Lauri Stallings is a contemporary artist interested in the research of movement and its adherent ability to develop human potential. Stallings began her performance career at Cleveland San Jose’Ballet, followed by Canada’s Ballet British Columbia. In just five seasons as a full time Dancemaker, Stallings has compiled a substantial body of work. She is presently Artist in Residence of Kennesaw State University Dance Department, and earlier this season earned Emory University’s inaugural “Artist Impact” award for her work with gloATL, a collaborative platform of contemporary artists based in Atlanta. gloATL is Stallings’ genuine investigation in all things contemporary, in today’s urban world.
Esther Havens is a Humanitarian Photographer. She captures stories that transcend a person’s circumstances and reveal their true strength. For many years she has worked on social-awareness campaigns with organizations such as charity: water, TOMS Shoes, Concern Worldwide and A Glimmer of Hope. Her images compel thought and challenge action. She has traveled to over 45 nations in the last 10 years—and she’ll keep going until she sees that every person on the planet has access to education and clean drinking water. At heart, she is a connector, fostering relationships across continents, cultures, industries and perspectives. While not traveling, Esther calls Austin, Texas home.
Scott Thomas, who goes by the moniker SimpleScott, lives by the idea that the simplest solution is the best one. Whether he’s building a website or singing emails operatically the motivation is always “less is more.” Back when SimpleScott had free time he could be found at a letterpress fashioning original prints and collaborating with fellow members of the design collective, The Post Family. All that, and his dream of rationalizing the irrational theory of the golden ratio, came to a halt when he became the Design Director for the Obama Campaign. Soon enough, SimpleScott found himself redesigning WhiteHouse.gov and trying to impress politicos with his Lincoln-like beard. When the historic election ended he felt that he should somehow record his experience. Two years later he self-published Designing Obama, a chronicle on the role of art and design in the political realm. We are all patiently awaiting Obama’s rave review. SimpleScott plans to continue working on creative projects that might just one day change the world. (Cue music)
Better World Books is a pioneer of the for-profit social business model: an online bookstore harnessing the power of capitalism to bring literacy and opportunity to people around the world. Better World Books is self-sustaining, triple-bottom-line company that creates social, economic and environmental value for the community.
Aaron King is Better World Book’s first full time employee. Over the past 8 years he has helped grow the company in practically every department, from running one of the first ever college book drives, to implementing warehouse shipping and inventory management systems, to managing the online CRM service, to deploying and managing the brand new community book collection bins. Currently he is working with our campus division to form deeper partnerships with colleges all across the USA and Canada.
Erin Levin is an award-winning advocate journalist. Her production and outreach experience ranges from ABC and CNN to the Peace Corps and non-profits around the world.
She is currently the Community and Social Media Manager at the world’s largest social impact online bookstore, Better World Books, and loves every minute of it!
Erin is also in production of Singing for Their Lives, a documentary feature film about the African Children’s Choir. She serves on the Junior Board of Wellspring Living to fight child sex trafficking in Atlanta, is the Co-Founder of Atlanta for Acumen to support the Acumen Fund locally and has directed the organization and production of multiple concert events to raise awareness about hope and development progress at home and abroad. Traveling, spending time in the great outdoors and volunteering with friends all fill Erin with joy.
John used to be an executive working for Fortune 50′s (J&J, Dell, Fox, NewsCorp) as a software engineer and product architect. The money was great but all that travel limited the amount of time he could spend with his wife and two daughters; and that lifestyle left him almost no time to play his favorite Nintendo games. Now he’s a social technologist, professional blogger, and “starter” with a number of successful (growing and/or acquired) bootstrapped and VC-funded startups (8BIT, SoChurch, BeaconAds, ChurchMag). He now has more time with his family, his friends, and his Nintendo.
Ron is the “Big Cheese” at AtlantaFresh. He makes the cheese and yogurt, keeps the staff happy, pays the bills and answers the phone. Ron has had a long and distinguished career in the food industry as a Chef and Food Developer starting at age 14, when he was trained as a butcher and sausage maker in his family’s business in Pittsburgh. In 2001, Ron moved to Atlanta and founded Focus On Food, a Culinary Innovation Center where he has worked with scores of food and restaurant companies in the development of new menu items and retail food products. In the last few years Ron’s interest and awareness in local sustainable food has continually grown and has inspired him to launch AtlantaFresh Artisan Creamery. Marks says; “Atlanta has emerged as one of the best food cities, not only for restaurants, but also in the quality of our locally grown foods and food markets in the country. Our partnership with Johnston Family Dairy Farm gives us magnificent fresh quality milk to bring “Farm to Table Dairy Products” to market within a handful of days from milking of those beautiful Jersey cows in Newborn, Ga.”
