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Craig Newmark
craigslist and craigconnects

Craig Newmark is a self-described nerd, Web pioneer, speaker, philanthropist, and advocate of technology for the public good through his craigconnects initiative.  In 2013 he was named “Nerd-in-Residence” by the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Center for Innovation in recognition of his volunteer work with the department to enhance services to veterans.

Craig is the founder of craigslist, started in 1995 and now one of the world’s most-visited websites.  He continues to work with craigslist as a customer service representative (CSR).

Today, Craig’s primary focus is craigconnects, which he launched in March 2011.  The mission of craigconnects in the short term is to promote and enhance the use of technology and social media to benefit philanthropy and public service.  He uses the craigconnects platform to support effective organizations working for veterans and military families, open government, public diplomacy, journalistic ethics and accountability, consumer protection, election protection and voter registration. 

Craig serves on the board of directors of the Poynter Institute Foundation, Center for Public Integrity, Sunlight Foundation, Consumers Union/Consumer Reports, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.  He also serves on the Board of Overseers of the Columbia Journalism Review. He serves as an advisor to nearly twenty other renowned non-profit organizations (see the full list at  

Born in Morristown, New Jersey in 1952, Craig received his bachelor and master’s degrees in computer science from Case Western University.  He lives in San Francisco and enjoys bird-watching, squirrel-watching, and science fiction.

Craig communicates regularly through his own blog on and through the Huffington Post, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.  He also travels the country speaking about issues, appearing on behalf of organizations he supports and delivering his craigconnects message to audiences nationwide.  

Nela Richardson
Chief Economist

Nela Richardson is the Chief Economist of Redfin, the customer-first real estate brokerage, where she leads housing research. Nela is also a frequent guest expert on housing and economic issues for local and national media including CNN, Bloomberg, BBC, CNBC, CSPAN, APM's "Marketplace", and NPR. Nela joined Redfin most recently from Bloomberg LP, where she was a Senior Economist with Bloomberg Government.   

She is a former research economist at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and was a member of the CFTC's Dodd-Frank financial reform rulemaking team. Prior to her work at the CFTC, Nela was a researcher at Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies, a senior economist at Freddie Mac and a graduate intern at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Nela has taught economics and finance courses at both the University of Maryland and the John Hopkins Carey School of Business. She received a PhD from the University of Maryland and has degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and Indiana University.  

David Risher

David and ESADE Business School’s Director of Marketing Colin McElwee founded Worldreader in Barcelona, Spain in 2010. After visiting an orphanage in Ecuador whose library was not being used due to the lack of useful reading material, David reflected on a conversation with Colin on how e-readers and digital books could be used to more efficiently give kids in remote and under-served parts of the world access to books that they would actually read. Worldreader was born.

Worldreader is headquartered in San Francisco and has offices in Barcelona, Accra, and Nairobi.

David Risher is a Draper Richards Kaplan Social Entrepreneur, a Microsoft Alumni Foundation Integral Fellow, and an invited member of the Clinton Global Initiative. He considers himself lucky to speak four of the world’s languages — English, French, Spanish and Catalan — and hopes someday to learn a fifth.

Scott Jordan

Scott Jordan aka Pocket Man is the Founder and CEO of SCOTTeVEST.  He has been creating clothing filled with tons of hidden pockets for gadgets and travel gear since he "escaped from the law" in 2000.  No, he is not a fugitive.  Yes, he is a reformed corporate lawyer.

Scott's new book "Pocket Man: The Unauthorized Autobiography of a Passionate, Personal Promoter" tells the story of building his pocket empire with passion, humor, and perseverance.  Before anyone asks, yes, it does include a tell-all account of his controversial appearance on Shark Tank.

Scott is no stranger to media attention (even before he literally wrote the book on it), and has been written up in Entrepreneur magazine, The Wall Street Journal, several college textbooks, and just about every magazine and newspaper on Earth.  His favorite hobbies include skiing, auto racing, yoga, and hiking with his wife Laura and their three standard poodles: Chloe, Margaux, and Susie. 

He is one of the lucky few DENT attendees who can walk to the conference from his house in Ketchum, ID... which is also where his company SCOTTeVEST is headquartered.  In the same building.  If you're nice to him, he might even let you see the view from his penthouse... if you can take your eyes off his app-controlled coffee maker and industrial-modern interior.

