Board and advisors
Board of directors
Mr. Schaeffer is Managing Director of Strategy & Thought Leadership for Forward Management. He is well known in the financial services industry as a business strategist, speaker and author with a knack for anticipating emerging trends and innovations. Mr. Schaeffer came to Forward Management from SEI, where he was Managing Director of the Investment Manager Services Group, a provider of operating services to mutual fund, alternative investment and separate account management organizations. He led that unit’s business strategy, product development and thought leadership initiatives. Prior to SEI, Mr. Schaeffer was Managing Partner of Investment Counseling, Inc. (IC), where he advised investment management firms on competitiveness and performance issues. It was during his tenure at IC that he pioneered-along with partner Chas Burkhart- the comprehensive annual survey “Competitive Challenges,” which remains the leading monitor of best practices in the industry. Widely published and quoted in major industry publications, Mr. Schaeffer is a frequent speaker at conferences held by the ICI, ABA, AIMR, IAA and U.S. Institute. Earlier in his career, Mr. Schaeffer worked in publishing, the entertainment industry, government and public policy.
Rhodes Klement, DirectorDirector
Over the last 15 years, Rhodes has developed and refined a unique vision for the art and science of brand. Borrowing from his formal training in such divergent fields as organic chemistry, classical ballet, and teaching sign language to the mentally handicapped, Rhodes perceives and abstracts meaning from seemingly random data to reveal new business opportunities and identify patterns that inhibit or promote positive brand perception.
He is the co-founder of Branditecture, an agency that helps organizations build strong brands with strategy, identity and reputation management services.
Before starting Branditecture, Rhodes led global Brand and Advertising for Sun Microsystems where he drove efforts to revitalize and build the end-to-end brand experience for the Sun and Java brand families. With his passion for social change, Rhodes led the development of live audience participation campaigns using Sun technology at Live8 concerts and U2's recent Vertigo tour — where 500,000 people in 17 countries joined Bono's ONE campaign to raise awareness for HIV/AIDS, poverty and debt in Africa. Rhodes also produced similar events with ColdPlay and CurrentTV.
Rhodes offers brand strategy and brand experience consulting. He speaks internationally on brand experience, product design, usability and emerging marketing technologies and has been quoted in such publications as CMO Magazine,AdWeek, BrandWeek and CNet.
Leetha Filderman is a skilled strategist intrigued by the power of collaboration as a tool for solving big global challenges.
Leetha serves as the President of PopTech and is a principle architect of the PopTech Accelerator—an incubation platform that supports robust cross-sector collaborative projects. Under her leadership the Accelerator has successfully launched Project Masiluleke, a globally recognized program that employs mobile technology as a high impact, low-cost tool in the fight against HIV/AIDS and TB in South Africa. She is currently leading PeaceTXT, a collaboration of the world’s best technologists and social innovators that is exploring how mobile tools and text messaging can be used to stem violent behavior and enhance early warning systems to prevent the spread of violence in the US and abroad.
Leetha has a deep and diverse background in innovative program development and the use of mobile technology as a tool to scale innovative projects in a variety of challenging settings. In the 1980s and 90s she developed a number of initiatives that opened access to state-of-the art care for the urban poor suffering from HIV/AIDS, serving as the Administrative Director of the Yale-New Haven Hospital AIDS Program and research liaison for the Boston City Hospital AIDS Research Program. Leetha has been a guest lecturer at the Yale School of Medicine, addressed national and international conferences, and co-authored manuscripts and abstracts. She has advised and served on the boards of numerous organizations and agencies and been a peer reviewer of funding applications for government and non-government funding entities.
John Legend is a five-time Grammy-winner and multi-platinum singer, songwriter, and performer who has been heralded as one of the most striking, vital and important American musical artists to emerge in the 21st century.
Legend, who began playing piano at the age of 4, made his name primarily as an in-demand all-star studio session writer and musician, working with luminaries including Lauryn Hill, the Black Eyed Peas, Alicia Keys, Common and Kanye West. In 2005, Legend's critically-acclaimed debut album, "Get Lifted," helped him earn an astounding eight Grammy nominations – tying Mariah Carey and Kanye West for the most nominations for any individual artist or band that year – with the album selling more than three million copies worldwide. In 2006, John’s second release, "Once Again," quickly achieved an RIAA platinum certification and brought him a Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance (for "Heaven").
