Speaker Series

Dinner with World Changers Speaker Series

Thursday nights from September 27 – November 29

6:30-8p

Kravis 321

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND! Our most popular event series, hosts an award winning social entrepreneur every Thurs this fall. 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.

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.

Wafaa Arbash, WorkAround

October 18

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When Wafaa was a Syrian student studying in the US she worried about her family and friends. She found a way to help them and other displaced people by leveraging micro-tasking to empower and employ refugees to work remotely.

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ABOUT WORKAROUND

We are facing the greatest refugee crisis in modern history.  65 million people have been displaced worldwide.  Many of these people are stuck in limbo, waiting to be resettled.  They are often prohibited from working in their host country, and spend hours each day in line, waiting for news, waiting to receive aid, waiting for decisions on their status, waiting to use their potential to start their new lives.  We don’t believe they should have to wait.  Many of these refugees are highly skilled, having learned English and computer skills in high school or college before the conflict forced them to leave their homes.  They need work now, not the promise of work someday while aid resources cover only part of what they need to survive.

Our mission is to restore dignity to refugees through economic empowerment by connecting them to online work, allowing businesses to maximize their internal human potential while contributing to a more socially just and productive world.

ABOUT WAFAA

Why I started WorkAround – I have ben in the United States since 2013. As a Syrian, I spent the last two and  half years studying Sustainable International Development and Conflict Resolution. I have been reflecting on all my studying and discussions both inside the classroom and outside in the world about what is happening in Syria. I was planning to work with and support refugees through aid organizations, but I discovered that we can’t keep providing aid forever. There are constantly crisis’ happening around the world and for anyone to move forward, rather we need to create economic opportunity. As part of my thesis, I started researching what could be done to help the millions of refugees. Based on my knowledge of the Syrian context, I know that many are highly educated and they have access to internet. This is where this idea for WorkAround came from. I felt I needed to be part of a solution not only to the Syrian crisis, but also for many displaced people.

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 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.

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.

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.