The 2013 New York Institute for Social InnovationDesign for Social Innovation, School of Visual ArtsNew York, NY 10011June...
The 2013 New York Institute for Social InnovationDesign for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts136 West 21st St, 5th ...
The 2013 New York Institute for Social InnovationDesign for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts136 West 21st St, 5th ...
The 2013 New York Institute for Social InnovationDesign for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts136 West 21st St, 5th ...
The 2013 New York Institute for Social InnovationDesign for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts136 West 21st St, 5th ...
The 2013 New York Institute for Social InnovationDesign for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts136 West 21st St, 5th ...
The 2013 New York Institute for Social InnovationDesign for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts136 West 21st St, 5th ...
The 2013 New York Institute for Social InnovationDesign for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts136 West 21st St, 5th ...
The 2013 New York Institute for Social InnovationDesign for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts136 West 21st St, 5th ...
The 2013 New York Institute for Social InnovationDesign for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts136 West 21st St, 5th ...
The 2013 New York Institute for Social InnovationDesign for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts136 West 21st St, 5th ...
The 2013 New York Institute for Social InnovationDesign for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts136 West 21st St, 5th ...
The 2013 New York Institute for Social InnovationDesign for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts136 West 21st St, 5th ...
The 2013 New York Institute for Social InnovationDesign for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts136 West 21st St, 5th ...
The 2013 New York Institute for Social InnovationDesign for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts136 West 21st St, 5th ...
The 2013 New York Institute for Social InnovationDesign for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts136 West 21st St, 5th ...
The 2013 New York Institute for Social InnovationDesign for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts136 West 21st St, 5th ...
The 2013 New York Institute for Social InnovationDesign for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts136 West 21st St, 5th ...
The 2013 New York Institute for Social InnovationDesign for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts136 West 21st St, 5th ...
The 2013 New York Institute for Social InnovationDesign for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts136 West 21st St, 5th ...
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NY '13 Candidates Bios 6.3.13

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NY '13 Candidates Bios 6.3.13

  1. 1. The 2013 New York Institute for Social InnovationDesign for Social Innovation, School of Visual ArtsNew York, NY 10011June 6 - 10, 2013Candidate Bios
  2. 2. The 2013 New York Institute for Social InnovationDesign for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts136 West 21st St, 5th Fl, New York, NY 10011__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________StartingBloc, 349 Fifth Avenue, Suite 402 (4th Floor), New York, NY 10016 | www.startingbloc.org   | tw ::@startingbloc.org Born and raised in India, Mr. A. Dhar is an Engineer by profession and a buddingSocial Entrepreneur. He currently works for a startup in and also runs a non profitwith the goal of empowering the blind in East Africa. He has over 5 years ofexperience in working with Social Enterprises with an emphasis on working with theVisually Impaired. In addition, he also has 5 years of work experience in the techindustry working at Fortune 500 companies as well as in Startups.Akshai Prakash is a husband, father, technologist, consultant, budding (social)entrepreneur, creature of the emergent, sports fan, music lover and wannabephotographer. Originally from India, Mr. Prakash currently resides in Maryland withhis wife and 2½-year-old daughter. Mr. Prakash received a degree in ComputerScience from Virginia in 2005. Since then, he has been working as a consultant tothe Federal government. Mr. Prakash is currently employed by Deloitte Consultingsupporting projects across several government agencies, including an mHealthproject in Tanzania. Apart from being a dad, and having a full-time day job, Mr.Prakash is dabbling in the entrepreneurship world as well – A social enterprisefocused on increasing the accessibility to education in the developing world, andanother venture to enable government and citizen engagement to solve localissues.Alex Dang was born and raised in Los Angeles, and currently lives in the SanFrancisco Bay Area. Alex is a Business Development Officer at Opportunity Fund, anon-profit microlender that provides financing to underserved microenterprises inCalifornia. He is responsible for developing strategies, partnerships, and loanproducts to reach the many healthy small businesses that are simply misunderstoodor undervalued. Alex studied at UCLA, where he was saved from going to lawschool during a Global Brigades project in Honduras. Alex was helping a start-upcoffee co-op when he realized that similar microenterprises exist in California, andthey need help too. When he is not thinking about microfinance, Alex serves onthe board of directors of Global Brigades, a non-profit student-led global healthand development organization. And then when he is not doing that, Alex isprobably fishing or eating at a taco truck.Alex Mazin is a consultant at Quintiles Consulting since April of 2011 and has beeninvolved in the global commercialization and market access strategy group wherehe focuses specifically on personalized medicine, diagnostic platforms and lifescience commercialization. Alex also has tremendous entrepreneurial experiencein the online e-commerce space, where his passion for start-ups has led him to hissecond e-commerce venture in just three years time. Alex is passionate aboutmobile health, life sciences and 3D-printing and where these industries can leadhim through e-commerce. Since 2010, he has been an annual guest judge at theLeonard Stern Business School Entrepreneurship competition. Alex received hisBachelors of Science in Business Management from Babson College in May of 2009with a concentration in strategic management and entrepreneurship.
  3. 3. The 2013 New York Institute for Social InnovationDesign for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts136 West 21st St, 5th Fl, New York, NY 10011__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________StartingBloc, 349 Fifth Avenue, Suite 402 (4th Floor), New York, NY 10016 | www.startingbloc.org   | tw ::@startingbloc.org Alfonso Tinoco is an operations engineer and consultant taking his first steps as asocial entrepreneur. He believes in creating opportunities for Latin America throughsocial business and education, and is eager to make it happen. He enjoystraveling, painting, good conversation, and an engaging book.Andrew Ruigrok attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where heearned a BS in Business Administration and a BA in Environmental Studies. While atUNCs Kenan-Flagler Business School, Andrew was selected to participate in theGLOBE Program. This three-semester program allowed him to study in Copenhagenand Hong Kong with a talented, diverse cohort. Andrew has a track record of workwith a variety of renewable energy firms. Most recently, Andrew worked with theNorth Carolina Sustainable Energy Association through UNCs Developing EnergyLeaders Through Action (DELTA) Program. Prior to StartingBloc, Andrew spent a yearexploring South America so as to realize a long-time dream. Following StartingBloc,he will work to become involved in impact investing and development finance.Antoinette Harris currently serves as Grant Administrator for the Michael J. FoxFoundation and plays a critical role in enabling research projects to move forwardas quickly as possible once funding decisions have been made. After earning herB.A. from SUNY-Geneseo she joined Trinity Wall Street’s grant program where shehelped manage the domestic portfolio, coordinated and provided ad hoctranslation for the foundation’s Francophone consultation in Burundi.Arjun Raj, an enthusiastic young engineer from Bangalore, India, graduated fromone of the top 15 engineering colleges in the country. He currently works with apublic sector company, BHEL - a power equipment manufacturing major in thecountry. Apart from his work he is a motivational speaker and a public speakingand leadership mentor to many people. He believes in creating an impact withwhatever he does. He was selected as a Yatri (Participant) for Jagriti Yatra 2012, anentrepreneurship awareness journey exposing the participants to individuals andinstitutions that are developing unique solutions to Indias challenges. This was on atrain journey spanning 5000 miles across India for 15 days. His interests includetravelling, trekking, photography, reading and dancing.