Scott invites you to follow him on Twitter @scottevestceo, connect with him on LinkedIn, and friend him on Facebook.  Preferably all three.  You can see more about the adventures of Pocket Man at  His email is

Ron J. Williams

Strategy and product-oriented builder focusing on empowering the crowd and educating the kids. Ron has spent the past several years thinking about 1) making human networks work better and 2) how to build simple tools for the “little guy” to communicate, market and build movements more effectively. In short he’s a “long-tail entrepreneur” who loves seeing the application of technology to regular-people problems (Read: He doesn’t want to work on slightly better ad tech).

He’s also built fun things like a Test Prep company, a Customer Acquisition technology for Bars based on what’s on TV, and even managed to re-engineer a business or two for publicly traded companies.  

An avid education and diversity advocate, Ron supports and advises incredible organizations like Stoked Mentoring and Camp Interactive working to change how kids of color see themselves and their opportunities in technology. 

Little know fact: He once rapped on stage with De La Soul.

Better known fact: He sometimes hosts #whiskeyFriday.

Best known fact: He's a Brooklyn native.

Shwetak Patel
Associate Professor Computer Science and Engineering
University of Washington

Shwetak N. Patel is an Associate Professor in the departments of Computer Science and Engineering and Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington, where he directs his research group, the Ubicomp Lab. His research interests are in the areas of Human-Computer Interaction, Ubiquitous Computing, Sensor-enabled Embedded Systems, and User Interface Software and Technology. He is particularly interested in developing new sensing technologies with a particular emphasis on energy monitoring and health applications for the home.

Dr. Patel was a founder of Zensi, Inc., a residential energy monitoring company, which was acquired by Belkin, Inc in 2010. He is also a co-founder of SNUPI Technologies, a low-power wireless sensor company. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2008 and B.S. in Computer Science in 2003. Dr. Patel is a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship (2011), Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship (2011), Sloan Fellowship (2012), TR-35 Award (2009), World Economic Forum Young Global Scientist Award (2013), and an NSF Career Award (2013). He was also was named top innovator of the year by Seattle Business Magazine, was named Newsmaker of the year by Seattle Business Journal in 2011. His past work was also honored by the New York Times as a top technology of the year in 2005.

Dr. Patel is also a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Shapers Community. He was selected as a Seattle Shaper in March 2012.


Cheryl Contee
Fission Strategy

Cheryl Contee, CEO at Fission Strategy and co-founder of, specializes in helping non-profit organizations and foundations use social media to create social good. She was also the co-founder of Jack and Jill Politics writing as “Jill Tubman” on one of the top black blogs online. Cheryl was recently named as an Affiliate of Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet & Society. Cheryl is included in The Root 100 list of established and emerging African-American leaders. Huffington Post listed her as one of the Top 27 Female Founders in Tech to Follow on Twitter in 2011 as did Black Enterprise. Fast Company named her one of their 2010 Most Influential Women in Tech. She has over 15 years of award-winning interactive expertise and previously served as Vice President and lead digital strategist for Fleishman-Hillard’s West Coast region in San Francisco.

Cheryl has appeared in the Washington Post, New York Times, San Francisco Magazine, C-Span, Black Enterprise, BBC, Current TV, MSNBC and CNN, among other media appearances. She is also proud to serve on several boards and advisory committees: Netroots Nation, BlogHer, Focus100/Digital Undivided, Guttmacher Institute, Citizen Engagement Lab and Public Radio International. She received her B.A. from Yale University and has an International Executive M.B.A. from Georgetown University. In her spare time, Ms. Contee enjoys hiking, yoga, movies and tai chi sword.

Sarah Milstein
CEO and Co-Founder
Lean Startup Productions

Sarah Milstein is CEO and co-founder, with Eric Ries, of Lean Startup Productions, a media company that teaches people how to build and scale high-risk startups. She is also co-author, with Tim O'Reilly, of The Twitter Book, and she writes regularly about race, gender and merit-based decision making. Her career has spanned the tech and media sectors, including hosting influential conferences like Web 2.0 Expo and Tools of Change for Publishing (TOC). During the first wave of the commercial Internet, she was a regular freelance contributor to The New York Times, among other outlets. Before that, she founded Just Food’s CSA in NYC program and helped children’s musician Laurie Berkner launch her record label. 