In 2007, inspired by reading "The End Of Poverty" by Columbia University Professor Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, John Legend traveled to Ghana in West Africa where he recognized "the real, tangible impact of extreme poverty on millions of people around the world." His response was to launch the Show Me Campaign (www.ShowMeCampaign.org), a grassroots movement whose mission is "to fight economic and spiritual poverty through fostering sustainable development (personal, social, educational, economic) at the individual, family, and small community levels."
Sarah Laskin is Vice President and COO for Mission Programs at the National Geographic Society. Through the Mission Programs Special Projects group, she oversees the Explorers Program, including the Society's relationships with the Explorers-in-Residence, the NG Fellows, and the Emerging Explorers, and key program initiatives such as the Enduring Voices Project and Genographic. In 2004, she was among the founders of National Geographic's All Roads Film Project, which showcases breakthrough film and still photography from indigenous and under-represented minority cultures around the globe. She currently serves on the All Roads Advisory Board.
She is also a member of the Society's Conservation Trust, a grant-making committee which supports conservation of the world's biological and cultural diversity. Prior to joining National Geographic in 2000, Sarah worked on ocean, coastal, and fishery policy issues in the Clinton/Gore Administration as Associate Director for Fisheries and Coastal Issues at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. She also held the positon of Program Examiner for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration programs at the White House's Office of Management and Budget. She was involved in organizing the U.S. Commerce Department and U.S. Navy's National Ocean Conference in 1998, and was a co-author of the Clinton Cabinet's "Looking to the Sea: America's Ocean Future," a special report on ocean policy.
John Balen is a General Partner at Canaan Partners where he focuses on investments in communications & mobility, and next-generation enterprise technology companies that are disrupting the balance of traditional markets.
Before joining Canaan Partners, John held a variety of operational and financial roles, where he learned both how to build companies from the ground up and how to fund them. He served as a Managing Director of Horsley Bridge Partners, a multi-billion dollar private equity firm in San Francisco. During his nine-year tenure at Horsley Bridge, John was responsible for a wide spectrum of investments in technology companies, as well as many venture capital and buyout partnerships. Earlier in his career, John was a sales applications engineer at fiber communications startup Codenoll Technology Corp. and an engineer at Digital Equipment Corp.
John currently serves on the boards of innovative digital media firms Blurb, Cardlytics, Casabi and Silicon Optix, mobile companies Command Audio and Dexterra, and enterprise technology firms Echopass, EZRez, ID Analytics and SOASTA.
John received a BS in electrical engineering and an MBA from Cornell University. A firm believer in the value of education, John is the Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, and as a board member serves on the Executive Committee of his children’s school. John frequently donates time and money to educational causes.
As Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Jolie Hunt oversees AOL’s global communications strategy, including internal and external communications; social media; corporate social responsibility and cause related initiatives; and corporate events. She is also responsible for AOL’s global brand development, partnerships and consumer marketing initiatives.
Prior to joining AOL, Hunt served as Senior Vice President and Global Head of Brand and Public Relations at Thomson Reuters. In that role, Hunt oversaw brand, advertising, PR and digital social media for the company’s news and financial services businesses, comprising 27,800 employees who operated in over 100 countries and generated $7.9 billion in annual revenue.
Previously, Hunt was the Global Director of Corporate and Business Affairs at IBM Corporation, and also served as Director of Public Relations for the Financial Times from 2002 – 2006.
In 2011, Hunt was named ‘In-House Professional of the Year’ by the Public Relations Consultants Association, and in 2012, was awarded an honorable mention for the PR Week award ‘PR Professional of the Year’.
Hunt was appointed to the Civilian Public Affairs Counsel for West Point Military Academy in 2008, and joined the board of PopTech in 2010. Hunt is active in the industry, and holds committee and board positions for The Wisemen, Arthur W Page Society and The Seminar.
Hunt earned a Bachelor of Science from Boston University’s College of Communication, and completed a Global Leadership Program from Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business and Spain’s IE Business School in 2010.
Andrew ZolliStrategic advisor
Andrew is a foresight and global trends consultant who analyzes critical trends at the intersection of culture, technology, and global society. His firm, Z + Partners, helps global companies and institutions see, understand and respond to complex change.
Andrew has been a fellow of the National Geographic Society and has served as futurist-in-residence at both Popular Science and American Demographics magazines, as well as Public Radio’s Marketplace.