  4. 4. The 2013 New York Institute for Social InnovationDesign for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts136 West 21st St, 5th Fl, New York, NY 10011__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________StartingBloc, 349 Fifth Avenue, Suite 402 (4th Floor), New York, NY 10016 | www.startingbloc.org   | tw ::@startingbloc.org Arpit Gupta works as Senior Consultant at a Boston-based health care consultingfirm and specializes in building custom software solutions, which leaves a lastingimpact. His completed projects have been featured in Boston Globe and healthcare conferences. Arpit is also the Program Director at Global Medical Knowledge,an all-volunteer non-profit organization focusing on improving the standards ofmedical education, where he manages technology and marketing teams. In hisspare time, he enjoys reading new trends on social media marketing and promotessocial causes. Most recently, he ran the Twitter campaign for Generosity Day, aunique idea to promote generosities on Valentine’s Day, and was able to reachthousands of people from his tweets.Ashis Himali is from Nepal land of Himalayas. As Founder/ Executive Director inDakshata, he works for economic empowerment and job creations. His ideas havealso been honored by the World Bank as the top eight finalists and 2nd runner upfor the World Bank Essay competition in 2008 and 2010 respectively. He was alsohonored by Goipeace Foundation, Japan for his essay on youth entrepreneurshipin 2008. He is also the runner up of World Youth Summit Award 2010 for the category‘Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger’. He is also a fellow of InternationalResearch and Exchange funded by the US Department of State in the thematicarea of Conflict Resolutions in 2010. He did his BBA from Pokhara University and isongoing MA economics from Tribhuvan University. He believes those who dreamthe most do the most. He also wants to work for improving quality of rural primaryeducation in Nepal coordinating with local community stakeholders. He likesrafting, trekking and bungee.Brad Vanderford is an aspiring social entrepreneur who is passionate aboutinternational market-based development and entrepreneurship. He is currentlyhelping SMEs grow and improve operations through marketing and strategyconsulting. Prior to his work as an SME consultant, Brad was a founding fellow withOne Degree, an Echoing Green social enterprise startup. Before that he served asa Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay where he advised a regional financialservices cooperative, established several entrepreneurship education andaccelerator programs, and directed youth leadership and civic educationinitiatives. He serves on the board of OneWorld Classrooms, a cross-cultural artseducation nonprofit. He is fluent in Spanish and speaks basic Guaraní. Brad is asumma cum laude graduate in International Business, Marketing, andEntrepreneurial Management of the University of South Carolina. He feels most aliveon international adventures and is an avid consumer of #socent, documentaries,and TedTalks.Born and raised in NYC, Brunnell Velazquez graduated from Amherst College in2011 with a degree in English. He was afforded many opportunities due to hisenrollment in the TEAK Fellowship, a 5-year program that helps academically-talented, low-income NYC students get into top high schools and colleges. As resultof his experience, Brunnell aspires to promote educational opportunities for youthof socioeconomically disadvantaged communities by utilizing the tools of socialinnovation and entrepreneurship. Brunnell is also a member of the NYC churchplant of King Jesus International Ministry, a ministry known to be for its exponentialgrowth and its powerful manifestations of the supernatural power of God. Hecurrently serves in the praise and worship team as the alto saxophone player. Healso plans to take the training he receives from StartingBloc to aid in the churchplant’s expansion, which is destined to draw multitudes from the tri-state area.
  5. 5. The 2013 New York Institute for Social InnovationDesign for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts136 West 21st St, 5th Fl, New York, NY 10011__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________StartingBloc, 349 Fifth Avenue, Suite 402 (4th Floor), New York, NY 10016 | www.startingbloc.org   | tw ::@startingbloc.org Bryant Yee is an environmental designer at the global interdisciplinary design firmRTKL. A graduate of the University of Michigan, he currently resides in Washington,DC. Bryant has always been committed to developing innovative, human-centered solutions to real-world challenges. Current projects include designing afloating greenhouse that cleans polluted rivers and designing toilets for use inKenya possible of generating energy. Additionally, Bryant’s work in packaging,print, identity, and information visualization has proudly been published online andin print, as well as awarded him numerous accolades. When he’s not designing,Bryant can be found volunteering in the community or further developing hisstrategic mindset and effective communication via clan leadership in Halo 4.Cecily Mauran is a native Rhode Islander who re-located to Los Angeles aftergraduating from Bates College in 2011. The summer after college, she co-produceda documentary chronicling her friend, Sam Fox, who traversed the West Coast inorder to raise money for Parkinsons Disease. This journey left her with an unwaveringcuriosity for adventure and a newfound direction towards social entrepreneurship.After the filmed wrapped, Cecily remained in LA, and now works for a startup thatsupports various causes through affiliate revenue and CPC earnings. Since workingfor the company, she has become fascinated by the merging concepts of profitand purpose. While she is rapidly learning the ins and outs of the startup world,Cecilys background is in Art History and creative writing. In her spare time, shecontributes to her friends’ blogs and tries to get outdoors as much as possible.Chelsea Brownridge specializes in organization culture development, focusing onbuilding innovative, creative and collaborative cultures for organizations in thesocial impact space www.designforgrowth.org. She is the co-founder and COO atIgnite Good, a nonprofit startup created to support millennial social entrepreneurs.Prior to consulting, Chelsea worked at Ashoka - Innovators for the Public, anonprofit building the global citizen sector through a fellowship of socialentrepreneurs. As the operations and culture manager for Ashoka Changemakersprogram, she focused on organizational culture development, talent recruitment,financial management and securing new business leads. Chelsea graduated fromUNC with a B.A. in economics and is attending NYUs Wagner Graduate School ofPublic Service in pursuit of a Masters of public administration specializing inmanagement and organization development.Chirag Swamy currently works as an independent Digital Marketing Consultant.With a strong four-year technology foundation at Accenture, he moved to a smalldigital marketing firm in August 2011. An interest in the area of branding and digitalmarketing as well as a curiosity to work with small-medium enterprises inspired thisshift. Since then, he has consulted for a variety of start-ups and SMBs across industrysectors as well as for global non-profits such as Ashoka with digital strategies. Witha set of diverse skills from technology to branding to marketing and advertising,Chirag hopes to bring all these together on a digital social innovation he isindependently working on. Apart from using StartingBloc as a collaborativeplatform for his own innovation, he also hopes to add to the StartingBloc networkwith his digital marketing skills that could assist fellows to maximize the reach andimpact of their social innovations.
