Charles is a social entrepreneur, Co-founder and former Head of Design at Kickstarter, and Founder of Lost Arts. Kickstarter, the ground-breaking crowdfunding platform, revolutionized how creative projects are funding globally. Lost Arts, a new experiment in the future of creative work, aims to drive innovation through open support of creativity.
As a leading entrepreneur and designer, his work ranges from systems design to interaction and community design, interface design to information architecture. In 2013 he was named as one of Forbes Magazine’s Top 12 Most Disruptive Figures in Business. Charles co-founded Kickstarter in 2009 shaping it into the world’s largest platform funding independent creative endeavors. Since its inception, Kickstarter has raised over $2B from over 6.4M people for over 75,000 successful projects ranging from computer games to music albums, technology, fashion, educational projects and full-length feature films.
Charles previously co-founded the online art publication Subsystence, and founded Source ID, where he operated as Principal Creative Director from 2003 to 2009.
He will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Design, honoris causa, for his outstanding contributions to the field of design.
Victoria Post Ranney
Victoria Post Ranney is a scholar of the work of Frederick Law Olmsted, the great American landscape architect who designed New York’s Central Park, Chicago’s Washington and Jackson Parks and World’s Columbian Exposition, as well as Riverside, the city’s earliest planned railroad suburb. She wrote Olmsted in Chicago, the first description and analysis of Olmsted’s work here. Ranney was an Associate Editor of The Papers of Frederick Law Olmsted, the multi-volume edition by the Johns Hopkins University Press, where she was lead editor of Volume V, The California Frontier. In recent years, she has spoken and written about how the Obama Presidential Center will affect Olmsted’s Jackson Park.
In 1990 Ranney became Co-Developer with her husband, George Ranney, of Prairie Crossing, the transit-oriented conservation community in Grayslake, Illinois. Their goal was to highlight the environment while developing the land responsibly. With a team of award-winning architects, ecologists and engineers, they built 400 energy-efficient homes on 675 acres. Two train lines cross nearby, serving commuters to Chicago and O’Hare Airport. By design, 60% of Prairie Crossing remains permanent open land in restored prairie, lakes and a hundred-acre organic farm. A restored 1885 dairy barn is the community center. As part of her successful efforts to create community, Ranney founded the Prairie Crossing Charter School, a public school that serves over 400 K-8 students in a LEED gold building, a historic schoolhouse and emphasizes the natural and built environment.
Ranney graduated cum laude from Radcliffe College at Harvard University in 1960. She taught in California and East Africa before coming to Chicago. Early in her career, she was a founder of Friends of the Parks. Ranney has chaired the Illinois Humanities Council, the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission and the Liberty Prairie Foundation at Prairie Crossing.
She will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities, honoris causa, for her outstanding contributions to Chicago’s built environment.
Howard A. Tullman
Howard A. Tullman is the first executive director of the Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship at Illinois Institute of Technology. He is also general managing partner of Chicago High Tech Investment Partners and of G2T3V, LLC, both Chicago-based early-stage venture capital funds. Most recently, Tullman was chief executive officer of 1871—where digital startups get their start—and the chairman and CEO of Tribeca Flashpoint College, which he co-founded in 2007. Tullman is the former president of Kendall College and the former chairman and CEO of Experiencia, Inc. Chairman of the Endowment Committee of Anshe Emet Synagogue, Tullman is a member of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s ChicagoNEXT council, the City of Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Cultural Advisory Council, the Innovate Illinois Advisory and the Illinois Arts Councils, and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s New Media Council. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of HighTower Advisors, Built in Chicago, and Imerman Angels. An adjunct professor at the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management, Tullman is a regular guest lecturer at the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law. Tullman is also a director of Vehcon, Snapsheet, and Packback Books, and has served as a longtime director and board chairman of The Cobalt Group. A trustee of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the New York Academy of Art, and the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University, he also serves as the lead director (and briefly, was chairman) of The Princeton Review. Over the past 50 years, Tullman has successfully founded more than a dozen high-tech companies.
He will receive an Honorary Doctor of Business, honoris causa, recognizing his outstanding contributions to entrepreneurship in Chicago.