Andrew is a network member of the Global Business Network, and serves as a visiting fellow of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. In early 2005 he was named to Fast Company’s Fast 50, the magazine’s annual compilation of emerging business leaders. In the same year, he was named one of Red Herring’s “20 Under 35.”
Advisory board members
Cheryl Heller is the Founding Chair of the new Masters Program in Design for Social Innovation at the School of Visual Arts in New York and founder of Heller Communication Design. She is a pioneering communication designer and business strategist who has twice been nominated for the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award for Communication Design.
Cheryl has led transformational initiatives for major corporations such as Ford, American Express, Reebok, Mariott International, Cemex, Gap, Bayer Corporation, Seventh Generation, L.Oreal, Hearst and Sappi, non-profits such as WWF, Audubon, IDE, Concern Worldwide and the Girl Scouts of America. She created the Ideas that Matter program for Sappi in 1999, which has since given over $10 million to designers working for the public good. She also advised Paul Polak and the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum on the exhibit, “Design for the Other 90%.”
Cheryl has been a core faculty member for the PopTech Social Innovation and Science Fellows, mentoring the most exciting social entrepreneurs in the world as they create and scale new models for solving issues around poverty, water, health care, energy and conservation, often through the use of technology.
She is the National Director of Leadership Education for AIGA, the professional association for design, and a writer for NextBillion.
John Maeda is a world-renowned graphic designer, visual artist, and computer scientist, and is a founding voice for “simplicity” in the digital age.
Named by ESQUIRE magazine as one of the 21 most important people for the twenty-first century, Maeda first made his mark by redefining the use of electronic media as a tool for expression for people of all ages and skills. He is the recipient of the highest career honors for design in the United States, Japan, and Germany and serves on the board of trustees for the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. He has had major exhibits of his work in Paris, London, New York and Tokyo, and has written several books on his philosophy of “humanizing technology” through his perspective on the future of creative uses of technologies including THE LAWS OF SIMPLICITY (MIT Press) published in 14 languages. His design work and consulting for organizations like Google, Cartier, Samsung, Shiseido, Reebok, Chanel, Philips and Sony have led to seminal advances in how digital thinking meets the analog world with the greatest respect for humanity.
Formerly a faculty member at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for 12 years where he was Associate Director of Research at the MIT Media Lab. On June 1, 2008, he became the sixteenth President of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in Providence, Rhode Island, the preeminent college of art and design in the US.
Maeda received both his BS and MS degrees from MIT, and earned his PhD in design from Tsukuba University Institute of Art and Design in Japan. In May 2003, he received an honorary doctorate of fine arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art, and completed his MBA in May of 2006. Maeda is a sought-after lecturer on “simplicity” at major universities and boardrooms throughout the world.
Author and New Yorker magazine journalist Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, has been a tremendous bestseller for three years and counting. Malcolm has the uncanny ability to interpret research findings and tantalizing theories in sociology and other fields and apply them to business and organizational problems to generate value.
In The Tipping Point, Malcolm explains the dynamics of trends and helps organizations apply this knowledge to their own business strategies. He shows how ideas and trends start and spread, and offers tools for igniting, steering and/or sustaining trends that matter, whether in business, society, politics, technology or consumer behavior. He also helps organizations identify the types of people who are crucial to the trend process and deploy their talents strategically.
His latest release, Blink – “about rapid cognition, about the kind of thinking that happens in a blink of an eye,” and the powerful conclusions we draw in those moments – appeared on the bestseller charts as soon as it was published in 2005.
Juan is a senior research fellow and director of the Harvard Business School Life Science Project. His most recent books are As the Future Catches You: How Genomics & Other Forces are Changing Your Life, Work, Health & Wealth (Random House) and The Untied States of America: Polarization, Fracturing, and Our Future (Crown).
