BIF2017 in Review - Watch Their Stories

  • Former Football Player And Cancer Survivor Now Helps Patients And Families

    Founded by former New England Patriots offensive guard Joe Andruzzi and his wife Jen in 2008, the Joe Andruzzi Foundation grew out of Andruzzi’s own successful battle with cancer and the couple’s ongoing work with young cancer patients.

    Andruzzi's football career ended in 2007 when he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Burkitt’s lymphoma. He is now cancer-free, but a new passion grew from his own cancer experience: helping other cancer patients and their families. After witnessing firsthand the stress cancer can cause, the Andruzzis created a foundation to help cancer patients and their families meet life’s day-to-day challenges. And the Foundation’s (Up)Beat cancer initiative strives to keep families positive by organizing outings and visits with New England’s professional athletes.

    The Joe Andruzzi Foundation provides financial assistance to cancer patients and families, helping them focus on recovery, not bills. It also funds cancer research at Boston Children’s Hospital, building on the Andruzzis’ longstanding commitment to cutting-edge pediatric brain cancer research.

    In 2003, the Andruzzis founded the C.J. Buckley Cancer Research Fund at Children’s in memory of their young friend Buckley, who suffered a brain tumor. Buckley’s spirit inspired the Andruzzis to support the innovative work of Dr. Mark Kieran, Director of Pediatric Neuro-Oncology at Children’s, whose work centers on the molecular nature of pediatric brain tumors, novel therapies, and surgical alternatives, with the aim of making treatment more accessible to all.

  • Empowering Congenital Heart Disease Patients To Lead Full, Productive Lives

    Dr. Ami Bhatt is an active cardiologist, researcher and educator. As Director of the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Multidisciplinary Program at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), she leads initiatives to provide state of the art subspecialty care to individuals at MGH as well as in the communities where they live. As an active TeleMedicine provider at the MGH Heart Center, she offers telemedicine patient visits and physician consultation, and is working towards building and testing mobile health and telemedicine platforms in order to bring the “virtual cardiologist visit” to individuals in the community. MGH's program’s research centers on using medical and patient reported data to create prediction algorithms which can be utilized in the community for risk stratification and at tertiary centers to optimize resource utilization.

  • Helping Houston From The Eye Of The Storm


    Angela Blanchard is president and CEO of BakerRipley, a Houston-based community development agency. Under Blanchard’s leadership for more than 30 years, BakerRipley became the largest community development organization in Texas and among the top 1% of charitable groups nationwide, currently serves more than 500,000 people in 48 counties.

  • Breathing New Life Into Marginalized Communities

    Social entrepreneur Mark Brand has successfully created 11 businesses in his home of Vancouver. His company MB Incorporated encompasses growth, sustainability, and fluidity in all its projects, undertakings, and partnerships. Brand and his teams at MB Incorporated breathe new life into marginalized and isolated communities through food, training, and meaningful employment. Brand challenges perspectives by constantly striving to improve the lives of others, while providing opportunities for growth and social change through emerging technologies, alternate currencies, and best practices.

    Brand has been recruited to speak, mentor, and mediate on the topics of social inclusion, community collaboration, and food security everywhere from TED talks to correctional facilities. He brings the lens of community to government organizations, nonprofit boards, and business advisory committees. Through his social impact efforts and love for our neighborhoods, Brand proves that you can be successful in business while contributing to your community in a long-term, meaningful way.

  • Facilitating Courageous Conversations On Race And Equity In Education

    Courtlandt Butts is Equity Program Manager of Government/NGO Partnerships at the Pacific Educational Group, where he provides racial equity leadership consultation and training for municipalities, law enforcement, and K-12 professionals. Pacific Educational Group is a consulting firm that has had 25 years of experience facilitating courageous conversations around race and equity.

    The group is committed to forging racial equity through sustained partnerships with educational organizations to transform beliefs, behaviors, and results, so people of all races can achieve at their highest levels and live their most empowered and powerful lives.

    Butts holds a BS in Education from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, and an MA in Educational Technology and Media from the University of Northern Iowa.

  • Hard-Won Insights Gained Through Adversity

    Bob Cancalosi is one of 10 executives at GE Crotonville who is responsible for the company’s $1 billion annual investment in leadership development for its global employees and strategic customers. He currently leads GE’s Customer Leadership Education team at Crotonville.

