Originally a professional musician and circus clown, Derek Sivers created CD Baby in 1998. It became the largest seller of independent music online, with $100M in sales for 150,000 musicians. In 2008, Derek sold CD Baby for $22M, giving the proceeds to a charitable trust for music education. He is a frequent speaker at the TED Conference, with over 5 million views of his talks. In 2011, he published a book which shot to #1 on all of its Amazon categories. Derek Sivers lives in Singapore, where he is creating his next company.
Eames Demetrios is best known in the design world for his work as director of the Eames Office spearheading the successful re-discovery of the Charles and Ray Eames design heritage by new generations. The mission of the Eames Office is communicating, preserving and extending the work of Charles and Ray Eames. His current large-scale project, Kymaerxthaere, is a multi-pronged and ongoing work of multi-dimensional storytelling and has been underway for several years. The project can be found in stories set in bronze markers–like a novel where every page is in a different city. Kcymaerxthaere’s manifestations include writings, video, performances, images, installation, and limited edition prints. You can discover some of the stories in India in the small village of Sakad in the tribal area of the Madyha Pradesh. Demetrios looks forward to bringing more Kcymaerxthereal stories to India. He currently lives in Southern California with his wife and two sons.
Jason Wishnow is the filmmaker behind TEDTalks, the Peabody Award winning video series watched nearly a billion times (even in outer space). Wishnow works at the intersection of film and emerging technologies and has been called an “online-video virtuoso” (New York Times, 2009), the “enfant terrible of digital film” (The Guardian, 2000), and one of the ten most influential digital filmmakers of 1999 (RES Magazine). Prior to joining TED, Wishnow founded one of the first film websites, The New Venue, in the mid-’90s, an entire decade before YouTube.
In 2000, Wishnow organized the first handheld/mobile film festival, The Aggressively Boring Film Festival, named after the technical limitations of its time. As a director, Wishnow’s short films and music videos have played on television, in museums, and at over 100 film festivals worldwide including Sundance, Seattle, São Paulo, Hong Kong, and RESFEST. Wishnow’s most recent project is We Are All Radioactive, a crowd-funded, bilingual, episodic documentary series about surfers and fishermen rebuilding coastal Japan after the 2011 tsunami and nuclear meltdown. Wishnow currently develops and directs narrative feature films and privately consults about digital video strategy.
Best known as the co-creator and co-writer of the hit Broadway musical Avenue Q. Winner of three 2004 Tony Awards including Best Musical. Avenue Q became the 20th longest running show in Broadway history and it is still running in New York and all over the world.
Joi Barua is a musician from Assam, India who fell in love with music at the age of four, after his father gifted him a violin. Growing up, his town had one piano and no music teachers, and his father had to cross the border and get him a keyboard from Bhutan. Since then, Joi has been making waves in the advertising, music, and film circuit in Mumbai with his musical stylings and melodious voice. He is also the lead vocalist of the band Joi and has a mixed musical style incorporating elements of rock, soul, jazz, folk and world music.
Nancy Silberkleit, daughter-in-law of Louis H. Silberkleit one of the founders of Archie Comics Publications, stepped into her role as Co-CEO of the company in 2009 with a vision that the comic book as a graphic novel is a valuable tool for developing literacy among first-time readers and instilling a love of reading for everyone. As a former public school educator, homemaker and mother, she knows the importance of learning to read and coined a personal motto that “Children+Comic Books=Reading, Knowledge and Confidence.”
She is the wife of the late Michael Silberkleit, who was the son of Archie Comics founder Louis Silberkleit, who with his partner John L. Goldwater founded Archie Comics in 1942. She furthers her agenda of why comic books are needed in classrooms and libraries with her fervent belief that comic books can be used to engage a variety of learners, while promoting literacy and a love of reading. She feels strongly that the graphic comic book format helps to enrich and develop the creative mind. She taught art for over 20 years and has seen the power of comics to encourage literacy and creativity in children. Children love to read comic books and graphic novels and often endeavor to mimic the format with their own creations. Comics teach children about storytelling and exploring their artistic abilities through illustration. It is a natural progression for children, as a bridge to reading from the picture books of their younger years. “Reading Archie Comics for 30 minutes is what I like to call ‘Archie Therapy,’” says Nancy Silberkleit, Co-CEO of Archie Comic Publications. “The light-hearted, humorous stories have appealed to readers for generations thanks to the talented writers and artists who make Archie a never-ending story.”
Having recognized that young readers may not have access to comic books, she created the Comic Book Fairs at schools across America and Canada, as an event to ignite an interest in reading. They are also often used as fund-raising initiatives in which the schools earn monies through the sale of comic books. She sees comic books as another genre to our choices in literacy and a powerful tool to stimulate and build today’s children into strong creative thinkers that are prepared to approach complex situations.
