Past Speaker Biographies (2017)

New List Coming Soon

 

Education in NYC: Measuring Impact

Douglas Bauer, Executive Director, Clark Foundation

The Clark Foundation focuses on helping people out of poverty and assisting individuals to lead independent and productive lives, and supports nonprofits and programs in New York City and Cooperstown, NY. Doug is also executive director of The Scriven and Fernleigh Foundations and Senior Vice President with The Clark Estates, Inc. Prior to Clark, Doug was a Senior Vice President with Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) from 2002 to 2009. Prior to joining RPA, Doug held management positions at Goldman, Sachs and Co., SmithKlineBeecham (now GlaxoSmithKline), and The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Doug’s opinions and ideas on philanthropy have been featured in the Associated Press, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Financial Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Stanford Social Innovation Review, The Wall Street Journal and on CNBC, NPR and PBS. Doug co-authored, with Steven Godeke, Philanthropy’s New Passing Gear: Mission Related Investing, A Policy and Implementation Guide for Foundation Trustees. Doug serves on boards for The Leatherstocking Corporation, The Melalucca Foundation, The National Council on Nonprofits, Partners for Health Foundation, The Rockefeller Institute of Government, and is a past chair of Philanthropy New York. He also is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania and the Columbia Business School where he teaches about philanthropy and the nonprofit sector. Doug is a graduate of Michigan State University. He also has an M.J. from Temple University and a M.S. from Penn.

Josh Phillips, Chief of Innovation and School Operations, Uncommon Schools

Josh Phillips is Uncommon’s Chief of Innovation and School Operations. He joined Uncommon Schools in 2008 as Chief Operating Officer and later served as Managing Director of Uncommon Rochester and Troy. He was previously the Co-Director of Roxbury Preparatory Charter School in Boston. In 2007, Roxbury Prep’s 8th graders had the highest math MCAS scores in the entire state of
Massachusetts. As Co-Director at Roxbury Prep for six years, Josh brought to Uncommon a track record of results and extensive operational and management experience. He previously served as the Enrichment Coordinator and sixth grade World History teacher at Roxbury Prep. Josh was also a history teacher-intern at the John D. O’Bryant School of Math and Science while earning an EdM in Teaching and Curriculum from Harvard University. He received his B.A. in political science from Colgate University and his M.A. in political science from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Joan Stamler, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Education, Columbia University

Joan Kass Stamler is an independent consultant in the evaluation of educational and social programs and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University. She holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University in Educational Leadership, Policy, and Politics, as well as an M.A. in Developmental Psychology from Teachers College.

She has held senior level positions at Turnaround for Children and the National School Climate Center, leading efforts to develop metrics systems and research-based tools and knowledge to improve program operations in education and outcomes for youth and schools. Prior to her work in the non-profit sector, Joan spent more than twenty years working with research and data in the corporate
world to manage and optimize business units in the music and publishing industries, and holds an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business. Joan is a volunteer tutor with Reading Partners, a non-profit dedicated to developing early literacy in high-need schools, and serves as a member of their Tutor Advisory Committee.

Jamie Elfenbein, Director, Maverick Capital Foundation

Jamie Elfenbein has spent over a decade working to ensure all students have the opportunity to receive an excellent education. Most recently, Jamie was a Senior Program Officer at Robin Hood, a foundation that distributes $130 million annually in the fight against poverty in New York City. At Robin Hood, Jamie managed a portfolio of grants in K-12 education and developed Robin Hood’s first diversity, equity, and inclusiveness training for its family philanthropy team. Jamie began her career with Teach for America, teaching 1st and 4th grade in Houston, Texas. Jamie went on to help found a charter school with YES Prep Public Schools, serving students in grades 6-12. Jamie also worked on Teach for America’s national staff as a Recruitment Director at University of Texas – Austin, and Curriculum Specialist in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Jamie holds a B.A. in Media Studies from University of California, Berkeley and a Masters of Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Innovations in the City

Rachel Haot, Managing Director, 1776

Rachel Haot is a Managing Director at 1776, leading New York City strategy and operations. Prior to this, Rachel was Chief Digital Officer and Deputy Secretary for Technology of New York State from January 2014 to December 2015. Rachel served under former
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg as Chief Digital Officer for the City of New York from 2011 to 2013. Earlier in her career Rachel was founder and CEO of GroundReport, a global news platform, from 2006 to 2010. Rachel is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, founding board member of Tech: NYC and a member of the Partnership for New York City’s Innovation Council.

