Ben Siegel is the Impact Policy Manager at ConsenSys. Focusing on areas such as human rights and financial inclusion, he is leading ConsenSys' efforts in equipping social impact organizations with blockchain solutions.
After spending time working in the political sphere, including an internship with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, and a stint at the European Parliament, Ben spent his senior year of college taking an in-depth look at the way we currently handle humanitarian aid. As a result, he became extremely interested in experimental technologies, specifically, the growing role they have to play for the impact sector. Post-graduation, Ben became increasingly enthralled with blockchain’s potential as a tool for social change. This led him straight into ConsenSys, where he co-founded the Social Impact team as well as the broader Blockchain for Social Impact Coalition (BSIC). He is dedicated to bringing blockchain technology more directly into social impact work, and bridging the gap between technologists and humanitarians. Ben was recently quoted about the potential of blockchain in Fast Company and Bitcoin Magazine.
Outside of ConsenSys, Ben is an advisor to NeedsList, a social startup that allows donors to directly buy necessary supplies for refugees across the globe. He is also a mentor for the Katapult Accelerator program, based in Oslo, Norway.
Vanessa Grellet is a Global Executive with over 17 years of expertise in the Financial Services and Tech industry. At ConsenSys she focuses on Enterprise and Strategic initiatives including the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), the Accounting Blockchain coalition (ABC) and leads the Blockchain for Social Impact Coalition (BSIC). Prior to Joining ConsenSys she was the CEO of IIH a Wealth Management firm, a key member of PwC’s global wealth management team and served as a corporate strategy executive for the NYSE managing a portfolio of strategic projects, partnerships and M&A focusing on Derivatives, Cash markets, Clearing, Listing, Market data and Regulatory reform. She is a former securities lawyer and worked for various regulators. She chairs the Nexus Working Group on Impact Investing, dedicated to educating, empowering, and connecting Next-Gen impact investors, philanthropists, and social entrepreneurs. Vanessa is an Advisory Board member of Cornerstone Capital, an ESG asset manager, sits on the Advisory Board of The Resolution Project dedicated to activating young leaders through social entrepreneurship and is a Partner at Acumen fund focused on impact investing. She is a Milken Institute Young Leader and a Young Leader Board member of the Off the Record lectures series (OTR) affiliated with the Foreign Policy Association. Mrs. Grellet graduated Cum Laude from Law School (Paris II Assas) and Business School (HEC).
Sophie is interested in cryptoeconomics and blockchain applications in the humanitarian sector. She is involved with strategic initiatives at ConsenSys, studying token and network design.
Sophie has been building an impact investing community at NEXUS, having conversations with leading innovators and investors in the impact investing space including IDB, Nesta, Upstart Co-lab, the ImPact, the Nature Conservancy, and Encourage Capital. Previously she was a researcher at Ashoka Social Finance Services building Ashoka Fellows' cases of structural innovations, working toward an understanding of the mechanisms of ratings, trademark and certification as in as in Fairtrade, LEED, FSC and B Corp Certified. Before that she worked with Economist William Easterly at the Development Research Institute at NYU and focused on the economic force behind traders, migrants and ethnic networks. Sophie has a Master’s degree in Economics from NYU and a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and Statistics from NYU Stern School of Business.
Valeria Kholostenko is the Head of Development and Global Community at Blockchain for Social Impact at ConsenSys. She brings together leading organizations to explore blockchain solutions to incubate ideas for collaboration, and eventually develop use cases on the ground. Valeria leads programming for BSIC events across the globe, including monthly gatherings in San Francisco, New York, and London.
Prior to joining ConsenSys, Valeria was an early-stage startup executive with over 15 years of experience helping define strategic vision of value, drive adoption, and develop processes for technology companies in publishing, online media, and SaaS. Valeria has been responsible for partnership development at more than a dozen B2B and B2C companies in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and London, including Looksery App (which sold to Snapchat for $300M).
In 2003, Valeria worked on Kamala Harris District Attorney Campaign and offered her support with events and programming at the World Affairs Council of San Francisco.
Valeria was The Leukemia Lymphoma Society nominee for Woman of the Year in 2009 for her fundraising efforts. She has been a frequent writer on Social Media Today on marketing strategy, customer experience, and engagement.Social impact has been a major area of study throughout her career and academic life at San Francisco State University and the Activism and Social Change Program at New College of California.
Robert is a Technical Director at Consensys, the leading firm within the Blockchain and Cryptocurrency markets. He serves as the organization’s Blockchain for Social Impact CTO, helping the firm consult and develop blockchain projects within Fortune 100 companies and multinational NGOs.
Prior, Robert has spent his professional career at Goldman Sachs, Teach for America, and, most recently Cisco Systems. He also founded Nomsy, a dietary restriction platform aiding consumers with niche content to better maintain their dietary lifestyle.
Robert received his B.S. in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He very involved within his community and is the Vice President of the Silicon Valley graduate chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., a member of 100 Black Men, and Chair of the Board of Directors of the African American Community Service Agency – the oldest Black managed non-profit in Silicon Valley. Robert is also the Blockchain Curriculum Director for StreetCode Academy, a hack-hustle-design focused non-profit that teaches students of color in East Palo Alto how to code, grow businesses, and expose themselves to the tech industry and emerging technologies.
Working more than 15 years across different domains she creates experiences for enterprises that look to gain efficiency and transparency via the Ethereum blockchain, and designs products that are uniquely enabled by blockchain technology to create new interaction models. Thessy holds a Masters degree in Human-Computer Interaction.
Prior to joining ConsenSys, she was VP of User Experience/Product Strategy at JPMorganChase for 6 years, partnered in a consultancy, and had a start-up which co-created a scientific peer review system/digital library with the Association of Computing and Machinery (ACM) reducing publicationtimes of scientific material and inspire global collaboration.
Working at the intersection of technology entrepreneurship and social change, she promotes inclusion as essential to creating a world that works for everyone. She taught UN teams innovation methodologies, works with the Alternative Banking Group on financial inclusion, consults on Women’s Leadership and started the NYC Women-in-Blockchain Meetup.
Alex is a manager of ConsenSys Labs D.C, where he is focused on enhancing government performance and social sector outcomes through blockchain-based solutions. As a former Partnerships Advisor with the Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships at the U.S. Department of State, he led the Blockchain@State initiative to explore the foreign policy implications and possible applications of distributed ledger technology for diplomacy and development. Alex is a Fellow with the Internet Law and Policy Foundry and the Robertson Foundation for Government. He holds a Masters Degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
Thomas Rush is a serial entrepreneur with nearly a decade of founding and advising startups.
Thomas is a member of the World Economic Forum Global Shapers and serves on the Advisory Board of Rutgers University Design Thinking program. He is also the cofounder of the Propeller Social Innovation Incubator, a business incubator and co-working space for impact-driven organizations that is home to over 80 organizations and continues to be a hub for the social impact ecosystem in the New Orleans region.
Previously, Thomas held leadership positions in a diverse set of industries, most recently working in business development and innovation at IPG Mediabrands, a global media holding company. Prior to that, he led the effort to obtain $2.5MM in funding for a regional urban water management plan in the New Orleans area, and established the first city-wide, industry-agnostic coalition of sustainable organizations.
He also works to implement cultural and operational initiatives to help sustain the organization over the long term, and successful at innovative technological approaches to community-driven engagement, related to implementation and resilience at the local level.