January 25, 2019
Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering
Tim Weninger is an Assistant Professor at the University of Notre Dame where he directs the Data Science Group and is a member of the Interdisciplinary Center for Networks Science and Applications (ICENSA). He has authored over 60 research publications in the areas of social media, machine learning and network science. The key application of his research is to identify how humans generate, curate and search for information in the pursuit of knowledge. He uses properties of these emergent networks to reason about the nature of relatedness, membership and other abstract and physical phenomena. He is a recipient of the NSF CAREER award, the Army Research Office Young Faculty Award, and has received research grants from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, DARPA, USAID, and the John Templeton Foundation. He is an inaugural member of the ACM's Future of Computing Academy and serves on numerous scientific program committees and editorial boards.
February 1, 2019
Robbie Kellman Baxter
Founder, Peninsula Strategies
Author of The Membership Economy: Find Your Superusers, Master the Forever Transaction & Build Recurring Revenue
Robbie Kellman Baxter brings over twenty years of strategy consulting and marketing expertise to Peninsula Strategies, a consulting firm focused on helping companies leverage subscription pricing, digital community and freemium to build deeper relationships with customers. Her clients have included start-ups and mid-sized venture-backed companies as well as industry leaders such as ASICS, Netflix, Electronic Arts, and The Wall Street Journal. Peninsula Strategies has advised nearly 100 organizations in over 20 industries on growth strategy.
A sought-after writer and keynote speaker, Robbie has presented at top Universities, Associations and Corporations, as well as to Corporate Boards and Leadership Teams around the world. Robbie has created and starred in 10 video courses in collaboration with LinkedIn Learning on business topics ranging from innovation to customer success and membership.
As the author of The Membership Economy: Find Your Superusers, Master the Forever Transaction & Build Recurring Revenue, a book that has been named a top 5 Marketing Book of the Year by Inc.com, Robbie coined the popular business term “Membership Economy”. Robbie’s expertise with companies in the emerging Membership Economy extends to include SaaS, media, consumer products and community organizations.
Prior to launching Peninsula Strategies, Robbie was a strategy consultant at Booz-Allen, a New York City Urban Fellow and a Silicon Valley product marketer. Robbie received her MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and graduated with honors from Harvard College.
February 8, 2019
Prof. Sandro Cattacin
University of Geneva, Department of Sociology
Sandro Cattacin studied economic history, political science and political philosophy at the University of Zurich (1982–1987). With an Italian fellowship he then participated in the PhD programme in political and social science at the European University Institute in Florence (1987–1990) where he obtained his PhD in 1992.
After his graduate studies he started working as a researcher at the University of Geneva and in 1992 he obtained a position as senior lecturer in 1997, a position as executive director of the "Laboratoire de recherches sociales et politiques appliquées" (resop), an interdisciplinary research institute at the University of Geneva, and in April of 1999 a position as associate professor in sociology and political science. He has offered different courses at the University of Geneva on Swiss politics, comparative methods, political theory, and social policy topics.
From 1993 to 2000 he taught at the University of Fribourg, Faculty of Social Policy and Social Work (courses on welfare state theories). In the academic year 1998/1999, he held (stand-‐in professor) the Chair of Regional Politics at the University of Constance, Faculty of Administrative Science. From September 1999 to September 2004, he was Director of the Swiss Forum for Migration and Population Studies at the University of Neuchâtel and Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law and Social Sciences of the same university. From 2000 until 2006, he was (part-‐time) Professor in Social and Health Policy at the IDHEAP [Institut des Hautes Etudes en Administration Publique] in Lausanne.
Since October 2003, he is Professor at the Sociology department of the University of Geneva.
March 1, 2019
Founder, Global Genes
Nicole founded Global Genes in 2008, with the goal of helping families affected by rare disease connect with tools, resources, and much needed support, helping eliminate the challenges of rare disease. Since it’s inception, Global Genes has impacted hundreds of thousands of patients worldwide.
Nicole was personally touched by rare disease through friends, whose son struggled to find a diagnosis for 2.5 years. Once diagnosed, they learned that there were neither treatments nor cures for their son’s disease. She understands the importance of finding a diagnosis, and has built an organization to help address this problem.
Nicole has held numerous consulting, sales, and marketing executive roles in her 25 years of experience. Nicole has worked with world-class organizations in media, pharmaceutical and high tech sectors – Schering Plough, CMP Media, United Business Media, and Burrill & Company. A Graduate of the University of California San Diego, Nicole is a proud wife, mother of two children, and adopted mother of two dogs.
In all of her spare time she has become a hot yoga junkie, still hits the gym at ungodly hours, and still thinks she can take down all of the young volleyballers at Main Beach in Laguna. Obviously, she is having trouble accepting getting older.
March 22, 2019
Executive Director, Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship
Illinois Institute of Technology
Howard A. Tullman is the Executive Director of the Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Tullman is the former CEO of 1871 – where digital startups get their start and the General Managing Partner of G2T3V, LLC and of Chicago High Tech Investment Partners, which are Chicago-based early-stage venture funds. He is a member of Mayor Emanuel’s Chicago NEXT and Cultural Affairs Councils; the Innovate Illinois Advisory and Arts Councils; an Adjunct Professor at Kellogg; and an advisor to many start-ups. He is the former CEO of Tribeca Flashpoint College and Kendall College. Over the last 50 years, he has successfully founded more than a dozen high-tech companies.
April 5, 2019
author of The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron and All the Devils Are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis
Bethany McLean is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. She is also a columnist at Yahoo Finance and a contributor to CNBC. Her two books are the The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron and All the Devils Are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis. She lives in Chicago. She has also written two mini books, Shaky Ground: The Strange Saga of the US Mortgage Giants and Saudi America: The Truth About Fracking and How It's Changing the World.
April 12, 2019
Charles Adler is a social entrepreneur, Co-founder and former Head of Design at Kickstarter, the ground-breaking crowd-funding website. As a leading entrepreneur and designer, his work ranges from systems design to interaction and communications design, interface design to information architecture.
Charles co-founded Kickstarter in 2009 and shaped it into the world’s largest marketplace dedicated to funding independent creative endeavors since it’s inception, Kickstarter has raised over $1 billion from over 6.4 million people for over 64,000 successful projects ranging from computer games to music albums, technology, fashion, educational projects and even full length feature films.
As the Kickstarter phenomenon continues to grow and find an ever-expanding userbase, Charles has been widely recognized as one of the digital era’s most exciting innovators. In 2013 he was named as one of Forbes Magazine’s Top 12 Most Disruptive Figures in Business.
Charles Adler previously co-founded the online art publication Subsystence, a platform dedicated to leveraging the web to provide global exposure to the work of independent artists. He also co-founded Source-ID, where he operated as Principal Creative Director from 2004 to 2009.