R&B Hip-Hop Artist
Will Keeps is a hip-hop artist out of Chicago who now lives in Des Moines, Iowa. Having gone through many gang-related hardships as a youth on Chicago’s south side, Will has spent the last several years reaching out to the community to empower local youth, show true meaning of the word TOGETHER, and promote anti-violence. His message has expanded its reach through his
music and in partnerships with local schools, community leaders, law enforcement and government officials.
Will also wrote and created an original piece for our theme "Small Steps to Giant Leaps" that appears in this year's ciWeek video trailer.
World’s 100 Most Influential People (Time Magazine)
Born in Seoul, South Korea, Roy Choi is a celebrity Korean-American chef who gained prominence as the chef celebrated as one of the founders of the gourmet food truck movement.
Raised in Los Angeles, Roy became obsessed with Emeril Lagasse’s "Essence of Emeril show," a show that inspired him to enroll in culinary school. After working as a chef in a variety of restaurants in both New York and LA, he created and co-founded the gourmet Korean taco truck, Kogi.
Roy was named one of the top ten "Best New Chefs" of 2010 by
Food and Wine magazine, and
Time magazine included him in their TIME 100 list of the most influential people in the world for both 2011 and 2016. Fellow chef Anthony Bourdain wrote that "Roy Choi first changed the world when he elevated the food-truck concept from 'roach coach' to highly sought-after, ultra-hot-yet-democratic rolling restaurant." His cookbook/memoir
L.A. Son was a
New York Times Best-seller in 2013, and his restaurant, Locol, received the first ever
LA Times Restaurant of the Year Award in 2017.
The Jon Favreau movie,
Chef (2014), was loosely inspired by Roy and the food truck movement. Roy worked as a technical advisor to Favreau on cooking and restaurant scenes and appears in the end credits. Favreau both toured and trained in several of Roy’s restaurants and kitchens.
World Record Endurance Swimmer and Best Selling Author
Lynne Cox is an American long-distance, open-water swimmer and best-selling author. Over the course of more than 35 years, spanning a period equal to 8 Olympic Games, Lynne set records, opened the borders of nations, contributed to medical research, supported environmental causes and inspired people to overcome great obstacles.
Lynne is the first person to have completed over 60 challenging, different swims around the world.
While she is best known for her swim across the Bering Strait from the United States to the Soviet Union in 1987 (a swim that was toasted by both Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev as helping to ease relations between the two countries), she was also the first person to swim the Strait of Magellan, the Cape of Good Hope, and 1.2 miles in the icy waters of Antarctica (wearing only a normal bathing suit and cap and goggles). She twice set the overall record for the fastest crossing of the English Channel from England to France.
Director of Photography, Lighting - Pixar
Danielle Feinberg began her career at Pixar Animation Studios in 1997. As she worked her way up from an entry level, technical job to one of the top creative positions, she crewed many of Pixar’s feature films including
Toy Story 2; Monsters, Inc.; Finding Nemo and
The Incredibles. Danielle rose to be the Director of Photography on Disney•Pixar’s Oscar-winning films,
Brave, as well as Pixar's 2017 film
Danielle’s love of combining computers and art began when she was eight years old, which eventually led her to a degree in Computer Science from Harvard University. In addition to her work at Pixar, she works with teenage girls, encouraging them to pursue code, math and science by demonstrating to them this same magic found by combining art and technology.
Co-Founder of Ben & Jerry’s
Jerry Greenfield and his friend and business partner Ben Cohen decided to pursue their dream of starting a food-related business together. Having previously held a number of odd jobs in the ice cream industry, they decided to open an ice cream business. They split the $5 fee for a Penn State correspondence course in ice cream making, and set up their first Ben & Jerry’s ice cream parlor in a refurbished gas station in Burlington, Vermont, in 1978.
Their product was an immediate hit, so the duo also began selling the ice cream out of Jerry’s car. In the first five years, they began opening Ben & Jerry’s franchises in the surrounding states. Because of their product’s popularity, they had to fight (and eventually win) a battle with Pillsbury, the parent company of Häagen-Dazs, when Pillsbury tried to limit Ben & Jerry’s distribution out of fear of growing competition from the young company.
