Executive director, Cofounder
Ryan Phelan is a serial entrepreneur active in both the for-profit and non-profit worlds. She is the Executive Director of Revive & Restore, with a mission to enhance biodiversity through the genetic rescue of endangered and extinct species. Ryan currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Personal Genome Project, which aims to sequence and publicize the complete genomes and medical records of 100,000 volunteers, in order to enable research into personalized medicine.
In 2005 Phelan launched DNA Direct, the first medical genetics company to focus on bringing personalized medicine to the consumer market. The company was acquired in 2010 by Medco Health Solutions (with over 55 million Medco members) to provide pharmacogenetic testing services and clinical support focused on drug/gene interactions. In 2001 she was co-founder and director of the ALL Species Foundation, a global science initiative to discover all life on Earth in 25 years. It led to the online Encyclopedia of Life, which so far has collected web pages on 925,000 species. In 1995 she founded Direct Medical Knowledge—a consumer health web site unique for its content depth and innovative search interface that was acquired by WebMD in 1999. DMK’s content became the backbone of WebMD’s consumer health site.
President, The Long Now Foundation
Stewart Brand is co-founder of Revive & Restore and president of its parent organization, The Long Now Foundation. Bringing biotech to conservation first went public with his TED talk in 2013, “The Dawn of De-extinction.”
Brand has been an ardent conservationist since he was 10. That led him to get his degree in Biology from Stanford in 1960, focussing on ecology and evolution.
The Whole Earth Catalog, which he created and ran from 1968 to 1984, purveyed a biological perspective on everything. Besides earning a National Book Award in 1972, the Catalog and its later philanthropy became one of the founding pillars of what is called the Modern Environmental Movement—as chronicled in the book Counterculture Green: The Whole Earth Catalog and American Environmentalism (2007 by Andrew Kirk), and in the feature film “Earth Days” (2009 by Robert Stone). Recently, in an effort to inspire environmentalists to follow science instead of ideology, Brand wrote Whole Earth Discipline: The Rise of Ecopragmatism (2010, Penguin). The book has two chapters on the environmental benefits of biotechnology. In 2015 Brand was one of the authors of an influential essay, “An Ecomodernist Manifesto.”
Brand also co-founded The WELL and Global Business Network. His other books include The Media Lab: Inventing the Future at MIT (1987); How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They’re Built (1994); and The Clock of the Long Now: Time and Responsibility (2000). Among the books about his involvement in the personal computer revolution are From Counterculture to Cyberculture (Fred Turner), What the Dormouse Said (John Markoff), and The Innovators (Walter Isaacson).