Stories of Change Impact Lab
April 30-May 4, 2012
The next iteration of the Stories of Change partnership is the Impact Lab, co-presented with Berkeley, CA-based Tomorrow Partners. At this five-day immersive Lab, Skoll Foundation social entrepreneurs and Sundance-funded filmmakers teamed up to work intensively with a range of designers and mentors to accelerate solutions to pressing challenges facing the organizations and to extend the stories into communities in innovative and meaningful ways. Further details about Lab process and participants can be found here.
Participating project teams included:
Barefoot College and Rafea filmmaker Mona Eldaief
Supporting sustainable and self-sufficient rural communities through women empowerment
Imazon and senior Tomorrow Partners staff
Building vision and capacity for sustainable development in the Amazon
mothers2mothers and Producer Neal Baer
Eradicating mother-to-child HIV transmission in our lifetime
Partners In Health and producer Cori Stern
Providing preferential health care options for the poor
YouthBuild USA and producer Brooke Brewer
Unleashing the positive energy of low‐income youth to rebuild their communities and their lives
Since its inception, the long term objective of the Barefoot College has been to work with marginalized, exploited and impoverished rural poor, living on less than $1 a day, and lift them over the poverty line with dignity and self respect. The dream was to establish a rural college in India that was built by and exclusively for the poor. Established in 1972, the Barefoot College is an NGO that has been providing basic services and solutions to problems in rural communities to help them become self-sufficient and sustainable. These ‘Barefoot solutions’ can be broadly categorized into three main areas: alternative energy, water, and education, and include solar energy, health care, rural handicrafts, people’s action, communication, women’s empowerment and wasteland development. The College believes that for any rural development activity to be successful and sustainable, it must be based in the village as well as managed and owned by the people it serves. All Barefoot initiatives whether social, political or economic, are planned and implemented by a network of rural men and women who are known as ‘Barefoot Professionals’.
When Barefoot College founder Bunker Roy shared stories of empowered grandmothers bringing the transformative power of light to their rural communities, he created a buzz of interest among documentarians on the lookout for a good story. Jehane Noujaim and Mona Eldaief picked up cameras and headed to Africa to follow Roy as he recruits grandmothers for the program. The central story in their film focuses on the challenges faced by a Jordan woman while she is in India to attend the program. With founding support from the Sundance/Skoll Stories of Change partnership, the film will be part of the global documentary project Why Poverty?
Meagan Carnahan Fallone
Senior Advisor to Barefoot College
Meagan Carnahan Fallone is the founder of MFC Art Consulting, sourcing and supplying artwork and accessories to the luxury hotel market. Her work has won international awards for design and can be found on virtually every continent. Through her extensive travel in sourcing and developing artwork and accessories to the hotel industry, Meagan began Esprit MFC to aid and encourage women’s micro-financed efforts, refugee cooperatives and social entrepreneurship in developing countries. All proceeds are used to fund educational scholarships for women and girls in Nepal, India and Africa. Meagan is also a partner in Esprit Heliski SA, an Italian based heliskiing operation.
Most recently, Meagan has accepted a position as Senior Advisor to Barefoot College, an award winning social enterprise, based in India. Her interest in philanthropy includes a long involvement with, Human Rights Watch, Playing for Change, and Giving Women. She speaks regularly on the modern spectrum of philanthropy and the power of its role to drive change. Her personal passions include mountaineering, kite surfing, photography, and Eastern religions. Originally from New Zealand, she was educated in the United States and United Kingdom and holds a BFA in Fine Arts and an MA in History of Art. She lives in Switzerland with her three children Nicholas, Ian and Julian.
Filmmaker & Photographer
Bata came to Barefoot College with her parents when she was 2 years old. Her mother worked as a designer in the handicraft department and her father worked as an artist and Barefoot Photographer until he passed away in 2004. In 2005, she took over her father’s position in the organization. Alongside Bunker Roy and following the theory of learning by doing, Bata mastered photography, film editing, and computer skills on the job. Today, she edits films independently and has completed over 20 films for Barefoot College on subjects that include solar engineering, rain water harvesting, solar-powered desalination, the right to work, Night School and other stories about Barefoot College. She has traveled to Bhutan, Gambia, Mauritania and Mali-Timbuktu to make films about women Barefoot Solar Engineers.
