Anthonia Carter

Anthonia Carter | Founder, Principal Investigator

Anthonia Carter, a native of Birmingham, Alabama, is a PhD student in Information Science at Cornell University. She explores research opportunities at the intersection of data science, economic development, and critical design theory to shape better futures centered around the perspectives of historically marginalized voices. In her doctoral research, she investigates the ethical, societal, and computational implications of recommendation engines and underlying ranking systems that drive online crowdfunding platforms.

Through the generous support of the IIE Centennial fellowship, Anthonia is addressing the opportunity gap between Birmingham-based BIPOC-led startups and angel/Venture Capital funding. With this work, she is making headway in tackling the VC industry's systemic lack of diversity by identifying strategies to increase access to opportunities, funds, and wealth for BIPOC startup founders.

In 2017, Anthonia was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to pursue a Master's degree in Multidisciplinary Innovation at Northumbria University in the United Kingdom. There, she used a design-led approach to help enterprises realize innovation opportunities. Before studying at Northumbria, Anthonia graduated with dual (Bachelor's and Master's) degrees in Mathematics and a Bachelor's of Fine Arts degree in Art Studio from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Anthonia is a creative misfit —a mathematician, artist, scholar, designer, researcher, change agent, and community builder.

Justine Carrion-Weiss

Justine Carrion-Weiss | Innovation Strategist

Justine Carrion-Weiss, a French native, is a PhD student researcher in Innovation Design at Northumbria University in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom, where she researches how organizations recognize the effectiveness of rapid, design-led interventions and how they measure this effectiveness, if at all.

The topic of her research emerged during the two years Justine spent working closely with Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) owners and sole traders as part of her Innovator in Residence role at Northumbria, where she designed and delivered rapid and intense design-led interventions to support organizations with innovation. These interventions were part of the Get Ready To Innovate (GRTI) program and were delivered in the UK in 2018 & 2020 as well as in Armenia in 2018-2019. GRTI is the basis for EGK Starters.

Additionally, Justine is the co-founder and director of an Innovation Design consultancy, Nuhj (which is the phonetic spelling of the word ‘nudge’), and is an Associate Lecturer in Design at Northumbria University. She graduated from Northumbria with a Master's in Multidisciplinary Innovation in 2016 and from the University of Burgundy, Dijon, France, with a BA in Modern Foreign Languages Applied to Business & Communications in 2015.

Yan Shum

Yan Shum | Service Designer

Yan Shum, a British Chinese based in York, United Kingdom, is a junior UX designer at BBC. She is dedicated to creating outstanding visual and accessible experiences across BBC products. Currently, she is working in News World Service. Aside from UX design, she is interested in different aspects of design, which includes service design and facilitating design workshops. Her design dream is to make positive social change with her skills. Yan graduated with a Master's degree in Multidisciplinary Innovation and a Bachelor's degree in Design for Industry at Northumbria University in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Zahrah Abdulrauf | Project Assistant

Zahrah Abdulrauf is a senior at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, majoring in Cognitive Science with minors in Economics, Media Studies, and Philosophy. Currently a Communications Consultant at the City of Birmingham, she crafted the pitch decks for numerous economic development initiatives, raising over $15 million from investors. She previously served as Executive Creative Director at a Birmingham-based technology startup with over $100,000 monthly recurring revenue. Passionate about expanding economic opportunity throughout the Deep South, her interests lie at the intersection of economic development, workforce development, and entrepreneurial ecosystems.