In 2001 Juan wrote “Transforming Life, Transforming Business: The Life Science Revolution” (co-authored with Ray Goldberg) in The Digital Enterprise (HBS Press), for which he won a McKinsey Prize. He also wrote “Technology, Gene Research and National Competitiveness” in Globalization and the Rural Environment (DRCLAS/Harvard University Press). He has authored more than a dozen Harvard Business School case studies, as well as articles for such publications as Science, Foreign Policy, The New York Times, and Trends in Biotechnology. He is contributing editor of The Journal of Biolaw and Business
Andrew Essex is the Chief Executive Officer of Droga5, the award-winning advertising agency. Droga5, which The Guardian called “the world’s most exciting agency,” is best known for such innovative social initiatives as UNICEF’s Tap Project, The Great Schlep for the Obama campaign, and The Million Project for the New York City Department of Education. The agency, Creativity magazine’s 2007 “Agency of the Year,” works with such diverse clients as Puma, Method, Nokia, Unilever, Vestas, Activision, and The New Museum of Contemporary Art. Before co-founding Droga5, Essex was the founding editor-in-chief of Absolute magazine, executive editor of Details magazine, and held editorial posts at, among other publications, _The New Yorker, Entertainment Weekly,_ Salon.com, and _Interview_. He is the author of two books: _A Very Public Offering: The Story of the Globe.com_ (Wiley; 2001) and Chasing Cool (Simon & Shuster; 2007), and currently writing a third book with celebrated musician Nile Rodgers, to be published by Random House in late 2010. Essex has a BA and an MA in American Literature from New York University and is an advisor to the NYU Reynolds Program of Social Entrepreneurship. He lives with his wife and two children in Brooklyn Heights.
Ethan is a fellow of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society since 2003. His work focuses on the impact of technology on the developing world. His current projects include a study of global media attention, research on the use of weblogs and other social software in the developing world, and work on a clearinghouse for software for international development.
In 2000, Ethan founded Geekcorps, a nonprofit technology volunteer corps. Geekcorps pairs skilled volunteers from US and European high-tech companies with businesses in emerging nations for one- to four-month volunteer tours. More than 3,500 technical experts have shared their talents and experience in more than a dozen developing nations, including Ghana, Senegal, Mali, Vietnam and Morocco. Geekcorps became a division of the International Executive Service Corps in 2001, where Ethan served as a vice president from 2001–2004.
Prior to founding Geekcorps, Ethan helped found Tripod, an early pioneer in the web community space. Ethan served as Tripod’s first graphic designer and technologist, and later as VP of business development and VP of research and development. After Tripod's acquisition by Lycos in 1998, Ethan served as general manager of the Angelfire.com division and as a member of the Lycos mergers and acquisitions team.
Chris Jordan is an internationally acclaimed photographic artist and social activist whose work explores the detritus of American mass culture. His newest series, titled “Running the Numbers,” depicts the staggering statistics that define our mass behaviors, in huge, intricately detailed panels as large as thirty feet wide.
These astonishing works invite the viewer to walk up close and see every detail as a metaphor for the role of the individual in our hypermodern society. Chris’s work is exhibited widely in the US and Europe, and has been featured in magazines, newspapers, weblogs, documentary films and television programs all over the globe.
In the Spring of 2008, Chris served as an international spokesperson for National Geographic in their global campaign for Earth Day 2008. A sought-after speaker on the subject of mass culture, Chris has appeared on several national television programs recently. He lives in Seattle with his wife the poet Victoria Sloan Jordan, and his son Emerson.
Carolyn is the leader of the Imaging Science Team on the Cassini mission presently orbiting Saturn, and a lead imaging scientist on the New Horizons Pluto/Kuiper Belt mission, which launched in January, 2006. She is a veteran imaging scientist of the Voyager mission to the outer solar system in the 1980s. She received her PhD in 1983 from the California Institute of Technology.
Carolyn is the director of the Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for Operations (CICLOPS) at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado, where Cassini images are collected, processed and released to the public, and an adjunct professor at both the University of Colorado and the University of Arizona. She is also the CEO of Diamond Sky Productions, a small company devoted to the scientific, as well as artful, use of planetary images and computer graphics for the presentation of science to the public.
Carolyn has been an active participant in guiding the American planetary exploration program over the last 15 years through membership on a host of NASA advisory committees, and in 2001/2002 was the vice chairperson for the steering group of the Solar System Decadal Survey, sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences and NASA.
Her contributions to the exploration of the outer solar system have been recognized with the naming of Asteroid (7231) Porco.
Jakob is a self-taught DJ-turned-designer, founder and creative director of Trollbäck + Company.
Trollbäck + Company is a bicoastal creative studio committed to generating innovative visual and branding solutions. The company works across a variety of media, from film titles and trailers to TV commercials, environmental and architectural installations, branding, advertising and magazine and book design.
Lisa Witter is the chief operating officer of Fenton Communications, the largest public interest communications firm in the country. She heads the firm's practice in women's issues and global affairs for clients including Women for Women International, MoveOn.org, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, the American Medical Association, the American Lung Association and many others. She is a co-founder of the award-winning website SheSource.org, an online brain trust of women experts to help close the gender gap among commentators in the news media. She was honored as an outstanding activist and expert on women's issues by Oxygen.com for her work on a national campaign against privatizing Social Security during the 2000 presidential election.
