This weeks Mentors bring an incredible diversity of expertise and experience to the EVOKE network. An expert in Indigenous Knowledge and ways to infuse innovation into organizations; an infrastructure innovator who implements viable solutions in the world’s toughest environments; a technologist, artist and community organizer who supports digital culture to bring us together; and an innovator who has brought “venture-like” approaches to social innovations around the world. Please join me in welcoming Nicolas Gorjestani, Vinay Gupta, Josette Melchor, and Jamie McAuliffe to the EVOKE network. They will join our other 12 mentors introduced here and here and here.
Nicolas Gorjestani is a former Chief Knowledge & Learning Officer at the World Bank. An economist by training, Mr. Gorjestani had held a variety of senior staff and management positions at the World Bank for more than three decades, before retiring in July 2007. Among his various positions, Mr. Gorjestani pioneered and was Program Director of the World Bank’s Indigenous Knowledge for Development Program. A global thought leader on organizational knowledge and development learning themes Mr. Gorjestani now devotes his time to advising, lecturing and writing on development strategy, knowledge ecology, learning, and innovation issues. He is currently a Senior Adviser/Consultant at the World Bank and an Adjunct Professor in Knowledge Ecology at the Polytechnic University in Hong Kong. He is also Director of the Global Indigenous Knowledge and Innovation Partnership’s Secretariat, a recently established advocacy group of former Heads of State and other eminent global personalities to promote the integration of traditional knowledge systems and grassroots innovation in development programs. Mr. Gorjestani has published extensively in the areas of knowledge, learning, and development, and has lectured at and contributed papers at several international conferences and centers of excellence.
Vinay Gupta of the Hexayurt Project (see EVOKE episode 7)is a designer and innovator focused on how we can use simple technical education paired and combined with advanced know-how to solve the world’s problems on a budget we can all afford. To learn more about Vinay check out his EVOKE profile and blog.
Josette Melchor is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Gray Area Foundation For The Arts (GAFFTA), a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization dedicated to building social consciousness through digital culture. She is a social entrepreneur, curator, and community organizer. Currently her efforts are focused on making digital culture accessible, substantive, and inspiring, she aims to help realize the greatest power of technology: to bring us closer, faster
GAFFTA’s direction is influenced by Melchor’s previous projects Gray Area Gallery (2005–2008) and Gray Area Beacon, a new media arts program that she founded in 2008 with Silicon Valley Executive Peter Hirshberg. She has facilitated many large- and small-scale events up and down the west coast including notable pioneering media artists, Aaron Koblin, Camille Utterback, and C.E.B. Reas.
Jamie McAuliffe is President and CEO-designate of Education for Employment Foundation (EFE) an international nonprofit dedicated to providing meaningful employment opportunities for vulnerable youth in the Middle East and North Africa. Jamie has close to two decades of experience in the worlds of social and business entrepreneurship. Prior to joining EFE , Jamie was a Portfolio Manager at the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation (EMCF). As one of EMCF’s first portfolio managers, Jamie was instrumental in developing and implementing EMCF’s pioneering grantmaking approach. This “venture-like” approach aims to find and select the highest-performing youth nonprofits and then helps them (with grants and best-in-class non-financial supports) to expand their services to reach hundreds of thousands of vulnerable youth across the United States.
Before working with EMCF, Jamie was based in Brazil with the OTF Group, formerly of Monitor Consulting, where he worked with small and medium-sized businesses to develop their strategy and competitiveness expertise. Prior to that, Jamie worked for Ashoka Innovators for the Public where he launched new program strategies to support leading social entrepreneurs in the United States and around the world. Jamie earned an M.A. in International Economics and Latin American Studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Georgetown University.