Stories to change the world

At BIF, we believe storytelling can change the world. We act on that belief every year with our annual BIF Summit. Explore the archive of stories through which we've been inspired, learned together, and co-created the future narrative. 

Designing Models That Support And Empower 21st Century Students

BIF’s Student Experience Lab Leader, Sam Seidel, speaks internationally about education innovation. Prior to his experience at BIF, Seidel served as Director of Partnerships for the Association for High School Innovation, a national network of leading education innovators.

Seidel is currently a Visiting Practitioner at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and has served as a Scholar-in-Residence at Columbia University Teachers College and a Community Fellow at the Rhode Island School of Design. He holds a BA in Education History and Policy from Brown University, where he also received a teaching credential.

Innovating NASA And Bringing Music To The Space Station

After 24 years and three trips to space, astronaut Cady Coleman left NASA in December 2016. During her time at NASA, she flew on two space shuttle missions and spent six months aboard the International Space Station.

Coleman spent a total of 180 days in space. During her time on the ground at NASA, she served in a variety of roles within the Astronaut Office, including chief of robotics, lead for tile repair efforts after the Columbia accident, and lead astronaut for integration of supply ships from NASA’s commercial partners, Space X, and Orbital ATK. Most recently, she led open-innovation and public-private partnership efforts for the Office of the Chief Technologist at NASA headquarters.

Coleman, a retired colonel in the U.S. Air Force, earned a BS in chemistry from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a doctorate in polymer science and engineering from the University of Massachusetts. Commissioned as a second lieutenant in the US Air Force, she worked as a research chemist at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base before being selected as an astronaut in 1992.

Innovating Air Travel With A Marketplace Model

Bill Herp is founder and CEO of Linear Air, which he initially conceived as an air charter business that would leverage a new class of low-cost "very light jets" (VLJs). Herp's goal was to create a more affordable alternative for regional private jet travel.

When the VLJ manufacturers failed, Herp was forced to re-invent his business. He re-launched Linear Air as the first "air taxi" marketplace, connecting small charter airplane operators throughout the US, Canada, and the Caribbean with regional travelers, providing travelers direct access to thousands of airports throughout North America.

In addition to leading the business side of Linear Air, Herp continues to feed his passion for flying as a professional pilot within the Linear Air marketplace. Herp is a serial entrepreneur who earlier founded digital marketing pioneer e-Dialog, as well as Event Cellular Communications. He received a BA from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Retired Founding Chairman,

Boston Scientific Corporation

John is the retired Founding Chairman of Boston Scientific Corporation and an early pioneer in the then (1970s) counter-intuitive concept of “less invasive surgery”. 

Director, Industrial Design department

RISD

Internationally recognized design and project leader Mickey Ackerman has spent decades teaching designers how to define problems clearly and then solve those problems through multidisciplinary teamwork. As Director of RISD's Industrial Design department, Ackerman established a portfolio of sponsored projects and created real-world design solutions for industry leaders such as Intel, Rubbermaid, Frigidaire and General Mills.

CMO,

Extreme Networks

Vala Afshar is the CMO for Extreme Networks, responsible for global marketing and customer service and support operations. An award-winning inventor of social technologies and customer services operations, Vala is considered a pioneer in cloud computing, social collaboration, business intelligence, and customer relationship management. Vala is also the author of The Pursuit of Social Business Excellence.

Artist

Marla Allison is trying to do something that hasn’t been seen yet. As an artist living and working in Laguna Pueblo, New Mexico, the influences on her work date back to the pre-Columbian era. So, it’s difficult to do something new under the sun.

Nevertheless, Allison brings freshness to ancient Native American artistic practices by putting her own twist on centuries-old patterns in pottery, painting and weaving, and by beautifully blending her traditionally-derived sensibilities with the best of today’s mixed media.

Help Yourself And The World Through Unexpected Connections And Collaboration

Kare Anderson speaks and writes about behavioral research-based ways to become more deeply and diversely connected.


Read their Story

Former Football Player And Cancer Survivor Now Helps Patients And Families

Founded by former New England Patriots offensive guard Joe Andruzzi and his wife Jen in 2008, the Joe Andruzzi Foundation grew out of Andruzzi’s own successful battle with cancer and the couple’s ongoing work with young cancer patients.

Andruzzi's football career ended in 2007 when he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Burkitt’s lymphoma. He is now cancer-free, but a new passion grew from his own cancer experience: helping other cancer patients and their families. After witnessing firsthand the stress cancer can cause, the Andruzzis created a foundation to help cancer patients and their families meet life’s day-to-day challenges. And the Foundation’s (Up)Beat cancer initiative strives to keep families positive by organizing outings and visits with New England’s professional athletes.

The Joe Andruzzi Foundation provides financial assistance to cancer patients and families, helping them focus on recovery, not bills. It also funds cancer research at Boston Children’s Hospital, building on the Andruzzis’ longstanding commitment to cutting-edge pediatric brain cancer research.

In 2003, the Andruzzis founded the C.J. Buckley Cancer Research Fund at Children’s in memory of their young friend Buckley, who suffered a brain tumor. Buckley’s spirit inspired the Andruzzis to support the innovative work of Dr. Mark Kieran, Director of Pediatric Neuro-Oncology at Children’s, whose work centers on the molecular nature of pediatric brain tumors, novel therapies, and surgical alternatives, with the aim of making treatment more accessible to all.

President

Innosight

Scott is President of strategy and consulting firm Innosight. Scott has worked with Fortune 500 and start-up companies in industries such as media (print and broadcast), consumer products, investment banking, transportation and logistics, healthcare, medical devices, software, petrochemicals, and communications equipment.

CEO

Swat Team Partners

Randy Antik is currently CEO of Swat Team Partners. Swat Team Partners provides growth strategy consulting to marketing leaders for major corporations at the CEO/CMO level in technology, retail, marketing services, and health care. Clients/projects include: EDS, RadioShack, AMD, Agere, Neiman...

Senior Curator, Architecture & Design

Museum of Modern Art

Paola Antonelli is one of the world's foremost design experts and was recently rated  one of the top one hundred most powerful people in the world of art by Art Review. She is a Senior Curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art. Antonelli received her MA in Architecture from Milan Polytechnic in 1990, and worked at the design magazines Domus and Abitare before coming to MoMA in 1994. Antonelli is known for her eclecticism, and has curated well-received shows such as Design and the Elastic Mind (2008), an exhibition on science, design, and innovation and Workspheres (2001), devoted to the workplace of the near future. Antonelli has taught design history and theory at UCLA and Harvard and is the author of Humble Masterpieces: Everyday Marvels of Design, and co-author of 2008 book Design and the Elastic Mind.