Amy Nelson, Managing Director, Venture for America

Amy started at Venture for America in 2013, first leading fundraising and now as Managing Director of the organization. Prior to joining VFA, Amy held senior business development roles with high-growth nonprofit organizations, including at B Lab, Cambodian Children’s Fund and Relief International. She co-founded the Middle School Public Debate Program, an organization that teaches young people the critical thinking skills necessary to succeed in college and beyond. She holds a B.A. from Claremont McKenna College and an MBA from NYU Stern.

Thomas Safian, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Refoundry

After earning a Masters in Literature in 1991, Tommy moved to Los Angeles and started picking up furniture out of the garbage,
refurbishing it, and selling it in weekly sales called Avant-Yard. Retailers started purchasing product, and before long he had a factory in South Central, Los Angeles with more than 30 employees. In 1998 Tommy moved back to New York, resettling in Brooklyn, where he opened a retail store, Nova Zembla. Known for its distinctive merchandise and excellent value, the store was featured in many publications, and in 2009 was voted Best Furniture Store in NYC by Citysearch users. In 2015 Tommy co-founded the innovative non-profit Refoundry with Cisco Pinedo. As the organization’s Executive Director, Tommy was has named a NY1 NYer of the Week in November 2015, and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, and Inc., and in videos on Huffington Post, Upworthy and the US Chamber of Commerce’s online magazine Free Enterprise. He was selected by Pricewaterhouse Cooper’s Chief Purpose Officer for a featured interview at the 2016 Social Innovation Summit in Silicon Valley, and is on Advisory Council for the ReEntry Acceleration Program (REAP) at Columbia University’s Tamer Center for Social Enterprise. A native New Yorker, he lives in Brooklyn with his son Jaxon and their dog Chula.

Jimmy Chen, Founder and CEO, Propel

Jimmy Chen is the founder and CEO of Propel. Previously, Jimmy was a Product Manager at Facebook, where he led the Facebook Groups team. He has also worked at LinkedIn, Yahoo, and the World Bank. Through Propel, Jimmy aims to use Silicon Valley's technology playbook to fight poverty by building world class software for low-income Americans. Propel's core product, Fresh EBT, is used by over 230,000 food stamp recipients every month to manage their finances. Jimmy holds a B.S. in Symbolic Systems/Human-Computer Interaction from Stanford University and lives in Brooklyn. 

Empowerment in the Workplace

Jennifer Iannolo, Entrepreneur & Consultant

Jennifer Iannolo is a lifelong entrepreneur whose adventures have been chronicled everywhere from a NY Times bestseller to the international documentary Eat. Cook. Love. Jennifer is a 2-time Harvard keynote, and a featured speaker for the U.S. State Department. In early 2016 she toured Nepal to foster women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship, and speaks at universities around the world. Jennifer is a graduate of the Stern School of Business at NYU, and has studied, lived and worked internationally. She currently resides in New York City.

Responsible Business and ESG

Samantha Hennessey, Regional Manager, Google.org

Samantha works at Google.org where she leads the Community Grants Program for the United States and Canada which focuses on grant-making in the communities of local Google offices in the areas of education, economic opportunity and championing inclusion for diverse groups such as racial minorities and encouraging civic participation. Samantha also leads initiatives on her team to develop pro bono programs where Googlers work on public sector challenges and civic innovation projects, including a pilot with San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation.  In her eight years at Google, Samantha held various roles including Regional Manager for the US East Coast, Canada and Africa on the Global GooglersGive Team, which encourages Googlers to use their skills, talents and resources to make an extraordinary impact on the world through a variety of giving and volunteering programs. In this role, Samantha scaled a program called Global Leadership, a three month skill-based volunteering and leadership development program operating in Ghana, India, Spain, South Africa and the Philippines where Googlers work with nonprofits and entrepreneurs on local development challenges. Samantha also founded the GooglersGive Ambassador Program through which over 150 Googlers across the globe dedicate their 20% time to lead giving and volunteering projects to engage Googlers across the company. Samantha graduated magna cum laude from Yale with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and recently completed the the Executive Program in Social Entrepreneurship at Stanford University. Samantha is a native San Franciscan and now lives in New York City. In her spare time she enjoys exploring the underground art and music scenes of both cities, and global travel that takes her off the beaten path.

