Lincoln Center – Walter Reade Theater
165 W 65th Street
New York, New York, 10023
United States

Official Date TBA


Our Speakers

2020-2021’s Speakers: Thinkers. Doers. Idea-generators.

Tyrone V. Ross Jr.

CEO and Co-Founder of Onramp Invest, Financial Planning.com 20 People Who Will Change Wealth Management in 2020, Founder of 401 Storytelling Consultancy

Tyrone Ross is the CEO and Co-founder of Onramp Invest and the Founder of 401stc, a storytelling consultancy. He is a graduate of Seton Hall University, and was also a 2004 Olympic Trials qualifier in track and field in the 400 meters. He was recognized by Investment News 40 under 40 (2019), and WealthManagement.com as a top ten advisor set to change the industry in 2019. Financial Planning.com named him as one of 20 people who will change wealth management in 2020. He was recently named as Investopedia’a top 100 financial advisors.

Dean Graziosi

NY Times Best Selling Author, Success Coach, Investor, Entrepreneur

Dean Robert Graziosi is a well-known American entrepreneur, marketer, success coach, business owner, real estate investor and leading trainer throughout the world. He has appeared daily on American TV for nearly 15 years and is highly respected as a top businessman, entrepreneur, multiple New York Times bestselling author and Inspirational speaker. Graziosi is perhaps best known for his long running interview style TV shows and for becoming the leading real estate educator in the world. He has reached viewers in America and around the world who number in the millions. He has written five books which have dominated the success, business & real estate book sales space since 2006, with his best-selling book amassing over 1,000,000 copies sold.

Dr. Ayesha Ahmad

Academic, Writer

Dr Ayesha Ahmad is a lecturer in global health at St Georges University of London and an honorary lecturer at the Institute for Global Health, University College London. She has a PhD in medical ethics and a PGDip/Psych in psychoanalytic studies. Her specialisation is in cross-cultural trauma and mental health, and she has developed a pathway in an MSc Global Health on Culture and Mental Health, which is also offered as a module to intercalating medical students. Her research focuses on trauma in conflict, especially related to gender-based violence, and she is co-investigator for Storytelling for Health: Expression, Acknowledgement, and Recovery, working with Afghanistan, Tunisia, Kashmir, Turkey, and South Africa. She works on developing mental health interventions and programs in Pakistan. Her publications are vast and she has authored over 10 book chapters. Her co-edited book (with James Smith) 'Humanitarian Action and Ethics' was published by ZED in 2018.

Jiaying Wu

Jiaying Wu

Alumna, ’19 Applied Analytics; Data Scientist, Career Mentor

Jiaying Wu is a Data Scientist at Deloitte Consulting, a reliable-AI advocator, and a career mentor. She is passionate about how scientific reasoning and business reasoning converge to drive decisions. She bridges the gap between the technical side and the business side by bringing a unique combination of decision intelligence expertise, marketing management experience, and cross-cultural communication skills.

After completed her Master of Science degree in Applied Analytics at Columbia University in 2019, Wu joined the Decisioning Team of HUX (Human Experience) at Deloitte Consulting as a Data Scientist. She focuses on leveraging machine learning and data analytics to answer core business questions such as customer lifetime value, targeting, returns, etc. She also works on accelerating data science-efficiency by building up automated machine learning pipelines.

Previously, Wu worked in the marketing field at DuPont and Lubrizol. She has led projects of digital transformation, market research, competitor analysis, and customer engagement enhancement across the Asia Pacific region. Over the past 8 years, Jiaying Wu has been distilling data insights into actionable pivots to continuously improve business growth.

Jiaying is from Shanghai and now lives on the upper west side in Manhattan, New York, near the Columbia University campus. In her personal time, she mentors students and career transitioners who are interested in dedicating their careers to data science. She also enjoys exploring museums and has a passion for renaissance art.

Hassan Akmal

Executive Director of the UCLA Career Center, Author, Professor, Career and Life Mastery Consultant, Global Career Mastermind Leader, Career and Life Vision Thought Leader, Career Strategist, Philanthropist, Former Executive Director of the Career Design Lab at Columbia University, Former Professional Tennis Player, and Former Athlete Ambassador to the United States; Alumnus ‘03, Public Health

Hassan Akmal is an American career and life mastery consultant, author, professor, thought leader, philanthropist, and former professional tennis player and athlete ambassador to the United States. He is best known for his Amazon best-selling book—How to be a Career Mastermind™: Discover 7 “YOU Matter” Lenses for a Life of Purpose, Impact, and Meaningful Work and humanitarian work dedicated to Forced Migration and Health.

After over a decade as a senior leader in career services, he became the inaugural executive director of industry relations and career strategies at Columbia University in 2017 and founded the Career Design Lab. In 2018, he served on the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) “Future of We” — Advisory Think Tank Committee and served as a senior advisor to Graduway, a prominent and top 10 global EdTech startup. In April 2019, he delivered the keynote address on the “Future of Career Services” at the Global Leaders Summit hosted by Graduway at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He also serves on several other prominent boards internationally.

