Kourosh Houshmandread bio
Kourosh is a recipient of Canada’s Top 20 Under 20 Award for his work in tech innovation and media. He was an Artificial Intelligence Strategist at the Associated Press in New York, researching methods to algorithmically quantify human emotions in text and speech. Kourosh completed his M.S. in data science and journalism at Columbia University on academic scholarship. Raised in Toronto, he received his B.A. from the University of Toronto (Trinity College). His first venture, Solar for Life, grew into an internationally operating non-profit organization with over 200 volunteers and almost $100,000 in funds raised through micro-donations. Kourosh was named a 'Climate Hero' by Canadian Geographic and Shell. Kourosh was also a documentary host and content developer for VICE. In February 2014, he self-produced an exclusive documentary with Noam Chomsky at MIT. In a consulting capacity, he serves as an education technology advisor at the MaRS Discovery District — one of North America’s largest innovation hubs— and is an alumnus of Canada’s leading startup accelerator, the Next 36 program. In 2016, he co-founded a social entrepreneurship incubator, which was integrated with a full-credit course at the University of Toronto, where he also lectured. Kourosh hopes to use his experience in technology and media to reimagine how knowledge is shared and consumed. China’s preeminence in experimental technologies, especially as it pertains to solving knowledge barriers, is what interests Kourosh most. As a Yenching Scholar, he studies Economics and Management.
Andreas Kyriakosread bio
From Toronto, Canada, Andreas Kyriakos completed his undergraduate degree in international relations at Trinity College in the University of Toronto. In his third year, he undertook an academic exchange to Science Po Paris. Andreas interned simultaneously at UNESCO headquarters, in the diversity of cultural expressions. There he saw the growing role of China in multilateral organizations, spurring an interest that forms the foundation of his exploration at the Yenching Academy. Andreas also interned at Prince’s Charities Canada, supporting the Canadian charitable work of HRH The Prince of Wales and leading media relations for the philanthropic component of the 2017 Royal Tour of Canada. He has interned previously at Heidrick & Struggles, a global executive search firm, and at a Toronto public relations agency. Andreas aims to learn more about the strategy and factors driving China’s engagement in international organizations, and how that engagement can be a vector for understanding Chinese foreign policy more broadly.