Claudia Welss is Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS), founded by Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell, and founding Chair of Invest in Yourself at NEXUS Global Youth Summit and Network, bridging practical consciousness research and social innovation. As a citizen scientist, entrepreneur, donor, and impact investor, she advises and funds inventive projects with the potential to accelerate large-scale change like World Future Coin and HeartMath’s Global Coherence Initiative. Her mission of increasing coherence across domains ranges from scaling grassroots subtle activism to investing in quantum energy healing technologies. Previously, Claudia pioneered the concept of collaboration labs by founding NextNow Collaboratory, once described by the director of MIT’s Center for Collective Intelligence as a “new kind of collective intelligence.” For 7 years, she was director of the University of California, Berkeley Haas School’s new center delivering strategic learning programs for corporations while initiating social responsibility and sustainability curriculum. This experience led her to explore consciousness as a powerful leverage point for inspiring regenerative culture.
Danielle Pearl specializes in design, monitoring, evaluation, and organizational learning for international development programs and bilateral donors. She currently leads the Evidence & Learning Practice for USAID’s Office of Local Sustainability, through a contract with Dexis Consulting Group. Danielle’s work focuses on helping donors become more responsive and accountable partners to local organizations and the communities they serve. Danielle has supported USAID, the World Bank, and local partners in over a dozen countries, including Afghanistan, Rwanda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and other active and post-conflict societies. She holds an MA in Democracy and Governance from Georgetown University and a BA from the University of Georgia.
David Levine is the co-founder and President of the American Sustainable Business Council, a growing coalition of business organizations and companies, collectively representing over 250,000 businesses, committed to advancing market shifts and policies that support a vibrant, just and sustainable economy. He has worked as a social entrepreneur for over 35 years focusing on the development of whole systems solutions for a more sustainable society through building strategic partnerships and broad stakeholders initiatives. Previously, he was the Founding Director of Continuing Education & Public Programs at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. From 1984–1997, David was Founder and executive director of the Learning Alliance, an independent popular education organization.
Gagan Jared Levy sits on the board of directors for the prestigious Social Venture Network/Investor Circle, a premier socially responsible business community, and for the Love Serve Remember (Ram Dass’) Foundation. He is an adjunct professor for the University of Colorado advertising program and is founder and CEO of Guru Media Solutions, a nimble, mindfully different strategic marketing agency focusing on empowering movements and purpose driven brands. His past is rooted in digital marketing across the music and entertainment industry where he grew and sold his digital publicity agency (working on EMI, Warner and many major artists) to a major label. He then moved into working with larger conscious food and beverage brands (Jamba Juice, LunaBar, California Pizza Kitchen, etc) with co-owned creative agency, Neighbor Agency, which was sold to a holding company, Zealot Networks in 2014. He has led ground breaking communications and marketing campaigns for a wide array of purpose driven clients including Obama 08’, 1% For the Planet, Echoing Green, MPAA, World Bank, NASA Earth Science, US Forest Service and many others. He is recognized as a leader in digital marketing and creative strategy and is regularly invited to speak at large corporate events and universities. He is based in San Francisco and lives in Marin county with his wife Jyoti, their daughter Jaya Grace and ever-present dog Beans.
Flavia Bellaguarda is a lawyer with expertise in climate change and human rights at Legal Response Initiative (LRI). She holds a Master’s degree in International Development – Sustainability, Environment and Politics at University of Birmingham/UK, focusing her research topic on climate justice in Mozambique. She has also studied sustainability at Schumacher College. She has experience as project manager in the third sector working at United Way. She is Global Shaper, member of RAPS (Sustainable Policy Action Network) and Iclima (Brazilian Institute for Climate Change Law). She is also a co-founder and COO of Youth Climate Leaders.
Herb Stephens is a co-founder and the Treasurer of Democracy Earth Foundation. For the past 25 years, Herb has been a serial software entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, mostly building systems where power purposefully shifts to the user through technology. Since learning of blockchain technology in 2012 and considering it “the best invention since the Internet itself”, Herb dedicated the rest of his career to social entrepreneurism. Herb was COO & CFO of Intershop (world’s first online catalog technology, IPO 1998), Founder and CEO of Outcome (web service management company), and Founder & CEO of Nuehealth (a Salesforce.com global healthcare partner). Prior to software, Herb held corporate finance and global systems roles at General Motors, NCR Corporation, IBM, GE and GE Capital. Born in Flint, Michigan, Herb is the second of eight children in a household where both parents were small-business entrepreneurs. Herb “has worn a tool belt since he could walk!” Herb earned a bachelors degree in Financial Administration Michigan State University and also studied math and computer science at University of Michigan. He has travelled, lived and worked all over the world (43 countries, and counting). When not hacking for Democracy.Earth, Herb is an avid alpine skier, snowboarder and mountain biker.
