Dinner with World Changers

Thursday nights from February 21 to April 25

6:30-8p

Kravis 321

Our most popular event series, hosts an award winning social entrepreneur every Thurs this SPRING. Students have a rare opportunity to meet successful social entrepreneurs and have an intimate conversation with them to learn more about their experience launching their initiative, changing systems, failing and iterating.  Past speakers include thought leaders and awardees ranging from Forbes 30 Under 30s, Echoing Green, White House Fellows and Shark Tank Winners.

SPRING 2019

CHRISTINA ASQUITH
THE FULLER PROJECT

FEB 21

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Gender stereotypes often minimize women’s agency and promote the idea of protection offered by men. Christina Asquith aims to seek out solutions in addition to reporting on problems affecting women, as founder of The Fuller Project for International Reporting.

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About The Fuller Project

The Fuller Project for International Reporting is a nonprofit, independent media organization that reports news mattering most to women around the world and in the US, focused on women in conflict and topics of foreign policy. Christina Asquith is determined to report hard-hitting, data-driven, and investigative news about women; focused on seeking out potential solutions rather than solely reporting on problems affecting women worldwide. The organization works with women leaders and partner with top newsrooms, major publications, and other organizations that value women’s issues, to amplify their work and women’s voices. The Fuller Project highlights why issues that affect women are of concern to all people. Their team of seasoned, award-winning journalists and social entrepreneurs are dedicated to investigative, solutions-oriented reporting on women through multimedia platforms, reaching millions of influencers and millennials each week.  http://fullerproject.org/

About Christina

Christina began her career as a newspaper reporter, doing internships at The New York Times and The Baltimore Sun then became a suburban correspondent for The Philadelphia Inquirer for several years. She wrote her first book, The Emergency Teacher: The Inspirational Story of a New Teacher in an Inner-City School, based off a year she spent as a teacher in the lowest-performing middle school in North Philadelphia, focusing on the challenges of preteen girls in the struggling school and neighborhood. In 2003, she moved to Baghdad, Iraq and covered the US invasion as a freelancer for The New York Times, The Economist, The Guardian and The Christian Science Monitor.

Frustrated by the absence of women’s voices in the Western media’s war coverage, she told the story of the war through the experiences of four women in her 2009 nonfiction book by Random House, Sisters in War: A Story of Love, Family, and Survival in the New Iraq—the only book published by any journalist on Iraq to have women as its focus. While based in Istanbul covering Syrian women refugees in 2014, she founded the Fuller Project for International Reporting along with Xanthe Scharff, as a global news organization dedicated to giving women a voice in foreign affairs reporting and in the US, and creating and publishing multimedia on issues that impact women.

She has a BA from Boston University and an MA from London School of Economics and was a 2007 Fellow at The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. She is also a board member of ASUDA-USA-  an organization empowering female immigrants and refugees of Iraq descent, who are either victims of violence or vulnerable to violence, to attain economic independence and judicious social adjustment.

CLAIRE SANDS BAKER
THE TOOTHPICK PROJECT

FEB 28

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An alumna of Scripps College ‘93, Claire Sands Baker works with subsistence farmers in Kenya and NGOs to target a parasitic weed called Striga through The Toothpick Project.

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About The Toothpick Project

The Toothpick Project started with the end-user in mind, when Baker’s uncle volunteered in Kenya and noticed patients’ concerns of a parasitic weed, Striga. Through the biocontrol of Striga with the FOXY T14 toothpick technology, their goals are to reduce labor and increase crop yield for smallholder farmers. Claire Sands Baker co-founded this project with the aim for this technology to improve health through more nutritious, diversified crops; increase income by providing enough yield for both family use and sale; and provide greater access to education. Because the vast majority of maize farmers are women, these results will also impact women’s empowerment, which will be reflected in a Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (USAID, Feed the Future) study that evaluates independence, literacy, time use, domestic violence, land ownership, and other measures of empowerment. Their aim to build partnerships with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that are already reaching farmers with training and inputs. The Toothpick Project team is made up of experts from Africa, Europe, and the US; including experts on plant pathology, microbiology, agronomy, literacy, and community organizing. https://www.toothpickproject.org/