Director, Producer & Filmmaker
Born in Cairo, Egypt and raised in the United States, filmmaker Mona Edaief graduated from New York University with a degree in political science and photography. Her documentary feature credits include Control Room, A Wedding In Ramallah, and Her Name Is Zelda. Aspiring to use video advocacy as a tool for social change, Mona began her career as the producer of MTV News Unfiltered.
The show pioneered the use of first person documentary as a platform for democratic television, and featured user generated segments about social issues. Mona later implemented a video diary exchange program between young Palestinians and Israelis as a step towards conflict resolution in the Middle East. Mona is currently directing and shooting Barefoot Engineers. The documentary feature focuses on a Jordanian Bedouin woman’s struggle to learn solar engineering in order to bring work to women in her village and help alleviate poverty, against the patriarchal rules of her society.
Dean, Firebelly University
An interdisciplinary designer, educator and global nomad, Deborah Alden is a perpetual liaison and translator between practices, people and cultures. Whether conducting field research on food deserts in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn or developing a new undergraduate design program in Singapore, she brings structure and clarity to complex situations in the development of effective systems and strategies. Deborah is currently the Dean of Firebelly University in Chicago, a new social design entrepreneurial incubator, and a research and brand strategy consultant working primarily in Asian markets. She has previously been based in México, Singapore, New York City, Washington, DC and Portland, OR. (@DeborahAlden)
Associate Creative Director, frog
Dave Chiu is an Associate Creative Director at frog in San Francisco. At frog, Dave’s clients have included AT&T, Better Place, Chase, Disney, GE, McAfee, Synopsys, and Vocollect. Dave’s deepest areas of expertise are in mobile applications and service design across multiple touch points, devices, and stakeholders. Prior to joining frog, Dave was a Visiting Scholar at the MIT Design Lab, where he developed mobile experiences and services for clients including Cisco Systems, the Clinton Global Initiative, Pitti Imagine, Nokia, and Telefónica.
Prior to MIT, Dave co-founded a startup in London that leveraged mobile devices to promote and support behavior change around environmental sustainability. Dave has a Masters in Interaction Design from Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, in Ivrea, Italy, and has been a Guest Critic at both the Harvard Graduate School of Design and Stevens Institute of Technology.
Designer, Tomorrow Partners
Zoe is a Designer at Tomorrow Partners and a graduate of the California College of the Arts. Before joining the Tomorrow family, she worked on a wide range of freelance projects for clients pioneering in the fields of environmental responsibility, social change, and community outreach. She lives for projects that are built on the foundation of empathy and a collaborative spirit. Working across media such as interactive, illustration, video, and public interjection, she is not afraid to roll her sleeves up and experiment to find a solution. Her best ideas come when she is blasting Animal Collective or wailing along with Joan Baez.
Darby Kim Thomas
Darby has worked with the T-Mobile Creation Center to find new applications for emerging technology. In Savannah, Georgia she worked with a local business initiative to pilot a concept that matched creative students with nonprofits and small businesses. She’s worked with Hattery Labs to prototype a service that helps homeless services find and collaborate with each other. She is pursuing opportunities to apply a design minded approach to fields outside the traditional world of design.
Founded in 1990, Imazon is a non-profit research institution whose mission is to promote sustainable development in the Amazon through research studies, support for public policy formulation, broad dissemination of information and capacity building. Imazon emphasizes observation and systematic collection of primary data on natural resource use and conservation in the Amazon, and carries out objective and unbiased analyses based on proven scientific methods from specialized literature. This approach enables a holistic and cross-cutting view of the various factors that influence the sustainability of the Amazon, allowing Imazon’s approach to effectively contribute towards forming polices for land zoning and control and natural resource use. For example, in 2008, the Brazilian government launched a new policy to control illegal deforestation, focusing on “hot spot” deforestation municipalities identified by Imazon.
Imazon is also involved in training the next generation of environmental researchers, disseminating study results, participation in far-reaching global policy development around land use, environmental crimes, improvement of command and control systems, and making recommendations for environmental licensing and technical standards of forest management.
Directors Adalberto (Beto) Veríssimo and Carlos Souza, Jr. developed the first independent deforestation monitoring system for the Brazilian Amazon, at Imazon, and are recognized leaders in rainforest conservation.
