Meet the coaches of US Red Bull Amaphiko Academy 2017

Red Bull Amaphiko is proud to bring the Academy to the US for the first time. We have an impressive group of lecturers and coaches who bring their experience and expertise to support the group of social entrepreneurs who have been chosen to participate.

The coaches and lecturers will help the participants hone their business models, messaging, and vision, ultimately taking their organizations to the next level.


D. Watkins (Photo by Mike Morgan)
@ Mike Morgan

D. Watkins is the author of the New York Times bestsellers, The Beast Side: Living (and Dying) While Black in America and The Cook Up: A Crack Rock Memoir. His work has been published in numerous publications and he has also been featured as a commentator on major news shows.

In addition, D. Watkins is a college professor at the University of Baltimore and the founder of the BMORE Writers Project. He has also been the recipient of numerous awards including Ford’s Men of Courage and a BME fellowship.

Tom McLeod (Photo courtesy of Tom McLeod)
@ Courtesy of Tom McLeod

Tom McLeod is the Founder and CEO of Omni, a San Francisco-based company changing the way people own, access, and store their personal belongings. With over 10 years experience growing innovative businesses, he also founded Pagelime, a SaaS CMS used by over 30,000 designers worldwide; as well as the mobile app laboratory Imaginary Feet, which launched and marketed apps adopted by over 10 million users.

Tom’s social and philanthropic interests began early— his father ran a local non-profit and his mother taught in the public school system. He now sits on the board of Mama Hope, an organization dedicated to building thriving communities in rural Africa and Central America; as well as the Canadian non-profit charity F*ck Cancer, advocating for early detection, prevention, and support for those affected by cancer.

Shanti Das / Photo courtesy of Shanti Das
@ Courtesy of Shanti Das

Shanti Das is the Founder/CEO of Press Reset Entertainment, an Atlanta-based firm launched in 2009 that serves as an entertainment concierge service providing independent marketing and strategy for music acts, talent booking for private and corporate events, celebrity procurement, brand influencer marketing and special event assistance.

An advocate for many social issues, she started her own nonprofit, The Hip-Hop Professional Foundation to focus on youth empowerment, mental health and poverty in underserved communities. Through the mental health initiative, Silence the Shame, Shanti hopes to spark a national conversation that will lead to increased awareness and funding to support those living with mental health conditions.

Angela Boatwright (Photo by Alexis Morgan)
@ Alexis Morgan

Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Angela Boatwright picked up a camera at age 14 and hasn’t stopped shooting since. Her work has appeared in a wide array of publications and books including New York Magazine, Vice, Juxtapoz Photo Book, Street Art, and most recently Skin Graff: Masters of Graffiti Tattoo. She has also photographed campaigns for American Express, Urban Outfitters, and Vans.

After almost two decades in New York, Angela moved to Los Angeles where she began making documentary films. Her first full-length documentary entitled Los Punks: We Are All We achieved huge praise via outlets such as: Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, and Variety and is currently on iTunes and Netflix.

Kita ‘Thierry’ Matungulu (Photo by Sydelle Willow Smith, Red Bull Content Pool)
@ Sydelle Willow Smith, Red Bull Content Pool

Kita ‘Thierry’ Matungulu is currently Associate Director of Basketball Operations for NBA Africa. Prior to this he was the Managing Director of Hoops 4 Hope South Africa. Besides his past experience managing Hoops 4 Hope, he also brings experience as a player and basketball coach, including coaching the South African national team on many occasions.

He was the key seller of the “Ubuntu” team concept that delivered the Boston Celtics 17th championship and served 8 seasons as guest coach of the Boston Celtics and one with the LA Clippers before joining the NBA staff. Kita is well known from his playing days as ‘Thierry Kita’ in South African basketball circles. He is a true student of the game of basketball, and contributor to the improvement of youth social development.

Sam Conniff (Photo courtesy of Sam Conniff)
@ Courtesy of Sam Conniff

Sam Conniff, the Co Founder of Livity became a creative entrepreneur at 21, launching his first business, Don’t Panic, from his bedroom. He then turned it into a global franchise, cult youth brand and online community. Sam set up Livity to harness the power of brands and communications as a force for social change. Livity works with the world’s biggest brands, government, charities and, most importantly, young people, co-creating successful communications.

