Laura Allen Vision Education
Jenni Avins Closet Tour
Sarah Beatty Green Depot
Jen Bekman 20×200
Charles Best DonorsChoose.org
Suzanne Biegel Investors Circle
Red Burns Founder, ITP/NYU
Mary Schmidt Campbell Dean, Tisch School of the Arts, NYU
Majora Carter MCG Consulting
Valerie Casey Designers Accord
Rachel Chong Catchafire
Jerri Chou The Feast/All Day Buffet
Patricia Dandonoli Moderator, Social Entrepreneur Panel
Dale Dougherty Make Magazine
Maria Gotsch New York City Investment Fund
Nancy Hechinger Festival Co-Chair, ITP Faculty
Scott Heiferman Meetup
Amanda Hesser Food52
Despina Papadopoulos Moderator, Design Panel
Jill Priluck Moderator, Tech Media Panel
Christine Quinn Speaker, NYC City Council
Laurie Racine Lulu, dotSUB, Startl
Diana Rhoten Festival Co-Chair, Startl
Britta Riley Windowfarms
Frank Rimalovski NYU Innovation Venture Fund
Gwen Schantz Brooklyn Grange
Elizabeth Stark Moderator, Investors Panel
Lockhart Steele Curbed Eater Racked
Mary Telesco Meetup
Amanda Steinberg DailyWorth
Jen Van Der Meer Moderator, Sustainability/Green Panel
Jessamyn Waldman Hot Bread Kitchen
Andy Weissman Betaworks
Alexandra Wilkis Wilson Gilt Groupe
Joanne Wilson Festival Co-Chair, Gotham Gal
Laura Allen is the Founder and President of Vision Education & Media (VEM). Located in New York City, Laura and her staff work in over 200 schools helping teachers and students use technology in creative and effective ways. Laura is passionately committed to helping children reach their learning potential through creative uses of technology while nurturing their innate abilities to problem-solve.
Founded in 1998, Vision Education has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards including a National Science Foundation (NSF) Grant. In 2008, the MacArthur foundation’s Digital Media and Learning Competition funded 16 organizations out of a pool of 1100 applications; Vision Education was one of the 16 funded organizations.
GreenFab, a 1.2 Million-Dollar program funded by the NSF, enables 180 students to have access to green collar job training. Currently managed by an ITP graduate, students engage in intensive project based learning in the sciences and sustainable living. This grant is enabling Vision Education & Media to create a curriculum based upon sustainability, green collar technologies and adaptive design. The next step for VEM will be disseminating our curriculum and training to teachers around the country.
In 1998, the YWCA of the USA hired Laura to develop a technology curriculum to help underserved girls ages 9 –stay engaged in learning about science, technology, engineering and math. Laura developed the TechGYRLS curriculum and it is continues to be used nationally by over 85 YWCAs across the country. Laura was awarded Enterprising Woman of the Year in 2006 and in 2008 by Enterprising Women Magazine. Laura has a Masters in Education from Harvard University and has worked with important leaders in the field of Educational Technology including Dr. Seymour Papert, co-founder of the MIT Artificial Intelligence lab and Dr. Mitchel Resnick, LEGO Professor of Learning Research and head of the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Laboratory.
Jenni Avins is a multimedia journalist and the founder of Closettour, a blog about wondering what to wear in an increasingly complicated world. It is about finding value, and values in fashion, by following our clothing’s narrative threads. Using food journalism as inspiration, Jenni explores the question of what to wear, examining the aesthetic, ethical, social, economic and environmental effects of our clothing.
Jenni has spent a great deal of her life and career wondering what to wear. She worked in fashion production and design all over the world—managing sweater production in Madagascar, printing tee shirts in Peru and shopping for inspiration in Brazil, before settling into a journalism career in New York City. Her stories about travel, food, fashion and art have appeared in publications like CNN.com, Saveur, Vanityfair.com, New York, Nylon and Dossier.
She was voted Best Dressed by her high school senior class, and more recently, was awarded a McCormick Foundation grant from Jeff Jarvis’ Entrepreneurial Journalism Class at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism to pursue long-form multimedia stories about clothing.
At the moment you are reading this, Jenni is more likely than not, wondering what to wear.
Sarah Beatty is an accidental entrepreneur. In 2005, she founded Green Depot with a mission: to make green living and building solutions accessible affordable and gratifying. With 10 locations including a consumer flagship in New York City and an ecommerce site (greendepot.com), Green Depot is fast becoming the nation’s leading supplier of sustainable building products and services.
