The University learning program will explore emerging narratives and the key factors contributing to changes in our understanding of economics, society and the environment. As Entrepreneurs, we operate within the narratives of our time and are often the drivers of change, creating new story lines with every innovation and endeavor we pursue. The speakers will explore the fundamental narratives that govern our entrepreneurial lives today and will illuminate the issues, present credible alternatives and explore the opportunities presented by the disruption.

Dr. Jem Bendell


Rodrigo Baggio is the founder and president of the Center for Digital Inclusion (CDI), a global NGO headquartered in Brazil that seeks to empower people to fight poverty, stimulate entrepreneurship and create changemakers through the use of information and communication technology. CDI, a pioneer in digital inclusion in Latin America, supports 842 CDI Community Centers in 14 countries in Latin America and Europe, and in 20 years it has impacted more than 1,64 million people. Rodrigo is also a Global Leader in Ashoka.

Winner of the Entrepreneur for the World Award in 2014 (World Entrepreneurship Forum ), Rodrigo Baggio also has won more than 60 awards from organizations such as UNICEF, UNESCO, Time, Fortune, CNN and the World Economic Forum. Baggio has been named one of the hundred “Young Global Leaders” (World Economic Forum), considered one of the 50 Latin American leaders who will make a difference in the third millennium (Time Magazine) and one of the 10 personalities in the world chosen as “Principal Voices” in the economic development field (CNN, Time and Fortune) along with the Nobel Prize Muhammad Yunus and the professor and economist Jeffrey Sachs.

Dr. Jem Bendell

Dr. Jem Bendell

Dr. Jem Bendell is a Professor of sustainability leadership and Founder of the Institute for Leadership and Sustainability (IFLAS) at the University of Cumbria (UK). The Institute runs the world’s largest MBA program in sustainability, with 1000+ students from more than 100 countries.

A graduate of the University of Cambridge, Bendell has 20 years of experience as a researcher, educator, facilitator, advisor and entrepreneur in sustainable business and finance. The World Economic Forum (WEF) has recognized him as a Young Global Leader for his work on sustainable business alliances, and Bendell co-authored the WEF report on the “Sharing Economy.” With more than 100 publications, including four books and five UN reports, he regularly appears in international media on topics of sustainable business and finance, as well as currency innovation. His TEDx talk is the most watched online speech on complementary currencies.

Previously, he helped create innovative alliances, including the Marine Stewardship Council to endorse sustainable fisheries and The Finance Innovation Lab. In 2007, he wrote a report for the World Wildlife Federation on the responsibility of luxury brands, which appeared in 50+ newspapers and magazines worldwide and inspired a number of entrepreneurs to create businesses in the luxury sector.

Professor Bendell now specializes in leadership development, offering coaching and training to senior executives from around the world who have an interest in sustainable enterprise and finance. He also serves as special advisor to the United Nations department that convenes the Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative.

Robin Chase


Robin Chase is a transportation entrepreneur. She is the founder and former CEO of Zipcar, the largest carsharing company in the world; Buzzcar, a service that brings together car owners and drivers in a carsharing marketplace in France; and GoLoco, an online ridesharing community. She is also Executive Chairman of Veniam, a vehicle communications company building the networking fabric for the Internet of Moving Things.

She is on the Boards of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, the World Resources Institute, and Tucows. She also served on the National Advisory Council for Innovation & Entrepreneurship for the US Department of Commerce, the Intelligent Transportations Systems Program Advisory Committee for the US Department of Transportation, the OECD’s International Transport Forum Advisory Board the Massachusetts Governor’s Transportation Transition Working Group, and Boston Mayor’s Wireless Task Force.

‘Robin lectures widely, has been frequently featured in the major media, and has received many awards in the areas of innovation, design, and environment, including Time 100 Most Influential People, Fast Company Fast 50 Innovators, and BusinessWeek Top 10 Designers. Robin graduated from Wellesley College and MIT’s Sloan School of Management, was a Harvard University Loeb Fellow, and received an honorary Doctorate of Design from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Kirk Citron


Kirk Citron looks for news stories that might matter fifty, or a hundred, or ten thousand years from now. He spoke about his Long News project at TED2010; the talk has been viewed more than half-a-million times.

During the breakout session he will discuss the story behind the stories: the trends the news media doesn’t want you to know. Because today’s “top stories” are rarely those that will make a difference to the future of humanity — or the future of your business.

An award-winning writer and advertising entrepreneur, Kirk founded Citron Haligman Bedecarre, Adweek’s West Coast Agency of the Year, and raised venture capital to turn it into AKQA, a digital agency which Fast Company called one of the fifty most innovative companies in the world.

