Sponsors & Partners
The Barbara Bush Foundation is the nation’s leading advocate for family literacy. Founded by former First Lady Barbara Bush, the mission of the Foundation is to advocate for and establish literacy as a value in every home.
The goals of the Foundation are simple: We want children to start school ready to excel and help parents improve their literacy skills. Mrs. Bush’s guiding belief was simple – if you helped a person learn to read, their opportunities in life were endless.
To learn more about the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy’s commitment to promote family literacy in homes across America, please visit www.BarbaraBush.org.
COSIA (Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance) is an alliance of 13 oil sands producers, representing 90 percent of production from the Canadian oil sands. Our vision is to enable responsible and sustainable development of Canada’s oil sands as a global energy source while delivering accelerated improvement in environmental performance through collaborative action and innovation in the areas of greenhouse gases, land, tailings and water. Since COSIA’s inception in 2012, our member companies have shared 814 distinct technologies and innovations that cost almost $1.3 billion to develop. For more information, please visit www.cosia.ca.
Deloitte Consulting LLP helps organizations grow their businesses and enhance value by identifying actionable insights. Over 31,000 practitioners provide a broad range of capabilities across human capital, strategy & operations and technology that are aligned to the particular needs of specific sectors, businesses and organizations. Deloitte provides clients with leading business insights that can help generate a tangible and measurable impact. For more information, click here.
Betsy and Dick DeVos are, respectively, chairman and president of the Windquest Group, an enterprise and investment management firm based in Michigan with diversified projects in technology, manufacturing, clean technology, and nonprofit solutions. Betsy is a national leader of school choice education reform. She was a presidential appointee to the board of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and currently serves as a member of a number of local and national boards, including the American Federation for Children, ArtPrize, Kids Hope USA and the Foundation for Excellence in Education. Dick is the former president of Amway Corporation and the NBA’s Orlando Magic. In addition to business roles, he is an active leader in a wide range of initiatives in his local community of West Michigan, including Grand Action Foundation and West Michigan Aviation Academy. Dick and Betsy have been married for over 30 years and have seven children and two granddaughters. The Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation serves as a catalyst for partner organizations that position communities for growth and viability.
Founded in 1993, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation (DGLF) has helped advance the literacy skills of over 6 million individuals and donated more than $100 million to nonprofit, library and school-based literacy programs. The Foundation’s funding focuses on helping programs deliver quality literacy instruction and increasing access to literacy services. The DGLF believes learning to read is an investment that opens doorways for personal, professional and economic success. It is a gift that no one can take away – a gift that lasts a lifetime.
Econet Wireless is a diversified telecommunications group with operations and investments in Africa, Europe, North America, Latin America and the Asia Pacific.
Google's innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major global markets. Google's targeted advertising program provides businesses of all sizes with measurable results, while enhancing the overall web experience for users. Google is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more information, visit the Google website.
Scott Hassan created Suitable Technologies with the goal of redefining presence, by giving people the power to choose when and where to be present, regardless of geographic location. Prior to Suitable, Scott founded Willow Garage, combining his belief in open source technology and his passion for bringing robotics into everyday life. Scott has been a driving force behind some of the most influential Internet companies and projects. He was the founder of eGroups (now Yahoo! Groups) and was the key software architect and developer of Google, Alexa Internet and the Stanford Digital Library. Scott invests in start-ups that aim to make fundamental quality of life improvements for citizens around the world.
HeroX exists at the intersection of crowdsourcing, competition and collaboration, using each to drive positive change. HeroX is a platform where you can support a cause you believe in, help fund a prize, or post challenges to inspire others. We offer the tools to help spark brilliant new solutions and we spread the word to people passionate about change. For more information, visit HeroX.com.
Watson represents a new era in computing called cognitive computing, where systems understand the world the way humans do: through senses, learning, and experience. Watson continuously learns, gaining in value and knowledge over time, from previous interactions. With the help of Watson, organizations are leveraging cognitive computing to transform industries, help professionals do their jobs better, and solve important challenges.