Green Depot has supplied hundreds of projects, including Harvard University, the New School, Albany Public Libraries, the city of Chicago, and the Capitol Building in Washington. Green Depot educates the building trade and consumers about “what green means” every day–via their proprietary CLEAR filter, FLIP It Green service, community programs and events.
Earth Day New York and the NRDC awarded Sarah their 2009 Business Leader of the Year Award. The New York Times says “The Green Depot brings eco-consciousness down to earth, where it belongs”.
Prior to Green Depot, Sarah worked in media and marketing. She spent ten years at MTV: Music Television, where she was Vice President of Trade Marketing and Global Branding. In 2001, Sarah joined USA Cable as Senior Vice President of the Marketing and Creative divisions.
Sarah has a B.A. from Harvard College. She is a LEED accredited Professional. Sarah is the mother of two children and is expecting a third child this July, 2010.
Jen Bekman is a gallery owner, writer and entrepreneur. Propelled by a mix of curiosity, naiveté and hubris, Jen has explored numerous careers and interests. Born and raised in New York City where she attended Stuyvesant High School and later Hunter College, she’s been a switchboard operator, a jewelry designer and dabbled in jazz publishing and producing. Her interest in writing, design and media led her to a career directing community and editorial efforts for groundbreaking internet companies such as New York Online, Electric Minds and Netscape. She went on to oversee Interactive Programming efforts at Disney/GO Networks. In 2000, she moved back to New York City and continued her internet career as the Chief Creative Officer at an AOL-funded streaming video company and then later at Meetup, where she was the VP of User Development.
In 2003, Jen struck out in an entirely new direction and opened Jen Bekman Gallery. Her internet experience, integral to her PR and marketing strategy, and her fresh perspective on the art world helped the gallery quickly establish itself as an exciting, unique space with a critically acclaimed program, focusing on emerging artists and innovative group shows. The gallery would later become the flagship of Jen Bekman Projects, a network of ventures with the mission of bringing the value and joy of collecting art to a dramatically wider audience than has ever been possible. JBP also includes 20×200, an e-commerce site offering curated, affordable limited-edition prints, and the critically acclaimed international photo competition Hey, Hot Shot! which discovers, recognizes and promotes photographers at all stages of their careers.
In January of 2007, American Photo named Jen an Innovator of the Year. In 2008, the Griffin Museum of Photography honored her with the Rising Star Award. Businessweek included 20×200 in their list of America’s most promising startups in 2009 and Fast Company named Jen on their list of the most influential women in technology in 2010. She currently serves on the advisory board for 25 for 25: The AOL Grant Program. Jen frequently makes public appearances, participating in panels and portfolio reviews and leading seminars. She has spoken at the AIGA annual conference and reviewed portfolios at Review Santa Fe, Parsons, The New York Foundation for the Arts, PhotoExpo and the Minnesota Center for Photography. She juried the 30th Anniversary Memberʼs Exhibition for the Photographic Resource Center at Boston University and has participated in the Mentors Program at the School of Visual Arts for several years.
In her limited free time, Jen does some rabble-rousing and freelance writing. She is a vociferous proponent of gender diversity on speaker rosters at conferences and maintains the List of Women Speakers For Your Conference to help conference planners achieve that goal. She has also published articles and interviews in GOOD Magazine and photo-eye Booklist. Bekman was the founding editor of the design blog Unbeige, continues to write on her personal blog, Personism, and now maintains an active online presence on Twitter (@jenbee) and Tumblr (at jenbee.tumblr.com).
Charles Best founded DonorsChoose.org at Wings Academy, a public high school in the Bronx where he was a social studies teacher for five years. He thought up DonorsChoose.org during a lunch conversation with colleagues, and his students volunteered to help start the organization. To entice his fellow teachers to try out the new website, Charles offered them his mother’s famous pear dessert. DonorsChoose.org has been growing since.
Suzanne has been a long time investor member of IC. For the past ten years, Suzanne has had her own consulting company called Catalyst at Large. She has brought her visionary leadership as an entrepreneur, a coach and mentor, a board member, a philanthropist, and an active angel investor to a variety of sustainability-driven projects. She is a frequent public speaker and moderator in the realm of impact investing, sustainability, responsible business, and philanthropy. As an active IC member and a leader in its incubation efforts, Suzanne was one of the co-founders of the Patient Capital Collaborative and has been the standing emcee for IC’s venture fairs for years. Suzanne is a Catto Fellow at the Aspen Institute and an active member of other aligned networks including Social Venture Network and Women Donors’ Network. A native New Yorker, Suzanne is now based in London, England. She is working with IC’s terrific team in the Bay Area and gets a lot of work done online and on airplanes (and is very sorry about her carbon footprint.) She’s in the States for about a week a month. Suzanne holds degrees from the Wharton Business School and the Annenberg School of Communication.
