Adult Partners Bring Expertise and Compassion to NextGen Youth Projects

Our Screen Time Action Network wants to recognize that its NextGen Connect youth leadership development program could not exist without our fantastic Adult Partners (APs). Each AP is a subject matter expert and is hand-selected to pair 1:1 with a Youth Leader during the 12-week program. 

We are grateful to each of our amazing adult partners for their expertise, commitment, and desire to lift up youth voices!

As an organization, we are committed to elevating the youth voice in screen time issues and solutions. Thanks to generous funding from the Responsible Technology Youth Power Fund, our Youth Leaders are currently working on projects in digital wellness, Big Tech accountability, and advocacy through legislation. They will present their final projects in May.

We proudly present our 2024 NextGen Connect Adult Partners:

Dr. Adam Collins is the founder of Envision Zero Bullying and the author of Effective Bullying Prevention: A Comprehensive Schoolwide Approach. He currently serves as the Statewide Bullying Prevention Manager for the Colorado Department of Education and is excited to be part of NextGen because he knows that to truly end bullying, the voice of the youth must be included. Dr. Collins is a third-generation Japanese American, a husband, and father to two young children in the Denver, Colorado area.

Since losing her son Alexander, Amy Neville has dedicated her life to educating and spreading awareness of the dangers that killed him. She cannot say enough about the pain of losing him, but the harms on social media are bigger than one fourteen-year-old. So many more adolescents and people of all ages are having their lives cut short through no fault of their own. Amy is the president of the Alexander Neville Foundation and the Director of the Southeast Valley Community Alliance. The ANF’s latest film is called  “Come Back Home” and delves into the lives of younger people who survived the loss of their loved ones to fentanyl.

Angela Campbell recently stepped down as Fairplay’s Board Chair after 9 years on the board. She taught in a clinical program at Georgetown Law for over 30 years that represented Fairplay and other non-profit organizations seeking to create a better media environment for children. The clinic filed numerous complaints at the Federal Trade Commission alleging that companies such as TikTok, YouTube, and Google Play violated children’s privacy or engaged in unfair or deceptive marketing practices. She looks forward to continuing her work with young people to develop policies designed to reduce harms to youth caused by new technologies.

Bill Softky has been a crazy technologist since childhood, when he and his brother made TV jammers. Ultimately he got a Ph.D. in theoretical physics at Caltech while using math to prove neuroscience measures neurons wrong. Then he worked his way up in Silicon Valley from programmer to software architect, data scientist, and Chief Algorithm Officer, learning to use the math which brains obey, and discovering how technology undermines their basic functions. Now he wants to share that truth with people who want to take humanity back.

Chris Flack has a background in Organizational Psychology, is the co-founder of the behavior change consultancy UnPlug, an instructor at the Digital Wellness Institute and a LinkedIn Learning instructor. Chris’s research areas of interest are task switching and workplace loneliness. Chris lives in Dublin, Ireland and loves cooking, cycling and running. He currently has Long Covid and as a result, has been a wheelchair user and unable to do live work since early 2023. He spent five years working in overseas aid and development which has resulted in him having lived in seven countries. Chris has been a youth mentor for a few years and as a participant in NextGen cohort 1, appreciates the huge benefit of sharing his experience and learning from this incredible group of youth leaders.

Chris Vineis is CEO and Founder of Unite for Safe Social Media. Unite was created to provide families the facts, tools and inspiration to support each other to keep their kids safe online. Chris spent her career working in public affairs, propelling clients’ goals through governmental channels, primarily in DC. She was thrilled to be invited to partner in NextGen as she has organized mentoring programs, addressed young professionals on workplace challenges and the best of all, coached individuals. She is ready for the rewarding give and take of working alongside her partner!

David Monahan is the Campaign Director at Fairplay, which he joined in 2015 after many years as an attorney working to protect Massachusetts consumers. He’s inspired by the opportunity to work with up-and-coming NextGen advocates on how to educate young people about the manipulative tactics of Big Tech. David grew up in Brooklyn, NY, and he lives north of Boston with his wife Lindsey, two amazing kids aged 4 and 11, and a beautiful dog named Beatrice who is around 13/91 years old.

