Current Speakers
Current Speakers / 2012 Speakers
Ravi Karkara - Senior Advisor of Executive Deputy Director, UN Women
Ravi Karkara is Senior Advisor on Strategic Partnerships and Advocacy to the Assistant Secretary General to the UN and Deputy Executive Director, UN Women. With over two decades of experience, Ravi is an expert in various international development-related fields, driving innovation, building strategic partnerships, and promoting advocacy and programming in the areas of human rights, gender equality, accountability and social justice. He is also the Acting Head of Private Sector for UN Women. Ravi has been the force behind several high-value strategic partnerships, resource mobilization, and key advocacy initiatives for UN Women. His innovative advocacy initiatives include Ringing the Bell on Gender Equality in over 34 stock exchanges across the globe, and the Gender Equality March from the United Nations headquarters to Time Square in New York City. Ravi has been the recipient of the prestigious NOVUS Award, an award that unites global leaders from around the world to tackle today's big challenges via actionable change. He is listed as the Global Top 10 Diversity Consultants/Experts produced by Prestigious "Global Diversity List" by the Telegraph UK.
Ijeoma Umebinyuo - Poet, Author of Questions for Ada
Ijeoma is a writer born in Lago, Nigeria. She is the author of Questions for Ada, her first published collection of poems. Her short stories and poems have appeared in The Stockholm Review of Literature, The Wildness and The Rising Phoenix Review.
Toby Cumberbatch - Professor of Electrical Engineering, The Cooper Union
Professor Toby Cumberbatch's passion is to bring together students at The Cooper Union to develop sustainable solutions to the problems facing humankind. His projects aim to address energy, water, and shelter in remote regions for which he has received multiple grants from the National Science Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Collegiate Inventors, and more. His dedication to engineering and humanity has led him to found SociaLite, a social enterprise that brings rechargeable LED lanterns to rural areas in Ghana.
Ane Louise Winsvold Gundersen - Head of Social Media, ERCI
Ane Louise Winsvold Gundersen (23) is an international relations and social anthropology student at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. She has previously worked for Doctors Without Borders in Norway, and spent the summer of 2016 on the island of Lesvos working for ERCI - Emergency Rescue Center International. Having a boat license, advanced diver certification, first aid qualifications and lifeguard experience led to Ane being onboard ERCI's boat in the Aegean Sea, conducting Search & Rescue missions. Her passion for refugee rights has led her to found her own student society, while becoming the ERCI head of social media. On the side, Ane is the UK head of Business of ACHIK, a social enterprise empowering local artisans in Guatemala.
Jiwoon Park - Student Speaker, The Cooper Union
Jiwoon Park is passionate about translating and communicating scientific ideas to the general public. Her enthusiasm in communication led her to network with people from a variety of backgrounds and present her projects at conferences. To spread her vision to others, she is currently the chapter president for Toastmasters International at The Cooper Union, where she is a senior/master's candidate in chemical engineering. She is also actively involved in a variety of student activities including Joint Activities Committee and various cultural as well as professional organizations at school. In the past, Jiwoon has participated in organizing and mentoring projects for Edonation Project, a non-profit volunteer organization at Columbia University. Overall, she envisions herself as an engineer who finds ways to help people who needs science and technology to resolve their health-related problems.
Dhia Fani - Student Speaker, NYU Abu Dhabi
Dhia Fairus Shofia Fani is an Indonesian currently studying Political Science, Business and Music at NYU Abu Dhabi. Her passion is to act as a bridge between multiple stakeholders in society in order to achieve common good. Through her initiative to empower survivors of human trafficking, she became the Young Southeast Asia Leadership Initiative Grant Winner. Her other projects include Buku Kami empowerment program, her research on labour migration in Indonesia, collaborative partnership to empower survivors of human trafficking with Shandra Woworuntu from Mentari USA and more. Through her academic years, Dhia has studied in Abu Dhabi, New York, London, Brussels and Paris. Dhia has also interned at the Indonesian Embassy for the EU, the World Bank and UNESCO. On campus, Dhia is currently active as an RA, a member of NYU Abu Dhabi Model UN, NYU Abu Dhabi Debate Union, Ecoherence and Interfaith Student Club.
Tayo Rockson - CEO, UYD Management
Tayo is the CEO of UYD Management which is a strategic leadership and consulting firm that helps corporations improve their bottom line by incorporating diversity, inclusion and social justice strategies. He has spent over 20 years living and working in 4 continents and so is considered an authority in communicating effectively across cultures. As a cross cultural expert, he has spoken at the World Bank, United Nations Foundation among many other places and his work has been seen on NowThis News, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, Among Worlds Magazine as well as Global Living Magazine. He is the author of The Ultimate Guide To TCK Living and his ground breaking work on "how to embrace your global identity" was featured in a German School book called ZOOM IN... Globalization and through his podcast, blog and video shows, he is heard and read by thousands of people in over 100 countries.
David Gersten - Professor of Architecture, The Cooper Union
David Gersten is an influential and motivational thinker based in New York City. As the previous Dean of Architecture at The Cooper Union School Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture, his drawings, stories and constructions have appeared in numerous international exhibitions, and are held in the collection of the Canadian Center for Architecture, the New York City Public Library's print collection and many private collections. He has published extensively on diverse areas of research including: The financial markets, ethics and technology, the poetic / material imagination, social justice and the linkages between perception, language and space. Gersten believes strongly that we can learn from our differences, and to learn from underdeveloped places, where resources and education are not widely available. Knowledge takes many forms, and those who have different hardships have valuable knowledge to teach us; we just have to find a way to give them voices.
Dan Berstein- Mental Health Mediator
Dan Berstein is a mediator whose passion is improving how we talk about mental health. After he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, he encountered stigma and paternalism, which inspired him to seek out ways to empower people. He discovered mediation and has since traveled the country teaching mental health stakeholders to apply conflict resolution practices. Dan has worked with universities, workplaces, families, and many others training them to have inclusive, validating mental health conversations. He has a master's in Mental Health and certificate in Health Communication from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health as well as a bachelor's from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He sits on the Mediation Committee of the ABA Dispute Resolution Section and is a former Mediator Advisory Board member at the New York Peace Institute. Dan hosted New York City's first community conversation event as part of Barack Obama's National Dialogue on Mental Health.
Ben Ma - Student Speaker, The Cooper Union
Yingfu (Ben) Ma is a junior Mechanical Engineering student at the Cooper Union. As an avid inventor, he enjoys tackling difficult problems and develop creative yet effective solutions. He is always willing to learn, culminating knowledge from many fields whether it be from mechanical engineering to electrical engineering to mathematics to computer science. His propensity to create drives his desire to tinker with new technologies and apply them to our everyday lives. As an alumnus of the Cooper Union Invention Factory, he works to iterate on his past inventions and push forward a new outlook on innovation. His passion to build is matched only by his love of music. He spends his time playing the piano, and conducting Poco a Poco, the Cooper Union orchestra.