Our Advisors

These explorers, scientists, entrepreneurs and artists have all broken ground in their own fields. Now they're lending all their experience to Expedition Granted to help us find the next great explorer.
Wylie Dufresne is a celebrated chef and proponent of modernist cuisine, the movement to incorporate science and new techniques in the preparation and presentation of food. He is a graduate of The French Culinary Institute. He opened the restaurant wd~50 in April 2003. It has received three stars from Frank Bruni of the New York Times and one star from the Michelin Guide. Wylie has been nominated for multiple James Beard Awards, including “Best Chef New York” for seven consecutive years, winning the award in 2013. Alder, Dufresne’s second restaurant, opened in Manhattan’s East Village in March 2013.
As a pioneer at the forefront of online filmmaking, Casey Neistat's work consists of an extensive body of films released exclusively on the Internet, including regular contributions to the New York Times critically acclaimed Op-Doc series. These short films have been viewed over 60 million times in the last 3 years alone. Based in NYC, Casey is also the writer, director, editor, and star of the series The Neistat Brothers on HBO and won the John Cassavetes Award at the 2012 Independent Spirit Awards for producing the film Daddy Long Legs.
Kenzo Digital is a director and artist dedicated to synthesizing new narrative forms by unifying traditional storytelling with groundbreaking technology. He has built his brand as a highly conceptual and culturally penetrating artist who has been able to powerfully re-mythologize his subjects through a potent combination of pop culture and technology. Kenzo is best known for his collaborative work with Beyoncé, including her 2011 Billboard Awards performance and the UN World Humanitarian Day 2012 project, “I Was Here,” which broke social media records with 2.76 billion impressions. His films have been featured in the Tribeca Film Festival, the Mill Valley Film Festival. He is an expert in residence at the Harvard University Innovation Lab, recipient of the Disruptive Innovator of the Year Award at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival, and has been collaborating with Google robotics company Bot & Dolly.
Marina Gorbis is a futurist and social scientist exploring how technology and globalism are fundamentally transforming our social structures. She serves as executive director to the Institute for the Future, where she has brought a futures perspective to hundreds of organizations in business, education, government, and philanthropy. Her latest book is "The Nature of the Future: Dispatches from the Socialstructed World." A native of Odessa, Ukraine, yet equally at home in Silicon Valley, Europe, India, and Kazakhstan, Marina is particularly well suited to see things from a global viewpoint.
Ainissa G. Ramirez, Ph.D. is a science evangelist who is passionate about getting the general public excited about science. She co-authored “Newton’s Football: The Science Behind America’s Game” and authored “Save Our Science: How to Inspire a New Generation of Scientists. Before taking on the call to improve the public’s understanding of science, she was an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science at Yale University. Technology Review named her one of the world’s 100 Top Young Innovators for her contributions to transforming technology. She has authored more than 50 technical papers, holds six patents, and has presented her work worldwide.
Named by CNN as one of the 10 most remarkable people in 2010, Raghava KK is a multidisciplinary artist and entrepreneur working at the intersection of art, technology, and education. Raghava is a National Geographic Emerging Explorer and a multiple-time TED speaker. His iPad art book Pop-it, launched at TED Global in 2011, presents children with multiple perspectives on the concept of the ideal family. It won several awards, including a Best of 2011 award from Kirkus. He is presently in New York working on his creativity startup, Flipsicle, a web platform that shakes up everything through visual perspectives. Photo by Nimish Jain.
Thomas Dolby has crafted a career blending music and technology. His early hit songs, “She Blinded Me With Science” and “Hyperactive!,” and his keyboard and studio production work garnered numerous awards and five Grammy nominations. Dolby also started Beatnik Inc. and licensed technology to Nokia for the first embedded polyphonic ringtone engine for mass-market devices. His first new studio album in two decades, A Map of the Floating City, received critical acclaim and was accompanied by the self-created, multi-user social networking game The Floating City. Dolby recently completed his first film, The Invisible Lighthouse.
Thayer Walker is an executive, journalist, and explorer who has covered topics from civil war to deep sea exploration, and once stranded himself on a desert island for 20 days. He is a partner at Summit, an organization designed to build community, catalyze entrepreneurship, address global issues, and support artistic achievement in an effort to make our world a more joyful place. Thayer led the organization's efforts to establish a 71-square-mile marine protected area in the Bahamas. He is also cofounder of Ink Dwell, a studio that inspires people to love and protect the Earth, one work of art at a time.
Born into a dynasty of explorers and scientists who have conquered the heights and depths of our planet, Bertrand Piccard made the first ever non-stop round-the-world balloon flight. As a psychiatrist, aeronaut and lecturer, chairman of the Winds of Hope charitable foundation, and a United Nations goodwill ambassador, he combines science and adventure in order tackle some of the great challenges of our times. By initiating the Solar Impulse project and aiming to fly round the world in a solar airplane, he is seeking to promote clean technologies that help conserve our planet’s natural resources.
Gregg Treinish is an avid outdoorsman and the founder of an initiative to connect the leisure activities of hikers, bikers, and mountain climbers with a greater purpose. Thanks to the data collection efforts of those hobbyists, his organization Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation has helped discover new plant species, collected data on pikas, retrieved Arctic plankton samples and checked glaciers for ice worms. He also leads his own expeditions; in 2013, he traveled to Mongolia, gathering data on wolverines as well as about 20 other species. He is a National Geographic Emerging Explorer and was awarded National Geographic Adventurer of the Year in 2008.
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