Global LiveCast Q&A 2016

We had a fantastic lineup of speakers and experts scheduled for our Global Q&A! This online Q&A unified all the thousands of screenings around the world and allowed anyone to tap in at any time of the day to ask questions to thought leaders on character development.

Welcome to Character Day 2016!

Tiffany Shlain, Filmmaker & Founder, Character Day.
Sawyer Steele, Senior Producer and Writer, Character Day.
Makenzie Darling, Producer, Character Day.

The Pursuit of Happiness

Martin Seligman, Ph.D. Director, Positive Psychology Center and Professor of Psychology, University of Penn.

How Grit Predicts Success

Angela Duckworth, Ph.D. Professor of Psychology, University of Penn. Author, GRIT.

Moral Achievement

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Former Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, United Kingdom and Winner, 2016 Templeton Prize.

Reinventing Learning

Sal Khan, Founder and CEO of Khan Academy interviewed by UC Berkeley Robotics Professor Ken Goldberg.

Character and How to Raise an Adult

Julie Lythcott Haims, Author, How to Raise an Adult: Breaking Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success. 

Schools and Character: Managing the Tough Conversations

Randi Weingarten, President, The American Federation of Teachers.

Character, Health, and Media

Kimberly Applewhite Teitter, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Michael Rich M.D., MPH, Founder Center on Media and Child Health.

Character in Thoughts, Words, and Actions

Mayank Solanki, Founder, Val-Ed Initiatives, India

How Singapore Integrates Character Education

Lim Lai Cheng Ph.D. Executive Director, Academy for Continuing Education, Singapore Management University

How to Flourish in Times of Adversity

Emiliya Zhivotovskaya, Founder, The Flourishing Center, New York.

Character and Digital Citizenship

Chris Loo, Director of Global Diversity and Inclusion, Hack Harassment, Mountain View, California.

Character, Growth Mindset, and Robotics

G. Ayorkor Korsah, Senior Lecturer in Computer Science, Ashesi University College, Ghana.

Spreading Kindness

Orly Wahba, Founder and CEO, Life Vest Inside: Kindness Boomerang.

Fostering Resilience

Kenneth Ginsburg, M.D., M.S. Ed, Pediatrician, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Professor of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and Director of Health Services for Philadelphia’s homeless youth, Covenant House Pennsylvania.

Accentuate What’s Strong to Undo What’s Wrong

Tayyab Rashid, Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist and Researcher, University of Toronto Scarborough.

Changing Times, Changing Ourselves

Rabbi David Jaffe, Founder, The Kirva Institute Author of Changing the World from the Inside Out: A Jewish Approach to Personal and Social Change, and Rabbi Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi, PhD, President’s Scholar, National Director of Recruitment and Admissions, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.

Teaching Girls to Be Leaders

Wanda M. Holland Greene, Head of The Hamlin School in San Francisco, California.

Inside Independent Schools: Why Teach Character?

Dominic Randolph, Head of School, Riverdale Country School, New York.

Character and Digital Devices

Janell Burley Hofmann, Author, iRules: What Every Tech-Healthy Family Needs to Know About Selfies, Sexting, Gaming and Growing Up

What Does Mindset Have to Do with Learning?

Eduardo Briceño, Co-Founder and CEO, Mindset Works, San Francisco.

Compassionate Living and Jewish Teachings

Alan Morinis, Anthropologist, Filmmaker, Writer, and leading figure in the contemporary revival of the Musar movement.

Parenting through Positivity

Lea Waters, Ph.D. Professor of Psychology, University of Melbourne.

Global Learning

Maria Burgos, Supervisor of Global Learning & Culturally Responsive Instruction, Prince William County Public Schools, Virginia.

Emotions Matter

Marc Brackett, Ph.D. Director, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.


Speaker Bios


Angela Duckworth

Angela Duckworth is Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, and founder and scientific director of Character Lab, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing the science and practice of character development. Angela studies grit and self-control, two powerful predictors of success and well-being. She was a 2013 MacArthur Fellow, and has advised leaders in government, business and sports. She is author of the New York Times bestseller, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance.

