TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL AND DISRUPTOR FOUNDATION ANNOUNCE 10th ANNIVERSARY AWARDS AND YOUNGEST RECIPIENT IN TDIA HISTORY
Eight-Year-Old Nigerian Refugee and Chess Prodigy Tanitoluwa ‘Tani’ Adewumi to be Honored
Additional Recipients Include Nelson Mandela’s Grandson and Chairman of the Africa Rising Foundation Ndaba Mandela, Global Impact Revolution Pioneer Sir Ronald Cohen, HBO News Documentary Series Axios and Pop-Up Magazine
New York, NY (April 2, 2019) - Today, the Tribeca Film Festival, presented by AT&T, and Disruptor Foundation announced their Tenth Annual Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards (TDIA) which will take place on Friday, May 3rd at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. The awards ceremony, sponsored by AT&T, will celebrate, nurture and mobilize a community of disruptors who have inspired and empowered others toward innovative thinking and creative activism. Honorees include eight year-old Nigerian refugee and chess prodigy Tanitoluwa ‘Tani’ Adewumi, Nelson Mandela’s grandson and chairman of the Africa Rising Foundation Ndaba Mandela, Global Impact Revolution pioneer and philanthropist Sir Ronald Cohen, NYU professor and 2018 co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics Sciences Paul Romer, Harvard professor and human development pioneer Robert Kegan, acclaimed “Live Magazine” touring show Pop-Up Magazine and commended news documentary series Axios on HBO. Posthumous awards go to Apollo 12 Commander (ahead of the Apollo’s 50th anniversary) and third man to walk on the moon Charles ‘Pete’ Conrad Jr., and WWII unsung rescuer of Hungarian Jews Tibor Baranski.
Helmed by co-founder Craig Hatkoff, the awards acknowledge and uplift those who have challenged social norms to present world-changing inventions or ideas. Past honorees include Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jack Dorsey, Michiko Kakutani, Sheila Nevins, Sia, Jose Antonio Vargas, Dick Fosbury, Keith Richards, Rick Rubin, Questlove, Tory Burch, Yancey Trickler, Fran Lebowitz, Ashton Kutcher, Darren Walker, Uber, Airbnb and Jared Cohen, the Google Ideas founder and director who will be receiving this year’s Disruptor Award Book of the Year for Accidental Presidents: Eight Men Who Changed America. These changemakers often live at the intersection of technology and culture, encourage advances in society and raise the bar for a thriving humanity. The awards will be hosted by HBO filmmaker and Sirius XM host, Perri Peltz.
“Over the past ten years, we have celebrated the achievements of 250 the world's greatest disruptors who have challenged and changed the status quo for the public good,” says Tribeca Film Festival co-founder Craig Hatkoff.
“We have witnessed the awe, wonder and enchantment of human ingenuity and resilience. Our disruptors have led an expansion of the moral imagination to deal with the world's most vexing problems. As we celebrate our tenth anniversary, a clear message has emerged: in order to bridge the rapidly expanding techno-cultural divide, we need to better understand the influence of culture and context on successful innovation and disruption. Too much emphasis has been placed on the promise of our emerging technologies, but humanism itself remains at the core of all progress.”
TDIA serves as a living laboratory for advances in disruptive innovation theory, bringing together the world’s most striking innovators with stories that inspire us to think outside the box, focusing on breakthroughs at the intersection of technology and culture where resistance to change impedes upon social progress. Visionary minds have come together to brainstorm solutions and envision lifechanging results for some of the world’s most critical issues. TDIA honors these dynamic individuals and corporations founded upon advancing society through cutting-edge cultural revolutions.
The Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards are a collaboration with Clayton Christensen, Harvard Business School Professor, author of the Silicon Valley manifesto, The Innovators Dilemma and father of the disruptive innovation theory—the world’s most influential theory of innovation and radical change. This year’s honorees include:
Akashinga: Akashinga is a community-driven conservation model, empowering disadvantaged women to restore and manage large networks of wilderness areas as an alternate economic model to trophy hunting. The program was started in Phundundu Wildlife Area in Zimbabwe’s Lower Zambezi ecosystem. It builds an alternative approach to the militarized paradigm of ‘fortress conservation’ which defends colonial boundaries between nature and humans. While still trained to deal with any situation they may face, the team has a community-driven interpersonal focus, working with rather than against the local population for the long-term benefits of their own communities and nature. Akashinga aims to recruit 1000 women, protecting a network of 20 former hunting reserves by 2025.
In 2017 Vimbai Kumire heard that the IAPF was recruiting women to be rangers. With her brother’s encouragement she applied and was deployed as a ranger in the pioneering Akashinga team. Since becoming a ranger, she has consistently demonstrated her grit, discipline and leadership, resulting in her promotion to sergeant and squad leader of Akashinga ranger team one. As a single mother of two, she can now afford a home, support her mother and send her children to school.
Alexandria Villaseñor: Alexandria Villaseñor is a 13 year-old climate activist. Frustrated by the lack of progress at COP 24 and inspired by 16 year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, Alexandria began her own school strike for climate in front of the United Nations Headquarters on December 14, 2018. Soon after, Alexandria became a national and international organizer for the first ever global youth climate strike which occurred on March 15, 2019 and mobilized 1.6M youth from 123 countries.
