For Immediate Release
Roben Kantor Smolar, Communications Director, Schusterman Philanthropic Network / 847-226-3358 / email@example.com
ANNOUNCING UNREASONABLE@STATE: A GLOBAL GATHERING SET TO EXPLORE THE CONVERGENCE OF STARTUPS, POLICY, TECH, INVESTMENT AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Boulder, Colorado – April 25, 2012 – On May 1, 2013, the U.S. Department of State, Stanford’s d.school, Unreasonable Group and the Aspen Institute will co-host a global gathering of influential policy makers, designers, entrepreneurs, investors and development practitioners. The goal? To explore how and why entrepreneurship and design-thinking, a methodology for innovation, are key to solving some of the biggest challenges of our time.
According to the founder of Unreasonable Group and co-host of the event, Daniel Epstein, “This event represents a convening of black swans and wayward thinkers. Those playing at the nexus of technology, investment, international development and startups will come together to collaborate on putting a dent on issues like global poverty, famine and climate degradation.” He goes onto explain that “this gathering wouldn’t be possible were it not for the creative bravery exercised by Unreasonable’s partners at Barclays, the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Philanthropic Network and UNICEF who have come together as a catalyst for an event unlike any other.” These organizations are Unreasonable’s Cornerstone Partners for the gathering.
According to Thomas Debass, Deputy Special Representative for Global Partnerships at the U.S. State Department, “The gathering on May 1 will unite a potent mix of global startups, policy makers, investors and development practitioners who are coming together to explore the role entrepreneurs can play in addressing some of the key challenges of our time through ventures that combine social benefit with business opportunity.”
The main event will showcase 15 startups operating in over 30 countries; highlight the State Department’s efforts to support entrepreneurs; and offer insights from Unreasonable at Sea’s global experiment as a startup accelerator having sailed over 25,000 nautical miles and into 13 countries in just over 100 days. A panel discussion on “Why Entrepreneurship Matters” will be led by USAID’s Chief Innovation Officer Maura O’Neill and feature Jeff Hoffman, Founder of Priceline; Kudo Tsunoda, Head of Innovation at Xbox; Valerie D’Costa, Program Manager of the World Bank’s InfoDev; and Jonathan Ortmans, President of the Global Entrepreneurship Week.
There will be additional workshops on the second day of the gathering that are designed with a healthy “bias toward action,” according to George Kembel, the co-founder of Stanford’s d.school and “co-conspirator” of Unreasonable at Sea. “After having sailed around the world working with creative communities in 13 countries, we are now eager to build new investment vehicles and to collaborate with leadership to re-think education, healthcare, diplomacy, aid and development.” A select team from Stanford’s d.school, along with Kembel, will be facilitating design-thinking workshops at Google’s Washington DC office. There will also be a private investor gathering at the Aspen Institute focused on accelerating the flow of capital into startups solving difficult social, environmental and planetary problems.
Epstein goes on to emphasize, “The deal flow at the investor gathering and the companies who take the stage at Unreasonable@State will be uncommon and incredible.” Collectively, the 15 startups participating have already raised tens of millions of dollars and are generating millions more in revenue. They have been selected from well over 1,000 applications from just shy of 100 countries. Beyond profits, they are impacting millions of individuals directly with their technologies and have achieved operational scale in over 30 countries and 5 continents. Their expertise ranges from astrophysicists, to artificial intelligence, to biological, mechanical, software, medical and electrical engineers, to industrial designers, scientists, doctors and operational masterminds.
According to Epstein, “What unites them is a shared belief that their technology will help define progress in our time and a common eagerness to scale globally.” He continues, “We believe Unreasonable@State is an event that can take their efforts to the next level and we hope the world will join us.
The Unreasonable Group’s Cornerstone Partners include Barclays, the Schusterman Philanthropic Network and UNICEF.
“Whenever great minds intersect with great ideas, the potential for positive change is immense,” said Sanford R. Cardin, President of the Schusterman Philanthropic Network. “Unreasonable@State is one of a growing number of opportunities for world-class intellects and visionaries to gather, share with and learn from each other in a setting designed to inspire creative disruption. We are confident that Unreasonable@State will produce important outcomes and partnerships, and we are pleased that through our support for Unreasonable, members of our global network will be adding a distinctly Jewish dimension to the conversation.”
Schusterman is a global philanthropic enterprise that supports and creates innovative initiatives for the purpose of igniting the passion and unleashing the power in young people to create positive change for themselves, in the Jewish community and across the broader world. Its partnership with Unreasonable is part of a broader strategy to invest in young social entrepreneurs who can develop new solutions to longstanding challenges. Included in the Schusterman Philanthropic Network is the ROI Community, a global network of more than 800 Jewish innovators in 50 countries who are creating new ways to engage more people in Jewish life.
For details and to register for the events visit www.unreasonableatstate.com/register
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