In addition to her role at Archie Comic Publications in which she heads up Education and Theater, Ms. Silberkleit has established her own foundation Rise Above Social Issues Foundation, Inc., as a non-profit that addresses challenging social issues, such as childhood obesity and other chronic medical conditions, as well as bullying, discrimination and environmental concerns through comic books. “By enhancing literacy and encouraging self-confidence and knowledge through age-accessible, non-threatening reading materials, such as specially created, topical comic books, we strive to stimulate creativity and tolerance in young people, giving them the tools to become a positive influence on their peers through overcoming social challenges,” adds Ms. Silberkleit. According to Dr. Athos Bousvaros, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital Boston, “Nancy Silberkleit is a passionate advocate of comics as a tool to promote both children’s literacy and health. In her role as co-CEO of Archie Comics, she has also worked to develop comics that promote children’s health, including ‘JD Shapes Up,’ an illustrated manual aiming to reduce childhood obesity.”
Next steps for Nancy Silberkleit include the emphasizing of the use of the comic book in working with educators in the establishment of after-school tutoring programs, the development of lesson plans, and, of course, more comic book fairs across America to engage children in this format of literacy. The Archie Comics line of comic books is one of the most successful, longest-running brands in the history of the comic industry. Archie Comics have sold 5.1 billion comics and are published in a dozen different foreign languages and distributed all over the world. Archie Comics has spawned characters whose popularity has spilled over into other media and who have become part of popular culture. Archie Comic Publications is headquartered in Mamaroneck, NY.
National Awardee Nitin Sisodia is the Founder and CEO of Sohum Innovation Lab, a social enterprise working at developing solutions to improve health and income of people living in resource-poor settings. A 2010 Stanford India Biodesign fellow, Nitin was named one of the top 20 Indian innovators by MIT Tech review in 2013. He received NASSCOM ICT led Healthcare Innovation Award in 2016, Indian Merchant Chamber Inclusive Innovation Award in 2015 and the Sankalp India Award in 2016. He has received several grants including the Grand challenges Canada Star in Global Health, Center for Innovation in Global Health award, BIRAC Biotechnology Ignition Grant & Siemens grant for his research in developing an innovative hearing screening device for newborns. Nitin has a degree in Electrical Engineering from NIT Bhopal, and Industrial Design from NID Ahmedabad, India.
Raghava KK is a renowned Indian artist and a tech entrepreneur, named by CNN as one of 10 most remarkable people in 2010.
He was inducted into the National Geographic Society as an Emerging Explorer for bringing together science, art, and technology in the field of exploration in 2013 and he recently wrote the foreword for Mass General Hospital’s textbook on psychiatry, in which he discusses the importance of cultural sensitivity, perspectives, and empathy in psychiatry
A four time TED speaker, his iPad art book Pop-it, launched at TED, shakes up the concept of the ideal family and presents children with multiple perspectives at the earliest stage. The book won several awards, including a Best of 2011 award from Kirkus.
Currently, he is the CEO and co-founder of Flipsicle, a tech startup out of New York and Sweden, which brings together creativity, technology, and empathy.
UNTOLD STORY: As a school kid, Raghava used to perform magic shows at children’s birthday parties to earn pocket money.
Ramesh Raskar is an Associate Professor at MIT Media Lab. Ramesh Raskar joined the Media Lab from Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories in 2008 as head of the Lab’s Camera Culture research group. His research interests span the fields of computational photography, inverse problems in imaging and human-computer interaction. Recent projects and inventions include transient imaging to look around a corner, a next generation CAT-Scan machine, imperceptible markers for motion capture (Prakash), long distance barcodes (Bokode), touch+hover 3D interaction displays (BiDi screen), low-cost eye care devices (Netra,Catra), new theoretical models to augment light fields (ALF) to represent wave phenomena and algebraic rank constraints for 3D displays(HR3D).
In 2004, Raskar received the TR100 Award from Technology Review, which recognizes top young innovators under the age of 35, and in 2003, the Global Indus Technovator Award, instituted at MIT to recognize the top 20 Indian technology innovators worldwide. In 2009, he was awarded a Sloan Research Fellowship. In 2010, he received the Darpa Young Faculty award. Other awards include Marr Prize honorable mention 2009, LAUNCH Health Innovation Award, presented by NASA, USAID, US State Dept and NIKE, 2010, Vodafone Wireless Innovation Project Award (first place), 2011. He holds over 40 US patents and has received four Mitsubishi Electric Invention Awards. He is currently co-authoring a book on Computational Photography.
Sandeep Divekar is GM of Global Technology Initiatives at Reliance MediaWorks. He is responsible for commercializing the company’s Academy Award winning image processing and film restoration technology and for finding new application areas for the technology. Prior to joining Reliance Mediaworks, Sandeep Divekar set up a South Asian IPTV network for Neulion Inc. which involved negotiating contracts with South Asian television channels, setting up satellite capture teleports in Nepal and India, market research, designing packaging and pricing and launched the network to consumers in Canada and the US.