  6. 6. The 2013 New York Institute for Social InnovationDesign for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts136 West 21st St, 5th Fl, New York, NY 10011__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________StartingBloc, 349 Fifth Avenue, Suite 402 (4th Floor), New York, NY 10016 | www.startingbloc.org   | tw ::@startingbloc.org Chris Busker graduated from Loras College in 2012 with a double major inMarketing and Psychology. After earning honors in Phi Beta Lamda’s nationalretail management competition in 2012, Chris decided to attend school atWestern Illinois University and pursue a nonprofit administration focus in theRecreation, Park and Tourism Administration graduate program. He currently is inthe processes of starting a nonprofit organization, 4 Peace, to empower youththrough the interaction with nature and art. By utilizing a music venue, heconnects youth to the healthy food and natural experiences with visual andperformance art forms. Please visit 4peace.me for more information.Dane Wetschler currently lives in Bangkok, Thailand where he works for APM Group– Thailand’s leading people and organizational development consulting firms. He isthe founder of NewGen, a business that aims to develop 21st century skills in younggenerations of learners by transforming cultures of learning, engaging parents,teachers, and students. Totally unrelated, he is also running Duck & Noodle, anevent-organizing and graphic design collective-thing in Bangkok. After graduatingfrom Brown University, Dane moved to Thailand as a Princeton in Asia Fellow in 2008to teach English at Mae Fah Luang University in Chiang Rai. He worked in Bangkokand has run the vocational gamut as an editor and photographer of an Asiancoffee magazine, journalist, Thai language interpreter, food critic, and student inpolitical science. Aside from issues in education and good music, he is interested insocial design, urban livability, and the increasing connectedness of everything.David Friedkin (born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area) currently lives inNew York City and works as the Strategic Coordinator at the Nonprofit FinanceFund, a national nonprofit and financial intermediary that unlocks the potential ofmission-driven organizations through tailored investment, strategic advice, andtransformational ideas. Previously, David worked as a consultant for World Learning,an international development organization; as an analyst for a real estateinvestment firm; and received the World Partners Fellowship from the AmericanJewish World Service to spend a year in Mumbai, India working for SankalpRehabilitation Trust, a grassroots NGO implementing a harm reduction strategywithin the HIV+ street-based drug using population. David graduated with a BSBA inFinance and Arabic from Washington University in St. Louis and studied abroad inMexico and Morocco. Above all, David loves to cook, eat, and travel.David Roebuck is an aspiring social entrepreneur, health advocate, and anoutdoor enthusiast. He cofounded Advocates for World Health, Inc. a 501(c)3nonprofit and a Kairos 50 company that collects surplus medical supplies andequipment and redistributes it to agencies working abroad. David completed adual degree from the University of Florida in 2011 receiving a B.S. in biology and aB.A. in anthropology. In March 2012 he lead a health brigade to Guatemala wherehis team of 20 treated over 1000 patients. In his free time, David loves to travel, trailrun, and go sailing.
  7. 7. The 2013 New York Institute for Social InnovationDesign for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts136 West 21st St, 5th Fl, New York, NY 10011__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________StartingBloc, 349 Fifth Avenue, Suite 402 (4th Floor), New York, NY 10016 | www.startingbloc.org   | tw ::@startingbloc.org Deborah McCoy is an Account Manager at Collective where she landed afterhaving lots of fun at start-ups within digital media. A native of Philadelphia,Deborah graduated from Villanova University with a B.S. in Marketing and minor inReal Estate. She has spent her early post-graduate years in attempt to connect thedots between her handful of passions and staunchly believes, “One day, it will allmake sense!” Deborah is an active member of several social and civicorganizations, one in its infancy, which she hopes to be one of her successfulattempts at scaling an organization. Currently, she resides in New York City whereshe can often be found meditating cross-legged, on an elliptical, contemplating amove from Queens to Manhattan or testing hypotheses for the Dana Project.Esteban Castellanos is an accomplished Air Force Officer with broad leadershipexperience in operations, personnel, and project management. He is an 8-yearseasoned leader with a track record of success in planning, leading, and executingmilitary operations. Esteban is also a skilled flight instructor, team-building mentor,and critical-thinking problem solver excelling in dynamic, fast-paced, collaborativeenvironments, to include "no-fail" combat air missions. Consistently selected forhigh-profile assignments, such as Operation Willing Spirit, Op. Iraqi Freedom, Op.New Dawn, Op. Enduring Freedom, Op. Unified Response in Haiti, and most recentrole with the Air Force Reserves leading flights in support of Air Force One, directingcrews of 5-6 staff.Eve Espindola was born and raised in a small village in southern Brazil until shecame to the US in 2004. Daughter of poor, near illiterate parents, she had to learnhow to balance work and school at an early age, but is happy to never have tojeopardize her education to support her family financially. She graduated in 2009with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, has work experience in internationaltrade, logistics and business development in the private sector, not-for-profitorganizations and government agencies. Currently she works as programcoordinator for professional development programs at the College of BusinessAdministration at California State University, Long Beach in California. She has beenmarried to Edward Nguyen (son of Vietnamese refugees) for three years and lives inOrange, CA with their two dogs. Her goal is to become involved once again ininternational development, empowering women to have access to education andmicro-financing.Felix Gil implements asset allocation strategies, researches investmentopportunities, and monitors investment performance for WE Family Offices. As aFinancial Associate, Mr. Gil conducts investment reviews, researches investmentstrategies and advises UHNW domestic and international families. Prior to working atWE, Mr. Gil was an Investment Assistant in JPMorgan Chase. Mr. Gil graduates cumlaude from Florida International University with a Master of Science in Finance, witha focus on Investment Analytics, and a B.B.A. in Finance and International Businesswith a Minor in Economics from FIU. Mr. Gil is an avid runner and has completedseveral distance races, including the New York, Miami and Philadelphia marathons.Mr. Gil is fluent in English and Spanish, conversational in Portuguese and speaksbasic Russian. He is a personal investor in microloans through Mircoplace.
  8. 8. The 2013 New York Institute for Social InnovationDesign for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts136 West 21st St, 5th Fl, New York, NY 10011__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________StartingBloc, 349 Fifth Avenue, Suite 402 (4th Floor), New York, NY 10016 | www.startingbloc.org   | tw ::@startingbloc.org Fermín Liu Ku is a member of Dartmouth’s class of 2015, and a Government andWomen and Gender Studies double major. He was born in Spain to Taiwanesediplomats and has lived in Honduras, Paraguay, Taiwan, and the United States. Oncampus, Fermín is an undergraduate advisor, a certified mentor against violence,and a trained eating disorder peer advisor. He also serves as a DREAM mentor forchildren of the Upper Valley region and an international student for Dartmouth’sinternational class of 2016. Fermin is passionate about human rights and civil rightsmovements and aspires to be a civil rights prosecutor to promote rights of minoritygroups in the nation. He has interned with VOICE 4 Girls, a women-empowermentNGO in India, and the Annie Kuster Congressional Campaign, and has served as aCenter for Women and Gender fellow in Cambridge, MA.Gary Davis is currently the Associate of Alumni Giving with Teach For America. Hehas experience in the college access sector with tenures at GEAR UP, CollegeSummit and iMentor. He is a co-founder of the University of Michigan Black AlumniNetwork NYC and co-led an ACT prep and mentoring organization as anundergraduate. His hobbies include journaling, cooking and learning, for to him, lifeis the ultimate classroom.Hannah Shirey currently works at The New York City Charter School, coordinating avariety of programs that directly serve the transformation of New York City’s publicschool system. Before her work in the public education sector, Hannah spent a yearcreating space for experiential, multi-faith education in New York City as a FaithsAct Fellow of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. As a fellow, Hannah worked tomobilize over 2,000 individuals from a diverse set of New York City communities totake inspired and quantifiable action on local and global social justice issues.Working specifically within the Sikh community, Hannah witnessed the power ofcollaborative models of social change. Hannah currently serves as an associateadvisor to the International Center for Advocates Against Discrimination (ICAAD).She graduated magna cum laude from Colgate University in 2011 with a B.A. inAnthropology and Middle East and Islamic Civilization Studies.Hsiu Sho Chang was owner and general manager of a 100-room Days Inn in WhiteMountain, NH from 2005-2011. He got his MBA from Plymouth State University in2011. He graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2002, then joined Teach forAmerica. He stopped within one year and went back to NH to join his parentsbusiness. Since then he stayed in the for-profit sector. His parents immigrated to theUS in 1992. They could not find employment so they invested in downtownapartments. They were low-income immigrants renting out to low-incomeresidents. Hsiu started seeing a vicious cycle with his 90 tenants: single mothers withkids, struggling to pay rent, eventually had to be evicted. He knew some of themothers from 1992, and now their grown children are repeating the pattern. Hewants to help break this cycle.