About Claire

Claire Sands Baker is the director of The Toothpick Project, based in Bozeman, Montana (with on-the-ground operations in western Kenya). The Toothpick Project uses an innovative biocontrol technology to kill Striga, a parasitic weed depleting crops on 40 million African smallholder farms. Her co-founder is her father, a plant pathologist at Montana State University. Claire has 25 years experience in non-profit management ranging from the arts to education to conservation to biotechnology: PATHS (Pathways to Agriculture and Native foods, Tribal Health, and Food Sovereignty – a USDA program with Montana State University and Tribal College students); the Tributary Fund (species preservation and mining reclamation in Mongolia and Bhutan); Self Enhancement, Inc. (an inner-city youth development agency, Portland, Oregon); MSU College of Arts & Architecture; Portland Art Museum; Big Sky Youth Empowerment. BA Scripps College. MassChallenge Finalist 2017. Blackstone Launchpad 406Labs. Co-author on the Frontiers Biocontrol of Striga paper.

Baker credits her involvement at Scripps as critical to her current nonprofit work. Holding two internship positions as well as various leadership roles, including student board representative and senior class co-president, Baker helped enact policies that shaped student life and community involvement during her years at the College. Through her cross-continental collaboration, Baker also realizes the role technology plays in connecting partners worldwide.

Claire lives in Bozeman, Montana, with her husband, two daughters, gigantic Labrador, and a broody red hen. She carves out time to coach Destination Imagination, raft, and ski.

TOBI NAGEL
PHAGES FOR GLOBAL HEALTH

MARCH 7

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What if genetically modified viruses could be applied to kill bacteria themselves? Dr Tobi Nagel, PhD, founded Phages for Global Health which facilitates the application of phage technology for underserved populations.

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About Phages for Global Health

Phages for Global Health aims to bring phage expertise to the developing world, through two main programs. They conduct laboratory training workshops and product development projects to facilitate the application of antibacterial phage technology. With two major projects, based in Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo respectively, the organization has brought together two teams of international collaborators to co-develop phage products for important public health applications. As the founder and president of the organization, Dr Tobi Nagel goal is to decrease the 2050 estimate of 10 million deaths each year from antibiotic resistant infections, especially in the developing world. https://www.phagesforglobalhealth.org/

About Tobi

Dr. Tobi Nagel is Founder and President of Phages for Global Health, a non-profit organization that facilitates the application of antibacterial phages to combat antimicrobial resistance in developing countries. Before launching Phages for Global Health, Tobi had 15 years experience in the pharmaceutical industry (including Novartis, Silver Creek Pharmaceuticals and Genentech/Roche), where she worked with international teams to co-develop products that have been tested in over 80 clinical trials worldwide. She previously completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the American Hospital in Istanbul, Turkey, partnering with the University of California at San Francisco and Baylor College of Medicine. Tobi is currently a member of the Fulbright Specialist program, focusing on building scientific infrastructure in developing countries. She is also a Scientific Advisory Board Member of the Phagebiotics Research Foundation and was selected as an Advisory Panel Member for the Phages for Human Applications Group Europe (P.H.A.G.E). Over the past 10 years she has served as a Scientific Consultant for both Global Strategies for HIV Prevention and CRDF Global, facilitating capacity development and technology transfer in international settings. Tobi holds a PhD in Medical Engineering from the joint Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology and a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University.

JOSH BRODY
SEQUOYA SCHOOL

MARCH 28

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As the first foreigner to record original Nepali songs in Nepal, and now the Head of School at Sequoyah School in Pasadena, Josh Brody will speak about his career in education and human rights in the U.S. and all over the world.

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About Sequoyah School

In the late 1950’s Sequoyah’s founders wrote “Sequoyah considers that each child has some contributions to make to the world, some means of adding to the world’s values, which is uniquely the student’s…Learning should include a focus on great issues, principles and values that our society deems worthy of the continual concern of its members.”

