Stories to change the world

At BIF, we believe storytelling can change the world. We act on that belief every year with our annual BIF Summit. Explore the archive of stories through which we've been inspired, learned together, and co-created the future narrative. 

Innovating Air Travel With A Marketplace Model

Bill Herp is a serial entrepreneur who is currently founder and CEO of Linear Air, a company on a mission to revolutionize private air travel by making affordable air taxi service a reality. Linear Air is one of three uniquely different startups Herp has founded during his career.

Designing Better Health And Wellness For Young People

Chris McCarthy is the VP of Strategy & Innovation at HopeLab, working to deepen the organization's impact on the health and wellness of young people through innovation and design. McCarthy is also the Executive Director and Founder of the Innovation Learning Network, a membership network made up of organizations with the common goal to make healthcare better through good design.

Helping People And Corporations Move Into The New World Of Work

Sophie Wade is an authority on the wide-ranging Future of Work issues that impact companies and workers’ new demands, such as digital transformation, managing distributed workers, workplace flexibility, intergenerational communication, new career paradigms, and attracting, engaging, and retaining talent. She is the author of Embracing Progress: Next Steps For The Future Of Work.

Creativity And Innovation At The Intersection Of Music And Data

Philip Sheppard is a composer, producer, virtuoso cellist, inventor, public speaker, philanthropist, professor at the Royal Academy of Music, and a creative innovator who has worked with some of the biggest names in music, tech, sport and film. He pioneered the use of electronics in conjunction with classical music in his performances to audiences around the world.

Sheppard used his unique approach to the creative process to create Compose Yourself, a game that enables children to build their own symphonic works using a computer algorithm and an innovative deck of cards. Compose Yourself has been the subject of a front-page feature in the Wall Street Journal, and has also been recently featured by Time Magazine for Kids and Newsday.

'Design Empathy' Creates Well-Being In Workplaces

Office design expert A.J. Paron-Wildes is the National Architectural & Design Manager for Allsteel, a commercial furniture manufacturer. She has blended her skills as a designer and with her experience of raising a son with autism to create groundbreaking design work for individuals with autism.

Joining Paron-Wildes at BIF2017 will be her son, Devin Wildes, an accomplished artist who struggles with severe autism. Wildes works in multiple mediums, including sculpture, videography, jewelry making, screen printing, and painting in multiple mediums.

Retired Founding Chairman,

Boston Scientific Corporation

John is the retired Founding Chairman of Boston Scientific Corporation and an early pioneer in the then (1970s) counter-intuitive concept of “less invasive surgery”. 

Director, Industrial Design department

RISD

Internationally recognized design and project leader Mickey Ackerman has spent decades teaching designers how to define problems clearly and then solve those problems through multidisciplinary teamwork. As Director of RISD's Industrial Design department, Ackerman established a portfolio of sponsored projects and created real-world design solutions for industry leaders such as Intel, Rubbermaid, Frigidaire and General Mills.

CMO,

Extreme Networks

Vala Afshar is the CMO for Extreme Networks, responsible for global marketing and customer service and support operations. An award-winning inventor of social technologies and customer services operations, Vala is considered a pioneer in cloud computing, social collaboration, business intelligence, and customer relationship management. Vala is also the author of The Pursuit of Social Business Excellence.

Artist

Marla Allison is trying to do something that hasn’t been seen yet. As an artist living and working in Laguna Pueblo, New Mexico, the influences on her work date back to the pre-Columbian era. So, it’s difficult to do something new under the sun.

Nevertheless, Allison brings freshness to ancient Native American artistic practices by putting her own twist on centuries-old patterns in pottery, painting and weaving, and by beautifully blending her traditionally-derived sensibilities with the best of today’s mixed media.

Help Yourself And The World Through Unexpected Connections And Collaboration

Kare Anderson speaks and writes about behavioral research-based ways to become more deeply and diversely connected.


Read their Story

Former Football Player And Cancer Survivor Now Helps Patients And Families

Founded by former New England Patriots offensive guard Joe Andruzzi and his wife Jen in 2008, the Joe Andruzzi Foundation grew out of Andruzzi’s own successful battle with cancer and the couple’s ongoing work with young cancer patients.

Andruzzi's football career ended in 2007 when he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Burkitt’s lymphoma. He is now cancer free, but a new passion grew from his own cancer experience: helping other patients and their families. After witnessing firsthand the stress cancer can cause, the Andruzzis created a foundation to help cancer patients and their families meet life’s day-to-day challenges.

President

Innosight

Scott is President of strategy and consulting firm Innosight. Scott has worked with Fortune 500 and start-up companies in industries such as media (print and broadcast), consumer products, investment banking, transportation and logistics, healthcare, medical devices, software, petrochemicals, and communications equipment.