  9. 9. The 2013 New York Institute for Social InnovationDesign for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts136 West 21st St, 5th Fl, New York, NY 10011__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________StartingBloc, 349 Fifth Avenue, Suite 402 (4th Floor), New York, NY 10016 | www.startingbloc.org   | tw ::@startingbloc.org Ian Tyson currently manages the volunteer program at Rising Tide Capital, a non-profit organization based in Jersey City dedicated to rebuilding communitiesthrough entrepreneurship. In his role as the Volunteer Coordinator, he leveragescorporate partnerships to connect skilled volunteers with low-incomeentrepreneurs. Prior to Rising Tide Capital, he attended Rowan University, where hemajored in History with a concentration in East Asian studies. During his junior year,he spent six months in China, where he studied Chinese and taught English. For hissenior thesis project, he researched grassroots organizations that resisted urban re-development in the Philadelphia Chinatown during the 1970’s. In the fall, he willjoin the Master’s of Public Administration program at the University of Pennsylvania.After work hours, he runs to train for a half marathon. Feel free to reach out to himwith recipe tips, good book recommendations, or the occasional witty phrase.Jagpal Johl, a California native, was raised in Yuba City, CA where he is a 4thgeneration farmer. Jagpal is currently an undergraduate student at the University ofSan Francisco. Johl is the founder of Paperless CC, a program that encouragedand advocated universities across the nation to move towards paperlessclassrooms. Along with this Jagpal is an Outreach Officer for The School Fund, anonprofit organization that connects funders throughout the world with studentsthroughout the developing world who are in need of funding for their education.Johl is a three-time Clinton Global Initiative University delegate as well as a OneYoung World candidate. Jagpal is eager to be apart of the StartingBloc Fellowship.Jessica Shu is a human capital management professional with a strong interest inthe recruitment, retention, and advancement of diverse talent in the U.S. and theglobal emerging markets. A recent graduate of Bryn Mawr College with a major inUrban Studies, Jessica has worked in talent management in various capacities,most recently as a Human Resources Graduate Trainee in Diversity & Inclusion atUBS and as a Special Events/Research Intern at Catalyst Europe AG, both of whichshe worked across sectors on developing strategies to expand opportunities forwomen and minorities in business. She hopes to carry her StartingBloc educationand experience over to her family business and transform it into a social enterprisewith the mission of providing opportunities for women in immigrant populations inthe U.S. and the emerging economies. Currently living and working in New York,NY, Jessica was raised in both Los Angeles, CA and São Paulo, Brazil. She has alsolived and worked in China, Taiwan, and Switzerland.Joelle Gamble is the Deputy Field Director for the Roosevelt Institute | CampusNetwork, an organization dedicated to engaging young people in the policywriting and implementation process. She has also served as a civil society delegateto the 51st session to the United Nations Commission on Social Development. Priorto graduating from undergrad, as a student organizer in the University of CaliforniaStudent Association, she worked on numerous political campaigns related to taxreform and lobbied extensively. While a student, Joelle worked with the consularcommunity in Los Angeles for two years at the U.S. Department of State. She alsoserved as the a French language research assistant with the UCLA Department ofEconomics, working on the history and development of North African trade routes.She graduated from UCLA in 2012 Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in InternationalDevelopment Studies.
  10. 10. The 2013 New York Institute for Social InnovationDesign for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts136 West 21st St, 5th Fl, New York, NY 10011__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________StartingBloc, 349 Fifth Avenue, Suite 402 (4th Floor), New York, NY 10016 | www.startingbloc.org   | tw ::@startingbloc.org Juan Taveras is a true New Yorker from Washington Heights. His parents migrated to“The Heights” when he was three years old. Juan attained his education from thewonderful NYC public school system; which prepared him to attend and ultimatelygraduate from Syracuse University with a B.S. in Hospitality and BusinessAdministration and a minor in Finance. After graduation, Juan gained extensivemanagement and leadership experience from the hospitality field where he wasgiven the opportunity to work in the hotel, restaurant and retail industries. Mostrecently, Juan combined his passion for service and management and joined theeducation reform nonprofit Citizen Schools. He is currently serving as the SeniorRecruitment Manager for the Talent Team where he oversees the sourcingstrategies for the National Teaching Fellowship. Juan currently resides in WashingtonHeights with his wife, Lauren. They can be found exploring the cities manyrestaurants, salsa dancing, or going to the movies.Justin Schafer grew up in rural Northern California, where he spent much of hischildhood raising dairy goats and tinkering with old Volkswagens. Oddly enough,these pursuits created an interest in all things international in him, and when itcame time to go to college, he picked International Studies as his major andfocused on the former Soviet Union. He studied abroad in Russia and moved toGermany after graduation to complete a fellowship in public policy. In the publicsector, Justin found himself unengaged and disinterested, so he began to searchfor something new to catch his attention. It was then he discovered renewableenergy. He currently works for a renewable energy services company inWashington, DC and is pursuing a Master’s in European Studies with a focus onInternational Business at Georgetown University.Karen Huang graduated in 2012 from Yale University in the Ethics, Politics &Economics major, and currently works as a Research Associate at Harvard BusinessSchool in the Negotiation, Organizations & Markets unit. Drawing from research inbehavioral economics and positive psychology on happiness, values, and emotionregulation, she supports teaching and research on how managers empathize withand motivate others to engage in cooperative and value-creating behavior.Karen’s background in working across multiple disciplines and sectors, bridgingacademic research with design and implementation, has helped her develop aninterest in developing the organizational and market systems for entrepreneurshipand purpose-driven work. Over the long term, she wants to effect the moralleadership and organizational capacities in support of an economy that promotessustainability and human well-being. She has lived in England, Holland, andGermany, and currently resides in Cambridge, Massachusetts.Kathleen Adams is the co-founder of Momma’s Hip Hop Kitchen: The Soup Kitchenfor the Hip Hop Soul (MHHK), a multifaceted hip hop event designed to showcasewomen artists, especially women of color. MHHK serves as a social justicecommunity-organizing platform that educates and empowers women of color onissues that impact their lives, including HIV/AIDS and reproductive justice. Kathleendouble majored in women’s studies and urban studies with a concentration inarchitecture and a minor in environmental policy from Fordham University. In May2012, Kathleen graduated with her Master’s in Urban Studies from FordhamUniversity. Kathleen is very interested in the world of business, and intends to beginbusiness school in Fall 2014. Professionally, Kathleen wears many hats. She is aconsultant at Virtcom Consulting, a diversity and business strategy boutique-consulting firm and also is the Marketing & Partnership Manager at Fusicology.