Sequoyah’s high school students are expected to ask deeper questions, consider multiple perspectives, and apply what they know. Students are challenged not only to excel academically—to think critically and creatively—but to look beyond the classroom to practice the work of social innovation. https://sequoyahschool.org/

About Josh

Throughout his career, Josh Brody has been involved in education and human rights in the U.S. and internationally. Josh worked in Jacaltenango along the border between Guatemala and Mexico coordinating human rights education workshops on behalf of local NGOs in partnership with the U.N. peacekeeping mission MINUGUA. Returning to the United States, Josh started a high school summer enrichment program for students from racial and ethnic backgrounds underrepresented in gifted and talented programs in the Pasadena Unified School District. Following his interests abroad again, Josh taught social studies and language arts, and became the principal, at a school in eastern Nepal. As an Echoing Green Fellow, 1999-2002, Josh created community-based education programs for people living in isolated communities near the Nepal-Tibet border. These programs included curriculum development, adult literacy classes, and facilitating the education of young women to become teachers in their own communities.

During his years in Nepal, Josh was given the name Gajab Bahadur Gurung Lama (which translates as “strange wonderful thing”). His love of Nepali folk music led to the surprising result of national pop stardom. Known by his Nepalese name, Gajab Bahadur, Josh became the first foreigner to record original Nepali songs. He has released a CD and a number of music videos in Nepal. Josh graduated magna cum laude from the University of Colorado with a BA in Cultural Anthropology and earned his Master’s in Education from The Harvard Graduate School of Education where he focused on decentralizing school governance. He earned his EdD from the UCLA Educational Leadership Program. His dissertation research was on socioeconomic diversity in independent high schools. He has served on the boards of the Transformative Action Institute and Educate the Children International.

LAURA D’ASARO
CHIRPS

APRIL 4

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Laura D’Asaro first ate a caterpillar from a street vendor in Tanzania during a study abroad program, and realized that insects could be that sustainable protein she was looking for. A few escaped crickets in her dorm room later, Chirps was born!

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About Chirps

Chirps (formerly, Six Foods) works to normalize insect consumption as a sustainable source of protein. Famous for their cricket flour chips, Chirps believes in their mission of aiming to get people excited about eating bugs, one delicious cricket chip at a time.

About Laura

Laura’s journey in social entrepreneurship began at age fifteen, when she raised $14,000 through her lemonade stand to build a playground for her community. At nineteen, she co-founded Wema Inc., an education nonprofit in Kenya, and co-founded Six Foods, now Chirps, at 23. Laura’s inspiration stemmed from the fact that she has been an off and on vegetarian her whole life, struggling with the moral and environmental aspects of eating meat. She first ate a caterpillar from a street vendor in Tanzania, during a study abroad program, and realized that insects could be that sustainable protein she was looking for. Laura sent an article to her college roommate (now co-founder), and a few escaped crickets in her dorm room later, Chirps was born. In addition, Laura has broken multiple world records, including the longest book domino chain and fastest time to crawl one mile. She is also a 2013 Harvard college graduate.

MARIA VERTKIN
FOUND IN TRANSLATION

APRIL 11

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Maria Vertkin has dedicated her life to bringing poor multilingual women in the U.S. out of poverty by providing job training programs for careers in medical interpreting

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About Found in Translation

Found in Translation trains low-income women to be professional medical interpreters, giving them an opportunity to overcome poverty by capitalizing on their language skills and unleashing bilingual talent into the workforce to fight disparities in health care. Found in Translation has attracted numerous awards, was ranked in the world’s top 25 social enterprises for women and girls by Women Deliver, and featured in the Boston Herald, Huffington Post, and on JAM’N 94.5.

About Maria

Maria was born in Russia and lived in Israel before immigrating to the United States. She studied Social Work at Regis College. Before launching Found in Translation, Maria led a pilot program for homeless, unaccompanied youth at the nonprofit Rediscovery. She has also worked with survivors of domestic violence, was a mentor to girls at Big Sister of Greater Boston, a support group facilitator at Parents Helping Parents, a phone counselor on the state-wide Parental Stress Line, and translated for the grassroots media project Alive in Mexico. Maria is the recipient of the 2009 Veronica Award from the Superstars Foundation, the 2010 Pearson Prize National Fellowship, the 2011 Women of Peace Award, and the 2011 Kip Tiernan Social Justice Fellowship.

