As we count down to SOUL PURPOSE NYC, we’ll be sharing regular Soul Purpose Spotlights on some of our participants and speakers. We’re genuinely excited by the calibre of individuals (from as far away as Rome, London, Berlin, and Latin America) who are being drawn to the beacons of purpose, service, and mission, and we wish to celebrate them with you.
SOUL PURPOSE NYC / SPEAKERS
Gina Rudan ~ Cultural Alchemist at X, (Google’s “Moonshot Factory”)
Kirk shares about Gina: “So, before you get to meet Gina, if you are like me, it can be very intimidating to read the insanely overflowing list of accomplishments and achievements that follow her name: Cultural Alchemist for X (Google’s “Moonshot Factory”), an Aspen Fellow, spoke on the subject of genius at the TED Global Summit at Oxford University, best selling author of “Practical Genius", founder of TEDxMIA, leadership positions at Fortune 500 companies, Hall of Fame Award by the National Association of Women Business Owners, Senior Diversity Manager for Google, designed Google’s first immersive VR experience to explore racial identity, ran her own leadership development practice helping organizations like TED, Delta, Johnson & Johnson, Nike, PepsiCo, LinkedIn, BET Network, and Stanford University, etc., etc., etc.
But then I got to meet Gina. Instead of encountering what I would call the archetypal alpha achievement persona, I encountered what I would classify as pretty much the antithesis of that. Gina’s energy didn’t run on the current of “to do”. Gina’s energy ran on the current of “to be”. And I would add, “to be thoughtful, to be authentic, to be caring, to be generous, to be a listener, to be honest, to be present for others.” And I remember being beautifully blindsided and thrilled by that. Thrilled to discover that despite the conditioning of our culture on what it takes to be a “big achiever”, Gina had done all she had done, and still doing all she is doing, from quite the opposite place. One I will reduce simply to a place of loving. I cherish, that with Gina, the medium is the message for Soul Purpose—doing what brings us alive is a more prolific and powerful creator than doing what the world would have us do.
I am looking forward to having you all get to hear her and meet her at Soul Purpose NYC (where Gina came into the world by the way).
Nichol Bradford ~ CEO Willow Group / Executive Director,
Transformative Technology Lab
Kirk Souder, Soul Purpose Co-Facilitator shares: It would be hard to find a leader more emblematic of what Soul Purpose is about than Nichol Bradford. Here is someone who as a corporate titan ran operations for "World of Warcraft” and all Blizzard Entertainment properties in China, had an experience of profound awakening during a ten day Vipassana retreat in a garden outside of Kyoto, and since then has dedicated her life and vast experience to the transformation, mental health and wellbeing of humanity. She co-founded Transformative Technologies as a nexus point for academic, industry and public sectors to innovate and accelerate technologies created toward this aim, all united in the mission:
“...to permanently move a billion people into a state of fundamental wellbeing and flourishing by 2030.”
If you haven’t had the experience of meeting Nichol, this may seem like a long shot to achieve. But as one of those who’s had the privilege of getting to spend time with her, I can tell you that afterwards the mission above does not seem like a long shot at all. One quickly realizes this mission isn’t a hobby or even a passion project—it’s a calling for Nichol—a soul purpose that is currently bringing her to every continent to spread the gospel of technology’s power to generate large scale shifts in human consciousness and fuel the many entrepreneurs and start-ups she’s working with to make it happen while humanity needs it most.
Nichol is a graduate of Singularity University GSP15, and has an MBA from Wharton School of Business in Strategy. She is a fellow of the British American Project, served on the board of the Brandon Marshall Foundation for Mental Health, and is a former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
She is one of the four inspiring speakers at Soul Purpose NYC, and has an intention of staying and participating in the workshop afterward. If you find yourself in one of the program’s experiential “trios” with her, you’ll be able to see as I have—there is a very good chance that by 2030 there will be at least one billion people on the planet in a state of wellbeing and flourishing.
Kim Culmone, SVP, Global Head of Barbie and Fashion Doll Design, Mattel
Literally Breaking the Mold to Bring Inner Purpose to a Fortune 500 Brand
Kirk Souder, Soul Purpose Co-Facilitator shares: "I had the privilege of first meeting Kim at an enso Shared Table of socially conscious business leaders a few years ago. Although it wasn’t out in the world yet, a glimmer in her eye told me something very big was coming.