Previously he was CEO and president of MultiGen-Paradigm Inc. a leading provider of visual simulation software and weapons training solutions for the military and civil aviation industries (acquired by CAE Inc. in 2007 ). Prior to that he was CEO and co-founder of 3Name3D Inc. a 3D graphics software company, (acquired by Computer Associates in 1998).
Mr. Divekar was also on the adjunct faculty at the University of Southern California teaching cyberspace design. He has been working in the field of computer graphics and technology for 25 years and has extensive experience in fields ranging from architecture, entertainment, enterprise applications, e-commerce, visual simulation, online media and IPTV. Mr Divekar has been called upon to speak at the NYU Stern School of Business, the Anderson School of Management at UCLA, the Carlson School of Business at the University of Minnesota, California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo and the University of Maryland at College Park as well as various industry conferences. He has also had articles published in various industry publications. Sandeep was educated at the Sir JJ College of Architecture, SCI-ARC and UCLA.
Folk music is rapidly disappearing from mainstream music, but never fear! Shantanu Moitra is a man on a mission to save folk musical traditions. Shantanu is a renowned Indian music composer and restorationist. With a father as an accomplished sarod player and his mother as a talented artist, creativity naturally runs through his veins. He has worked on many landmark Bollywood films, including “Parineeta”, “3 Idiots”, and “Madras Cafe”.
In 2014, he received the National Film Award for Best Music Direction (Background Score) for Na Bangaaru Talli. With his compositions and exploration of lost musical traditions, Shantanu constantly contributes to what he strongly believes is the best way to “see” a country — by experiencing its music
Pandit Shyamrao Kulkarni is a doyen of North Indian Classical Music. He is a vocalist of the highest caliber, whose voice provides an effortless rendition of his musical thoughts as he creates beautiful expositions of various raagas.
The typical description of an Indian classical musician starts with a description of his gharana or his musical lineage. But such a description would serve little purpose in describing his music. He does indeed have an exalted musical lineage as he was taught by Bhimrao Kulkarni and Ingle Bua of the Gwalior Gharana from a very early age. During his formative years he also had the opportunity to closely interact with many Indian Music stalwarts of the time from many other gharanas. As he analyzed and dissected their music he acquired and improved upon many elements of style from the strict and somber khayal singing of Vilayat Hussain Khan of Agra Gharana to the light qawwali singing of Shankar Shambhu. Of particular formative influence during his younger years was the musical style of Ustad Alladiya Khan as delivered by the likes of Kesarbai Kerkar and Anandrao Limaye. His music, however, eventually evolved beyond what can be described by a listing of musical lineage.
In his music sur (notes) and taal (rhythm) find a perfect balance. The unfolding of a raag is always thought out in a manner such that the various musical phrases fit together into a consistent whole. Nothing is performed merely for the sake of a display of virtuosity. Instead notes flow with accuracy and grace in service of a greater aesthetic of creating an artful whole.
Pandit Kulkarni never actively pursued a career in the concert circuits, preferring instead to focus on his music. He has, however, been highly respected and regarded by musicians and connoisseurs in Maharashtra, India, for the last six decades. He has written many widely acclaimed books in Marathi, Hindi and more recently in English on various aspects of Indian music. Now in his seventh decade, he has been thinking about the most efficient and streamlined way to teach North Indian Classical Music. To this end, he has created a unique functional classification of raagas based on similarity of their characteristic melodic patterns and he is continuing to write and publish new books. He also continues to occasionally provide lecture demonstrations and performances to share his music with lovers of Indian Music.
Stefan Sagmeister is one of the most celebrated figures in the world of visual communication. He has won two Grammy Awards for his work in album covers and packaging design. Sagmeister & Walsh produces work that stands out among mediums and disciplines of graphic design.
Stefan Sagmeister has worked for the Rolling Stones, The Talking Heads, Lou Reed, and The Guggenheim Museum. Exhibitions on Sagmeister’s work have been mounted in New York, Philadelphia, Tokyo, Osaka, Seoul, Paris, Lausanne, Zurich, Vienna, Prague, Cologne & Berlin.
“All that matters is being alive now.”
Sunitha Krishnan, Founder and Director of Prajwala, or “an eternal flame”, is an eminent anti-trafficking activist internationally known for her fight against girl child trafficking for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation. A mental health professional, she has done extensive research and is essentially a field practitioner. Prajwala runs 17 schools throughout Andhra Pradesh, India, for 6,000 children and has rescued more than 4,200 women from prostitution, 2,100 of whom Krishnan personally liberated.
Sunitha has sparked India’s anti-trafficking movement by coordinating government, corporations and NGOs. She forged NGO-corporate partnerships with various companies to find jobs for rehabilitated women. Krishnan works closely with the Indian government to define anti-trafficking policy, and her recommendations for rehabilitating sex victims have been passed into state legislations
Dr. Usha Arunachalam is a biotechnologist with over 20 years of business experience with biotech companies, especially early-staged biotechnology companies. She currently consults for IndUS Pharmaceuticals, an India-US cross border biotechnology company.