Ashley Edwards (MindRight): Ashley Edwards is Co-founder and CEO of MindRight. MindRight provides daily, culturally-responsive mental health coaching over text message to youth impacted by trauma. Ashley is a 2018 Forbes 30 under 30 Social Entrepreneur and has been recognized by Forbes as one of the top 30 innovators of the next century.
Axios on HBO: This is a first-of-its-kind news show, fusing Axios reporting on the most consequential topics of our time with the cinematic, documentary storytelling of two award-winning filmmakers and HBO.
The ambition: to leave viewers feeling a lot smarter about the topics truly upending and reshaping their lives.
The Conrad Foundation on behalf of Charles ‘Pete’ Conrad Jr.: Charles ‘Pete’ Conrad Jr was a naval officer and aviator, test pilot, aeronautical engineer, NASA astronaut, and the third man to walk on the Moon. His wife Nancy continues his legacy through the Conrad Foundation by encouraging students to become disruptive entrepreneurs and apply innovation, science and technology to create global impact.
Dustin Yellin: Dustin Yellin is an artist who lives in Brooklyn, New York, and is the founder and director of Pioneer Works, a multidisciplinary cultural center in Red Hook, Brooklyn that builds community through the arts and sciences to create an open and inspired world. Acting as a pendant to his institution-building social practice, Yellin’s artwork makes the hidden forces of nature and commerce tangible.
Grant Thompson: Grant Thompson is a 14-year-old high school honors student from Tucson, Arizona. He was recently credited by Apple, Inc. for finding and reporting the Apple “Group Facetime Bug.” This bug had national privacy and security implications as it allowed iPhone users to eavesdrop on third parties when utilizing Apple’s new Group Facetime feature.
Henry Timms and 92nd Street Y: Henry Timms is the President and CEO of 92nd Street Y, co-author of the international bestseller New Power, and co-founder of #GivingTuesday. He is a visiting Fellow at Stanford University and a Hauser Leader at Harvard Kennedy School. He was recently named as the next President and CEO of Lincoln Center.
Indrani Pal-Chaudhuri: Indrani Pal-Chaudhuri is an Indian-Canadian multidisciplinary artist: a “rad feminist director” (Jezebel), photographer, writer, and social justice advocate.
Kunal Sood: Kunal Sood is an internationally renowned social entrepreneur, exponential leader and curator of the future, who has convened extraordinary experiences including TEDx at the United Nations and NOVUS at the UN General Assembly and is getting ready to launch SDG Moonshots by celebrating the 50th anniversary of man landing on the Moon on July 20th. As Ambassador at SU and Open EXO, he recently launched SingularityU’s New York City Chapter and EXO Global Summit. As founder of NOVUS and CXO of X Fellows, Kunal is focused on positively disrupting the human experience by creating a league of extraordinary citizens that make the impossible possible on earth. He is a TED Resident and serves on the advisory boards of Forbes Impact and Lottery.com.
Lauren Bush Lauren: Lauren Bush Lauren is the CEO & Founder of FEED, a social-impact driven brand, on a mission to end childhood hunger.
Maria Gallagher and Ana María Archila: Maria Gallagher is an investing analyst based in the DC area who received national attention following a confrontation with then Senator Jeff Flake about the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Ana María Archila is the Co-Executive Director at the Center for Popular Democracy, and a national voice for immigrant justice, women’s rights, and the urgency of a people-centered democracy.
Mayors for Peace: Following the devastating 1945 bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Mayors for Peace was founded to contribute to the attainment of lasting world peace. Arousing concern among citizens of the world for the total abolition of nuclear weapons, Mayors for Peace contributes through close solidarity among member cities as well as by striving to solve vital problems for the human race such as starvation and poverty, the plight of refugees, human rights abuses, and environmental degradation.
Mick Ebeling: Named Wired magazine's "Make Tech Human" thought leaders, awarded Muhammed Ali's Humanitarian of the Year Award and Ad Age's Top 50 Most Creative People, Ebeling is an instigator of innovation. Mick founded Not Impossible on the principle of Technology for the Sake of Humanity, developing projects for fundamental human needs.
Ndaba Mandela: Nelson Mandela’s legacy lives on as his grandson, NDABA MANDELA, continues to keep its beacon of hope bright, fueling its fiery message that one person can make a difference. Ndaba is Co-Founder and Chairman of the Africa Rising Foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting the positive image of Africa around the world. He is also the longest serving Global Ambassador to UNAIDS, where he works to end the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS. His recent memoir, Going to the Mountain: Life Lessons from My Grandfather, Nelson Mandela, is the first-ever book to tell Mandela's life through the eyes of the grandson whom he raised. Recently named one of BET’s “28 Men of Change” Ndaba is showing the world, through his actions and orations, that Madiba’s voice and message of freedom still rings true.
Paul Romer: Paul Romer, economist and policy entrepreneur, is a co-recipient of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Economics Sciences and University Professor in Economics at NYU. He has spent his career at the intersection of economics, innovation, technology, and urbanization, working to speed up human progress.