Sam also created the world’s first interactive multi platform series, Dubplate Drama. Dubplate Drama pioneered an innovative interactive mechanism to draw viewers into decision making dilemma moments, engaging them in social issues and sensitive topics. Sam was appointed by the Cabinet Office as a UK Social Enterprise Ambassador, is a fellow of the RSA, on the review board of Cranfield University’s Strategic Marketing MSC and a Community Governor at the Livity School for children with complex needs.

Lauren Ash
@ Courtesy of Lauren Ash

Lauren Ash is a visionary credited for centering black women in wellness. As founder of Black Girl In Om, she promotes self-love for women of color through the online publication, podcast, agency, and social media platforms. Nike, Well+Good, Girlboss, NYLON, and ESSENCE, recognize Lauren as an industry trailblazer.

Blacka Di Danca
@ Courtesy of Blacka Di Danca

Blacka Di Danca is a choreographer on the international dancehall circuit. Blacka tours regularly as a choreographer, teaching dancehall workshops throughout the United States, Europe, Canada, Asia, Russia, Central and South America. He is also currently, the first and only dancehall choreographer signed to Red Bull. Blacka’s talent has led to work with some of the top names in the music industry.

Blacka’s vision is to spread the art and culture of dancehall dancing to global measures through love.

DeAndrea Nichols
@ Courtesy of DeAndrea Nichols

DeAndrea Nichols serves as Director & Principal Designer of Civic Creatives, a social design organization that produces interactive events, tools, and services that foster the discovery, ideation, prototyping, and actualization of community-driven civic solutions. She is a national keynote speaker on the subjects of designing for civil rights and social justice and most recently, was selected as a 2017 Citizen Artist Fellow for the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

Michelle Evans Chase
@ Courtesy of Michelle Evans Chase

Michelle Evans Chase is a social scientist and educator who approaches all of her work from a social justice and social action worldview. Her research focuses on the design and evaluation of social programs that empower individuals and flatten hierarchies.

Richard Loat
@ Courtesy of Richard Loat

When it comes to thinking outside of the box, Richard Loat is somebody who thinks as though there is no box. He uses sport as a tool to influence culture and grow businesses. His innovative approach has taken him across the globe, where he imparts his knowledge and acts as a cross-continental agent of change.

Flora Bitancourt
@ Courtesy of Flora Bitancourt

Flora Bitancourt is the founder of Movimentarte Institute, which uses art as a force for transformation. She is the global ambassador for the Red Bull Amaphiko Dance 4 Good community, which intends to connect projects worldwide that use dance for social impact and generally inspire and instrument social impact for dance projects around the world.

Mauricio Curi
@ Courtesy of Mauricio Curi

Mauricio Curi is a social innovator, storyteller, Youtuber and mentor at COMOVER. He lives with his wife and children at Vila Madalena in São Paulo, Brazil. He has mentored groups and young professionals in a transformational journey and been involved with TED as the TEDxVilaMadá organiser and TED Senior Ambassador in Brazil for many years. Mauricio loves carpentry and biking.

Stephanie Cirihal
@ Courtesy of Stephanie Cirihal

Sometimes referred to as the “soul whisperer” for her gift of evoking the deepest vision and courage from people, authentic power expert Stephanie Cirihal is known for her unique fusion of the science and art of creating your destiny. She has coached Fortune 500 executives, NASA leaders, and social entrepreneurs, among others.

@ Herman Seidl

Mundano is a Brazilian street artist and activist who demands more from his art than just good visuals. As well as making colorful socially-minded murals, the São Paulo resident founded Pimp My Carroça, a project that repairs and beautifies the carts used by informal trash collectors in 42 cities across 12 countries worldwide. His 2014 TED talk has been viewed almost a million times.

Melissa Orozco
@ Courtesy of Melissa Orozco

Melissa is a social entrepreneur with a passion for adapting innovative PR solutions to campaigns that solve social and environmental issues. She began her career in NYC more than a decade ago and in 2011, she founded Yulu Public Relations, a purpose-driven, B Corporation PR agency mandated to champion social innovation.

PR Daily recently ranked her firm “Top Corporate Social Responsibility Agency” in North America.