Since 2008, she spends most of her time in learning, preserving and propagating classical Hindustani Music. Her chance encounter with Pt. Shyamrao Kulkarni was a turning point in her life, since which she has dedicated herself to music. In addition to learning music from Pt. Shyamrao Kulkarni, she has assisted him in writing his books on “Shyamrao Gharana” and continues to assist him with book translations and other publications.
Prior to 2008, Dr. Arunachalam was VP of Business Development and led the business development and strategic efforts of FivePrime Therapeutics, a privately held early-stage biotechnology company in California. At Fiveprime she was an integral member of the executive team and was instrumental in raising more than $ 120 MM in near term investments for collaborative research from strategic partners, primarily large Pharmaceutical companies. Her group was also responsible for all in-licensing and out-licensing activities, and the management of collaborations with both strategic and academic partners.
Prior to joining FivePrime, she served as Vice President, Business Development at Intrabiotics and served as a member of the executive team. Prior to joining Intrabiotics, Dr. Arunachalam was Sr. Director of Business Development at Kosan Biosciences, where she was responsible for all in- and out-licensing and business development activities for multiple projects. Among her many accomplishments at Kosan Biosciences, Dr. Arunachalam was instrumental in identifying, initiating, structuring and negotiating a major agreement with Roche to globally co-develop and co-commercialize an anti-cancer drug candidate then in Phase I clinical trials; a deal that was valued at >$220 MM and provided Kosan over $ 70 MM in near term research and development funding.
Further, at Kosan she also was responsible for in-licensing the geladanamysin portfolio from NIH and established 2 large CRADAs with the NIH, which resulted in the successful acquisition of the company by BMS.
Prior to Kosan Biosciences, Dr. Arunachalam was Associate Director at Chiron Corporation (now acquired by Novartis), a publicly traded global biotechnology company. Here she was responsible for research strategy, strategic planning and business development and reported directly to the Head of R&D.
Dr. Arunachalam received her Ph.D in Biochemistry from the Indian Institute of Science and received a pre-doctoral fellowship from University of Michigan to work on her thesis. She received her MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.
Vidya Shah is the CEO of EdelGive Foundation, which is the philanthropy arm of the Edelweiss group. Former Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the Edelweiss Group, she is now part of the board for various prominent organisations like Agastya International Foundation, Asian Venture Philanthropy Network, Common Purpose, Women on Wings, Toolbox India Foundation and Masoom in addition to Edelweiss. In each of these organisations, her role enables her to contribute strategically which helps them build a stronger presence by implementing useful plans in an efficient manner.
She attained an MBA degree from IIM, Ahmadabad and spent the first 11 years of her career in the field of investment banking with companies like ICICI, Peregrine and NM Rothschild wherein, her role was to advise the corporate in Capital Raising and M&A transactions. Later, she worked in the capacity of a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the Edelweiss Group while also heading the Human Resources and Administration functions for the firm.
Apart from being an active member of the CSR and business fraternity, Vidya is a connoisseur of art and spearheads Edelweiss’s art event called Palette. Her love for the field of art is not limited to collecting artefacts and paintings, it extends to appreciate music and the same is visible in the efforts she is putting into learning this skill.
After having gained a diverse experience, she set up the EdelGive Foundation and has been its CEO since its inception. Under her leadership, over the last seven years, EdelGive has become a catalyst of change, dedicated to collaborative philanthropy in the fields of education, livelihoods and women empowerment.
Vinay Venkatraman is the co-founder and partner at CIID (Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design). Vinay helps shape the strategy and content for CIID through consulting, teaching and research lead initiatives. He is trained as product & interaction designer in India and Italy. His works in the past have spanned design of consumer products, software and film visual effects. He currently spends his time between creating new education curriculums, shaping policy initiatives for the Danish government and consulting large global companies on innovation around new product experiences and design strategy.
He has helped shape product strategy for companies like Nokia, Intel, Novo Nordisk, Maersk line, Lufthansa Technik, Philips lighting etc. His passion lies in incubating new technology ideas, finding new models of sustainable socio-economic development using appropriate technologies. He has also assisted in teaching courses at the University of Aarhus, IUAV University in Venice and the IT university in Copenhagen. His current interests include tangible user interfaces, service design and finding new models of sustainable economic development using emerging technologies. As part of this Vinay has initiated a global research track for emerging economies called Frugal Digital to help empower small business using innovation based on simple and inexpensive technologies.
Vinay’s work has been exhibited during the Salone del Mobile (International Furniture Fair) in Milan, written about in leading design magazines like Wallpaper, Domus etc and various popular blogs. Vinay routinely travels and lectures world wide in platforms like TED on innovation, user centered methods and design for social change. Learn more about Vinay at www.idnext.com
Alan Wagstaff, currently Learning Manager and concept designer of Green School, Bali, is a director and co-founder of RAW Education Ltd. Alan has had forty years experience in the education sector as a primary and secondary school teacher, a special education teacher, a school principal, and for the last decade, as an independent consultant, mentor and school developer.
