Jana BacevicJana Bacevic is assistant professor at Durham University, UK, and contributing editor at The Philosopher, UK's oldest public philosophy journal. Jana's work is in social and political theory and the politics of knowledge production; she has published extensively on the relationship between knowledge and social and political dynamics. Jana has also worked as consultant and policy advisor for a range of governments and international organizations in the field of education, inequality/injustice, and minority rights. Her current work is on non-reciprocity, including in contexts such as public health, academic freedom, and personal relationships.
Nelly Ben Hayoun-StepanianNelly Ben Hayoun-Stépanian PhD (she/they) is an award-winning designer of experiences, creative director and director with over a decade of experience working to build platforms that support plurality, the creation of organised communities and 'impossible' productions, public events, expeditions and projects with socio-political impacts. Uncategorisable, she is also a filmmaker, radio host, keynote speaker, amateur boxer and the director and producer of five feature-length movies. She is the founder and director of the International Space Orchestra the world’s first orchestra of NASA space scientists and astronauts;and the founder of the tuition-free, pluralistic and transnational university-University of the Underground-which includes board members and activists like Prof. Noam Chomsky, Pussy Riot and Prof. Arjun Appadurai, this tuition-free educative and cultural program is supporting plurality of thinking, free and transnational teaching and unconventional practices in the basement of nightclubs since 2017. Her large scale projects have included collaborations with political activists and artists like Massive Attack and Kid Cudi, The Avalanches to name a few. She is known for challenging institutions from within through events, and she has done so at the United Nations, NASA, International Academy of Astronautics, or the International Astronautical Federation amongst many others. Clients and collaborators include BMW, Porsche, MINI, LEGO, Mattel, NIKE, NASA, the United Nations, and many more. In 2020, Dezeen selected Nelly Ben Hayoun Studios Ltd. one the world’s best design studios and in 2021 The Dots selected Nelly Ben Hayoun Studios Ltd. as one of the “Top 50 companies to work for in 2021”. Nelly has two doppelgangers who work with her to appear at multiple places at the same time, a Barbie doll and a Lego made of herself. In 2023, Design Week awarded Nelly with 'The Hall of Fame' lifetime achievement which 'acknowledges the achievements of designers and industry figures who have made a significant impact and contribution to the industry;have provided inspiration and incisive thinking. It aims to acknowledge key contribution to design today and people who are consistently creating brilliant work.'
Hans KernHans is a writer, illustrator, and self-publisher of ecological manuals, as well as an advocate of deliberative democratic processes. Originally from Munich, Germany, Hans attended Bard from 2010 to 2014, where he posited and investigated critiques of representative democracy. In 2017, Jonas Kunz and Hans co-founded the Bard Institute for the Revival of Democracy through Sortition (BIRDS), under the auspices of the Hannah Arendt Center. Sortition is the academic term for randomness, the process by which citizens’ assemblies, aka citizen panels, are picked. Hans now seeks to apply insights gained from this research to develop curricula and apply deliberative practices in edifying ways, through board games and community-scale engagements.
Jonas KunzAfter finishing his primary education at a Steiner School close to Munich, Germany, Jonas attended Bard College, where he took classes in Ancient Greek, Economics, Philosophy and Politics. Jonas first heard about sortition from his good friend Luke Harrington, who in turn had heard about it from another trusted friend. Searching for a more meaningful democratic process, he quickly recognised: sortition warrants deeper investigation. Upon finishing his thesis for his B.A. in Political Studies on sortition, Jonas invited Hans to co-found B.I.R.D.S. in the Spring of 2018.
Kris McDaniel-MiccioKris McDaniel-Miccio, JD LLM JS.D is an internationally recognised scholar, attorney and professor with a specialty in sex/gender equality. Her scholarship is cited by US Federal Courts, legislation authored appears in NYS family and criminal procedure law and her successful litigation in Colorado & NY, opened marriage to lesbian and gay couples, provided wage equality to women faculty and opened the courts to women survivors of male intimate violence. McDaniel-Miccio’s work shall utilise Arendt’s theories of totalitarianism in reframing substantive due process, enabling enforcement of 14th A to protect the lives and rights of women and the LGBTQ community.
Susan Oberman has been a member of the Hannah Arendt Center and the Virtual Reading Group since 2016. In 2021 she initiated the Hannah Arendt Center Dialogue Project which offers HAC members the opportunity to engage in dialogue with other Arendt readers. In 2023 she became an Associate Fellow of HAC. She is a proponent of dialogue as a way to provide space for everyone to be seen and heard, and as a method for addressing conflict. Susan has been practicing mediation since 1987 and established a private practice in Charlottesville, Virginia in 1999, as Common Ground Negotiation Services. She developed the Sustainable Knowledge Model of Norm-Educating Mediation which she uses in mediation, group facilitation, and negotiation coaching. She sees conflict as an opportunity--to clarify differences in issues and values, rather than something to be avoided. Susan lives in Queens with her oldest son and his family and is the proud grandmother of 6, spanning the ages of 4-27. She is an avid international folk dancer. For more information see www.commongroundnegotiation.com