Red Burns is the Founder and new Chief Collaborations Officer of the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) in the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. She was named Tokyo Broadcasting System Chair in 1997.Most recently, Professor Burns received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Canadian New Media and was an honoree at the Exploratorium’s 32nd Annual Awards Dinner honoring Women in Science. In 2005 she was added to the New York Women in Communications, Inc. Matrix Hall of Fame, In 2004, she was honored with a Distinguished Leadership Award for achievement in technology from the New York Hall of Science and in 2002 was a recipient of the Chrysler Design Award. In addition, she has received a number of other awards including the 1997 Matrix Award (the first in the “New Media” category), and in 1998, the Crain’s All-Stars Educator’s Award, and the Mayor of New York’s Award for Excellence in Science and Technology. She was also inducted into the Art Director Club’s Hall of Fame in 1998 with the “Special Educator’s Award.” She has been listed on Richard Saul Wurman’s “Who’s Really Who 1000, The Most Creative Individuals in the USA 2002.” “Crain’s” cited her as one of the “Top 100 People Who Will Shape New York.” Interactive Week picked her as one of the “Top 25 Influential People on the Net,” and she was named one of Newsweek’s “50 for the Future,” New York Magazine’s “New York Cyber Sixty,” Silicon Alley’s 100 and “Crain’s New York Business” listed her both as one of the 100 top leaders of New York’s economy, as well as one of the top 100 most influential women in business.Professor Burns serves as a board member for the Charles Revson Foundation, and has served on the boards of The Art Director’s Club and Creative Capital. She has served on “Seminars on Science,” a program of The National Center for Science, Literacy, and Technology, which is part of the American Museum of National History Advisory Board, and has been a mentor to the Ross School in East Hampton, New York. She is also an education advisor to the New Museum of Contemporary Art.Professor Burns has served on the New York Times Digital Company Advisory Board, IVREA Institute (Italy), The Visual Media Task Force, The Convergent Media Group, Electronic Neighborhood, and ProBono.net Boards. She was a founding member of the Media Lab Europe Board and the Board of Directors of the New York New Media Association (NYNMA).Red Burns has served as a juror for the On-Line Journalism Awards, the National Magazine Awards, and the Webby Awards. Most recently she served on The National Design Awards, The Rockefeller Foundation New Media Fellowship Panel, as a juror for the Creative Capital Grants, as well as The American Institute of Graphic Arts “365: AIGA Annual Design Competitions.”During the 1970′s, as head of NYU’s Alternate Media Center, she designed and directed a series of telecommunications projects including two-way television for and by senior citizens, telecommunications applications to serve the developmentally disabled, and one of the first Teletext field trials in the United States (at WETA in Washington, D.C.). She also created a CD-ROM on chaos theory.This innovative research center set the stage for the creation of the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at NYU in 1979. She continues to research and teach, and was the Principal Investigator on two major research projects, funded by Intel and Microsoft.
Mary Schmidt Campbell
Mary Schmidt Campbell was appointed Dean of the Tisch School of the Arts in 1991.
Under her stewardship as Dean, the Tisch School has tripled the number of applications it receives, cut its acceptance rate in half, and increased the percentage of under-represented students studying there. She has initiated major renovations of the School’s film facilities; inaugurated new programs in Art and Public Policy, Film Preservation and Archiving, and Recorded Music; and is currently leading the School in a $70 million capital campaign to build a new performing arts center in the middle of lower Manhattan’s theater district. As Associate Provost for the Arts at NYU from 2004 to 2007 she provided guidance and leadership in the arts resulting in a multi-school game center. She currently serves as chair of Tisch Asia, the Tisch School’s degree granting program in Singapore.
In September of 2009 Dean Campbell was appointed by President Barack Obama as the Vice Chair of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities which is a non-partisan advisory committee to the President of the United States on cultural matters.
Previously, she was New York City Commissioner of Cultural Affairs from 1987-1991 in the Edward I. Koch and David Dinkins administrations. She came to city government after having served as executive director of the Studio Museum in Harlem from 1977-87. Prior to that she was guest curator and assistant curator at the Everson Museum of Fine Arts in Syracuse, NY, contributor to the Syracuse New Times and co-founder of the Community Folk Art Center in Syracuse, New York. Dean Campbell was also the Chair of the New York State Council on the Arts from 2007-2009.