She blogs at Dogs and Shoes, contributes to other sites, and splits her time between New York and San Francisco. She holds an MBA from UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business and a BA from Rutgers University. Bonus fact: She was the 21st user of Twitter.

Binta Brown
Advisor & Strategist
Angel Investor

Binta Niambi Brown is a senior strategic business advisor, human rights advocate, nascent angel investor, and bass player. After working for a technology start-up, Binta worked at Cravath, Swaine & Moore. She advised (and advises) senior management and corporate boards of media, technology, telecom and entertainment companies, and was a partner in Kirkland & Ellis, before leaving to undertake research at Harvard, while advising 12 different early stage technology companies. Binta has advised Hillary Clinton, Andrew Cuomo and members of the Obama Administration on a variety of policy matters. She is currently a Mossavar-Rahmani Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School Center for Business and Government.

Binta has been recognized as one of the Root's 100 Most Influential African-Americans, Fortune Magazine's 40 under 40 business leaders, Crain's New York 40 under 40, and by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader. She has been featured in many publications, is a member of the Board of Directors of TCI, Inc., sits on a handful of advisory and philanthropic boards (including 2U Inc., the African Technology Foundation, Human Rights First, Barnard College, the American Theatre Wing, and New York City Parks Foundation), and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Clinton Global Initiative. 

Christina Wallace
American Museum of Natural History

Christina Wallace is the founding Program Director of BridgeUp: Science, a new educational initiative at the American Museum of Natural History focused on Girls in STEM. It is in partnership with the Helen Gurley Brown Trust and a sister to the New York Public Library BridgeUp program focused on reducing urban poverty, also funded by the Trust.

Previously Christina was a Vice President of Startup Institute, the founding CEO of venture-backed fashion company Quincy Apparel, a management consultant with the Boston Consulting Group, and an arts manager at the Metropolitan Opera. She holds undergraduate degrees in mathematics and theater studies from Emory University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Originally from Lansing, Michigan, she is a mentor with Coolhouse Labs, a startup accelerator based in Northern Michigan, and is pleased to sit on the Alumni Board of Interlochen Center for the Arts. She is also a mentor with the Fashion Tech Lab, a new startup incubator in New York City.

An avid writer, she wrote a chapter of Passion and Purpose, published by Harvard Business Press, as well as columns for the Detroit Free Press, Forbes, and Women 2.0. She was named to Mashable’s list of “44 Female Founders to Know” in 2012 and has been profiled in Marie Claire, the Wall Street Journal, and Time Out New York. In 2013 she won the $250,000 Take the HELM grant from the city of New York to open Startup Institute's New York campus. Recent speaking engagements include SXSWi 2014, Harvard Business School, reThink Conference, and HerCampus National Conference, among others.

Julie Kientz
Assistant Professor Human Centered Design & Engineering
University of Washington

Julie A. Kientz (pronounced like "Keentz") is an Assistant Professor in the department of Human Centered Design & Engineering at the University of Washington. She directs the Computing for Healthy Living and Learning Lab, is active in the Design, Use, Build (dub) alliance, and has adjunct appointments in The Information School and Computer Science & Engineering. Dr. Kientz's primary research areas are in the fields of Human-Computer Interaction, Ubiquitous Computing, and Health Informatics.

Dr. Kientz's research focuses on understanding and reducing the user burdens of interactive technologies for health through the design of future applications. She has designed, developed, and evaluated mobile, sensor, and social applications for helping individuals with sleep disorders, assisting parents of young children in tracking developmental progress, assisting individuals with visual impairments, helping people quit smoking, and assisting special education teachers working with children with autism. Her primary research methods involve human-centered design, technology development, and a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods. Dr. Kientz received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2008. She was awarded a National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2009, named her department’s Junior Faculty Innovator in 2012 and Research Innovator in 2014, and named an MIT Technology Review Innovator Under 35 in 2013.

Monica Guzman
Moniguzman Collaborative, LLC

Mónica Guzmán is a Sunday columnist for The Seattle Times and a weekly columnist for GeekWire, covering issues in digital life. 

