Board Bios

Dr. Philip Zimbardo is a professor emeritus at Stanford University and creator of The Stanford Prison Experiment. Dr. Zimbardo has spent over 50 years teaching and studying psychology. Dr. Zimbardo currently lectures worldwide and is actively working to promote his non-profit The Heroic Imagination Project  His current research looks at the psychology of heroism. He asks: “What pushes some people to become perpetrators of evil, while others act heroically on behalf of those in need?”

Prior to his heroism work, he served as President of the American Psychological Association and designed and narrated the award winning 26-part PBS series, Discovering Psychology.  He has published more than 50 books and 400 professional and popular articles and chapters, among them, Shyness, The Lucifer Effect, The Time Cure, The Time Paradox, and most recently, Man, Interrupted.


Zeno E. Franco has authored several articles and chapters on heroism credited with generating renewed interest in heroics as a serious topic of research in psychology with his long time mentor and colleague, Dr. Zimbardo.  These include “The Banality of Heroism” in Greater Good Magazine (2007), “Heroism: A conceptual analysis and differentiation between heroic action and altruism” in the journal Review of General Psychology (2011), and “The psychology of heroism: Extraordinary champions of humanity in an unforgiving world.”  in the recently published handbook The Social Psychology of Good and Evil (2016).
He is an assistant professor in Family & Community Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin. His current work focuses on examining heroic leadership in crisis events, military heroism, and our connection to the unknown. He serves as chair of the board of  directors for the Heroic Imagination Project and is on the editorial boards for the journals PLOS: Currents: Disasters and Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management.


Scott Allison has authored numerous books, including Heroes and Heroic Leadership. He is Professor of Psychology at the University of Richmond where he has published extensively on heroism and leadership. His other books include Reel Heroes, Conceptions of Leadership, Frontiers in Spiritual Leadership, the Handbook of Heroism, and Heroic Humility. His work has appeared in USA Today, National Public Radio, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Slate Magazine, MSNBC, CBS, Psychology Today, and the Christian Science Monitor. He has received Richmond’s Distinguished Educator Award and the Virginia Council of Higher Education’s Outstanding Faculty Award.


Matt Langdon is the founder and chair of the Hero Construction Company, creator of the Hero Round Table (the world’s leading conference on heroism), a board member of the Heroic Imagination Project, and is a founding member of the Pop Culture Heroism Coalition. He has spoken to audiences across the United States, Europe, and Australia.


Bill Roller is founder and president of the Berkeley Group Education Foundation, a non profit organization dedicated to the education of the public in the purpose and value of group therapy and the development of comprehensive programs and materials for the training of group psychotherapy professionals. The organization also supports the public interest by sponsoring symposia on issues of justice and human rights. He is a Fellow of the American Group Psychotherapy Association, Chairman of the Ethics Committee of the Board of Directors of the International Association for Group Psychotherapy and Group Processes (2006-2012), and past Co-Chairman of the Group Therapy Symposium, Department of Psychiatry, University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco. He is author of more than 45 publications, including books, scientific articles, book chapters, videotapes, and a biography of Paul Shilder- a pioneer in group analysis and mentor to S.H. Foulkes. Most recently, he collaborated with Philip Zimbardo to create the new film series, Group Dynamics and the New Heroism: The Ethical Alternative to the Stanford Prison Experiment (2014), which explores the group process that allows individuals to follow their conscience in taking collective action in support of ethical principles of people in need, even at some cost or risk to themselves. See www.thepromiseofgrouppsychotherapy for more details.


Adi Seal is an entrepreneur, startup advisor and a change agent with over 14 years of experience launching global consumer and enterprise software products at startups and Fortune 100 companies. Currently, they are the founder and CEO of Nitkan, an AI startup focused on self-awareness, positive human connection and cultural transformation.

Prior to Nitkan, Adi co-founded an agrifinance startup focused on improving social and economic conditions of farmers in India. As a Director at the global digital agency Epsilon, they led multi-million dollar strategy, design and development engagements building global enterprise social networks, enterprise and consumer software and mobile apps for clients like American Express, California Lottery, SAP, Intel, FOX Sports, Cisco, American Airlines and others.

While technology is the vehicle of Adi’s work, People and Transformation for Good are their primary focus. A feminist, genderqueer, activist and expat, Adi has led teams, organized educational and change-focused events, and previously volunteered on the Board of women and LGBTQ-focused non-profits in San Francisco.