He has worked and advised in the U.K., New Zealand, Canada, Indonesia, and Australia. He assists schools interested in developing holistic, student-centred perspectives with policy formation, curriculum innovation in all key learning areas (years 1 – 10), parent education and liaison, behaviour management, co-operative learning, student assessment, learning support, values education, literacy and literacy support, teacher development, mentoring, appraisal, and lesson preparation, and facilitative school management. Over 3,000 educators in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Indonesia have transformed their practice as a result of working with Alan. All participants report unprecedented levels of inspiration and practicality springing from the seminars, workshops, documents, and mentoring offered.
David Rowan is editor-in-chief of WIRED’s UK edition. He’s taken 120 flights in the past year to investigate the companies and entrepreneurs changing our world, recently spending time with the founders of WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Google, Spotify, Xiaomi, Nest, Twitter and countless other disruptive startups from Tel Aviv to Shenzhen. His recent keynote talks have included events for banks, governments and Fortune 100 companies, and recent stage interviews have ranged from will.i.am to James Murdoch and David Cameron. David has been a columnist for The Times, GQ, Condé Nast Traveller and The Guardian. At WIRED he has extended the brand into conferences, apps, and a consulting business. He is co-founder of FlowJourneys.com, taking amazing people for weekend adventures in the world’s most extraordinary locations. And he is still searching for the future.
Los Angeles-based multi-media visual artist, painter and curator Dianna Cohen is best known for her two-dimensional and three-dimensional works using recycled plastic bags – sewn together – ranging from small hanging pieces to room-sized installations. Since graduating from UCLA she has shown work in solo and group exhibitions at galleries and museums in the USA, Europe, Australia, and Africa. Dianna Cohen is Creative Director & co-founder of Plastic Pollution Coalition, a global alliance of individuals, organizations and businesses working together to stop plastic pollution and its toxic impacts on humans, animals and the environment.
Francesca Rosella is the Co-Founder and Chief Creative Director of CuteCircuit, a fashion company based in London pioneer in the field of Wearable Technology. Founded in 2004, CuteCircuit has introduced many ground breaking ideas to the world of fashion by creating new beauty and functionality through the use of smart textiles and micro-electronics. Working alongside Ryan Genz, CEO of CuteCircuit, Francesca has built the first fashion company that creates haute couture with LED illumination worn by international stars on the red carpet and that has been also the first to sell illuminated fashion using LEDs in leading stores like Selfridges in London.
CuteCircuit revolutionised the common way of thinking about Fashion, creating innovative and fashionable interactive collections, that are now sells online all over the world. Francesca’s early career began as designer for Valentino in Italy. Ryan is formally trained as an artist, anthropologist and ultimately Interaction Designer focusing on Wearable Technology and holds patents and patents pending for wearable technologies. CuteCircuit designs frequently include digital technology or interactive capabilities that give the garments and the people that wear them abilities beyond traditional fashion.
The CuteCircuit product line includes the Prêt-a- Porter Collection, the Haute Couture Collection and special designs for unique performances by Katy Perry, U2 360° Tour, and Laura Pausini World Tour 2012. They also designed the celebrated Galaxy Dress (now part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago), and the award- winning M Dress and the Hug Shirt (awarded as one of the best inventions of the year by Time Magazine). Francesca and Ryan share their passion for fashion worldwide by participating in many conferences and events where they speak on subjects of innovation, the future of fashion, and design. Always endeavouring to create something resonant, fashionable and special, visually and emotionally attractive; their work is frequently featured in books on design, fashion and innovation.
Gurcharan Das is an Indian author, commentator and public intellectual. He is the author of The Difficulty of Being Good: On the subtle art of dharma which interrogates the epic, Mahabharata and the international bestseller, India Unbound, a narrative account of India from Independence to the global information age.
Jaaved Jaaferi is an Indian actor, voice artist, dancer, comedian, impressionist known for his work in several Bollywood films and Indian television shows. Jaaferi has distinguished himself as one of India’s most versatile and popular entertainers with his flamboyance, quirky sense of humor and his incredible dancing ability. The son of legendary actor/ comedian Jagdeep, Jaaferi seemed destined for a career in showbiz.
He has hosted several popular television shows such as Vidoecon Flashback, Timex Timepass and Boogie Woogie, and has acted in over 35 films, including massive hits such as 3 Idiots and Salaam Namaste
James Stark, M.A., F.E.S., is the co-director of the Regenerative Design Institute (RDI). He co-founded and co-directs the Ecology of Leadership program which creates powerful circles of change-makers by rooting them in deep nature connection, inner transformation, and leadership skill development in order to revolutionize their life and service in the world. James is also a senior trainer in the 3-year, full-time Regenerative Design and Nature Awareness training program, preparing young global community leaders for the “Great Turning” of our era.