She emcees Ignite Seattle, a popular grab bag and community fueled speaker series, leads the Western Washington Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists as board president, serves on the National Advisory Board of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies and in 2012 joined the Seattle hub of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community. 

A juror for the 2014 Pulitzer Prizes, Mónica contributed the closing chapter, “Community As an End,” to the 2013 book “The New Ethics of Journalism: Principles for the 21st Century” and is assisting the American Press Institute with a newsroom innovation project.

Ann Marie Lipinksi
Nieman Foundation for Journalism

Ann Marie Lipinski is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and curator of Harvard University's Nieman Foundation for Journalism. At Harvard she oversees the nation's longest-standing journalism fellowship program and publications including Nieman Lab, Nieman Reports and Nieman Storyboard. She is the former editor-in-chief and senior vice president of the Chicago Tribune, where she won a Pulitzer for investigative reporting, directed reporting that brought about a moratorium on the death penalty in Illinois, and oversaw journalism that earned Pulitzer Prizes in international reporting, feature writing, criticism, explanatory, investigative, and editorial writing. She served as vice president for civic engagement and senior lecturer at the University of Chicago. She is a member of the Poynter Institute Board of Trustees and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.. She is the recent past co-chair of the Pulitzer Prize Board. 

Ellen Leanse
Advisor, Strategist, Coach
Work in Progress

An online pioneer and respected business leader, Ellen has worked in Silicon Valley since 1981, driving innovation and growth for Apple, NeXT, Google, and early-stage mobile, social, and B2C technology companies.

In 1985, Ellen catalyzed Apple’s first online community, creating a pre-Internet digital movement bridging millions of users worldwide to Apple information and resources. Her work won industry acclaim and measurably shifted Apple loyalty and engagement across global markets. Later, she launched one of Facebook’s first apps, led global marcom for Google Enterprise, and founded and sold two “Maker” businesses sparked by her passion for design.

Ellen has worked with rural entrepreneurs in Latin America and Africa and advised teams in Europe and the U.S. on building cultures of innovation. She serves on the board of D-Rev, a non-profit innovation incubator that increases access to life-changing (and life-saving) technologies through globally-usable and affordable design.

A contributor to Venture Beat,, Xconomy, and other publications, Ellen writes and speaks on entrepreneurship, gender, community, and ethics while guiding growth and leadership for a portfolio of tech companies. Her most recent project is “The Pivot,” the story of a young entrepreneur’s head-on crash into Silicon Valley’s economic, gender, and ethical realities when her dream job turns into a nightmare.

Daniel Kottke
Consulting Engineer

Dreamer, explorer, polymath: Daniel Kottke epitomizes the spirit of “thinking different.” Officially Apple employee #12, his roots reach much deeper: to the garage, working on the Apple I in 1976; to India, where he traveled with Steve, and even to Reed College, where he and Steve built a friendship based on exploring consciousness, culture, and the emerging realm of technology. 

Kottke is the only Apple employee who worked on the Apple I, II, III, and the Macintosh. He left Apple in 1984 to help emerging innovators as a consulting engineer, work he continues today. He has guided more than a dozen startups spanning consumer technology, gaming, health tech, acoustics, real estate development, and broadcast media. Currently, he’s mostly involved in a stealth smart-home startup aimed at multi-tenant and elder-care housing. 

A resident of Palo Alto, CA, Kottke holds a B.A. in music from Columbia College and a J.D. from Peninsula University College of Law. He produced and hosted a local cable talk show The Next Step for 7 years, and is now looking to continue the show in a commercial vein. He enjoys playing keyboards with various local classic rock cover bands.

Paul Shoemaker
Founding President
Social Venture Partners

Paul Shoemaker is the Founding President of Social Venture Partners International and serves on the Board of Directors.  He is SVP Seattle’s Executive Connector.  Anyone who’s met him knows why.  If you’re out to change the world, he’s there to connect you to the people and organizations on that same journey.  (He’s also the boss, so he does a little executive directing as well.)

Paul is committed to work in the community, serving on the boards of several organizations.  including the Microsoft Alumni Foundation and Partners for Our Children. Past work includes Microsoft Alumni Foundation; Board Treasurer of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations; Children’s Alliance in Seattle and Treepeople in Los Angeles.

