MoMA Research & Development was established with the goal of exploring the potential and responsibility of museums – MoMA in particular – as public actors, with the vision of establishing our institutions as the R&D departments of society. Part of this initiative is a series of intimate salons that tackle themes relevant both within and beyond the museum walls, and whose goal it is to generate a lively discussion that will not only inform the museums and its program, but also the wider conversation in the world outside. To do justice to this ambitious goal, we invite experts from fields as diverse as science, philosophy, literature, music, film, journalism, and politics to contribute their perspective to the issue at stake.
EatTogether is a concept developed by President’s Choice® (PC), a Canadian brand which includes a wide range of grocery and household products. Developed in the mid-80s their idea has been to provide unique high quality products to Canadians. President’s Choice® (PC) developed #EatTogether to celebrate joining communities, friends, and families for a simple meal that sparks the values of healthy eating and togetherness.
Brock Bastian is an Associate Professor in the School of Psychological Sciences at the University of Melbourne. He is trained as a social psychologist and his research broadly focuses on the topics of ethics and well-being, often focusing on questions such as why promoting happiness may have a downside, the cultural factors leading to depression, and why valuing our negative and painful experiences in life is a critical pathway to achieving happiness. His work has been featured in outlets such as The Economist, The New Yorker, TIME, New Scientist, Scientific American, Harvard Business Review, and The Huffington Post, among many others. He has been the recipient of the Wegner Theoretical Innovation Prize, and his contribution to psychology has been recognized by the Australian Psychological Society and Society of Australasian Social Psychologists early career researcher awards. His first book, The Other Side of Happiness, was published in January 2018.
Danielle Belgrave is a machine learning researcher in the Healthcare Research Group at Microsoft Research, in Cambridge (UK). Her research focuses on integrating medical domain knowledge to develop statistical machine learning models to understand disease progression and heterogeneity. She obtained a BSc in Mathematics and Statistics from London School of Economics, an MSc in Statistics from University College London and a PhD in the area of machine learning in health applications from the University of Manchester. Prior to joining Microsoft, she was a Medical Research Council Fellow at Imperial College London.
Homi K. Bhabha is the Anne F. Rothenberg Professor of the Humanities and Director of the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard University. He is also Senior Advisor on the Humanities to the University President and Provost. A prominent literary and cultural critic, Homi is the author of numerous works exploring colonial and postcolonial theory, cultural change and power, and cosmopolitanism, among other themes. Born in Bombay, Homi was educated and taught in British universities, before moving to the University of Chicago and ultimately Harvard. Developing the work of psychoanalytic and post-structuralist thinkers, Homi has been a profoundly original voice in the study of globalized cultures.
Sara Bodinson is Director, Interpretation, Research & Digital Learning at The Museum of Modern Art. She joined the Museum in 2000, coordinating internships for college and graduate students as well as programs and web initiatives for teens. In 2009, she began to oversee the Museum’s interpretive planning process and the development of resources including labels, audio, apps, games, and participatory spaces, as well as qualitative visitor research and evaluation. In 2015, her responsibilities expanded to oversee digital learning initiatives, including online courses and podcasts. Bodinson holds a BA in art history and film studies from Smith College and an MA in art history from Hunter College, where she wrote her thesis about the Arab Image Foundation. She is a member of the executive committee of the Professional Organization of Women in the Arts and the Smith College Museum of Art Visiting Committee.
Yarimar Bonilla is Associate Professor, Anthropology and Caribbean Studies at Rutgers University. An accomplished scholar and a prominent public intellectual, Yarimar is a leading voice on questions of Caribbean and Latinx politics. Her second book project American Disaster — for which she was named a 2018 Carnegie Fellow — examines the politics of recovery in Puerto Rico after hurricane Maria and the forms of political and social trauma that the storm revealed. She is developing a multi-media political atlas of the Caribbean entitled, Visualizing Sovereignty and is a principal collaborator in the #PuertoRicoSyllabus project. She has been the recipient of multiple grants and awards from the National Science Foundation, the Wenner Gren Foundation, the Carnegie Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, the Chateaubriand Fellowship Program, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Carter G. Woodson Institute for Afro-American and African Studies at the University of Virginia, and the W.E.B. Dubois Institute at Harvard University. She is currently Section Editor of Public Anthropologies for the journal American Anthropologist, and serves on the editorial committee for Small Axe: A Caribbean Platform for Criticism.
Hillary Brenhouse is a Montreal-born writer focused on women, religion and culture, and alternative living arrangements. She is also the co-editor-in-chief of Guernica, a magazine of global art and politics, and curates its special themed issues. She is also a senior editor for The Guardian. She’s published in The New Yorker online, The Oxford American, TIME, the New York Times, and elsewhere. And she’s edited for The Guardian, Topic, and The Nation, among others. She edits nonfiction manuscripts on a freelance basis, too.
Kerry Brodie is the Founder and Executive Director of Emma’s Torch. Founded in 2016, Emma’s Torch provides refugees with culinary training, ESL classes and interview preparation, setting them up for successful employment in an industry in which their cultural heritage and cuisine can be celebrated. Kerry is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education, where she won the Wusthof Award for Leadership and was named ACCSC Graduate of the Year. She holds a Masters in Government from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelors in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University. She was named one of City & State’s 40 Under 40 in 2018.
