Charlie Todd is the founder of Improv Everywhere, producing, directing, performing and documenting the group’s work for over 12 years. He is also a performer at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City. Charlie is the author of “Causing a Scene,” a book about Improv Everywhere published by Harper Collins.
Anil Dash is cofounder and CEO of ThinkUp, a new app that helps make sure all the time we spend online or social networks isn't wasted. Dash is also cofounder of Activate, the consultancy which helps define strategy for the most important companies in technology and media. He is recognized as one of the earliest and most influential technologists in social media. Described as a "blogging pioneer" by the New Yorker, he has been publishing his site Dashes.com continuously since 1999, earning recognition as a Webby honoree and acting as a platform for his activism as well as his thoughts on technology, policy, pop culture and media. In 2013, Time named @anildash one of the best accounts on Twitter, and some of its nearly half million followers agree.
Nicole Stubbs is CEO of First Access, which aims to reduce lending and borrowing costs across the developing world. Using patent-pending cloud technology, First Access interacts with consumers and organizations via SMS and web in real-time, aggregating big data and producing customized, highly predictive recommendations about products and loan sizes. Better information translates to faster and more affordable financial services for more people.
Nick Martin is founder and president of TechChange, which has developed a unique, scalable, and interactive model for online training in international development. With courses ranging from mHealth to financial literacy to open government, TechChange uses a mobile-friendly, MOOC-ready learning management system that includes low-bandwidth support, live video streaming, social media integration, game mechanics, translation support, security and more. To date, TechChange has prepared over 2,000 alumni from over 100 countries to apply technology effectively and appropriately in response to global challenges.
Nathaniel Raymond works with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) to advance the science and practice of humanitarian response worldwide.
Through founding HHI’s Signal Program on Human Security and Technology, Raymond has helped pioneer the use of satellite imaging and other remote sensing techniques to document deteriorating humanitarian conditions and collect evidence of alleged mass atrocities. A leader in the development of comprehensive ethical and technical standards to guide the use of information communication technologies during humanitarian emergencies, Raymond is helping ensure that the use of new technologies and methods protect, rather than endanger, vulnerable populations.
Miriah Meyer designs visualization systems that support exploratory, complex data analysis tasks and help scientists make sense of complex data. Her visualizations combine novel mathematical models with principles from a range of fields including perception, design and human-computer interaction. Meyer was named a Microsoft Research Faculty Fellow and to MIT Technology Review’s Top 35 Innovators Under 35. Meyer’s work allows scientists to understand their underlying data in detail and to develop new hypotheses and insights.
Lisa Aziz-Zadeh studies aspects of social cognitive neuroscience including creativity, empathy, embodied representations and social interaction. In addition, her work looks at how motor performance and sensory experience are essential contributors to higher cognitive processes. Aziz-Zadeh has been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in Berlin, has received numerous grants from agencies such as the NIH and the Dana Foundation, and her work has been featured in a broad range of publications including Current Biology and Journal of Neuroscience. Her work is highly relevant to everyday human experiences, and will shape how we think about and understand ourselves and those around us.
Jonathan Wilker seeks to understand how nature makes materials such as the glues produced in the seas by mussels, oysters and barnacles. His research examines how these biological materials function, and then works to design synthetic mimics with a wide range of applications. Wilker’s work has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research. There are currently no adhesives available that are simultaneously wet setting, strong bonding, and non-toxic; yet marine biology may have already solved this problem, and Wilker is seeking to understand exactly how.
Julia Watson is the principal partner of Studio Rede, a collaborative which aims to apply traditional knowledge and practices to contemporary design, helping to sustain social capital in support of local biodiversity and global conservation. Starting with World Heritage sites in Bali, Indonesia, Studio Rede and an IEEE volunteer working group are developing an eGuidebook to facilitate the collaborative design process required to enable the remote inhabitants of cultural landscapes to combine maximum development impact with minimum impact pressure. By reaching across disciplines and inviting unique alliances, Studio Rede's practice empowers communities to protect their cultural landscapes.
Jessica Richman is a co-founder of uBiome, which aims to make the human body searchable using the knowledge, effort and ideas of the public, as well as health data, to solve some of the world’s most important problems. uBiome gathers data by sending participants kits which they can use to sample their microbiomes, and then engages with the public regarding their data. uBiome is changing the way that the world's scientific agenda is set, to be more democratic, decentralized and open to all.