MIA PERDOMO
AEQUALES

APRIL 18

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Mia Perdomo, co-creator of Par, the first corporate Gender Equality Ranking and the community of companies that advocate for gender equity, will speak about her work to close the gender gap.

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About Aequales

Aequales is a gender equality consultancy firm based in Colombia and Peru that works throughout Latin America. It has won several entrepreneurship prizes (Ventures 2014, PUCP 2015, In-Pactamos 2016, UN ODS) and is currently a stable and profitable growing business. Aequales created PAR, a Corpoate Gender Equality Ranking, a one-of-its-kind measurement tool that promotes gender equality conditions in corporations. Aequales delivers data for the creation of evidence-based public-policy for gender equality through our public sector and academia allies. Aequales created Comunidad PAR, a community of corporations that promote gender equality in our countries, committed with measuring  and increasing gender equality indicators and sharing good practices.

About Mia

Mía Perdomo is an entrepreneur and activist. Co-founder of Aequales, a consulting firm that advocates for the closing of gender gaps in organizations and female leadership in Peru and Colombia. Co-creator of Par, the first corporate Gender Equality Ranking and the community of companies that advocate for gender equity. Mia is a psychologist from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Colombia and a Master’s graduate in human rights from the London School of Economics. She is a Global Competitive Leadership Program Fellow at Georgetown University. One of the 100 most successful managers of 2017 according to the Gerente Magazine. One of the 100 transforming women of Colombia according to La Silla Vacía.

STEPH SPEIRS
SOLSTICE

APRIL 25

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Steph Speirs will speak about her work to aid underserved American households by providing community-based solar power.

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About Solstice

The mission of Solstice is to radically expand access to clean energy among households in the United States. Solstice accomplishes this by financing, building, and selling community-based solar to underserved American households. In doing so, Solstice transforms community organizations into “one-stop shops” for solar in local neighborhoods. Solstice is imagining an America where every household can participate in renewable energy for the first time, including the 45 million low-income renters that are currently locked out of the solar market.

About Steph

Steph Speirs is co-founder and CEO of Solstice, an enterprise dedicated to radically expanding the number of American households that can take advantage of solar power. Steph was raised by a single mother in Hawaii, which cemented her belief in social progress and guided her professional experiences as a community builder in multiple countries. She previously worked in India and Pakistan with Acumen on solar product deployment and renewable energy investments. Prior to working in solar, Steph served for five years in Obama organizations – first managing field operations in seven states for the first presidential campaign, and later developing Middle East policy as the youngest Director at the White House National Security Council. Steph has been selected as an Acumen Global Fellow, Grist 50 Fixer, Kia Revisionary, Global Good Fund Fellow, Cordes Fellow, Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow, and GLG Social Impact Fellow for her work. She holds a BA from Yale, an MPA with distinction from Princeton, and an MBA from MIT.

 

FALL 2018

Brittany Martin Dejean, AbleThrive

September 27

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When Brittany was a kid, her father loved dancing. But after a tragic car accident leaving him a quadraplegic, that stopped. When she was planning her wedding, she found a choreographer who specialized in working with people with disabilities and helped her father dance again. She saw how happy it made her father and how he came alive, she was inspired to create an online platform for people with disabilities offering them valuable resources that would help them thrive.

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ABOUT ABLETHRIVE

AbleThrive empowers people with disabilities and their families to overcome challenges and negative stereotypes by providing a support network of crowdsourced how-to videos and information. With this free and accessible community-based resource, we reach even the most isolated geographic areas. Our platform leverages technology to filter and sort content by user details and interests – everything from basic tasks to adapted sports – connecting users in a peer-to-peer learning model that accelerates the path to living well with a disability. Users exchange experiences and innovations in an ever-evolving, customizable resource that unites a global community and redefines living with a disability.