Andrew Brown is Associate Director of Research at the Van Alen Institute in New York. A researcher trained in empirical analysis of programs and public policy, Andrew oversees projects that explore the relationship between mental well-being and cities, and develops workshops that convene stakeholders to design strategies to urgent problems. In 2017, Andrew coordinated a workshop on potential mental health impacts of the impending shutdown of one of New York’s busiest subway lines, convening academic institutions, public health professionals, issue advocacy groups, community boards and other organizations of concerned citizens. Insights from the workshop were worked into a health impact assessment conducted by students at Cornell University, which provided recommendations for addressing health concerns during the subway disruption. Andrew received his Master of Public Administration from the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University.
Susan Burton is the Founder and Executive Director of A New Way of Life Reentry Project, an award-winning organization that has transformed the lives of more than one thousand formerly incarcerated women. Her memoir, Becoming Ms. Burton: From Prison to Recovery to Leading the Fight for Incarcerated Women (2017), included a foreword by Michelle Alexander, was the winner of an NAACP Image Award, and was named a “Best Book of 2017” by the Chicago Public Library. Susan has received the Citizen Activist Award from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government (2010), and was named a CNN Hero (2010) and a Purpose Prize winner (2012). Most recently she was chosen by the National Women’s History Project as one of its honorees for Women’s History Month in the United States (2018).
Maureen Craig is Assistant Professor of Psychology at New York University. Her work focuses on understanding social and political attitudes among members of different social groups (e.g., groups based on race, gender, sexuality) from dual perspectives: those of traditionally-stigmatized groups as well as societally-dominant groups. For example, some of her research explores the conditions under which members of one stigmatized group perceive other stigmatized groups as potential allies, as potential competitors, or as any other outgroup. Another line of work examines how exposure to information about diversity affects majority and minority group members’ intergroup attitudes, social categorization, and political attitudes. She also has interests in how category and feature-based stereotyping may operate independently or in combination to affect downstream judgments of other people.
Prajna Desai is an art historian, poet, and independent curator. She writes about visual politics, print culture, and built form at the intersection of cultural history and histories of science. She has a Masters in English Literature from the University of Mumbai and a PhD in History of Art and Architecture from Yale University. Currently the Asia Research Fellow in the global research initiative at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, she was previously Visiting Professor at Stern College for Women, New York; College of Staten Island, CUNY, New York; University of Southern California, Los Angeles. Her writing has appeared in a number of publications including Artforum, Frieze, Aperture, Art India, Guernica, and Open Democracy. She has led self-initiated curatorial projects across various media at Project 88, Mumbai (2013, 2016, 2017); Delfina Foundation London (2014) Dharavi Biennale, Mumbai (2014-15), and Focus Photography Festival (2017).
Karthik Dinakar is a research scientist and Reid Hoffman Fellow at MIT who started the Applied Machine Learning and the Cambridge Computational Clinical Psychology Org interest groups at MIT and Harvard. He is interested in large scale bayesian data science - scalable machine learning, probabilistic graphical models, human-in-the-loop computation and fail-soft computing. Before his work at MIT he ‘machine learnified’ large scale query-entity relationships for the Bing search engine’s knowledge graph Satori. He has previously held positions at Deustche Bank and at Yahoo R&D, where he worked with a team on the Enthusiast Platform. At Carnegie Mellon University he studied human-computer interaction and machine learning.
Marit Gundersen Engeset is Associate Professor, School of Business, Department of Business, Strategy and Political Sciences Campus Kongsberg, The University of South-Eastern Norway. Her research interests are in consumer behavior, focusing on consumer value and consumer creativity. She has had several research projects focusing on the tourism in cooperation with travel companies in Norway and Canada.
Domenic Esposito is a visual artist and activist who has gained recent attention for his Purdue Spoon (2018) sculptural protest work. In June 2018 the artist and his gallerist Fernando Luis Alvarez delivered an 800-pound “heroin” spoon outside the headquarters of Purdue Pharma, the makers of OxyContin. The intervention followed public outrage amidst the opioid crisis and the role of the Sackler family, as well as Dominic’s personal experience of his brother’s struggle with heroin addiction.
Mark Fettes is Associate Professor, Faculty of Education and Associate Director, Imaginative Education Research Group (IERG). He is also the President of the World Esperanto Association, an organization that works to promote the Esperanto language while also stimulating discussion of the world language problem and to call attention to the necessity of equality among languages. He has previously worked with First Nations organizations around issues of language maintenance and revitalization. This in turn is related to his long-term interest in cultural diversity and intercultural communication, and particularly the management of multilingualism in a globalized world.
Willem Frankenhuis is Associate Professor of Developmental Psychology, Behavioural Science Institute at Radboud University, The Netherlands. He studies how individuals tailor their cognition and behavior to local environmental conditions. His core activity is the development of a research program designed to discover and leverage the social-cognitive skills and abilities that might be enhanced in harsh and unpredictable environments. He has previously held research positions the Central European University, Budapest, Hungary and was the co-director for the Research Network on Adaptations to Childhood Stress (with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation).
