MATT GOLDMAN is the board vice chair and co-founder of Blue School. He co-founded Blue Man Group, which opened Off-Broadway at the Astor Place Theatre in 1991, and continues to play there today. Blue Man currently also has sit down shows in Germany and Tokyo, three world tours and five sit down shows in the U.S. Throughout their long association, the founders of Blue Man Group have been fascinated by the interconnections between learning, creativity and community, and how, combined with new teaching techniques, the educational experience can be enhanced. It is these interests that led them and their life partners to start Blue School. Matt Goldman also sits on the Clark University LEEP Advisory Board to reimagine liberal arts undergraduate education, and on the Advisory Board of BlinkNow/Kopila Valley School in Surkhet, Nepal.
SHARON SALZBERG is a meditation teacher and New York Times best-selling author. She is the co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, and has played a crucial role in bringing Asian meditation practices to the West. Sharon has been a student of meditation since 1971, guiding retreats worldwide since 1974. She is a weekly columnist for On Being, a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and the author of many books including Real Happiness, and Lovingkindness. For more information please visit her website at SharonSalzberg.com.
GRETCHEN Ki STEIDLE s the founder and President of Global Grassroots, an international non-profit that works with women and girls in post-conflict East Africa through a mindfulness-based leadership program and social entrepreneurship incubator. Gretchen is also a certified Integrative Breathwork practitioner and teaches about conscious social change globally. She is a producer of the thrice Emmy-nominated documentary on the Darfur crisis, The Devil Came on Horsebackand co-author of the memoir of the same name. In 2007, Gretchen was honored by World Business Magazine and Shell as one of the top International 35 Women Under 35. In 2010 she was chosen as a CNN Hero working in Haiti after the earthquake. In 2011 she was chosen one of seven Remarkable Women of the World by New Hampshire Magazine. She holds an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College and a BA in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia. conscioussocialchange.org
ALICE WELLS is the founder of One Breath Circle, a Brooklyn, NY, based organization that offers classes and programs dedicated to healing, personal growth and spiritual development. Alice has practiced as an Integrative Therapist for over 30 years, and is on the board of the Global Professional Breathwork Alliance. She is a co-founder of Fairhaven School in MD, a Sudbury Model School dedicated to self-initiated learning in a democratic setting. onebreathcircle.org
NASRIN JAFARI is dedicated to the endless and intertwining processes of teaching and learning. As a student, educator and TEDx organizer, she seeks to engage her community by inspiring thought-provoking conversations, sharing stories and exchanging ideas.
At New York University, Nasrin is the President of TEDxNYU. She has extensive experience coaching speakers to refine and communicate their ideas on the TEDx stage. With the committed efforts of her team, TEDxNYU hosts monthly Community Events, bi-annual student “Pitch” Competitions and an annual TEDx conference in the spring. Each event aims to shine a spotlight on the diverse ideas and voices of the NYU community to facilitate deeper conversations about the pressing topics facing today’s changing world.
Nasrin was a former participant in the NYU Leadership Fellows, a year-long leadership development program that equips undergraduate students with the leadership skills needed to create a shared vision and take action with others to achieve meaningful results. As an alumni of the Leadership Fellows program, Nasrin currently serves as a mentor for the 2016-17 cohort.
Nasrin is pursuing a degree in Education Studies and Politics and has experience teaching students from kindergarten through twelfth grade. She served as a head teacher at The GO Project, a nonprofit that that provides academic and extracurricular support to students struggling in New York City public schools. Upon graduation, she plans on pursuing a Master’s degree in Education Leadership with the vision to found a K-12 public school in New York City.
HANNAH ATCHISON is a relationship builder and native Oregonian who gets jazzed about the development of individuals, organizations, and groups of people. Whether it is building girls of courage confidence and character at the Girl Scouts of the USA - or in her current position - developing the next generation of public service leaders at NYU Wagner's Graduate School of Public Service, she has had the opportunity to work at a number of organizations that build the capacity of individuals to make the world a better place. Hannah recently graduated from NYU with a Master’s in Public Administration in International Non Profit Management and Policy. As a student, she worked as the Production Director for TEDxNYU and is excited to be joining the team at TEDxWashingtonSquare. Hannah’s an avid hiker, gardening enthusiast, and wannabe chef.