Dr Ari Berk is an award-winning writer, folklorist, artist, and scholar of literature, iconography, and comparative myth. Deeply dedicated to interdisciplinary writing, teaching, and research, Dr. Berk holds degrees in Ancient History (B.A.), American Indian Studies (M.A.), and Comparative Literature and Culture (Ph.D.). The former student of Pulitzer Prize-winning writer N. Scott Momaday, he has studied at Oxford and traveled widely, making friends in many parts of the world.
As Professor of Folklore and Mythology at Central Michigan University, he teaches courses in those areas as well as American Indian studies, and medieval literature. He is the former editor of the Realms of Fantasy magazine’s Folkroots section. Dr. Berk also sits on the board of directors of the Mythic Imagination Institute.
Ari is the author of numerous books for children and adults. His latest books are Mistle Child, Death Watch, The Life and Times of William Shakespeare (with Kristen McDermott), The Secret History of Hobgoblins, The Secret History of Giants, The Secret History of Mermaids, How to Be a Viking, and Coyote Speaks — Wonders of the Native American World (with Carolyn Dunn). He is also the author of The Runes of Elfland, Goblins! and Lady Cottington’s Pressed Fairy Letters (all three with internationally known artist Brian Froud). His work has been translated into numerous languages.
Born and raised in California, Ari now lives in Michigan with his wife and son. He has passed three times through a holed stone.
Bill Bridges is an award-winning writer and narrative designer of numerous games. He was one of the original developers of White Wolf’s World of Darkness and is the co-creator and developer of the Fading Suns science-fiction universe. He is a Fellow at Atlanta’s Mythic Imagination Institute and a board member of the C.G. Jung Society of Atlanta.
Formerly Senior Content Designer on CCP Games’ World of Darkness MMO, he is now a full-time freelance writer. He was the lead designer of the award-winning Storytelling system rules for White Wolf’s World of Darkness games, and designed and developed the award-winning games Mage: The Awakening, Promethean: The Created, and Werewolf: the Apocalypse.
His novels include The Silver Crown and Last Battle (both for Werewolf). Bill has written for Chaosium and helped develop Last Unicorn’s Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine roleplaying games. He co-wrote the scripts for Viacom’s interactive horror movie Dracula Unleashed, Interplay’s Starfleet Academy, and contributed to world design for Segasoft’s Emperor of the Fading Suns.
Dr Meldrena Chapin Designer, educator and weaver, Dr. Meldrena Chapin’s interests span the ways humans interact with the world around them. At the Savannah College of Art and Design’s Atlanta campus, she teaches both grad and undergrad students how to improve the built environment. As part of the Mythic Imagination family, she gets to focus on how we interact with our inner environment.
Dr Jerry Cullum is a longtime art critic and freelance curator whose essays and reviews have appeared in Raw Vision, Art in America, and many other popular and academic publications, including Material Religion. An art reviewer for the Atlanta Journal and Constitution until 2008, he has continued to review regularly for artsatl.com and burnaway.org. He held several different editorial posts at the Atlanta-based international journal Art Papers, for which he continues to write review essays. He has curated art exhibitions for the Telfair Museum of Art, Agnes Scott College, Georgia State University, and private venues, and co-curated international exhibitions in England and Germany. His poems have appeared in various magazines including Poetry (Chicago) and in several chapbooks, and he is a co-author, with Catherine Fox and Cinqué Hicks, of Noplaceness: Art in a Post-Urban Landscape and, with Tina Dunkley, of In the Eye of the Muses: Selections from the Clark Atlanta University Art Collection. In 2015, he contributed an essay to Mihaela Gligor, ed., From Influence and Confluence to Difference and Indifference: Studies on History of Religions (Cluj University Press) and the chapter on “Exhibiting Outsider Art” to Jeffrey Kripal and Diane Apostolos-Cappadona, eds., Material Religion (Macmillan Handbooks on Religion).
Andrew Greenberg, best known for designing computer games and roleplaying games, is lead developer on the upcoming Fading Suns: Noble Armada mobile and tablet game. Andrew co-created the “Fading Suns” roleplaying and computer games and was the original developer of White Wolf’s “Vampire: The Masquerade.” He has credits on more than 50 White Wolf products and more than 20 HDI books. He has also worked on products with other roleplaying game companies,including “Star Trek Next Generation” and “Deep Space Nine.”
His computer game credits include Dracula Unleashed, Star Trek: Starfleet Academy, Emperor of the Fading Suns, Warhammer 40K: Final Liberation, Merchant Prince II, Mall Tycoon, Dungeon Crawlers, Dungeon Lords, The Virtual World of Kaneva, Railroad Tycoon Mobile and the Global Agenda MMO. A fellow with the Mythic Imagination Institute, Andrew is also president of the Georgia Game Developers Association and organizer of the Southeast Interactive Entertainment and Games Expo (SIEGE).
Dr János Horváth is a Hungarian economist and politician, and a member of the National Assembly from 1998 to 2014. He was the youngest member of the Hungarian Parliament in 1945 and had been the oldest Member of Parliament since 2003. He opened the inaugural meeting of the National Assembly in 2006 and 2010 as the Father of the House.