In 2000, the pair sold their ice cream business to Unilever for $325 million, but Jerry remains active in the company.
Former Facebook Executive
CEO of Zuckerberg Media
Randi Zuckerberg is an entrepreneur, investor, bestselling author and tech media personality. She is the Founder & CEO of Zuckerberg Media, a boutique marketing firm and production company that works with such high-profile organizations and Fortune 500 companies as Cirque du Soleil, Conde Nast and PayPal.
As an early executive at Facebook, she created Facebook Live, now available to two billion people worldwide.
After noticing that she was one of way too few women in tech, Randi founded Zuckerberg Media, with the mission of introducing children—especially girls and underserved communities—to tech and science in a fun way.
She is the author of two books.
Dot Complicated, a
New York Times bestseller, discusses Randi's personal journey on the front lines of Facebook and her thoughts on how technology has completely changed our lives.
is a children's picture book that features an energetic little girl who learns to find balance between her tech gadgets and playing outside with her friends. The book has inspired an animated television show by the same name, which airs on NBC Universal, Hulu and dozens of networks worldwide.
Dr. James Hansen
Author and Co-Producer of
James R. Hansen is Professor Emeritus of History at Auburn University in Alabama. An expert on aerospace history and the history of science and technology, Jim has published a dozen books and numerous articles covering a wide variety of topics, including the early days of aviation, the history of aerospace engineering, NASA, the Moon landings, the space shuttle program and China’s role in space.
A Universal Studios film adaptation of Jim’s
New York Times Best-seller
FIRST MAN hits theaters in October 2018, with actor Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong. Oscar winner Damien Chazelle (LA LA LAND) directed the film, and Jim is a co-producer on it.
Disruptive Technologies, Crypto Currency Expert
Brian Nelson is an Exponential Technologies Entrepreneur, cofounder of 7tk (a private crypto currency club), and a Blockchain Advisor. His fingerprint on the history of Bitcoin was made in 2013 when he, and a couple of key partners, developed the very first surety bond solution for Bitcoin companies that ultimately led to the launch of the first regulatory-compliant Bitcoin exchanges in the U.S. Those exchanges are still around today and continue to play a major role in the massive growth of the ecosystem.
As a recognized figure in the Bitcoin and blockchain technology ecosystem, Brian has consulted with many of the top digital currency companies, spoken at numerous industry events, and was one of 40 industry insiders invited to attend the Blockchain Summit with Sir Richard Branson on Necker Island.
Dr. Tahir Rahman
We Came in Peace for All Mankind
Professor of Psychiatry
Dr. Tahir Rahman is a psychiatrist and Professor of Psychiatry for Washington University. He received his medical degree from the University of Kansas School of Medicine and has been in practice for more than 20 years. Tahir's recent work has focused on how extreme overvalued beliefs are different from delusions and obsessions, and how extreme violence may stem from such beliefs. He has studied mass shootings and terrorism in depth and has had over 300 media placements on this topic.
Tahir is also the author of
We Came in Peace for All Mankind which discusses how the world, despite differing beliefs, was actually able to come together as one during the Apollo 11 Moon landing.
Jason Feifer is the editor-in-chief of Entrepreneur magazine, and host of two podcasts:
Problem Solvers, about entrepreneurs solving unexpected problems in their business, and Pessimists Archive, a history of unfounded fears of technology.
Jason has served as editor at Men's Health, Fast Company, Maxim and
Boston magazine, and has written about business and technology for the Washington Post, Slate, New York and others. He's also the coauthor of the novel Mr. Nice Guy, which he wrote with his wife.
Apollo Panel Moderator: Rod Pyle
Rod Pyle is an author, journalist, both historian and futurist, and filmmaker. He has written fifteen books on space history, exploration and development, including his most recent book due April 2019 entitled
First on the Moon.