    A 29-year GE veteran, Cancalosi has been a cultural transformation leader at GE Healthcare, where he led in building a culture of boundary-less collaboration. He has also led a Leadership Simplification effort at GE Corporate.

  • Using Design To Fight Inequality And End Racism

    Antionette D. Carroll is the founder and President and CEO of Creative Reaction Lab (CRXLAB), which holds workshops and pursues projects that address areas affecting marginalized communities, including education, employment, and gun and domestic violence. The Lab's workshops bring together designers, policy experts, speakers, community partners, and citizens working in different fields.

  • Ensuring Deeper Learning For All Students


    Marc Chun is a Program Officer in Education at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. He manages a portfolio on deeper learning strategy, which aims to ensure that all students are prepared for careers and civic life post-graduation. In particular, he focuses on research grants, efforts to measure deeper learning competencies, and understanding how innovative teaching and learning tools spread within the educator community.

  • Innovating NASA And Bringing Music To The Space Station

    After 24 years and three trips to space, astronaut Cady Coleman left NASA in December 2016. During her time at NASA, she flew on two space shuttle missions and spent six months aboard the International Space Station.

    Coleman spent a total of 180 days in space. During her time on the ground at NASA, she served in a variety of roles within the Astronaut Office, including chief of robotics, lead for tile repair efforts after the Columbia accident, and lead astronaut for integration of supply ships from NASA’s commercial partners, Space X, and Orbital ATK. Most recently, she led open-innovation and public-private partnership efforts for the Office of the Chief Technologist at NASA headquarters.

    Coleman, a retired colonel in the U.S. Air Force, earned a BS in chemistry from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a doctorate in polymer science and engineering from the University of Massachusetts. Commissioned as a second lieutenant in the US Air Force, she worked as a research chemist at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base before being selected as an astronaut in 1992.

  • Can Theater Enable Community Transformation?

    Curt Columbus became Trinity Repertory Company’s fifth artistic director in January 2006, and under his direction the company has deepened its commitment to education. Columbus has strengthened the connection between Trinity’s education programs and its other unique feature, its resident acting company. Many Trinity company actors are passionate teachers, at the heart of Trinity's education programs.

    Trinity Rep’s K-12 Educational Enrichment program has grown threefold under Columbus' direction. Adult education offerings have also expanded, including weekly “talkbacks” for audience members, who get a chance to ask actors and directors questions and tell them what they loved and hated about what they saw on stage. Columbus also heads Trinity Rep’s MFA program in acting and directing, offered jointly with Brown University.

  • The Principles And Practices Of Nonviolence Can Stop The Cycle Of Violence


    Teny Gross is the executive director of the Institute for Nonviolence Chicago, a new support to reduce violence in the city’s most violent neighborhoods. A veteran of the Israeli Defense Force, Teny began his career in ending violence in the United States as a Senior Street Worker for the City of Boston and later was recruited to found and be the CEO of the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence in Providence, RI. Teny has a B.F.A. from Tufts, an M.T.S. from Harvard and a fellowship in Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management from Harvard Business School.

  • Giving Citizens A Voice In The Public Sector Through Technology

    Dustin Haisler is Chief Innovation Officer for e.Republic. In addition to shaping e.Republic's products, services, and future direction, he leads e.Republic Labs, a market connector created as an ecosystem to educate, accelerate, and ultimately scale technology innovation within the public sector.

    Previously, Haisler was Finance Director and later, Assistant City Manager for Manor, a small city outside Austin, TX. There, he quickly earned a reputation as an early innovator in civic technology. A member of Code for America’s original steering committee, Haisler pioneered government use of commercial technologies such as Quick-Response (QR) barcodes, crowdsourcing, and gamification — none of which had been used before in the public sector. In 2010, Haisler helped design and launch Manor Labs, one of the first government open innovation programs in the US, which received global recognition as a new model of citizen engagement and innovation.

    Later, Haisler became director of government innovation at Spigit, where he helped design and deploy innovation programs for New York City; Bogota, Columbia; and even part of the space program (through NASA’s Langley Research Center). His first-in-nation innovations include architecting a Crowdsourcing Master Land Use Plan for Harford County, MD, and patenting a crowd-based business process (Crowd-as-a-Service).

    In 2009, Haisler was named a Government Technology Top 25 Doer, Dreamer, and Driver. His work has been featured in Wired, Fast Company, the Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Inc. magazine, and the Today Show. Haisler has given TEDx talks on Disrupting Government and Disrupting Education. He also serves on program faculty for the Certified Public Manager (CPM) program for Texas State University.