  11. 11. The 2013 New York Institute for Social InnovationDesign for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts136 West 21st St, 5th Fl, New York, NY 10011__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________StartingBloc, 349 Fifth Avenue, Suite 402 (4th Floor), New York, NY 10016 | www.startingbloc.org   | tw ::@startingbloc.org Kayla Matheus seeks to inspire and guide young innovators across the country as aDesign for America Fellow. A graduate from Yale University in both art andmechanical engineering, she is passionate about the merger of the creative andtechnical, the abstract and concrete, the emotional and logical. She is no strangerto such dichotomies – growing up half-Puerto Rican taught her the value ofunderstanding multiple points of view. Ultimately, she believes that design has thepotential to touch lives in direct and meaningful ways and is excited to do sothrough her work at DFA and beyond as a practicing designer.Throughout his life Konrad Kutter has been very blessed to be able to travel all overthe world because of his parents’ work. Now that he is much older and hasmatured a bit, he is starting to have larger dreams and plans for his future. Hecurrently studies Civil Engineering and German Studies at the University of Kentucky.He has been very involved on campus, but also in bringing new opportunities toEngineering students on campus. In the last year Konrad has been working quite abit with The GREEN Program. About one year ago he was fortunate enough to beable to attend the renewable energy program in Costa Rica through The GREENProgram. Every since my first journey to Costa Rica, his life has changed a lot. He’scurrently working with his University to work on a relationship between The GREENProgram and UK so that more students will be able to have the opportunity ofexperiencing Renewable Energy in Costa Rica. In the future he sees himself owninghis own business that would be focused on constructing net zero and carbonneutral infrastructure.Lauren Graham graduated last month from Yale School of Forestry & EnvironmentalStudies with her masters in environmental management. She focused on waterpolicy and international environmental governance, and was the co-director ofthe Environmental Film Festival at Yale. Lauren spent last summer working with theKenya Red Cross Society piloting a climate change and malaria gamecalled Humans vs. Mosquitoes. The goal is for community health workers to use thegame to build their capacity for malaria education nationwide. Before Yale,Lauren worked as a project manager for a green building startup. She served onthe Emerging Professionals National Board of the U.S. Green Building Council,developing strategies to incorporate young people in the green buildingmovement. At Riverkeeper, she studied the potential impacts of hydraulicfracturing on the NYC watershed.Lindsay Young received her B.A., magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from SpelmanCollege and her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. After law school, sheworked as an associate in the Financial Services & Products Group at Alston & Bird,LLP, in Washington, D.C. She concentrated her practice on banking law andregulatory matters for large financial institutions. After practicing corporate law forthree years, Ms. Young chose to focus on a career in social justice. Ms.Youngbegan this transition by volunteering at the Scalabrini Center, a refugee andasylum organization in Cape Town, South Africa. Ms. Young is now the DeputyDirector of Womanifesting, a non-profit empowering women and girls particularlyfrom traditionally marginalized communities. She is also the Women’sEmpowerment Coordinator for the Literacy Empowerment Action Project in Ghana.For Ms. Young, the key to making lasting social change is to develop bold,innovative strategies that engage in creative collaborations.
  12. 12. The 2013 New York Institute for Social InnovationDesign for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts136 West 21st St, 5th Fl, New York, NY 10011__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________StartingBloc, 349 Fifth Avenue, Suite 402 (4th Floor), New York, NY 10016 | www.startingbloc.org   | tw ::@startingbloc.org Mandeep Jangi looks forward to opportunities to challenge himself, learn andgrow, aspiring to maximize his potential and impact. Fascinated with the powerthat diversity and inclusion has in the lives of people, Mandeep’s interests havelargely focused on community building and support for those who fit outside of themainstream. Having worked for one of the largest financial services organizations inNorth America and seeing the impact that working professionals can have whendirected appropriately, Mandeep looks to further harness the power of corporatecitizenship to make long-term, meaningful impact in the global community, andlooks forward to learning how to spark innovation for sustained change. Originallyfrom New Jersey, Mandeep lives in Center City, Philadelphia. He enjoys makingnew friends, any sort of movie or television show with zombies, indulging in his guiltypleasure of reality television and tells awesome jokes (unfortunately, awesome isopen to interpretation).Mario Varon is a mechanical engineer by training, designer by choice and a socialinnovator by passion. Mario is co-founder of a social enterprise in India that isreducing water borne disease by processing cesspit waste into compost and fuelrather than disposing it unprocessed into rivers and fields. For 4 years, as Director ofOperations of Ahmsa, he combined his engineering background and his deepcompassion for underprivileged communities to develop inclusive, bottom-of-the-pyramid focused enterprises in the slums of Bogota, Colombia. In 2011 as a DesignImpact Fellow, Mario worked in close collaboration with farmers in Indiaredesigning low-cost bicycle-based agricultural innovations. Working alongside thepoor has opened him up to their needs and aspirations and he is deeply motivatedto develop real and sustainable solutions in response.Marvin Mathew is an occasional guess blogger and value creation nerd. He is anaspiring social entrepreneur, activist and a former student body president. Marvin isa philanthropist focused on a macro view of solutions and many micro ideas toreach them. He integrated solutions through public and private partnerships andloves transparency + metrics. With interest in education, tech, health, anddevelopment he’s redefined leadership community based approaches. Amongother initiatives, Marvin launched BridgeSport in 2012 while studying abroad inRome. BridgeSport is a sports diplomacy network connecting young Americansstudying abroad to their local communities to foster dialogue and break barriersthrough sports. Find more at marvinmathew.comMatt Ronen, an Israel Defense Forces veteran, is both businessman & socialentrepreneur; by day he helps manage iconic brands for a multinational consumerproducts company and by night he moonlights as the aspiring founder of anational service movement. Matt received his MBA from Cornell University, wherehe was President of the Jewish Business Association and Vice President of theVeterans Club, and BA from Colorado College, where he was President of theStudent Government and Campus Marketing Manager for Teach For America. Heis from Cleveland, Ohio.