Rod has also produced, directed and written a number of episodes for History Channel’s
Modern Marvels, as well as a documentary for History Channel entitled,
Beyond the War of the Worlds. He has made numerous media appearances, including for PBS, NPR and the
Washington Post, and is a frequent contributor to Space.com, LiveScience, NBC News Online, Yahoo News, the Huffington Post and more.
Apollo Panel: Walt Cunningham
Astronaut - Apollo 7
From October 11–22, 1968, Astronaut Walt Cunningham occupied the Lunar Module Pilot seat for the eleven-day flight of Apollo 7, which was the
first manned flight test of the Apollo spacecraft. Along with Wally Schirra and Donn Eisele, during the 263-hour, four-and-a-half million-mile shakedown flight, Walt participated in and executed a variety of critical tests necessary for the advancement of the Apollo Program.
Prior to his assignment to the Apollo 7 crew, Walt was the backup Lunar Module Pilot to the crew of Apollo 1. After a tragic fire on the pad killed the crew of Apollo 1, their crew was then assigned to fly the first manned Apollo mission.
Walt joined the Navy in 1951 and began his flight training in 1952. In 1953 he became a Marine Corps fighter pilot and served on active duty with the United States Marine Corps until 1956 and in the Marine Corps Reserve program until 1975.
Walt is the author of The All American Boys, which details the human side of the space program.
Apollo Panel: Fred Haise
Astronaut - Apollo 13
From April 11–17, 1970, Astronaut Fred Haise was the Lunar Module Pilot for the Apollo 13 mission, in which the intended Moon landing was canceled because of a rupture in a fuel-cell oxygen tank in the service module. The crew, consisting of Fred, Jack Swigert and Jim Lovell, returned safely to Earth by making use of the life-support system in the lunar module.
Fred served as a fighter pilot in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1954–56. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in 1959 from the University of Oklahoma, Fred joined NASA as a test pilot and was selected for the manned space program in 1966. After the Apollo program was canceled in 1977, Fred was assigned to the space shuttle program where he test flew and landed the Space Shuttle Enterprise.
Fred was played by actor Bill Paxton in
Apollo 13, Ron Howard’s 1995 film about his ill-fated, 1970 mission.
Apollo Panel: Al Worden
Astronaut - Apollo 15
From July 26 to August 7, 1971, Astronaut Al Worden served as the Command Module Pilot for the Apollo 15 mission along with crewmates Dave Scott and Jim Irwin. Al is a two-time world record-holding astronaut: First for performing the first spacewalk in deep space, and then also for being the most isolated human ever.
Al received a Bachelor of Military Science degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1955 and Master of Science degrees in Astronautical and Aeronautical Engineering and Instrumentation Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1963. He received an honorary Doctorate of Science in Astronautical Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1971.
Selecting the United States Air Force after graduating from West Point, Al ultimately served as an instructor at the Aerospace Research Pilots School at Edwards Air Force Base, California. As an instructor, he trained some of the men who would later become fellow astronauts.
Al is the author of three books,
Hello Earth! Greetings from Endeavour! (a book of his poetry inspired by his flight on Apollo 15),
I Want to Know about a Flight to the Moon (a children's book) and, most recently, his autobiography,
Falling to Earth.
Apollo Panel: Gerry Griffin
Apollo Flight DirectorMission Control
Gerry Griffin is the former Director of NASA's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston. His career in the United States space program began in 1960 and has included senior positions in government and industry. At NASA, in addition to his position as Director of the Johnson Space Center, he also served as the Deputy Director of the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida and the Hugh F. Dryden Flight Research Center in California.
During NASA's Apollo program, Gerry was a Flight Director in Mission Control and served in this capacity for
ALL of the Apollo manned missions. He was Lead Flight Director for three lunar landing missions: Apollo 12, 15 and 17. During the flight of Apollo 13, Gerry led one of the teams of flight controllers who were responsible for the safe return of the astronauts.
Gerry was a technical advisor for the movie
Apollo 13. In February 1997, he was also a technical advisor and actor in the movie,
Contact, and in September 1997, Gerry worked as a technical advisor for the movie,