speaker lineup spring 2018
Karen Tse, International Bridges to Justice
Karen Tse, a human rights defender and social entrepreneur, founded International Bridges to Justice (IBJ) a company that protects the basic legal rights of citizens in developing countries. IBJ works to ensure that all receive their right to competent legal representation, the right to be protected from cruel and unusual punishment, and the right to a fair trial.
Adam Braun, Pencils of Promise
Adam Braun is founder of MissionU and Pencils for Promise and author of a best-selling book. Pencils for Promise builds schools and increases educational opportunities in the developing world. They have built nearly 500 schools and have over 70 thousand students.
Ella Peinovich, Soko
Ella Peinovich is founder of Soko, a pioneering ethical fast fashion brand that brings handmade jewelry to the international fashion consumer. Soko has created a “virtual factory” through which independent artisan entrepreneurs can use their mobile phones to connect to Soko in an ethical and transparent way.
Sakena Yacoobi, Afghan Institute of Learning
Sakena Yacoobi is founder and director of the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL). AIL is a woman-led NGO that advocates for the rights of children, women, and education. She is also co-founder of Vice President of Creating Hope International. Sakena is a Skoll Social Entrepreneur, Schwab Social Entrepreneur, Ashoka fellow and was nominated as one of 1,000 women for the Nobel Peace Prize.
David Mikkelsen, Refunite
David Mikkelsen co-founded Refunite, an organization that connects refugees to their families by using collaborative technology. Before Refunite, most family tracing programs were done through pen and paper and the tedious process led to low success. Now over 20 countries have Refunite mobile project and they have over 9,349,112 total searched. There goal is to connect 1 million forcibly displaced people by the end of this year.
Gregg Treinish, Adventure Scientists
Gregg Treinish is the founder and executive director of Adventure Scientists, a nonprofit organization based in Bozeman, MT that equips partners with data collected from the outdoors that are crucial to addressing environmental challenges. By leveraging the skills of the outdoor adventure community, Adventure Scientists are able to gather difficult-to-obtain data at any scale, in any environment. In 2017, he was named an Ashoka Fellow.
Yuja Chang, Aira
Yuja Chang is the co-founder of Aira, an on-demand service designed to bring independence and mobility to the blind. With a keen interest in applying creativity and expertise in technology to design innovations that improve the lives of others, Yuja helps develop transformative remote assistive technology that connects the blind with a network of certified agents via wearable smart glasses and an augmented reality dashboard that allows agents to see what the blind person sees in real time.
Ruth Shapiro, Centre for Asian Philanthropy
Ruth Shapiro is the Chief Executive of the Centre for Asian Philanthropy and Society (CAPS). CAPS identifies and disseminates best practices, models, policies, and strategies that can contribute to positive system change in the social investment sector across Asia.
Shapiro is the Editor of The Real Problem Solvers, a book about social entrepreneurship in America, and received her doctorate from Stanford University.
Ohad Elhelo, Our Generation Speaks
Ohad Elhelo is the founder and executive director of Our Generation Speaks, a business incubator based at Brandeis that brings together Israeli and Palestinian entrepreneurs. The idea for Our Generation Speaks aims to create joint startups between Israelis and Palestinians, where they work, socialize and live together in a spirit of friendship and professionalism.
Aerica Banks, BEACON
Aerica Banks leads Google’s sponsorship of BEACON, the campaign to make Washington, D.C. the most supportive ecosystem for women entrepreneurs in the United States. She is the COO of the Asian Google Network, Co-lead for the DC chapter of the Black Google Network, and acts as liaison to the black small business community for the DC region. Additionally, she is on the patent strategy team in Google’s DC office, where she monitors the legislative and legal patent landscape and integrates diversity initiatives into Google’s patent strategy.