Larry Smith is the founder and editor of SMITH Magazine, best known for the Six-Word Memoir® project and best-selling series. Anticipating the micro-blogging explosion, Larry launched Six-Word Memoirs in November 2006 in partnership with Twitter with a simple prompt: “Can you tell your life story in six words?”
Larry has spoken at companies such as ESPN, Google, Twitter, Dell and Shutterfly on the power of personal storytelling, how to engage an audience, and how a simple idea can make a big difference. He also leads workshops at foundations, nonprofits and schools across the country.
Prior to launching SMITH, Larry was the articles editor of Men’s Journal, and has been the executive editor of Yahoo! Internet Life, senior editor at ESPN The Magazine, a founding editor of P.O.V., as well as an editor of Dave Eggers’ Might magazine. While living in San Francisco, he was managing editor of the wire/syndication service AlterNet, and now serves on its board. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, ESPN Magazine, Popular Science, Men’s Health, Salon, Slate, and other places.
Piper Kerman is the author of the bestselling memoir, Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison, which has been adapted into an original television series for Netflix. She is a frequent invited speaker to students of law, criminology, gender and women’s studies, sociology, and creative writing, and also to groups that include the American Correctional Association’s Disproportionate Minority Confinement Task Force, federal probation officers, public defenders, justice reform advocates and volunteers, book clubs, and formerly and currently incarcerated people. She serves on the board of the Women’s Prison Association.
Piper works with Spitfire Strategies as a communications consultant with nonprofits, philanthropies, and other organizations working in the public interest. She works on a range of issues including criminal justice reform. Her clients include the Open Society Foundations, the Ford Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and many nonprofits.
Anastasia Ordonez is the communications director for the Children & Families program at Next Generation, and plays a principle role in managing Too Small to Fail, a joint initiative with the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation to improve the lives of children ages zero to five. She has more than 12 years of experience in nonprofit advocacy and communications, working on high profile media and issue-based campaigns for the North American labor movement, as well as for the philanthropy sector. Anastasia played a principle role in developing the “Hotel Workers Rising” campaign, an international effort to share the personal stories of hotel workers employed in hotels across North America who were trying to win better working conditions. She also was a key media strategist behind the effort for healthcare reform in California in 2007. More recently, Anastasia worked as a consultant advising organizations on public education campaigns and on developing successful online communities to promote their causes. A native of the New York City metropolitan area, Anastasia now lives with her family in Sonoma County, California.
Helena Price is a professional photographer and storyteller based in San Francisco, CA. After helping to build a handful of startups in the Silicon Valley tech scene, Helena decided to ditch her tech career in spring of 2013 and pursue her dreams of being a full-time photographer. It worked. Nowadays, her photo clients include Designer Fund, Dropbox, Go Mighty, Nike, Path, Photojojo, Rdio, Samsung, Square, and Yammer.
Lane Wood is a pioneer in societal innovation. He’s invested much of the last decade in the trenches with startup and non-profit founders, building connections between opportunity, funding and people dead-set on changing the world. Easily bored and addicted to momentum, he uses thoughtful communication and unique experiences to drive the companies forward that are going to drive humanity forward. Lane spent almost 3 years working to end the global water crisis with charity: water, a well-respected NGO known for amazing design, web presence, social media and storytelling. Most notably, he spent his time building “The Well,” which is an innovative, private giving program for a highly connected group of influencers that fund the operations of the organization. While they may not have solved the water crisis yet, they’ve already given clean water to millions of people. He moved on from charity: water to take on the role of Director of Social Innovation at Warby Parker. Lane has traveled the globe to see the impact of the investments made to give sight to people in need. Through his new company Woodwork, Lane is building a “legacy lab” where he consults founders on building epic brands that tell stories of meaning and impact.
Anna Dorfman is a self-described book cover designer by day, home renovator and insomniac blogger by night. Blogging since 1998, Dorfman started her popular site Door Sixteen in 2007. Anna has long established herself as both a trusted voice and a trend influencer within the design and lifestyle blogging community. Door Sixteen has appeared in Dwell, Washington Post, and Elle Decor and chosen for Say Media’s Say 100 list of 100 voices that matter.
Rena Tom is the founder of Makeshift Society, a coworking space and clubhouse for creative freelancers in San Francisco — and soon to be in Brooklyn. She is also Market Editor at Anthology Magazine and a business strategist who consults with product designers on the intricacies of boutique retail. She is deeply involved in many different communities — maker, designer, entrepreneur — in an effort to support creativity and doing what you love.
Spirited entrepreneur / cool scout / lifestylist Jihan Zencirli is not afraid to re-conceive the balloon, fancify your party, or cause a happy scene. Dubbing herself “master balloon-trooper,” she grew Geronimo Balloons to near popping-point in under a year. Jihan told us last year what she had planned and she’ll give us an update on everything that has happened since and some very special news about what’s next.