Keynote speaker

Elizabeth Anne Eddy, Chief of Staff for SAP Next-Gen

Elizabeth Anne Eddy is the Chief of Staff for SAP Next-Gen, a purpose driven innovation university and community aligned with SAP's commitment to the 17 UN Global Goals for sustainable development, and supporting SAP's 404,000+ customers across 32 industries in 180+ countries. The community leverages 3,600+ educational institutions in 116 countries, 110+ SAP Next-Gen labs/hubs at universities and at partner and SAP locations, 90+ SAP Next-Gen Chapters, as well as startups, accelerators, tech community partners, venture firms, futurists, and purpose driven institutions. The community also leverages SAP's 100+ innovation and development centers and SAP's network of 17,000+ partner companies.

SAP Next-Gen connects customers to academic thought leaders and researchers, students, startups, accelerators, tech community partners, purpose driven partners, venture firms, futurists, and SAP experts to reimagine the future of industries and the intelligent enterprise, seed in disruptive innovation with startups, and build skills for digital futures. Customers can benefit from SAP Next-Gen services as well as events where digital innovators come together in an open "innovation with purpose" community to foster the future of industries with SAP's latest technologies.

Workshop Leaders


Minna Aslama Horowitz, Researcher at St. John’s University and the University of Helsinki

Minna Aslama Horowitz, Ph.D., Soc.Sci has two decades of experience in design of collaborative practices for multi-stakeholder issues and events. She works in innovation in higher education and researches digitalization and global development. She is also an expert in community- and network-building on- and off-line. Her work ranges from diversity analysis to Design Thinking and Living Labs. Currently, she is researching Communication Rights at the University of Helsinki and Advocacy Influencers with Neil Feinstein at St. John’s University. She is passionate about and knowledgeable in advocacy for gender issues, public and independent media, and communication.

William Bloomfield, Founding Partner of Civic Strategies Partners

As an actor, Bill is interested in portraying characters with emotional depth in dynamic and challenging situations. As a consultant, he works with a limited number of educational, NGO/CBO/nonprofit, government, philanthropic, and private-sector organizations as a strategic advisor, program consultant, evaluator (M&E), coach, and technical assistance provider in the U.S. and abroad. Bill is especially interested in working on improving leadership and day-to-day performance accountability, and bottom-line results in education, youth workforce/livelihoods, and community development. Dr. Bloomfield is well-known for bringing uncommon coalitions of key public-private sector, stakeholders together to agree-on, design, and implement coherent, effective, systemic, fundable, and replicable models that improve the lives of vulnerable populations in high poverty communities – none of which is uncomplicated. He is especially skilled in working in concert with organizations and local stakeholders for as long as it takes to overcome political resistance, internal issues, real and perceived barriers, and operational challenges that impede implementing pragmatic, effective, and sustainable program solutions that deliver measurable results.

Amy Ellenbogen, Director of Neighbors in Action

Amy has been the director of the Neighbors in Action since 2002, developing and implementing programs as well as overseeing day-to-day operations. Amy has run community and school-based programming on topics as diverse as violence prevention, adult and youth leadership development, family and community mediation, truancy prevention, intergroup relationship building, pregnancy prevention, and race and identity. Amy planned and directed the first New York State Cure Violence replication site, Save Our Streets Crown Heights, an anti-gun violence program that uses a public health approach. Currently, Amy is part of the planning team developing culturally competent trauma informed programming for young men of color and Save Our Streets Bed-Stuy. Prior to working at the Center, Amy worked in a home for young women who were previously incarcerated and were mentally ill and chemically addicted. Amy is the founder of ROOTED (Respecting Ourselves and Others Through Education), a Columbia University program designed to facilitate student dialogue around issues of identity as they relate to power and privilege. Amy received both her BA in Ethnic Studies and her Masters of Science in Social Work from Columbia University. She is a Licensed Master Social Worker and a mediator.

Neil Feinstein, Assistant Professor at St. John’s University

After a 30+ year career in advertising, during which he advised Blue Chip brands such as Disney, American Express, The New York Times, Chase Bank, Wounded Warrior Project and Merrill Lynch – and 11 years as an Adjunct Professor at New York University – Neil joined St. John’s University as an Assistant Professor in their award-winning advertising program. In his first two years, he led the St. John’s University student team to place 3rd (2015) and 4th (2016) nationally in the National Student Advertising Competition. Neil’s focus is on creative strategy, and digital marketing and innovation. In addition to infusing modern advertising and interactive techniques into his curriculum, he conducts an industry-wide annual survey, called “The Digital Marketer’s Hot or Hype Index,” to determine the most important innovations based on responses from practicing digital marketers. Neil is active in Academic Service-Learning. He brought a service element into his copywriting curriculum, partnering with City Harvest, Ronald McDonald House and Make-A-Wish Foundation. Neil earned his M.S. in Direct and Interactive Marketing from New York University and a B.A. in Psychology from the State University of New York, College at Oneonta.