Senior Researcher, Imazon
Paulo is a senior researcher at the Amazon Institute of People and the Environment where he started his 20-year career. Paulo Barreto has published more than 70 academic and technical publications. He frequently speaks to a wide variety of stakeholders in the private and public sectors (such as in hearings in the Brazilian Congress). His research has appeared more than 200 times in major international and national news media such as The Economist, Reuters and BBC. Since October 2009 Barreto writes the blog Amazônia Sustentável (Sustainable Amazon) about challenges and ideas for sustainable development in the Amazon. From 1998 to 2004 Barreto also acted as executive director of Imazon where he developed extensive experience in fundraising and organization management. Barreto holds a MSc in Forests Sciences from Yale University and a BSc in Forest Sciences from The Amazon Rural University in Belém, Pará, Brazil.
Communications Advisor, Imazon
Born in Castanhal, Pará, Bruno joined Imazon in 2010 as a communications advisor. He manages the communications channels maintained by Imazon and seeks to continue expanding the possibilities for disseminating information produced by the Institute. Bruno has a great interest in social media and explores this medium as a source of information and entertainment.
Design Director, Tomorrow Partners & Sparkwise
Carl Bender is a design director at Tomorrow Partners and Sparkwise, where he utilizes his complementary experience in interactive design and branding on design projects that make a positive social impact. Carl began his career in Philadelphia, working as a senior interactive designer before making the move to San Francisco to get his MFA in Graphic Design. After completing graduate school, he worked at Tuft & Co., bringing interactive and broadcast projects to life for Adobe and Time Warner Cable. Later, Carl worked on large-scale commercial and civic branding projects for clients like San Francisco Magazine, MTV, The Bay Bridge, and Presidio Parkway. His work has been published in design magazines such as Communication Arts, How, CMYK and Print, while projects he’s worked on have graced the cover of The New York Times.
Designer / Fellow, Firebelly University
Amy uses her background in information design, branding, and business to tell meaningful stories and provoke change. Currently, she is a fellow at Firebelly University, an entrepreneurial incubator program teaching designers with a social awareness to make a more just society. In addition, she manages the design studio Tilt Shift and is the founder of Knowtify, a communication consultancy focused on using design to make complex social issues clear and relevant. Previously, Amy was the lead designer for a financial services company where she honed her skills in visualizing cumbersome business strategies and data. Amy has also collaborated with several inspiring organizations including Moving Design, EPIC, and No Right Brain Left Behind. Through these initiatives, she was able to impact local issues by combining her passion for doing good with her design skills. Amy holds a BFA in Visual Communications and Business from Washington University in St. Louis.
Academic Director of Sustainability, Pratt Institute
Deb founded the Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation in 2002 during her tenure as chair of the Industrial Design program. Under her leadership the Incubator has helped launch 25 design driven enterprises in four sectors: clean energy, fashion, design and design consulting. The Incubator provides affordable space, mentorship and strategic business development within a collaborative community of entrepreneurs. The Incubator offers sustainable design consulting services to industry and non-profit organizations by assembling creative teams to work on environmentally and socially relevant projects. Currently the Incubator hosts 12 businesses and has just opened the Pratt Pop-up! shop in the new Dekalb Market in Brooklyn. Deb leads Pratt’s commitment to integrate sustainability into academics in her role as Academic Director of the Center for Sustainable Design Studies (CSDS). She also coordinates the groundbreaking Partnership for Academic Leadership in Sustainability (PALS), a cohort of educators that represent 33 independent art and design colleges across North America.
Lead Developer, Tomorrow Partners CTO, Sparkwise
David Karam is the lead developer at Tomorrow Partners and CTO of Sparkwise. He uses his fluency in design and software development to bridge the gap between business stakeholders, researchers, visual designers and software developers. He has designed and produced interactive media, database-driven websites, applications and installations for commercial and cultural institutions including Apple Computers, Nokia, Warner Bros. Records, The Body Shop, The Getty Center and the San Francisco MOMA. In 2009 he founded Postera, a website builder and hosting service for creative professionals. David’s work is in the collections of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and the San Francisco MOMA. He teaches at California College of the Arts, as well as Transmedia at St. Lukas in Brussels. He regularly lectures about design, content-managed websites and user experience at institutions across the U.S. and Europe.
