Ken Banks, Founder of kiwanja.net and FrontlineSMS, devotes himself to the application of mobile technology for positive social and environmental change in the developing world. He has worked at the intersection of technology, anthropology, conservation and development for the past twenty years and, during that time, has lived and worked across the African continent. He is a PopTech Fellow, a Tech Awards Laureate, an Ashoka Fellow and a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, and has been internationally recognised for his technology-based work. His latest project, Means of Exchange, is looking at how everyday technologies can be used to democratise opportunities for economic self-sufficiency, rebuild local community and promote a return to local resource use.
Robert Fabricant is the Vice President of Creative for frog design where he leads frog’s efforts to expand the impact of design into new markets and industries. He has developed user experiences for numerous digital platforms, including handheld devices, in-car information systems, medical devices, retail environments, networked applications, and desktop software. Robert serves on the faculty of NYU’s Tisch School, and is a central partner in PopTech’s Project Masiluleke.
Cheryl Heller is the Founding Chair of the first MFA program in Design for Social Innovation at SVA and the founder of the design lab CommonWise. She is a business strategist and communication designer who has founded two companies and taught creativity to leaders and organizations around the world, helped grow businesses from small regional enterprises to multi-billion global market leaders, launched category-redefining divisions and products, reinvigorated moribund cultures, and designed strategies for hundreds of successful entrepreneurs. Cheryl received the prestigious AIGA medal for her contribution to the field of design in 2014.
Erik Hersman is an innovator and technologist focused on advancing the use of technology as an empowerment tool in the developing world. He is a co-founder of Ushahidi, and has also established afrigadget.com and whiteafrican.com as key online communities promoting creative solutions to human rights, entrepreneurship and development challenges across Africa. In 2010 he founded the iHub, Nairobi’s innovation hub for the technology community, bringing together entrepreneurs, hackers, designers and the investment community.
Jim is founding director of the Center for Science, Technology, and Society, director of the Global Social Benefit Incubator, and professor of management at Santa Clara University. He served as Dean of the Business School and Interim Dean of Engineering, was founding director of Organization Planning and Development at PG&E, and serves on the editorial board for Health Care Management Review. His research and consulting focus is on socio-technical systems and high performance organizations. His current work examines the emergence of social entrepreneurship as a transformational force in business and economic development, technology and business model innovations that serve the unmet needs of humanity, and the adaptation of Silicon Valley models for scaling innovation to serve the base of the pyramid.
Sarah serves as the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for mission programs at the National Geographic Society. Prior to joining National Geographic, Sarah spent 5 years working on ocean coastal and fishery policy issues in the Clinton Administration. Through a collaborative relationship between National Geographic and PopTech, Sarah has been deeply involved in many PopTech initiatives including the development of the PopTech Accelerator, Project Masiluleke – our current Accelerator project, and the National Geographic Society Photo Camp that takes place at PopTech each year.
Kevin runs the Mulago Foundation and is the founder and director of the Rainer Arnhold Fellows Program. Mulago works like a social impact venture fund to seed and grow the most promising solutions in health, development and conservation in the Third World. The Rainer Arnhold Fellows Program is an outgrowth of the Foundation’s work and recruits some of the best social entrepreneurs working in the Third World to maximize their impact through a systematic process of design and evolution.