Susie Kavanaugh, Hasso Plattner Institute, New York

Susie Kavanaugh is a designer, facilitator, educator, coach, and social impact entrepreneur based in New York City. She cares deeply about equipping people of all ages with the skills, methods, and creative confidence to make the world a better place. Susie uses her background in education, cognitive science, design thinking, and entrepreneurship to design systems, experiences, and tools that inspire collaboration and imagination. Susie works with organizations, businesses, universities, and government to reimagine what they do and how they operate. She is a designer with Columbia University School of the Arts’ Digital Storytelling Lab, supporting stakeholders with prototyping collaborative methods that explore the future of learning, work, and social innovation. As an independent design thinking coach and workshop facilitator, Susie engages youth and adults to cultivate the mindset and processes to solve complex problems. She is also an early-stage startup specialist, mentoring founders in customer development, product strategy, and storytelling for impact. Susie has a Master of Arts, Cognitive Science in Education from Teachers College, Columbia University and Bachelor of Arts, Political Science from College of the Holy Cross.

Johanna Seppalainen, Leadership Development & Learning Professional

With over a decade in the Learning and Organizational Development field, Johanna Seppalainen is passionate about applying her knowledge of psychology to help companies develop their talent at all levels of the organization. Johanna’s strong commitment to employees, managers, and leaders alike grew out of her desire to treat everyone with respect and high expectations. Her honest, thoughtful and focused approach to developing talent successfully helps companies in a wide variety of industries to improve their leadership strength. Johanna has extensive experience integrating psychometric assessment results into development goals. She has a deep understanding of the challenges faced by organizations in the global economy. Johanna has held roles in a Learning & Development Consulting Firm, more typical HR roles, and in her consulting work, she is accomplished in services related to talent management, and executive coaching. In addition to successfully helping many organizations, she has also helped to improve people’s work lives and careers. She has coached leaders from individual contributors to the executive level, created organization development programs and curricula, and facilitated powerful group development in a very engaging manner.

Christian Baldia, President and Founder of Constellation Strategy & Analytical Services

Christian Baldia is an internationally-known expert on organizational strategy/leadership, collaboration, teamwork and human capital analytics. As a faculty member of the American Management Association, he also leads seminars on leadership, collaboration, change management, data analysis, data visualization, and process management. Christian previously served at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York as a Senior Financial/Economic Analyst in the Policy and Analysis division of the Bank Supervision Group. Before working for the Federal Reserve, Christian Baldia was an investment banker at Butler, Chapman & Co., where he specialized in mergers and acquisitions for middle-market companies, and at PaineWebber (now part of UBS), where he worked in municipal finance. Christian served for four years in President Bill Clinton’s Administration. There, he served initially as a staff member for the White House in the Office of Presidential Personnel and then as a Senior Policy Analyst to the Under Secretary for Domestic Finance and then to the Deputy Secretary of the US Treasury Department. He has also worked on a number of Presidential and Senatorial campaigns. In 2004, he served on John Kerry’s Presidential campaign as Communication Director for Americans Overseas for Kerry.

Elizabeth David-Dembrowsky, Founder of Good Counsel Services, Inc.

Admitted to the bar in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Florida, and California, Elizabeth's legal work focuses primarily on helping new and emerging social entrepreneurs. As a non-profit executive with over a decade of experience, she has vast experiences in this area and has helped ensure the success and safety of numerous organizations. She also serves as the Executive Director for Keren Or, Inc., The Jerusalem Center for Blind Children with Multiple Disabilities, a position she has held since 2012. Elizabeth holds a Juris Doctorate from Brooklyn Law School where she attended night school while working fulltime; a Masters in Writing from the University of Warwick, UK where she received the Student Busary Award; and a Bachelors in Psychology from Boston University where she graduated summa cum laude. Her immigration works focuses on asylum, family petitions, and work on behalf of social impact leaders. Elizabeth is a published poet and novelist.

