Entertainment Education Conference

Keynote Speakers

Dr. Arvind Singhal, Professor of Communication and Director of the Social Justice Initiative

David Gere, Ph.D., is director of MAKE ART/STOP AIDS, an international network of artists intervening in the AIDS epidemic.

Dr. Mallika V Sarabhai is an internationally acclaimed performance artist, social activist, producer and director who has championed the use of arts as an instigator for social change for many years.

Emer Beamer is a social designer and conceptor, co-founder of Butterfly Works and Nairobits.

Jose “Oying” Rimon II is a Senior Program Officer at the Global Health Policy and Advocacy group of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Chris Keyser, Writers Guild of America, West President, Chris Keyser, is graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School.


Dr. Arvind Singhal is the Samuel Shirley and Edna Holt Marston Endowed Professor of Communication and Director of the Social Justice Initiative in University of Texas Department at El Paso (UTEP) Department of Communication. He is also appointed as the William J. Clinton Distinguished Fellow at the Clinton School of Public Service, Little Rock, Arkansas. Singhal teaches and conducts research in the diffusion of innovations, organizing for social change, and the entertainment-education strategy. His research and outreach spans sectors such as health, education, peace, human rights, poverty alleviation, sustainable development, civic participation, democracy and governance, and corporate citizenship. Author or editor of eleven books; two of Singhal’s books, Combating AIDS: Communication Strategies in Action and Entertainment-Education: A Communication Strategy for Social Change, received the National Communication Association’s Applied Communication Division’s Distinguished Book Award for 2004 and 2000, respectively). 


David Gere is director of the Art and Global Health Center at the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA) and founder of the MAKE ART/STOP AIDS initiative. Dr. Gere is professor in the UCLA Department of World Arts and Cultures, where he teaches courses in arts activism. His book How to Make Dances in an Epidemic: Tracking Choreography in the Age of AIDS (University of Wisconsin Press, 2004) received the award for outstanding book publication from the Congress on Research in Dance. The book was also nominated for a Lambda Literary Award and received a special citation from the Society of Dance History Scholars and the De la Torre Bueno Prize. Gere studied music, dance, and Tamil in Madurai, Tamilnadu, on an Oberlin Shansi Fellowship 1980-82. In 2004, he returned to India on a Fulbright fellowship. He now travels frequently between Los Angeles and project sites in Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, Malawi, and India to support the MAKE ART/STOP AIDS initiative, which has received grants from UNAIDS, UNESCO, and the Ford Foundation. He is the winner of the 2010 UCLA Gold Shield Faculty Prize, only the fifteenth UCLA faculty member to receive this prize for academic excellence. 


Dr. Mallika V Sarabhai is an internationally acclaimed performance artist, social activist, producer and director who has championed the use of arts as an instigator for social change for many years. Since 1978, Mallika has been Director of the Darpana Academy, a multi-arts institution in Ahmedabad. Under her leadership, Darpana has become one of the leading institutions in creating innovative ways to engage communities in tackling social and environmental issues.

Mallika grew up in a household of creators, innovators and leaders. Mallika excelled in academics, receiving her MBA from the Indian Institute of Management at the age of 20 and her Doctorate in Organizational Behavior from Gujarat University at the age of 22. In 1978 she became director of the Darpana Academy which her mother, Mrinalini Sarabhai, founded in 1949.

The organization grew and expanded under Mallika’s leadership to include new programs, including a program devoted to researching  folk music and dance (“Janavak”) and a program dedicated to the use of arts for development (Darpana for Development). In 1994, Darpana built the Natarani theatre venue and café. Today, Natarani is the central hub for performing arts events in Ahmedabad, and regularly hosts artists, films, and other performances from across the spectrum of genres and geography.

Dr. Sarabhhai’s work as a producer and director of television began in 1980.  In 2000 she became the CEO of the TARA channel in Gujarat. In a short period of time, TARA established itself as a groundbreaking species of television. Mallika Sarabhhai brought her diversity of experience into the television channel and created programs that used every conceivable genre of television – fiction, soaps, music videos, chat shows, quizzes, interviews and game shows – always with development and empowerment as the focus, but always entertaining enough to hold a viewer. The channel accomplished many firsts for Gujarati television and also Indian television; there were talk shows that, for the first time, allowed constituents to directly address the electoral candidates, investigative stories that instigated actual change, interview shows that asked thousands of people for their opinions on topics relevant to their lives and their society; people who had never before been given a chance to speak publically about these issues.

