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MotivBase Fireside Chat Series
Exploring the role of anthropology in business and innovation.
Over the past 5+ years, MotivBase has seen the power of anthropology and how it can serve business leaders in predicting where culture is going and what will be more relevant to their consumers in the short and long term.
In this series of conversations with some of the biggest and brightest business minds, our CEO and Cultural Anthropologist Ujwal Arkalgud will be talking about how anthropology is critical at decoding the implicit meanings that get assigned to cultural topics, ideas, issues, and trends. In each session, Ujwal and a guest speaker will unearth and showcase the value of anthropological thinking in driving innovation in an environment that is culturally becoming increasingly fragmented and complex.
SPEAKERS & GUESTS
Chairman of the US Editorial Board and America Editor-at-Large at the Financial Times
Gillian has a PhD in Social Anthropology and is the chairman of the US Editorial Board and America Editor-at-Large at the Financial Times. She is a New York time’s Best-Selling Author, with an unparalleled track record at predicting important trends that impact the world.
Gillian is about to publish a new book, Anthro-Vision: A New Way to See in Business and Life (June 2021). Gillian offers a look at how businesses can revolutionize their understanding of human behavior by studying consumers and organizations through an anthropological lens.
CEO and Co-Founder Rent the Runway
Jennifer is the co-founder and chief executive of Rent the Runway , a fashion company with a technology soul that is disrupting the way women get dressed.
With recognitions like the “TIME 100” most influential people in the world, Forbes “12 Most Disruptive Names in Business”, Fortune’s “Most Powerful Female Entrepreneurs”, “Trailblazers”, “40 under 40”, Fast Company’s “Most Creative People in Business” and the Tribeca Film Festival’s “Disruptive Innovation” award.
Under her leadership, Rent the Runway has been named to CNBC’s “Disruptor 50” and Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies list multiple times. Hyman also serves on the Board of Directors of The Estée Lauder Companies, on the Women.nyc Advisory Board and is a Founding Member of the NYSE Board Advisory Council which champions increased board diversity. She received her BA from Harvard University cum laude and MBA from Harvard Business School and lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughters Aurora and Selene.
Research Fellow, Mozilla
Amber studies the interaction between humans and computers and how technology is changing everyday life. She is currently a 2021 Mozilla Fellow working on the future of money, alternative business models for the web and creator compensation.
In addition to her TED Talks, Amber was named one of Inc. Magazine’s 30 under 30 and Fast Company’s Most Influential Women in Technology, she was named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer in 2012 and received the Claude Shannon Innovation Award from Bell Labs.
She was the co-founder and CEO of Geoloqi, a location-based software company acquired by Esri and is an internationally recognized design advocate and speaker, and the author of four books, including Calm Technology and A Kids Book About Technology.
Former head of the Latin Kings
Antonio Fernandez, also known as King Tone, is the former head the Latin Kings. In 1997, a few months after his appointment as leader of the Latin gang, The New York Times posed the question whether Fernandez was a "Man of Vision or of Violence." They concluded he was the former, a man with the self-assigned mission of transforming the Latin Kings from an organized crime syndicate to a political movement, fighting for social justice on behalf of suppressed Latin American communities.
Having been sentenced to 12-15 years for selling narcotics, Fernandez has gone on to share his insights as a former gang leader and political activist, and how the lessons he’s learned relates to the "legitimate world".
He is the main figure in the HBO documentary, Latin Kings: A Street Gang story, which was released in 2007 and is featured in the book, The Misfit Economy, by Alexa Clay
Co-Founder of Sloomoo Institute
Karen Robinovitz is the Co-Founder of Sloomoo Institute, an immersive experience centered around slime, ASMR, art and play, in SoHo, NYC. Open since October of 2019, Sloomoo fosters joy, inclusion and imagination with a percent of proceeds benefiting mental health charities.
Previously, Karen co-founded Digital Brand Architects, the first talent management agency dedicated to social media influencers. She is considered a pioneer in the digital space, having created the influencer movement.
She was the Co-CEO of DBA for seven years and shepherded the agency’s global expansion. A content oriented thinker, Karen spent a decade as a journalist - WWD, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Marie Claire, the NYT, Glamour, In Style, New York Magazine, and more. Her company Sloomoo has been featured in the WSJ, Forbes, Vogue, Refinery 29 and more.
Founder & President of Brenne Whiskey
Allison Parc had a professional dance career, performing in national ballet companies. But after retiring her pointe shoes at age 23, Allison was introduced to a third-generation cognac producer distilling a single malt at his family-owned farm distillery in Cognac, France.
Upon tasting the whisky, Allison knew the spirit was special, handing over her own savings to form a partnership.
Embodying the spirit of thinking differently, Allison became the founder and president of Brenne French Single Malt Whisky and is now recognized as one of the leading American entrepreneurs in the world-whisky segment.
In 2017 and 2018, Allison was named World Whisky Brand Ambassador of the Year by Whisky Magazine’s Icons of Whisky, USA, becoming the first woman to receive the award. Additionally, Brenne received two World Whiskies awards in 2016 and 2017, furthering the global recognition of this new taste experience within the single malt category.
Co-Founder & CEO of Atolla
Meg is the co-founder and CEO of Atolla, a personalized skincare company that assesses the unique needs of each person and pairs them with a made-for-you serum.
Like many founders, Meg was led to create Atolla through her own personal struggle to find the right mix of products to support her skin's health.
"Throughout my life I’ve dealt with tricky, sensitive skin, leading to endless research to find what works for me. This led me to writing my grad thesis on the skincare industry and how factors like environment, race, and lifestyle all affect the way our skin changes — so how could any of us possibly find the perfect product in the aisles of a drugstore?"
That’s how she got the idea for Atolla: a skincare system that does the heavy lifting of picking out the ideal ingredients and routine, so the consumer doesn’t have to. Atolla has already helped thousands of people manage their skin in a short period of time and is truly revolutionizing the skincare industry to be more effective, accessible, and sustainable.
Founder Malachite Strategy & Research
With almost 20 years of experience leading innovation and strategy at General Mills and Amazon, Kevin has a diverse perspective on the modern food and retail industry. Together with advanced degrees in food science and food anthropology, Kevin’s approach to innovation is uniquely attuned to culture.
He is an expert in the Front End of Innovation, specializing in deep ethnography, strategic mapping, consumer Jobs development, UX design and the facilitation of ideations.
He sits on the speed-dial list of some of the foremost technologists and corporate innovators in the retail and consumer packaged good industries.
Founder, hello products
Chief Innovation Strategist, Colgate
Craig is the friendly founder of hello products, the world’s first naturally friendly™ personal care brand, and Chief Innovation Strategist of Colgate.
hello was named by Inc Magazine as one of the Best Places to Work, as well as to their Most Audacious list as “One of the 25 Companies That Are Changing the World.” In addition, Dubitsky himself was named to the Advertising Age Creativity 50, the publication’s annual list of the most influential and innovative creative thinkers and doers, and by The Internationalist as one of the 100 Most Inspirational Marketers in the World.
Prior to hello, Craig was co-founder and creative lead at eos products, founding board member at Method Products, and a strategic advisor to Seventh Generation, Boots, and to various Private Equity funds. Before making the move to entrepreneurial branded ventures, Craig was the London Metals Exchange Specialist at Citigroup, where he traded base metals and base metals derivatives.
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