Lisa is a blogger and political commentator with her work appearing on MSNBC, Fox News, The Huffington Post, AlterNet and Anderson Cooper 360. In 2004, she was a contestant on the Showtime reality show "American Candidate". Witter is co-author of _The She Spot: Why Women Are the Market for Changing the World and How to Reach Them._ She is on the advisory board for Indianapolis University's Women and Philanthropy Institute, PopTech, Momsrising.org, Women for Women International and Climate Counts.
Matt Mason currently serves as Executive Director of Marketing at BitTorrent, a creator of advanced, innovative technologies designed to efficiently deliver large files across the Internet. BitTorrent currently boasts over 150 million active monthly users, and moves 20-40% of all Internet traffic on a daily basis.
Mason is also the bestselling author of The Pirate’s Dilemma, the first book in the history of the world to hit the number one spot on Amazon’s economics/free enterprise bestseller list and the rap bestseller list at the same time. It has since been published in ten countries and counting. He is also a board member at PopTech, a global community of innovators, working together to expand the edge of change.
Mason began his career as a pirate radio and club DJ in London, going on to become founding Editor-in-Chief of the seminal music magazine RWD. In 2004, he was selected as one of the faces of Gordon Brown’s Start Talking Ideas campaign, and was presented the Prince’s Trust London Business of the Year Award by HRH Prince Charles.
Mason has written and produced TV series, screenplays, comic strips, apps and records, not to mention award-winning, global advertising campaigns. His journalism has appeared in The Guardian, The Independent, The Observer Music Monthly, Dazed & Confused, Adweek, VICE, Complex, Liberation and other publications in more than 20 countries. His short story Hard Times was published by Penguin as part of the We Tell Stories project, which won Best in Show at SXSW and was shown in the Talk To Me exhibition at the MOMA in New York City in 2011.
Mason regularly speaks on creativity, disruptive innovation, copyright infringement and the promise of P2P technologies all over the world. He lives in San Francisco.
Bob joined Polaris Venture Partners as a general partner in January, 2001. He specializes in Boston-based IT start-ups. He had three careers before becoming a venture capitalist:
While an engineer-scientist (1965–1979), Bob helped build the early Internet. In 1973, at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, he invented Ethernet, the local-area networking (LAN) standard on which he shares four patents. In 2003, Ethernet’s 30th year, 184 million new Ethernet connections were shipped for $12.5 billion.
While an entrepreneur-executive (1979–1990), Bob founded 3Com Corporation, the billion-dollar networking company, where at various times he was chairman, CEO, division general manager, and vice president of engineering, sales, and marketing.
While a publisher-pundit (1990–2000), Bob was CEO of IDG's InfoWorld Publishing Company (1992–1995). For eight years, he wrote an Internet column read weekly by more than 500,000 information technologists. He spoke often; appeared on radio, television, and the web; and produced conferences, including ACM97, ACM1, Agenda, Pop!Tech, and Vortex.
Bob’s book credits include Packet Communication (Thomson), Internet Collapses and Other InfoWorld Punditry (IDG Books), and Beyond Calculation: The Next Fifty Years of Computing (co-edited for Springer Verlag).
John is former president and CEO of Pepsi; former CEO of Apple Computer; high-tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist.
Named “Man of the Year” by Financial World, “CEO of the Decade” by Financial News Network and “Advertising Man of the Year” by Adweek as well as Ad Age, John draws from his boardroom experiences to offer valuable insight into leading change, the new global marketplace and the innovative concepts companies are developing to transform business.
John was Pepsi’s CEO for five years, during which time the company’s successful “Pepsi Generation” and “Pepsi Challenge” marketing campaigns enabled the brand to become the largest-selling packaged goods in America.
In 1983, Steve Jobs recruited John to Apple to bring big-brand marketing to the high-tech industry. Together, Jobs and Sculley successfully launched Macintosh and desktop publishing. During John’s decade as Apple's CEO, Macintosh went on to become the #1-selling PC in the world.
Since leaving Apple, John has pursued venture capitalism. Successful early-stage companies he worked with, which either went public and/or were sold, include Professional SportsCare, Select Comfort, NFO Research, Intralinks, Hotwire and InPhonic.