Ulrich Furbach is a retired Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of Koblenz and Adjunct Professor at Vellore Institute of Technology in India. He is co-owner of wizAI solutions GmbH. His research interests include knowledge management, automated reasoning, multiagent systems, and cognitive science. Ulrich obtained his Diploma and Habilitation in informatics from the Technical University of Munich and his PhD from the University of Bundeswehr. He directed the Automated Reasoning Group at the TU Munich from 1987 to 1990 and the Institute for Knowledge Media in Koblenz from 2000 to 2003. He was president of CADE Inc., he was a board member of the European Coordinating Committee for Artificial Intelligence and he was speaker of the German AI Society. He is co-founder and owner of the spin-off company wizAI (www.wizai.com), which develops knowledge management systems, information systems and solutions for digital signage.
The Guerrilla Girls are feminist activist artists. They wear gorilla masks in public and use facts, humor and outrageous visuals to expose gender and ethnic bias as well as corruption in politics, art, film, and pop culture. Their anonymity keeps the focus on the issues, and away from who they might be: they could be anyone and they are everywhere. They believe in an intersectional feminism that fights discrimination and supports human rights for all people and all genders. They undermine the idea of a mainstream narrative by revealing the understory, the subtext, the overlooked, and the downright unfair. They have done hundreds of projects (posters, actions, books, videos, stickers) all over the world. They also do interventions and exhibitions at museums, blasting them on their own walls for their bad behavior and discriminatory practices, including their 2015 stealth projection on the façade of the Whitney Museum about income inequality and the super rich hijacking art.
HAIR CLUB is a collaborative, research-based initiative exploring the multivalent subject of Hair in our wider culture. HAIR CLUB was founded by three graduate students at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago: Suzanne Gold, Kelly Lloyd, and Michal Lynn Shumate.
Michael Hardt is an American philosopher and a Professor of Literature at Duke University. His writings explore the new forms of domination in the contemporary world as well as the social movements and other forces of liberation that resist them. In the Empire trilogy – Empire (2000), Multitude (2004), and Commonwealth (2009) – he and Antonio Negri investigate the political, legal, economic, and social aspects of globalization. They also study the political and economic alternatives that could lead to a more democratic world. Their pamphlet Declaration (2012) attempts to articulate the significance of the encampments and occupations that began in 2011, from Tahrir Square to Zuccotti Park, and to recognize the primary challenges faced by emerging democratic social movements today.
Hawa Hassan is the Founder and CEO of Basbaas, a unique line of Somali hot sauces and chutneys available in the U.S. Born in Mogadishu, Somalia, Hawa escaped the civil war by going with her mother and four siblings to a U.N. refugee camp in Kenya. After a year in the camp, her mother was eventually able to get an apartment and launch a small business. When Hawa turned seven, her mother seized an opportunity to send her to Seattle, Washington, to live with a family friend. It would be fifteen years before they saw each other again. When they eventually reunited, the two rediscovered their shared love of cooking. Basbaas reflects Hawa’s personal passion for her culture and her entrepreneurial streak. And of course, it’s an homage to her mother.
Pablo Helguera has been Director of Adult and Education Programs at The Museum of Modern Art since 2007. Previously, he was Senior Manager of Adult Programs at The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (1998–2005), and Manager of Public Programs at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (1996–98), among other positions. Over the course of a 20-year career in museums, Helguera has conceptualized or directed more than 700 public programs for over 150 exhibitions. As an artist, Helguera has exhibited and performed widely in international museums and biennials. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, Creative Capital and Franklin Furnace grants, and was the first recipient of the International Award of Participatory Art of the Emilia Romagna Region in Italy (2011). He obtained his PhD from Kingston University, London, where he has been visiting professor since 2004.
Yasmin Hernandez is a Brooklyn-born and Puerto Rico-based artist and writer whose work is rooted in individual and collective liberation practices. Yasmin studied art at Cornell University and served as an artist educator with Taller Puertorriqueño, Philadelphia; El Museo del Barrio, East Harlem; Studio Museum, Harlem. She has also taught art to Pre K-12th grade students in Aguadilla. In 2017 she was invited to exhibit as part of Occupy Museum’s Debt Fair installation at The Whitney Biennial, with a segment focused on the Puerto Rico debt crisis. She has subsequently used her art in aid efforts following the twin hurricanes of Irma and María.
Dafna Hirsch is a Professor of Sociology at the Open University of Israel. An expert on Jewish society and culture in Mandate Palestine, her research includes aspects of culture from everyday life in addition to cultural theory, food studies, gender and ethnic relations, racism and racial thought, and historical anthropology. Additionally, she is the author of ‘Hummus: The making of an Israeli culinary cult.’
Arthur Huang is the founder and CEO of Miniwiz, a company dedicated to upcycling and consumer trash and industrial waste reuse innovation. With a background as a structural engineer and an architect, he is an innovator of loop economy building material solutions. Under Arthur’s leadership, Miniwiz has been awarded the Financial Times’ Earth Award (2010), The Wall Street Journal’s Asian Innovation Award (2011), and the Technology Pioneers title by the World Economic Forum (2015). Personally, Arthur has been named Emerging Explorer, National Geographic (2016); Technology Pioneer, World Economic Forum (2015); IDEA GOLD Award, Chicago (2013); Mayor Bloomberg’s New York Venture Fellowship, New York (2012); Wall Street Journal Innovation Award, Hong Kong (2011); 40 under 40 Design Talent Award, Perspective, Asia (2011), amongst others. Arthur holds a B.A., Architecture from Cornell University and an M.A., Architecture from Harvard University, Graduate School of Design.
