Beth Beck is passionate about public service, and views innovation and collaboration as a means to challenge bureaucratic status quo. As NASA's Open Innovation Program Manager, her role is to accelerate the identification and adoption of breakthrough innovation and cutting-edge data technology solutions through open government, digital strategy, and mass collaboration opportunities. Beth believes LAUNCH is an opportunity to make this world a better place while demonstrating the relevance between life on Earth and the extreme environment of space. She led creation of MindMapr, an interactive insight-gathering tool designed specifically for the LAUNCH forums. Beth, a social media addict, adopted Twitter early in 2007 as one of the first NASA users. She coordinated development of NASA’s Facebook account, and was instrumental in planning and supporting NASA’s spaceflight mission Tweetups. Beth received NASA’s Exceptional Service Medal for her innovative public outreach programs. Beth is currently pursuing PhD research on collaborative innovation networks and social intrapreneurship through Virginia Tech. You can learn more about Beth at Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and her blog.
Diane Powell serves as NASA’s lead for LAUNCH and was one of the creators of this successful program. She and team were recently selected as finalists for the 2011 Service to America Medal which is awarded to public servants whose achievements have improved the lives of Americans and others around the world. Diane has worked with the National Aeronautics Space Administration for the past twenty years where she has developed programs to increase public awareness around NASA’s missions and to create new ways to allow the American public to actively participate in their space program. Today she works for NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC in the Office of the Chief Technologist. Diane sees Launch as the perfect opportunity to carry on NASA’s spirit of discovery and to collaborate with experienced partners to find solutions to challenges in space and here on earth. She and her husband also own a Bed and Breakfast on Capital Hill in DC.
Jason Kessler, NASA’s Asteroid Grand Challenge Program Executive, began his professional career at NASA back in 1994. After graduating with a degree in Chemistry, Jason earned a position in NASA’s Legislative office and spent the following six years in various positions at NASA, culminating with the position of Deputy Chief of Staff to the NASA Administrator. Jason’s entrepreneurial spirit eventually led him back to school, earning his MBA. Several businesses later, Jason returned to NASA to join the SERVIR program office combining his private and public sector experience into one venture bringing decision-support information for climate change adaptation to those in the developing world. As the Asteroid Grand Challenge PE, Jason is working to use open innovation to help accelerate NASA’s existing efforts to “find all asteroid threats to human populations and know what to do about them.”
Santiago is General Manager for Sustainable Business & Innovation (SB&I) at NIKE INC. He leads the Systems Innovation Function, which seeks to accelerate and scale innovation by catalyzing external resources and new ways of collaboration. Within Systems Innovation Santiago is driving Nike’s innovation external engagement agenda and developing network mobilization capabilities to catalyze knowledge, capital, creativity, and connectivity. As one example in this capacity, Santiago leads the partnership with LAUNCH for NIKE INC. LAUNCH’s mission is to maximize human potential by transforming our existing human systems into new ones that are more sustainable, accessible, and empowering.
US DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Alan Hurd is a Franklin Fellow, at US Department of State, in the Office of the S&T Adviser to the Secretary (STAS). Alan joined STAS in June 2012, where his portfolio includes energy and critical elements, LAUNCH, Science of Science Policy and national laboratory interactions. Alan is on leave from Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. As a materials physicist, Alan is personally interested in complex and high performance materials. He is associated with the Santa Fe Institute (SFI), the American Physical Society, and the Materials Research Society with which he helped develop “Strange Matter”, a traveling museum exhibit on materials.
David Ferguson is a member of USAID’s Office of Science and Technology focused on applied research and challenge models for development. Before joining USAID in September, 2009, he worked on international development over the previous 5 years as an independent consultant at the nexus of development, technology, and the private sector. His first career was 27 years at AT&T where he created and ran AT&T’s Professional Services Division, developing it into a US$200M profitable entity. He was based in Hong Kong for seven years and focused on the developing markets of China, India and Indonesia, for telecommunications services investment opportunities. He built seven joint ventures during this period. His technical expertise includes Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for development, economic growth through private sector engagement, and government technology and telecommunications policy and regulation. Mr. Ferguson holds a Master of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Stanford University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts. He is married, has three daughters, and resides in Oakton, VA.
A technologist and a strategist, Ben Slavin is an expert in the application of design and technology solutions. Ben is co-founder and CEO of Bolster, an interactive strategy, design and technology firm. In collaboration with NASA, Ben has worked to bring the Mind Mapr technology to LAUNCH, allowing greater exploration of the insights of the Collective Genius Network. Ben has a B.S.E. in Computer Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and an MBA with focus in strategy, technology and entrepreneurship from the Robert H. Smith School at the University of Maryland.