To advance Watson, IBM has three dedicated business units: Watson, established for the development of cloud-delivered cognitive computing technologies that represent the commercialization of "artificial intelligence" or "AI" across a variety of industries; Watson Health, dedicated to improving the ability of doctors, researchers and insurers and other related health organizations to surface new insights from datato deliver personalized healthcare; and Watson IoT, focused on making sense of data embedded in more than 9 billion connected devices operating in the world today, which generate 2.5 quintillion bytes of new data daily.
Richard Merkin, has been the CEO and founder of the Heritage Group since 1979. Under his stewardship, the Heritage Group has become the largest, physician-owned and operated integrated delivery system in the United States with over 50 related healthcare companies. Dr. Merkin serves on the Board of the California Institute of Technology and the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. He has established the Richard Merkin Foundation for Stem Cell Research at the Broad Institute at Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Richard Merkin Initiative at the Johns Hopkins Brain Sciences Institute, and the Richard Merkin Foundation for Neural Regeneration at UCLA.
Elon is the CEO & Chief Technology Officer of Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) which is developing a family of launch vehicles intended to reduce the cost and increase the reliability of access to space ultimately by a factor of ten. The company officially began operations in June 2002 and is located in the heart of the aerospace industry in Southern California.
SpaceX is the third company founded by Mr. Musk. Prior to SpaceX, he co-founded PayPal, the world's leading electronic payment system, and served as the company's chairman and CEO. PayPal has over twenty million customers in 38 countries, processes several billion dollars per year and went public on the NASDAQ under PYPL in early 2002. Mr. Musk was the largest shareholder of PayPal until the company was acquired by eBay for $1.5 billion in October 2002.
Before PayPal, Mr. Musk co-founded Zip2 Corporation in 1995, a leading provider of enterprise software and services to the media industry, with investments from The New York Times Company, Knight-Ridder, MDV, Softbank and the Hearst Corporation. He served as Chairman, CEO and Chief Technology Officer and in March 1999 sold Zip2 to Compaq for $307 million in an all cash transaction.
Mr. Musk's early experience extends across a spectrum of advanced technology industries, from high energy density ultra-capacitors at Pinnacle Research to software development at Rocket Science and Microsoft. He has a physics degree from the University of Pennsylvania, a business degree from Wharton and originally came out to California to pursue graduate studies in high energy density capacitor physics & materials science at Stanford.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a science-based federal agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce with regulatory, operational, and information service responsibilities with a presence in every state and our territories. NOAA’s mission is to protect life and property and conserve and protect natural resources.
NRG is leading customer-driven change in the U.S. energy industry by delivering cleaner and smarter energy choices, while building on the strength of the nation’s largest and most diverse competitive power portfolio. A Fortune 200 company, we create value through reliable and efficient conventional generation while driving innovation in solar and renewable power, electric vehicle ecosystems, carbon capture technology and customer-centric energy solutions. Our retail electricity providers serve almost 3 million residential and commercial customers throughout the country. More information is available at www.nrg.com. Connect with NRG Energy on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @nrgenergy and @NRGMedia.
Nokia is a global leader in mobile communications whose products have become an integral part of the lives of people around the world. Every day, more than 1.3 billion people use their Nokia to capture and share experiences, access information, find their way or simply to speak to one another. Nokia's technological and design innovations have made its brand one of the most recognized in the world. For more information, visit the Nokia website.
Established in 2010 by Qualcomm Incorporated, the Qualcomm Foundation is dedicated to developing and strengthening communities worldwide. Specifically, the Qualcomm Foundation focuses it philanthropic efforts on helping create and sustain educated, healthy, culturally vibrant communities in regions around the globe. As sponsor of the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE competition, the Qualcomm Foundation is proud to support the discovery of innovative mobile solutions that will contribute to the advancement of healthcare and diagnostics. For more information about the Qualcomm Foundation and Qualcomm Incorporated’s global social responsibility programs, visit the Qualcomm website.
