemic human capital solution that improves academic outcomes in low-income communities. Emily has spent the past five years shaping Blue Engine’s brand identity and forging partnerships to support Blue Engine’s growth.
Emily is focused on leveraging design savvy, disciplined systems thinking, and collaborative instincts to help social ventures innovate and make a measurable impact. Emily has Panamanian roots, was born in New Orleans, grew up in California, and studied literature at UC Berkeley. Today she’s living in New York City, struggling through winters one day at a time.
Bjorn Ahbel is on a quest to build organizations that make people better people. While earning a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Rochester, Bjorn served as president of a 60 person leadership development organization and grew a passion for building organizations. During a summer internship, he designed consumer HVAC products for Newell Rubbermaid. After graduating, Bjorn joined a mechanical design team at IBM where he designed supercomputers that process 80% of banking transactions worldwide. Determined to have a closer connection to the identity of an organization, Bjorn began volunteering as a consultant at Run For America, an organization who is recruiting, training, and working to elect a new generation of leaders in congress. Six months later, he joined the Run For America full time where he now works on financial operations, tech operations, and organizational culture. In his free time, Bjorn works as a sound recording engineer and flies power kites.
Anna MohrmanVice President of Sales Operations, Capital Markets Group
Since 2009, Anna has held various strategy, sales, and operations roles at SunGard Financial Systems where she is currently the Vice President of Sales Operations for the Capital Markets Group. Before joining SunGard Anna received her MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania where she received a dual degree in Marketing and Operations. Anna was also part of the leadership team that organized the 2008 National Net Impact Conference at Wharton. During business school she worked on several digital media projects in the private and not-for-profit sectors. Anna also has experience leading Corporate Relations for the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, DC, and working as a consultant for MarketBridge where she helped Fortune 1000 companies with sales and marketing strategy. Anna has a BA in Political Science and English Literature from Colgate University and is currently training for the New York City Marathon
Jennifer GiacoppoDirector of Content & Community, Rachael Ray Digital
Jennifer is the Director of Content & Community for Rachael Ray Digital / Watch Entertainment, where she manages and develops content and social media for RachaelRay.com. Previously, she managed and promoted the digital footprint for Tempest Freerunning, a leading team of freerunners and stunt professionals. She was also the Senior PR Director / Social Media Editor for Earth91, overseeing strategy for eight social media and outreach platforms encompassing 320,000 fans, including daily updates and voice and platform development.
Erin HinkleDirector of People at The Future Project
Erin Hinkle is the Director of People at The Future Project, a nonprofit organization that believes that all young people should have the opportunity to live a life of passion and purpose. Erin believes that there is limitless possibility for individuals who have tapped into their sense of purpose and who have receive the tools that they need to lead their best, most authentic, and happiest life. She always thinks about how communities and the world would be different if more people had access to the resources and support they need to live such a life, including resources as basic but critical as education, housing, and gainful employment.
As Director of People since January 2015, Erin has become passionate about understanding how an inspiring and supportive workplace can help develop employees’ sense of purpose, and has begun establishing systems for assessment, experience design, and relevant partnerships to make this possible.
Erin began her nonprofit career in 2007 with a special focus on nonprofit fundraising, partnerships, and program development. She spent 6 of those years with an NGO at the United Nations connecting indigenous community based organizations to the resources they need to do work in their communities as well as voice their issues to the international community. She has also worked as a consultant for organizations around the United States, learning about the various issues that inspire their missions and the innovative ways in which they set out to address them. Erin’s work raised over $5M in average annual funding for programs that offer adaptive sports, job training, and special education to the differently-abled community; nutritional education and access to food in schools located in America’s food desserts; mentoring, tutoring, and college access to youth from underserved communities (domestic and international); and other education initiatives in New York City.
Erin is a lover of music, travel, animals, learning, and, the power within everyone to live a great life of their own making. As long as her days are filled by any of these, she knows that she is fulfilling her own sense of purpose.
Evan WaldenCEO of ReWork
Evan Walden is the CEO of ReWork, a mission-driven search firm that has helped over 120 non-profits and social enterprises hire exceptional leadership. He is passionate about helping people find meaningful work, and believes that talent is the most important component of any business. Evan holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Vermont, and was named a 2015 NYC Venture Fellow.
Jennifer GottesfeldOffice of Corporate Engagement at Goldman Sachs
Jennifer Gottesfeld works in the Office of Corporate Engagement at Goldman Sachs where she focuses on improving their philanthropic programs. She is also currently a Truman National Security fellow. Previously, Jennifer was the Senior Program Manager at Global Health Corps where she oversaw US programs and helped design the leadership development curricula. Before joining the GHC staff, Jennifer was a GHC fellow placed with Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative in Malawi. Jennifer has also worked in resource development for International Medical Corps and was a health project facilitator for an implementing partner of the UNHCR in a refugee camp in Zambia. She studied Anthropology at UCLA, and took time off to volunteer as an EMT in Israel and as an archaeologist in Ecuador. During college, Jennifer participated in a year of service with AmeriCorps, providing legal aid to self representing litigants through their JusticeCorps program. Early in her career, Jennifer had a brief stint in the movie industry, working as an accountant and associate producer on movies in Hollywood and Peru.
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