President of a warehouse company and then chairman of one of the Soli Deo Gloria Colleges, Horváth joined the Independent Smallholders, Agrarian Workers and Civic Party (FKGP) and the Alliance of Peasants. He participated in the national resistance in 1944 against the Arrow Cross regime as a member of the “Free Life” Students’ Movement. As a result, he was arrested by the Gestapo and sentenced to death. However, he successfully escaped from prison.
After the end of the Second World War, he was elected as a deputy to the Municipality Committee of Budapest and served as economic policy director of the Hungarian Alliance of Peasants. He became a member of the Provisional National Assembly and an advisor to Prime Minister Ferenc Nagy.
Arrested on trumped-up charges relating to the Magyar Közösség case, he was sentenced to four years of forced labour and expelled from the Independent Smallholders’ Party. Released in 1951, he worked as a manual worker and a mechanic.
During the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, he participated in the reorganization of the Hungarian Alliance of Peasants becoming managing chairman of the National Economic Reconstruction Council and the leader of the District XIII of the FKGP. After the suppression of the revolution in 1956, he and his wife left the country.
First working in the UN Office in New York, the next year he helped found the Hungarian Revolutionary Council. In 1966, he was awarded a Ph.D. from Columbia University. A professor at Butler University for 27 years, visiting researcher at Columbia, President of the Kossuth Foundation, Horvath also founded the Indianapolis Export Trading Company and eventually ran for a seat in the US House of Representatives.
Invited by Viktor Orbán, Horváth returned to Hungary in 1997. After more than 50 years since he last sat in Parliament, he was elected to the National Assembly of Hungary, serving as a member of the Committee on Economics, Chairman of the Subcommittee for the European Integration and the Fidesz Committee on Foreign Affairs.
He has been chairman of the cultural economy branch of the Hungarian Society of Economics and a member of the Society for the Transmission of Culture since 1999. He is the author of fourteen books and several hundred articles.
Deeyah Khan, is a critically acclaimed music producer and Emmy and Peabody award-winning documentary film director, whose work highlights human rights, women’s voices and freedom of expression. Her skill as a multidisciplinary artist led her to use music and film as the language for her social activism. Born in Norway to immigrant parents of Pashtun and Punjabi ancestry. The experience of living between different cultures, both the beauty and the challenges, dominates her artistic vision.
Her 2012 film Banaz: A Love Story won several international awards, a Peabody and an Emmy. Her latest film, Jihad: A Story of the Others has just been nominated for a BAFTA. Deeyah is also the recipient of several awards for her work supporting freedom of expression and in 2012 she was awarded the Ossietzky prize by Norwegian PEN. The focus of her work and access to voices that are often overlooked and misunderstood has led to increasing demand as a speaker at international human rights events and platforms including the United Nations.
Deeyah is the founder and CEO of social purpose production company Fuuse which creates works in the intersection of art and activism.
Dr John McDonald is the Director of the Integrated Cancer Research Center, the Associate Dean for Biology Program Development and Professor in the College of Science at the Georgia Institute of Technology as well as Chief Scientific Officer of the Ovarian Cancer Institute, where he leads OCI’s team of researchers.
After earning his PhD in Genetics from the University of California at Davis, Dr McDonald became a researcher and professor at several universities, eventually chairing the department of Biology at the University of Georgia.
Georgia Tech established the McDonald Lab to facilitate his groundbreaking methods of integrated research on cancer, which bring together biology, particularly cell biology and the workings of DNA and RNA, computational sciences and engineering.
Their current work focuses on
1) development of a generalized cancer diagnostic using mass spectrometric metabolic profiling;
2) development of small non-encoding RNAs as potential therapeutic agents and the use of functionalized nanoparticles (nanohydrogels) for their targeted delivery to cancer cells; and
3) exploring the significance of mRNA splice variants in the onset and progression of cancer.
Dr Paul Root Wolpe is the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Bioethics, Raymond Schinazi Distinguished Research Professor of Jewish Bioethics, Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Neuroscience and Biological Behavior, and Sociology, and the Director of the Center for Ethics at Emory University. Dr. Wolpe also serves as the first Senior Bioethicist at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). He is Editor-in-Chief of American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience, the leading journal in neuroethics, and he sits on the editorial boards of over a dozen professional journals in medicine and ethics. Dr. Wolpe is a past President of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities, a Fellow of the Hastings Center, and a Fellow of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the country’s oldest medical society.
Trained as a social scientist – a rare background for a ethicist — Dr. Wolpe’s work focuses on the social, religious, ethical, and ideological impact of medicine and technology on the human condition, focusing particularly on genetics and neuroscience. He is the founder of BEINGS, “Biotechnology and the Ethical Imagination: A Global Summit,” which brought together thought leaders representing a wide array of disciplines and approaches, to try and produce a set of internationally accepted ethical principles and policy standards for human cellular biotechnologies, such as CRISPR.
Dr. Wolpe writes about other emerging technologies and areas such as death and dying, clinical medicine, alternative medicine, and bioethics in extreme environments such as space. Known for integrating the arts into education, he nurtured the Center for Ethics’ singular “Ethics & the Arts” Program which partners with artistic institutions to explore the use of art in ethical engagement and the ethics of artistic production and display.
Dr. Wolpe sits on national and international non-profit organizational boards and working groups, and has twice testified to President Obama’s Commission on the Study of Bioethical Issues in Washington, DC,