Jonah Wittkamper has organized global networks of young philanthropists for nearly a decade, inspiring new charitable activity from many wealthy families. He currently serves as President of NEXUS and Executive Director of the Healthy Democracy Coalition, a US national alliance of cross partisan philanthropists. Prior to co-founding NEXUS, Jonah served as the US Director of Search for Common Ground and was part of Distributive Networks Inc., where he helped to build the text messaging technology used by the Obama campaign. In 2000, Jonah co-founded the Global Youth Action Network (GYAN) to strengthen youth participation in global decision-making. He ran the South American Regional Office from Sao Paulo until 2006. As the organization grew it merged with TakingITGlobal (www.tigweb.org) to form the largest site on the Internet dedicated to empowering young leaders. It receives nearly 2 million hits per day. Earlier in his career, Jonah led an award winning student computing organization, founded two internet startups, and created a corporate social responsibility initiative in one of the world’s largest corporations. He has served as a co-founder, board member, or advisor to a number of organizations including Pioneers of Change, the ManyOne Foundation, the L. A. Jonas Foundation, the Shift Foundation, WISE (Wealthy Individuals – Social Entrepreneurs), and many others. In 2015 he served on the Emerging Forms of Philanthropy Advisory Committee of the Council on Foundations. An alumnus of Williams College and Camp Rising Sun, he lives in the Washington, DC area.
Maja Groff is an international lawyer based in The Hague, assisting in the development and servicing of international, multilateral treaties. She has worked on existing and potential global treaties addressing areas of child law, issues disproportionately affecting women (including violence against women and human trafficking), persons with disabilities, access to legal information and other topics, as well as on the pioneering International Hague Network of Judges. She conducts liaison work with international professional associations, NGOs and international organisations (including various UN bodies), and has played a key role in the convening of a range of international conferences and legal expert groups. She has drafted international legal policy documents and published academically on private and public international law, human rights and global governance (e.g., Cambridge University Press, Edward Elgar, Hart, Intersentia). She holds degrees from McGill (civil law and common law), Oxford and Harvard Universities, and is an attorney admitted to practice in the state of New York. She serves on the United Nations Committee of the New York City Bar Association, and is a member of the Advisory / Elected Boards of BCorp Europe and ebbf, organisations devoted to ethical business.
Mikuak Rai is Co-founder of the World Future Coin initiative. A self-described ‘creative catalyst’ and ‘systems change architect’, he is very passionate about the role of creative arts, systems thinking, and collaboration in designing and perpetuating a future that encourages and supports personal and planetary coherence and wellbeing. Mikuak is the former Communications Manager for NEXUS, a global community bridging communities of wealth and social entrepreneurship, and currently Co-chairs the NEXUS Lab on Blockchain & Systems Change and the NEXUS Lab on Music. Mikuak is also a co-founder of One Common Unity, a Washington DC-based nonprofit organization “building a non-violent culture through arts, music, and education.” In 2016, Mikuak co-founded the Global Council for Calendar Awareness (GCCA) whose aim is to promote calendar reform by educating people on the benefits of adopting a new harmonic calendar standard of 13 months with 28 days each as the basis for an upgraded ‘operational system’ for human society, in order to consciously realign and synchronize with natural biological and planetary cycles. This effort has led to the Calendar Referendum 2020 and Declaration of Universal World Peace currently being promoted online. Mikuak also currently serves on the URI (United Religions Initiative) Multiregion Leadership Council.