  13. 13. The 2013 New York Institute for Social InnovationDesign for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts136 West 21st St, 5th Fl, New York, NY 10011__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________StartingBloc, 349 Fifth Avenue, Suite 402 (4th Floor), New York, NY 10016 | www.startingbloc.org   | tw ::@startingbloc.org Meha Pandey is a healthcare consultant at Accenture, with 3 years of experiencein the hospital and pharmaceutical industries. Her project work includes leading theEMR (electronic medical record) deployment of a specialty clinic as well asdeveloping a leadership program for a large non-profit organization. Mehasinterests include working on global health in the developing world. Prior to joiningAccenture, Meha had internships in India and Honduras, working in healthmanagement for an NGO and volunteering as an engineer at an urban hospital.Meha has a degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Michigan,where she led the Society of Women Engineers as Section President. She is fluent inSpanish and Hindi. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling, dancing, and watchingBollywood movies.Michael Lai is a Southern California native and a junior at Harvard College studyinggovernment. Michael is passionate about public sector entrepreneurship--he waspart of the founding team for Townhall140, a civic engagement/government 2.0startup, and worked this summer as the 1st employee for early stage edtech startupTurnRight. Active in growing the entrepreneurship community at Harvard, he servesas a representative to the University-wide Harvard Innovation Lab Student I-Council.After teaching and tutoring in underserved Boston middle schools for the past fewyears, he now runs the Harvard CIVICS volunteer program, which sends Harvardundergrads into Boston middle schools to teach American government and civicactivism. In his free time, Michael plays golf for Harvards Varsity Mens Golf Teamand occasionally starts flashmobs. One day, Michael aims to get up at 4:30 AMevery morning to surf before starting the day.Michael Weston-Murphy is a fan of Thoreaus mantra of putting foundations undercastles in the air. He is the Spring 2013 New York City Organizer for theGreen Breakfast Club, a monthly NYC sustainability meetup. When Michael is notenjoying coffee, discussing or tweeting (from @sustainterra) about sustainability,cities, social enterprise, or cruising around the city on his bicycle, he is part of ateam working to restore St. Patrick’s Cathedral in midtown Manhattan. Hisexperience and interests have led him around the world to destinations such asKuwait, Morocco and Spain. While studying International Relations and the MiddleEast at Boston College he co-founded and ran an undergraduate-led academicjournal on the Middle East and Islam. One day he hopes to lead a university. In hisspare time you will typically find him reading a good book, hiking in theConnecticut forests or kayaking in Long Island Sound.Minh Nguyen attended Davidson College and majored in anthropology,developing a passion for social justice and impact work. After graduating, hebecame a City Hall Fellow in Houston. Thereafter, he joined the Mayor’s Office atthe City of Atlanta to continue work to transform government culture to be moreaccountable, transparent and innovative. In 2012, New American City magazineselected him to their 40-person Next American Vanguard, recognizing him as anemerging urban leader. He also served on the host committee for the White HouseInitiative for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders-sponsored regional actionsummit. He is currently a 2013 fellow at the New Leaders Council Institute, amember of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, and volunteer with Junior Achievement atKIPP-South Fulton. In his leisure time, Minh enjoys cooking, dancing, and reading.
  14. 14. The 2013 New York Institute for Social InnovationDesign for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts136 West 21st St, 5th Fl, New York, NY 10011__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________StartingBloc, 349 Fifth Avenue, Suite 402 (4th Floor), New York, NY 10016 | www.startingbloc.org   | tw ::@startingbloc.org Nohely Arteaga works as a Financial Data Associate at Moody’s Corporation.Additionally, she serves on its Multicultural Employee Resource Group’s SteeringCommittee where she coordinates professional development events for Moody’semployees. Prior to joining Moody’s in 2011, Nohely earned a Bachelors of Sciencein Business Management from Babson College. She was awarded a full-tuitionleadership scholarship to Babson through the Posse Foundation, where she nowvolunteers as a Writing Coach. As a Junior Board Member of the newly foundedUnity Preparatory Charter School of Brooklyn, Nohely focuses on student learning inboth academic and co-curricular subjects, and developing communitypartnerships with organizations that offer performing arts, athletics, civicengagement, and other activities.Noorjahan Rahman is a social activist, photographer, and dancer. From 2010-2011,she lived in Beirut, Lebanon as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar where she workedwith migrant workers from around the world including Ethiopia, Sudan, andBangladesh to help build education programs, run local fundraisers, and an anti-racism campaign. While attending the Ohio State University, Noor cofounded theSouth Asian Student Association (SASA) and served as Vice President for the 2008-2009 academic year. For her contributions, she earned the Asian Student ServicesAward from the Ohio State University Multicultural Center. Noor taught as a Teachfor America corps member in an underserved community in northeast DC whereher third grade students scored above average on District-wide benchmark exams.She currently conducts primary research at Advisory Board Company andcomposes strategic reports for executives in the higher education industry. Formore information, visit Noor’s personal webpage at www.noorjahanrahman.comOmotola Akinsola is a Master Candidate at the George Warren Brown School ofSocial Work at Washington University in St. Louis; she earned a Bachelors degree inSocial Work with a double minor in Leadership Studies and Psychology fromColumbia College. She serves on the Advisory Board for The F.A.I.T.H Initiative, ayouth-led nonprofit organization in Nigeria and as an ambassador for YoungWomans Guide, an organization dedicated to the growth, mentoring, andeducation of young girls. In 2012, she was named as a recipient of Whos WhoAmong American Colleges & Universities Students. She was awarded the 2012Outstanding Social Work Student of the Year & was inducted into the Circle ofInfluence for Student Leaders by the Leadership Institute at Columbia College. Sheserved as a Congressional Fellow on Capitol Hill in the office of Sen. Boozman. She isthe graduate fellow for Campus Diversity Collaborative at Washington University inSt. Louis, she serves on the Student Coordinating Council for George Warren BrownSchool of Social Work as the community service liaison, and she is one of the co-chairs for African Students of Social Work Association (ASSWA).Patkie Wong holds a BA in Criminology, Law and Society from the University ofCalifornia, Irvine and an MSc in Crime Science from University College London. Sheis currently a Forensic Accountant in the Los Angeles area and enjoys beinginvolved in extracurricular activities, such as being a past participant in the CalCPAEmerging Leaders program. In her spare time she loves discovering new tea/coffee shops, practicing yoga, catching up with friends, and travelling, with hermost memorable journey to date being a road trip through South Africa.
  15. 15. The 2013 New York Institute for Social InnovationDesign for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts136 West 21st St, 5th Fl, New York, NY 10011__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________StartingBloc, 349 Fifth Avenue, Suite 402 (4th Floor), New York, NY 10016 | www.startingbloc.org   | tw ::@startingbloc.org Ravi Darda works as Project Services Engineer with Shell in Calgary. He is responsiblefor providing scheduling, cost control and risk analysis expertise to executecomplex energy projects. Prior to his current assignment in Canada, he worked withShell in India and Netherlands where he completed a variety of assignmentsranging from developing plans for major capital projects to business analysis fordeveloping technical applications. Apart from Energy, Ravi is passionate aboutmaking education accessible. He conceptualized Dream Connect, a program thataims to empower the underprivileged youth with basic life skills. He worked witheducation service providers to develop the content and raised funds to setup alearning center, which now benefits more than 100 people every year. In 2010, heparticipated in Tata Jagriti Yatra, where he traveled 9000 kilometers in train for 18days across India. During the journey he learned and unlearned a lot about thereal middle rural India. Ravi holds Bachelor of Technology in Chemical Engineeringfrom IIT Madras. He is also an Earthwatch Fellow.Regina Smedinghoff has lived and worked all over the word, from Santiago, Chile,to Bangkok, Thailand to Accra, Ghana. Her experience in these countries has notbeen purely as a tourist, but as a student, intern, worker, and researcher. As aglobal citizen, Regina has worked on a range of issues from human trafficking topost-conflict economic development and corporate social responsibility. Shehopes to use her experiences and knowledge of global issues to work with others tosolve them. She has found that innovation, especially social entrepreneurship, is anextremely important and successful way to chip away at societal ills. Regina isexcited to connect with a community of other passionate individuals who can andwill make incredible changes in our communities, countries, and the world. Reginais a marathon runner, country music lover, and bleeding-heart Chicago Cubs fan.Reynolds Taylor is a 22 year-old senior at the University of Oklahoma, and planningto graduate in May 2013! She grew up in Dallas, Texas where the majority of herfamily still lives. Her parents raised her two sisters and her to be passionate, and sheplans to carry this into each part of her life. She is determined to be significant in herlife and the lives of others. Whether through for-profit social endeavors, non-profits,or film-making (anything!), she wants to give her energy to the continuous processof global change.Five years ago Richard McKinney began to realize the tremendous importance ofsustainability as a global socio-economic system and individual philosophy. Startingwith local community development initiatives, later in the internationaldevelopment field, and most recently as a management consultant, the value andurgency of adopting sustainable practices is Richard’s driving focus. In his free timeRichard has raced 6 marathons & Olympic-distance triathlons in 3 years and won arugby national championship; Richard is an avid follower of innovative water andenergy-related technology; a bungee jumping and skydiving enthusiast; he enjoyspoetry by Khalil Gibran and The Book of Flying by Keith Miller, which are among hisfavorite reads; he speaks Arabic fluently after 27 months in a Jordanian orphanage.