She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and sits on the boards of The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival and the Harlem School of the Arts. She holds honorary degrees from The College of New Rochelle, Colgate University, City University of New York, Pace University, Maryland Institute College of Art and Swarthmore College. She has given numerous lectures, authored many papers and articles, and is co-editor of Artistic Citizenship: A Public Voice for the Arts, (New York: Routledge, 2006 and co-author of Harlem Renaissance: Art of Black America (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1987) and Memory and Metaphor: The Art of Romare Bearden, 1940-1987 (New York: Oxford University Press & The Studio Museum in Harlem, 1991). She is currently working on a book on Romare Bearden for Oxford University Press, (2011 expected publication date).
Campbell received a B.A. degree in English literature from Swarthmore College, an M.A. in art history from Syracuse University, and a Ph.D. in humanities, also from Syracuse.
She founded Sustainable South Bronx, in 2001 — when very few of us were even talking about “sustainability”; and even fewer, in places like The South Bronx.
By 2003, she coined the term: “Green The Ghetto” as she pioneered one of the nation’s first urban green-collar job training & placement systems.
Her organization spearheaded new policies and legislation that fueled demand for those jobs, improved the lives of all New Yorkers, and has served as a model for the nation.
Majora’s 2006 TEDtalk was one of the very first 6 presentations to launch that groundbreaking website.
Since 2008, her consulting company has been exporting Climate Adaptation, Urban Micro-AgriBusiness, and Leadership Development strategies for Business, State and Local Governments, Federal Agencies,Foundations, Universities, and economically under-performing Communities.
She is probably the only person to receive an award from John Podesta’s Center For American Progress, and a Liberty Medal for Lifetime Achievement from Rupert Murdoch’s: New York Post.
Fast Company Magazine listed her as one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business, The NY Times described her as “The Green Power Broker”, and the Ashoka Foundation’s Changemakers.org recently dubbed Majora Carter:
“The Prophet of Local”
She is the host of Eco-Heroes on Sundance Channel, as well as her own Corporation for Public Broadcasting special series: The Promised Land (thepromisedland.org).
She has earned a long long list of awards and honorary degrees, including a MacArthur “genius” Fellowship.
Valerie Casey consults with start-ups, governments, and companies all over the world on challenges ranging from creating new products and services, to transforming organizational processes and behaviors.
She was named a “Guru” of the year by Fortune magazine, a “Hero of the Environment” by Time magazine, and a “Master of Design” by Fast Company. She was also selected as one of the “World’s Most Influential Designers” by BusinessWeek.
Valerie is the founder of the Designers Accord, the global coalition of designers, educators, and business leaders working together to create positive and sustainable impact.
Rachael Chong is Founder & CEO of Catchafire, a website that connects professionals who want to volunteer their skills with nonprofits and social entrepreneurs that need skilled volunteers. Catchafire Alpha is live for early adopters and Beta will launch this summer. Rachael was previously an investment banker, and prior to starting Catchafire, she worked alongside the President & CEO to start-up BRAC USA, the US affiliate of BRAC, one of the largest nonprofit organizations in the world. Rachael has a Master’s of Public Policy from Duke University and graduated magna cum laude from Barnard College, Columbia University.
Jerri leverages social good to develop and scale innovative businesses of the C21st. She is the founding partner of All Day Buffet, The Feast, TBD, and the corporate social innovation strategy agency Lovely Day where she acts as Managing Partner — all of which offers her a deep understanding of and network in the social innovation space. Through her work, she has gained extensive knowledge of innovation, business strategy, new model research and integration, branding, communications and partnership development.
Patricia Dandonoli has worked for over 25 years on behalf of mission-led organizations, social enterprises, and philanthropies ranging from dynamic start-ups to large international organizations, including WaterAid America, the Office of Queen Rania al Abdullah of Jordan, the Sundance Institute, and the American Museum of Natural History, among others. Patricia has helped numerous organizations, both for- and not-for-profit, align their financial, social, and environmental missions and goals with appropriate organizational structure and social capital/financing strategies—helping to execute $500 million capital campaigns as well as early stage financing rounds. Ms. Dandonoli currently leads corporate responsibility and sustainability for Natural Systems Utilities, LLC, and sits on the board of Investors’ Circle, a network of individual and institutional investors helping to launch and build social and environmental enterprises.
Dale Dougherty is the founder of Make magazine and the creator of Maker Faire, which leads a growing maker movement. He is GM of Maker Media at O’Reilly Media in Sebastopol, California. Dougherty is a co-founder of O’Reilly Media, a technical publisher and conference organizer known for its advocacy of Open Source and the Web. An early Web pioneer, Dale was the developer of Global Network Navigator (GNN), the first commercial Web site launched in 1993 and sold to America Online in 1995. Dale was developer and publisher of Web Review, the online magazine for Web designers from 1995-1999, which was sold to CMP in 1999. He coined the term Web 2.0 as part of developing the Web 2.0 Conference. Make Magazine started in 2005 followed by the first Maker Faire in the SF Bay Area in 2006. This year, Maker Faire was held in the Bay Area, Detroit and New York City.