Joann Halpern, Director of Hasso Plattner Institute, New York

Dr. Joann Halpern is the director of the Hasso Plattner Institute for Digital Engineering in New York (HPI), a Design Thinking coach, and an adjunct professor of International Education at New York University. Prior to joining HPI, she was the founding director of the German Center for Research and Innovation (GCRI). Before she established GCRI, Dr. Halpern was Director of Academic Affairs and Senior Studies and Assistant Professor of International Education at Global College of Long Island University. She also co-founded Knowledge Transfer Beyond Boundaries, an NGO with projects in Cameroon, Nigeria, and Yemen. From 1996 to 2001, Halpern was Director of International Programs at Harz University of Applied Sciences in Wernigerode, Germany. She received her B.A. from Dartmouth College, her M.A. from Harvard University, and her Ph.D. from New York University. Dr. Halpern is a recipient of the Harvard Award for Distinction in Teaching as well as scholarships and fellowships from the Fulbright Association, German Academic Exchange Service, Robert Bosch Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Dr. Halpern serves on the advisory boards of the German Accelerator, Charité Entrepreneurship Summit, Technical University of Dortmund, and University Alliance Ruhr.

Arabella Meyer, ACMeyer Strategic Communications LLC

Arabella Meyer is a media and strategic communications consultant to NGOs and nonprofits. In her work advising clients such as Fountain House, John John Jay College, HERITAGE, Aquifer, Texas Women Rising and others, she helps organizations clarify and articulate their strengths, distinct mission, and overall messages; identify the key audiences they want to reach and create strategies and plans to reach those audiences; find and engage with key groups: media/journalists, students, professional organizations, corporations, foundations, and members; develop marketing materials designed to tell the organization’s story: stories/narratives, videos, brochures, opinion pieces, social media graphics.

Basilio Monteiro, Associate Professor at St. John’s University

Basilio Monteiro, Ph.D. is Associate Professor in the Department of Mass Communication, and Director of the Graduate Program International Communication, and Chair of the Division of Mass Communication at St. John’s University, NY. His specialization is in the area of International Communication, and teaches Communication and Global Development, Media and Public Policy, Media and the Politics of Peacebuilding, Media and Human Rights, Media and Public Diplomacy, Ethics in Digital Ecology among other related subjects. His area of research, besides his academic area, covers ICT and the internationalization of human rights, education and social justice, social media in conflict zones, media and sustainable development goals, communication and theology, education in globalized economy, the role of humanities in information/knowledge economy. His most recent publications are 2015 Intercultural Aspects of Authority is Digital Ecology in Leadership: Global Religious Authority in a Digitalized World: Tripodos Publishing House, Barcelona, Spain (2016). Retos en la etica de la ecologia digital in Imperativos éticos para la democracia en las instituciones y organizaciones mediáticas, University of Mexico, Mexico (2016). Education and the Dilemma of the Medium of Instruction: A perennial and universal challenge: A look at Goa, India (co-authored) in Goa: A Post-Colonial Society Between Cultures (2016). His most recent international presentation was Intentional Communication: Strategies for Peacebuilding. A collaborative paper, with graduate students, presented at The Hague, Netherlands. ACUNS conference (2015). He is Holy See Mission Expert at the UN, Scholar in Global Solidarity, Catholic Relief Services, and Senior Fellow at the Center for Church and Society, St. John’s University, NY.

Agnieszka Wilson, Founder & CEO of Partners for Creative Development

Agnieszka Wilson is a mother, social entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of Partners for Creative Development. Her experience and expertise involve project management, donor relations, advocacy, partnership building, PR and communications. Prior to P4CD, she was working in the non-profit sector as well as the United Nations on post-conflict and gender-related issues focusing on gender based violence, sexual reproductive health, menstrual health and transitional justice. Her ambition to inspire more collaboration and unity across sectors has lead her to build successful partnerships and networks globally. She was also a part time professor at St. Johns University teaching International Communications. Agnieszka holds a Master's of Political Science from Uppsala University, Sweden. Her passion for women’s rights, gender equality and sisterhood inspire her to do this work and to continue striving for a better world. She has been a practitioner of yoga, meditation, mindfulness and clean eating for over 10 years and has found it to be essential to everything she creates in life. She loves nature, animals, traveling and chocolate.

Susan Blaustein, Founder and Executive Director of WomenStrong International

Dr. Susan M. Blaustein is Founder/Director of WomenStrong International, a consortium of non-profits in 5 countries dedicated to eradicating extreme urban poverty by enabling women and girls to live healthy, fulfilling lives. WomenStrong provides technical and financial support, builds bridges and shares innovative and successful strategies that can change the equation for urban women and girls worldwide -- in chronically impoverished urban settings, post-conflict zones and beyond. As a social innovations lab, WomenStrong Consortium Members in Ghana, Haiti, Kenya, India and the U.S. pilot, codify and share what works, to advance girls' education, youth development, comprehensive women's health, women's economic empowerment, and freedom from violence. WomenStrong's model demonstrates that women and girls have what it takes to lead the way out of extreme urban poverty. Prior to starting WomenStrong, Dr. Blaustein co-founded/directed The Millennium Cities Initiative (MCI), a project of The Earth Institute at Columbia University helping 11 sub-Saharan cities implement sustainable urban development. Over more than a decade, Dr. Blaustein repeatedly witnessed the power of local women and girls in effecting transformative change. Previously, Dr. Blaustein served as a senior consultant/analyst with the International Crisis Group, a think tank focused on conflict prevention, and Coalition for International Justice, a NGO supporting the international criminal tribunals in their efforts to prosecute gross human rights abusers.

