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The Feast 2014

October 9-11th, 2014, Brooklyn, NY


Jim Rutt

Santa Fe Institute

Jim Rutt is the past Chairman of the Santa Fe Institute. He was CEO of Network Solutions, Inc., which operated the .com, .net, and .org domain namespaces on the Internet. He served as chief strategy officer and division President after Network Solutions was acquired by VeriSign in 2000 for $17 billion. Prior to Network Solutions, Jim was the first chief technology officer of Thomson-Reuters and before that, he either founded or played a key role in several significant information services and network companies: THE SOURCE, Business Research Corp., First Call, Pinpoint Information, and NHC Systems. He was non-executive Chairman of the computer chip design software company Analog Design Automation from 2001 until its acquisition by Synposis in 2004. He was Researcher in Residence from 2002 to 2004 at the Santa Fe Institute, studying the application of complexity science to financial markets, social simulations, agent based models, and evolutionary artificial intelligence. Subsequently he joined the Board of Trustees of the Santa Fe Institute, and was elected Chairman in 2010. In 2012 he co-founded the Game-B Network for social and political change. Jim is currently doing research related to the scientific study of consciousness. Jim received his B.S. degree in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1975.

Ben Huh

Founder and CEO,

A former journalist turned successful entrepreneur, Ben Huh has been credited with pioneering Internet culture as entertainment, crowdsourcing, and bringing Internet memes to the mainstream. Since first acquiring I Can Has Cheezburger? in 2007, Huh has grown the media company to now include more than 50 online humor sites that generate more than 200 million page views monthly. His Internet culture empire includes popular sites such as FAIL Blog, The Daily What, Know Your Meme and Memebase. Cheezburger has also released five books, two of which are New York Times bestsellers, and was the focus of the LOLwork reality television series, which aired on the Bravo network in 2012. The Internet culture connoisseur has been featured in many high-profile media outlets including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, Mashable, WIRED, Inc., and TIME.
Esther Perel

Esther Perel

Psychotherapist and Organizational Consultant

Esther Perel is recognized as one of the world’s most original and insightful voices on personal and professional relationships. She is the best-selling author of Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence, translated into 25 languages. Fluent in nine of them, the Belgian native is a practicing psychotherapist, celebrated speaker and organizational consultant to Fortune 500 companies. The New York Times, in a cover story, named her the most important game changer on sexuality and relationships since Dr. Ruth. Her critically acclaimed viral TED talk reached nearly 5 million viewers in the first year.
Nora Abousteit

Nora Abousteit

Founder and CEO,

Nora Abousteit is the founder and CEO of Kollabora. Nora writes as a startup mentor for the WSJ’s The Accelerators blog. She is a member of the board of the Craft and Hobby Association, a mentor at Highway1 a hardware incubator, and on the panel of experts to steer Cornell Tech's new Masters of Science program in Connective Media. Before starting Kollabora, Nora reinvented an old sewing magazine into the DIY fashion community, with one million members now the largest sewing community in the world.

Ayse Birsel

Co-founder, Birsel + Seck LLC

Ayse Birsel has been designing award-winning products for over twenty years. She is the co-founder of Birsel + Seck, an innovative design studio in New York that partners with leading brands and Fortune 500 companies, including Target, Herman Miller, Hewlett Packard, Johnson & Johnson, Toyota and TOTO. Ayse brings new solutions to old problems by thinking differently, using her user-centered, humanistic design approach and her unique process, Deconstruction:Reconstruction™. Ayse is also known for her acclaimed workshops, Design the Life You Love for individuals and Design the Work You Love for corporations, applying her design process to help people design their life and work respectively. She is the recipient of the 2001 Young Designer Award from the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Athena Award for Excellence in Furniture Design from Rhode Island School of Design, and numerous design awards including the IDEA Gold Award and ID Magazine Award.

James Bowthorpe

World Record Breaking Cyclist

James Bowthorpe is a modern day explorer interested in cities and the environments that surround and support them. Hudson River Project is an unprecedented journey which will see James build a boat from Manhattan’s waste, take it to the source of the Hudson in the Adirondacks and make a descent of the river back to NYC. This project is a collaboration with co-director Antony Crook, post-rock band Mogwai, Emmy award winner Ben Tricklebank, executive producers Bart Layton and Dimitri Doganis (The Imposter) and executive producer Dylan Williams (global chief strategy and innovation officer Publicis Group). In 2009 James broke the world record for circumnavigation of the globe by bicycle. He has exhibited film work at MACBA and ICA, worked for the OSCE monitoring the first democratic elections in Kosovo and is a research fellow at the Institute for Psychiatry in London.