  • Innovating Air Travel With A Marketplace Model

    Bill Herp is founder and CEO of Linear Air, which he initially conceived as an air charter business that would leverage a new class of low-cost "very light jets" (VLJs). Herp's goal was to create a more affordable alternative for regional private jet travel.

    When the VLJ manufacturers failed, Herp was forced to re-invent his business. He re-launched Linear Air as the first "air taxi" marketplace, connecting small charter airplane operators throughout the US, Canada, and the Caribbean with regional travelers, providing travelers direct access to thousands of airports throughout North America.

    In addition to leading the business side of Linear Air, Herp continues to feed his passion for flying as a professional pilot within the Linear Air marketplace. Herp is a serial entrepreneur who earlier founded digital marketing pioneer e-Dialog, as well as Event Cellular Communications. He received a BA from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

  • A Year of Disruption is a Year of Learnings

    Whitney Johnson came to Wall Street through a secretarial side door and worked her way up to success. After eight years on Wall Street, she was an Institutional Investor-ranked equity research analyst and rated by Starmine as a superior stock-picker. However, despite the allure of Wall Street success, Johnson left equity research, walking away from Wall Street at what seemed to be the peak of her career.

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  • Connecting Creatives And Innovators To Mentor Students

    Yarrow Kraner is the Founder of HATCH. A social media innovator, he has been building global networks since 1999. Yarrow is also an Aspen Institute Fellow, is featured in the book Talent for Humanity and was named 2015 Top 100 creatives in the US by Origins Magazine.

    As a director for Virgin Studios, Kraner helmed projects for Grammy-winning musicians The Rock, Richard Branson, and P Diddy. He is currently packaging a feature film, Wind in the Fire, on the remarkable story of Bobbi Gibb, the first woman to break the gender barrier to run the Boston Marathon, recently covered in The New York Times.

    Kraner's HATCH is a global network, movement, and a series of experiences designed to catalyze creativity to HATCH a better world. It includes three annual HATCH Experience summits, the HATCH edu, series of workshops and design thinking labs in high schools and with universities, and the HATCH Labs series of salons and workshops that activate the HATCH Network to work on solutions for global challenges.

    HATCH Network members Mark Brand, Philip Sheppard, and A.J. Paron-Wildes all join Kraner as BIF2017 storytellers.

    In 2016 Yarrow founded H360, a technology platform to connect, manage, and empower private communities (alumni groups, corporate communications, and niche networks) through AI and machine learning to collaborate on projects aimed at improving humankind.

  • Drawing To Explain The 'How' And The 'Why'

    David Macaulay is perhaps best known for his award-winning international bestseller The Way Things Work. This highly accessible, visual guide to the workings of machines was dubbed “a superb achievement” by the New York Times. A new, almost completely updated version, The New Way Things Work, was released in 2016, with all new sections on the technology that most impacts our everyday lives today.

    Macaulay received a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and vowed never to practice architecture. After working as an interior designer, a junior high school teacher, and a teacher at RISD, Macaulay began to experiment with creating books. He published his first book, Cathedral, in 1973.

    Following in this tradition, Macaulay created other books — including City, Castle, Pyramid, Mill, Underground, Unbuilding, and Mosque — that have explained the 'how' and the 'why' in a way that is both accessible and entertaining. From the pyramids of Egypt to the skyscrapers of New York City, Macaulay has created elaborate show-and-tells that demystify the human race’s great architectural and engineering accomplishments. Five of these titles have been made into popular PBS television programs.

  • Enabling Citizens To Co-Create The Future Of Their Communities

    BIF’s Chief Market Maker, Eli MacLaren, brings extensive experience leading institutional change efforts. MacLaren served as the Executive Director of the public foundation, the Maine Women’s Fund, as well as Chief Program Officer at GlobalGiving, the first online philanthropic marketplace that enables donors to find and fund social entrepreneurs around the world.

    Before GlobalGiving, MacLaren served as the International Director for Ashoka's Citizen Base Initiative, where she worked with social entrepreneurs from around the world on strategies to finance and scale their work. Most recently, MacLaren led the business model innovation process for Children’s Health — a $4 billion per year healthcare system in Dallas, TX.

  • Designing Better Health And Wellness For Young People

    Chris McCarthy is the VP of Strategy & Innovation at HopeLab, working to deepen the organization's impact on the health and wellness of young people through innovation and design. McCarthy is also the Executive Director and Founder of the Innovation Learning Network, a membership network made up of organizations with the common goal to make healthcare better through good design.

