Panel of Judges

Kwame Anthony Appiah

Kwame Appiah

Kwame Anthony Appiah is a Professor of Philosophy and Law at New York University, teaching in New York, Abu Dhabi and at other NYU global centers. He was born in London (where his Ghanaian father was a law student), but moved as an infant with his family to Kumasi, Ghana, where he grew up. He studied for his BA and PhD degrees in philosophy at Cambridge University, and has taught philosophy in Ghana, France, Britain and the United States. Appiah explored questions of African and African American identity in In My Father’s House: Africa in the Philosophy of Culture; examined the cultural dimensions of global citizenship in Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers; and investigated the social and individual importance of identity in The Ethics of Identity. In 2012, he received the National Humanities Medal from President Barack Obama. His latest book, from Harvard University Press, is titled As If: Idealizations and Ideals. He also writes the New York Times’ “Ethicist” column. Appiah, who was named by Forbes in 2009 as one of the world’s seven most powerful thinkers, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society and was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Babak Parviz

Babak ParvizBabak Parviz is a Vice President at He received his BA in Literature from University of Washington; a BS in Electronics from Sharif University of Technology; and an MS in Physics and MS and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship in Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University. Prior to joining Amazon, Parviz served as a Google Distinguished Engineer and a Director at Google [x], where he was the creator of Google Glass. At Google, he founded, built, and led the Glass program till 2013; founded the robotics surgery program (now an independent company, Verb Surgical); and co-founded the Smart Contact Lens program. He also co-invented the biosensing technology that resulted in the founding of Claros Diagnostics Inc. (acquired by OPKO). Parviz’s research, engineering, and development interests span novel computing and communication paradigms, high-tech with social impact, bionanotechnology, bioengineering, MEMS, nano-scale devices, and photonics (he is a Fellow of SPIE). His work has been exhibited at the London Museum of Science. Parviz has received numerous recognitions and awards including the NSF Career Award, MIT Technology Review 35, Time Magazine’s Best Invention of the Year (2008 and 2012), IEEE CAS Industrial Pioneer Award, Your Health Top 10 Medical Advances of the Year, and’s Top Invention and has been the subject of thousands of articles worldwide. He was selected by Ad Age as one of the 50 most creative people in the United States.

Jenny E. Sabin

Jenny E. SabinJenny E. Sabin is an architectural designer whose work is at the forefront of a new direction for 21st century architectural practice. Sabin is the Arthur L. and Isabel B. Wiesenberger Assistant Professor in the area of Design and Emerging Technologies and the newly appointed Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Architecture at Cornell University, where she is also establishing a new advanced research degree in Architectural Science with concentration in Matter Design Computation. She is principal of Jenny Sabin Studio, an experimental architectural design studio based in Ithaca (NY) and Director of the Sabin Design Lab at Cornell AAP, a trans-disciplinary design research lab with specialization in computational design, data visualization and digital fabrication. In 2006, together with biologist Peter Lloyd Jones, she co-founded the Sabin+Jones LabStudio, a hybrid research and design unit. Sabin is also a founding member of the Nonlinear Systems Organization (NSO), a research group started by Cecil Balmond at PennDesign, where she was Senior Researcher and Director of Research. Sabin holds degrees in ceramics and interdisciplinary visual art from the University of Washington and a master of architecture from the University of Pennsylvania, where she was awarded the AIA Henry Adams first prize medal and the Arthur Spayd Brooke gold medal for distinguished work in architectural design, 2005. Sabin was awarded a Pew Fellowship in the Arts 2010 and was named a USA Knight Fellow in Architecture, one of 50 artists and designers awarded nationally by US Artists. In 2014, she was awarded the prestigious Architectural League Prize for Young Architects and was named the 2015 national IVY Innovator in design. Sabin’s work has been published extensively in publications such as The New York Times, Architectural Review, Azure, A+U, Metropolis, Mark Magazine, 306090, American Journal of Pathology, Science and Wired Magazine. Her forthcoming book titled, LabStudio: Design Research Between Architecture and Biology, co-authored with Peter Lloyd Jones, will be published in 2017.