Meet the Students!

Alexandra Ruiz

New York City, NY, United States

Alexandra Ruiz is the founder of the nonprofit organization Immigrant Advancement Matters (I.A.M.). Currently, I.A.M. serves the immigrant community in Queens, NY by offering ESL classes, conversation practices, and personal advancement workshops. Alexandra also serves as Executive Director of Business Development & Strategy at the New York City government agency Small Business Services supporting strategic initiatives reaching over 20,000 small businesses. In 2015, she completed her Masters in American History where she focused on studying the history of inequality in the U.S. She has 8+ years of experience in government, nonprofit management and media.




Angela Luna

Brooklyn, NY, United States

Angela Luna is the Founder and CEO of ADIFF, a humanitarian clothing startup that uses design intervention to assist globally displaced persons. She is a member of the Forbes 30 Under 30 Class of 2017, winner of Parsons’ 2016 Designer of the Year Award, and winner of the Eyes on Talents Innovation Award. Based in New York, she is a solution-based designer who is committed to creating products and services that better the world.





Arielle Sandor

Nairobi, Kenya

Arielle Sandor is an entrepreneur, a creator, and expert in recruiting amazing teams in chaotic job markets. Arielle is the founder and CEO of Duma Works, the human-centered, technology driven recruiting platform that is transforming how growing companies in emerging markets hire and manage top talent. Arielle founded Duma Works based on the core principle that if companies and candidates can connect more effectively, businesses will grow faster, employment levels will increase, and economies will develop more sustainably. Arielle graduated Princeton University in 2012 with a BA. in East Asian History and Chinese Language and then moved to Kenya to launch the company. Arielle is an Unreasonable Fellow, member of the Kairos Society, and guest lectures in social entrepreneurship at Princeton University. When not working on Duma Works, Arielle enjoys writing books, painting, sketching charcoal portraits, and learning new languages.


Fatu Wurie

Oxford, United Kingdom

Fatou Wurie is at the Blavatnik School of Government as an African Governance Initiative (AGI) scholar. Fatou is founder of The Survivor Dream Project, a local nonprofit organization that offers holistic support to women and youth survivors of trauma in Sierra Leone and has worked for the UN Mission for Emergency Ebola Response, UNICEF, Options UK as advocacy and communications advisor. Wurie is an Abshire-Inamori Leadership Academy (AILA) International Fellow and a contributor at the Huffington post often discussing women’s sexual reproductive rights to healthcare.




Juan Barbed

Bilbao, Spain

Ever since I can remember, I imagined myself suit up and working in the stock market. After a couple of years working in Investment Banking I realized my true passion was serving others. How? Leveraging the power of finance to give opportunity to those that don´t have it. This is why I joined KIVA in 2012, supporting our strategy in different continents and pushing the boundaries of our model, currently in Southeast Asia region.




Linzi Hawkin

Jersey, Channel Islands, United Kingdom

I’m passionate about building brands with purpose – and for me that means helping others find a way to balance profit, people & planet in their business through Hello Glow and doing it myself with SUPKids. I’ve experienced the highs and lows of entrepreneurship – from teaching kids to surf to running music festivals. I’ve achieved some pretty awesome stuff and had one spectacular failure. My experiences as a self-taught entrepreneur have defined & honed my skills as a brand strategist. Building & growing businesses from scratch has enabled me to develop my creative marketing expertise & given me a practical, solution based work ethic. Every business has a story to tell. I blend business smarts with creativity to craft innovative & engaging brands.



Matan Berkowitz

Tel Aviv, Israel

Matan Berkowitz
Interdisciplinary artist and entrepreneur, Forbes Under 30.

Matan lives in the nexus of art, technology and positive impact. His inventions translate physical signals from the human body into music, turn everyday objects into instruments and have won awards in 5 countries. In 2015 Matan pioneered a prototyping framework dedicated entirely to music technology for people with disabilities, developing devices that enable paralyzed, blind, amputated and autistic musicians to express themselves in new ways. Matan regularly speaks and performs worldwide and has appeared on stages such as TEDx, Google Day, Microsoft Think Next, Forbes Under 30 Summit, Re:Publica and Music Tech Fest. His presentations often combine live demos of his inventions, and his unique interactive art installations have been exhibited in museums, galleries and events. As the founder of Shift, a company which specializes in impact-driven innovation, Matan works with international organizations on forward thinking projects – from developing rehabilitation technology with a major hospital to serving as the Creative Director for the Affordable Housing Team at XPrize Visioneers.


Tia Kansara

London, United Kingdom

Dr Tia Kansara is an award-winning entrepreneur. She is the founder and director of Replenish Earth Ltd., Thousand Network Ltd. and Kansara Hackney Ltd. (KH), a partnership with Dr Rod Hackney (Past President: Royal Institute of British Architects and Union of International Architects). KH are the first ISO certified sustainable lifestyle consultancy in the UK, leading specialists in sustainable design and implementation for the future generation of private and commercial clients.




Lillian Kline

Melbourne, Australia

Lillian is a passionate social justice warrior, facilitator, mentor and mother of four. She was the inaugural Director of the Pathways to Politics Program for Women at Melbourne University and currently works with Small Giants, an organisation that creates, supports, and empowers businesses that have a positive impact on the world. She was the former Development Director at Stand Up, a Jewish social justice organisation. Over the last 15 years Lillian has held roles in private legal practice, government and the arts. She has consulted widely in the areas of development and strategy within the for purpose sector. Lillian has Bachelor Degrees in law and business management as well as a Masters in Human Rights Law, from Monash University.