James has committed his life to exploring how we – our communities, and our entire species – might move into harmony with our selves and the natural world. He considers the programs at RDI a nursery for growing visions of the new era, and provides skills and tools to bring those visions to life. After earning a master’s degree in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica James turned his attention towards helping people explore and tend their inner garden. Like the natural systems and patterns that guide permaculture, his focus is to help others compost their constraints while creating healthy soil for their world visions to grow.
Joichi Ito is the Director of the MIT Media Lab. He is the Chair of Creative Commons, on the Board of The New York Times Company, on the Board of the MacArthur Foundation, on the Board of Trustees of The Knight Foundation, and co-founder and board member of Digital Garage an Internet company in Japan. He is on board of a number of non-profit organizations including The Mozilla Foundation and WITNESS. He is a member of the IT Strategic Headquarters of the Japanese Cabinet. He has created numerous Internet companies including PSINet Japan, Digital Garage and Infoseek Japan and was an early stage investor in Twitter, Six Apart, Wikia, Flickr, Last.fm, Kongregate, Fotonauts/Fotopedia, Kickstarter, Path, Pinwheel and other Internet companies.
He is the Guild Custodian of the World of Warcraft guild, We Know (http://weknow.to/). He is a PADI IDC Staff Instructor, an Emergency First Responder Instructor and a Divers Alert Network (DAN) Instructor Trainer. Ito was named by Businessweek as one of the 25 Most Influential People on the Web in 2008. In 2011, Ito was chosen by Nikkei Business as one of the 100 most influential people for the future of Japan and by Foreign Policy Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Global Thinkers”. In 2011, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oxford Internet Institute in recognition of his role as one of the world’s leading advocates of Internet freedom.
Lynda Barry has worked as a painter, cartoonist, writer, illustrator, playwright, editor, commentator and teacher and found they are very much alike.
She is the inimitable creator behind Ernie Pook’s Comeek featuring the incomparable Marlys and Freddy. The Good Times are Killing Me was adapted as an off-Broadway play and won the Washington State Governor’s Award. Her bestselling and acclaimed book, the creative writing how to/graphic novel/memoir What It Is, won the Eisner Award for Best Reality Based Graphic Novel and R.R. Donnelly Award for highest literary achievement by a Wisconsin author. Lynda recently created the companion how to draw/graphic novel/memoir PICTURE THIS. In both, Lynda explores the depths of the inner and outer realms of creation and imagination, where play can be serious, monsters have purpose, and not knowing is an answer unto itself.
Malavika Sarukkai is a dancer and choreographer. Her dance is described as intense, extraordinary and luminous and helps distinguish her form other dancers. She is acclaimed globally for her creative dance choreographies, which transport the viewer to the heart beat of dance, taking dance beyond specific geographies.
Matt Groening created the longest-running comedy in television history, The Simpsons. It exploded into a cultural phenomenon in 1990 and has remained one of the most groundbreaking and innovative entertainment franchises, recognizable throughout the world. He followed it with his creation of the hit sci-fi series FUTURAMA, currently one of the top rated shows on Comedy Central. As a cartoonist, Groening began his Life in Hell weekly comic strip series in the 1980’s which continues to this day in newspapers nationwide.
Neeru Khosla is currently the Co-Founder and Executive Director of CK-12 Foundation, a non-profit organization, which aims to provide K-12 learning materials that is customizable, aligned to requirements, and free for all, in the US and worldwide. Mrs. Khosla currently serves as a member on several advisory boards, including The Nueva School’s Board of Trustees, the Board of Directors for High Tech High School’s Graduate School of Education, the Advisory Board for the Wikimedia Foundation, the Advisory Board for DonorsChoose, the Advisory Board for Stanford University’s School of Education, the Advisory Board for IDEO.org, and is one of the founding members of the K-12 Initiative of the Design School (Hasso Plattner Institute of Design) at Stanford University.
Nikhil operates the multidisciplinary studio and business incubator, Boiled Beans Inc, whose purpose is to explore the idea of infinity and build technology that can change the world.The incubator builds companies at the intersection of the physical and digital world, in realms like personal fabrication, robotics and physical computing.
He was a TED fellow in 2009 and became part of the founding team of INK, putting together the INK Fellows program and launching www.inktalks.com. He is a repeat offender at this ‘entrepreneurship’ thing and has been at it since he launched a magazine at 20.
I am a neonatologist (baby doctor!) and love high altitude trekking and mountaineering. I am an associate professor of pediatrics at New York Methodist Hospital, and love to use innovative methods to teach medical students. I am constantly humbled and amazed by what love and compassion can do to heal little premature and sick babies! I have also been leading a research project in the Himalayas, including the Mt. Everest region, involving ultrasound of the eye(optic nerve) and the body, to predict mountain sickness, and have also looked at the effect of meditation in acclimatizing the body to high altitude. I constantly encourage my students to break the rules, rearrange the paradigms with which they run their lives, and therefore to re-invent themselves every moment! I also volunteer as an art guide at the Rubin Museum of Himalayan Art in New York City, and this is a reminder to me that medicine is so much of an art as well as a science!