ABOUT BRITTANY

Brittany (Martin) Dejean is founder and executive director of AbleThrive, a user-generated, how-to video and information support network that helps people with disabilities adapt their lives. After her father was paralyzed in a car accident, Brittany saw that learning from others facing similar challenges helped her family adapt to their situation, and she envisioned using technology to replicate such support globally for all disabilities. In 2007, she was accepted into the Harvard Kennedy School’s Social Entrepreneurship Collaboratory, where her venture received recognition from Harvard Business School Pitch for Change and Ashoka YouthVenture. A 2008 Harvard University graduate, Brittany also volunteered with disability communities in China and Africa, giving her a sense of the common struggles for people with disabilities across geographic areas. Brittany co-founded and developed SPINALpedia.com, a pilot resource serving the paralysis community, as a side project for seven years, publishing her work in Huffington Post and in disability magazines. In 2013, she left her job as a teacher and coach to devote herself to uniting and empowering a global disability community.

Antoinette Carroll, Creative Action Lab

October 4

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Moved to action after the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Antoinette founded CRL, equipping youth to lead movements combatting racial and health inequities in their communities.

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ABOUT CRXLAB

Creative Reaction Lab (CRXLAB) is creating a youth-led, community-centered movement and professional pipeline challenging racial inequities in the education, media, health, and government sectors. Through real-world, project-based educational programs, Black and Latinx youth apply a health, racial equity, and design lens to community challenges impacting the quality of life and life expectancy of both races. Changing the way youth (and people in general) address systemic oppression, CRXLAB has pioneered a social justice form of creative problem solving called Equity-Centered Community Design. CRXLAB’s vision is a world that embraces the humanity, rights, and power of Black and Latinx people.

ABOUT ANTOINETTE

Antionette D. Carroll is founder and CEO of Creative Reaction Lab. Antionette has worked for nonprofits working for social justice, human rights, and diversity and inclusion. As a former resident of Ferguson, Missouri, the death of Michael Brown Jr. changed her from a typical 9-to-5 graphic designer to a social entrepreneur and equity designer. Antionette was named the founding chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force of AIGA: The Professional Association of Design in 2014. She is the chair emerita of the task force working on long-term strategic initiatives such as the Design Census Program with Google and the national Design for Inclusivity Summit. At the local level, she is the president emerita of AIGA St. Louis and co-founder of the Design + Diversity Conference. Antionette sits on several awards and programming committees for local and national nonprofits. She is a TED Fellow, AMEX/Ashoka Emerging Innovator, 4.0 Schools Fellow, and Camelback Ventures Fellow.

Zach Latta, Hack Club

October 11

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Zach dropped out of high school because he wasn’t getting what he needed. He built the coding class he wished he could take, and has formed hack clubs in hundreds of high schools across the globe.

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ABOUT HACK CLUB

Hack Club is building a national nonprofit that brings coding clubs to high schools nationwide. Students who love music can join band; students who love sports can join an athletic team; but students who want to code have had to go home and do it alone – until now.  Hack Clubs are student-led groups dedicated to fostering the hacker culture in high schools. In meetings, students learn to code through building real-world projects like websites, apps, and games.

ABOUT ZACH

Zach Latta is the founder of Hack Club, a non-profit network of computer science clubs dedicated to fostering student hackers. It is now in 2% of US high schools and has doubled in reach every year since launching in 2016.

In high school he helped develop Football Heroes, a popular arcade football game with 1M+ users. After his freshman year, he dropped out and moved from Los Angeles to San Francisco to become the first engineer at Yo with 4M+ active users. He was awarded the Thiel Fellowship after dropping out of high school when he was 17, the youngest in his class, and was later included in the Forbes 30 Under 30 list when he was 18 for his work with Hack Club.

Adebayo Alonge, RxAll

October 25

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From Coma to Co-Founder. Learn about how being on the receiving end of counterfeit drugs led him to create a drug authentication system for the developing world.