Dr. David Thau
Senior Developer Advocate, Google Earth Engine
Dr. Dave Thau is the senior developer advocate for Google Earth Engine, Google’s geo processing platform. He has 20 years of industry experience developing Internet-based applications. He has created and managed software development for Webby Award winning websites, launched two successful startups, written a best-selling computer science textbook, and authored many scholarly papers in the field of data management. He has worked with image databases and geospatial systems, focusing on the fields of ecology, biodiversity, and land cover classification. Dave currently works with scientists and NGOs developing software and algorithms to run on Google’s highly parallelized cloud computing-based Earth observation data processing framework. He holds degrees from UCLA, the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a doctorate in Computer Science from the UC Davis.
mothers2mothers is an NGO whose mission is to help eradicate mother-to-child HIV transmission through an effective and sustainable model of care that supports mother and child health. mothers2mothers trains and employs Mentor Mothers to work alongside nurses and doctors to provide education and support for pregnant women and new mothers living with HIV so they make healthy choices for themselves and their families. The three main goals that drive mothers2mothers’ work and are critical to achieving their mission are: preventing babies from contracting HIV through mother-to-child transmission, keeping mothers with HIV and their babies healthy, and empowering mothers living with HIV. The organization operates in 7 countries and currently serves over 275,000 HIV positive pregnant women and new mothers throughout the world.
The UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were adopted by world leaders in 2000 to provide concrete, numerical benchmarks for tackling extreme poverty in its many dimensions. mothers2mothers advances four of the eight MDGs that most directly affect Women’s and Children’s Health, including: Promoting Gender Equality and Empowering Women, Reducing Child Mortality, Improving Maternal Health, and Combating HIV/AIDS.
Co-founder and international director Robin Smalley is a former television producer (Entertainment Tonight, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous). She moved from Los Angeles, California to Capetown, South Africa to become mothers2mothers’ first Executive Director. She returned to the United States in 2005 to assume her new role as international director.
Co-Founder / International Director, mothers2mothers
After a successful Emmy Award-winning career as a television producer/director, Robin Smalley co-founded mothers2mothers (m2m), a Cape Town based NGO providing education, empowerment and support for pregnant women and new mothers living with HIV/AIDS. m2m reaches these women with a unique approach, by employing and professionalizing lay people living with HIV (Mentor Mothers). As role models in their communities, Mentor Mothers fight stigma as valued members of prenatal care teams that have traditionally been populated by dwindling numbers of overworked and overstressed doctors and nurses. As m2m’s first Executive Director and current International Director, Robin has guided the organization through a period of extraordinary growth. A tiny grassroots endeavor established in 2001, m2m is now a pivotal part of the Global Plan to eliminate pediatric AIDS by 2015, operating almost 600 sites in eight African countries and employing about 1500 HIV-positive mothers.
Senior Brand Strategist, Tomorrow Partners
Susan is a senior brand strategist at Tomorrow, developing growth-fueling strategic platforms and marketing communications campaigns for leading companies and non-profits alike. After graduating from Stanford with a degree in International Relations, she held senior leadership positions at top San Francisco advertising agencies Foote, Cone & Belding and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, and at a variety of Bay Area non-profit organizations. This experience across sectors gives her a deep understanding of how to craft strategies that connect deeply with customers, stakeholders and constituents, building powerful and effective communication platforms.
Dr. Neal Baer
Executive producer, CBS
Dr. Neal Baer is Executive Producer of the CBS television series A Gifted Man. He also served as Executive Producer behind a stream of television hits including ER, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. However, Baer believes his most crowning achievement is his commitment to creating social change. His experience in film, television, books and medicine has given him the opportunity to evoke change and positively affect the lives of others. Baer’s messages, shared all over the world, have allowed countless others the ability to use their own stories to make the world a better place. Audiences will be deeply affected, compassionate and most importantly, motivated to continue Baer’s work helping others. Baer graduated from Harvard Medical School and completed his internship in Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles. He received the Jerry L. Pettis Memorial Scholarship from the American Medical Association as the most outstanding medical student who has contributed to promoting a better understanding of medicine in the media. The American Association for the Advancement of Science selected him as a Mass Media Fellow. Today, Baer focuses his efforts utilizing his gift of storytelling to change the world. In 2012 he will be launching a new social network called actionlab.org, which connects people with similar interests so they can help their communities together.