Maria is the President and CEO at the New York City Investment Fund and also serves as President of the Fund’s Civic Capital Corporation, which manages the Fund’s charitable investments. Prior to joining the Fund in 1999, Maria was a Managing Director at BT Wolfensohn (now part of Deutsche Bank), providing strategic and financial advice related to mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures and the development of business strategies. Before starting with Wolfensohn, Maria worked at LaSalle Partners in the New York area and for Merrill Lynch Capital Markets in New York and London. Maria has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a B.A. from Wellesley College.
Nancy Hechinger is on the full-time faculty at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunication Program. She has a diverse background in education — including multimedia and film production, the development of interactive museum exhibits, and publishing– and in the strategic uses of information and telecommunication technologies, focusing particularly on how technology might make science more accessible, and also promoting the teaching and learning of essential twenty-first-century skills . She was the founding Director of the National Center for Science Literacy, Education, and Technology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Prior to that she was a founding partner and the Director of Technology for the Edison Project, a private company that manages public schools using a comprehensive new school design with technology at its core. She was on the Senior Design Team of Apple’s Multimedia Lab(1988-1990). Ms. Hechinger has lectured widely at schools and to education and public-policy groups about the potential of technology to enhance education and inspire children to learn, and participated in many of the seminal national conferences on education and technology; including, the Department of Education, NSF, Office of Technology Assessment, and The Getty Museum. She sits on the Advisory Committee of the Women’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch, and is a board member of Words Without Borders, an online magazine of literature in translation. She received her B.A. in 1969 from Sarah Lawrence College, and an MFA in Writing (Poetry) in 2009. Her poems have been published in Salamander and Red Wheelbarrow, and will be in the next issue of NY Quarterly, and a chapbook, Letter to Leonard Cohen, will be published in March 2011.
Scott Heiferman is Co-Founder & CEO of Meetup, where he’s helping spark a revolution in local community. Over 50,000 Meetups (self-organized community events) happen each week. Millions of people, in over 100 countries, “use the internet to get off the internet” and form local community using the Meetup platform. Meetup is built on the idea that every town everywhere needs support groups, playgroups, bookclubs, business circles, running groups, community action groups, etc… whatever’s important to people, a local community group can help them. Meetup is now self-sustaining (profitable), growing fast, and pursuing a long-range goal of a “Meetup Everywhere about Most Everything” so that everyone has access to local community when needed. Meetup’s new platform for mass mobilizing, called “Meetup Everywhere”, is used by Oprah, The Huffington Post, Mashable, Etsy, and others. Previously, Heiferman co-founded Fotolog, a photo sharing network where over 30 million people, mostly in South America, have uploaded nearly a billion photos. He also founded i-traffic, a top online ad agency in the 90s. He then fled the ad industry and was influenced by 9/11 to start Meetup. Scott graduated from The University of Iowa, then worked at Sony as their “Interactive Marketing Frontiersman”. He is an angel investor in Betaworks, Founders Collective, One Block Off The Grid, 20×200, Catchafire, ProFounder and others. Scott received the Jane Addams Award from the National Conference on Citizenship and was named the 2004 MIT Technology Review “Innovator of the Year”.
Amanda grew up in a family where everyone, including her father, cooked. In college, she worked at a bakery on Saturday nights and drove a truck around Boston at dawn, delivering the bread. She later worked in bakeries and restaurants in Germany, Switzerland, Italy and France. After writing her first book, The Cook and the Gardener, Amanda was hired by the New York Times as a food reporter.
In 11 years, she wrote more than 800 stories for the Times, published another book, Cooking for Mr. Latte, based on a column she wrote about her courtship with her husband, and was deemed the “evil foodie darklord” by Gawker (a title she humbly cherishes). Her third book, Eat, Memory, was published in 2008, and the New York Times cookbook she’s been working on for 5 years will be out in 2010. She plays herself in the much anticipated “Julie & Julia.” Amanda now lives with Mr. Latte in Brooklyn with their twin son and daughter, who by age 2 had eaten both pigeon and uni, whether they liked it or not.
A dedicated multi-tasker, Amanda cooks and eats both seasonally and locally as much as possible. She would rather eat nothing than scarf down something on the run. She loves her label-maker, Balthazar’s cinnamon bun and her double-handed kitchen mitt (a gift from Merrill!).
Amanda also enjoys risking life and limb by changing the position of her impossibly cumbersome oven rack once the oven is already hot. Among her cooking pet peeves are chopping parsley (hate! hate!), peeling tomatoes and recipes that lead to a sinkful of pots and pans.
