Dinner with World Changers
Thursday nights from February 21 to April 25
Our most popular event series hosts an award winning social entrepreneur every Thursday 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.
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. Fuller Project Website
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
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. Toothpick Project Website
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.
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. Phages for Global Health Website
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. Sequoyah School Website
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’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.
GLOBAL WATER LABS
Everyone deserves equal access to clean drinking water as a fundamental human right to achieve good health, dignity, and prosperity. Children living in impoverished communities globally are disproportionately affected by numerous debilitating diseases caused by unsafe drinking water.
Over 200 million people worldwide rely on fluoride-contaminated groundwater as their primary drinking water source. As a result, they are at risk of developing detrimental health affects such as irreversible crippling skeletal fluorosis, mottled enamel, and anemia. Existing defluoridation technologies have proven to be cost-prohibitive and complex to operate and maintain in resource-constrained settings.
Global Water Labs is collaborating with established international mission-driven NGOs to pilot and commercialize the novel Scalable and Affordable Fluoride Removal (SAFR) process in low-income regions. We provide technical expertise to our field implementation partners with the aim of establishing effective material supply chains for water treatment and water quality testing.
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.
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.
Earth holds an estimated 8.7 million multicellular species, and countless additional unicellular organisms, many of them unidentified, unexplored, and understudied. Globally, scientists are working to understand the natural world, an effort requiring biological samples. Such samples hold the key to nature’s most complex questions. Daily, thousands of researchers are collecting biological samples from every corner of the globe – an expensive and time-intensive pursuit.
Biological samples, often reusable for multiple studies, are housed in freezers and boxes awaiting collaborative projects. Furthermore, research scientists looking to grow their work, spend time e-mailing colleagues and spend money re-collecting samples in the field. This ineffective system leaves key samples buried away, and studies curtailed by too few samples.
The Otlet database houses an index of biological research samples, made available by the broad community of researchers worldwide. Specifically tailored for biological research scientists working with plants and animals, Otlet seeks to overcome the existing haphazard system of e-mails and chance opportunities. By building a network to connect fellow scientists and provide them with the samples they need, we can accelerate what and how we study the natural world.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 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.
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.
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.
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.