Pop-Up Magazine: Pop-Up Magazine is a unique series of live-narrated, live-scored, multimedia journalism performances staged at major theaters across the country. Contributors tell vivid, never-before-told stories accompanied by illustration, animation, photography, and an original score performed onstage by our musical collaborators, Magik*Magik Orchestra. We end the night gathered around the bar, performers and audience together. And nothing goes online after—you have to be there to see it.
Robert Kegan: Harvard professor Robert Kegan is a world-renowned pioneer in the field of human development. His research and writing on the stages of mental complexity in adulthood have helped create a whole new field of study, transformed practice in nearly every profession, and unleashed the hope that we can all keep growing at any age.
Sir Ronald Cohen: Sir Ronald Cohen, Chair of the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment, is a pioneering philanthropist, venture capitalist, private equity investor, and social innovator, who is driving forward the global Impact Revolution. For nearly two decades, his ground-breaking initiatives have catalyzed global efforts to drive private capital to serve social and environmental good.
Tanitoluwa Adewumi: Eight year-old Tanitoluwa ‘Tani’ Adewumi fled northern Nigeria in 2017 with his father, mother and brother, who lived in a homeless shelter upon moving to New York City. Tani enrolled at PS 116 school where he learned how to play chess and his early display of talent led to his mother enrolling him in the school's chess program, which agreed to waive his fees. Tani is now one of the top players in the country, winning the championship for his age group at the New York State chess tournament in March 2019. After thousands of donations from a recent GoFundMe campaign, the Adewumi family is now living in an apartment of their own and will distribute the remainder of funds to their church and through their new Tanitoluwa Adewumi Foundation to help other African immigrants who are having difficulty settling in the United States.
Tibor Baranski (Posthumous): Teacher, devout Catholic and fearless wartime hero, the late Tibor Baranski working for the Vatican Embassy in Budapest is credited with saving 3,000+ Jews during the Holocaust in Budapest Hungary when he was only 22 years old. For his act he is recognized by Yad Vashem as "Righteous Among the Nations.”
Veronica Varekova: Veronica Varekova is a globally recognized supermodel, conservation advocate, and global ambassador for African wildlife. She resides in New York City and Prague - where she was born - and travels frequently to countries in Africa to focus on wildlife related issues. Veronica is a keen advocate of sustainable development on the African continent and uses the high-level contacts that she has generated throughout her career in the public eye to assist private sector and governments to interact, whilst maintaining a strong position with regard to the importance of cultural sensitivities, social, and environmental needs.
Perri Peltz (Host): Perri Peltz is a documentary filmmaker, journalist, and public health advocate. Most recently Perri directed the HBO documentary, Warning: This Drug May Kill You, about the opioid addiction epidemic. She recently produced the HBO documentary Risky Drinking and co- directed A Conversation About Growing Up Black as part of the “Conversation on Race” series for The New York Times Op-Docs. Other films include HBO’s Remembering the Artist: Robert De Niro, Sr. and Prison Dogs. Perri hosts “The Perri Peltz Show” on SiriusXM and is a doctoral candidate at Columbia University's School of Public Health. She was previously an award- winning broadcast journalist for NBC, ABC, and CNN.
About Our 2019 Partner
As Presenting Sponsor of the Tribeca Film Festival, AT&T is committed to supporting the Festival and the art of filmmaking through access and innovation, while expanding opportunities to diverse creators around the globe. AT&T helps millions connect to their passions – no matter where they are. This year, AT&T and Tribeca will once again collaborate to give the world access to stories from underrepresented filmmakers that deserve to be seen. AT&T Presents Untold Stories. An Inclusive Film Program in Collaboration with Tribeca is a multi-year, multi-tier alliance between AT&T and Tribeca along with the year-round nonprofit Tribeca Film Institute.
About Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards
TDIA serves as a living laboratory for advances in disruptive innovation theory and brings together the world's most fascinating disruptors whose stories will inspire anyone with an interest in the process of innovation.
In 1997, Harvard Business School's Professor Clayton M. Christensen published his groundbreaking book The Innovator's Dilemma where he introduced his theory of Disruptive Innovation.
The Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards, helmed by co-founder Craig Hatkoff, in collaboration with Professor Christensen, celebrates disruptive innovation across the full spectrum of traditional and non-traditional domains ranging from technology, biomed, politics, education, healthcare, spirituality, religion, economics, sports, fashion and philanthropy.
The awards focus on breakthroughs occurring at the intersection of technology and culture where frequent clashes and resistance to change impede social progress and solutions for some of the world's most vexing problems.
About Disruptive Foundation
Disruptor Foundation is co-founded by Craig Hatkoff, Irwin Kula and Professor Clayton Christensen in 2009, the Disruptor Foundation is a private 501(C)3 non-profit whose mission is to raise awareness of and encourage the advancement of disruptive innovation theory and its application in societally-critical domains.
The Foundation’s marquee event, the annual Disruptor Awards is presented in collaboration with the Tribeca Film Festival and the Harvard Business School’s Professor Clayton Christensen, originator of disruptive innovation theory.