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ABOUT RxALL

Adebayo co-founded RxAll in 2016 after working for 8 years with Sanofi, Roche, BASF, BCG in market development and strategy consulting. Through, RxAll, he aims to provide a means for patients in the developing world to authenticate their medicines. His career in pharma is driven by a passion to eliminate fake drugs, as he almost died as a child from a counterfeit medicine. RxAll’s AI spectrometer and cloud-based algorithm ensures that all drugs sold through its platform and through its network of offline pharmacies are of the highest quality. He has led RxAll to achieve a $5M valuation in 2 years and ramp up sales of over $140K in its first year. He also led its market entry into East Africa- Kenya & Uganda, West Africa- Nigeria & Ghana, SE Asia- Malaysia & Singapore and the Americas-Canada, USA and Columbia.

Representing RxAll, he spoke on the healthcare investing panel at the 2015 US-Africa Business Conference at Yale. He also spoke at the 2018 Katapult FutureFest in Norway, leading RxAll to win the FutureFest’s 2018 Global start-up award. Additionally, he received the Mandela Washington Fellowship from the US state department for outstanding contributions to business and entrepreneurship in Africa.

ABOUT ADEBAYO

He has a Masters in Advanced Management (private equity concentration) from the Yale School of Management and an MBA (strategy and finance) with distinction from the Lagos Business School. He graduated with a Bachelor of Pharmacy First Class Honours from the University of Ibadan. He speaks fluent English, Yoruba, West African Pidgin English. He is conversational in Hausa and French. He loves traveling, blogging and public speaking. He is a golf, jazz and wine aficionado and codes neural networks using R, Python and TensorFlow.

Leonard Medlock,  Playback Worldwide

November 1

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Leonard Medlock is the chief executive of Playback Worldwide! He designs and constructs technological tools using pop culture to try and bridge the opportunity gap for Black and Latinx students.

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ABOUT PLAYBACK WORLDWIDE

Leonard Medlock is chief executive officer of Playback Worldwide, a design and technology firm that creates informal learning apps and opportunities at the intersection of popular culture, social justice and education. He was previously a founding team member and director at EdSurge where he built products and services to help K-12 administrators find and select education technology.

ABOUT LEONARD

In the summer of 2013, Leonard served as designer-in-residence for the ESI School Design Fellowship, a New York City Department of Education initiative to rethink high schools for at-risk black and Latino males, which launched three new public high schools in the Fall of 2014.

Leonard developed his learning design skills a coach and lecturer at the Stanford d.school and a research assistant at Stanford’s Project Based Learning Lab, where his work on global teamwork and collaboration was published in the International Journal of AI & Society. He moonlights as a coach and advisor for organizations such as Camelback Ventures and the Aspen Youth Leadership Fellowship, supporting social venture founders and projects through the lens of human-centered design.

Leonard holds a MA from the Stanford Graduate School of Education in Learning, Design, and Technology and a BS in mechanical engineering from Duke University.

 

Dustin Claretto and Sunny Williams, Tiny Docs

November 8

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Were you scared of going to the doctor when you were a kid? Sunny and Dustin produce CAREtoons that are revolutionizing pediatrics and helping kids cope and heal faster.

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ABOUT TINY DOCS

We started Tiny Docs in 2015 to bridge the communIcation gap between doctors, kids, and families. We can’t measure success in just dollars and cents because a child’s health is far too important. So instead, we dream big and measure our impact in smiles and health outcomes. We provide children and families with the tools to make informed, empowered healthcare decisions. It’s changing the world with cartoons for any child in any language.

ABOUT DUSTIN AND SUNNY

SUNNY

I’m a professional dreamer. In a not so past life, I was a big law attorney in Chicago. Every day I woke up and dreaded going to work. Some of you are probably familiar with the feeling. Ever since I can remember, I envisioned living not just a good life, but a meaningful one. In order to do that, however, I needed to be passionate about where I focused my energy. I was not passionate about the law so I had two options: continue practicing law and give up on living a big grand life or do something else–something that I was passionate about. I chose the latter. I found my passion in Tiny Docs and helping kids and their family’s. And with Tiny Docs we aim to solve a global problem. With your help, we can help kids educate kids all around the world about health issues in a language that they can understand.