Andrea Z. Evans
Principal, Philanthropy Consulting Group
Andrea Z. Evans is the principal of Philanthropy Consulting Group, a practice serving grant seeking, grant making, and intermediary organizations. She has more than twenty years of professional and volunteer nonprofit sector experience, with a major focus on individual, major gift, and capital campaign fundraising. Prior to consulting, Andrea worked on staff for the Art Institute of Chicago, Sierra Club, Coro Foundation of Northern California, and California Academy of Sciences. She attended Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, Texas, where she earned a BBA from the Cox School of Business and a MLA from the Simmons School of Education and Human Development.
Senior Designer, Tomorrow Partners
Mónica is a senior designer at Tomorrow Partners where she works on a broad range of projects including annual reports, packaging, environmental graphics, and websites. Her work has been recognized in a number of prominent design publications including Print, GD USA, Graphis, Communication Arts, and How. Mónica holds a degree in Sociology and Ethnic Studies from The Evergreen State College. She worked for over eight years as Art Director for a social justice non-profit, principally on their nationally published magazine and research reports. Mónica then pursued her passion for design at California College of the Arts, where she graduated with highest honors. As Tomorrow’s employee number one, she had a hand in our yesterday as well as our today. Mónica was born and raised in Northern California but enjoys heading south to study printmaking, photography and design with local artisans in México. When she is not traveling, you’ll find her scouring flea markets and bookstores for vintage children’s books.
Fellow, Firebelly University
Originally trained in Product Design, Design Research, and Design Strategy, Jince strives to not only solve problems, but to find the right problem to solve. His personal and professional experiences have propelled him to use his talents as a designtrepreneur to create solutions to some of our nation’s most pressing issues, including public transportation and public education. Always seeking to push the boundaries of social innovation, Jince’s latest exploration is in the power of people-powered movements. He is currently working on building a number of movements that engage, empower, and unite communities towards collective social impact through personal transformation and conscious consumerism.
Writer, Tomorrow Partners
With strategic thinking and hands-on collaboration as her touchstones, Natalie Linden helps organizations build powerful narratives across every touchpoint, from positioning and messaging to naming, taglines, ad campaigns, websites, social media, packaging, print collateral, speeches – even the occasional poetic stanza. Her expertise also crosses industries, from Silicon Valley giants like Google and Cisco Systems to delicious do-gooders like Alter Eco, Cowgirl Creamery and Peet’s Coffee. A frequent Tomorrow Partner, she has a particular passion for companies and organizations who make it their business to leave the world a little better than they found it.
Michelle Milford Morse
Public Affairs & Advocacy Consultant
Michelle is a public affairs and advocacy consultant based in Austin, Texas. She works with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, Sesame Workshop, LIVESTRONG (the Lance Armstrong Foundation), amfAF, the International Center for Research on Women, ChildObesity 180, Johnson & Johnson and the UBS Optimus Foundation. Previously Michelle was on the global health policy and advocacy team at The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, working on vaccine-preventable disease, malaria, neglected tropical diseases, family planning.
Senior Interaction Designer, frog
Alex is a user experience designer at frog, with over a decade of practice bringing products to life that people enjoy using. He leverages design research, concepting, strategy, and interaction design to translate user needs into design solutions. Alex has spent half of his career focused on design for healthcare and continues to drive innovation in this space and speak on topics of rapid-ideation and gamification. Through winning a series of hack-a-thons, he’s demonstrated how concepting and prototyping with small multi-disciplinary teams can lead to compelling concepts with high impact.
Partners In Health
Partners In Health (PIH) is a Boston, Massachusetts based non-profit health care organization dedicated to providing a ‘preferential option for the poor’. It was founded in 1987 by Dr. Paul Farmer, Ophelia Dahl, Thomas J. White, Todd McCormack, and Dr. Jim Yong Kim. Since then, PIH has grown to 11,000 employees working in 49 health centers and hospitals across 11 countries, from the US to Siberia and Malawi. PIH strives to provide an alternative to the conventional curative method of treatment for the sick and instead tries to prevent diseases before they occur. This model believes that primary health care is essential because health is a right and therefore, it should be available to everyone. PIH strives to bring good medical care to the poor by establishing long-term partnerships with local sister organizations.