Blake is the Founder and CEO of beremedy – the simplest way to help other people. beremedy is an organization that uses social media to connect those in need with those that can help. It’s based on the concept that there are the resources in every community to meet the needs of that community. beremedy has been named one of the “3 best twitter usages worldwide” by CNN (3/20/11). beremedy was one of the leading organizations in bringing aid to Haiti after the earthquake. Through social media they were able to network organizations, the UN, and U.S. Marines to bring help to some 100,00 people in the first week of relief. To date, they have helped over 114,000 people and they’re just getting started. Blake speaks regularly on topics ranging from social media, social good, the beremedy story, to how to bring real world results from online campaigns.
Rashid provides overall executive and operational leadership to the Company. Rashid possess over forty years of experience in both industrial and organic agriculture, where he has managed public, private and community-based food and agriculture businesses in over 30 countries. Through his travels, Rashid has observed and learned about local food economies around the world. His experience has included managing farms in excess of 13,000 acres as well as more than 12 years with agricultural giant Cargill. Rashid also served four years as a senior executive in the Clinton administration as the Deputy Administrator of the Farm Service Agency and Foreign Agricultural Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Rashid is a graduate of Harvard College, where he studied Political Science and holds a M.S. in Plant and Soil Science from the University of Massachusetts and currently serves on the boards of Georgia Organics and the Atlanta Local Food Initiative.
Simon Mainwaring is an award-winning branding consultant, respected author, influential blogger and international speaker. He is the founder of We First, a social branding consultancy committed to helping brands build communities, profit and positive impact.
Simon’s first book, We First: How brands and consumers use social media to build a better world (wefirstbook.com) lays out a new vision for a sustainable practice of capitalism, a new role for the private sector based on a partnership between brands and consumers connected by social media, and new thinking as to how we use the latest in social, mobile and gaming technology to scale positive social change.
Social is changing everything. Businesses are engaging in creating social value and considering their social responsibility. As Stanford declared, The world’s most creative minds are “dissolving boundaries and brokering a dialogue between the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.” Technology has changed the meaning of conversation. Innovation is progressing at a rapid pace resulting in social concern and a need for evaluation. How do we move forward in the social era? Who is finding success and who is neglected? How will innovation play a role moving forward?
Scoutmob Founder Michael Tavani shares his story about starting a new crowd sourcing tool that is revolutionizing marketing and commerce. Take notice of the innovation in the works that started in Atlanta and is moving across the nation.
Luma Mufleh, the courageous founder and no-nonsense coach of a local soccer team, the Fugees Family. A number of years ago, Luma was driving through her neighborhood when she discovered a group of local refugee boys playing soccer and, a lover of the sport herself, asked to join in the game. As she began to build friendships with the boys, she was heartbroken to learn about the hard conditions many of their families were living in as they struggled to make ends meet. Impassioned to help these boys whom she already considered family, Luma sold her own business to start a fair-wage maid service to help employ some of the mothers of the refugee families, and soon after turned a parking lot soccer team into an after-school program, a mentoring organization, and good soccer team. The Fugees Family, made up of boys from war-torn countries from all over the world, aims to strengthen and empower the boys, help them with their studies, and teach them life skills as they daily learn from Luma what it means to put others before oneself. Luma’s humility and hesitancy as she spoke only added to the warmth of her account, and serves as a needed reminded that our creativity and good ideas can be used to create needed change in our own neighborhoods and cities.
Relying on goodwill, guts and gumption Duncan, Ben, Dave and Jonnie travel the globe in a purple transit bus to complete a list of 100 things to do before you die and to help and encourage others to go after their own lists. For every item they complete on their list, they help a stranger achieve one of their dreams. Everywhere they go they ask the question: What do you want to do before you die? Check out the raw & exclusive conversation.