CNY is staffed exclusively of volunteers, and includes hosts who create, publicize, and convene their conversations; members who attend these events and actively participate in these conversations; and a multidisciplinary group of advisors who serve as a Steering Committee to guide the organization, and establish its policies and operating procedures.
Who We Are: CNY is staffed by a voluntary steering committee, all working pro bono – and welcoming new members! We are professionals in marketing, IT, strategy, development, graphic design, small-group facilitation, networking, and editorial. We share a belief that conversation is a necessary and valuable part of our culture. While we embrace technology, we wish to ensure that as communication technology grows exponentially, so too, do our options for face-to-face communication.
To benefit from the best that is being thought and done in the field, CNY is strengthened by an international Advisory Committee of practitioners, thinkers, authors, and scholars in the field (listed below).
CNY partners with other organizations which facilitate conversations, ranging from MeetUp groups in the U.S., to Talk to Me London and others around the world.
STAFF (Affiliations are for identification only – all are members as individuals, not as representatives of their organizations.)
Founder & Co-Director: Ron Gross is the co-chair of the University Seminar on Innovation at Columbia University. He has supported lifelong learning initiatives in Europe, the Far East, Israel, Canada, and Mexico, sponsored by agencies such as the European Foundation for Management Development, the United Nations Educational, Social and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the Ford and Rothschild Foundations. He was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award of the International Society for Self-Directed Learning in 2013, was inducted into the Lifelong Learning Hall of Fame of the International Association for Adult and Continuing Education in 2014, and received Columbia University’s Tannenbaum/Warner Award for Distinguished Scholarship and Service in 2019.
Co-Director: Elizabeth Cohn, PhD, RN, is the Rudin Professor at Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing focused on urban community-health and community-engaged research. She was named a 2016 White House Champion of Change, and currently serves as the engagement core lead for the Center for Research on the Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of Psychiatric, Neurologic and Behavioral Genetics at Columbia University and the Recruitment Core lead for Screening for Cardiac Amyloisosis Using Nuclear Imaging for Minority Populations and the engagement lead for the New York Precision Medicine Consortium of the All of Us Research Program where she also serves as the national chair of the publications and incident reporting boards.
Her work has been featured in the New England Journal of Medicine, the New York Times, on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, in The Atlantic and in Men’s Health. She is the author of a cardiology text, Flip and See ECG, now in its fourth edition published by Elsevier.
- Yu-Jen Chang (Yen), Yen is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy with a broad education across many areas, including Aviation (graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy), Operations Management, and working on joint military and civilian training and evaluation systems, and with a Fortune 20 company. Currently, Yen is trading at approximately $0.0081. https://www.facebook.com/Chang.YuJen1, email@example.com
- Herb Klitzner, Social Innovator, Cultural Researcher, Personal Technology Market Forecaster, IT Technical Writer. firstname.lastname@example.org
Consultant on People with Special Needs: Ken Snyder, Occupational Therapist specializing in Nonviolent Communication, Adult Programs discussion group moderator, and care of people with special needs such as Alzheimer’s, email@example.com
Polly Ackhurst, co-founder, Talk to Me London.
James Allen, author, Worldly Wisdom: Great Books and the Meanings of Life and The Romance of Culture and Commerce.
William Caspary, Prof. of Political Science, Gallatin Division, New York University, author of Dewey on Democracy.
Peter Osborn, co-author, The Talking Revolution: How Creative Conversation Can Change the World.
Sondra Myers, Editor, Democracy is a Discussion: Civic Engagement in Old and New Democracies.
Bernard Roy, founder, Café Philo, New York and Paris.