  16. 16. The 2013 New York Institute for Social InnovationDesign for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts136 West 21st St, 5th Fl, New York, NY 10011__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________StartingBloc, 349 Fifth Avenue, Suite 402 (4th Floor), New York, NY 10016 | www.startingbloc.org   | tw ::@startingbloc.org Ronald Johnson grew up with having a committed dad who had a positiveinfluence by giving back to the South Central Los Angeles community, where hegrew up. Servitude was instilled in him as early as he can remember; his parentsworked as missionaries in impoverished communities throughout LA. He recallsproviding food boxes in the Imperial Courts housing projects of Watts to thedisadvantaged alongside his father. After seven years of community outreach, hisfather eventually had to close down his ministry due to lack of monetary support. Inspite of the limitless hours his parents dedicated to their ministry, they still managedto place a heavy emphasis on education at home. Having a sister alreadyattending Biola, he decided to also attend Biola. In addition to receiving a B. S. inBusiness Management/Marketing with a Theology minor, there was much helearned about himself. In May ‘08, he became the first person in his family toreceive a college degree.Saba Dilawari is a recent graduate from American Universitys School ofInternational Service. A graduate of International Development and Global Health,she hopes to gain experience in the field before getting her Masters in PublicHealth. Saba has had experience in development/fundraising and research withlocal non-profits in her hometown of Memphis, TN, as well as the Aspen InstitutesGlobal Health and Development in Washington, DC. While in her final year ofundergrad, she worked tirelessly to implement and direct the AU Village Savingsand Investment Institute--a microfinance-based institute dedicated to alleviatingpoverty and gender-based discrimination in Washington, DC. While the projectnever met success, Saba hopes to use her fellowship at StartingBloc to gain the skillsnecessary to start the project again. She is excited for meeting other hardworking,like-minded individuals at the NY Institute 2013!Her real name is Samonwan Muangkeo, but everybody calls her Fon. Fon has apassion for art and is dedicated to developing the arts industry in Thailand.Currently she works for a non-profit called Cre8 Foundation, which providesresources and a platform to run unique collaborative arts projects and workshopswith children, transcending borders - geographic and otherwise. In addition tomany experiences as a volunteer arts educator, she is the founder and director ofBKK ARTHOUSE, a non-commercial contemporary art gallery in Bangkok. In the pastfew years she has organized over 40 exhibitions and events at her gallery and hasconducted research for the Thai Ministry of Art and Culture about how to developthe contemporary art market in Thailand. She is interested in learning how to createeconomic opportunities for emerging contemporary artists without resorting toproducing stereotypical and commercial Southeast Asian art.Santhosh Velaga is currently a senior at Tulane University. He studies biochemistry(Honors) and also conducts research in a cutting edge synthetic chemistry lab.Santhosh holds leadership positions within many prominent organizations oncampus. He serves as a senator in the Undergraduate Student Government andthe Science and Engineering Student Government. He is also the founder andpresident of the American Chemical Society Tulane Chapter, which is dedicated toconnecting undergraduates, graduate students, and high school studentsinterested in chemistry. The organization gets young people in the New Orleansarea interested in science via engaging hands-on demonstrations. Aftergraduating from college, Santhosh hopes to study medicine and eventually build aprivate practice cardiology clinic.
  17. 17. The 2013 New York Institute for Social InnovationDesign for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts136 West 21st St, 5th Fl, New York, NY 10011__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________StartingBloc, 349 Fifth Avenue, Suite 402 (4th Floor), New York, NY 10016 | www.startingbloc.org   | tw ::@startingbloc.org Shira Beery is the Development Officer at Trickle Up, a nonprofit that helps womenin Central America, India and West Africa build businesses as a pathway out ofextreme poverty. In this position, she manages special events, fundraising appealsand campaigns for the organization. Previously, Shira worked with numerousnonprofits focused on social justice and conflict resolution in Israel and Palestine atthe New Israel Fund, a charitable foundation in New York, and at BenOr Consulting,a strategic communications consulting firm in Tel Aviv. She holds a B.A. inInternational Relations with a minor in Middle Eastern Languages, Literature andCultures from Stanford University and is the Chair of the Marketing and OutreachCommittee for the Stanford Women’s Network- New York. Shira is a New York Citynative and a Hapkido instructor in her spare time.Sid Radhakrishna is an Associate with PwC Boston’s audit practice, and is currentlypursuing his CPA license. He graduated from UMass Amherst with a BBA inAccounting in May 2012. His passion for socially responsible enterprise was sparkedby reading How to Change the World, which inspired him to pursue a life path thatmerges money and meaning. During his last year at school, Sid led workshops forcommunity-based organization staff in Holyoke, MA, and competed in casecompetitions centered on sustainable business and socially responsible investment.Sid’s other campus experiences center on the empowerment of others, whetherthrough consulting for a student-run cooperative, founding a student advisoryboard, or tutoring writing. Sid comes to StartingBloc looking to connect with like-minded individuals who strive to make a similar dent in the universe. He is adedicated runner, a lifelong learner, and someone always on the lookout for adeep conversation.Sophie Cooper holds an MA in Oral History from Columbia University, where shefocused on community histories and collective memory. She has previously workedin politics and in the non-profit sector. She is interested in documentary film as amedium for narrative and story telling. In addition to her MA, she holds a BA inHistory from Yale University.Stefanie Cohen was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. She was part of theyoung national soccer league and was captain of her clubs soccer team for threeyears. She moved to the US and is currently enrolled at the University of Miami,Florida. She is very interested in health and nutrition, and committed to help younggenerations understand how a good nutrition will impact their overall health. A 2-month volunteering experience in an orphanage in Nepal made her aware of howmuch she can contribute in improving the lifestyle of others. She is the Chair ofCommunity for Vitality U, a student driven organization that promotes health andwell being through good eating habits. She hopes to be able to expand theprogram through the support of food companies and government agencies, andalso focus on the problem of food deserts. As the famous Latin quotation goes: " Asound mind in a healthy body", she wants to be part of the leading group thatsupports and empowers children to become better adults.
