The Quartz Pros are some of our top thinkers and doers in business who regularly contribute their takes on the news. This roster of leaders spans multiple industries, perspectives, and experiences to bring personal context behind the stories shaping the future of the global economy.
We’re introducing more than 15 new Pros in this mega round, including US president Barack Obama’s former senior advisor, the principal investigator of NASA’s mission to a meteoroid, and the CEO of a recent unicorn company. They represent the diversity and breadth of ideas that Quartz’s global network embodies and will be weighing in on the news weekly.
Say hello, and join in the conversation!
Amar Lalvani, CEO at Standard International—As the leader of Standard Hotels, the boutique chain with rooms from Hollywood to London to the Maldives, Lalvani is revisioning modern hospitality. He also has his hands in a whole bunch of other ventures, including booking apps like One Night.
Anjali Kumar, author and attorney—Kumar is exactly the lawyer you want in your end of the ring. She advises luminaries such as IDEO.org and the Malala Fund and has been the general counsel at Cheddar, Warby Parker, and Acumen, as well as senior counsel at Google. She’s now a founding advisor at the women-led The Justice Dept, and an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School and Fordham University.
Ben Hammersley, futurist—Before Hammersley decamped to the US, he worked for WIRED UK, the BBC, the European Commission, the UK government, and The Guardian, and everywhere from Afghanistan to Beirut, Brussels to Milan. He is now runs Hammersley Futures, a strategic-foresight agency.
Bertrand Piccard, explorer—Piccard has made history by completing two round-the-world flights: non-stop in a hot-air balloon, and more recently without any fuel in a solar-powered airplane. He is now the chairman of the Solar Impulse Foundation, which aims to find profitable solutions to combat climate change.
Colleen DeCourcy, co-president and chief creative officer at Wieden+Kennedy—DeCourcy has spent her career leading innovative companies. She believes in the power of creativity to tell diverse stories, build strong brands, and bring people together.
Darnell Moore, director of inclusion strategy at Netflix—The award-winning author of No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black & Free in America is well-known for his writing on race, social justice, and politics. He recently joined the family at Netflix, where he is heading up diversity efforts in their content strategy.
Elif Shafak, novelist—Shafak is one of the most respected thinkers on the topics of gender and human rights. The British-Turkish novelist’s 17 books—including the bestselling The Bastard of Istanbul, The Forty Rules of Love, and Three Daughters of Eve—have been translated into 50 languages, and she is the most widely read female author in Turkey.
Howard Bloom, scientist, author, and publicist—In the 1970s, Bloom basically ran the music industry. His PR firm built the careers of everyone from Michael Jackson to Prince, Bob Marley, and Bette Midler. He has now returned to his scientific roots as the founder of the Space Development Steering Committee. (Fun fact: the prime minister of the United Arab Emirates has named a racehorse after one of Bloom’s books.)
Justin Kan, co-founder at Atrium—After struggling to find good legal advice as a serial entrepreneur and Y Combinator partner, Kan created a solution: Atrium, a corporate law firm and tech company for startups. He’s also the founder of video-game streaming platform Twitch, which Amazon acquired for nearly $1 billion in 2014.
Kathy Gong, co-founder at WafaGames—As one of the youngest chess masters in China, Gong spent many years championing young talent in her home country through positions at the World Economic Forum and the APEC Women Leadership Forum. Before founding her current company, the mobile-gaming platform WafaGames, she also created ai.Law, a legal robotic start-up that makes legal services more affordable.
Linda Elkins-Tanton, principal investigator at the NASA Psyche mission—Elkins-Tanton is the second-ever woman to win and lead a competed NASA mission, this one to a metallic meteoroid between Mars and Jupiter. She’s also the managing director at Arizona State University’s Interplanetary Initiative, co-founder of Beagle Learning (an education-focused tech company), and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Neil Parikh, co-founder at Casper—The son of a sleep doctor, it was only natural that Parikh would eventually start America’s now-ubiquitous mattress business, which went on to become a unicorn company. Prior to founding Casper, he designed bacteria and worked on robotics at NASA, where he co-authored three patents.
Parag Khanna, globalization expert and best-selling author—A leading voice in US-China relations, Khanna’s work really has been cut out for him the past few years. In addition to being a managing partner at FutureMap, his latest book is The Future is Asian: Commerce, Conflict & Culture in the 21st Century.
Rana el Kaliouby, co-founder at Affectiva—Growing up in Egypt and earning her PhD from Cambridge University, Kaliouby is one of the world’s leading experts in artificial emotional intelligence. She’s currently the CEO of the industry-defining Affectiva, which is humanizing technology from the automotive industry to health care.
Sarah Rabia, global director of cultural strategy at TBWA—Rabia’s career may have now landed her as one of the strategic heads of a large advertising agency, but she was first a journalist and stylist who worked for publications such as Vogue, Nylon, Wallpaper, and The Face. She’s also the co-founder of Backslash, the firm’s internal trend-forecasting editorial outfit.
Sofia Dominguez, co-founder at Svrf—Dominguez lives in an augmented world of her own making. She was the first person to travel the globe with Google Glass and document how people reacted to seeing and experiencing it for the first time. She is now the CEO of Svrf, the search engine for AR and VR.
Valerie B. Jarrett, senior advisor at the Obama Foundation—Jarrett was Barack Obama’s senior advisor during the US president’s tenure in the White House, where she also chaired the White House Council on Women and Girls. She’s now also the co-chair of the United State of Women, a senior distinguished fellow at the University of Chicago Law School, and president of the board of When We All Vote.