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Author and Speaker
President and CEO
Manchester Bidwell Corporation
Bill Strickland is the President and CEO of Manchester Bidwell Corporation (MBC) and its subsidiaries, Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild and Bidwell Training Center, both founded in 1968, and National Center for Arts and Technology, founded in 2006. As President and CEO, Strickland's duties include developing and implementing major fund-raising plans of action, working with Boards of Directors and Industry Advisory Boards and encouraging the participation of corporate executive officials from major multi-national Pittsburgh corporations. Strickland is also instrumental in the creation and maintenance of MBC’s operational affiliate centers in Cincinnati and Cleveland, OH; Grand Rapids, MI; San Francisco, CA; Boston, MA; Buffalo, NY; Brockway, PA and New Haven, CT . Currently, there are several more US cities pursuing the possibility of opening a center for arts and technology and one international city is also considering implementing a site in their community.
Founder & President of ComCon International; Founder, Roselyne C. Swig Artsource (1978-94). Former Director, U.S. Department of State Art in Embassies Program (1994-97). Philanthropic and community service efforts, at local, national and global level: women empowerment, social welfare, fine art, political advocacy, education. Founder, Partners Ending Domestic Abuse; member, United Religions Initiative, President's Council. Boards: Vital Voices Global Partnership; NPR Foundation; Mills College, SF Art Institute, SFMOMA, UC Art Museum & Pacific Film Archives; The Contemporary Jewish Museum; AIPAC; American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee; Jewish Community Federation; KQED. Ms. Swig is a 2013 Advanced Leadership Fellow, appointed to the Advanced Leadership Initiative at Harvard University. Honorary degrees: SF Art Institute; USF; Mills College; Santa Clara University. Ms. Swig is the wife of the late Richard Lewis Swig, has four children and twelve grandchildren.
Lynette Wallworth is an Australian artist whose immersive video installations and film works reflect on the connections between people and the natural world as well as exploring fragile human states of grace. Her work uses immersive environments, interactive technologies with gestural interfaces and narrative long form film to engage with viewers. Her most recent works include the feature documentary TENDER tracing the beginnings of a community led funeral company and CORAL an immersive film for full-dome digital planetariums with augmented reality companion work. Wallworth’s work has been shown at the Lincoln Center, the Sundance Film Festival, , the Smithsonian, American Museum of Natural History, London 2012 Cultural Olymiad, Auckland Triennial, Adelaide Biennial, England’s Brighton Festival, the Vienna Festival among many others. She has mentored in expanded story worlds at BAVC Producers Institute, Sundance New Frontier Lab and Australias' HIVE Labs.
Chief Executive Officer
Kanawha Institute for Social Research & Action, Inc.
Dr. Michelle Mickle Foster is the CEO of the Kanawha Institute for Social Research & Action, Inc. (KISRA) and has served in this capacity since 1998. She developed all of KISRA’s programs that are in the areas of health, employment, asset development and learning. Under her leadership, KISRA has grown from one employee sponsored by Ferguson Memorial Baptist Church (KISRA’s founder), to a team of over seventy employees with funding from multiple local, state, and federal sources. Dr. Foster and the KISRA team serve and empower thousands of West Virginians annually. Her work has been recognized locally and nationally. In 2012, she was honored to be named a Fatherhood Champion of Change by President Obama at the White House. Michelle has a doctorate in community economic development (CED) and two master’s degrees - one in CED and another in engineering management. She is also a certified economic development financial professional and a certified housing development financial professional. Prior to her CED career, Dr. Foster was a chemical engineer.
Chief Executive Officer
Cherie Blair Foundation for Women
Sevi Simavi is the Chief Executive Officer of Cherie Blair Foundation for Women. In this capacity, Sevi oversees Foundation's strategy, impact and programme delivery, with a reach to 70 countries around the globe. With over twelve years of global public policy and financial sector development experience gained in over 50 countries across the globe through work at the World Bank Group and the private sector, Sevi's expertise includes business and financial regulation, institution and capacity building, women’s entrepreneurship and results measurement. She has advised governments, central banks and non-governmental institutions in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Middle East on investment climate reform, access to finance for SMEs and women’s economic empowerment. She initiated and rolled out innovative programs and functions from ground up. She has published extensively on women’s economic empowerment, access to finance and business enabling environment.
Ross Baird, Executive Director Ross developed the Village Capital concept in 2009, and has led the development of programs worldwide. Before launching Village Capital, he worked with First Light Ventures, a seed fund focused on impact investments. Prior to First Light, Ross worked on the development of four education-related start-up ventures: the Indian School Finance Company in Hyderabad, India; the National College Advising Corps in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and two ventures using technology to promote civic participation. He has a MPhil from the University of Oxford, where he was a Marshall Scholar, and a BA from the University of Virginia, where he was a Truman Scholar and a Jefferson Scholar.
At Crisis Action, Nicola oversees campaigns spurring collaborations among civil society across the world to protect civilians in situations from Syria to Sudan. She’s been associated with Crisis Action since 2006, when she joined the board whilst also heading up Oxfam International’s New York office. There, she led Oxfam’s global campaigning on conflict and humanitarian crises, working alongside allies in government and civil society to achieve the historic agreement by world leaders that they have a responsibility to protect populations from genocide and crimes against humanity, at the 2005 UN World Summit. From Oxfam, Nicola moved to set up the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect. Nicola’s also worked for the UN and Oxfam in Rwanda, Washington DC and Oxford, been a Research Fellow at London’s Overseas Development Institute and been an adviser to Avaaz. Nicola holds a First Class degree in Social and Political Science from King’s College, Cambridge and an MSC from the LSE.
Author and Speaker
Founder and Director
One Acre Fund
Andrew is the co-founder and director of One Acre Fund. Most of the world's poor people are smallholder farmers, and we have an innovative method for helping them to double their productivity. We currently serve 200,000 farmers in East Africa with farm input loans and training, and are growing by 50%+ per year.
Center for Evaluation Innovation
Tanya Beer is Associate Director of the Center for Evaluation Innovation. In addition to publishing on emerging trends in the evaluation of innovative social change efforts, Tanya works with foundations, nonprofits, and evaluators to develop new evaluation tools, methods, and learning processes. She also serves as co-director of the Evaluation Roundtable, a network of foundation evaluation leaders that seeks to improve how foundations learn about the results of their grantmaking and increase the impact of their work.
Leetha Filderman serves as PopTech's President and is a principal architect of PopTech's initiatives, which support cross-sector collaborative projects and train promising innovators and scientists through the Social Innovation and Science Fellows programs. In the 1980s and 90s she developed a number of initiatives that opened access to state-of-the art care for the urban poor suffering from HIV/AIDS, serving as the Administrative Director of the Yale-New Haven Hospital AIDS Program and Research Liaison for the Boston City Hospital AIDS Research Program. Leetha has a deep and diverse background in innovative program design, and she has advised and served on the boards of numerous organizations and agencies.