Despina (Director, 5050ltd, http://www.5050ltd.com) is an interaction designer and consultant specializing in developing concepts and inventing new applications for a wide range of fields. Her approach is interdisciplinary, resulting in collaborations with large corporations, fashion designers, R&D labs and museums. She recently spend a year in Kabul developing products and product development cycles with a team of local artists and designers, generating sales of $700.000. Her work in Afghanistan has led to her course “Principled Design: Method & Practice” and a continued investigation of appropriate design methodologies for international development. She has been an adjunct professor at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications program where she teaches Thesis, “Personal Expression and Wearable Technologies”, “The Softness of Things: Technology in Space and Form” and “Principled Design: Method and Practice”, classes she has developed.
Despina has experience in systems design, prototyping interfaces and large scale production development. Her wearable device, Moi, is available in fashion and museum stores internationally and she recently launched with Zach Eveland a set of open source electronic building tools under the name fabrickit (www.fabrick.it).
Her work has been shown at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, Holon Design Museum in Israel, NEMO: Amsterdam’s Science Museum, Postmasters Gallery, NY, Limn Gallery, SF Museum of Modern Art, The American Museum of Natural History and Liberty Science Center in NJ. She has lectured internationally including Jan Van Eyck Academie, The Netherlands, Parsons School of Design, New School University, Interactive Design Institute in Ivrea and the International Symposium on Wearable Computing.
Jill Priluck is a journalist who most recently wrote the Little-Guy Economy column for Slate. Her writing also has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Fortune, among many others.
Since her election as City Council Speaker, Christine C. Quinn has established herself as a champion for working families, fighting for policies and services that are critical to the lives of real New Yorkers. She has worked to make the Council more responsive to the needs of all New Yorkers, and dramatically increased transparency and accountability. Quinn has developed a reputation for finding innovative solutions, and furthering policies that are both creative and fiscally responsible. In the past four years, Speaker Quinn has taken on a wide range of issues, including: housing, education, seniors, environment, small business, equality & civil rights, health, food & nutrition.
Since 1999, Quinn has served as the representative for the 3rd Council District of Manhattan. She and her partner, Kim Catullo, live in Chelsea.
As an entrepreneur and strategist, Laurie Racine operates from a perspective of ‘change’ – defining and implementing the mission and objectives of profit and non-profit corporations in digital technology, media, and learning– when the best approach is one that has not yet been considered.
Last year, Laurie co-founded Startl, a ‘hothouse for innovation.’ Startl is a social enterprise with substantial seed funding from the Gates, MacArthur, Hewlett, Kellogg and Lumina Foundations. Startl’s mission is to identify new talent, and accelerate new products and services that have the potential to change the future of learning.
She is a founder of dotSUB, a technology driven media company. dotSUB is a digital platform that eliminates language as a barrier to video communication and makes it possible to offer radically low cost, highly flexible video content in multiple languages. dotSUB is often known for powering the TED Conference Open Translation Project.
Laurie was also a principal and Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development for the early market leader in browser based video mixing and distribution, Eyespot. She built strategic partnerships, with Lucas Films, NBA, MTV, Paramount, College Humor, Participant Productions, and Demand Media.
Prior to Eyespot, Laurie was President of a private venture and foundation, endowed by the founders of Red Hat Inc. During her tenure she launched Lulu Press, invested the seed funding in Creative Commons and co-founded Public Knowledge, the leading public interest group in Washington DC, focusing on issues of the digital age.
She has been a Senior Fellow at the Norman Lear Center of the Annenberg School of Communications, University of Southern California and was the President of Doc Arts, the corporation that produces the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.
At present, Laurie is Chair of Teachers Without Borders and Public Knowledge. She also serves as a director on the boards of the Tribeca Film Institute, Open Road Media, Creative Commons and the University of California Humanities Research Council. Laurie sits on the Advisory Boards of Road Trip Nation and Fractor. She holds a BA from New York University and did coursework for a PhD in Human Genetics at University of California, Berkeley. She did not complete her dissertation.
How is existing knowledge shared? How is new knowledge created? As a researcher and strategist, Diana has dedicated her professional life to exploring these questions and testing out answers. Diana has been designing and evaluating educational policies and programs, organizations and technologies since she began her career as an educational analyst in Massachusetts. Over the last decade, Diana has been faculty at the Stanford School of Education, co-director of a nonprofit research institute dedicated to interdisciplinary collaboration, and consultant to a host of large educational institutions seeking to innovate. She has also been the founder of three different programs focused on the future of learning at both the Social Science Research Council and the National Science Foundation. Diana has published in numerous journals and most recently co-edited a volume on the future of higher education called Knowledge Matters. She earned a Ph.D. in Social Sciences and Educational Policy and an M.A. in Sociology from Stanford University, as well as an M.Ed. from Harvard University and an A.B. from Brown University.
