Team

Our core team consists of the founders of Defining the Nex Decade, each bringing a unique perspective and skillset to the imagined table to create a thriving community and movement across humanity. We have a broad set of contributors and publishers without whom Defining the Next Decade could not exist and thrive.

Core Team

Maxwell Kangkolo

Maxwell Kangkolo

Maxwell Kangkolo is a storyteller, filmmaker and creative. He believes in using the power of collaborative creation to build a better world at the intersection of humanity and technology. Further in the idea that the world changes because we give ourselves the freedom to imagine new possibilities. He operates on the philosophy that we need to have a passionate pursuit of progress, not perfection.

A co-founder and the Berlin Co-Curator of Defining the Next Decade a platform that brings together the leaders and the local community to shape the next decade of positive change in cities around the world. He is also currently the Head of Branding at Garage, a digital design studio focused on building ambitious ideas for the world of tomorrow.

Sandra Schoeber

Sandra Schoeber

Sandra Schoeber is a futurist with a passion for social entrepreneurship. She is always looking to grasp how technology shapes people, their relationships and environments. She has worked with social entrepreneurs across cultures and continents, previously co-founded Authenticitys, and researched topics including inclusive entrepreneurship, impact investment & measurement, business model innovation and the future of work in.

Always curious – looking to bring people together, understanding their perspectives and turning the puzzle pieces until they fall into place. With an interest in having the difficult conversations openly, she has a thing for empathy in tech, the ethics of AI & data, sustainability in urban development and equitable wellbeing (among many, many others).

Benjamin Mateev

Benjamin Mateev

Benjamin was most recently a product leader at Microsoft, following the acquisition of Wunderlist in 2015. At Wunderlist he was an engineering lead, responsible for scaling the award-winning todo list app to over 30 million users. With over a decade of experience in building digital products from a technical, business and design perspective and leading teams, he is also mentoring and coaching young entrepreneurs in how to build successful products and create great teams to do so. Before Wunderlist, Benjamin worked in various engineering and product leadership roles and started his own company, building digital solutions with world-renowned design agencies.

He is passionate about education and life-long learning and about creating purpose-driven and impactful companies and products. 

