Dr. Criscillia Benford works toward a future where digital tech supports human wellbeing by respecting—at all levels of design and business practice—the autonomy, attention, and creativity of humans, especially children. Findings from her research into the link between digital tech, human attention, and wellbeing appear in the Journal of Neural Computation. Criscillia has taught at the University of Chicago, Duke, and Stanford. She earned her PhD in English from Stanford where she began formal study of the power of media design to influence perception and metacognition, and specialized in Narratology and Victorian Literature.
Aparna Brown is the Director of Operations for BirdBrain Technologies, an educational robotics company that spun out of Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute. Aparna oversees BirdBrain’s philanthropic efforts, including a robot loan program which has reached over 190,000 students who might not ordinarily have the opportunity to learn computer science as part of their typical classroom experience. Prior to joining BirdBrain, Aparna spent eight years at home raising a child as commercial-free as possible. Aparna holds a Ph.D. in Developmental Neuroscience from Stanford University.
Angela Campbell is on the faculty of Georgetown Law. For over 30 years, she directed a clinical program that represents nonprofits before the FCC, the FTC, and federal courts. The clinic works with CCFC and other organizations to prevent unfair and deceptive advertising to children and to protect children’s online privacy. Her published articles on children and media include Rethinking Children’s Advertising Policies for the Digital Age (2016) and Ads2Kids.com: Should Government Regulate Advertising to Children on the World Wide Web? (1998). She holds an LLM from Georgetown Law and a JD from UCLA Law.
Julia Chen grew up in the Bay Area. She opened a retail wooden toy store in northern California in 1994 when her children were young. A mail-order catalog and website soon followed. Through these endeavors, she was able to offer support to parents at moments when they consider the importance of play in their children’s development. After selling the physical store in 2011, Julia began advising a German wooden toy company. She has also begun an internship/mentoring role with a worker owned cooperative grocery store in the community of west Oakland, CA. Julia has a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from UC Berkeley.
Ranae DeSantis was born and raised in northern California. She graduated from UC Davis with a BA in Psychology and minors in Biological Sciences and Education. After graduating, she began teaching third grade at a Bay Area public school. Later, she became a private tutor for elementary students. Ranae is passionate about the environment and serves on the Board of Grades of Green. She is very aware of the connection between advertising, overconsumption, and the resulting environmental consequences. She is a skier and equestrian who shares her home with her two young children and four rescued pets.
Nathan Dungan is the founder and president of Share Save Spend®. For over 20 years, he has worked with thousands of families to help them align their values with their money decisions. Nathan speaks and consults internationally with organizations and families on the topic of money and the effects of consumer culture on money habits. His book, Money Sanity Solutions: Linking Money + Meaning was released in the fall of 2010. Nathan is also the co-author of a textbook for high school students, Personal Finance: A Lifetime Responsibility. His first book, Prodigal Sons and Material Girls: How Not to Be Your Child’s ATM, was released in 2003.
Kevin Hepner is the VP of Administration and Finance for Roxbury Community College. A CPA by training, he left the accounting profession in 1989 to work in the nonprofit world, supporting the missions of several historic organizations working in some of Boston’s lowest income communities. Kevin co-founded a nonprofit-owned workers’ compensation insurance company—the Massachusetts Bay Self-Insurance Group, which has provided millions of dollars in savings for its members—and served on its board for 20 years, 10 of those years as its President. Kevin is an instructor at Boston University’s School of Social Work and is active with many nonprofits in the Boston area.
After receiving his PhD in Psychology from the University of Rochester, Tim Kasser accepted a position at Knox College, where he was a Professor of Psychology. He has written extensively on materialism, sustainability, and quality of life, among other topics. Tim is the author of The High Price of Materialism, co-editor of Psychology and Consumer Culture, and author of Lucy in the Mind of Lennon. He works with activist groups that protect children from commercialization, promote ecological sustainability, and encourage a more “inwardly rich” lifestyle than what is offered by consumerism. Tim lives with his wife, two sons, and assorted animals in western Illinois.
John C. Mack is an artist, photographer, and philanthropist. His most recent work, in collaboration with Susanne Steines, includes Revealing Mexico, which features 175 photographs of everyday life in the country. It was published in celebration of the bicentennial anniversary of Mexico’s independence from Spain and the centennial anniversary of the Mexican Revolution, and to counter the emphasis in the international press on ongoing violence between the state and narco-traffickers. The authors also collaborated on Xibalbá: Lost Dreams of the Mexican Rainforest. His photographs have been featured in galleries in the United States, France, and Mexico.
Dr. Dipesh Navsaria is a pediatrician, occasional children’s librarian, public health professional, and child health advocate. He practices primary-care pediatrics at a community health center working with underserved populations. He is also involved in advocacy training for residents, medical students, and practicing physicians. Additionally, Dr. Navsaria is strongly engaged with early literacy programs in health care settings, particularly around ideas of early brain and child development, which include the effects of adversity and poverty upon the developing brain. A dynamic speaker, Dr. Navsaria lectures locally, regionally, and nationally on early literacy, early brain and child development, child health advocacy, and technology.
Lynda Parmely worked at the Hagedorn Foundation serving as the Program Director of the Families, Children and Youth funding initiative from its founding until it sunset in 2017. She grew up on Long Island and graduated from Nassau Community College. She continued her studies at Queens College, where she earned a degree in Urban Studies. For over 20 years she’s worked in the nonprofit sector as an organizer, trainer, capacity building consultant and most recently as the Program Officer for the Long Island Unitarian Universalist Fund at the Long Island Community Foundation. Lynda brings her passion for equity and social justice to her professional and personal roles, and is the proud mom of Marley Atticus.
Jonathan Spack was CEO of Third Sector New England for 34 years. During his tenure, TSNE grew dramatically, becoming a national leader in nonprofit capacity-building, including fiscal sponsorship, succession planning and social purpose real estate. Jonathan was a co-founder of the National Network of Fiscal Sponsors, the Nonprofit Centers Network and the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network and was co-creator of the Nonprofit Quarterly. He spearheaded TSNE’s acquisition and development of the NonProfit Center in Boston as a focal point of social justice in the city. He holds a BA from Brandeis University, a Master’s in Human Services Management from the Heller School at Brandeis, and a JD from NYU.
Laurel currently serves as Vice President, National Programs & Operations for GOOD+ Foundation, a national nonprofit that uses the power of donated goods and transformational services to help break the cycle of family poverty. Previously, Laurel was the Executive Director of the Women’s Fund of Long Island, where she helped to identify and raise funds for programs that demonstrated an impact on the lives of girls and women. Laurel received her Ph.D. and MA from Emory University and her BA from Wesleyan University. She lives in Queens with her husband, a Professor of English at Adelphi University, and their two daughters.