Jennifer Gootman, VP of Social Consciousness & Innovation, West Elm

Jennifer Gootman is the Vice President of Social Consciousness and Innovation at West Elm, where she oversees the brand’s commitments around supply chain transparency, artisan sourcing and sustainability. Jennifer also serves as the Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility for West Elm’s parent company, Williams Sonoma, Inc., leading social labor compliance and programming across the company’s eight brands. Prior to West Elm, Jennifer spent more than a decade working with non-profits and social enterprises in New York, Nicaragua and India, connecting artisan businesses with larger markets and identifying innovative ways to link economic development and the arts. Jennifer holds a BA from Harvard College and an MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business, and she is currently a fellow in the Aspen Institute’s First Movers program. She has been invited to present her work at the Aspen Institute, United Nations, Fast Company Innovation Festival, Columbia Business School Social Enterprise Conference and Fair Trade Federation Conference.

Devon Douglas Leahy, Director of Sustainability & Social Innovation, Etsy

Devon has a long history of working in both the environmental and corporate sustainability fields— first with leading NGOs such as the Environmental Defense Fund and the Environmental Law Institute and later in government posts at the Environmental Protection Agency and on Capitol Hill. Prior to joining Etsy, Devon worked in sustainability marketing and on the sustainability strategy team at Walmart, leading product and supply chain initiatives and consumer facing marketing campaigns. She also spent three years heading up the strategy practice at sustainable brand innovation firm, BBMG, where she guided clients like NBCUniversal, eBay, Target and Johnson & Johnson through sustainability strategy challenges. In her current role as Senior Director of Sustainability and Social Innovation at Etsy, Devon leads the creation of environmental and social impact initiatives that leverage Etsy’s business, products and operations to further shared value creation. This includes working towards realizing Etsy’s public commitments to being powered by 100% renewable electricity by 2020, running a carbon neutral marketplace and bringing greater transparency and ethical production practices to the Etsy’s marketplaces. Devon holds an MBA in Strategy and Marketing and an MS in Environmental Policy from the University of Michigan as well as a BA in Environmental Policy, Government and Art History from Colby College.

Social Finance & Impact Investing

Ron Cordes, Founder, Cordes Foundation

Ron D. Cordes has enjoyed 30+ year career in the investment industry. He was a co-founder and CEO of AssetMark, a leading U.S. managed account platform with $30+ billion of AUM, co-authored “The Art of Investing” published by Mc-Graw Hill, and was an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Since co-founding the Cordes Foundation in 2006, Ron has focused on impact investing and social entrepreneurship, and currently serves on the Boards of MicroVest, ImpactAssets, Fair Trade USA and the Center for Social Impact Learning at the Middlebury Institute. His work in this area has been profiled in an array of publications including the New York Times, Barron’s, FastCompany, Forbes and FORTUNE.

Wilson Lin, VP Center for Urban Innovation, NYC Economic Development Corporation

Wilson Lin is currently serves as a Vice President at the Center for Urban Innovation at the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC). At NYCEDC, he leads a team creating initiatives in fintech, impact investing and real estate tech. Prior to NYCEDC, Wilson spent time at Flat World Partners, an impact investing VC and advisory firm, and Tideline, an impact investing consulting firm where he advised KKR, the Ford Foundation and the Environmental Defense Fund. Before impact investing, Wilson was a management consultant at Deloitte and IBM and worked in internal strategy at UBS. He received his MBA from the University of Michigan and BA in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania. 