His clients have included American Express, The Gap, Sony, Mercedes-Benz, AT&T, Gallo, Palm, Visa, and many startups. His ads have won awards in every international festival, including five Clios, and he was inducted into the American Advertising Federation’s Hall of Achievement. He has also written a PBS documentary about a WWII Japanese submarine, and his plays have had staged readings in Pennsylvania, Maine, and Florida.

More recently, he has consulted for non-profits including The Long Now Foundation, The Foundation for the Future, and The California Film Institute. He graduated from Harvard in 1977 and lives in San Francisco.

Charles Eisenstein



Stuart Diamond is one of the world’s leading experts on negotiation. His book, Getting More, has sold more than 1 million copies, making it the world’s largest selling book on the subject since it was published in 2011. Professor Diamond’s negotiation course at the top-rated Wharton School of Business has been the most sought-after at the school over 15 years. He is also Google’s Principal Negotiation Instructor, and the company has adopted his new model as its primary method to train its employees in negotiation worldwide. The Wall Street Journal’s career site has named Getting More the #1 book to read for your career. The book has been a New York Times bestseller and #1 U.S. business bestseller on both The Wall Street Journal and USA Today lists.

In a prior career Professor Diamond was a journalist at The New York Times, where he won a Pulitzer Prize as part of a team investigating the crash of the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1986. He holds a law degree from Harvard, an MBA from Wharton and has taught and advised corporate and government leaders in more than 50 countries. This includes putting together the largest foreign sourced commercial financing in the history of Ukraine, and persuading 3,000 farmers in the Bolivian jungles to forsake coca for bananas. He has been chairman of a high-tech company, co-owned an airline and served as an executive in a medical service business and a Wall Street energy futures trading firm. His many clients have also included Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, Morgan Stanley, Johnson & Johnson, General Electric, Prudential, the Government of Colombia and Educational Testing Service. He has advised executives and managers from more than 220 of the Fortune 500 companies, as well as numerous entrepreneurial firms and organizations, and has also taught at Harvard, Oxford, Columbia, NYU, USC, Berkeley and Penn Law.

Since early 2012, Professor Diamond has trained more than 4,000 Special Operations Forces (SOF), the U.S. military elite, as well as other military, on finding better ways to negotiate both internally and externally. He has trained almost every unit that went to Afghanistan in 2013. The training has included Green Berets, Special Forces, Navy Seals and various advisors for SOF in both the intelligence and operations areas. Getting More is one of 15 books recommended for the reading list of the Special Operations Commander.

Professor Diamond’s work has included covering the nuclear accidents at Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, the Bhopal gas leak accident in India and OPEC in Europe and South America. His advice and training has spanned business and government officials in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Kuwait; the President’s offices of Bolivia and Nicaragua; a manufacturing conglomerate in China, a billion dollar enterprise in Russia and science and technology companies in Germany, Kazakstan and Australia. His new negotiation process, which keys on collaboration, perceptions and emotions instead of power, leverage and logic, is credited with solving the 2008 Writers Strike in Hollywood, a multibillion dollar electronic trading rights dispute among commodity exchanges on Wall Street, and a $300 million technology merger.

Prof. Diamond is a former Associate Director of the Harvard Negotiation Project at Harvard Law School and headed its outside consulting firm. He is also an expert in cross-cultural negotiation and diversity and has advised on the subject to the United Nations, World Bank and many companies. He has written 3 books, 2 documentary films and more than 2,000 articles, including dozens of page 1 of The New York Times. He has appeared on Today, Good Morning America, Fox News and other TV programs to address issues ranging from energy to environment to technology to trade. His articles have also appeared in The Washington Post and include subjects such as leadership and the problems of negotiating in a global environment amid continual change. His 30,000 students have ranged from country leaders to school children and disciplines from sales to mergers and acquisitions, technology, law, medicine, politics, the arts, labor-management and virtually every other major discipline.

Charles Eisenstein



Charles Eisenstein is a philosopher, speaker, and writer focusing on themes of human culture and identity, activism, and the emerging “new story.” He is the author of several books, most notably The Ascent of Humanity, Sacred Economics, and The More Beautiful World our Hearts Know is Possible. His background includes a degree in mathematics and philosophy from Yale, a decade in Taiwan as a translator, as well as teaching at the university level. He currently writes and speaks full-time, and has been described as “one of the up-in-coming great minds of our time.” He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and four children.

Naomi Klein


Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist and author of the New York Times and #1 international bestseller, ‘The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.’ It appeared on multiple best-of-year lists, including New York Times Critics’ Pick of the Year. Her critically acclaimed new book, ‘This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate,’ is the 2014 winner of the prestigious Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction. Her first book ‘No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies,’ was also an international bestseller. A collection of her writing, ‘Fences and Windows: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Globalization Debate’ was published in 2002.