Keith Humphreys is the Esther Ting Memorial Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. A member of the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute at Stanford University, he is also a CIGH Fellow at the Stanford Center for Innovation in Global Health, and an affiliated faculty member at Stanford Law School. He has formerly held positions Acting Director, VA Center for Health Care Evaluation (2010 - 2011), Senior Policy Advisor, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (2009 - 2010), Chairman, Faculty Advisory Committee, Stanford Health Policy Forum (2007 - Present), Affiliate, Center for Health Policy, Stanford University (2003 - Present), and Director, VA Program Evaluation and Resource Center (2001 - 2009). His honors include Distinguished Contribution to the Public Interest, American Psychological Association (2009); Honorary Member, Psychiatry Journal Club, Ibn Rushd Hospital, Baghdad (2008); Public Health Book of the Year, British Medical Association (2010); Honorary Professor of Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry at the Maudsley, King’s College London (2009-).
INFRINGE is a platform dedicated to hair culture. Created by Anthony and Pat Mascolo, INFRINGE explores the world of hair across creative disciplines.
Dr. Leon James is Professor, Department of Psychology, College of Social Sciences, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. He is interested in driving psychology, information literacy, discourse analysis, substantive dualism, and theistic psychology. His recent work includes the development of taxonomic inventories of driver behaviors in the affective, cognitive, and sensorimotor domains in addition to systems suitable for driver assessment and driver education. He maintains two personal websites where he publishes study materials and research reports for scholars, students, safety officials, driving school instructors, and government agencies relating to transportation and traffic safety and education. He received his PhD, Psychology at McGill University in 1962.
Janice Kamrin is an Associate Curator at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Janice holds a BA from Bryn Mawr College and a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests include Middle Kingdom tomb art and the archaeology of Thebes. Before coming to The Met, Janice lived in Egypt, where she directed several projects at the Egyptian Museum, Cairo, and worked with the head of the Antiquities Service.
L.A. Kauffman has spent more than thirty-five years as an activist, journalist, historian, strategist, grassroots organizer. Most recently L.A. is the author of Direct Action: Protest and the Reinvention of American Radicalism (2017). L.A.’s writings on organizing and social movement history have been published in The Guardian, The Nation, The Progressive, Mother Jones, Village Voice, n+1, The Baffler, and many other outlets. L.A. was a central strategist of the two-year direct action campaign that saved more than 100 New York City community gardens from bulldozing in 1999. L.A. was the mobilizing coordinator for the massive anti-war protests of 2003 and 2004, which remain some of the largest demonstrations in U.S. history. More recently, L.A. was a key organizer of successful campaigns to save two iconic New York City public libraries from being demolished and replaced by luxury towers. L.A. is currently involved in a range of organizing projects to oppose the Trump presidency.
Shigetaka Kurita is an artist and designer who created the first emoji in 1999 for the Japanese telecom giant NTT DoCoMo. While the system offered emails, they were restricted to 250 characters, so emoji were a way to say more in a limited space. While emoji were immediately copied by other Japanese telecoms companies, the symbols were not standardized, meaning they could not be used across different networks. Additionally, they stayed fairly limited to Japan until 2010 when they were incorporated into Unicode, the standard that governs the software coding of text. That year, 722 emoji were released on both iPhone and Android. In 2016, the Museum of Modern Art in New York acquired 176 miniature drawings of faces, objects, and abstract places, etc.
Dr. Matthias Laschke is a postdoctoral fellow in Professor Dr. Marc Hassenzahl’s Ubiquitous Design working group at the University of Siegen. Matthias studied Industrial Design at the University of Duisburg Essen and completed his doctorate at the Folkwang University of the Arts with a focus on Human-Computer Interaction. His research focuses on the design of transformational objects (ie, pleasurable troublemakers) and persuasive technologies in the areas of sustainability, procrastination, willpower, adherence to the theory, or prudence in traffic. He also deals with the field of experience design and the socio-cultural influence of technology in everyday life. He has participated on a number of research projects, that have addressed themes such as mobility (BMW Research and Technology), travel (Deutsche Bahn AG), health (Siemens), and sustainable consumption and behavioral change (Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy).
Tina Lasisi is a PhD Student in the Jablonski Lab at Penn State University. Tina is interested in the evolution of human phenotypic variation among populations. Her doctoral research will focus on the evolution of human hair variation. She completed her Bachelor of Arts in Archaeology & Anthropology at the University of Cambridge where she wrote a thesis entitled “Human Hair Diversity: Quantitative Variation in Hair Fibre Shape & Pigmentation”.
Amanda Lawrence is an English actress who has received acclaim for her recent role as the Angel in Tony Kushner’s Angels in America on New York’s Broadway at The Neil Simon Theatre and in London’s West End at the National Theatre. She has appeared in more than fifteen films, including titles such as Pan (2015) and Suffragette (2015), in addition to work on a number of television shows.
Jordyn Lexton is the CEO and Founder of Drive Change, a food truck business that would be a platform for a paid fellowships for young adults returning home from jail. Founded in 2014, Drive Change was created in response to the racial and class injustice in the criminal justice system that Jordyn witnessed first hand as an English teacher at Rikers Island High School. Understanding food as a unifier, Jordyn believed that food and food workplaces could connect people and provide pathways to employment.
Hugo Liu, Ph.D. is the founder of Artadvisor, a tech startup building the world’s leading art valuation technology. There are hundreds of factors that influence an artist’s market, from auction results and critical reception to the reputation of an artist’s gallery. Artadvisor applies machine learning and taste-based AI to distill these hundreds of factors down into a concise and actionable snapshot of over 50,000 artists.