Ralph Lin

891866727-IMG_4051 Washington, DC

Ralph Lin has been working in software and robotics for over 15 years, over the course of which, he has managed teams for startups, Fortune 500 corporations, government agencies, and universities. Leading projects on robotic surgical systems, electronic intrusion detection systems, advanced prostheses, and brain-computer interfaces, Ralph has expertise in hardware, software, sensors, and data science. As we move towards a more connected world, he is intrigued by the opportunity for technology to address challenges faced in the developing world and is excited to be working at the interface of technology and society, which is really developed now a days since people use computers for work and gaming, with the best affordable mechanical keyboard and other hardware.




Mónica Feliú-Mójer

San Francisco, CA, United States

Mónica grew up in rural Puerto Rico, surrounded by nature, catching lizards and with a cow in her backyard, which sparked her interest in all things biology. A PhD scientist-turned-communicator, she uses online technologies, storytelling, and culture to make science and scientists accessible to all. Her work focuses on empowering individuals from underrepresented communities, particularly Latinxs, through bilingual science outreach, communication, education and mentoring. Mónica is the vice-director of Ciencia Puerto Rico, a non-profit organization using social networks to improve public understanding of science, transform K-12 science education and support the career development of young scientists. She is also the Outreach Manager for iBiology, a non-profit organization that produces and distributes free online videos about research, the process of science and professional development featuring the world’s leading biologists. You can find Mónica on Twitter @moefeliu.


Max Oliva

Madrid, Spain

Max Oliva
Co-Founder TEAMLABS/, Impact Hub Network & Impact Hub Madrid

Max is our most passionate international entrepreneur. He started his first entrepreneurial adventure more than 15 years ago, connecting youth from across the world with Nobel peace prize laureates, scientists, social entrepreneurs and more than 200 Heads of State in order to find solutions to the global challenges of the XXI Century. Since then, his passion for exploring and engaging in glocal projects has taken him from learning journeys to Antarctica, together with young entrepreneurs and scientists in order to experience first hand and fight climate change; to co-founding five social enterprises, amongst them the largest high impact entrepreneurship network in the world, Impact Hub. Born in Mexico, Max has lived in four countries and has traveled to more than 60, having developed projects, delivered classes, conferences and workshops in more than 20 countries with organizations such as Stanford, Unreasonable Institute, Mondragon Team Academy, Aiesec, KaosPilot, St. Gallen University, among others. Max is professor at IE Business School and has postgraduate degrees from Stanford GSB, IE Business School, TiimiAkatemia and is an engineer by Tec de Monterrey.


Matthew Marshall

San Francisco, CA, United States

Matthew Marshall is Co-Founder and Head of Product at New Story, a nonprofit that builds safe homes and transforms slums into thriving communities. Matthew was born and raised in Eatonton, GA and graduated from the University of Georgia. He currently resides in San Francisco.





Shawn Shafner

Brooklyn, NY, United States

Shawn Shafner is an artist, educator and activist. Creator of The People’s Own Organic Power Project (, he has catalyzed conversation about sustainable sanitation from the top of NYC’s largest wastewater treatment plant to the floor of the United Nations. Major works include: An Inconvenient Poop (Time Out NY Critic’s Pick, New York International Fringe Festival Award for Overall Excellence in Solo Performance); Eat $h*t (“the most important show in the 2012 Edinburgh International Fringe Festival…ahead of its time,” The Scotsman), Flush: The Documentary due to premiere in 2017, family musical Innie / Outie and ongoing monthly episodes of SHHH: The Poopcast (aka Sh*t and Shame with Shawn). Community-based projects include The Clap (with Laura Silver), a tashlich art walk for Elastic City (with Amichai Lau-Lavie, featured in their forthcoming book), and Latch/Attach for the World Policy Institute, Fourth Arts Block and Cooper Union. Shawn was a 2014-15 LABA Fellow, 2014-15 iLAND resident in collaboration with LMCC, and is a member of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman’s ROI Community.




Mohammed Modarres

Portland, OR, United States

Mohammad Modarres, MSc, is the founder of Interfaith Ventures, a social enterprise that is promoting interfaith dialogue and unity through Shabbat Salaam! interfaith dinners and the production of the first products that are both Halal and Kosher. Prior to his interests in tackling the rise of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, Mohammad co-founded Mount Tam Biotechnologies and conducted research at the intersection of climate change and public health with CARE International. Mohammad studied public health at Johns Hopkins University and Development Practice at Trinity College Dublin as a George Mitchell National Scholar. As a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, he analyzed the work of social entrepreneurs from around the world with Ashoka: Innovators for the Public and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.



Asher Landes

New York City, NY, United States

Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, I am a trained chef turned urban farmer and rooftop beekeeper. As cofounder of Empress Green Inc, I runs the day to day farming and apiary operations at our flagship site on Staten Island. When I’m not in the field, I can be found chatting with chefs, meeting the locals at the pub or cooking beautiful food for friends and family!




Julia Melo

São Paulo, Brazil

Julia is from Belo Horizonte, Brazil and moved to São Paulo in 2014 to co-found Amani Institute in Brazil. She holds a certificate in Social Innovation Management and did her undergraduate studies in Communication. With extensive experience with international peace building, Julia has been promoting youth exchange programs for the last 16 years. Also, she has a solid background in education with experiences that range from training teachers in rural schools in the Amazon to building curriculum and delivering classes for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship programs. Today Julia`s passion and focus is on inspiring people in their search for purpose and on building a career meaning and impact.