In 2007, the six-minute companion film to ‘The Shock Doctrine,’ created by Alfonso Cuaron, director of ‘Children of Men,’ was an Official Selection of the Venice Biennale, San Sebastien and Toronto International Film Festivals. ‘The Shock Doctrine’ was also adapted into a feature length documentary by award winning director Michael Winterbottom and premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2010. In 2004, Naomi Klein wrote ‘The Take,’ a feature documentary about Argentina’s occupied factories, co-produced with director Avi Lewis. The film was an Official Selection of the Venice Biennale and won the Best Documentary Jury Prize at the American Film Institute’s Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Naomi Klein is a contributing editor for Harper’s and reporter for Rolling Stone, and writes a regular column for The Nation and The Guardian that is syndicated internationally by The New York Times Syndicate. In 2004, her reporting from Iraq for Harper’s won the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism. Additionally, her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Newsweek, The Los Angeles Times, The Globe and Mail, El Pais, L’Espresso and The New Statesman, among many other publications.

Kai Knight


Kai Kight is an emblem of purpose and ingenuity. He believes in a future where all feel compelled to offer their unique passion to the world. A product of Stanford University’s Design School, Kai remains fascinated by the leaders, artists, and companies who dare to be different. As both a Mayfield Fellow and Kleiner Perkins Design Fellow, Kai has experienced the electricity of Silicon Valley and its most innovative entrepreneurial endeavors.

Described as a “virtuosic visionary”, Kai Kight teaches individuals and organizations how to become innovative leaders. A heralded violinist, composer and speaker, Kai has created impactful experiences for audiences ranging from top executives to MBA students. His mesmerizing and original violin performances beautifully become a sonic metaphor for the core of his message; inspire people to compose a path of imagination and fulfillment.

Catherine Hoke



Catherine Hoke is the CEO of Defy Ventures.  Catherine left behind a career in venture capital and private equity to pursue a greater calling. At age 27, she founded the Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP), a nonprofit organization that serves men in the Texas prison system. PEP was nationally recognized for its groundbreaking results, including a recidivism rate of less than 5%, and an employment rate of 98%.  Driven by her passion for justice and love for the underdog, Catherine founded Defy Ventures in 2010 after being given her own second chance to lead.

Defy Ventures is a national entrepreneurship, employment and character building training program that recognizes that many former drug dealers and gang leaders can become successful, legal entrepreneurs.  Defy “transforms the hustle” of formerly incarcerated Entrepreneurs-In-Training (EITs) by offering intensive leadership development, business plan competitions executive mentoring, financial support and start up incubation.  Catherine became an Ashoka Fellow in 2013, the world’s leading network of social entrepreneurs.

In 2014, Catherine was recognized by Fast Company magazine as one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business, and received the MDC Humanitarian of the Year Award in May of this year.  A three-time marathon runner, former rugby player, and California State Wrestling Champion, Catherine resides in New York City with her husband, Charles.

Caroline McHugh



Caroline is founder and CEO of IDOLOGY, a movement dedicated to helping individuals and organizations become fully deployed, original versions of themselves. For more than two decades, she has been inspiring captains of industry, politicians, global economists, and internationally renowned artists, all with the intention of helping them discharge their talents more fully.

Speaker, teacher, coach and author of ‘Never Not a Lovely Moon,’ Caroline delivers keynotes and masterclasses at dozens of Fortune 500 companies, on Leadership, Reputation Management and Women at Work. In a world that’s ever more competitive and precarious, her message has brought a whole new meaning to ROI – a Return on Individuality.

*Can’t attend the University? Watch Caroline’s keynote session from anywhere!  Click here to register today to view the live stream. 

Herbert E. Meyer


Herbert E. Meyer served during the Reagan Administration as Special Assistant to the Director of Central Intelligence and Vice Chairman of the CIA’s National Intelligence Council. In these positions, he managed production of the U.S. National Intelligence Estimates and other top-secret projections for the President and his national security advisers. Mr. Meyer is widely credited with being the first U.S. Government official to forecast the Soviet Union’s collapse — a forecast for which he later was awarded the U.S. National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, the Intelligence Community’s highest honor.

Formerly an associate editor of FORTUNE, he has authored several books including “The War Against Progress”, “Real-World Intelligence” and “Hard Thinking”. His essays on Intelligence and Politics have been published in The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Policy Review and The American Thinker.

Currently, Mr. Meyer is the host and producer of The Siege of Western Civilization, a DVD that outlines the threats to America’s security, economy, and culture.

Joshua Cooper Ramo


Joshua Cooper Ramo is Vice Chairman of Kissinger Associates and a member of the board of directors of Starbucks and FedEx. His clients include some of the largest companies and investors in the world. Author of “The Age of the Unthinkable,” he puts forth a radical model for thriving in a world of uncertainty.