Ben Cohen

Ben and Jerry's

In 1978, Ben and his longtime friend, Jerry Greenfield, started a homemade ice cream parlor in an old gas station in Burlington, Vermont. The ice cream was well received and after a few years, Ben & Jerry’s started to distribute pints to grocery stores in New England and eventually nationally and internationally. Along the way, Ben held the positions of scooper, crepe maker, truck driver, Director of Marketing, Sales Director, CEO, and Chairman of what became a $300 million-a-year public corporation. In 2000, despite his efforts to keep the company independent, Ben & Jerry’s was sold to Unilever. Today, Ben is President and Head Stamper at the Stamp Stampede campaign whose goal it is to help build the movement to amend the constitution to get money out of politics. The Stampede encourages people to rubber stamp paper currency with messages that say “Not to be Used for Bribing Politicians” and “Stamping Money Out of Politics”. Along with Jerry he authored the book, Ben & Jerry’s Double Dip: How to Run a Values-Led Business and Make Money, Too. In addition, Ben has served on the boards of the Social Venture Network, Hampshire College, Oxfam, Greenpeace, and Business for Social Responsibility. Currently Ben is a member of the board of directors of Heifer International and Alter Eco.

Harley K. Dubois

Burning Man

Harley K. Dubois is a co-founder and Chief Transition Officer of the 501c-3 Burning Man Project, and currently oversees the complex transition of the Burning Man for-profit event production company into a subsidiary under the non-profit. Harley is also a founding member of the Black Rock Arts Foundation, where she chairs the grants committee and acts as the foundation's liaison with Burning Man Project. In her 20 years' involvement with Burning Man and as the former City Operations Manager, Harley led the way in developing much of Black Rock City's Community Services departments and management infrastructure. She originated Theme Camp Placement, Greeters, Playa Info, Burning Man Information Radio, and kindled the development of all other Community Services teams.

Raghava KK

Co-Founder and CEO,

Named by CNN as one of the 10 most remarkable people in 2010, Raghava KK is a renowned Indian artist and a tech entrepreneur. He was inducted into the National Geographic Society as an Emerging Explorer for bringing together science, art, and technology in the field of exploration. His iPad art book Pop­it, launched at TED, shakes up the concept of the ideal family and presents children with multiple perspectives at the earliest stage. The book won several awards, including a Best of 2011 award from Kirkus. Raghava is on the Board of the INK Conference and is the chair of the INK Fellows Program. He recently wrote the foreword for Mass General Hospital's textbook on psychiatry, in which he discusses the importance of cultural sensitivity, perspectives, and empathy in psychiatry. Currently, he is the CEO and co­-founder of Flipsicle, a tech startup out of New York and Sweden, which brings together creativity, technology, and empathy.

Ingrid Kopp

Director of Digital Initiatives,
Tribeca Film Institute

An innovator in interactive storytelling and maker culture, Ingrid Kopp oversees the TFI New Media Fund. Recent supported projects include Alma, Hollow, Lyka’s Adventure and Question Bridge. Ingrid leads the Institute’s other digital and interactive programs including the TFI Interactive conference and the Tribeca Hacks hackathon series bringing storytellers, technologists and designers together to explore new projects and collaborations. She also curates the Tribeca Storyscapes program for interactive, transmedia work at the Tribeca Film Festival. Ingrid is constantly working at the intersection between storytelling, technology, design and social change and is a frequent speaker on the subject.

Wolff Olins

John Hearn is a Global Principal at Wolff Olins. In his role, he leads teams to help clients achieve far-reaching goals and has invented new products, services, and business models from the ground up. He is co-author of The Future of Money report who continues to apply his experience to inspiring others. Amy Lee is a Senior Strategist at Wolff Olins whose strength lies in creating and leading meaningful workshops that push others to think outside of the box. Amy is a rigorous and creative thinker who uses her commercial and corporate experience to bring a fresh perspective to brand strategy and innovation. Mark Bosse is an Associate Strategist at Wolff Olins. Mark has worked on a range of strategy engagements bringing his research prowess to bear on helping complex organizations take an insights-driven approach to solving their challenges.

Zach Reeder

Project Engineer,
Scaled Composites

Zach Reeder is an award winning engineer and pilot. He has had a major role in developing and testing at least six new types of airplanes from scratch Scaled Composites and is a commercial, instrument, and multiengine rated pilot. He learned to fly from his Dad in an old Super Cub on a grass runway in the cow pasture behind the house. Zach graduated from Texas A&M in 2005 with an aerospace engineering degree. Six days after graduation he moved to Mojave to work with aerospace visionary Burt Rutan. Zach’s first solo flight was in a hang glider that he designed and built for a hundred dollars. He has flown all over the US in an RV-8 kitplane that he built while living in a 60 year old bus. Inspiration from the nine day Voyager flight led Zach to several endurance adventures including running a marathon on the sea ice at the North Pole and flying 16 hours to set a 5000 km world speed record. He now leads the team designing and building the wing for Paul Allen’s Stratolaunch, which will be the world’s largest airplane when finished.

