EVENT GUESTS

Kirsty Bennett
Kirsty Bennett   ·· EVENT HOST

Kirsty Bennett is the manager of the MIT Women’s League and the founder of MITell, a storytelling program for MIT. Previously, she spent seven years as a Producer and Director for the Peabody award-winning The Moth, designing and running The Moth College Program and teaching storytelling workshops for tech giants, literary festivals and high schools. For MIT, she has led storytelling workshops for MIT Museum, SHASS, Course 6, GE&CD and the ICEO, among others. In 2018, she curated and directed Synaptic Stories at the MIT Museum, as part of the Beautiful Brain exhibit. She thinks you have a story to tell.

Sandy Pentland
Alexander "Sandy" Pentland   ·· SPEAKER

Alexander “Sandy” Pentland directs the MIT Connection Science and Human Dynamics labs and previously helped create and direct the MIT Media Lab and the Media Lab Asia in India. Forbes recently declared him one of the “7 most powerful data scientists in the world” along with Google founders and the Chief Technical Officer of the United States. He is a founding member of advisory boards for Google, AT&T, Nissan, and the UN Secretary General, a serial entrepreneur who has co-founded more than a dozen companies including social enterprises such as the Data Transparency Lab, the Harvard-ODI-MIT DataPop Alliance and the Institute for Data Driven Design. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and leader within the World Economic Forum.

Muriel Médard
Muriel Médard   ·· SPEAKER

Muriel Médard is the Cecil H. Green Professor in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) Department at MIT and leads the Network Coding and Reliable Communications Group at the Research Laboratory for Electronics at MIT. She has co-founded three companies to commercialize network coding, CodeOn, Steinwurf and Chocolate Cloud. She was elected Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and served as Editor in Chief of the IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications. She was President of the IEEE Information Theory Society in 2012, and served on its board of governors for eleven years. In 2007, she was named a Gilbreth Lecturer by the U.S. National Academy of Engineering. She received multiple awards including the 2017 IEEE Communications Society Edwin Howard Armstrong Achievement Award.

Mira Wilczek
Mira Wilczek ·· SPEAKER

Mira Wilczek is President and CEO of Cogo Labs and Senior Partner at Link Ventures. She serves on the Board of Directors at EverQuote, CareDash, and Hopjump, and the Advisory Board of Vestigo Ventures. She is Co-Director at the Brahe Educational Foundation. In 2017, Wilczek was named Top 40 Under 40 by the Boston Business Journal. She was founder and CEO of Red Panda Security, Principal Investigator under the DARPA CFT program, and Director of Business Development at Lyric Semiconductor, where she led the successful sale of the company to Analog Devices. She started her career as an ethical hacker at IBM, architecting their first automated penetration testing platform. Wilczek holds patents in the fields of cyber security and sensor data fusion, has an S.B. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT, and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

George Church
George Church   ·· SPECIAL GUEST

George Church is professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School, a founding member of the Wyss Institute, and director of PersonalGenomes.org, the world’s only open-access information on human genomic, environmental, and trait data. Church is known for pioneering the fields of personal genomics and synthetic biology. He developed the first methods for the first genome sequence & dramatic cost reductions since then, contributing to nearly all “next generation sequencing” methods and companies. His team invented CRISPR for human stem cell genome editing and other synthetic biology technologies and applications – including new ways to create organs for transplantation, gene therapies for aging reversal, and gene drives to eliminate Lyme Disease and Malaria. Church is director of IARPA & NIH BRAIN Projects and National Institutes of Health Center for Excellence in Genomic Science. His honors include Franklin Bower Laureate for Achievement in Science, the Time 100, and election to the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering.

Deborah Blum
Deborah Blum   ·· SPEAKER

Deborah Blum director of the Knight Science Journalism Program, is a Pulitzer-prize winning science journalist and the author of six books, most recently The Poison Squad. She is a former president of the National Association of Science Writers (US) and currently sits on the board of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Blum has written for a wide range of publications, including The New York Times, Wired, Time, The Wall Street Journal, Scientific American, Discover and The Washington Post. She is the publisher of Undark magazine, which she founded in 2015, shortly after joining KSJ. Blum is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a life-time associate of the National Academy of Sciences, for her work in science communication.

John Werner
John Werner   ·· QA

John Werner is the Founder & CEO of ARIA and the Blockchain+AI+Human, which takes place at MIT and the World Economic Forum with MIT Professor Sandy Pentland. John also led the MIT Media Lab’s Camera Culture Group and founded Ideas in Action Inc., a non-profit that creates and produces TEDxBeaconStreet, whose talks have accumulated 250+ million YouTube views.