Shereen El Feki, PhD Academic, American University in Cairo/WriterShereen El Feki is based in Cairo, where she works on issues related to health and social welfare in the Arab region. Half-Egyptian, half-Welsh, Shereen was brought up in Canada. She started her professional life in medical science, with a PhD in molecular immunology from the University of Cambridge, and later worked as Healthcare Correspondent at The Economist magazine. In recent years, however, Shereen has re-oriented her career towards the Arab world. While she has worked in regional media, as a presenter with the Al Jazeera Network, and continues to write on social issues in the Arab world, her passion lies in the many projects in which she is involved which aim to better understand, and surmount, the social challenges facing Arabs, particularly young people.
Rachel Armstrong, MD Teaching Fellow, The Bartlett School of Architecture/Medical Doctor/Science Fiction AuthorRachel is a medical doctor with qualifications in general practice, a multi-media producer, science fiction author and arts collaborator whose current research explores the possibilities of architectural design to create positive practices and mythologies about new technology. Rachel is currently collaborating with international scientists and architects to explore cutting-edge, sustainable technologies by developing ‘metabolic materials’ in an experimental setting. These materials possess some of the properties of living systems and couple artificial structures to natural ones in the anticipation that our buildings will undergo an 'origins of life' style transition from inert to living matter and become part of the biosphere. By generating ‘metabolic materials’ it is hoped that cities will be able to replace the energy they draw from the environment, respond to the needs of their populations and eventually become regarded as ‘alive’ in the same way that we think about parks or gardens. Since ‘metabolic materials’ are made from terrestrial chemistry they are not exclusive to First World countries and have the potential to transform urban environments worldwide.
Meklit Ayele Hadero Singer/Musician/Cultural Activist/Resident Artist, Red Poppy HouseMeklit Hadero is a vocalist, songwriter, cultural activist and Resident Artist at the Red Poppy Art House - an interdisciplinary arts and performance space in San Francisco. Born in Ethiopia and raised in the US, her musical explorations span genres and geographies. Meklit has received commissions from the SF Foundation Fund For Artists - for the ensemble Nefasha Ayer, from the Brava Theater - to compose music for the play, "Over the Mountain," and from the de Young Museum – for a recent residency. She received the 2008 Individual Grant from the Belle Foundation, and currently, she is organizing a group of Ethiopian Diaspora artists from across North America to return to Ethiopia for traditional music festival. A former Director of the Red Poppy, Meklit has worked extensively as a community organizer. She aims to reintegrate the arts into a core place within our culture, ever championing their power to serve as a platform for dialogue across boundaries and borders. She holds a BA in Political Science from Yale University.
Frederick Balagadde, PhD Research Scientist, Lawrence Livermore National LaboratoryDr. Frederick Balagadde is currently a research scientist in the Engineering Technologies Division at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California. He earned his Masters and PhD in applied physics in 2007 from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California. He attended high school at King’s College Budo in central Uganda. Having been ranked the best student in the 1996 'O' level examinations – the nation-wide, ten-subject-based equivalent of the SATs by the Ministry of Education – he enrolled into Manchester College in Indiana, USA, where he received his B.A. in Physics and Computer Science in 2001. As a graduate student at Caltech and Stanford University, Frederick invented the micro-chemostat: a first-of-its-kind microfabricated fluidic chip that mimics a biological cell culture environment in a highly complex web of tiny pumps and human-hair-sized water hoses, all controlled by a multi-tasking computer. Frederick’s pioneering research has attracted significant interest in the scientific community, including a publication in Science Magazine, several invited talks at prestigious conferences internationally, and was even aired on National Public Radio.
Evgeny Morozov Live Blogger/ Political Scientist/ WriterEvgeny Morozov is a journalist, author, and an expert on political and social aspects of the Internet. He is currently at work on a book on how the Internet redefines global politics, with a particular focus on how it influences civic engagement and regime stability in closed societies. Morozov has written on new media and technology for numerous publications, including The Economist, Newsweek, International Herald Tribune, Boston Review, Le Monde, San Francisco Chronicle, Slate, and Foreign Policy. He also runs a popular Foreign Policy blog called Net.Effect. He is currently a fellow at the Open Society Institute and a board member of its Information Program. Born in Belarus, he currently resides in New York.
Candy Chang Design Specialist/Artist With a background in architecture, graphic design, and urban planning, Candy combines these disciplines to improve information sharing in urban areas through research, design, and the creative use of public space. Recent work includes a guide to street vending in New York City, air quality visualizations on mobile devices, public art in a Russian airport, flash cards on renters’ rights, and community chalkboards in South Africa. A former art director at The New York Times, she went on to work in Nairobi, New Orleans, Vancouver, Johannesburg, and New York City on collaborative projects with residents, community groups and local government. She was awarded a fellowship with Global Studio, an international program informed by the UN Millennium Development Goals that benefits underserved communities and facilitates grassroots collaborative partnerships. She now lives in Helsinki where she develops strategic visions for Nokia. She likes synthesizers, maps and world’s fairs and has won few awards that compare to 2nd place in horse grooming when she was 7.
Alexander Petroff Founder, Working Villages International Petroff was born in the state of Maine, and graduated from Hampshire College in Amherst Massachusetts, where he did his graduation theses on rural economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2005 Petroff founded Working Villages International, an organization aimed at building model villages for a post petroleum world, using the principles of village self-reliance, and concentrated, comprehensive development. In 2006 Petroff started Working Villages first model village in war torn Eastern Congo. Focused intensely on increasing the quality of life, and the happiness of people everywhere, Petroff’s model for development combines sound economic theory with many of the social values of philosophers like Gandhi and Schumacher, to create a sustainable model of rural development for the 21st century.