    In his previous role at Kaiser Permanente’s Innovation Consultancy, McCarthy tackled safer medication administration for patients, more robust shift changes for nurses, exploring the social space of elders, and the care experience of transgender people. McCarthy's work has been featured in the book Pursuing the Triple Aim: Seven Innovators Show the Way to Better Care, Better Health, and Lower Costs by Maureen Bisognano and Charles Kenney. As an author, he collaborated with Lyle Berkowitz, MD, on Innovation with Information Technologies in Healthcare, and with Lisa Schilling on Spreading Improvement Across Your Health Care Organization.

  • How 'Rebels And Heretics' Bring Value To Organizations


    Carmen Medina is a former CIA Deputy Director of Intelligence. A 32-year veteran of the Intelligence Community, she is also the author of Rebels at Work: A Handbook for Leading Change from Within.

  • Leading The Challenge To Bring More STEM Teachers To Schools

    Talia Milgrom-Elcott is Executive Director and Co-Founder of 100Kin10, an unprecedented movement to train and retain 100,000 excellent STEM teachers by 2021. With 100Kin10, Milgrom-Elcott is building a new type of collective-impact effort, with more than 250 leading organizations from across sectors coming together to collaborate, learn from one another, and together tackle challenges that none could successfully address on its own.

    Milgrom-Elcott's work was called out as “the most important effort” in STEM teacher preparation by the New York Times in 2013, was celebrated onstage by President Clinton as his favorite commitment to come out of CGI America, and was applauded by President Obama in a personalized video address to the 100Kin10 network in 2014. In 2015, she was called a “leading STEM communicator” by the White House.

  • Mentoring Both Startups And Students In Innovation And Strategy

    For more than 25 years, Deb Mills-Scofield has helped companies create and implement actionable, adaptable, measurable, and profitable innovation-based strategies. She works with "startups and upstarts" — small, medium, and big global companies in the service, manufacturing, and high-tech sectors.

    She also mentors Brown University students in the Entrepreneurship Program, the Women's Launch Pad Program, the Social Innovation Fellowship, the Brown/RISD STEAM Initiative, and several student startups.

  • Helping Non-Geeks Understand The Rise Of Technology


    Veteran tech journalist Walt Mossberg announced in spring 2017 that he would be retiring within the year, after reinventing himself "five or six times" since starting his journalism career in 1970.

    Mossberg was a tech visionary who saw as early as 1990 how important personal computers would be. Seeing a lack of PC coverage from the non-geek perspective, he started and wrote the “Personal Technology” column in the Wall Street Journal from 1991 to 2013. Mossberg had previously spent 18 years covering national and international affairs in the Journal’s Washington bureau.

    After leaving the Journal in 2014, Mossberg and Kara Swisher launched the online publication Re/code and the Recode conference. Mossberg has continued to write a personal technology column at The Verge, where he has been Executive Editor. He also created the ongoing podcast, Ctrl-Walt-Delete.

    A native of Warwick, Rhode Island, Mossberg holds degrees from Brandeis and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

  • We Need Tools And Skills To Innovate More Effectively

    Alexander Osterwalder is an entrepreneur, speaker and business model innovator. He describes himself as “obsessed with making strategy, innovation, and entrepreneurship simple, practical, and applicable."

    Osterwalder co-authored 2010’s Business Model Generation, a global bestseller on business model innovation. His Business Model Canvas, a tool to visualize, challenge and re-invent business models, is used by leading organizations around the world, such as GE, P&G, Ericsson, and 3M. He is also co-author of Value Proposition Design, published in 2014.

    Osterwalder co-founded the software company, which offers software and training on business model innovation and strategy. He is a frequent keynote speaker and guest lecturer in top universities around the world, including Stanford, Berkeley, MIT, IESE, and IMD. He holds a PhD from HEC Lausanne, Switzerland.

  • 'Design Empathy' Creates Well-Being In Workplaces

    Office design expert A.J. Paron-Wildes is the National Architectural & Design Manager for Allsteel, a commercial furniture manufacturer. She has blended her skills as a designer and with her experience of raising a son with autism to create groundbreaking design work for individuals with autism.

    Joining Paron-Wildes at BIF2017 will be her son, Devin Wildes, an accomplished artist who struggles with severe autism. Wildes works in multiple mediums, including sculpture, videography, jewelry making, screen printing, and painting in multiple mediums.