Sure enough, through Kim’s vigilant stewardship, a revolutionary line of Barbie dolls emerged of all races and body shapes and sizes. Suddenly, girls of all kinds could see themselves in the colors and bodies of the dolls, and the world responded by making it one of the brand's biggest business drivers. The move was such a bold and culturally important one, that an independent documentary was made about Kim’s journey to push this initiative into the world called “Tiny Shoulders: Rethinking Barbie”, which premiered at the TriBeca Film Festival. TIME put Barbie on the cover and called the new body sizes one of the “Top 25 Inventions of 2016”.
While all this was emerging, Kim came to SOUL PURPOSE LA as a participant to connect with her deeper self and decide whether her personal mission could best be served independently or by staying in her current brand platform. The process of letting go of her own limited beliefs empowered her to stay and keep bringing her inner purpose out through the products at Mattel. One can now see even greater diversity and inclusivity blossoming out of the Barbie brand including dolls representing disabilities with wheelchairs and prosthetic limbs.
What I know from having the honor of being Kim’s coach for the last couple of years, is that what drives her commitment to give voice to the disenfranchised of the world is her deepening connection to her inner spirit and her integrity with her authentic self. Kim goes at that with such courage and diligence, it is not surprising the results she gets out in the world.
I am excited to have her back to Soul Purpose NYC as a speaker so she can uniquely describe the causal connection between inner purpose and outer impact, and how to use the Soul Purpose journey to fuel that for yourself.
SOUL PURPOSE NYC / PARTICIPANTS
Howard Goldkrand / Innovation Lead / Accenture, Canadian Innovation Hub
Howard Goldkrand sees himself as Innovation Catalyst. He has spent the past 25 years helping to define and redefine creative strategy and immersive experiences through dimensionalized storytelling and brand integration.
Howard’s innovative vision for new modes of media engagement stems from his rich history of work across genres. He firmly believes that the best way to know the future is to invent it. This approach, inspired by computer scientist Alan Kay, has influenced Howard to harness the tension between creative strategy and technology prowess to help deliver ground breaking installations, campaigns and thinking for clients. Howard currently runs his own studio and consulting practice, which includes working with clients such as Accenture Innovation Hub, Zappos, Family Coppola, etc. He has also served as innovation director and cultural engineer at Modernista! and Publicis, acting as a catalyst for ideas that reshapes client business, company business and company culture. His imprint was visible on a variety of major projects including the launch of product (RED), working with TOMS, as well as, the rebranding of GM’s Cadillac Brand, the first ever pop-up retail show for Song Airline and an Emmy award winning creation of an alternate reality game for the 5th season of Showtime's DEXTER.
Howard has also been celebrated and honored with awards, artist in residencies and museum installations, including PS1 MOMA, Chinati Foundation Marfa Texas, Whitney Museum, Banff Center for the Arts, Castilo di Rivoli Torino Italy, etc., and spoken at Fast forward (FFWD), SXSW, and MIP Cannes
Why Soul Purpose NYC?
“I love connecting dots. And I am coming to Soul Purpose to reimagine my process from the abstract to the concrete.”
Maura Donlan / Director at the Milken Institute Center for Strategic Philanthropy
Maura Donlan is a director of the Milken Institute Center for Strategic Philanthropy. She has more than 20 years of experience in international development, advocacy, project and campaign management and strategic communications. Most recently, she served as director of marketing and communications at Omidyar Network, where she led all external relations and thought leadership for the financial inclusion, property rights and impact investing initiatives. Prior to that, she was a senior vice president at GMMB, where she worked with globally focused nonprofit and corporate clients to promote inclusive economic growth, sustainable development and global health, with a primary focus on the status of women and girls. She also managed GMMB’s London office. Earlier, Donlan worked on programs designed to promote economic and political development and gender equity at the United Nations Development Program, United Nations Foundation and National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. She also served as director of communications and policy at Turner Enterprises, where she managed the day-to-day communications and policy needs of philanthropist Ted Turner. Donlan began her career as a policy analyst on Capitol Hill and on several congressional and presidential campaigns. She holds a B.A. in history and French from the College of the Holy Cross, where she graduated with highest honors, and an M.A. in international affairs with a focus on gender and development from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.
Why Soul Purpose NYC?
“I am very excited about attending Soul Purpose NYC 2019. First, given the setting, it will be a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with my cousin who died on American Airlines Flight 11 whom we miss every day. Also, it will help me remember what is indeed truly important, impactful and transformative. While I work day-to-day on efforts that have the potential to make a real difference, I find myself often drawn into negative mindsets and counterproductive discussions that diminish all involved. The stakes are too high, and life is too short. It is time for me to face my limiting beliefs and fears head-on. I am grateful for the opportunity.”