Britta Riley is a creative technologist & social entrepreneur. She is the Founder & CEO of Windowfarms, an open hardware company that develops vertical hydroponic platforms for food growing in urban windows. She has co-founded 5 socially-minded businesses in the last 10 years. www.brittariley.com
Frank Rimalovski is the managing director of the NYU Innovation Venture Fund, a $20 million venture fund formed to provide seed capital to spur the commercialization of technologies developed at NYU. Frank brings 18 years experience in early-stage investment and management experience in the formation of new ventures, technology development and commercialization.
Prior to joining NYU, he was a founding partner of New Venture Partners, the leading global venture capital firm dedicated to funding technology spinouts based on corporate innovations. New Ventures Partners manages over $800 million in investment capital, and as a team has completed in excess of 60 spinout transactions. Frank joined New Venture Partners from Lucent, where he was a director and entrepreneur-in-residence within Lucent’s New Ventures Group. For the six years prior, he held various positions in marketing, business development and product management in Silicon Valley at Sun Microsystems, Apple and NeXT.
Frank holds a BA in Economics from Tufts University and a MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. He currently serves on the board of directors of ShopWell Solutions, Inc., is a member of the Tufts University Entrepreneurship Advisory Board.
Gwen Schantz is a Sustainable Food Advocate and Co-Founder of Brooklyn Grange, the world’s biggest commercial rooftop farm. After spending several years working for non-profit organizations internationally and in New York, in 2008 she shifted her professional focus to supporting and establishing local green businesses. Gwen has worked as the Farm Manager for Roberta’s restaurant and is also a co-founder and active member of the Bushwick food Coop. She lives in Bushwick with her long-time partner Christopher St. John and holds a Bachelors Degree from Vassar College.
Elizabeth Stark is a leader in the global free culture movement. She is a Visiting Fellow at the Yale Information Society Project, a Lecturer in Computer Science at Yale University, and a Knight Media Policy Fellow at the New America Foundation. Elizabeth is a co-founder of the Open Video Alliance, and producer of the Open Video Conference, whose inaugural event garnered nearly 9000 participants in person and across the web. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Stark founded the Harvard Free Culture Group and served on the board of directors of Students for Free Culture. While at Harvard, she was Editor-at-Large of the Harvard Journal of Law & Technology, and worked with the Harvard Advocates for Human Rights to make better use of new media to promote human rights. Elizabeth spent years researching for the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard, and has taught courses ranging from Cyberlaw to Intellectual Property to Technology & Politics to Electronic Music. Elizabeth regularly gives talks around the world on free culture, and has collaborated with myriad organizations on promoting shared knowledge and the open web. She is currently authoring a book examining the value of the abundance versus the scarcity of culture in the digital age. Elizabeth has lived and worked in Berlin, Singapore, Paris, and Rio de Janeiro, and speaks French, German, and Portuguese.
Lockhart Steele is the president and founder of the Curbed Network, which includes the websites Curbed, Eater, Racked, and Gridskipper.
Mary Telesco heads up sponsorships at Meetup. She’s responsible for pairing up great brands with active local Meetups that are their target audience. By building authentic partnerships, she ensures that brands like Columbia Sportswear, GE and Kraft are welcomed and engaged with these community groups.
Prior to joining Meetup in 2003, Mary spent 6 years at America Online where she managed client relationships with advertisers and content providers including Fortune 100 Companies helping them develop their first online marketing and e-commerce strategies.
Mary earned her BS in communications at Emerson College in Boston. She is also involved in her community by coordinating weekly literacy volunteer program and is also an Anusara-inspired Yoga Instructor. Mary is organizer of The Office Yoga Meetup Group teaching weekly yoga classes and a member of the NYC Cycling& Food Meetup Group.
Amanda Steinberg is the founder of DailyWorth, a daily email about money management tailored to women. DailyWorth stands out as the go-to source about personal finance for smart, ambitious women. Since its inception in January 2009, DailyWorth has garnered 50,000+ members and a stream of media appearances, including New York Times, USA Today, and a recent 2-page spread in Cosmopolitan magazine. A graduate of Columbia University, Steinberg also contributes to ForbesWoman.com. Amanda lives in Philadelphia with her husband, two young children, and her iPhone.
Jen Van Der Meer
Jennifer van der Meer is a strategist, teacher, and speaker focused on developing sustainable relationships between people, products and brands.