  18. 18. The 2013 New York Institute for Social InnovationDesign for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts136 West 21st St, 5th Fl, New York, NY 10011__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________StartingBloc, 349 Fifth Avenue, Suite 402 (4th Floor), New York, NY 10016 | www.startingbloc.org   | tw ::@startingbloc.org Stephanie Austin - A Nebraskan and a Brit walk into a bar. 25 years of happymarriage later, their daughter is honored to be a StartingBloc Fellow! StephanieAustin grew up in Northern California, graduated with honors from UC San Diegoand “studied abroad” in Oregon and England. She majored in History (focus onwar/revolution and social change) and Spanish literature and is still unsure of whyshe took those calculus, physics and chemistry courses. After graduating,Stephanie has worked for Portland State University (through the AmeriCorps VISTAprogram), the Rotary Club of Portland, spent a year on a tech start up and is nowthe Marketing Associate for Albertina Kerr- Oregons second most admired non-profit. In her free time, she runs a networking group "ResourcePDX", enjoys lyriccreation, plays with different grad school/future ideas and tries to post a daily punvia @_Steph_Austin.Suhail Kassim is a Private Sector Development Specialist and Task Team Leader withthe World Bank and International Finance Corporation, a technical instructor andproject advisor at MITs D-Lab, and serves on the boards of several startups andnonprofits. At the World Bank Group, he has worked on 12 lending operationstotaling over US$ 4 billion; 8 countries including 3 war zones; and 6 publications oncompetitiveness, investment climate and microfinance. Prior to joining the WorldBank Group, Suhail was a private equity investor with Tata Industries, a managerwith the Tata Administrative Service, and an equities analyst with JP Morgan. Hehas featured as a guest lecturer and business plan jury member in variousuniversities and forums. Suhail is an alumnus of the London School of Economics,the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad and BITS Pilani.Syed Mafiz Kamal (fondly known as Onik) is a graduate student at New YorkUniversitys Center for Global Affairs. Alongside, he interns at the Bangladesh Missionto the United Nations HQ. Prior to graduate studies he was the Global Logistics &Youth Assembly at United Nations Fellow at Friendship Ambassadors Foundation. Heacted as the Team Support for the first TEDxUNPlaza. Syed completed hisundergraduate degree in International Relations from Earlham College, Indiana,USA. While in college he founded Arts For Peace, an organization aimed tointegrate war-affected youth, in Sierra Leone, through art making. Syed completedhis earlier education in United World College in Hong Kong, Mayo College in Indiaand primary education in Bangladesh. Syed has worked and volunteered in variousprojects in countries including Vietnam, China, Jordan, Thailand & Spain. Syed is aDavis Foundation Fellow & a FEAST Fellow. Syed speaks 6 languages. In his sparetime Syed likes to paint & play/follow soccer.When she joined Design for America in 2009 as a student, Thea found a wonderfulcombination of most everything she loves - art, science, wonderful people, andmeaningful action. Over the past 3 years, she’s filled a wide variety of roles fromstudent coach to team cheerleader to studio lead, all experiences that she drawsupon to aid the success of today’s students innovators and their insightful solutions.She will never pass up brainstorming, adventuring, and nerding out about design,food, or nature. Shes thrilled to be a part of StartingBloc NY 13!
  19. 19. The 2013 New York Institute for Social InnovationDesign for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts136 West 21st St, 5th Fl, New York, NY 10011__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________StartingBloc, 349 Fifth Avenue, Suite 402 (4th Floor), New York, NY 10016 | www.startingbloc.org   | tw ::@startingbloc.org Tremaine Phillips is currently the Director for Innovation & Region Building for thePrima Civitas Foundation and the co-founder/ partner of MiGrid, LLC. A graduateof Michigan State University, Tremaine earned a degree in EnvironmentalEconomics and Policy. Upon graduation, Phillips was honored with the distinguishedRichard Lee Featherstone Award for his leadership and intellectual curiosity outsideof the traditional university curriculum. Prior to his employment at Prima Civitas,Tremaine worked as the Energy Program Associate for the Michigan EnvironmentalCouncil and as the Assistant Deputy Director for the Michigan Dept. of EnergyLabor & Economic Growth. Tremaine is a past fellow of the Audubon-ToyotaTogetherGreen and World Wildlife Fund–Nissan Environmental Leadership Programs,and currently a member of the national Young Climate Leaders Network. Starting inthe fall of 2013, Tremaine will be pursuing his Juris Doctorate at The Ohio StateUniversity Moritz College of Law.Ulysses Ifill hails from Brooklyn, New York. Ulysses graduated from NortheasternUniversity in 2010 with a Bachelors Degree in Political Science and a minor inInternational Affairs. Ulysses has traveled extensively during his undergraduatecareer. He studied abroad in Ghana, West Africa, participated in a Global CorpsPracticum to India and a Field Study Program Belize and the Dominican Republic.He is heavily interested in international development, social entrepreneurship, andbelieves in the service of others. Hed ultimately like to obtain his MBA in the next 5years. Before joining StartingBloc, Ulysses served 1,716 hours as a 2011 -2012AmeriCorps Volunteer for City Year New York. As a Corps Member, he provided in-class support to a 5th grade special needs class. Currently, Ulysses works for theKaplan Educational Foundation. As the program associate he providesprogrammatic support to the foundations and its initiatives. Fun Fact: Ulysses has atwin brother!Varun Gupta is an engineer, theatre artist, guest speaker, entrepreneur, trainer, to-be author, a foodie, traveler (wanderer), an NLP-Neuro Linguistic ProgrammingPractitioner, among many other things. He currently holds the position of theAssociate Vice-President and a Partner at BlueTiger Learning Services Pvt. Ltd.managing the Sales and the training for the company. He has worked successfullyin various spheres and different organizations, including co-founding a company atthe age of 19, which today is one of the biggest of its kind in Karnataka. He alsoworks as a business Consultant- one of the youngest in South Asia, having theexperience to have worked with clients like Bharti Airtel, Raymond Ltd, Akzo Nobel,Gyan Vihar and has been a performance catalyst for several SMEs acrossBangalore including Murray Culshaw Consulting, MCC, Altius etc. Today he ismaking a dent on this world by transforming individuals and helping them takecontrol of their lives.Wassie Goushe, a Virginia native, attended Virginia Commonwealth University from2004 to 2008. After completing his undergraduate degree he was employed byCapital One financial. Wassie left Capital One to pursue an opportunity abroadwith the French Microfinance Nongovernmental Organization Planet Finance. In2011, he returned to the States where he completed a Master’s in InformationTechnology at Virginia Tech, and has since launched a social enterprise of his own,Collabovate.org. In addition to Collabovate, Wassie works as cyber securityconsultant and has held positions with a handful federal government agencies.Since August of 2012 he has been employed in Afghanistan where he works withAfghan and western organizations on cyber security and telecommunicationinfrastructure issues. Wassie is a native speaker of Arabic and Urdu.
  20. 20. The 2013 New York Institute for Social InnovationDesign for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts136 West 21st St, 5th Fl, New York, NY 10011__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________StartingBloc, 349 Fifth Avenue, Suite 402 (4th Floor), New York, NY 10016 | www.startingbloc.org   | tw ::@startingbloc.org StartingBloc349 Fifth Avenue, Suite 402New York, NY 10016info@startingbloc.orgtw : @startingbloc

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