In “The Age of the Unthinkable: Why the New World Disorder Constantly Surprises Us And What We Can Do About It,” Ramo argues that economic and technological shifts have ushered in an era of unprecedented change and unintended consequences. Instead of relying on traditional models and institutions, leaders and organizations must embrace innovative problem solving to face the global risks and opportunities ahead.

Trained as an economist, Ramo holds degrees from the University of Chicago and NYU. He has been a Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute, a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a member of the Asia21 Leaders Program, a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Leaders for Tomorrow, and a founder of the US‐China Young Leaders Forum. His papers on China’s development, including “The Beijing Consensus” and “Brand China,” have been widely distributed in China and abroad.

Ramo was the China analyst for NBC during the 2008 Olympic Games and has appeared on such programs as Meet the Press, Fareed Zakaria GPS, and Charlie Rose.

Douglas Rushkoff


Douglas Rushkoff is an author, teacher and documentarian who’s focus are on the ways people, cultures and institutions create, share and influence each other’s values. He is Professor of Media Theory and Digital Economics at CUNY/Queens, technology and media commentator for CNN, digital literacy advocate for Codecademy.com and a lecturer on media, technology, culture and economics around the world.

His new book, ‘Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now,’ explores the always-on, simultaneous society in which we live, as well as how this new temporal landscape influences media, culture, economics, politics and meaning. He has written and hosted three award-winning PBS Frontline documentaries – The Merchants of Cool, The Persuaders and Digital Nation. Most recently, he made Generation Like, an exploration of teens, marketers and social media.
His commentaries have aired on CBS Sunday Morning and NPR’s All Things Considered, and appeared in publications from The New York Times to Time magazine.

Douglas earned his PhD in New Media and Digital Culture from Utrecht University. He graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University, received an MFA in Directing from California Institute of the Arts, a post-graduate fellowship (MFA) from The American Film Institute, a Fulbright award to lecture on narrative in New Zealand and a Director’s Grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

He is the first recipient of the Media Ecology Association’s Neil Postman award for Career Achievement in Public Intellectual Activity.

Bart Weetjens


Bart Weetjens, Founder, APOPO.  Bart is a celebrated social entrepreneur. He trains HeroRATs to save human lives from disaster and disease.   With a vision that began as the simple love of animals, Bart Weetjens kept rodents in his home as a child, and made money from breeding his pets. But in the 1990’s, the Belgium-born Zen Monk, Weetjens, was drawn to humanitarian issues, particularly the deadly danger of landmines in Africa.

Bart addressed the dependence of African communities on foreign expertise to solve difficult, dangerous and expensive humanitarian detection tasks posed by scourges of the developing world, like the landmine legacy and the emergence of Tuberculosis. His organization APOPO researches, develops, deploys and disseminates the use of a sustainable local alternative: detection rats technology. HeroRATs are humanely trained giant African pouched rats that act as cost-efficient detectors in limited resources settings, while building local expertise.

Bart is an Ashoka fellow, a Skoll awardee, and a Schwab fellow to the World Economic Forum. Bart is a Zen Buddhist priest who teaches the importance of seizing ideas, even if contrary to public opinion, that could change the world into a safe place.   He lives with his wife and two daughters in Belgium.


David Whyte


David Whyte is the author of seven books of poetry and four books of prose. He holds a degree in Marine Zoology and has traveled extensively, including living and working as a naturalist guide in the Galapagos Islands and leading anthropological and natural history expeditions in the Andes, Amazon and the Himalayas. He brings this wealth of experience to his poetry, lectures and workshops.

David’s life as a poet has created a readership and listenership in three normally mutually exclusive areas: the literate world of readings that most poets inhabit, the psychological and theological worlds of philosophical enquiry and the world of vocation, work and organizational leadership.

In organizational settings, using poetry and thoughtful commentary, he illustrates how we can foster qualities of courage and engagement; qualities needed if we are to respond to today’s call for increased creativity and adaptability in the workplace. He brings a unique and important contribution to our understanding of the nature of individual and organizational change, particularly through his unique perspectives on Conversational Leadership.

Currently, as an Associate Fellow at Said Business School at the University of Oxford, David is one of the few poets to take his perspectives on creativity into the field of organizational development. In spring 2008 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Neumann College.

Gabe Zichermann



Gabe Zichermann is the chair of GSummit where top gamification experts across industries gather to share knowledge and insight about customer and employee engagement and loyalty. He is also an author, highly rated public speaker and entrepreneur whose new book, “The Gamification Revolution” looks at how leaders are leveraging gamification strategy to crush the competition. His previous books, “Gamification by Design” and “Game-Based Marketing” have helped define the industry’s standards and frameworks, and continue to be key reference materials today.

Gabe is the Founder/Editor of Gamification.Co and EQ magazine, co-founder of strategic consultancy and product lab Dopamine, co-director of startup accelerator – The Founder Institute, and a board member of StartOut.org.