John Smock is a photographer, educator and story experimenter. Smock is the Director of Photography at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and a freelance photographer based in New York City. Previously Smock worked for the Associated Press and SIPA Press, a photo agency with offices in New York and in Paris. His work has appeared in publications including The New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, Paris Match, Der Spiegel and many other publications. Smock has also worked as a visual journalism trainer in several former Soviet Republics, Cambodia and most recently Afghanistan. In 2005 he received a Knight International Press Fellowship to the Middle East, where I assisted regional publication in developing the visual components of their publications. He is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism, where he also worked as an instructor.
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Samaruddin Stewart is an independent journalist and media technologist based in California. He also serves as a program manager for the SPJ Training Program in partnership with the Google News Initiative which has trained over 20,000 US journalists in the past two years across 48 US states. Prior, he was awarded a Knight Foundation Prototype Grant for his innovative work in verification of visual content for journalism and was also selected as a Stanford University John S. Knight Journalism Fellow where his research focused on countering misinformation through technology. His prior work includes senior managing and editing roles at Aol News, Agence France-Presse, The Arizona Republic, and he was also selected as the US Department of State’s 189th Franklin Fellow, serving as a media expert providing strategic advising on media outreach and audience engagement. He holds an MBA from Central European University and both a Master’s and Bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University’s Cronkite School of Journalism. In his work he has traveled to over 80 countries on 6 continents but more so cherishes his time at home with his wife and young daughter.
Dan Petty is the digital director of audience development at MediaNews Group, the U.S.-based parent company of publications including The Denver Post, Orange County Register, San Jose Mercury News and Boston Herald. He oversees efforts to build loyal and engaged audiences on the company's digital platforms as well as off-site efforts, including mobile apps and social media. For the past year, he has focused on content strategy for growing newsletters and paid digital subscriptions while also leading efforts to grow audience for video and still photography. He has trained hundreds of journalists in digital best practices, including search engine optimization and social media. Prior to MNG, he spent seven years at the Denver Post as a digital editor and producer, working in the news and sports departments. He was a part of the staff that won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in breaking news for its coverage of the Aurora theater shooting. He works and lives in Denver, Colorado, USA, with his wife, Anya.
Talshyn Tokyzhanova is a Kazakh podcaster. Her podcast “The Big Year” (Тамаша жыл) is available on iTunes and Android Player. There are currently around 100 episodes. The podcast is one of the first podcasts in the Kazakh language and she presents content on personal development, productivity, positive thinking, and more.Talshyn is a Bolashak alumna and graduate of the Kazakh-British Technical University and the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Currently, she is a lecturer at Suleyman Demirel University on Economics.
Elle is a well-known journalist in Kyrgyzstan with large scale investigative reports and is an Assistant Professor at the American University of Central Asia. She is a TV-presenter at state-owned “Fifth Channel” television.She was awarded the "Report of the Year" prize by the Institute for War and Peace Reporting Kyrgyzstan and the “Breakthrough of the Year” by the Kyrgyz Committee for Freedom of Speech. She is an alumna of the U.S. Department of State Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists in Washington D.C., Transparency International Young Journalists, and The Poynter Institute program.
Aigerim Agyltayeva is a TV journalist with 15 years experience. She has worked as a TV presenter for information services and social programs. At the moment, she is a host of the medical program “Shipager” at the National TV Channel “Qazaqstan.” She is also an editor of the online-magazine i-Sulu.kz. She believes useful content is the most important thing for a journalist.
Eldana Satybaldiyeva. She is originally from the city of Bishkek. She graduated from the Faculty of Mass Communication in Malaysia, specialization - advertising. Now she lives in Almaty and maintains her blog in Instagram and YouTube
John Armstrong is a Lecturer and Fellow in the Stanford Design Program, where he teaches courses that help students navigate their educational, vocational, and personal paths. John is a meditation guide for the number #1 app for meditation and sleep, consults with companies as a Design Coach, and has led courses and workshops at universities in the Middle East, South America, and Asia.
Rolf Potts is truly a man of the world. He has reported from more than 60 countries for the likes of National Geographic Traveler, The New Yorker, Slate.com, Outside, the New York Times Magazine, The Believer, The Guardian (U.K.), Sports Illustrated, National Public Radio, and the Travel Channel. Rolf is perhaps best known for promoting the ethic of independent travel, and his book on the subject, Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel (Random House, 2003), has been through thirty-one printings and translated into several foreign languages. His collection of literary travel essays, Marco Polo Didn’t Go There, won a 2009 Lowell Thomas Award from the Society of American Travel Writers, and became the first American-authored book to win Italy’s prestigious Chatwin Prize for travel writing. He has taught nonfiction writing courses at University of Pennsylvania, Yale University, and the Paris American Academy.
Jeffrey Donenfeld is an international business strategy advisor, investment manager, and startup venture mentor with experience in tech ideation, investment analysis and market positioning. He has been instrumental in raising and managing multi-millions in private equity, seasoned working with sector-leading technology and lifestyle brands, and successful in guiding teams and companies to profitable growth. Jeffrey is currently the Investment Director of Boomtown Accelerators, and Director of Four North Ventures. He holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Denver Daniels College of Business. He’s also worked globally as a photojournalist, public speaker, and Antarctic expedition technician. He blogs at http://JeffreyDonenfeld.com and @Jeffzilla.
Managing Director of PBN Hill + Knowlton Strategies in Kazakhstan. Over 10 years of professional experience. Inna leads the implementation of client projects of PBN H + K Strategies in Kazakhstan in the field of corporate communications, social media marketing and cooperation with mass media. Among her past and current clients are Capital Partners, Dell, Cameco, Beeline, Google, Shell, Huawei, P & G, Rio Tinto, Verny Capital, Citi, Megafon, and others. Inna graduated from the Novosibirsk State University of Economics and Management with a specialization in public relations, she has a PhD candidate in Sociology.
Founder, CEO at Green Business Innovation. Technovation ambassador in Uzbekistan. Sustainable development specialist with an emphasis on sustainable energy, green technology and innovations. Extensive experience in working with international organisations (UNDP, ILO, IREX), research, project development/management, cooperation with Government partners.