Graham MacIndoe is a photographer and an adjunct Professor of Photography at Parsons, The New School. A former heroin addict, Graham has spoken about art and media depictions of addiction at TEDx Stanford, Aperture, The New School, and Columbia University. His photographs have been published and written about in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Financial Times Magazine, Harpers, Fast Company, Rolling Stone, I.D., Vice, and Esquire. His work is also in the collections of The Scottish National Galleries, The New York Public Library, The British Council, The V&A Museum, The Museum of Fine Arts Florida, The British Museum of Film and Television and various private collections. Born in Scotland, Graham holds at BFA in painting from the Edinburgh College of Art and an MFA in photography from the Royal College of Art in London.
James Keir Cecil Martin is Associate Professor, Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Oslo. He is the author of a number of academic and media publications on Papua New Guinea and the global economy. He was formerly a Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester and is a recipient of the Royal Anthropological Institute’s Sutasoma Award for work likely to make an outstanding contribution to social anthropology. He is currently working on the growth of psychotherapy among new middle class populations globally and is a practicing member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.
John McGeehan is a British research scientist and Professor of Structural Biology at the University of Portsmouth. As a Co-Director of the Institute of Biomedical & Biomolecular Sciences he leads a research team on enzyme engineering, with a recent focus on manufacturing an enzyme to break down plastic. He holds a BSc (Hons) degree in Microbiology from the University of Glasgow, a PhD in Virology from the Medical Research Council Virology Unit, Glasgow, and obtained a Postdoctoral Fellowship with the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Grenoble, France in the group of Dr Raimond Ravelli. He has previously held a position in the Structural Biology Laboratories at the University of York.
Raffaele Mollica is a master wig-maker whose flagship hand-crafted wig, now known as the “Ralf,” has been celebrated in publications such as Vogue, The New York Times, and People, among others, and on television on both HBO and PBS. Having emigrated from Sicily in 1956, he attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. He subsequently broke into the fashion scene and became the in-house wig-maker for Vidal Sassoon, Kenneth and then Elizabeth Arden. In 1975 he founded Raffaele Mollica, Inc., a small, family-oriented business dedicated to making hand-crafted custom wigs and hairpieces for both local customers as well as serving a global clientele.
Enrique Morones is the Founder of Border Angels, an all volunteer, non profit 501©(3) organization that advocates for human rights, humane immigration reform, and social justice with a special focus on the US-Mexican border. Border Angels works to dispel the various myths surrounding immigration in the United States, in addition to providing education and migrant outreach including water drops in the desert, food distribution, and free consulting to migrant families in both Spanish and English, amongst other initiatives. Enrique was honored with Mexico’s Othli’s Award and in 2009 received the Mexican Human Rights Award from President Felipe Calderon. Additionally, he has been named one of Hispanic Business Magazine’s “most influential” Latinos in the United States of America as well as one of San Diego Magazine’s “50 People to Watch.”
Therese Nelson is the Founder and culinary curator of Black Culinary History. Founded in 2008, Therese created the organization to connect chefs of color, to preserve black heritage throughout the African culinary diaspora, to promote and share the work of her colleagues, and to preserve the legacy being constructed by black chefs for this next generation. Throughout her culinary career, Therese has worked her way through the kitchens of major hotel groups from Hilton and Marriott to Orient Express and Four Seasons. As a recipe consultant for Get Em’ Girl Inc. brands she helped create the cookbooks The Get Em’ Girl’s Guide to the Power of Cuisine and The Get Em Girl’s Guide to the Perfect Get Together.
Hawk Newsome is an activist and a prominent leader of New Civil Rights Movement. In 2013, Hawk joined the Justice League NYC and has engaged in their national campaign to fix the broken criminal justice system. Previously to his work with the Black Lives Matter Movement, he was a County Committee Member of New York’s District 79. He has previously worked as a paralegal and later as Special Projects Coordinator for the office of the Honorable Robert T. Johnson at the Bronx County Office of the District Attorney. As the DA’s liaison to the community, he worked with N.Y.C.H.A tenants’ associations and social service organizations throughout the Bronx. Hawk attended Howard University Law School, Washington, DC. and completed his Jurist Doctorate at Touro Law School, Long Island, NY.
Natalia Oberti Noguera is the Founder and CEO of Pipeline Angels, a network of women investors that is changing the face of angel investing and creating capital for women and non-binary femme social entrepreneurs. Natalia is also Creator & Host of Pitch Makeover, a podcast on startups, pitching, investing, and #morevoices (women, non-binary people, and men of color). She holds a BA in Comparative Literature & Economics from Yale, as well as an MA in Organizational Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. She serves on the boards of Walker’s Legacy, Women 2.0, and iRelaunch. Inc. Magazine selected Natalia as one of “The Most Impressive Women Entrepreneurs of 2016,” Latina.com included her in their list of “25 Latinas Who Shine in Tech,” and Women’s eNews recognized her as one of 21 Leaders for the 21st Century for 2012. StartOut, a network of LGBTQ entrepreneurs, honored Natalia with the 2017 Nixon Peabody Trailblazer Award.“
Christopher K. Ober is an American/Canadian materials scientist and engineer. As of 2018, he is Francis Norwood Bard Professor of Materials Engineering at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, Cornell University and Director of the Cornell NanoScale Science and Technology Facility. As an expert in the synthesis of precision functional polymers, his current research focuses on biology-materials interface, including the fabrication of 2D and 3D nanostructures, high resolution lithography, and anti-fouling materials. Amongst his many distinctions, he has been named an American Chemical Society Fellow; Society of Polymer Science Japan, International Prize; American Chemical Society, Polymeric Materials Science, and Engineering Division Fellow.