Usha Mayani / President, Colon Free Trade Zone Merchant Association 2016-2018
Usha is a Defender of Free Enterprise . As a prolific entrepreneur and visionary leader of free enterprise, she was the 22nd president (and 2nd female president) of the Colon Free Trade Zone Merchant Association, an organization whose mission is to defend the interest of private enterprise in the Colon Free Trade Zone, the largest free trade zone in the Americas. The Colon Free Zone, which was established in 1948, continues to be one of the pillars of the economy of the Republic of Panama. Ms Mayani lead the effort in protecting free trade between the Panama's Free Trade Zone and other countries. She is passionate about revitalizing and reinventing the Colon Free Zone and Panama’s banking and logistic sectors. She educates the public on their importance and their significant contributions in creating jobs and investments throughout the country and beyond. She is often interviewed on national news and business forums where she informs the public sector on domestic and international government practices that impact import, export and logistic sectors. In April 2017, El Economista Magazine recognized her as one of the "25 Most Powerful Women in Panama”. In March 2018, she was awarded named Woman of the Year by APEDE, the largest business organization representing the business and professionals executives of Panama. Additionally, Ms Mayani is shareholder of Casa Bee’s B.T. Mayani SA owner of the Sankey Brand, Oriental Trading Corp, Corporacion B.T. Mayani, Plaza Paitilla Inn. When she is not speaking about the challenges and opportunities facing the private sector, she can be found going for walking on the Cinta Costera in Panama City, playing tennis, or simply sitting on a bench beneath a tree.
Why Soul Purpose NYC?
"After almost 3 decades of striving for what I thought I wanted, I woke up to the reality that what I thought was causing me much distress and dissatisfaction. I found myself yearning for something more. I began to notice the lack of passion and joy. My search for more began here. Eventually leading me down a path and here I am. On the next leg of my journey to more with Soul Purpose 2019."
Buffy McCoy Kelly / Co-founder & Creative Director of Tattoo Projects
Buffy is Co-founder and Creative Director of Tattoo Projects, a creative ad agency in Charlotte, North Carolina. Throughout her career, she has created work for brands that include Converse, Hoover, Victory Motorcycles, Hostess Cakes, Domtar Paper, Michelin, and more. Working Mother and Advertising Women of New York named her to the list of Top 25 Advertising Working Mothers, and her agency earned a Small Agencies of the Year title from Ad Age. Buffy is a yoga teacher and dedicated practitioner, and enjoys travelling to interesting parts of the world for her continued study of asana and meditation. She has a kick-ass husband and kids, and more pets and houseplants than is socially acceptable. :) Buffy is a daughter of the original McCoy clan, of the Hatfield-McCoy Feud.
Why Soul Purpose NYC?
“It’s high time to align my purpose and my work, and “use my powers for good.” Soul Purpose NYC, along with coaching from Kirk Souder, are gifts I am giving myself. The time to be truly present, along with the guidance and tools offered, will help me become the kind of leader and contributor to the world that I am meant to be. Let’s do this!”
Kristian Kruse / Growth Consultant / A New Vision of Leadership
With leadership experiences in such vanguard creative firms such as Siberia and Hyper Island, Kristian helps ambitious companies redefine and understand what it means to be successful with sustainable growth through purposeful and transparent leadership. He arrived here through a career focusing on understanding what makes people and teams thrive, tick and grow; and how that translates into how organizations operate. His superpower is that he genuinely listens with empathy to what's being said and unsaid—to discover the needs that often lies beneath the wants. He's spent years working on product ownership, partnerships, and people operations helping global brands and agencies with business transformation and change management programs.
He's originally from Denmark, currently residing in Los Angeles, and has taken a diverse path of learning and growth over the years. He received his B.Sc. in Business in Copenhagen, Social Psychology in Hong Kong, and M.A. in Applied Imagination at Central St. Martins in London.
Why Soul Purpose NYC?
“As someone who has struggled with finding my own soul's purpose and thrives in creating authentic relationships, Soul Purpose NYC sounds like a fantastic opportunity to continue to build a like-minded community. I believe this gathering will invigorate the path of executive coaching I've embarked on. I'm grateful to be a part of this and to be able to give and receive wisdom.”
Sarah Matthew / Founder, The Vibrant Company / To Discover Our Most Vibrant Self
In a career spanning 30 years and guided by a strong sense of purpose, Sarah has followed her path to become a C-Suite executive, award-winning entrepreneur, mentor, strategic business consultant and accredited transformative coach. With The Vibrant Company, she combines her experience and expertise to help leaders make a positive difference – to enable them and their organizations to become the most vibrant versions of themselves for their own benefit and the planets.