Rajiv Joshi is a social entrepreneur and activist who serves as Managing Director and a founding member of The B Team, based in New York. He is working actively with some of the world’s most influential CEOs to help redefine the role of business in tackling inequality, corruption, climate change and other barriers to sustainable development.Rajiv has served as a Trustee of Oxfam and as Executive Director and Head of Programs for the Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP), the world’s largest civil society alliance working to end poverty and inequality. During this time he led global action towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), mobilizing over 173 million people as part of the ‘Stand Up: Take Action’ initiative. He also supported The Elders with their ‘Every Human Has Rights’ campaign and helped spearhead citizen participation in creating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as co-founder of ‘The World We Want 2015’ platform and founding Chair of the Post-2015 Policy and Strategy Group.Rajiv also serves on the Board of the Centre for Scottish Public Policy. He previously served for six years as an elected Board Member of CIVICUS based in Johannesburg, representing civil society organizations in more than 100 countries. In 2008 Rajiv founded the CIVICUS Youth Assembly. From 2005-2007 Rajiv served two elected terms as Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament, and has also been a Senior Advisor to the British Council, as well as a publicly appointed member of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (Scotland Committee). He also worked as a Senior Public Sector Consultant with CapGemini in the UK.Rajiv holds a First Class Honors Degree in Economics from the University of Strathclyde and a Masters in Public Policy and Administration (MPA) with a focus on International Economic Policy from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.
Rich Halvorson is the CEO of Synergy Fuels. He is a global activist disguised as tech investor and advisor. Currently running an advanced energy innovation platform, he invests in engineers, inventors, patents, and technologies that are typically post-patent, post-revenue, and significantly disruptive in their respective spaces. He previously started a global non-profit active in 25 countries and launched companies in enterprise tech, consumer products, and aviation. He studied Philosophy at Harvard after growing up in Boise, Idaho. With a deep love for books, learning, outdoors, and global impact with good people, he engages in global economic growth, political philosophy, economic theory, human rights, technology and scalable impact.
Richard Ponzio is Director of the Just Security 2020 Program and a Senior Fellow at Stimson. Previously, he directed the Global Governance Program at The Hague Institute for Global Justice, where (in a partnership with Stimson) he served as Director for the Albright-Gambari Commission on Global Security, Justice & Governance. He brings expertise in the areas of global and national democratic institution-building, global political economy, and the role of international institutions in responding to state fragility, global financial volatility, and population displacement. Ponzio is formerly a Senior Adviser in the U.S. Department of State’s Office of the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, where he conceptualized and coordinated Secretary Hillary Clinton’s and later John Kerry’s New Silk Road initiative. Earlier he served as a Senior Strategy and Policy Officer in the State Department’s Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations, where he initiated a global network of multi/bilateral peacebuilding and stabilization organizations. From 1999-2009, Ponzio served in a variety of senior policy and strategic planning positions for the United Nations in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, the Solomon Islands, and New York. From 1997-1999, he was a Visiting Fulbright Fellow at the Mahbub ul Haq Human Development Centre in Islamabad, where his research focused on the governance-security-development nexus in South Asia. Ponzio has published widely in academic and policy journals (including Global Governance, Foreign Policy, and Survival), edited volumes, newspapers, U.N. policy reports (including national, regional, and global Human Development Reports), and books, including Democratic Peacebuilding: Aiding Afghanistan and other Fragile States (OUP, 2011) and Human Development and Global Institutions: Evolution, Impact, and Reform (Routledge, January 2016, with Dr. Arunabha Ghosh). Ponzio completed his doctorate in politics and international relations at the University of Oxford on a Clarendon Scholarship and undertook earlier studies at The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy (M.A.), The Graduate Institute Geneva (M.A.) as a MacJannet Fellow, and Columbia University (B.A).
Soushiant Zanganehpour is a social scientist, entrepreneur and Founder of Swae.io, an AI-powered platform for smarter organizational decisions and 21st century governance. Swae helps companies, cities and organizations of all sizes benefit from the collective intelligence of their employees, stakeholders and citizens helping source innovative ideas, program and product feedback, and policy, budget, and strategy suggestions, at a fraction of the cost. Stakeholders and AI build compelling proposals together from the bottom-up that are crowd-vetted and the best move to a decision-round for implementation, creating a bi-directional pathway for governance. Soushiant is a recognized global practitioner in the fields of business innovation, impact investing, social entrepreneurship, and sustainability having spoken at numerous international conferences and published in The Guardian, The Financial Times, Bloomberg Business Week, and Entrepreneur magazines. He is on Harvard Business Review’s Advisory Council, and a board advisor of Biocarbon Engineering, a reforestation startup using drones to replant a billion trees per year.Soushiant earned his BA (PoliSci & IR) from the University of British Columbia, a Diplôme in International Affairs from Sciences-po Paris, an MPP (Public Policy & Economics) from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), and attended Singularity University’s Global Solutions Program as a Google Scholar. He was awarded a full scholarship by the UK’s Foreign Office as one of four Canadian Chevening Scholars for his Masters.