For more info on her work, click here.


Martin Seligman

Martin E.P. Seligman is the Zellerbach Family Professor of Psychology and Director of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, focusing on positive psychology, learned helplessness, depression, and optimism. He’s best-selling author of several books, including Flourish. In 1996, Seligman was elected President of the American Psychological Association. His current mission is the attempt to transform social science to work on the best things in life – strengths, positive emotion, good relationships, meaning, and human flourishing.

For more info on his work, click here.



Randi Weingarten

Randi Weingarten is president of the 1.6 million-member American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, which represents teachers, paraprofessionals and school-related personnel, nurses and other healthcare professionals, government employees and early childhood educators. Under her leadership, AFT has launched major efforts to place real education reform high on the nation’s agenda, creating a groundbreaking Innovation Fund to support education reform, and a model to transform teacher evaluations from a way of simply rating teachers to a tool for continuous improvement and feedback, among many other initiatives.

For more info on her work, click here.


Julie Lythcott-Haims

Julie Lythcott-Haims is the author of the New York Times best-selling book How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success, which emerged from her decade as Stanford University’s Dean of Freshmen (where she received the Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award). Forthcoming works include: her TED Talk (PBS, September 13, 2016); her memoir on race (Real American, Fall 2017); the sequel to How to Raise an Adult (2018).

For more info on her work, click here.


Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks is an international religious leader, philosopher, award-winning author and respected moral voice. He was awarded the 2016 Templeton Prize in recognition of his “exceptional contributions to affirming life’s spiritual dimension.” A frequent and sought after contributor to radio, television and the press both in Britain and around the world, Rabbi Sacks is the author of over 30 books, the most recent of which is the bestseller Not in God’s Name: Confronting Religious Violence.

For more info on his work, click here.


Sal Khan

Salman Amin “Sal” Khan is an American educator, entrepeneur, and former hedge fund analyst. He is the founder of the Khan Academy, a free online education platform and an organization with which he has produced over 6,500 video lessons teaching a wide spectrum of academic subjects, mainly focusing on mathematics and sciences. As of May 2016, the Khan Academy channel on YouTube has more than 2.6 million subscribers and the Khan Academy videos have been viewed more than 840 million times. In 2012, Time named Salman Khan in its annual list of the 100 Most Influential People in the world. Forbes magazine featured Khan on its cover with the story “$1 Trillion Opportunity.”

For more info on his work, click here.


Wanda M. Holland Greene 

Wanda M. Holland Greene is head of The Hamlin School in San Francisco, a mission-driven institution dedicated to best practices and innovation in the education of girls and young women. An experienced leader in education with a powerful voice and presence, Ms. Holland Greene has given careful attention to academic and ethical excellence, equity and justice, wellness, and global citizenship. Currently, she serves as a trustee at Head-Royce School and her alma mater Columbia University.

For more info on her work, click here.


Marc Brackett

Director of Yale’s Center for Emotional Intelligence and Senior Research Scientist in Psychology at Yale University, Marc is lead developer of RULER, an evidence-based approach to teaching social and emotional learning. His research focuses on measuring emotional intelligence and its role in learning, decision making, relationship quality, and mental health, and demonstrating the positive effects of emotional intelligence training on academic performance, teacher instructional practices, and school climate. Marc consults regularly with school systems and corporations.

For more info on his work, click here.


Dominic A.A. Randolph

Dominic A.A. Randolph became the sixth Head of Riverdale Country School in July 2007. Riverdale is a Pre-K-Grade 12 independent school in New York City of 1150 students. His work on character strength development was featured in the NYT article “What if the Secret to Success is Failure” by Paul Tough. This led to the founding of the Character Labwith Angela Duckworth and David Levin-a non-profit supporting research on character strengths in schools.

For more info on his work, click here.