John Raymonds is currently the Manager, CIO of Raymonds Capital, LLC. His original background is in the rigid plastic packaging industry leading the successful growth of two private businesses - one domestic to the US and one in Europe. In addition to the legacy of core operating business units there is always a search for specific and unique direct investment opportunities. Recent work includes being the lead investor bringing back the Reading Rainbow brand at RRKidz.com as well as a founding partner at Bron Studios in Vancouver, BC. John served on the Board of Trustees for an NAIS school for 8 years and in his personal life self-development is always a point of focus. Mr. Raymonds believes in living a balanced life, focusing on family and friends, and where appropriate helping them to grow their own lives.
For over 30 years, Tony Robbins’ passion has been helping people break through and take their lives to new levels — no matter how successful they already are — in the areas that matter most: their businesses, personal finance, intimate relationships, families, careers and health.
Tony has received honors from the United Nations, Forbes, Accenture, American Express and Harvard Business School. As a peak performance strategist, Tony has helped over 50 million people from more than 100 countries transform their lives through his live events, books, audio programs, health products and personal coaching. What began as Tony's individual effort to feed families in need has grown into the nonprofit Anthony Robbins Foundation, which provides assistance to underserved youth, low-income families, senior citizens and the homeless. The foundation's International Basket Brigade provides baskets of food and household items for an estimated two million people annually in countries all over the world.
Shell has been a technology pioneer for more than 100 years, and has come up with many industry-transforming “firsts” to deliver energy its customers and partners need. Since 2007, Shell has spent more than $1 billion annually on research and development. In 2014, our research and development expenditures were $1.2 billion. Shell’s technical and engineering staff amount to more than 43,000.
Shell companies have operations in more than 70 countries and territories with businesses including oil and gas exploration and production; production and marketing of liquefied natural gas and gas to liquids; manufacturing, marketing and shipping of oil products and chemicals and renewable energy projects. Royal Dutch Shell plc is incorporated in England and Wales, has its headquarters in The Hague and is listed on the London, Amsterdam, and New York stock exchanges. For further information, visit www.shell.com.
Wendy Schmidt is the President of The Schmidt Family Foundation, where she works to advance the development of renewable energy and the wiser use of natural resources. The foundation houses its grant-making operation in The 11th Hour Project, which supports more than 150 nonprofit organizations in program areas including climate and energy, ecological agriculture, human rights, and its maritime connection, 11th Hour Racing.
In 2010, to further her commitment to ocean health issues, Wendy partnered with XPRIZE to sponsor the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup XCHALLENGE, a $1.4 million competition designed to identify efficient and innovative solutions to address oil spillage from ocean platforms, tankers, and other sources. The 18-month long competition, prompted by The Deepwater Horizon disaster, resulted in a solution that yielded fourfold improvement over existing cleanup capabilities.
In 2012, Wendy again partnered with XPRIZE to design the Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE, a prize that responds to the global need for better information about the process of ocean acidification, one of the harbingers of climate change. The prize launched in September 2013.
Wendy has a Masters in Journalism from The University of California at Berkeley, and a B.A. magna cum laude from Smith College. She serves on the boards of The Natural Resources Defense Council, The California Academy of Sciences, Climate Central, XPRIZE, The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, GRIST, Maiyet, The Nantucket Dreamland Foundation, and The America's Cup Organizing Committee. Her interests include sailing, scuba diving and tennis.
Imaginea Energy stands for Imagine A new way of doing business, a new way that involves lots of “AND.” As the President & CEO, Suzanne West is dedicated to changing the way we develop our oil and gas resources by generating sustainable profits that can do good in the world AND providing meaning and purpose to people so that we make a greater positive difference in the world AND doing it in a way that works with Mother Nature as a partner to provide better sustainability of this beautiful planet we inhabit. West is the former President of Black Shire Energy, Inc. and Auriga Energy, Inc., Chariot Energy, Inc., and Touchstone Petroleum, Inc.