Current Speakers
Current Speakers / 2012 Speakers
Ravi Karkara - Senior Advisor of Executive Deputy Director, UN Women
Ravi Karkara has been the force behind several high-value partnerships and advocacy initiatives for UN Women, he led UN Women's Youth and Gender Equality strategy, and the Gender Equality March from the United Nations headquarters to Time Square in New York City. He developed and led the youth outreach for the UN Secretary General's My-World Survey to deliver youth votes from more than 7 million youth from 193 nations. He is listed as one of the top 10 diversity global experts in the prestigious "Global Diversity List".
Ijeoma Umebinyuo - Poet, Author of Questions for Ada
Ijeoma Umebinyuo is a writer born in Lagos, Nigeria. She is the author of Questions for Ada, her first published collection of poems. Her writing examines migration, displacement, depression, the lives of women and loss. She believes in the power of owning your narrative. Her short stories and poems have appeared in The Stockholm Review of Literature, The Wildness, and The Rising Phoenix Review. In 2016, Ijeoma Umebinyuo was named one of the top ten contemporary poets from Sub-Saharan Africa by writivism.org/.
Toby Cumberbatch - Professor of Electrical Engineering, The Cooper Union
Prof. Toby Cumberbatch is passionate about bringing students together and developing sustainable solutions to worldwide problems. His projects aim to address energy, water, and shelter in remote regions. He has received grants from the National Science Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Collegiate Inventors, etc. 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 Gundersen - Head of Social Media, ERCI
Ane Gundersen is an undergraduate student at University of St Andrews in Scotland. Passionate about humanitarian and global affairs, Ane previously worked for Doctors Without Borders in Norway, and spent the summer of 2016 working for ERCI (Emergency Rescue Center International), a Greek non-profit organization that provides aid for refugees arriving in Europe. Having advanced diver certification, and thorough first aid qualification, Ane worked a rescuer for refugees crossing the Aegean Sea. Her passion for refugee rights has led her to found her own student society, while becoming the ERCI head of social media.
Jiwoon Park - Student Speaker, The Cooper Union
A senior/master's candidate in chemical engineering at The Cooper Union, Jiwoon Park is passionate about translating and communicating scientific ideas to the general public. To spread her vision to others, she is currently the chapter president for Toastmasters International at Cooper. She is actively involved in a variety of cultural and professional organizations. Jiwoon has organized and mentored projects for Edonation Project, a non-profit volunteer organization at Columbia University. She envisions herself as an engineer who finds ways to help resolve health-related problems for those in need.
Dhia Fani - Student Speaker, NYU Abu Dhabi
Dhia Fani is an undergraduate student majoring in Political Science, Business and Music at NYU Abu Dhabi. As an initiative to empower survivors of human trafficking, she cofounded the Buku Kami Empowerment Program, an Indonesian-based social enterprise offering skill-based training for former sex workers and victims of human trafficking. Her effort won her the Young Southeast Asia Leadership Initiative Grant. As a student, Dhia has studied in Abu Dhabi, New York, London, Brussels and Paris, and has interned at the Indonesian Embassy for the EU, the World Bank and UNESCO.
Tayo Rockson - CEO, UYD Management
Tayo is the CEO of UYD Management, a strategic leadership and consulting firm that helps corporations improve their bottom line by incorporating diversity, inclusion and social justice strategies. Tayo has spent over 20 years living and working in 4 continents. As a cross cultural expert, he has spoken at the World Bank, United Nations Foundation among several other places. His work has been seen on NowThis News, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, and other notable sources.
David Gersten - Professor of Architecture, The Cooper Union
Prof. 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 work has appeared in numerous international exhibitions. His work can be seen at the Canadian Center for Architecture, the NYC Public Library's print collection and other private collections. He strongly believes that we can learn from our differences, and that knowledge takes many forms. 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 who wants to improve 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 around the US teaching mental health stakeholders to apply conflict resolution practices. 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
Ben Ma is a Mechanical Engineering student at The Cooper Union. An avid inventor and an alumnus of the Cooper Union Invention Factory, Ben enjoys tackling difficult problems, developing creative yet effective solutions, and culminating knowledge from many fields. His propensity to create drives his desire to tinker with new technologies and apply them to our everyday lives. Aside from his passion to build, Ben dedicates his extra time for music, enjoys playing the piano, and conducting for Poco a Poco, the Cooper Union orchestra.