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Christopher Gergen has over 25 years experience building, scaling, and supporting systems-based solutions in communities globally. He is the founding partner of Forward Impact, a for-benefit advisory firm and investment fund that strives to work with forward-thinking foundations, family offices, corporations, developers, and policy makers who are committed to investing in systemic solutions to the economic inequities and disparities within our nation’s cities and regions. Most recently, Christopher was founding CEO of Forward Cities – a national non-profit launched that helps cities and regions strengthen their equitable entrepreneurial ecosystems. Since launching in 2014, Forward Cities has worked with over 30 cities, launched regional collaboratives in North Carolina and Ohio, and developed a national cross-city learning collaborative. Christopher is also founding partner of Raleigh Founded, the largest entrepreneurial co-working community in North Carolina. Additionally, Christopher has been a fellow and faculty member with Duke University’s Innovation & Entrepreneurship initiative, the Innovator in Residence at the Center for Creative Leadership, a regular columnist for the Raleigh News & Observer, co-author of the nationally acclaimed book Life Entrepreneurs: Ordinary People Creating Extraordinary Lives, an alum of Leadership North Carolina (class 24) and a 2013 Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute where he was recently named a Braddock Scholar. Other entrepreneurial endeavors for Christopher include co-founding SMARTHINKING, a venture-backed on-line tutoring company that grew to over 1,000 universities before being acquired by Pearson in 2011, launching the Entrepreneurs Corps that placed 400 AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteers into 96 non-profits for a year of capacity building support, and starting Café Nunoa – a bar, restaurant, live music venue in Santiago, Chile that Christopher started when he was 24. Christopher currently serves on the board of the Duke School and is on the Governor’s NC Works Commission in North Carolina. He lives with his wife and two children in Durham, NC.