PIH believes in 5 fundamental principles:
- Providing universal access to primary health care
- Making health care and education free to the poor
- Hiring and training community health workers
- Fighting disease means fighting poverty
- Partnering with local and national governments
Tracey Kidder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning best-seller Mountains Beyond Mountains, made a kind of global health rock star out of quietly charismatic Dr. Paul Farmer. Treating drug-resistant TB in Haiti, he and his partners openly defied the global public health care system insisting on curing a disease that conventional wisdom said was incurable. Stories of Change filmmakers Kief Davidson and Cori Stern’s documentary will portray a diverse group of everyday health care heroes working on an expansive model of global health delivery.
Gene Bukhman, MD, PhD
Director, Program in Global NCDs & Social Change, Partners In Health
Gene Bukhman, MD, PhD is a cardiologist and a medical anthropologist. He has worked with Partners In Health for more than 15 years. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School where he directs the Program in Global Non-Communicable Disease and Social Change. Dr. Bukhman is a Senior Technical Advisor on Non-Communicable Disease to the Rwandan Ministry of Health. In this capacity, he is working closely with colleagues in the Rwandan government who are integrating services for the long tail of endemic non-communicable disease (such as rheumatic heart disease, epilepsy, cervical cancer, and Burkitt’s lymphoma) into the process of health system strengthening. As part of this effort, Dr. Bukhman is helping to develop a strategic planning framework with more general application for countries engaged in similar efforts.
Dr. Bukhman is also an advisor to the Global Taskforce on Expanded Access to Cancer Care and Control in Developing Countries.
Associate Director, Program in Non-Communicable Disease, Partners In Health
Aaron Shakow is a Lecturer in history at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Lecturer in the global history of non-communicable disease at Harvard Medical School. He is also a past editor of the journal Health and Human Rights. During the roll-out of the “3 by 5” initiative to expand global access to antiretroviral treatment in the mid-2000s, he was policy advisor to the director of HIV/AIDS at the World Health Organization. Dr. Shakow’s research interests include health financing, international governance in the health sector, and the historical impact of public health interventions on economic relations and cultural exchange. He completed his doctoral dissertation on plague and the origins of clinical epidemiology at Harvard University in 2009.
Community Engagement Coordinator, Partners In Health
Jon Shaffer is the Community Engagement Coordinator for Partners In Health. In this role, he works to build a community organizing strategy that can strengthen the movement for global health equity and move us ever closer to achieving justice in health. Previously, Jon served for two years as the Executive Director of GlobeMed, during which time its national network grew from 17 university-based chapters and 500 students to 46 chapters and more than 1,500 students, all working in partnership with 47 grassroots health organizations on four continents. He graduated from Northwestern in 2009, where he studied biomedical engineering and was active in the GlobeMed chapter.
Designer, Researcher & Writer
Maggie Breslin is a designer and researcher with a unique focus on healthcare delivery. She pioneered the role of designer/researcher at Mayo Clinic’s Center for Innovation when she joined in 2005. She leads research, design and development efforts around topics as diverse as decision-making, risk communication, integrated practice models, remote care, caregiving and minimally disruptive medicine. She believes strongly that good conversation is a critically important but mostly ignored component of our healthcare system and champions this idea in all her work. She has logged many hours observing and talking to patients and clinicians and counts those opportunities as among her most treasured. She has published in journals ranging from Design Issues to Archives of Internal Medicine and had a previous life in film/television/animation/motion graphics where she learned how to tell compelling stories in a variety of media. Maggie holds a Masters of Design (MDes) from Carnegie Mellon University and a BS in Mass Communications, Film and Television, from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.
Cori Shepherd Stern
Cori Shepherd Stern is a writer and producer, working in both documentary and narrative film. She is currently producing The Untitled Global Health Documentary, based on the extraordinary work of Partners In Health, directed by the award-winning documentary filmmaker Kief Davidson. Her other film projects include Warm Bodies directed by Jonathan Levine for Summit Entertainment, and The Arizona Project for Miramax, written by Sheldon Turner. In addition to film, Cori is known for her work as a social change strategist and as a co-founder of Strongheart, a residential healing and progressive education community for exceptional young people from extreme life circumstances across the globe including former child slaves, child soldiers, refugees, and other young survivors of conflict or poverty.
