Speakers 2017

Simon Adler

Simon Adler is a Producer with the wildly popular podcast Radiolab, one of the most listened-to podcasts out there. He’s reported stories from four continents on topics ranging from trophy hunting to professional wrestling.


Simon’s talk will focus on the future of fake news, and how it may soon get a whole lot faker.

Ellen Ketterson

Ellen D. Ketterson is Distinguished Professor of biology at Indiana University Bloomington. Her current research focuses on urban ecology and migration ecology in relation to the effects of climate change.  She directs IU’s Prepared for Environmental Change Grand Challenge Initiative, a five-year collaboration between IU and community partners around the state to develop accurate predictions about coming environmental changes, workable solutions to prepare for those changes, and effective ways to engage and communicate with diverse audiences about environmental change.

Dan Kurzrock

Co-founder and Chief Grain Officer of ReGrained, a sustainable foodtech startup that is closing the loop on grains from beer production through edible upcycling. Dan founded ReGrained out of his hobby for homebrewing beer, where he first discovered that the grain left behind by beer could be given a delicious second life. Dan holds an Economics degree from UCLA and an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School. His bicycle is powered by eating beer and burritos.

Sameeksha Desai

Sameeksha Desai is an associate professor at Indiana University, an affiliated researcher at the Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum, an editor or Small Business Economics, and is the Co-Chair of the Transatlantic Policy Consortium. Previously, she was a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute of Economics and has worked for government, private and international organizations in several countries. Professor Desai’s work is motivated by the black box of resilience: why are some market ecosystems more resilient than others? Resulting, her talk covers markets in marginalized or conflict settings.

Chris Gernon

Chris is the founder and CEO of Fugitives Creative and Fugitives Editorial. Combined they are a full service creative agency the engages some of the world’s most influential companies as their clients.  Chris leverages his years of diverse experience outside of his business acumen, first as a creative editor and producer then as a senior creative director to solve any challenge put before him.  He is, at his core, a storyteller and marketer using every medium possible to tell branded stories.  

Ahmed ElMahmoudy

Ahmed is the co-founder of both ID Labs and EyeSense, where he researches the unique blend between art and technology to create solutions that enhance our daily life experiences and that extend our human capabilities. His work has earned him inclusion on the SE100’s list of Most Inspiring Social Innovations and Social Entrepreneurs in the world. He discusses how artificial intelligence can be used to not only compensate for visual and cognitive impairments, but how this same technology can be used to augment human processes in order to greatly enrich the capabilities of our vision and memory.

Julia Porter-Robinson

Julia is a global recruitment branding leader for EY, with responsibility for creative campaigns.  She has led recruiting and employer branding teams in AOL Time Warner, Glaxo SmithKline, T-Mobile, Arthur Andersen, and is pleased to be home again in professional services since joining EY in 2011. Currently focused on how our disrupted world is changing careers in professional services,  Julia works from home in idyllic rural chaos with her husband, dogs, cats and kids on the east coast of England. Julia’s talk will focus on how she faced her own personal uncharted waters as an aspiring concert pianist.

Andrew Weber

Andrew served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Defense Programs from 2009-2014. His responsibility included prevention and response to weapons of mass destruction, and reducing Syrian and Libyan chemical weapons. Before appointment, Weber served for 13 years as a Threat Reduction Adviser for previous Secretaries of Defense. Weber also served as a diplomat, with assignments in Germany, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan, and Saudi Arabia. In 2014, President Obama appointed Weber to serve in the State Department as Deputy Ebola Response Coordinator.