ROBERT S. LYND PROFESSOR OF SOCIOLOGY
DEPARTMENT OF SOCIOLOGY AND COMMITTEE ON GLOBAL THOUGHT
Saskia Sassen is the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University and a Member of its Committee on Global Thought, which she chaired until 2015. She is a student of cities, immigration, and states in the world economy, with inequality, gendering, and digitization as three key variables running through her work. Born in the Netherlands, she grew up in Argentina and Italy, studied in France, was raised in five languages, and began her professional life in the United States. She is the author of eight books and the editor or co-editor of three books. Together, her authored books are translated into over twenty languages. She has received many awards and honors, among them multiple doctor honoris causa, the 2013 Principe de Asturias Prize in the Social Sciences, election to the Royal Academy of the Sciences of the Netherlands, and was made a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres by the French government.
PROFESSOR, SCHOOL OF DESIGN
DIRECTOR, TRANSITION DESIGN INSTITUTE
CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY
Terry Irwin is the head of the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University and has been teaching at the university level since 1986. She has been an adjunct professor at Otis Parsons, in Los Angeles; California College of the Arts, in San Francisco; and the University of Dundee, in Scotland. She has also guest taught and lectured widely in North America and Europe. Irwin was a founding partner of the San Francisco office of the international design firm MetaDesign, where she served as creative director from 1992 to 2001. In 2003 Irwin moved to Devon, England, to earn a master’s degree in holistic science at Schumacher College, an international center for ecological studies, and joined the faculty there in 2004. In 2007 she moved to Scotland to undertake PhD studies at the Centre for the Study of Natural Design at the University of Dundee, Scotland. Irwin’s research explores how living systems principles can inform a more appropriate and responsible way to design. Irwin holds an MFA in design from the Allgemeine Kunstgewerbeschule in Basel, Switzerland.
BOARD MEMBER; MANAGING PARTNER
SWARMS - COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE APPLIED™
Charles applies a theoretical understanding of science and philosophy to a practical knowledge of what makes people tick—all to solve the increasingly complex problems that organizations face in producing and sustaining meaningful innovations. He is jargon-averse, never dogmatic, and relishes provoking people to develop a less-fragmentary worldview—which he believes kickstarts creativity, collaboration, and, most importantly, optimism.
Charles has over 15 years of experience in the field of innovation. He began as a planner in the advanced concepts team at Steelcase before moving to Motorola as its Latin America Consumer Experience Manager. He also served as director of innovation at What If consultancy, working on global projects for a variety of multinational companies across a range of sectors. He holds a Ph.D. from the Illinois Institute of Technology, where he studied artificial intelligence in design, complexity theory, and genetic algorithms. He also holds a master’s degree in production engineering from UFSC/Brazil and a bachelor’s degree in industrial design from UFPE/Brazil. He has lectured on the design sciences at the University of Otago in New Zealand and has authored three books, The Humble Designer, The Innovation Machine, and The Holographic Innovation. He is a member of the Design Management Institute’s Advisory Council.
When not transforming large organizations, Charles plays the striker position in a weekly soccer match and enjoys making Brazilian barbecue and caipirinhas for friends. He lives in São Paulo with his wife and son.