Amanda Palmer is an American singer, songwriter, musician, author, performance artist, and former member of the acclaimed punk cabaret duo The Dresden Dolls. In 2008, she released her debut solo album, Who Killed Amanda Palmer. She left her record label in 2010, and self-released Amanda Palmer Performs The Popular Hits of Radiohead On Her Magical Ukelele and Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under, amongst other projects. She is known as “The Social Media Queen of Rock-N-Roll” for her intimate engagement with her fans via her blog, Tumblr, and Twitter (800,000+ followers), and has been at the vanguard of using both “direct to fan” and “pay what you want” (patronage) business models to build and run her business. Her book The Art of Asking (2014), was developed from her acclaimed TED Talk and subsequently became a New York Times Best Seller.
Mary Jo Pham is a former U.S. diplomat, who was involved in several successful gastrodiplomacy campaigns. In particular, she has written extensively on South Korean gastrodiplomacy as a case study. She has also handled corporate and policy communications across APAC for 10+ countries. Additionally, she is a two-time winner of U.S. national journalism awards, as well as the recipient of The Franklin Award (2016) and The Glenn Munro Award for Outstanding Potential and Leadership (2013) by the U.S. Department of State.
Perc Pineda is the Chief Economist of Plastics Industry Association, where he serves as the organization’s primary staff expert on economics, statistics and industry research. Perc received his Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Philosophy in Economics from the New School of Social Research in New York. He also holds a Master of Arts in Economics from the American University in Washington, D.C. and a Master in International Management from the University of Maryland. Before joining PLASTICS, Perc was the Senior Economist of the Credit Union National Association, where he tracked macroeconomic trends, conducted economic research, wrote articles for industry publications, and interfaced with the media.
Sheetal Prajapati is a creative practitioner working across the field of art and public engagement as an educator, artist, curator and administrator. She is current on faculty at the School of Visual Arts, New York in the MFA Fine Arts program. Previously, Sheetal served as the first Director of Public Engagement at Pioneer Works in Red Hook, Brooklyn. She has also held positions at The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. As an artist, Sheetal has held residencies at the Wassaic Project, Haystack Mountain School of Craft, and the The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, among others. She received a Bachelor of Arts in History and Gender Studies from Northwestern University and a Master of Arts in Arts Administration and Policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Michael Preysman is the founder and CEO of Everlane, a direct-to-consumer design brand based in San Francisco, California. Inspired by the lack of affordable options for quality basics, Preysman founded Everlane in 2011 to provide consumers with well-designed, high-quality clothing and accessories at an approachable price point while simultaneously encouraging them to stay informed and educated on product origins. By cutting out the middleman and openly sharing the costs behind each product, Preysman has become a distinguished leader in the transparent retail space, and a disruptor of the luxury clothing industry. Prior to starting Everlane, Preysman was an investor at Elevation Partners for both their New York and Menlo Park offices investing in media and entertainment companies.
Ravi Ragbir is a community activist and a nationally recognized leader in the immigrant rights movement. Originally from Trinidad and Tobago, Ravi’s personal struggle with the immigration system, inspired him to become a dedicated community educator, spokesperson, and advocate. A former volunteer for the Families for Freedom, he went on to serve as Chair of the Board of Directors for the organization where he trained other community organizers and elected officials about immigration issues and how to reform the deportation system. In 2010, Ravi became a full-time organizer for the New Sanctuary Coalition of New York City, one of the largest coalitions in the city focused on immigrant rights, with over 20 faith-based and supporting organizations, representing over 3,000 New Yorkers.
Emma Ramadan is a literary translator based in Providence, Rhode Island. She attended Brown University and later earned her Master’s degree in Cultural Translation at the American University of Paris. She specializes in translating French to English, and has received various honors and awards for her work, having been the recipient of an NEA Translation Fellowship, a PEN/Heim grant, and a Fulbright scholarship. In 2015 she completed a Fulbright Fellowship in Marrakech, Morocco, where she catalogued and translated the archives of the late Moroccan author Ahmed Bouanani.
Ajay Revels is a strategic design researcher who loves great questions. She works at the intersection of biology, anthropology, product design and systems thinking to create products that are pleasant to use, profitable and, when possible, pro-environment. As a user experience (UX) consultant with 17 years of experience turning insights into actionable maps and mockups for new online products, services, or go-to-market plans, she has worked with design agencies like Razorfish, HUGE and Flow Interactive and corporate clients like Panasonic, CNN, Merrill Lynch, TD Ameritrade and Barclays.
Jennifer Robinson is an Australian human rights lawyer and barrister at Doughty Street Chambers in London. She has acted in key free speech and human rights cases before courts and tribunals around the world, including the European Court of Human Rights and UN special mechanisms, and has conducted human rights missions for the International Bar Association. She founded the Bertha Justice Initiative, a global fellowship program supporting the next generation of human rights lawyers, and International Lawyers for West Papua, which advises the West Papuan movement for self-determination. Robinson is a founding board member of the Grata Fund, Australia’s first independent public interest litigation fund, and serves on the boards of Article 19, the Bureau for Investigative Journalism and the Commonwealth Lawyers Association.