Michael Silver

American Elements

Michael Silver is a high technology entrepreneur and Chairman & CEO of American Elements (, a global manufacturer with the world’s largest catalog of advanced materials. He is considered a pioneer in the fields of green technology, nanotechnology, materials science, robotics and space flight. He has appeared on numerous television shows and is often quoted in the New York Times, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal and many other publications. His philanthropy includes sponsoring hundreds of science & technology conferences and festivals globally and television shows such as a 4 part NOVA series on PBS entitled “Making Stuff”. American Elements has manufacturing operations in Los Angeles, California; Salt Lake City, Utah; Monterrey, Mexico; Baotou, China and Manchester, UK. Michael holds JD and MBA degrees from the University of Southern California.

Ben Tricklebank

Emmy Award-Winning Director,
Tool of North America

Ben Tricklebank is one of the industry’s most celebrated directors who prides himself on his interdisciplinary visual expertise. His career has focused on finding innovative ways to engage with audiences, and his cutting-edge work has been recognized globally. Ben’s recent projects include “Gran Turismo First Love,” a TV spot and interactive documentary, “Mini Cooper: Final Test Drives,” a set of five 60 second spots, “Clouds Over Cuba,” an interactive documentary marking the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, “Google: Art, Copy, Code,” a dynamic, personalized film trailer, “Light Echoes,” a multimedia art piece created in collaboration with data visualization specialist Aaron Koblin, and “JAM with Chrome,” a web experience that allows friends to play live music together through the Chrome browser. “Clouds Over Cuba” was the most awarded digital project in the US for 2013, taking home an Emmy, a One Show Gold, a D&AD Yellow Pencil, 11 Cannes Lions, 2 Gold ADC Awards, and a Gold Clio.

Victoria Rogers


Victoria Rogers is on the Partnerships team at Kickstarter, where she works with creators and the institutions that support their work. Previously, Victoria was a Helen Rubenstein Curatorial Fellow at the Whitney Museum. She’s worked with art organizations such as Sotheby’s, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Creative Time, and Sperone Westwater Gallery. Outside Kickstarter, Victoria is on the board of the Robert F. Kennedy Young Leaders and Creative Time, and focuses on establishing art programs in low-income communities. A Chicago native, Victoria moved to Manhattan after graduating from Yale University.

Ven. Geshe Lobsang Dhargye

Buddhist Teacher,
Sera Mey Monastery

Geshe Lobsang Dhargye was born in 1969 in the Bomdilla district of the state of Arunachal Pradesh, North East India. At the age of ten, he entered Sera Mey Monastery, which is one of the largest Tibetan monasteries. He then began his long monastic training under the Venerable Gyumed Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Jampa, his personal tutor and Spiritual Director of DNKL. Geshe-la received his ordination as a novice monk in 1982 from the late Kyabje Ling Rinpoche, the senior tutor of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and the 97th Throne Holder of the Gelug tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. He then received the vows of a fully ordained monk, a Bikshu, in 1994 directly from His Holiness the Dalai Lama. After 15 years of study, Geshe-la appeared for the All Gelupga Monastic University examination in 1996 and was awarded the highest monastic degree, that of Geshe Lharampa. After successfully completing studies in Buddhist Sutra, Geshe-la went to Gyumed Tantric College in 1999 to study Buddhist tantra. He received the Ngagrampa degree in Buddhist Tantric Studies. Geshe Dhargye is a gifted Buddhist teacher who has taught not only in Sera Mey Monastery but also in the West and is now the Resident Teacher at Do Ngak Kunphen Ling in Redding, CT.

Anahita Moghaddam

Founder, Neural Beings,
Ambassador, The Tibet Fund

Anahita is the founder of Neural Beings and an emerging talent in the field of coaching and leadership development. Her dynamic and experiential coaching style draws on contemporary neuroscience, psychology and mindfulness. With an academic background in Social Anthropology from SOAS in London, the Iranian-German coach (and trained Sufi dancer), is committed to fostering a new leadership style, marked by leaders with distinct minds and purpose driven lives. Anahita has worked in media and personal development around the world, interviewing senior political and business leaders and gaining insight into the unique mindsets of influential people. Working closely with neuroscientists and psychologists, Anahita’s methodology focuses on training the mind to foster positive habits and wholesome mental states, which change the structure and function of the brain towards integration. Anahita is an ambassador to the Tibet Fund, a humanitarian organization under the patronage of H.H the 14th Dalai Lama, serving Tibetan refugees in India, Nepal and Bhutan.
The Feast is like getting adopted by a creative think-tank: a family of makers with the passion and the responsibility to create change.
Zachary Rotholz, Founder of Chairigami