Prior to joining FoolProof in 2013, Drew held various roles in the credit union and banking industry for nearly 15 years. Carrying the goal of serving the underserved, Drew has taught Financial Fitness, a program that helps lower-income individuals into financial self-sufficiency, through Boulder County. He has also volunteered with Special Olympics and Habitat for Humanity.

Gillian Jarvis is a senior pediatric occupational therapist who loves working with children and families to help them have a full and satisfying daily life. This includes guiding them to get a healthy balance in their use of digital technology. She is based in Melbourne, Australia, and over the last few years has become involved in research and programs to support families to be better educated about their tech habits. She spends a lot of time working with schools. Gillian has 2 teenagers and a big friendly dog. She is looking forward to partnering with NextGen as she loves to work and learn collaboratively and knows that young people understand the issues and solutions to digital well-being.

Jean Rystrom retired after 30 years of working for the medical group of Kaiser Permanente, administering Pediatric and then Medicaid services. For over a decade, she was Kaiser Permanente’s national leader on screen time reduction. With several community partners in Oregon, she organized the multidisciplinary Screen Time Awareness and Reduction Coalition, which produced a wide range of materials, trainings and events, including an extensive training and support program for in-home childcare providers and a widely distributed tool kit for early childhood educators to help them promote and participate in Screen Free Week.

Joni Siani is a broadcast journalist, dynamic lecturer, author, filmmaker, radio personality and Media and Communication professor at Lasell University in Massachusetts. Siani was an early predictor of the negative impact that social media has had on human development, personal relationships, and society. With a master’s degree in counseling psychology and communications, her highly acclaimed work on the shaping effects of digital socialization is presented in the multi-award-winning documentary film Celling Your Soul (BullFrog Films). Her NoAppForLife podcast is produced to amplify the issues and build support, demanding effective safety and trust policies from Big Tech. Siani is the Executive Producer of the new documentary, Your Attention Please, set for release in 2025.

Laís Fleury is Brazilian, and she has twenty years of experience as a social entrepreneur and has been a Fellow of Ashoka Social Entrepreneurs since 2003. She co-founded the NGO Associação Vaga Lume, dedicated to promoting reading in rural communities in the Amazon region. In the last 8 years, Laís has been working for Alana, advocating for children’s rights to connect with nature. She is credited as the signatory of the argument for the film “The Beginning of Life 2: Outside,” and she also holds a postgraduate degree in the theme “The Time and Voice of Children: Anthropological and Poetic Listening to Childhood. She is the mom of 2 beautiful girls and has lived with her family in Oregon since 2021. She volunteered as a partner of NextGen cohort 2 because she is interested in supporting children and youth to develop a healthy relationship with technology.

Mary Anne Em Radmacher has been a journal-keeper since she was in second grade. Throughout her life, she has used her skill with words to understand the world and help others make sense of it. In addition to creating and distributing inspiration art-based words throughout the world, she has over a dozen published books, including “Live Your Best Story: 365 Ways to Ponder Your Days” and “Lean Forward into Your Life” and she is considered one of the most quoted living authors. Em’s work is included in The Oxford Dictionary of American Quotations.

Sam Kane-Gerard is a second-year graduate student at the University of Baltimore working on his Master’s in Applied Psychology with a concentration in Counseling Psychology. As a prospective clinician, he sees problematic tech use as both one of the most pervasive and under-recognized issues in mental health. Sam got connected with the Screen Time Action Network in 2022 and is a founding member of the  Mental Health Work Group. Outside of work, Sam enjoys soccer, playing drums, and cooking.

Susan Linn, Ed.D, is an author, an award-winning ventriloquist, a psychologist, and a long-time advocate for children. Susan is especially proud of serving as founding director of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (now called Fairplay) from 2000 to 2015. She is thrilled to be working with NextGen and believes strongly in nurturing a new generation of activists working to create a world in which the well-being of children comes before corporate profits.

To get on the interest list for the next cohort of NextGen Connect (as youth leader or adult partner) please leave your details here. If you have questions about NextGen, you can email [email protected].