Paul Rockower is the Executive Director of Levantine Public Diplomacy, an independent public diplomacy organization. Paul has over ten years experience in the field of communications and public diplomacy, with a vast and varied career in both the academic and practitioner domains. A leading expert in the burgeoning field of gastrodiplomacy, he previously served as a Press Officer for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, directing the media and public diplomacy of the Consulate General of Israel to the Southwest. Amongst other roles, he has also been a Visiting Fellow at the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, where he researched Taiwan’s public diplomacy outreach.
Noliwe Rooks, is an author and professor at Cornell University whose work explores race and gender. An interdisciplinary scholar, her work explores how race and gender both impact and are impacted by popular culture, social history and political life in the United States. The author of four books, numerous articles, essays and OpEd’s.
Jeffrey Sachs is a world-renowned professor of economics, leader in sustainable development, senior UN advisor, bestselling author, and syndicated columnist whose monthly newspaper columns appear in more than 100 countries. He is the co-recipient of the 2015 Blue Planet Prize, the leading global prize for environmental leadership, and has twice been named among Time Magazine’s 100 most influential world leaders. He is currently Professor, School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, and previously served as the Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University from 2002 to 2016. Prior to Columbia, he spent over twenty years as a professor at Harvard University, where he served as the Director of the Center for International Development and the Galen L. Stone Professor of International Trade. His work on ending poverty, overcoming macroeconomic instability, promoting economic growth, fighting hunger and disease, and promoting sustainable environmental practices has taken him to more than 125 countries.
Anwar Shaikh is Professor of Economics at the Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science at the New School University, New York. He is an Associate Editor of the Cambridge Journal of Economics, and was a Senior Scholar and member of the Macro Modeling Team at the Levy Economics Institute at Bard College from 2000-2005. In 2014 he was awarded the NordSud International Prize for Literature and Science from Italy’s Fondazione Pescarabruzzo. His intellectual biography appears in the most recent edition of the book Eminent Economists II published by Cambridge University Press (2014). His most recent book is Capitalism: Competition, Conflict, Crises (Oxford University Press, 2016). He has written on international trade, finance theory, political economy, econophysics, U.S. macroeconomic policy, the welfare state, growth theory, inflation theory, crisis theory, national and global inequality, and past and current global economic crises.
Salil Shetty joined Amnesty International as the organization’s eighth Secretary General in 2010. A long-term activist on poverty and justice, Salil Shetty leads the movement’s worldwide work to end human rights violations and has spearheaded a significant move of Amnesty International’s work to the global south. Before joining Amnesty International, he was Director of the United Nations Millennium Campaign from 2003 to 2010, credited with significantly increasing awareness of and accountability for the Millennium Development Goals across the world. From 1998 to 2003, Salil Shetty was Chief Executive of ActionAid, a leading international development NGO. Salil Shetty studied at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and at the London School of Economics.
Swedish product designer Simon Skinner has created a collection of afro hair combs that explore the effect of migration on Swedish identity. Called Afropicks, the collection of eight different combs was on show as part of the Hemma Gone Wild exhibition by Swedish Design Moves during this year’s Milan design week.
Studio Swine (Super Wide Interdisciplinary New Explorers) is a collective established in 2011 by Azusa Murakami (JP) and Alexander Groves (UK). Their work straddles between the spheres of sculpture, installations and cinema, blending poetry and research into immersive experiences. The studio adopts an unique approach to each work, drawing on the distinctive resources and vernacular aesthetic of its cultural, historic and economic landscape.
Adam Szymczyk was the Artistic Director of Documenta 14, Athens and Kassel, from 2013 to 2017. Prior to his position at Documenta, he was Director and Chief Curator of the Kunsthalle Basel. He was also the co-curator of the 2008 edition of the Berlin Biennale, and he cofounded the Foksal Gallery Foundation in Warsaw, Poland. In 2011, the Menil Collection in Houston, Texas, gave him the Walter Hopps Award for Curatorial Achievement.
Mickalene Thomas is a multidisciplinary artist whose work draws on art history and popular culture to create a contemporary vision of female sexuality, beauty, and power. Blurring the distinction between object and subject, concrete and abstract, real and imaginary, Thomas constructs complex portraits, landscapes, and interiors to examine how identity, gender, and sense-of-self are informed by the ways women (and “feminine” spaces) are represented in art and popular culture. Thomas received a B.F.A. from the Pratt Institute in 2000 and an M.F.A. from Yale University School of Art 2002. Her work is in numerous international public and private collections, including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Art Institute of Chicago; MoMA PS1, New York; Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York; Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Yale University Art Collection, New Haven, CT; and Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo. Thomas has been awarded multiple prizes and grants, including the USA Francie Bishop Good & David Horvitz Fellow (2015); Anonymous Was A Woman Award (2013); Brooklyn Museum Asher B. Durand Award (2012); and the Timerhi Award for Leadership in the Arts (2010).
Jana Traboulsi is a designer, illustrator, artist, and teacher. Her work focuses on image making as critical commentary, often bridging between the personal and the socio-political. She is the art director of the pan-arab quarterly Bidayat and the Lebanese publishing house Snoubar Bayrout. In 2014 she co-founded Sigil with Khaled Malas, Salim Al-Kadi and Alfred Tarazi. Sigil is an Arab art collective that seeks to explore the marvelous and terrifying metamorphoses of the Arab landscape that is the stake and site of historical and contemporary struggles.
