Welcome to the latest episode of our brand new XPRIZE podcast series, Not Going Back To Normal, Imagining Life After COVID-19, featuring Anousheh Ansari, Anya Shakhmeyster, Catherine Connors, and Lisa Bilyeu.
In this episode, Anya gets inside the minds of three women who are disrupting traditional gender stereotypes every single day. Lisa, Catherine and Anousheh share their personal mission for female progress, and some positive disruptions they see happening in our world due to COVID-19.
Catherine Connors is the CEO of League of Badass Women and is the co-author of The Feminine Revolution: 21 Ways to Ignite the Power of Your Femininity for a Brighter Life and a Better World. She’s the former Editor in Chief of Babble and head of content for Disney Interactive’s Women and Family portfolio. She has been featured in media like The New York Times, CNN, NPR, and Good Morning America.
As featured on entrepreneur.com, Lisa Bilyeu is living proof that Darwin was right when he said it is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but rather the most adaptive to change. She began her professional career in film, moved briefly into administration, and then, as a founding team member at Quest Nutrition, she took on logistics - building the company’s fulfillment department from scratch and helping facilitate the company’s rise to #2 on the Inc. 500 list of the fastest-growing private companies. She then returned to media helping build the company’s revolutionary in-house media team, producing content that has been viewed over 100,000,000 times. As co-founder of Impact Theory, she’s looking to combine her highly developed skills as a creative producer with her drive to help people build things that matter.
Anousheh Ansari is CEO of the XPRIZE Foundation, the world’s leader in designing and operating incentive competitions to solve humanity’s grand challenges. Ansari, along with her family, sponsored the organization’s first competition, the Ansari XPRIZE, a $10 million competition that ignited a new era for commercial spaceflight. Since then, she has served on XPRIZE’s Board of Directors. Prior to being named CEO of XPRIZE, Ansari served as the CEO of Prodea Systems, a leading Internet of Things (IoT) technology firm she co-founded in 2006, and continues to serve as the executive chairwoman. She captured headlines around the world when she embarked upon an 11-day space expedition, accomplishing her childhood dream of becoming the first female private space explorer, first astronaut of Iranian descent, first Muslim woman in space, and fourth private explorer to visit space. Ansari serves on the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Future Council and has received numerous honors, including the WEF Young Global Leader, Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and STEM Leadership Hall of Fame, among others. She is a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and serves on the board of Jabil and Peace First, as well as several other not-for-profit organizations focused on STEM education and youth empowerment. Ansari also co-founded The Billion Dollar Fund for Women, announced in October 2018 at the Tri Hita Karana (THK) Forum on Sustainable Development in Bali, with a goal of investing $1 billion in women-founded companies by 2020.
She published her memoir, My Dream of Stars, to share her life story as inspiration for young women around the world. Ansari holds a bachelor’s degree in electronics and computer engineering from George Mason University, a master’s degree in electrical engineering from George Washington University; and honorary doctorates from George Mason University, Utah Valley University, and International Space University.
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