William Sanford Nye, popularly known as “Bill Nye the Science Guy,” is a famous American television presenter and mechanical engineer. He is best known as the host of the syndicated children’s science show Bill Nye the Science Guy (winner of 19 Emmy Awards), the Netflix show Bill Nye Saves the World and for his many appearances in popular media as a science advocate and educator. He is the author of two best-selling books on science: Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation (2014) and Unstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change the World (2015). He has made numerous media appearances including Dancing with the Stars, The Big Bang Theory, and Inside Amy Schumer. Mr. Nye is also the CEO of the Planetary Society, an organization that promotes space exploration for the betterment of humankind.
General Lance Lord is a distinguished, four-star Air Force general who, prior to retirement after over 37 years of continuous military service, served as Commander of Air Force Space Command and Assistant Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force. Gen. Lord is also a successful business executive who serves as the Chairman and founder of L2 Aerospace and as a member of the Board of several major corporations, including Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings. He is also a Senior Associate or Advisor to several groups, including U.S. Strategic Command Senior Advisory Group and General Dynamics Mission Systems. The recipient of many awards, Gen. Lord possesses the American Astronautical Society Military Astronautics Award and the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal.
Sangeeta Mudnal is a creative product leader known for devising innovative solutions and strategies, with expertise in software application development, AI technologies, marketing, and ethics. She is the Sr. Director for FATE (Fairness, Accountability, Transparency and Ethics) AI technologies being developed in the three Microsoft Research Labs – Boston, Montreal, New York. Mudnal has held various engineering leadership roles at the company managing multi-level global teams of 75+ employees and delivering products like Outlook Express, MSN Messenger, Windows Live Spaces and Office PhotoDraw. Prior to her research office position, she successfully spearheaded the development of Microsoft Excel on Apple platforms for 6 years delivering 100M+ downloads, 4.6+ star rating for iOS applications and surpassing the targets for feature parity, performance and customer satisfaction for Excel for Mac.
John McKinley is an entrepreneur and seasoned business executive who has held CTO positions at News Corp., GE Capital, and AOL. McKinley currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors at Equifax - a position he has held since 2008 - as well as CEO/Founder of Great Falls Ventures, a seed/early stage investment and advisory firm with investment exits to firms such as Microsoft and Google. McKinley is also CEO/Founder of SaferAging and serves as an advisor to a variety of leading technology companies, including Catalyst Investors, Computes, Inc., and Conversable. McKinley holds a B.S. in Decision Science and Finance from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Andrew Essex is a veteran creative advertising business executive who served as CEO of Tribeca Enterprises - the parent company of Tribeca Film Festival - as well as co-founder of Plan A, a creative holding company, and founder and CEO of Droga5, an advertising agency that won multiple awards under his tenure and was frequently commended for its innovative campaigns. In addition to being an angel investor and board member of multiple companies, Essex is highly multidisciplinary - an author or co-author of four books, including “The End of Advertising: Why It Had to Die and the Creative Resurrection to Come.” He has served as a journalist, educator, and frequent public speaker on media and marketing strategies.
Nova Spivack is a successful venture capitalist and serial entrepreneur who has founded and co-founded some of the most successful technology startups of recent times. Currently, Nova is the founder and CEO of science and technology incubator, Magical, and co-founder of The Arch Mission Foundation. He is an advisor for EES Ventures, a seed fund focused on energy innovation, and is on the board of the Common Crawl Foundation. During his career, Nova has helped build dozens of ventures, including multiple IPOs, and acquisitions by Apple, Facebook, Samsung, Disney, and others. He also has authored nearly 100 granted, pending, and provisional patents in areas including AR/VR, AI/ML, search, advertising, mobile apps, and the semantic web.
Lisa Harris is the founder of Align Capital, LLC and has over 35 years of experience in banking, family office investments, real estate and private equity. She also manages the family office investment portfolio of ARH Family Partnership, which holds commercial real estate, early stage capital in young companies, and numerous other investments in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. Ms. Harris currently serves on multiple corporate and non-profit boards, including Jeremiah Program and Gen Austin and is on the Advisory Council for The Elders, a group of independent global leaders, brought together by Nelson Mandela, who offer their collective influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity.
Andrew Allen is a three-time space flight veteran and former Space Shuttle Commander who has spent more than 900 hours in space in addition to logging over 6,000 flight hours across more than 30 military aircraft. Allen is CEO of Aerodyne Industries, LLC and General Manager of Jacobs Space Operations Group at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. He previously held executive assignments at Honeywell, served as President and CEO of Global Safety Labs, and worked in several capacities at United Space Alliance. Allen was a distinguished Marine Corps aviator and holds multiple degrees including three honorary doctorates. He is the recipient of several distinguished honors including the Defense Superior Service Medal and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal.
Lloyd Walker is an experienced executive, entrepreneur, designer and an expert and highly-regarded international speaker on foresight, future products and creative leadership for business. Walker currently serves as the President of Precurve, a 10-year-old innovation management firm, and his list of engagements includes Disney, Honda, and NASA, among many others. He is also an active member of the startup community, participating in five startups at the executive/investor level with 3 successful exits. Walker is an adjunct faculty member with The Art Center College of Design’s Graduate ID program. He has an M.S. in Studies of the Future from the University of Houston, and a B.S. in Industrial Design from The Art Center College of Design.
James “Jim” Royston is a senior executive with more than 20 years of experience in the aerospace, defense, and commercial industries that includes leadership stints at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and United Space Alliance. Royston is currently President and CEO of L2 Aerospace - an innovative company providing end-to-end mission services across the ground, air and space markets - and previously served as the President of Astrotech Corporation, a commercial aerospace company. He has owned and operated multiple successful startup companies and provided online courseware and certification to several Fortune 500 companies. Royston is the recipient of NASA’s prestigious HQ Innovation Award, among other accolades, and hold seven U.S. technology and software patents.
Tom Meredith is a Sr Partner in Brightstar Capital Partners, a middle market private equity firm based in New York and also CEO of MFI Capital. Mr. Meredith’s career spans over 35 years and includes extensive experience in corporate finance, manufacturing, finance operations, and global financial markets. Mr. Meredith has served in various senior positions at Dell, Inc, Motorola, Sun Microsystems, and Amdahl Capital. Mr. Meredith is a member of the board of The Nature Conservancy, Waller Creek Conservancy and AI Austin. He serves on the Advisory Boards of the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas and the University of Texas System Chancellor’s Technology Commercialization Cabinet. He is also an Emeritus Trustee of the University of Virginia College Foundation Board.
Andy Hickl is an innovator in artificial intelligence, big data analytics, and natural language processing. Hickl is a true activist and passionate about the ways that technology, when carefully applied, can bring about real impact. He has held leadership roles in AI at Microsoft, Intel, Rewired Ventures, Vulcan Inc, and Language Computer Corporation. While at Vulcan Inc., he served as the Executive Technical Advisor to philanthropist Paul G. Allen, where he co-founded the Vulcan Proving Ground (a high-technology startup incubator) and helped start the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence. He also held a Technical Advisor role at Rewired Studio, a $100M venture fund focusing on applications of robotics and artificial intelligence for the developing world.