DUSTIN

Dustin spent his childhood traveling around the world and dreaming of being an NBA player.  When his 5’8″ frame put a stop to those plans, he went to Indiana University, majoring in business and minoring in English. Proof that the road to being a social impact entrepreneur can take some crazy turns, Dustin taught high school geometry, consulted for hospitals, managed DJs and rappers, taught little kids in Korea how to read, and helped big kids in Chicago learn the ACT/SAT.  When co-founder Sunny Williams told Dustin about Tiny Docs, he immediately fell in love with the vision and has been the COO ever since. The Tiny Docs team is small, so each person has the opportunity to wear many hats, but Dustin’s main focus has been coordinating all of the moving pieces it takes to make an episode. In his free time, you can find Dustin at a park with his three-legged rescue dog friend, Nelly, she’s from the Lou and she’s proud.

 

Tony Weaver, JR. Weird Enough Productions

November 15

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When Tony met a kid who didn’t want to go trick or treating because he couldn’t find a super hero that looked like him, he started WEP to leverage the most powerful tool in history- media- to empower, inspire and combat media exploitation.

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ABOUT WEIRD ENOUGH PRODUCTIONS

Weird Enough Productions is a new media production company dedicated to creating positive media images of black men and other minority groups. By creating programming with a focus on diversity, Weird Enough produces profitable content that appeals to critical demographics, while also directly combating media misrepresentation. Through media literacy education, Weird Enough academically addresses the problem and empowers young people with the knowledge to analyze, evaluate, and create their own media. Weird Enough endeavors to combine artistry and activism to revolutionize the media industry with content that’s not normal, but just Weird Enough.

ABOUT TONY

Tony Weaver Jr. is founder and CEO of Weird Enough Productions, a new media production company dedicated to creating positive media images of black men and other minority groups. After training with the Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts, the Youth Ensemble of Atlanta, and the Acting Program at Elon University, Tony recognized that there was a severe lack of positive roles for black men. Volunteering with black males in his local community showed him how widespread this misrepresentation was, and the devastating effects it was capable of having on minority groups. With the intention of changing the media narrative of black men, Tony founded Weird Enough Productions at age 20. Tony has been the recipient of the Leadership Prize and the Black Excellence Award, and participated in the NBCUniversal Fellowship Program.

Anurag Gupta, Be More America

November 29

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Did you know that bias is an algorithm of the mind. And we can break bias? BMA eliminates the unconscious biases in healthcare and business that perpetuate racial inequities.

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ABOUT BE MORE AMERICA

BE MORE trains professionals to reduce and eliminate the influence of unconscious bias in their decision-making through in-person and online trainings. They are developing an online training to train healthcare professionals in evidence-based mindfulness strategies that reduce unconscious bias and track a reduction in their unconscious bias via the Implicit Association Test (IAT). The organization’s mission is to bridge the information gap between leading scientific findings and on-the-ground practices that create and sustain racial inequities. Its aspiration is to revolutionize human relations and enable a society where one’s appearance and ancestry do not dictate one’s life opportunities and experiences.

ABOUT ANURAG
Anurag Gupta is CEO and founder of BE MORE. Anurag has dedicated his career to innovating solutions to society’s intractable challenges. He developed a program to foster critical thinking among Burmese youth; supported women’s groups from around the world to express their grievances to international treaty bodies; designed a research project that identified the root causes of race-based disparities in America; provided counsel to various criminal justice reform projects at the Vera Institute of Justice; published academic articles on triple-bottom-line corporate structures such as Benefit Corporations; and served as a Fulbright Teaching Fellow in rural South Korea. Anurag is a Nathan Cummings Foundation Fellow and a grantee of the Brooklyn Accelerator. His work has been profiled in the Huffington Post, the International Institute of Education, and #BKLive, as well as at numerous venues such as Cavendish Global, ACGME, and The Middle Project. Anurag has a JD from NYU School of Law, a master’s from Cambridge University, and a bachelor’s in international relations and Islamic studies from NYU. Trilingual, Anurag enjoys hiking and teaching yoga.