Emiliya Zhivotovskaya

Emiliya Zhivotovskaya, a widely sought-after speaker, educator, facilitator and coach, founded the Certification in Positive Psychology (CAPP) program, in six U.S. cities. Emiliya is also the founder of The Flourishing Center, a New York City based, company that is dedicated to increasing the flourishing of individuals, organizations and communities worldwide. Emiliya shares the transformative power of positive psychology that yield tangible, measurable results, sharing these ideas in a wonderfully engaging and entertaining way.

For more info on her work, click here.


Eduardo Briceño

Eduardo is the Co-Founder and CEO of Mindset Works, a leader in growth mindset training which he co-founded with Carol Dweck Ph.D., Lisa Blackwell Ph.D., and others. Mindset Works now provides digital and printed growth mindset training and resources to thousands of schools and their teachers and students.

For more info on his work, click here.


Chris Loo

Chris Loo is the Program Director for Hack Harassment which is a collaborative initiative led by Intel Corporation, Born This Way Foundation, Recode and Vox Media to reduce the prevalence and severity of online harassment. Online harassment has become a pervasive and often vicious problem with real-life repercussions. It has significant negative consequences for the wellbeing and safety of individuals and for the success of digital communities. Everyone — regardless of their identity, background, or beliefs — is entitled to an online world where they are treated with respect and are free from harassment. In order to build a safer, smarter, and more inclusive experience online, we must each recognize when harassment is occurring, responsibly speak up against it, and support those experiencing it.

For more info on his work, click here.


G. Ayorkor Korsah

G. Ayorkor Korsah is a Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at Ashesi University College, Ghana. She enjoys teaching computer science and robotics, as well as coaching students of various levels as they develop their problem-solving abilities and explore how to apply these skills to the development of their communities.  Her other interests include designing algorithms for robotics planning and coordination and exploring the role of technology in education. Along with Ken Goldberg, she co-founded the African Robotics Network (AFRON).

For more info on her work, click here.


Tayyab Rashid

As a clinical psychologist and researcher at University of Toronto Scarborough, Canada, Dr. Rashid’s expertise include strengths-based therapeutic interventions. Trained with Dr. Martin Seligman at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Rashid has worked with survivors of 9/11 families, Asian Tsunami and refugee families. Published in peer-reviewed journals and featured in the Wall Street Journal, Canadian Broadcasting Cooperation and TEDx, Dr. Rashid currently leads a strengths-based, award-winning initiative Flourish and chairs a campus mental health group.

For more info on his work, click here.


Orly Whaba

Orly Wahba is an educator, entrepreneur, and community activist passionate about motivating people to make the world a kinder place. Orly began her career as a Middle School educator empowering children to see their power to influence the world for good. In 2011, Orly founded Life Vest Inside, a non-profit organization with a mission to empower and unite the world with kindness. LVI gained international acclaim when Orly’s award-winning film Kindness Boomerang went viral.

For more info on her work, click here.


Rabbi David Jaffe

Rabbi David Jaffe, is the author of Changing the World from the Inside Out: A Jewish Approach to Personal and Social Change and founder of the Kirva Institute. His writing, teaching and activism explore the intersection of moral development, ethical action and reconciliation. A life-long spiritual seeker, David works with the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, The Mussar Institute and others to bring Judaism’s wisdom about the inner life to people of all backgrounds and ages.

For more info on his work, click here.


Rabbi Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi

Rabbi Dr. Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi serves the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion as the National Director of Recruitment and Admissions and President’s Scholar and heads the Office of Community Engagement.  Prior to this appointment, she served as Vice President of the Shalom Hartman Institute and also taught at HUC-JIR in Jerusalem. Rabbi Sabath earned a Ph.D. in philosophy from the Jewish Theological Seminary. She speaks widely and writes regularly for several newspapers and journals.

For more info on her work, click here.