Following roles at Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline, Sarah answered her own entrepreneurial calling. As Managing Director of Shire Health London, one of the leading healthcare communications agencies in the UK, she helped scale and then sell to WPP. Later she co-founded Virgo Health - and proved that business success is entirely possible with a values-based approach. Growing into one of the most respected agencies in its field, Virgo Health joined Golin in 2012. Sarah went on to become President of the combined Virgo/Golin Global Healthcare Practice before eventually leaving in 2018 to start the The Vibrant Company.
Sarah holds a number of director and voluntary roles which include Chair of Hanover Health, appointed Lay Advisor to the Liver Advisory Group at NHS Blood and Transplant, and Trustee of The Lucy Rayner Foundation, a charity dedicated to preventing suicide in young people.
Why Soul Purpose NYC?
“Firstly because I feel drawn intuitively – the knowing without any intellectual thinking about it. I am excited by the prospect of being among like-minded souls in this amazing setting and particularly because I have learned how powerful it can be to simply be in such a space. With a background in the communication of science, which in turn grew into a fascination with the science of communication and motivating behavioral change, I have explored behavioral psychology, neuro-linguistic programming, accelerated learning techniques and a lot more besides. The knowledge and understanding I gleaned in the process led to ever more diverse and rewarding types of work, but it still wasn’t quite ‘it’. That’s not to say this knowledge isn’t still useful at times, but in actual fact, the ‘it’ turns out to be so much simpler than that….”
Tyler Hampton / Creative Director, Venables Bell & Partners / Using Creativity for Change
For over 20 years, Tyler has been an award-winning Creative Director at some of the most respected advertising agencies in the country. Over the years he has touched global brands like Audi, HP, Intel and PlayStation. His work for the 2016 Clinton campaign helped bring Khizr Khan to take the stage at the Democratic convention. While Tyler enjoys solving business problems with creativity, he is most fulfilled when he can use that creativity to make a social impact.
Why Soul Purpose NYC?
“Ironically, I sometimes help brands find purpose and meaning, but neglect doing it for myself. I’m coming to Soul Purpose NYC to not just re-ignite my passion for creativity but redirect it in new and fulfilling ways. I’m excited to have my perceptions challenged and potential revealed. I am excited for the unknown.”
Heidi Lorenzen | Global GTM Executive / Bridging Business and Positive Impact
While circling the globe, Heidi has seen the deeper potential in companies, products and people, then pointed her passion, creativity and strategic thinking toward creating the absolute highest value and most positive impact from them. This has taken form in companies such as future-shaping learning and innovation leader, Singularity University, Polycom, Interwoven, and Autonomy; and hyper-growth SaaS trailblazers like GlobalEnglish and Cloudwords. Heidi is currently leading a go-to-market transformation at Accela, which is using technology to reshape the way local governments can be in service to their citizens and communities. With a focus on giving back, she also recently taught a capstone Business Strategy class at San Francisco State University, and is now a mentor at BRIIA, an accelerator for AI-powered startups.
Born in New York City, Heidi's career has allowed her to call many lands her home: Taiwan, Hong Kong, Germany, and Singapore. But wherever she is, Heidi's most at home leading change, and pushing the envelope on creativity and innovation.
Heidi has an MBA in International Management from New York University's Stern School of Business. She now lives in the East Bay of San Francisco.
Why Soul Purpose NYC?
“In short: to clarify my intention, to see my fears as the mirage they are, and to expand my circle of soulful humans. While I’ve always been purpose-driven and a seeker, at this stage of life, it’s becoming more of an imperative to know that I’m spending my time in a way that is deeply fulfilling, and has the biggest positive impact on the people I love (which is pretty much everyone!) and the organizations I work with.”
David Baldwin / Founder, Baldwin&
Renaissance Good Guy
David is one of those individuals who achieved all he could achieve in his field, was one of the most awarded creatives in the advertising business, and then one day asked, "How can apply all this to making the world a better place?" From that was born his agency, Baldwin&, his book, “The Belief Economy”—an Amazon best seller, and his multiple roles of leadership: former Chairman of the One Club in NYC, Executive Producer for the Emmy winning film, Art & Copy, and an associate producer for the Emmy and Peabody Award winning film "The Loving Story", etc. Baldwin& was named Ad Age's Small Agency of the Year after only three years in business and the Four A's O'Toole Award for best body of work from a small agency after only five years. In addition, David is a founder of the craft-brewery, Ponysuarus Brewing in Durham, NC, a community-building and purpose-oriented enterprise. In coordination with other breweries, and in response to North Carolina House Bill 2 (HB2) which requires transgender people to use restrooms that corresponded to their sex at birth, they created a new beer “Don’t Be Mean to People: A Golden Rule Saison”. Each beer sold fundraises for Equality NC and Queer Oriented Radical Days of Summer (QORDS), an organization that leads camping trips for queer and transgender youth.