  • Intentionally Designing Patient And Caregiver Roles As Jobs

    For Len Schlesinger, entrepreneurship is a lifestyle — one that’s integral to the success of every 21st century leader. Formed from three decades of leadership expertise in industry and academia, this belief is a driving force of his work helping students and business professionals alike.

  • Creativity And Innovation At The Intersection Of Music And Data


    Philip Sheppard is a composer, producer and performer and has written 35 feature film soundtracks. Philip speaks at innovation conferences around the globe such as C2, The EG, Hatch and TTI Vanguard, delivering keynotes about the intersection of music and big data, the innate musical abilities within all of us, and other topics that connect music to creativity, tech and introspection.

  • Learning From Art, Jazz, And Language: How To Innovate When You Are Out Of Control

    Speaker, trainer, and musician Carl Størmer grew up in Norway with his mother, the late artist Sidsel Paaske. When Paaske died in 1980 at age 43, she left her only son with over 1000 paintings, sculptures and jewlery. Since 2005, Størmer started posting images of his mother´s work online. This led to a solo show at the Norwegian Museum of Contemporary Art in 2016 which became a national block-buster. The critics hailed Paaske as one of Norway´s most important innovators in art after WW2, and the country´s first pop artist.

    Størmer is an entrepreneur and has held senior marketing, strategy, and management roles with a variety of businesses including IBM. He has also been a professional jazz musician for many years, and has recorded five CDs in his own name (the latest, in 2016, featuring Mike Mainieri).

    Today Størmer runs JazzCode, a consultancy that uses live musical improvisation and visual art to demonstrate collaboration, innovation, and creativity for professionals at organizations such as IBM, Kraft, Oracle, PwC, KPMG, Insead, Novartis, the London Business School, and others.

    In 2009, Størmer co-authored the Harvard Business School case “Miles Davis: Kind of Blue” with Professor Robert D. Austin. Størmer holds bachelor's and master's degrees in music, as well in arts management. At BIF2017, he will talk about his mother´s innovation method and link visual art and business innovation strategies.

  • Creating New Ways to Bring Conversations About Diversity Into Schools


    Taliq Tillman is a junior at the Met High School in Providence, where he is driven by curiosity and his passion for learning. He is also an actor, photographer, and activist who strongly believes that empathy is his most powerful tool. He is currently an intern at Trinity Repertory Company's Education Department, where he assists in teaching classes, facilitating conversations, and planning curriculum. He is also a contributing writer for EdSurge.

  • Helping People And Corporations Move Into The New World Of Work

    Sophie Wade is an authority on the wide-ranging Future of Work issues that impact companies and workers’ new demands, such as digital transformation, managing distributed workers, workplace flexibility, intergenerational communication, new career paradigms, and attracting, engaging, and retaining talent. She is the author of Embracing Progress: Next Steps For The Future Of Work.

  • Studying Business Transformation Amid Digital Disruption

    Ray Wang is Principal Analyst, Founder, and Chairman of Silicon Valley-based Constellation Research. His popular business strategy and technology blog "A Software Insider’s Point of View” receives 10s of millions of pageviews each year. The blog provides insight into disruptive technologies and new business models such as digital transformation impact brands, enterprises, and organizations impact the enterprise.

  • It’s Time To Innovate The Public Sector


    Alan Webber co-founded Fast Company magazine with Bill Taylor and served as its editor until the publication was sold in 2000. Since moving to New Mexico in 2003, Webber has been active in New Mexico politics. In 2014, he ran for the Democratic nomination for Governor of New Mexico, finishing second in a field of five.

  • Combining Acting And Community Activism

    Joe Wilson, Jr. has been a member of the Trinity Repertory Company for 11 seasons. He has also appeared in productions on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and throughout the country.

    In his time at Trinity, Wilson has made significant contributions to the Providence community. He received the 2014 Volunteer of the Year Award from the Manton Avenue Project in Providence's Olneyville neighborhood, for recognition of his contributions as a guest artist, teacher, and board member.

  • Rethinking The Way We Monetize Our Talents

    Dorie Clark is a marketing strategy consultant, professional speaker, and frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and others. Recognized as a branding expert by the Associated Press and Fortune, she is the author of Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future and Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea & Build a Following Around It, and the forthcoming Entrepreneurial You.


September 13-14, 2018

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BIF2017 In Review

BIF Summit Archive

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