Forces of Change Awards Judges
Journalist & Author
Bonnie is a storytelling expert at Attention Span Media and also a longtime contributor to The New York Times and the author of the award-winning American Chinatown. She has written about big-wave women surfers, the Baghdad swim team, Hong Kong’s rooftop farmers, and more for California Sunday, Pop-Up Magazine, and The New Yorker online. She has been the recipient of the Jane Rainie Opel Young Alumna Award from Harvard University, the Lowell Thomas Gold Award, and a National Press Foundation Fellowship. Her latest book, Why We Swim, was published by Algonquin Books in Spring 2020, and it has received numerous accolades – including being featured as one of TIME magazine’s must-read books of 2020, NPR Best Book of 2020 and A New York Times Editor’s Choice, among others.
IndieBio / SOSV
Po was a finance and tech journalist covering Silicon Valley for Wired, The New York Times Magazine, and an op-ed contributor for The Wall Street Journal.
His science journalism has been honored with nine national awards, and he is the author of seven bestselling books that are available in 28 languages worldwide. His work has been cited in 185 academic journals and 503 books. His background is in Economics with specialization in understanding firm behavior in collaborative networks. He learned finance at Credit Suisse and consulting at a division of Arthur Andersen. Prior to IndieBio he spent four years as a Futurist with Attention Span Media, consulting corporate innovation efforts for globally-recognized brands.
FinTech Digital Product Leader
Neal helped launch the Harvard Innovation Lab, Harvard Launch Lab and Harvard Life Labs – designing space, curriculum, and programs for each. He has designed and directed startup accelerator programs, consulted on corporate innovation practices, mentored and advised hundreds of founders, judged startup competitions, and has lectured on innovation across the US.
In addition to co-founding an inventing TetherTies, he managed Harvard’s nuclear policy research project, worked for the EPA, and as an environmental consultant at Carlson Environmental.
Christian Maximilian Voigt
VP, Marketing Development
International Olympic Committee
IOC TMS is the commercial arm of the IOC and responsible for the global broadcast and marketing activities of the Olympic Movement. Christian oversees the strategic commercial development, management and implementation of the IOC’s worldwide marketing program, in particular the TOP sponsorship program.
With over 12 years of experience in global leadership roles for the world renowned sports brand PUMA and the agency CMV Sports & Entertainment that he founded, Christian has undertaken various roles in the sports industry. His professional expertise across sports marketing/licensing, sponsorship and business development allowed him to manage the overall global spend of demand creation/sports marketing budgets, to develop commercial business in five sports and to negotiate 300+ marketing partnerships and endorsements, helping in particular to connect the PUMA brand to millions of fans and consumers worldwide.
Jenn Smith’s role with Grow-NY draws on her background in craft beverage market development, most recently as the Executive Director of the New York Cider Association and the Admin Director of the New York State Distillers Guild. In addition to working with NYCA and NYSDG, over the past 5 years Jenn was an NYC-based consultant to entrepreneurs creating value-added products and hospitality ventures. Before that, she was the marketing director of New York’s largest wine and spirits retailer.
Chief Executive Officer
Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus
The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc., a pioneering organization that has become a powerful engine of revitalization in Buffalo. Matt is focused on the intersection of energy, entrepreneurship & technology, and how it will drive the new economy in Buffalo and beyond. Matt has led the non-profit organization since its formation in 2002 to address shared issues among Campus institutions. Today, Matt oversees a team focusing on diverse, interrelated initiatives designed to lift the entire community including those in transportation, access and safety; energy, entrepreneurship, health & active living, infrastructure, economic opportunity and youth & education.
He is currently active on the boards of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership and the Buffalo Renaissance Foundation. Matt also serves as a commission member on the U.S. Commission on Transportation Sector Efficiency, part of the Alliance to Save Energy; and on the Advisory Boards for Niagara University, Daemen College, and the School of Visual Arts Design for Social Innovation in New York City.