YouthBuild USA is perhaps the least known and most successful youth intervention, education and support organization in the U.S. It has touched hundreds of thousands of lives since its founder Dorothy Stoneman, a Skoll Foundation awarded social entrepreneur, began a program to teach and employ at-risk youth in Harlem to rebuild abandoned apartment buildings and provide housing for the homeless in 1978. In YouthBuild programs, low-income young people ages 16 to 24 work full-time for 6 to 24 months toward their GEDs or high school diplomas while learning job skills by building affordable housing in their communities. Emphasis is placed on leadership development, community service, and the creation of a positive mini-community of adults and youth committed to each others’ success. The mission of YouthBuild USA is to unleash the intelligence and positive energy of low-income youth to rebuild their communities and their lives.
The Stories of Change partnership connected Stoneman and filmmaker Annie Sundberg to explore ways to tell their story. The 2010 short film Youth Build was supported by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and plans are in the works for a new Sundance-funded series of twelve short films that trace the transformative moments in YouthBuild’s history.
Growth Planning Senior Advisor, YouthBuild USA
Jackie serves a Growth Planning Senior Advisor for YouthBuild USA. She was founding Executive Director of YouthBuild Boston in 1989, the first national replication site of YouthBuild. Jackie’s 30 years of experience spans a range of issues, including community health care, workforce development, youth development, education, literacy, affordable housing, job training, micro-enterprise, cultural development and the creative economy, civil rights and public policy. Her breadth of personal experience—as an executive director, board member, coalition leader, community organizer, and public policy advocate—informs her approach to consulting with non-profits. She tailors her approach to the unique dynamics and culture of each non-profit, finding the most appropriate ways to support the leadership in charting its course.
Outreach Manager, GRID Alternatives
Ely Flores’ YouthBuild life started like many other stories—young, pushed out of school, a young parent, and “adjudicated.” However, after completing the YouthBuild program as one of the top students, he obtained both his High School Diploma and GED. He also embarked on a voyage to fight for social justice at The Youth Justice Coalition and Public Allies. Years of involvement in political campaigns and community organizing efforts have taken him to speak at the White House, State Assembly, and Congress.
His passion for social justice took him to Israel, Palestine, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He now works for GRID Alternatives where he has turned hundreds of families green, namely by equipping them with solar panel systems. He has worked with local elected officials and Green Jobs Now to spread the ideas of environmental justice and the importance of having people of color at its forefront. In 2010, he established Leadership Through Empowerment, Action, and Dialogue Inc. to empower young people to transform their lives and communities. He holds a BA in Organizational Management with an emphasis on Public Administration. Ely is raising two kids and continues to be a part of the YouthBuild National Alumni Council.
Director of Digital Communications, YouthBuild USA
Jen Langley is the Director of Digital Communications at YouthBuild USA, where she leads efforts to use new media to tell the organization’s story and support its communications and fundraising efforts, and manages YouthBuild USA’s websites, social media, and other related technology. Jen has been with YouthBuild USA for 11 years and has led its selection, implementation, and management of CMS and CRM solutions, and a move to open source in 2011. Her previous experience includes web and marketing work at small software firms, technology start-ups, and front-line networking support at BBN Planet. She has a Bachelor’s in English from Boston University and a Master’s in Library and Information Science from Simmons College
Digital Marketing & Communications Specialist, YouthBuild USA
Tyler Nakatsu is the Digital Marketing and Communications Specialist at YouthBuild USA. He focuses on utilizing new media to elevate the YouthBuild voice of graduates and advocates and also edits, generates and manages content for YouthBuild.org. Tyler has been at YouthBuild since November 2011. Prior to YouthBuild, Tyler worked in social media marketing, brand strategy and content management as a Marketing Coordinator at Palazzo Creative in Seattle, WA. He has a Bachelor’s in Applied Intercultural Communication from Washington State University.
National Alumni Council, YouthBuild USA
Noe Orgaz grew up in a low income, single parent home in Northeast Los Angeles — a community split by gangs. He saw the fight for territory first hand and quickly decided that he would not belong to a gang. At the age of 16 he became a father and dropped out of school to begin working full time. However, during high school, Noe was introduced to community organizing. And in 2002 he helped form the Youth Justice Coalition (YJC) where he helped bring together non-profit organizations to discuss issues affecting their community. During his tenure at YJC, he demanded alternative solutions to incarceration and justice in schools and in the streets. Noe was motivated to educate himself after struggling to find history books about his culture. He was able to visit Chiapas, México where he learned about the Zapatistas and restorative justice. This experience serves as inspiration for the change he envisions for American society. Noe is on the National Alumni Council for YouthBuild USA. He is currently working towards a business administration degree.
Re-engagement Specialist, South LA YouthBuild
Beatrice “Bea” Sweet has served at various youth development programs; she is currently serving as a Re-engagement Specialist at South LA YouthBuild located on the college campus of Los Angeles Trade Tech. Bea was born and raised in San Fernando Valley, California. As a young African American woman growing up in a low-income urban community, she has been blessed to overcome many obstacles and barriers to be who she is today. Bea is a YouthBuild graduate of Lennox YouthBuild, California, Class of 2000.
Bea has studied at Cal State LA and Los Angeles Community College, taking courses in gang intervention and prevention, youth development, leadership development and community asset building. She has a great passion for serving young people and assisting in their personal and academic development. Bea is an elected member of the YouthBuild National Alumni Council (NAC) and represents over 80,000 YouthBuild alumni across the nation. She has touched many staff and young people’s lives in a profound way through the development and facilitation of trainings and sharing her personal life experiences.
Designer, Tomorrow Partners
Emma Bernsohn is a designer at Tomorrow where she has worked on various branding, print, and interactive projects. After leaving the Midwest to study on the East Coast she traveled throughout Central and North America farming and practicing sustainable construction. Emma settled in the Bay Area to study graphic design at California College of the Arts where she graduated with distinction. When she isn’t behind her computer she can usually be found on her bicycle.
Producer, BreakThru Films
Brooke Brewer is a producer for Break Thru films, a production company headed by Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg. Each project at Break Thru tracks new landscape–from criminal injustice in the American South, to Darfur, to stand up comedy and the lives of professional athletes–but all are centered on unforgettable people and their singular experiences. Next up is a GE/Cinelan FocusForward film and a pilot for the National Geographic Channel.
Prior to Break Thru, Brooke worked for PopTech and Goodfocus, producing films for universities, non-profits and social enterprises with stories ranging from design for social good to gay marriage to the history of the Inuit people. Her own storied past includes stints as a weaver, farmer, shepherdess, raft guide and vegan baker.
Designer / Fellow, Firebelly University
Johnathon Strube is a collaborative designer living, thinking, feeling and working within print, UX, motion and exhibition design. He is currently a Fellow at Firebelly University, full-time designer at Tilt Shift and recent instructor in Visual Communication at Northern Illinois University. Prior to Firebelly University and Tilt Shift, he gained international experience while exhibiting work at the International Festival of Design in Poland, studied Design and Architecture in Italy, Switzerland and Spain and served as a Graduate Assistant for Moving Design. Currently, he is working on the launch of his own design studio Heart Giants, a collaborative studio focused on making art and design a viable element within small communities. A combination of design studio, art collective and education incubator, Heart Giants’ mission is to empower community, creativity and culture through design, art and education. Outside of design, he enjoys biking, sharing, family, friends, sports, stories and life.
Dr. Jabari Mahiri
Professor, UC Berkeley
Dr. Jabari Mahiri directs TEACH (Technology, Equity, And Culture for High-performing schools) a research/collaboration with urban schools and community partners on uses of new media for increasing achievement and educational equity, and for improving teacher professional development. He is Chair of the Language, Literacy & Culture Progam in the Graduate School of Education; Faculty Director for the Bay Area Writing Project, and Vice President of the board of REALM, Berkeley’s first charter school. He is the third recipient of UC Berkeley’s Chancellor’s Award for Advancing Institutional Excellence.
Dr. Mahiri is author of Digital Tools in Urban Schools (2011); When Scholarship Athletes become Academic Scholars (2010); and, African American and Youth Culture in New Century Schools (1998). He is editor of What They Don’t Learn in School (2004) and Virtual Lives (Forthcoming). Previously, he helped found and chaired the inaugural board of New Concept School in Chicago. He was also an English teacher in Chicago Public Schools.