Michael Rich MD MPH

Michael Rich MD MPH is a father of four, pediatrician, child health researcher, filmmaker, and professor at Harvard Medical School and School of Public Health. He founded the Center on Media and Child Health and cares for adolescents at Boston Children’s Hospital. Ask the Mediatrician is his online advice column on parenting digital natives. The Mediatrician is currently studying longterm effects of media use on health and child development and of play on social-emotional learning.

For more info on his work, click here.



Kimberly Applewhite Teitter, Ph.D.

Kimberly Applewhite Teitter, PsyD, recently completed a clinical postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School, as a part of the Leadership Education in Adolescent Health program in the Adolescent Medicine division of Boston Children’s Hospital. Her research and clinical interests include intersectional perspectives on sexual orientation and religion, and the impact of adverse events on at-risk and ethnic minority youth.

For more info on her work, click here.


Kenneth Ginsberg

Kenneth Ginsburg, M.D., M.S. Ed Dr., is a pediatrician specializing in Adolescent Medicine at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He also serves Philadelphia’s homeless youth as Director of Health Services at Covenant House Pennsylvania. The theme that ties together his clinical practice, teaching, research and advocacy efforts is that of building on the strength of teenagers by fostering their internal resilience. His goal is to translate the best of what is known from research and practice into practical approaches parents, professionals and communities can use to prepare children and teens to thrive.

For more info on his work, click here.


Maria D. Burgos

Maria D. Burgos serves as the Supervisor of Global Learning & Culturally Responsive Instruction for the Office of Professional Learning in Prince William County Public Schools, Virginia. Maria D. Burgos inspires individual participants to examine their social-conscious lens to cultivate continual transformation toward equity and justice within the self, and within communities and schools.

For more info on her work, click here.


Mayank Solanki

Mayank is a young social entrepreneur & founder of Val-Ed Initiatives that provides Values Education in schools, colleges & corporates in India. Mayank belongs to a niche category of youth who has been active in numerous national & international initiatives from a young age & been part of several companies, start-ups & Non-Profits. The purpose of his life is “to make the world a better place through his thoughts, words & action.”

For more info on his work, click here.


Lea Waters

Lea Waters (PhD) is professor of psychology. She is the Gerry Higgins Chair in Positive Psychology University of Melbourne and is the president-elect of the International Positive Psychology Association. Lea has an affiliate position with Cambridge University and University of Michigan. In 2015, Lea was listed in the Australian Top 100 Women of Influence by the Financial Review and Westpac Bank. She researches strength-based parenting, positive education and positive organizations.

For more info on her work, click here.


Alan Morinis

Alan Morinis is founder and Dean of The Mussar Institute and an active interpreter of the teachings and practices of Mussar. Raised in a non-observant Jewish home, he completed a PhD in anthropology at Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship. For the past nineteen years, the Jewish spiritual discipline of Mussar has been his passion. He is the author of Climbing Jacob’s Ladder (2002), Everyday Holiness (2007) and With Heart in Mind (2014).

For more info on his work, click here.


Lim Lai Cheng

Dr Lim Lai Cheng is Executive Director of the Academy for Continuing Education at Singapore Management University. She has had extensive experience in education having been principal of schools including Raffles Institution (Singapore), and from her key roles in curriculum and policy development at the Education Ministry’s headquarters. Lai Cheng is a director of Principals’ Academy Inc. (Singapore) and is currently advisor to a few education foundations abroad, in Slovakia, Russia, Hong Kong, Malaysia and South Africa.

For more info on her work, click here.


Janell Burley Hofmann

Janell Burley Hofmann is an international author, speaker and consultant on topics like technology, media, health, well-being and relationships. Janell is the creator of the original iPhone Contract & author of the book iRules: What Every Tech-Healthy Family Needs to Know About Selfies, Sexting, Gaming and Growing Up published by Rodale, Inc. Janell is the founder of the Slow Tech Movement and iRules Academy. Janell’s professional expertise and personal experience as a mother of five children builds strong connections with a wide and varied population.

For more info on her work, click here.