Following the TARA experience, Dr, Sarabhhai created a new department in her organization to continue the work that had begun with TARA. Dr. Sarabhhai and Darpana Communications have, since 2002, produced over 3000 hours of broadcast material with the aim of turning popular television into a venue for people to express their concerns, understand other perspectives, learn about their own world, and instigate change. Dr. Sarabhhai and Darpana Communications continue to create material that is as entertaining and compelling as it is bold, innovative, and relevant to society.

Dr. Sarabhhai’s innovative work has won her many awards and accolades, including the Padma Bhushan from the Government of India, the Chevalier de Arts et Lettre from the Government of France, the International Lifetime Achievements Award 2009 by International Congress of Women, the Crystal Award 2009 by Davos World Economic Forum, the UNFPA – Laadli Media Awards for Gender Sensitivity 2006-07 for consistent artistic engagement on gender issues, the Paul Harris Fellowship by the Rotary International New Delhi, 2004, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for Creative Dance, 2001, the Chevalier des Palmes Academiques from the French Government in1999, the Gaurav Puraskar for Contribution to the Arts from the Government of Gujarat in1992, Gold Medal - CIOFF Dijon for leading the best folk dance group in1984, the Golden Star Award for Best Dance Soloist from the Theatre De Champs Elysees in 1977 and many more.

Today, she creates and performs, gives lectures and workshops, makes films, writes and speaks, all in the hope of being able to spark something that will lead to a more just and humane world.


Emer Beamer is a social designer and conceptor, co-founder of Butterfly Works and Nairobits.

Emer Beameris a co-founder of Butterfly Works, a design studio for social change, based in Amsterdam and working globally with designers and organsiers.

Along with co-founders Ineke Aquarius and Hester Ezra, Emer has developed and produced concepts which contribute to greater equality in the world, concepts which are currently used in 20 countries on 3 continents.

Emer focusses on designing meaningful learning experiences for young people in countries such as Kenya, Nigeria, Cambodia and Afghanistan. Programs such as 'NairoBits' web design schools and 'Learning about Living' for teenagers which have won international awards and are still been updated and applied to new contexts. Emer is currently investigating the potential of mobile games and learning apps to reach young people in informal settlements and (post)conflict states.

See more of Emer's work at www.butterflyworks.org

Emer tweets: @EmerBeamer and @ButterflyWorks

Jose “Oying” Rimon II is a Senior Program Officer at the Global Health Policy and Advocacy group of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

His primary responsibility is developing a portfolio of advocacy grants and partnerships aimed at revitalizing the family planning/reproductive health, maternal neonatal and child health and nutrition global agenda.  Oying  has over 25 years of leadership experience in public health and is a recognized expert in evidence-based advocacy and behavior change, in managing complex, multi-issue international health programs and in establishing private/public partnerships. He has advised Presidents, Ministers, Parliamentarians, leaders of civil society groups, top government and corporate officials on public health and reproductive health policies in Asia, Africa and the Near East. Before joining the Foundation, he held three concurrent posts at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. He was the Senior Deputy Director of the Center for Communication Programs, Director of the Health Communication Partnership, also senior faculty at the Departments of Health, Behavior and Society and Population and Family Health. He has graduate degrees in communication research and population studies. Before joining Hopkins, he was a mid-career Parvin Fellow at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs focusing on development studies

Writers Guild of America West President, Chris Keyser, is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School.  After graduating, he became a political speechwriter and served as the chief speechwriter for Governor Bruce Babbitt’s presidential campaign in 1988. 

Starting his screenwriting career in 1988, Keyser’s credits include Benefit of the Doubt for Miramax and the independent film Highland Park, which was completed this year.  He is currently preparing to direct his own script, A Great Education.  In television, he writes with a partner, Amy Lippman. Together, they have worked on series ranging from L.A. Law to Equal Justice and Sisters.  In 1994, they created the drama series Party of Five, which ran for six years on Fox and won, among other honors, the Golden Globe for Best Drama and the Humanitas Prize.  Keyser and Lippman went on to create such shows as Time of Your Life and Significant Others.  This past September, their latest series, Lone Star, premiered on Fox.

Mr. Keyser is also a partner in the political media company First Tuesday.  He serves on the Boards of the Curtis School and of the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Association of Urban Debate Leagues, as well as on the Board of Trustees of the I Have a Dream Foundation, Los Angeles.



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