Akmal began a new role as the executive director of the UCLA Career Center in February 2020, before transitioning to UCSD in September of 2021, and is currently helping lead an ambitious re-imagination of career services.

Nathan Canning

Product Strategist, Discovery Coach, Design Facilitator, Consulting Partner, Entrepreneur

Nathan Canning is an entrepreneur, product strategist, design facilitator, consulting partner and early-stage startup advisor with a deep background in user experience design. He is the co-founder of several tech startups, and as a consultant he has helped dozens of startups and SMBs to integrate design thinking into their workflows and to build empowered product teams. He has a great passion for teaching executives and cross functional teams engaging processes for creative problem solving to meet business goals and satisfy customer needs. He now focuses on coaching product teams by teaching and facilitating strategy and design workshops, to help unleash the creative potential within businesses by improving team alignment, confidence, and collaboration.

Rehan Jalali

Author, Nutritionist

Rehan Jalali is an internationally recognized Certified Sports Nutritionist (CSN). He hosted “Rehan Jalali’s Celebrity Fitness Show” on KABC in Los Angeles and has over 500 nationally and internationally published articles on nutrition and supplementation. He has worked with many Olympic and professional athletes including Gold medalists, and has developed customized nutrition and supplementation programs for clients that include Oscar® winning actors, Emmy® award winning TV stars, and Grammy® winning musicians. As a Nutrition and Dietary Supplement expert, he has been featured in several movies including “Bigger, Stronger, Faster” and the recent “SUPPS: The Movie” on Amazon Prime Video. Over the last 20 years, Rehan has developed and managed over 120 sports nutrition and health products, is a natural bodybuilder who has appeared on ESPN, and has held numerous bodybuilding titles, including Mr. Texas and the Ironman Naturally Bodybuilding Champion.

Salman Azam

Attorney, Managing Partner, Entrepreneur, Community Organizer & Activist

Salman Azam is the Managing Partner at Azam Chandran & Gilani LLP, a boutique law firm in downtown Chicago that he founded to address the unique corporate and transactional needs of small and medium sized businesses that he believes to be the fabric of our economy. Mr. Azam is also the General Counsel of Dialysis Care Center Chicago, a growing healthcare provider in the midwest whose legal matters he manages. He has previously served as Past President of the South Asian Bar Association of Chicago and has held various leadership positions in legal and professional organizations across the country. During the past several years, he has been recognized for his legal accomplishments by Chicago Magazine as a “Rising Star” and "Super Lawyer.” Outside the legal space, Azam has served on the board of his local mosque and other community organizations. Salman was also a weekly host on Radio Islam and his real passion lies in lending his legal skills and time to community not-for-profits where he regularly volunteers.

Dr. Pedro Manrique

CEO, DRP Systems, Author, Inventor, Organizational Development Consultant, Strategic Analyst

Perhaps an eclectic path, the career started in audio as Director of Engineering in a modest loudspeaker company in Montreal, followed by VLSI Design for CIDTEC in Syracuse and Photobit in Pasadena for NASA and large scale CMOS image sensor applications respectively. Returning to audio, the path transitioned into Harman International as a Senior Design Engineer then Global Engineering Program Manager where he obtained 9 patents; with one for Infinity Systems, JBL, and Harman Kardon. Spirited and with a passion for continuous improvement, the path transitioned into forming DRP Systems Inc., an Organizational Development consulting company with clients that included Belkin, Innovative Dimmers, and Columbia University. While at Belkin as Global Engineering Program Manager for a nine figure business division, a 10th patent was completed for a client that managed power consumption of electronics devices in residential settings.

Avais Chughtai

Designer, Filmmaker, Inventor, Public Speaker & Entrepreneur

Avais Chughtai is a Sr. Creative Designer at NBCUniversal, a film studio based in Los Angeles California. He is a storyteller, a creative catalyst and an innovator in multifaceted creative disciplines ranging from design to filmmaking.

As a seasoned designer, he has worked with top creative agencies and Fortune 500 companies helping them present their ideas with creative strategy & design at the highest platform. He is also an award­ winning Director and utilizes his storytelling chops in his passion for public speaking. His deep interest in the science of spiritual intelligence and self improvement is inspired by classic Eastern poets, scholars and literature.

He is also registered with the United States Patent & Trademark office and has multiple inventions to his name. Previously, Avais dedicated the first ten years of his professional career to the non-profit sector, working his way up as a coordinator to an Executive Director level. His passion for nonprofit work allowed him the opportunity to help the undeserved population in South LA, Orphans in Pakistan and counter misinformation about Islam globally.

His love for causes, combined with his creative background inspired him to launch Jump4Cause, a creative house helping NGOs and emerging companies find solutions through creative campaign development, production and design. He is also a co-founder of (AMAP) Association of Muslim American Professionals and has served as a board member on multiple non-profits.