Eric Kasum, founder and CEO of the Imagine Institute, has a life-long commitment to Peace Building, Social Justice, and Nonviolence. He brings experience in public policy, Fortune 500 management, journalism, and success as a social entrepreneur and non-profit executive to the cause of planetary change. His mission is to empower everybody to change the world... one idea at a time. His goal is to create a new story for humanity.
Eric is a "voice for peace." His syndicated articles and Op-Eds have appeared in more than 100 newspapers and magazines around the world, including The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Time magazine. He is also a featured blogger for the Huffington Post. His blog about Christopher Columbus received 85,000 Facebook "Likes" in only 24 hours. Eric was a newswriter / producer for ABC News, CBS News, and CNN. He also worked for the White House, members of the President's Cabinet, and a think tank in Washington, DC. At the Fortune 500 level, Eric served in management at Intel, the Silicon Valley chipmaker, where he wrote speeches for its CEO Paul Otellini, who is now on the board of Google.
Eric is a pioneer in communication strategies that have massive impact. He coined the phrase "Influence Packet" to describe this idea. He says that an "Influence Packet" has four key traits: 1) It's an infectious idea that engages a person's emotions, 2) It contains a blueprint for action, 3) It causes a change in behavior, and 4) People want to share it with their friends (i.e., social media). When someone says a blog or a video has gone "viral" on the Internet, they are talking about an Influence Packet. Eric's goal is to engage the passion and energy of young people in the causes of Peace Building, Social Justice, and Nonviolence by using the Influence Packet concept. His strategy is summed up in the Imagine Institute's motto: "Ideas that change the world."
Rebecca Tobias serves as a Global Council Trustee of the United Religions Initiative (URI), also as Program Director of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Ethics, which designs and facilitates interfaith and intercultural programming to foster a culture of peace, and is a Board member of the Euphrates Institute at Principia College.
As a Fellow with the United Nations' Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva for the Working Groups for Indigenous Populations, Rebecca assisted in drafting of resolutions presented for the Human Rights Sub-Commission meeting held in August 2005. Since that time she has served as a delegate to the United Nations on numerous occasions including the inaugural meeting of the Tripartite Forum on Interfaith Cooperation for Peace.
Libby & Len Traubman
Libby & Len are founders of the Jewish-Palestinian Living Room Dialogues. They have been featured by Anderson Cooper on CNN. For 22 years, their process of deep, empathetic listening and sharing of stories has achieved profound results. In 1984, at the height of the Cold War, they visited the Soviet Union and built deep and enduring friendships with "the enemy." They became convinced that: "An enemy is someone whose story you have not yet heard."
For 30 years, they have helped bring "enemies" together in successful public peace processes from personal experience with Soviets and Americans, Armenians and Azerbaijanis, Jews and Palestinians, and most recently Muslim and Christian Nigerians. Libby & Len were actively involved in creating the Imagine Peace Conference at UC Berkeley. Libby helped organize the 1991 Beyond War conference for Israeli and Palestinian citizen-leaders resulting in a historic signed document, Framework For A Public Peace Process. She co-produced three films modeling a new quality of listening and communication - Peacemakers: Palestinians & Jews Together at Camp, Dialogue at Washington High, and Crossing Lines in Fresno. Len co-produced the documentaries Dialogue In Nigeria: Muslims & Christians Creating Their Future (2012), and Dozos-Guerre Tribal Healing in Côte d'Ivoire (2013).
Linda Klein has served as an official representative at the United Nations' Conference on the Status of Women. She currently works at Pathways to Peace as Executive Assistant to the President, Avon Mattison. Linda was actively involved in creating and hosting the Imagine Peace conference at UC Berkeley. She is an advanced-level graduate of the Peace Ambassador training (with James O'Dea, formerly of Amnesty International). Her daughter Lillon Anderson works at the Shift Network, which hosts the Summer of Peace and Peace Week, the largest Peace gatherings on Earth. Linda served as Director of Registration at Hoffman Institute for 13 years. Before that she was trained in natural medicine school and worked in the healing arts for 20 years.
Dr. Marah Cannon
Dr. Cannon has been a key figure in the creation of the Imagine Peace Conference at UC Berkeley and the formation of the Imagine Institute itself. Marah is a Doctor of Chiropractic as well as a Certified Traditional Naturopath. Nurturing her love for healing and for helping others, Marah is currently working on her second doctoral degree at Bastyr University in San Diego.
Ryoko Gibson has been active in Interfaith events and working for world Peace. A practicing Buddhist (of the Shinnyo-en order), Ryoko lives the principles of kindness, nonviolence and embracement in her daily life. She is a certified expert in the healing arts of Gyrotonic and Pilates.