In 2011 and 2012, Paul was named among the Top 50 of Power and Influence acknowledging the nonprofit sector’s top executives and thinkers by the Nonprofit Times. In 2013 he received the Red Winged Leadership Award from Seattle University’s Albers School of Business and Economics and the Philanthropist of the Year Award from Future in Review.

Before coming to SVP Seattle in 1998, Paul was group manager for worldwide operations at Microsoft Corporation where he developed a group of 22 direct marketing professionals and implemented a direct marketing infrastructure. Prior to his work at Microsoft, Paul was a Product Manager at Nestle USA in Glendale, CA.

David Horsey
Cartoonist and Columnist
LA Times

Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist David Horsey is a political commentator for the Los Angeles Times. Syndicated by Tribune Media Services, David’s work has appeared in hundreds of media outlets. After graduating from the University of Washington, Horsey entered journalism as a political reporter. 

His multifaceted career has taken him to national political party conventions, presidential primaries, the Olympic Games, the Super Bowl, assignments in Europe, Japan and Mexico, and two extended stints working at the Hearst Newspapers Washington Bureau. As a Rotary Foundation scholar, Horsey earned an M.A. in international relations from the University of Kent at Canterbury, England. He was also awarded an honorary doctorate from Seattle University. Horsey has published eight books of cartoons, including his two most recent, “Draw Quick, Shoot Straight” (2007) and “Refuge of Scoundrels” (2013). 

For escape, he spends a few weeks each year working as a cowboy in Montana.

Mark Duncan
Consulting Detective

For 35 years, Mark Duncan has been solving real-world criminal cases. His professional portfolio includes positions as an undercover officer, firearms instructor, chemical agents instructor, traffic and collision investigator, officer survival instructor, chief of police, and he’s even managed the operation of marine patrol boats.

From his early days as a “deep-cover” operative and chemical agents specialist, to his later years as a chief of police and homicide investigator, Mark has developed an analytic framework and an interview methodology that gets answers from even the most wary of suspects. In his experience, given the right environment, “virtually anyone will talk to you, even cop-killers.”

In “retirement” now, Mark has been investigating cold case homicides as a consulting detective — since his involvement, several of these crimes have now been resolved. 

Duncan claims that his proudest moment in more than 35 years of professional activity was when he went back to visit an old department. There, the office manager had a yellow post-it-note on her board with W.W.D.D on it. She told him that it was how she tried to do her job, and it stood for "What Would Duncan Do."

Steve Broback
Dent The Future

Steve Broback is the cofounder of the Dent Conference and Founder of the Parnassus Group, and is best known for his recent Tweet House and "140" Twitter Conferences produced by his company, the Parnassus Group. With Parnassus, Broback also hosted the Blog Business Summit and the Web Community Forum events. 

Broback cofounded Thunder Lizard Productions, (a technology event production company) in 1991, which became a subsidiary of Fawcette Technical Publications in 2000. At Thunder Lizard, Broback orchestrated pioneering technology gatherings focusing on Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Macromedia DreamWeaver. Steve also produced TLP’s Web Design World, Macromedia Web World, and other events with attendees numbering in the tens of thousands.

Steve is also the coauthor of Publish and Prosper: Blogging for Your Business (Peachpit Press, 2006.) and was a professional magician for many years. 

Pam Weiss
Founder and Chief Wisdom Officer
Appropriate Response

Pamela is a Buddhist meditation teacher and executive coach. She is the creator of the Personal Excellence Program (PEP) and a recognized pioneer in integrating the principles and practices of Buddhist teaching into leadership development and organizational transformation. Pamela has over twenty years experience working with senior executives in organizations including: Genentech, Roche, Salesforce, Pixar, Intel, Statoil (Norway), Tipping Point, The Center for Executive Development at UC Berkeley, Spirit Rock Meditation Center and the Metta Institute.  Pamela was a member of the senior faculty at New Ventures West for over a decade, where she trained hundreds of coaches and designed and led coaching programs inside organizations nation-wide. She has been a Buddhist practitioner and teacher for almost 30 years. Her training includes several years of Zen monastic practice and completion of teacher training with Jack Kornfield at Spirit Rock Meditation Center.  Currently Pamela coaches senior executives, and leads meditation classes, workshops, and retreats.