Associate Profiles

Our vision is for a university institute which embraces not just academia, but the broader educational, research, government, corporate and non-profit sectors. This vision is supported by our associate members, both Internal and External, who are based all over the world. Some of our associate members are highlighted in the profiles below. Associate membership is extended by invitation.

BHI Carlos Sacchi

Carlos Sacchi

Associate Member, Big History Institute
Sao Paulo, Brazil

Born in São Paulo, Brazil, in 1979, Carlos has a business education background at Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV-SP). He worked at new business opportunities evaluation departments for Brazilian mining powerhouse Vale and in management positions as a stockholder in years of developing a pharmaceutical packaging medium-sized industry to be sold. Having accomplished it, he works now as a private small investor. 

Since his early twenties, Carlos became a prolific backpacker, having explored almost 50 countries in the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia and ended up developing a profound appetite for culture, specially books on literature, philosophy, history and science. In 2009, it all culminated in Big History's grandiose Maps of Time, by David Christian. In love with the subject, Carlos joined communities and activities in the field preparing himself to develop projects on Big History in his homeland or elsewhere.

Felix Pharand-Deschenes

Félix Pharand-Deschênes

Director-general and Science Communicator & Visualizer, Globaia
Associate Member, Big History Institute
Quebec, Canada

Trained as an anthropologist with a specialization in ethnogeography, Félix has been working for more than 15 years in communicating science, from modern cosmology to global environmental change. Always seeking to depict ideas in order to make them easier to grasp, he started to create visualizations and maps to illustrate his talks on climate change and biodiversity. In 2009, he founded Globaïa, a non-profit NGO based in Canada dedicated to promote science and environmental awareness among the general public.

Globaïa's core themes are Big History, the Ecosphere (aka the Earth System) and the Anthropocene (the informal name given to the current geological epoch, dominated by our thermo-industrial civilization). Félix has worked with several international scientific and environmental institutions to help them communicate their research to a broad audience. His rendition of our planet makes the cover of the National Geographic Atlas of the World, 10th Edition (2014).

BHI Maarten Oranje

Maarten Oranje

Associate Member, Big History Institute
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

A dutiful citizen of the Kingdom of The Netherlands, Maarten Oranje (1979) has his professional background in the field of International Relations. He was educated in European Studies at the University of Amsterdam, graduating with distinction in 2008. Taking an interest in both the sciences and the humanities, in both languages and mathematics, in both the perennial and the ephemeral, he finally stumbled upon Big History in 2013. He has been infatuated with the subject ever since. Maarten currently works for Cordaid, an international NGO based in The Hague, that specializes in disaster relief and system strengthening in fragile states. He is responsible for the financial monitoring of projects in Ghana, Uganda and Sierra Leone. He is highly interested in international relations at all levels, from exchanging backpacking experiences in Syria or Ecuador to discussing the future of the European Union. Should reincarnation exist, he wishes to apply for Italian citizenship.

Constance Associate Member

Constance van Hall

Teacher, A.Roland Holst College 
Associate Member, Big History Institute
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Constance van Hall studied Philosophy and History at University of Amsterdam. She specialised in Social Philosophy and the History of Ideas. Additonally, Constance studied many courses in the Social Sciences. She teaches Science and Philosophy to students aged 14-18, preparing them for university. She's well known for her enthusiasm and interest in science, so she enjoys teaching Big History to her students.

Joris Associate Member

Joris Burmeister

Teacher, A.Roland Holst College 
Associate Member, Big History Institute
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Joris Burmeister studied History at University of Amsterdam. He has published papers on military history and also specialises in Roman history. For more than 15 years now, he has been teaching History and Science at Roland Holst College. He's well known for his storytelling and so Big History is really his cup of tea.

John Armitage

John Armitage

Associate Member, Big History Institute
Digital Product Design 

John Armitage began his digital product design career almost 25 years ago. His passion is to make complex ideas and processes easier to understand and complete through the design and deployment of interactive software.

For the past ten years, John's work has focused on the field of visual analytics - the visualization of quantitative information using interactive, animated charts and environments. His innovations include six design patents in the area of making quantitative thinking more accessible and affordable to wider audiences.

In his recent positions with BusinessObjects and SAP Labs, he led global design teams and led the creation of LAVA, the design language behind SAP's newest visual analytic user experiences.

His book, Bringing Numbers to Life: LAVA and Design-Led Innovation in Visual Analytics, and its follow-on instructional courseware, will be released in November 2015 by the Interaction Design Foundation. 

Ben Goldman

Dr Ben Goldman

Associate Member, Big History Institute
Entrepreneur, author, artist 

Dr. Goldman is an award-winning serial entrepreneur, author, data scientist, inventor/designer, and former Clinton Administration advisor. He is developing methods to use data visualization for better consumer interfaces. His work has led to a Presidential Executive Order, Supreme Court victory, new social movement and field of research, and focused primarily on technology, art and the environment. The Museum of Modern Art sold his last product and The New York Times called the last organization he directed "one of the most socially engaged and dynamic art spaces." His PhD is from NYU (public administration) and his BA from Vassar (history).