A former Wall Street Analyst and Economist, Jen has held executive management roles at Organic and Frog Design. She has provided brand strategy, research, product design consulting, and technology marketing strategy to clients such as MTV, Chase, Nextel, Interface Inc., Disney, and GE.
At Drillteam, Jen serves in the role of lead strategist, and has conducted research and brand engagement plans for Toyota, Nestle, Saucony, Neiman Marcus, and Target. In addition to serving on the boards of the Designers Accord and o2NYC, Jennifer writes and speaks on the topic of green marketing and design, social media, and entrepreneurship, and is an Adjunct Professor at NYU’s ITP school.
Jen has a BA in comparative religion from Trinity College, and an MBA from HEC in Paris.
Jessamyn Waldman is the founder of Hot Bread Kitchen, an award-winning social enterprise. Since its inception in 2007, Hot Bread Kitchen has grown from a visionary idea to a widely recognized bakery that hires and trains immigrant women to bake artisanal breads that reflect their countries of origin, as well as tantalize the palates of sophisticated New York foodies with products like hand-ground corn tortillas, Moroccan msmen, Armenian lavash, and Sephardic challahs. In 2009, Mayor Bloomberg awarded HBK “Best Small Business” for Queens. This year, they were awarded a $1.5 million contract to build a new training and baking facility to be completed in November 2010. Hot Bread Kitchen has quickly become a hot brand, gaining attention in such media outlets as the New York Times, Today Show, and Food & Wine Magazine.
In founding Hot Bread Kitchen, Jessamyn combined her passions for baking and social justice for foreign-born women. Her efforts have been recognized with an Echoing Green Fellowship who selected her from over 1500 social entrepreneurs, the Eileen Fisher Company that awarded her their Grant for Women Entrepreneurs, and Coro, which presented her with their inaugural Alumni Community Leadership Award. Jessamyn has an MPA from Columbia University and a BA from the University of British Columbia. Before starting Hot Bread Kitchen, she gained 10 years of experience in NGO’s, government, and the UN, focusing on human rights, education, and immigration issues. She worked in many places, including the US, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Bosnia, Guatemala, and Chile. Jessamyn also has a Master Baker certificate from the New School University and was the first woman to be hired as a baker at Chef Daniel Boulud’s renowned Restaurant Daniel.
Andy Weissman is the co-founder of betaworks, a new media operating and investment company.
Alexandra Wilkis Wilson
With over twelve years of international experience in luxury goods and retail, Alexandra Wilkis Wilson is Founder and Chief Merchandising Officer of Gilt Groupe, an innovative company that has revolutionized the fashion industry and ecommerce in general. Each day, Gilt offers its members insider prices for new, curated selection of highly coveted merchandise, including apparel, accessories and lifestyle products for women, men and children, home entertaining and decor, along with luxury travel packages and fantastic offers on local services and experiences. Since Gilt Groupe’s November 2007 launch, Alexandra has been featured in Forbes, Fortune, Crain’s, The Wall Street Journal, Women’s Wear Daily, InStyle, The Los Angeles Times and The New York Observer in addition to on-air appearances on ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC. Prior to co-founding Gilt Groupe, Alexandra oversaw retail operations at Bulgari, managing 15 North American stores and managed Leather Goods Sales Planning for Louis Vuitton North America. She began her career working for three years in investment banking at Merrill Lynch predominately based in London. She subsequently worked as a consultant for retail guru Marvin Traub at Financo Inc. Alexandra holds a B.A. from Harvard College where she graduated Magna Cum Laude and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. Alexandra speaks five languages. She lives in New York City, her hometown, with her husband and young son.
I am on my 10th career. Past work life includes buyer at Macy’s, ran a company in the rag trade, spearheaded sales of a start- up magazine/e-zine/events company in Silicon Alley, chaired MOUSE (Making Opportunities in Upgrading Schools and Education) a non-profit organization focused on technology in inner-city schools, sat on a variety of profit (start-up) and non- profit boards, sat on my kids school board/executive board for years and have been involved with more real estate transactions from beginning to end than I care to mention.
Currently I am involved with a variety of start-ups from advisor to investor. The companies are Curbed (Eater/Racked), Food52, Red Stamp, Ricks Picks, Hot Bread Kitchen, Gotham Gym, The Moon Group and MOUSE. I am also an investor in a few restaurants and an early supporter of the Highline project.
I have been blogging for over seven years under the name Gotham Gal. Love to bake, cook, throw a good party, travel, read, collect art, do the crossword and stay on top of what’s happening all over the world and particularly NYC.
My most successful venture is being married to my best friend Fred and raising my three kids, Jessica, Emily and Josh.