Helene Diyabanza Peterson, Partners for Creative Development

Helene Diyabanza Peterson, a mother of two global citizens, has 15 years professional experience within accounting and financial management in government agencies in Sweden, including Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). She holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the Stockholm University and is currently enrolled in the M.B.A. program at the Peter J. Tobin College of Business at St. John’s University in New York. Her passion for global development and communication led her to pursue a M.S. in International Communication also from St. John’s University, the College of Professional Studies. While studying she grew a strong engagement in social media communication and is especially interested in storytelling for women empowerment, the UN Sustainable Development Goals and policy issues, which led to work at organizations such as the UNFPA where she participated in the production of the Interactive Strategic Plan 2018-2021, and to her current role as Communications Manager for Partners for Creative Development (P4CD). Helene is also co-founder and chair of a Swedish nonprofit organization sponsoring children with school fees in Entebbe, Uganda where she lived with her family for a couple of years. She grew up partly in Sweden and in the Democratic Republic of Congo and has apart from Uganda, also lived in Congo Brazzaville, France, Croatia and for the past four and a half years in the United States.

Saba Ismail, Co-founder of Aware Girls

Saba Ismail, the co-founding sister of Aware Girls then 15 years, She supported the idea of strengthening girls’ voices for bringing prosperity in her community. She firmly believed that change has to come through the younger generation. She has completed her Masters in Biotechnology from COMSATS UniversityAbbotAbad, has completed Hurford Youth Fellowship with National Endowment for Democracy in 2013, and has the honor of speaking at George Masson University in DC and University of Maryland. She is alumni of the International Visitors Leadership Program USA. Her bravery and activism was acknowledged by Foreign Policy Magazine by awarding her as one among 100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2013. She is also at the Steering Committee of UNOY and represents Asia in the World Youth Movement for Democracy. She has done research on “Role of Young women in Emerging Democracies”. She is the co-founder of South Asian Regional Feminists Forum on Women’s Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights. She has worked as Youth Ambassador for Asia Pacific Youth Network (APYN: 20120-2013). She joined Aware Girls as Executive Director in September, 2011.

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Rachel Patterson, Founder of Glocal Consultants Group

Rachel Patterson, founder of Glocal Consultants Group LLC, is passionate about helping socially minded businesses and non-profits grow, locally and internationally, by combining business analytics and processes, with mission mindset and creativity. Rachel has lived and/or worked in 12 countries, as well as inner city USA, and from an early age enjoyed learning from and sharing experiences with friends of diverse faith, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. From those experiences also grew her fascination with leadership and communications, and questions around why some communities flourish while others do not, despite lack or abundance of natural resources. Her consulting practice focuses on strategic planning and partnerships, and Board development. Rachel has a unique combination of execution and strategy skills, and has worked across the entrepreneurial, corporate, social enterprise and non-profit sectors. She is a mission driven, quadri-lingual, resourceful team player with strength in managing cross-functional and international teams, complex projects, and ambiguous or pivot situations.

Ryan Rogers, Social Impact Account Executive at Oracle NetSuite

Ryan Rogers is a dedicated nonprofit advisor passionate about empowering Nonprofits to complete their mission leveraging the power of Cloud technology. He currently serves as Social Impact Account Executive at Oracle NetSuite. Our mission is to support the success of nonprofits globally through the power of cloud technology. We offer product donations and discounts, pro bono services and capacity building to support organizations of all sizes in growing their mission. Nonprofits of all sizes are eligible for a base donation of our nonprofit solution with no-cost activation. This standard donation is appropriate to power the financial management operations of a small organization and has no recurring cost. Beyond the base donation, Social Impact organizations can access solutions for grant accounting, FASB reporting, nonprofit budgeting and more. Every solution has special Social Impact pricing that is deeply discounted from our standard pricing. The Suite Pro Bono program brings in passionate employees, partners and customers from the NetSuite community together to help Social Impact customers use NetSuite more effectively. Opportunities include our quarterly pro bono projects, Buildathon 4Good and our annual Hackathon 4Good event. Nonprofits can benefit from implementing leading practices that span all aspects of their operations including topics like technology planning, technology management, financial management and outcomes management—including operational issues not specifically related to the NetSuite software.