Oikyotaan, a Contemporary Folk Platform founded by, Biswasjit “Bonnie” Chakraborty, aims at performing, archiving and spreading the infectious philosophy and melody of Indian Folk Traditions. The sound is rooted in the rhythm and melody of Indian folk music, with a special emphasis on Baul music from Bengal. Their foundation of sound is created, using an equal set of unique components from Indian Folk-Classical and other forms of Contemporary music. The magic of pulsating rhythms, weaving themselves together with soul-stirring melodies and spinning a web of lyrical arrangements.
Oikyotaan aims at slipping through all the doors, being promiscuous with their music and simply spreading magic philosophy of the BAULS!! Centered around BAUL music from Eastern India, the sound concentrates on building lyrical phrases within a layered rhythm of Contemporary, Folk and Classical instruments. Elements of different Folk forms like Baul from Bengal, Mand from Rajasthan; Chaita and Neergun from Bihar; Carnatic Classical from South India are infused together to give birth to a new genre of Global Indian Contemporary Sound and Space, which is lyrically very rich in spiritual and esoteric content !
Rob Manning is the Chief Engineer for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Project that successfully landed Curiosity Rover on Mars on August 5, 2012. Rob was responsible for ensuring that the design, the test program and the team working together would result in a mission that would work.
An Engineering Fellow at JPL, Rob has been designing, testing and operating spacecraft for 32 years. In the 1990’s, Rob was the Mars Pathfinder Chief Engineer where he led the Entry Descent and Landing (EDL) team.
After successfully landing and operating the first airbag lander and rover on another planet, he co-conspired the idea to modify the Pathfinder and Sojourner Rover designs to become the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER), Spirit and Opportunity. On MER he led the system engineering and EDL teams.
After MER he became the Mars Program Chief Engineer where he helped plan and integrate the various Mars missions like Phoenix and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter as well as plan for MSL and beyond.
As a result of his luck at JPL, Rob has received two NASA medals and is in the Aviation Week Magazine Space Laureate Hall of Fame in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. In 2004, SpaceNews magazine named Rob as one of 100 people who made a difference in civil, commercial and military space since 1989.
Shruti Haasan is an Indian actress, singer and music composer who works in the South Indian film industry and Bollywood. She sang her first song at the age of six and has continued her stint in music through her work as a singer in Indian languages. She trained in Hindustani classical music and studied at the Musicians Institute in California.
Tania Luna loves pit bulls and elephants. She also teaches psychology, writes non-fiction and fiction, helps companies increase employee and customer happiness, and is CEO of a very surprising company. She moved to the U.S. from Ukraine as a child, and has been living in New York City ever since – a place she adores for its unpredictability
V.V.S. Laxman, is a former reknowned Indian cricketer. Laxman represented Hyderabad in domestic cricket and has played for Lancashire in English county cricket. He was the captain of the Deccan Chargers team in the Indian Premier League in its first year. In 2011, Laxman was awarded the Padma Shri award, India’s fourth highest civilian award from the Government of India. He announced his retirement from international cricket in August 2012
Vasundhara Das is a singer, songwriter, composer and actress. She has starred in several films in various languages, and has worked extensively as a playback singer in Bollywood, as well as in South Indian regional language films. Vasundhara is also a qualified drum circle facilitator, having trained with Arthur Hull. She spearheads Drumjam’s community and children’s programmes.
Vasundhara Das is a dynamic stage performer, with her world music band Arya. She is one of the most popular performing stars in India, and has entertained delighted audiences at a variety of events on a global scale. Vasundhara’s current focus is on music composition, and she creates original sound tracks for films as well as working on collaborative music projects.
She is co-founder of Drumjam, a company that introduces individuals to the joy of group drumming and hosts drum circles.
ABOUT SHAH HUSSAIN PROJECT:
The Shah Hussain Project is a collaboration that features the vocal and musical composition talents of popular singer Vasundhara Das and Sufi singer Mir Mukhtiyar Ali. Celebrated musician Roberto Narain is producer as well as drummer on this project.
The music draws inspiration from the 16th century Sufi poetry of Shah Hussain. Five hundred years ago, this poet from Lahore wrote mainly in Punjabi, Saraiki and Sindhi. These poems, called kafis, are a glimpse into the social setting of Shah Hussain’s time; with thoughts and ideas still fresh and relevant in today’s 21st century social fabric.
The music is a meeting of traditional and contemporary styles, based on the poetry and focused on live performance.
