Ann Mei Chang is the Executive Director of Lean Impact at Lean Startup Co., a company that encourages all organizations, especially ones seeking solutions to social problems, to think like startups. She is also the author of the new book LEAN IMPACT: How to Innovate for Radically Greater Social Good, which takes a closer look at the idea of applying entrepreneurial thinking to social problem solving and explores examples of how these theories have played out in advocacy organizations around the world. Ann Mei came to this work through a winding path of both social and technological innovation. After graduating from Stanford with a degree in computer science, she went to work in Silicon Valley as a software engineer, and quickly climbed her way up the management ladder as she moved between tech startups. But after 20+ years in fast-paced Palo Alto, Ann Mei decided it was time to use her skills as an engineer and innovator to truly make the world a better place. More specifically, she set out to end global poverty. She began a career in government work and again climbed the management ladder quickly, becoming the Chief Innovation Officer at USAID and later the first Executive Director of the US Global Development Lab. She also served the US Department of State as Senior Advisor for Women and Technology in the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues and, after moving from government to NGO work, Chief Innovation Officer at Mercy Corps. Today, Ann Mei combines the skills she’s developed over her two illustrious careers to bring a new approach to solving global social issues by thinking like the innovator and engineer she always will be.
Brian Solis left college before graduating so that he could pursue his passion. He had always been interested in technological advancements and their influence over both businesses and individuals, so he decided to combine them into one job description. Brian is a Digital Analyst and Digital Anthropologist. He studies the trajectory of disruptive technologies and evaluates how they will affect humans and their businesses. He has written numerous books on the subject-- most recently X: The Experience When Business Meets Design-- as he hopes to spread the word to the public about the future of tech.
Vivek Wadhwa researches exponentially advancing technologies that will soon change our world. These advances--in fields such as robotics, artificial intelligence, computing, synthetic biology, 3D printing, medicine and nanomaterials--are making it possible for small teams to do what was once possible only for governments and large corporations to do: solve the grand challenges in education, water, food, shelter, health and security. Vivek Wadhwa is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, engineer, computer software programmer, author and professor. Professor Wadhwa is a Distinguished Fellow at Harvard Law School and Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Engineering at Silicon Valley.
Mike Steep is the Executive Director of the Digital Cities Program at Stanford University and an adjunct professor. He works in the field of disruptive technology where he analyzes innovation in the tech industry and its ability to change and improve life in urban centers. He got his B.A. in American Civilizations from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton Business School in the late ‘70s and then went on to receive his M.B.A. in General Management and Finance from the University of Virginia Darden Business School. After graduating, he worked at Hewlett-Packard, Xerox, Apple, Microsoft Corporation, PARC, and a variety of other tech companies and startups.
Lindy Morris Fishburne is the Managing Partner of Breakout Ventures, a venture capital fund, or in layman's terms, the pot of “seed” money that investors give startups to get their ideas off the ground. Lindy, who specifically works with STEM startups, focuses getting budding science and tech companies out of the lab and into the market. Lindy is also the Executive Director of Breakout Labs which is re-shaping the way early-stage science is funded so that independent researchers and early-stage companies can advance their most radical ideas.
Mick Ebeling is an award-winning film, television, and commercial producer, philanthropist, entrepreneur, and public speaker. He is the founder and CEO of The Ebeling Group, an international production company and creative think tank representing some of the world’s leading design/director collectives. He is also the founder of Not Impossible Labs, an online crowd-sourcing platform instigating the creation of low-cost, open-source, DIY devices to help people in need. Not Impossible Labs (NIL) was founded based on Mick’s firm belief that ideas that once seemed impossible turned out to be possible.