Max has a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Jazz Studies from the University of Southern California. As a cultural organizer and strategist, Max has worked with a number of organizations like The Mayo Clinic, Nike Foundation, Upworthy, and Rhode Island School Of Design to leverage art and creativity into social change. He's a proud alumnus of the Coro Fellows Program In Public Affairs, and is doing his best to be the change.
Aaron is a designer, entrepreneur and community organizer with a B.F.A in Graphic Design from the Rhode Island School of Design. Before co-founding Creative Action Network in 2013 he co-founded Big New Ideas, a bi-coastal design firm that served non-profit, startup and corporate clients like Timbuk2, Nike Foundation, and Upworthy from 2009 through 2012. He was recognized as a part of the GOOD100 in 2013, and was labeled a ``vandalism vigilante`` for illegally painting over graffiti in San Francisco parks.
Max and Aaron have been friends since preschool and have been collaborating ever since. They grew up in Los Angeles, immersed in creative communities – groups of people using their talents to make things together that were bigger and better than any one person could make on their own – from jazz bands to theatre groups to art studios to grassroots organizations. Aaron left LA for the Rhode Island School of Design and Max moved to New York as a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs. While in separate worlds, they were both still drawn to the power of creative community organizing in art and in politics.
So when the summer of 2008 came, the summer of Obama’s first campaign, Aaron launched a website from his dormroom – www.designforobama.org - to invite all the artists & designers, even those who weren’t famous already, to use their talents for a cause they cared about, and the community that rose up that summer has been growing ever since.
Corey is the CEO of Matter, a start-up accelerator that supports media entrepreneurs building a more
informed, connected, and empowered society.Prior to Matter, He taught design thinking innovation at the Institute of Design at Stanford University. Corey began his career in public broadcasting managing the production of 17 films for the PBS/WGBH series FRONTLINE, winning an Emmy and a duPont-Columbia Gold Baton Award.
Natalie is the executive director of Peers, a member-driven organization that supports the sharing economy movement. We believe that by sharing what we already have — like cars, homes, skills and time — everyone benefits in the process. spent the last decade at the intersection of social movements and technology. Prior to Peers, she was the digital director for President Obama’s Organizing for America (OFA) and the Democratic National Committee.
Steven Heller wears many hats (in addition to the New York Yankees): For 33 years he was an art director at the New York Times, originally on the OpEd Page and for almost 30 of those years with the New York Times Book Review. Currently, he is co-chair of the MFA Designer as Author Department, Special Consultant to the President of SVA for New Programs, and writes the Visuals column for the New York Times Book Review.
Van Jones is the c-host of CNN's Crossfire and the president and co-founder of Rebuild the Dream, a platform for bottom-up, people-powered innovations to help fix the U.S. economy. A Yale-educated attorney, Van has written two New York Times Best Sellers: The Green Collar Economy, the definitive book on green jobs, and Rebuild the Dream, a roadmap for progressives in 2012 and beyond.
Peter Koechley is Co-Founder and Curator-In-Chief of Upworthy, a new mission-driven media company dedicated to bringing mass attention to the things that really matter using irresistible social media. Before Upworthy, Peter produced viral media for the advocacy organisation MoveOn.org, was Managing Editor of The Onion (America's Finest News Source) and co-created the Onion News Network. He lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, son, and dog.
Jenny 8 Lee
Journalist. Writer. Dumpling-maker. Non-linear thinker. Wrote a book. Occasionally heard on NPR. Coined ``man date.`` Survived Colbert. Awesome Food trustee. Hacks/Hackers organizer. An Esquire ``Woman We Love.`` Majored in applied math. On TED.com. Thinking about the future of news and virality. Amateur headhunter and matchmaker (which are very similar).
Alex Lofton is a Vice President with 270 Strategies and leads the firm's San Francisco-based operations. Alex served most recently as the GOTV Director of Cleveland, Ohio for the 2012 re-election campaign of President Barack Obama.
Dr. Jim Pugh
Jim has spent the last five years working in the progressive data and technology space, starting on the 2008 Obama campaign and continuing as the Director of Analytics & Development at Organizing for America. Jim has a Ph.D. in distributed robotics from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Jake Shapiro is a founding partner at Matter.vc and the CEO of Public Radio Exchange (PRX), an entrepreneurial nonprofit whose mission is to harness technology to bring significant stories to millions of people. He is also an Ashoka Fellow and the lead guitarist for The Echo Nest.