Vikram Gandhi is the award-winning director and star of Kumaré, a film in which he impersonates a wise guru from the East and starts a following of real people in the West. Kumaré won the Audience Award at SXSW Film Festival in 2011 and was released theatrically in North America in 2012. Vikram lives in New York and is developing his next feature film
Vinita Bali is the Managing Director of Britannia Industries. She is among 27 global leaders appointed by the United Nations to help improve maternal and child nutrition, an investment which some of the world’s leading economists believe would be the most valuable for human well-being and productivity.
Will Travis is a leader of infectious passion, drive and tremendous insight, gained from leading creative agency ATTIK, which he helped expand into London, New York, San Francisco and Sydney, and most recently with the US division of the world’s largest agency Dentsu, where he held the post of CEO of Dentsu America. A long-term creative entrepreneur, with a hell-bent focus on creating unique brand experiences with the energy to deliver.
Yann Vasnier was born in Brittany, France and from an early age he was drawn to appreciate the nuances of fragrances. He trained as a perfumer at ISIPCA, the prestigious Versailles perfumery school and he graduated Valedictorian in 1999. During his studies, Yann also worked as a trainee perfumer for Quest International in Paris. Upon graduating, he was offered a position as a junior perfumer with the Fine Fragrance team in Paris, trained by Francoise Caron. In 2001, Yann was the recipient of the International Young Perfumer Award. In July 2003, Yann joined the Quest New York as a perfumer and in 2007 joined Givaudan.
His creative vision as a perfumer is that every fragrance should represent a dimension of subtlety and an aspect of definitive character. Fragrance composition should not be shy. And for him, the most evocative fragrances are the ones worn by people you love or have loved.
His intense love of travel lends him cultural and environmental inspiration for his scents, he believes that inspiration can come from everywhere. His life as a New Yorker has put him at the center of renowned creatives from the world of art, design, fashion and technology. His most recent collaboration with Visionaire Sixty Religion, he scented the limited edition volume. Amongst others, he has crafted fragrances for Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, Donna Karan, Comme des Garçons and Tommy Hilfiger.
Becoming a perfumer has certainly been quite a journey: from the first smell of my parents’ roses or noticing the intense change in odors as we drove to the South of France on summer holidays, to working in a beautiful lab on 57th Street in New York for the most prestigious designers. The journey still takes a lot of time, will power, luck, navigating, rejection, and competition. It’s a never ending game of trial and error, always trying to imagine and create the next masterpiece and the next success. For me, the journey of perfumery never ends.
Fragrances created or co-created: TOM FORD PRIVATE BLEND SANTAL BLUSH (2011) MARC JACOBS BANG BANG (2011) MARC JACOBS OH LOLA! (2011) VISIONAIRE SIXTY RICCARDO TISCI RELIGION (2011) NAUTICA DISCOVERY PURE (2011) MARC JACOBS SPLASH CURACAO (2011) MARC JACOBS SPLASH GINGER (2011) TOM FORD PRIVATE BLEND LAVENDER PALM (2011) DELRAE PANACHE (2010) TRUE RELIGION DRIFTER (2010) SIX SCENTS SERIES THREE OHNE TITEL (2010) TOMMY HILFIGER LOUD FOR HIM (2010) TOMMY HILFIGER LOUD FOR HER (2010) MARC JACOBS BANG (2010) DELRAE COUP DE FOUDRE (2010) MARC JACOBS SPLASH APPLE (2010) SIX SCENTS SERIES TWO DAMIR DOMA (2009) TOM FORD PRIVATE BLEND URBAN MUSK (2009) ELIZABETH ARDEN 5TH AVENUE STYLE (2009) MARC JACOBS LOLA (2009) DIVINE EAU DIVINE (2009) LYNX SUMMER EDITION (2009) IMPULSE ROMANTIC SPARK (2009) DELRAE MYTHIQUE (2009) EDDIE BAUER ADVENTURER II (2009) SJP ENDLESS LOVELY COLLECTION (2009) DIVINE L’ETRE AIME HOMME & FEMME (2009) AXE INSTINCT (2009) MARC JACOBS SPLASH FIG (2008) PUMA FREE FLOWING MAN (2008) BABY PHAT FABULOSITY (2008) LE LABO ALDEHYDE 44 (2007) BBW SWEET PEA EDT (2006) DONNA KARAN GOLD (2006) AXE CLICK (2006) BBW PECAN PASSION (2006) AVON MIDNIGHT FOR MEN (2006) CERRUTI 1881 COLLECTION CERRUTI (2005) JACK BLACK SIGNATURE BLACK MARK (2005) AVON FLORAL PRINT MAGNOLIA (2005) APOTHIA L (2005) DIVINE L’HOMME SAGE (2005) KEIKO MECHERI GOURMANDISES (2004) DIVINE L’AME S’UR (2004) DIVINE L’INFANTE (2004) DIVINE L’HOMME DE C’UR (2003) KANGOL 38-83 (2003) COMME DES GARCONS RED SERIES PALISANDER (2001) COMME DES GARCONS RED SERIES ROSE (2001)