Morning Lecture Platform
Week Two — June 30–July 6, 2013
The Next Greatest Generation
In a week of Fourth of July family gatherings, we explore the values, work and stories of the young and socially aware. Google[x] vice president Megan Smith speaks Monday with examples of a generation of “digital natives” moving faster together, and from all over the world. On Tuesday, Paula Kahumbu, the Nairobi-based executive director of WildlifeDirect, will share her work in conservation and using technology to ensure other conservationists and their projects receive attention and support. Former Gallup senior research adviser Dalia Mogahed, who has led analysis of surveys of Muslims worldwide, speaks Wednesday on the role of young people in the Arab Spring, and the state and future of interfaith and intrafaith relations as they gain influence. On Thursday, Chris Hayes, host of “All In” on MSNBC and editor-at-large for The Nation, will address how young people affect policy and effect change. Friday features a panel discussion, the centerpiece of the week, featuring all the lecturers in the collaborative style characteristic of their cohort, with Hayes serving as moderator.
Monday–Friday, July 1-5 @ 10:45 a.m.
Monday, July 1
vice president, Google[x]
Megan Smith is an entrepreneur and vice president of Google[x], the company’s advanced products team. Her range of projects includes co-creating and hosting Solve For X, a forum to encourage and amplify technology-based “moonshot” thinking and collaboration.
Smith previously oversaw Google’s New Business Development team, managing early-stage partnerships, pilot explorations and technology licensing for Google’s global engineering and product teams. She led the acquisitions of Keyhole (Google Earth), Where2Tech (Google Maps) and Picasa, and also led the Google.org team transition to add more engineering with Google Crisis Response, GoogleforNonprofits, Earth Outreach/Engine and increased employee engagement. Prior to joining Google, she was CEO and, earlier, COO of PlanetOut, the leading LGBT online community.
Over the years, Smith has contributed to a wide range of engineering projects, including an award-winning bicycle lock, space station construction program and solar cookstoves. She also was a member of the MIT student team that designed, built and raced a solar car 2,000 miles across the Australian outback. Smith holds a bachelor's and master's degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT, where she now serves on the board. She completed her master's thesis work at the MIT Media Lab.
Tuesday, July 2
executive director, Kenya Land Conservation Trust and WildlifeDirect
National Geographic Emerging Explorer
Paula Kahumbu is executive director of the Kenya Land Conservation Trust and WildlifeDirect, and chairman of the Friends of Nairobi National Park. Born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, Kahumbu entered into conservation at the height of the elephant poaching in the late 1980s. Her introduction to conservation was to measure Kenya’s entire stockpile of ivory. A decade later, Kahumbu joined the Kenya Wildlife Service and became one of the most vocal advocates against the increasing calls for renewed international trade in ivory.
Kahumbu is well known in Kenya for her passion for conservation and animals. She is currently spearheading a campaign to ensure that the infrastructural developments of Nairobi do not compromise the wildlife of Nairobi National Park, which would destroy one of Nairobi’s most important assets.
Kahumbu is co-author of the children’s book Owen and Mzee, the true story of a baby hippopotamus adopted by a giant tortoise after being orphaned by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. The book has sold more than 1 million copies and has been translated into 27 languages. Coached and mentored by paleoanthropologist and conservationist Richard Leakey, she was educated at the University of Bristol, the University of Florida and Princeton University, where she earned a doctorate in ecology and evolutionary biology.
On social media:
Wednesday, July 3
president and CEO, Mogahed Consulting
former senior analyst and executive director, Gallup Center for Muslim Studies
Dalia Mogahed is president and CEO of Mogahed Consulting, a Washington, D.C.-based executive coaching and consulting firm specializing in Muslim societies and the Middle East. She is former executive director of and senior analyst for the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies where she led the analysis of surveys of Muslims worldwide, including in the U.S. and Europe. With John L. Esposito, she co-authored the groundbreaking book Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think.
President Barack Obama appointed Mogahed to the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships in 2009, making her the first Muslim-American woman to hold a position of this seniority. She has provided significant contributions to the Homeland Security Advisory Council’s Countering Violent Extremism Working Group recommendations and was a leading voice in the U.S.-Muslim Engagement Project.
Named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, Mogahed is a member of the its Agenda Council on the Arab World. She is also a non-resident senior public policy scholar at Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut. Arabian Business magazine has recognized Mogahed as one of the most influential Arabs in the world, and The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre has included her in its lists of the 500 most influential Muslims. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.
On social media:
In the news:
Thursday, July 4
host, "All In with Chris Hayes," MSNBC
Chris Hayes is host of the MSNBC primetime weekend program “All In,” and editor-at-large for The Nation. Prior to joining MSNBC as an anchor, he served as a contributor and frequent substitute host for other programs on the network. His first book, Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy, which is about the crisis of authority in American life, was published in June 2012.
Since 2002, Hayes has written on a wide variety of political and social issues, from union organizing and economic democracy, to the intersection of politics and technology. His essays, articles and reviews have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Time, The Nation, The American Prospect, The New Republic, The Washington Monthly, The Guardian and The Chicago Reader.
Hayes previously served as a fellow at Harvard University’s Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics, a Bernard Schwartz Fellow at the New America Foundation, and a Schumann Center Writing Fellow at In These Times. He is graduate of Brown University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy.