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In 2009, Liam co-founded Wavelength to change the world for the better through business. Before that he created and/or led 12 social businesses including Liverpool’s pioneering FRC Group (1992-2004) and Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen (2004-2008). He is the President of the Friends of Grameen (an international solidarity group around Muhammad Yunus) and helps pick winners for Impact Ventures UK and Centrica’s Ignite entrepreneurs fund. He dispenses irreverent advice through his widely read Dear Jude blog.
Dr. Wiebe Boer is CEO of The Tony Elumelu Foundation. TEF is charged with the mission of driving Africa’s economic development by enhancing the competitiveness of the African private sector. Under His leadership, the foundation strategically deploys its resources to generate solutions to challenges that inhibit Africa’s entrepreneurs. Dr. Boer is also a director of Mtanga Farms, Tanzania; a member of the advisory board of Digital Divide Data Kenya, and serves on the board of the African Grantmakers Network. Previously, Dr. Boer was associate director at the Rockefeller Foundation, he also worked as a consultant with McKinsey & Co. Born and raised in Jos, Nigeria, Dr. Boer earned his doctorate in history at Yale University and undergraduate degree at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA.
Director Business Development
Chris Isaac is a founding director of AgDevCo, a US$140 million impact fund which invests in socially responsible farming and agriprocessing businesses in Africa. AgDevCo operates in five countries and has a rapidly growing portfolio, with over 25 investments made. Chris has been making investments and working on development issues in SSA for more than 12 years. Prior to that he had a career in corporate finance in the UK. He studied economics at Oxford and the London School of Economics.
Director of Portfolio Engagement
Laura Vais joined the Skoll Foundation in 2005 and over the years has had executive responsibility for a broad set of programmatic initiatives. Now, as Director of Portfolio Engagement, Laura develops opportunities and programs to leverage Skoll's strategic partnerships to amplify social entrepreneurs' work and impact on the ground. Laura is also responsible for the Skoll awardee convening at the Skoll World Forum, held annually in Oxford, England. The Skoll community shares a deep commitment to long-term, systemic social change and is an essential component to the mission of the Foundation in pursuit of our common vision of a sustainable world of peace and prosperity. Prior to her move to the Skoll Foundation, Laura worked at high-tech companies in Silicon Valley and prior to that, as a special education teacher and communicative disorders therapist. In addition to her teaching credentials Laura received a Bachelor in Cultural Anthropology from the University of California at Davis.
TED Conferences LLC
For the past 25 years, I've worked in a variety of media concerns, including book and magazine publishing as well as digital media. My central role has been developing creative ways for companies to engage with influential consumers, with programs built around cultural ideas and unconventional thinking. I am currently the creative director of TED, shaping new ways for companies and organizations to align their own messages and missions with TED's expanding initiatives worldwide. Along the course of life, I've also been able to witness an eclectic mosaic of work experiences that cut across several sectors: I've worked in a scary antiquated aluminum factory during a labor crisis, ghost written a book with Kermit the Frog, worked on a presidential primary campaign in New Hampshire, provided the voice of a claymation snake in a Nick Park Aardman production, and tended bar in one of Charles Dickens' favorite London pubs.
Mark has been involved in social finance for several years and founded Finance for Good in 2012. Prior to founding Finance for Good Mark was a consultant at McKinsey & Company where he specialized in innovation generation. Mark’s projects often involved creating new partnerships and communication channels between research teams and the broader organization in which they interacted. Through these projects, Mark has worked with Canada’s largest companies and provincial governments. Prior to joining McKinsey, Mark received a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the University of Alberta, where he was a Peter Lougheed Scholarship recipient. Mark is currently studying for his MBA at Said Business School as 2013-2014 Skoll Scholar.
Per Heggenes is the CEO of the IKEA Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Stichting INGKA Foundation which owns the IKEA Group, the Swedish home furnishing company. Prior to joining the foundation, Heggenes was the Global Head of Corporate Affairs and member of the Global Executive Team for the shipping and logistics company Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics. Before joining WWL he was the UK President and CEO for the global public relations firm Burson-Marsteller and Co-CEO for Europe. Previously, he held different global roles (Global Head of Human Resources, Worldwide Chief Knowledge Officer, Global Affiliate network director) based in New York. Prior to these roles, Mr. Heggenes was chairman of the Corporate Practice in Europe followed by a period as Chief Operating Officer of Burson-Marsteller Europe. He graduated from the University of Augsburg in Germany with a "Diplom Oekonom" (MBA). He is married with three children and lives in Switzerland.
Managing Director of Business Development
With over 28 years of experience in Information Technology sector, Behzad Nasre is the founder of Jump-Start Business Consulting, with a vision and passion for helping social entrepreneurs scaling their businesses and developing a sustainable model for their enterprises. Behzad expertise in Business and Organizational development has allowed him help prepare businesses within and outside of Intel achieve their business objectives. He has held many executive positions at Intel Corporation including Managing Director of Business Development in Intel Capital for the past 11 years. Intel Capital is the strategic venture capital arm for Intel Corporation, with the mission to invest across the broad spectrum of technology innovation to encourage the creation of the technologies of tomorrow. Behzad has served as a Board member of start-up companies such as Demos-on-demand, Tapclick, and Apixio.
Nancy Richards Farese is the Founder and Board Chair of PhotoPhilanthropy, a San Francisco-based non-profit that rewards and promotes the work of photographers globally who work with community organizations using visual storytelling to show the most critical issues of our time. Nancy is also a social documentary photographer known for creating evocative and dignified images of critical non-profit work. She travels extensively and has worked with The Carter Center, Mercy Corps, Room to Read, The UNHCR and the International Rescue Committee, among others. She also lectures and writes on the evolving use of photography as a critical social awareness tool, and the role of visual media in non-profit storytelling. Nancy currently serves on the Board of KQED Public Media, with a personal interest in the intersection of education and high quality content delivery on new media platforms. She is from Carrollton, Georgia and now lives in Marin County, California.
Director - Water, Sanitation & Hygiene
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Brian Arbogast leads the foundation’s effort to bring groundbreaking innovations in sanitation technology and new ways to deliver sanitation products and services to people in the developing world. Arbogast was previously a Corporate Vice President at Microsoft Corporation, leading an international portfolio of R&D projects. More recently, he concentrated in cleantech and international development, driving market solutions to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges. He served as a Senior Advisor with The Boston Consulting Group and as a board member of the Northwest Energy Angels and of Water1st International. He is a founding board member of Progress Alliance of Washington and an advisor to Upaya Social Ventures. Arbogast received his Bachelor of Mathematics in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo, Canada, and a Certificate in Sustainable Business from the Bainbridge Graduate Institute.