Daveen Trentman is a Co-Founder and Partner of The Soze Agency, a creative agency that consists of artists, strategists, filmmakers, activists, storytellers, immigrants, refugees, organizers, formerly undocumented, digital wizards, masters of design, writers, LGBTQ people, parents, allies and accomplices, that create campaigns, projects and strategies to promote equity and bring attention to important issues. As the Production Director and Curator for The Museum of Drug Policy Pop-Up, Daveen oversaw the initiative as it toured in four countries. She has also led the Truth to Power, the Right of Return Fellowship, which investments in formerly incarcerated artists.
Julia Turshen is the bestselling author of Now & Again (named the Best Cookbook of 2018 by Amazon and an NPR ‘Great Read’), Feed the Resistance (named the Best Cookbook of 2017 by Eater), and Small Victories (named one of the Best Cookbooks of 2016 by the New York Times and NPR). She also hosts the IACP-nominated podcast called ‘Keep Calm and Cook On.’ In addition to having written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, Vogue, and Bon Appétit, amongst others, she sits on the Kitchen Cabinet Advisory Board for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. She is also the founder of Equity At The Table (EATT), an inclusive digital directory of women and non-binary individuals in food.
Mike Tyka, PhD Biophysics is a researcher of machine learning at Google and a science artist who studies the structure and dynamics of protein models. He is the co-founder of ALTSpace, a shared art studio in Seattle, where he creates sculptures of protein molecules. Since 2015 Mike has also begun working with artificial neural networks as an artistic medium and tool. He created some of the first large scale artworks using Iterative DeepDream and collaborated with Refik Anadol to create a pioneering immersive projection installation using Generative Adversarial Networks called Archive Dreaming. His latest generative portraits series “Portraits of Imaginary People” has been shown at ARS Electronica in Linz, at the New Museum in Karuizawa (Japan) and at the Seoul Museum of Art.
James Victore is an author, artist and designer to brave clients. As a creative thought leader, James is a sought after speaker known for his timely wisdom and impassioned views about creativity and its place in the world. He teaches how to illuminate individual gifts in order to find clarity and purpose. His work is represented in the permanent collections of museums worldwide.
Addie Wagenknecht is an artist whose work explores the tension between expression and technology. Seeks to blend conceptual work with forms of hacking and sculpture, her work has been shown at galleries and museums in Vienna, Paris, Istanbul, London, and Eindhoven. In 2016 she collaborated with Chanel and I-D magazine as part of their Sixth Sense series and in 2017 her work was acquired by the Whitney Museum for American Art. Her work has been featured in numerous books, and magazines, such as TIME, Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair, Art in America, and The New York Times. She holds a Masters degree from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University, and has previously held fellowships at Eyebeam Art + Technology Center in New York City, Culture Lab UK, Institute HyperWerk for Postindustrial Design Basel (CH), and The Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University.
Wim Wenders is a film director, writer, and photographer. He is also president of the European Film Academy, and an honorary professor at the University for Television and Film in Munich. He became a member of the Academy of Arts, Berlin in 1984, and holds four honorary doctorates from the Sorbonne, Paris (1989); the Theological Faculty of Fribourg University, Switzerland (1995); the University of Louvain, Belgium (2005); and the Architectural Faculty of the University of Catania, Italy (2010). He is considered one of the most important figures to have emerged from the “New German Cinema” in the 1970s and was a founding member of the German film distribution company “Filmverlag der Autoren.” He received the Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or in 1984 for Paris, Texas, the Golden Lion at the 1982 Venice Film Festival for The State of Things, and won best director at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival for Wings of Desire. He has also been nominated three times for the Academy Awards for his films Buena Vista Social Club (2000), Pina (2012), and, most recently, The Salt of the Earth (2015).
Stephanie M. Wildman is the John A. and Elizabeth H. Sutro Professor of Law at Santa Clara University, where she previously served for thirteen years as Director of the Center for Social Justice and Public Service. She was the Founding Director of the Center for Social Justice at the University of California at Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), and received the 2007 Great Teacher Award from the Society of American Law Teachers, the largest national organization of law school faculty. Her most recent books include: Race and Races: cases and resources for a diverse America (2015); Social Justice: Professionals Communities & Law (2013), Women and the law stories (2011). Her book Privilege Revealed: how invisible preference undermines America (1997) won the 1997 Outstanding Book Award from the Gustavus Meyers Center for Human Rights.
David van der Leer is the Executive Director of the Van Alen Institute in New York. As the Executive Director of a 124-year-old design nonprofit that develops cross-disciplinary research, David oversee provocative public programs and inventive design competitions to make cities better places. Prior to repositioning Van Alen Institute, David created and curated the Architecture and Urban Studies program for the Guggenheim Museum from 2008 to 2013. David has created, chaired, and led nearly 30 design competitions, and he has commissioned numerous design and art projects. He enjoys rethinking conventional design competition and commissioning processes and actively promotes new practices in events like the Design Competition Conference he developed and co-chaired at Harvard University in 2015. Born and raised in The Netherlands, David is a graduate of Erasmus University Rotterdam, and of the High Impact Leadership program at Columbia University’s Business School.