Why Soul Purpose NYC?
“I’m going to Soul Purpose NYC because I believe acting with positive impact in mind in our companies is the fastest way to grow our businesses and make the world better at the same time. This is the future of the marketplace.”
Jerry Madison / Broadcasting Hope and Power
Born into not the easiest beginnings, Jerry chose at early age to demonstrate he was bigger than his circumstances. He has done this with vigor. First majoring in engineering, then going out into the world, getting the positions he dreamt of, only to wake up one day and want to be in even greater service to his world. Jerry decided his true calling was to create a digital network from which he can create and distribute content that empowers, inspires and educates the marginalized groups of people in the world. Jerry wants every youth to know that like him, that have it within themselves to overcome their challenges, circumstances, and succeed. Jerry has been building this platform, using speaking, podcasting, radio-hosting, and acting, to broadcast his message of hope to the masses. He is the creator of the Destiny Moments Podcast and is host on 102.3 KJLH’s Uncensored with Dr. J the Counselor. As the universe would have it, Jerry volunteered to act in a friend’s film—a concept trailer for a new and dramatic “Fresh Prince of Bel Air”, as the Will Smith character. The trailer took off massively (almost 5M views) and he was featured in Rollingstone, The Root, Men’s Health, CNET, and the Huff post to name a few. Everything helping build an audience to hear his message. Jerry looks at this as the power of intention, authentic action, and co-creation—all parts of the Soul Purpose program—and is seeing the dream of his media platform taking a multifaceted and powerful form.
Why Soul Purpose NYC?
"I am excited about attending Soul Purpose for 3 main reasons: 1) I am thrilled to discover new parts of myself and continue to expand my soul purpose vision and actions, 2) connecting with other leaders who are committed to purpose and have woven it into every aspect of their lives, and 3) participating in the process of Inspiration, Transformation and Connection to fuel the next iteration of my platform.”
Cristina Ho / Global Citizen
Cristina Ho is truly a citizen of the planet.
Her work has spanned the globe, leading multidisciplinary business teams in places like South East Asia, Middle East, Turkey, Russia, India, South Africa, North Africa, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, and all of Latin America, for global brand behemoths like Adidas, New Balance and Under Armour. Because of her background, experience, and heart, she is a staunch advocate of cross-cultural collaboration in the search for solutions that transcend borders, and to use brands as a means of uniting humanity in common values and ideals. When not bringing the world together, she likes to put on some soulful blues, crack open a great book, and sip a fine cup of tea.
Why Soul Purpose NYC?
"It seems like an eternity ago when I let go. Of the “dream job". Of all the ego attached to my career. For years, I’ve had a little voice that would once in a while show up and tell me to look beyond, toward something even more meaningful. Until the day came in which I had make a choice. I realized the job offered was not right for me. As much as I loved the company, my gut refused. So, I took a leap of faith. I jumped without a plan B in place. And started exploring. At first it wasn’t easy. My self-worth took a hit. Then, some months ago, I met Kirk at an event he was speaking at. He pointed me in a new direction of thought. Thanks to his words, I am back on (wiggly) track. I am enjoying the construction and deconstruction of ideas. It is scary in a good way, like the thrill of zip-lining. Soul Purpose NYC will be part of the process. I am here daring to dream big, to create possibilities, and to make a impact."
Bōggie Yanishen / Co-Founder, 100SEVEN
Here for Humanity
Put simply, Bōggie is a human bringing humanity to business. A creative by blood, and a strategist by brain — Bōggie is an experienced technologist with a creative eye, and passionate about our culture and the authentic humanizing of brands. As a co-founder of 100SEVEN, he has been convening and leading teams on creative, technology, brand, and strategy adventures for the past 8 years. Bōggie uses two skills rarely seen in today’s business world— listening and understanding—to truly, and humanly, connect with the challenges the leaders he works with face in today’s world.
Why Soul Purpose NYC?
“I’m coming to Soul Purpose NYC, because at the core, I’m passionate about humanity. My desire to continue to deepen my understanding of humanity starts with an even deeper understanding of my own humanity and inner purpose--and that’s what I’ll bring back with me from Soul Purpose. And also to form strategic partnerships with leaders who want to pursue a positive change in our world today.”