Jamie Martin, Vice President, Morgan Stanley

Jamie Martin is a Vice President in Morgan Stanley’s Global Sustainable Finance group, helping to deliver the firm’s sustainable and impact investing solutions to institutional and wealth management clients. He is a representative on the Executive Committee of The Green Bond Principles. Jamie started his career at Citigroup, working in the firm’s Global Investment Research division. He graduated from Colgate University with a B.A. and received an M.B.A. after studying at HEC Paris and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

The Intersector Project

Neil Britto, Executive Director, The Intersector Project

Neil has held research, advisory, and teaching roles relevant to government, business, and non-profit sector collaboration. As Executive Director of The Intersector Project, Neil supports organizational strategy, research initiatives, partnership development and leads external engagements with organizations that share an interest in cross-sector collaboration. He is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, a member of The World Economic Forum community as a Global Shaper, Associate Editor of the Praxis Section for the Annual Review of Social Partnerships, and serves as President of the Concordia Public-Private Partnership Index Task Force. Neil previously worked as a Project Coordinator and Senior Research Assistant to the York University Community Finance Project where he coordinated a research team to assess the accessibility of local financial services, developed publicly available self-assessment resources, and outlined a framework for social performance assessment to support impact evaluation. Neil also worked as a Principal Researcher for the Social Investment Organization of Canada where he collected, organized, and analyzed environmental, social, and governance data from asset management firms to evaluate the state of responsible investment in Canada. Neil studied finance and philosophy at York University in Toronto, Canada and graduated with an Honors Bachelor in Administrative Studies and a Certificate in Practical Ethics.

Entrepreneur Showcase

Brandon Parkes, Founder, SocialGive

Brandon is a philanthropic professional with diverse experience in the social sector. Brandon currently serves as the Finance Manager for an international humanitarian organization, Right to Play, and has previously worked in a corporate philanthropic capacity for companies such as Morgan Stanley and Toyota. Through these positions, he has gained experience supporting effective philanthropic strategy that increases social impact, donor retention and external/internal engagement. With experience working in nonprofit management and corporate social responsibility, Brandon has woven making a social impact into his professional career. It is his passion to innovate an engaging tool that can enable everyone to consistently and easily make a difference.

Sara Weinreb, Founder, IMBY

Sara Weinreb is the Founder of IMBYwhere we are obsessed with living intentionally— starting with a lean closet. With a background in supporting hundreds of entrepreneurs in building businesses that make a positive impact, Sara launched IMBY as a frustrated consumer wanting to find a simple      way to shop for a minimal wardrobe comprised of responsibly made clothing. With one foot in the tech scene and other in the ethical fashion space, Sara also consults to social entrepreneurs and small business owners, facilitates design thinking workshops, is co-founder of the Ethical Fashion Retailers Network, and serves as the entrepreneur in residence at AlleyWatch, the pulse of NYC’s startup and tech.

Caitlin Kawaguchi, Regional Program Director, Peacework

Caitlin is the Regional Program Director for Asia & the Pacific at Peacework, a global nonprofit creating cross-sector partnerships for sustainable development. For the last two years, Caitlin has also been co-leading the development of Peacework’s newest initiative, Greenwork, focused on cross-sector projects that accelerate the green economy and drive social impact in low-resource communities. Caitlin is a StartingBloc Fellow and has a B.A. from LIU Global in Global Studies.

Carmen Feliciano, Principal, AMDG

Carmen is a venture advisor and investor focused on emerging markets and frontier technology. Carmen started her career in the Philippines at a mobile payments startup that successfully exited before earning her MBA at Wharton. Carmen has held leadership positions across startups and corporate settings and currently focuses on the Fintech, IoT, and AR/VR sectors.  

Jeremy Kranowitz, Executive Director, Sustainable America

Jeremy Kranowitz is building a national coalition of industry, government, and nonprofit organizations to work together to reduce food loss and waste in the United States. He is the past-president of Sustainable America, a nonprofit organization working to raise consumer awareness and to support entrepreneurs working on sustainable food and fuel issues. Prior to working for Sustainable America, Jeremy worked for 10 years at the Keystone Policy Center as a mediator on some of the nation's toughest energy, environmental and education issues. He also conceived and taught a climate change curriculum for middle school educators, and initiated and led intensive summer mediation and negotiation classes for high school students called the Youth Policy Summit. Jeremy has also worked for several other nonprofit organizations, including the Izaak Walton League and Forest Trends. He started his career at McKinsey & Co. Jeremy has a Masters of Environmental Science and Bachelors in Social Sciences from Johns Hopkins University, and a Masters in Public Administration from New York University.