Jeff Hamaoui is an expert in sustainability and public-private partnerships with 15 years’ experience exploring business models for social entrepreneurship. Jeff co-founded Origo in 1999, and has made a name as a cross-sector broker, facilitator and strategist. Origo was purchased by the Cazneau Group in 2010. Jeff spent several years working alongside the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and its 150 Fortune 500 companies looking at strategies for ‘inclusive’ business in emerging markets. This allowed him to consult across industry sectors, including healthcare (Pfizer), telecommunications (Vodafone, Nokia), oil and gas (BP and Chevron), utilities (Eskom, Suez, GE),and finance (Rabobank, Deutschebank, Wells Fargo, GE Financial). Jeff received his M.A. in Education from London University and B.A. in Philosophy and Literature from Swansea University. He is fluent in Spanish and French.
Rachel Lawley is an innovation facilitator focused on convening systems of stakeholders around complex challenges. She works with Cazneau Group, an innovation company interested in creating innovation through collaboration. Previously, Rachel served as Vice Consul for the British Government, building connections between healthcare and biotechnology companies, researchers, funders, regulators, and government agencies in the U.S. and U.K. She started her career as a research analyst in the social enterprise space, and has spent a decade supporting companies with business development and new market strategies. Rachel received her B.S. in Psychology from Lancaster University in the United Kingdom.
James is a product designer who’s spent 18 years thinking, drawing and inventing new businesses and communications ideas for global brands. A passionate environmentalist, James has been dedicated to sustainability and social entrepreneurship for over a decade. Based in London, James serves clients around the world, doing sustainability work for Nike, Shell, Barclays and BP and is considered an eco-business strategy pioneer. Before founding Imaginals he worked as a Project Lead at Innovation Consultancy IDEO.
Carrie is a partner with SecondMuse focused on applying the art & science of collaboration to solve perplexing problems and create positive impact. Previously, Carrie worked for Intel Corporation as the Director of Sustainable Business Innovation, responsible for developing the vision and business opportunities for Intel’s technology solutions in the areas of the environment and natural resource management. Carrie regularly speaks around the world on the role of technology and sustainability, innovation and corporate responsibility. She has collaborated with corporations, multilateral and development organizations, industry consortia, non-profits and academia on sustainability initiatives. Passionate about expanding human potential, Carrie is a certified performance coach and has trained hundreds of individuals. Carrie holds an MBA in environmental policy and planning from the University of New Mexico.
Chad is a partner with SecondMuse, applying the art and science of collaboration to translate ideas worth doing into action. Previously, Chad was CEO of an e-learning company, responsible for designing and developing IBM's online university. Motivated by a belief that the fundamental purpose of business is to contribute to the advancement of civilization, Chad strives to apply collaborative frameworks towards some of the world's most pressing issues, to align organizational structures and systems with a shared strategic mission, and to foster holistic, intrinsic models of motivation.
Lena Delchad is an international development professional with eleven years of experience in democratic governance, and a passion for community development. Prior to joining SecondMuse, Lena was a contractor for the US Agency for International Development (USAID), with a regional focus on the Middle East for a number of years. Lena started her career urban planning and subsequently defined a national municipal equity agenda and served immigrant communities. She received her Master in Public Policy from the George Washington University and a B.S. in Environmental Development from UC Berkeley.
Todd Khozein is a partner with SecondMuse, a consultancy specializing in the use of collaborative processes to conceive and incubate innovative initiatives. He personally focuses on studying and applying the emerging science of collaboration. His interests lie in the incubation of collaborative frameworks where the incentive structure, technological platform and human resource development initiatives align to create a culture of innovation. Todd holds a B.A. in Economics and a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of New Mexico.
Dennis Bonilla is the Senior Digital Strategist at Valador, Inc. in Washington, DC and the LAUNCH Community Manager. As a data visualization professional Dennis has created community-driven federal websites, developed immersive environment software for NASA and commercial clients, and contributed to a variety of materials including documents presented to the U.S. President. As the LAUNCH Community Manager Dennis communicates the LAUNCH initiative and innovator stories across LAUNCH's social media platforms. Dennis is versed in the nuances of online conversation and shares content to provide insight about a program whose goals include changing the world. Follow our story here and on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Vimeo.