Alfie van der Zwan (Photo courtesy of Alfie van der Zwan)
@ Courtesy of Alfie van der Zwan

Alfie van der Zwan is passionate about creating value through social innovation and change by developing people, teams, and businesses. He has consulted to a range of corporates and start-ups across multiple sectors. Recently Alfie helped launch and run an online Fintech course for MIT which was attended by thousands of people in over 130 countries and was a catalyst for the creation of hundreds of business globally. He also led the design and launch of the Venture Incubation Program for Cape Town Business School.

Alfie also scaled and ran the regional office of one of South Africa’s most successful social enterprises, Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator where they placed 10,000 previously unemployed people in full-time jobs in 3 years.

Alfie van der Zwan is passionate about creating value through social innovation and change by developing people, teams, and businesses.

Gayle Northrop (Photo courtesy of Gayle Northrop)
@ Courtesy of Gayle Northrop

Gayle Northrop is a consultant, coach, educator and lifelong student of social enterprise, innovation and impact. She is the President of Northrop Nonprofit Consulting, a firm specializing in strategy, governance and organization development for social enterprises and NGOs. She teaches social entrepreneurship at the UCLA Anderson School of Management and is adjunct faculty at the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business. Gayle speaks frequently about business for social good, planning for impact, and leading change.

Bruckner Chase (Photo courtesy of Bruckner Chase)
@ Courtesy Bruckner Chase

Bruckner Chase is the Founder and CEO of the Ocean Positive Foundation, whose mission is to positively impact how we feel, think, and act towards our oceans and community.  Bruckner is an internationally recognized ocean advocate and professional waterman who traded a career as a corporate executive in international project management and brand development for an aquatic and community focused career that creates innovative, empowering initiatives that focus on mutually beneficial partnerships with measurable positive impacts for positive, sustainable change.

Tara Roberts (Photo courtesy of Tara Roberts)
@ Tara Roberts

Tara Roberts is seasoned journalist with over 20 years of experience writing and editing for major publications. She’s edited two critically-acclaimed books for girls, published her own independent magazine for ‘women too bold for boundaries’, and backpacked around the world to 35+ countries in order to capture stories of young women change makers. Her travels led to the creation of an award-winning social enterprise that supported a worldwide network of female social innovators.

Currently, Tara is the Director of Communications & Design for Ashoka, the oldest and largest network of social entrepreneurs.


Audrey Buchanan
@ Sequoia Ziff

Audrey Buchanan believes in civic engagement, social justice and the fact that diversity drives innovation. Presently Audrey is a host, creative director and producer that curates and lifts up diverse voices through interviews, films, digital content and experiential programming. She is also the founder of The Woods, a boutique production company based in Los Angeles.

Emma Warren
@ Courtesy of Emma Warren

Emma Warren is the Red Bull Amaphiko International Editor. She has hosted public interviews with well-known musicians, artists, authors and cultural figures for over a decade. She has a regular radio show on Worldwide FM and worked at social enterprise Livity as the senior editorial mentor on a magazine run by young people.

Claire Wasserman
@ Courtesy of Claire Wasserman

Claire Wasserman is the US Deputy Editor of the Amaphiko magazine as well as the founder of Ladies Get Paid, an organization that helps women advocate for themselves at work through education, community, and activism. Since launching in the summer of 2016, they’ve grown to over 6,000 members from all 50 states and 50+ countries. Claire is currently touring the country, hosting town halls for women to talk about work and self-worth.

Emily Eaglin
@ Courtesy of Emily Eaglin

Emily Eaglin is an artist, writer, and filmmaker currently living in Baltimore County. Passionate about race relations, gender equality, and LGBT+ rights, Emily was awarded the Princeton Prize in Race Relations Certificate of Accomplishment by Princeton University.

This past summer she worked on the new FOX series, “Shots Fired,” that deals with some of the hot button issues facing many young people living in today’s cities like Baltimore.

Related project
AIC Education Outreach Program
AIC Education Outreach Program

Dedicated to improving the lives and shaping the futures of vulnerable children of former nomadic tribes in Pune, India.


How does one meet up with the coaches? Because i really want to get my business running however i still have a challenge of getting the nessessary funds to start the business. I am in need of R 350 000.

How does one meet up with the coaches? Because i really want to get my business running however i still have a challenge of getting the nessessary funds to start the business. I am in need of R 350 000.