Swarna Kuruganti, Founder, The Clear Scoop

Swarna has worked with global brands over fifteen years in the areas of consumer products, health, business development and technology. A few years back, she learned through her own health experiences that exposure to harmful chemicals in personal care products can increase health risks. But there are no go-to ‘experts’ to guide on product ingredients-toxicology for unique health needs. A busy, choosy consumer who wants to stay preventive for unique health needs, is left to do their own time-consuming research to confidently buy safe skin/body/hair care products.  Swarna decided to bring her experiences to her passion for health, wellness and the environment as founder of The Clear Scoop. The mission of the business is to help healthcare providers and consumers make quick informed decisions to preventively reduce exposure to harmful chemicals for unique health needs. The Clear Scoop is creating a new knowledge category using information from the best product, health research studies, databases to curate non-toxic skin/body care products that can be suitable for health conditions.

Maria Yuan, Founder and CEO, IssueVoter

Maria Yuan is the Founder of IssueVoter, a non-partisan platform that helps users make their voice heard in Washington and track how elected officials vote – holding politicians accountable and informing decisions at election time. IssueVoter's mission is to give everyone a voice in our democracy by making civic engagement accessible, impactful, & efficient.   IssueVoter launched November 9 – answering the question, “The election is over, now what?” for thousands of Americans – and has been featured in Forbes, Fast Company, MTV, & more.  Maria’s professional experience spans politics and campaigns, recruiting, social enterprise, investment banking, strategy, and corporate development. Maria has consulted to companies, social enterprises, and nonprofits, including San Francisco Conservation Corps, PlaNet Finance, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Urban Outfitters. She has served on the boards of Gibney Dance and The University of Texas Co-Op, and was a founding member of Friends of the Children NY’s Young Professionals Board. Maria earned an MBA from The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania and a BBA from The University of Texas at Austin.

Executive Panel on Inclusive Growth

Brendan Martin, Executive Director, The Working World

Brendan Martin is founder and director of The Working World, a cooperative financial institution and business incubator based in Argentina, Nicaragua and the United States. Brendan moved to Argentina in 2004 to work with Argentines looking to support  the “recovered factory” phenomenon, and out of this was born The Working World financial institution and its methods of non-extractive finance and just-in-time credit. In the United States, The Working World has funded hundreds of coops, including New Era Windows. Brendan is a 2009 Ashoka fellow, two-time Ashoka Globalizer, nominated Prime Mover, and frequent speaker on the solidarity and cooperative economy.

Maria Cavalcanti, CEO, Pro Mujer

Maria Cavalcanti is President and CEO of Pro Mujer, a leading women’s development organization that delivers vital services to low-income women in Latin America.  Ms. Cavalcanti joined ProMujer in 2016, bringing over 25 years of experience working with a wide range of business and non-profit organizations across Latin America, the United States, Europe, and India.  Prior to joining Pro Mujer, Ms. Cavalcanti served as Co-Founded and Managing Partner at FIRST Impact Investing.  Ms. Cavalcanti has gained recognition as a leading speaker on impact investing and financial inclusion in Latin America.  She has anchored multiple trade and academic articles, and has served on international boards, including Aspen Network of Development Entrepeneurs, PYME Capital Fund, and FUNDES.  Ms. Cavalcanti holds an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, a Master of Science from Columbia University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Universidade Federal do Ceará in Brazil

Umber Bawa, Founder & CEO, Rabble

Umber Bawa is the Founder & CEO of rabble, a groundbreaking crowd investment platform that uses new regulations to connect people to projects that strengthen communities. Prior to rabble, Umber led project finance and strategic initiatives at Spirae, a Colorado-based cleantech firm. There, he oversaw the creation of financial models for renewable based microgrid and smart city projects, and led smart city initiatives in North America and Europe. He has served on the New York REV Market & Technology Design Working Groups and participated in the Maryland Microgrid Resiliency Task Force. Prior to his time at Spirae, Umber focused on international trade and development issues at the Center for Strategic & International Studies, a think tank based in Washington, DC. Umber is a graduate of The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