Contributors

Alicia Bonner Ness is a community organizer, a brand activator, and the author of Purpose Power: How Mission Driven Leaders Engage for Change. She is passionate about helping people find the common cause through facilitation and activation strategy to spark the better future we know is possible. After more than a decade working in the social sector, she founded Heptagon Productions, a brand activation agency through which she serves organizations in civic engagement, democracy reform, social justice, and sustainability. A LUMA Institute certified human-centered design facilitator, she uses a unique blend of open ideation and design thinking to help people uncover their shared conviction to pursue their higher purpose. Join Alicia on the Purpose Power Town Hall Tour through more than a dozen cities across the United States this spring and help bring greater purpose and engagement to your community.
Latest from Alicia Bonner Ness
Amanda is dedicated to exploring how we can design our personal and professional lives around caring for our mental health. As well as being a mental health advocate, Amanda is an entrepreneur, writer, community builder, and a proud human in progress. Her career started in New York City where she curated and produced one of the city’s largest meetup groups called #ArtsTech, which explored the intersection of art and emerging technologies. Over the years she has continued to design community events while also working with product and partnerships for tech startups. An avid supporter of the feminist movement and for women in leadership, she also served as the lead editor for Women’s iLab, a platform dedicated to inspiring the future of women and innovation. Most recently Amanda worked in product strategy for the unicorn startup company Formlabs, joining as one of the first employees in Europe. She’s a trained public speaker and storyteller who has spoken at conferences and facilitated workshops worldwide on using additive manufacturing to help reinvent the way people make products. She studied at the George Washington University in Washington D.C. and the Université Paris-Sorbonne in Paris. She is fluent in four languages, was born to Brasilian and Greek parents, raised in New York, and is now based in Berlin.
Annie Bickerton works in social policy by day and spends her free time organizing community around progressive values. She works on social programs related to economic empowerment, criminal justice, and the social safety net at MDRC. She is VP of Membership for the Heart of LA Democratic Club and recently launched GroundShift, an immersive retreat for progressive activists. Prior, she co-founded Drive Change, a social enterprise that hires and empowers justice system-involved youth. Annie has an M.S. in Nonprofit Management from The New School and a B.A. in Government from Hamilton College. She is a longtime meditator and Buddhist practitioner, and lives on the westside of LA with her partner and two cats.
Latest from Annie Bickerton
Benjamin is a product lead at Microsoft, following the acquisition of Wunderlist in 2015. At Wunderlist he was an engineering lead, responsible for scaling the award-winning todo list app to over 30 million users. With over a decade of experience in building digital products from a technical, business and design perspective, he is also mentoring and coaching young entrepreneurs in how to build successful products and create great teams to do so. Prior to Wunderlist Benjamin worked in various engineering and product leadership roles and founded his own company building digital solutions with world-renowned design agencies like Eden Spiekermann. He is passionate about education and life-long learning and about creating purpose-driven and impactful companies and products. 
Jeremy is a multidisciplinary technologist, researcher and policy analyst with a Computer Science background. He is experienced with technical topics like data analysis, web development, and user-oriented privacy practices. He has also studied a wide variety of topics in the technology and policy domain, including Internet Governance, technology innovation systems, and intellectual property. He is well-practiced at aligning technological and organizational needs simultaneously and has worked in several technologies and research-related roles across startups, academia, and government. Jeremy has delivered and organized talks at venues including Hackers on Planet Earth, TEDx Herndon, and TEDx Fulbright. He is a member of several Israeli and Jewish communities, including Repair the World, PresenTense, the Israel Tech Challenge and the Israel Government Fellows. He is also a fellow of several social-impact and leadership organizations, including StartingBloc, the Hive Global Leaders Program, the Mankind Project, Baltimore Corps and the Center for Applied Rationality. He maintains a healthy interest and involvement with social innovation, technology startups, academic research, futurism, video games, public speaking and empowering others.
Matt is a trained business strategist with a heart for human development. Leveraging his professional experience as an educator and management consultant, Matt is combining his creative yet analytical mindset to help others develop the most important product in their life: themselves. Specifically, Matt is passionate about helping others discover the difference they want to leave in the world and empowering them to live it out in their career. Constantly shifting between both cities and nature, Matt loves the contrast between the activity, collaboration, and diversity of cities and the peace, freshness, and vastness of the outdoors. By straddling these two environments in critical tension, he loves to bring people from one context into the other in order to facilitate personal transformation and development. Matt has consulted Fortune 500 companies in implementing enterprise digital transformation and building innovative products. Additionally, he has worked in various contexts across international cultures, including teaching in one of the most violent inner-city Philadelphia neighborhoods, building schools in one of the poorest communities in the Amazon jungle, and growing businesses with executives from some of the wealthiest companies in Silicon Valley. From these diverse experiences, he has learned how to put himself into new opportunities and make the most of them for the advancement of his career. In other words, his career has been full of seeking opportunities to get “unstuck”, and capitalizing on them to move forward towards his dreams. Now he is translating those skillsets to build the next generation of changemakers and help them realize their dreams. If you want to reach your full potential, advance your career, or are looking for someone to propel you towards your best self, please give Matt a call. He is always excited to help those that want to make their career and life better. Matt holds an MBA from USC Marshall School of Business and a BS Biology from Messiah College, obtaining both degrees with high honors. He has been selected as a Forbes 30 Under 30 Scholar and one of the 100 Most Inspiring MBAs around the globe. In his free time, Matt loves to surf and play beach volleyball with friends, and if he is not adventuring in a new country, he is probably chasing sunsets in the ocean or on a mountain in Southern California.
Maxwell Kangkolo is a storyteller, filmmaker and creative. He believes in using the power of collaborative creation to build a better world at the intersection of humanity and technology. Further in the idea that the world changes because we give ourselves freedom to imagine new possibilities. He operates on the philosophy that we need to have a passionate pursuit of progress not perfection. A co-founder and the Berlin Co-Curator of Defining the Next Decade a platform that brings together the leaders and the local community to shape the next decade of positive change in cities around the world. He is also currently the Head of Branding at Garage, a digital design studio focused on building ambitious ideas for the world of tomorrow.