Michelle Miller, Co-Founder, CoWorker.org

Michelle Miller is the co-founder of Coworker.org, a digital platform for worker voice. Since its founding in 2013, Coworker.org has catalyzed the growth of global, independent employee networks advancing wins like paid parental leave benefits at Netflix, scheduling reform at Starbucks and raising wages at REI, among many others. Michelle’s early work developing Coworker.org was supported by a 2012 Practitioner Fellowship at Georgetown University’s Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor. She is also a 2014 Echoing Green Global Fellow and a 2015 JM Kaplan Innovation Fellow. In 2015, Michelle was proud to join President Barack Obama as co-moderator of the first ever Town Hall on Worker Voice, bringing the voices and concerns of workers directly to the White House.

Diversity in the Job Hunt

Abe Taleb, CEO, ReWork

Abe co-founded ReWork to put the best talent to work on the world's biggest issues.  In the past four years, he has overseen over 300 searches and interviewed over 2,000 people. He realized his knack for recruiting when he was tasked with Collegiate Recruiting for an internet company; it helped that this recruiting took place at his alma mater, R.I.T. He loves working with talent. When he is not on the phone with clients or candidates, you can find him on the soccer field or home with his wife Jane and their cat Beets.

10 Minutes to Change the World

Felicity Conrad, Founder and CEO, Paladin

Felicity is the Co-Founder and CEO of Paladin, a pro bono platform that uses technology to connect lawyers with people in need. Originally from Vancouver Island, Canada, she studied at McGill University, Sciences Po Paris and NYU Law. She has performed human rights related work in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Haiti and China and worked at the United Nations on International Criminal Court issues before practicing international law at Skadden in New York. She started Paladin after winning political asylum for a pro bono client and his family, and envisioning the immense good that could be done if it was easier for professionals to give back.

Rob Acton, Principal & Founder, Cause Strategy Partners

Cause Strategy Partners, LLC is a purpose-driven social enterprise that believes in harnessing the power of business for social good. We are proud to be a Certified B Corporation.  BoardLead is our signature board recruitment, placement, training and support program.  In 2016, Cause Strategy Partners was named an inaugural honoree of the Best for NYC Award for demonstrated commitment to our workers, environment, and community.

Xavier Michon, Deputy Executive Secretary, United Nations Capital Development Fund

Xavier Michon was appointed as Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) in October 2014. As part of his duties, he plays a critical role in providing leadership and shaping the strategic vision and direction of the organization. He provides direct oversight to the development of the programme of work and plays an active role in the implementation of UNCDF’s capital development mandate and management of the organization. He has had a long career at UNDP, previously serving as in Burundi and Guatemala as Country Director, in Peru as Deputy Resident Representative, and in the New York headquarters with the Regional Bureaus for Latin America and the Caribbean, and Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, as Programme Advisor.  Prior to joining UNDP, he served as Project Management Officer in the Africa and Environmental Programmes Divisions, at the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).  He also worked as Financial Derivatives Broker at Crédit Lyonnais Securities / Iberagentes in Spain, and as Officer-in-charge of the French-Dominican Chamber of Commerce in the Dominican Republic. 

Ahmen, Hip Hop Artist & Nonprofit Leader

Impactful. Intriguing. Innovative. Inspiring. Few musicians are defined by such a wide variety of positive adjectives. Known as the Batman of Social Impact - as a nonprofit leader by day and hip-hop artist by night - Ahmen has earned such high accolades for his work within the worlds of entertainment and social activism. Ahmen’s #Troublemaker message of disrupting the system is connecting with audiences from around the world, as evidenced by performances and talks at conferences such as New Frontiers, INBOUND, and Frank and features in ESPN, Fast Company, the Huffington Post, and HipHopDX. As a result, Ahmen was named as a "40 Under 40 Rising Star” by New York Nonprofit Media.