Directors

James Benjamin Ferrari, Chairman
 

James Ferrari is a businessman, social entrepreneur, filmmaker, writer and visual artist. His work focuses on a multitude of projects ranging from media to business to philanthropy; all with an eye on empowerment through social interaction. As a social entrepreneur his interests encompass projects related to reproductive health, climate change, politics, AIDS, and the social and environmental fabric of Sub-Saharan Africa. From communities to entire societies, from grass roots projects to national and international organizations, James works with groups to challenge their infrastructure in order to solve social problems. 

James has worked with developing world governments and NGOs with a goal of bridging partnerships as a means of diplomacy. He has advised multinational corporations relating to local political, economic and social issues in developing nations. He believes that America needs partnerships, and not rhetoric, with emerging world nations and cultures in order to have a viable future. 

Since 2014 James has been involved with a new macro-disciplined school of thinking of the fusing together of technology, biology, science, social psychology, and economies. He attended The University of Michigan and the MIT Collective Intelligence conferences which focused on the shared group intelligence that emerges from collaboration and collective efforts. James has been drawn to this new order of hyper connectivity and its implications on the global impact therein.

James attended the MIT Center for Collectives Intelligence’s Climate Colab in 2106 which connected leaders from businesses, non-profit organizations governments and communities around the world to hear and engage with innovative climate solutions and advance a new, collective way of tracking climate change.

He also participated in the MIT Collective Intelligence Conference which brought together researchers from the academy, businesses, non-profits, governments and the world at large to share insights and ideas from a variety of fields relevant to understanding and designing collective intelligence in many forms.

With an eye towards technology being used for the benefit of the underprivileged, James has become invested in the field of crypto currency and attended the MIT Bitcoin Expo in 2016.

James is actively involved in the 2018 elections by supporting local and national democratic candidates and raising awareness among the philanthropic society of the importance of participation in politics for the betterment of the country.

Previously involvement in the non-for-profit arena includes the facilitation of construction of homes in flood- devastated Mozambique in 2002. The project was derived from James' alliance with the Synergos Institute and he worked closely with the FDC (Foundation for Community Development) and its chairperson Gra§a Machel, the wife of former South African President Nelson Mandela. 

James attended a workshop in 2002 on the global status of Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Windhoek, Namibia. The UNICEF sponsored workshop was attended by delegates from 22 countries with the intent of implementing large-scale action to achieve United Nations General Assembly Special Session goals and develop a clear commitment of action at both the country and regional levels. 

In 2005 he also participated in a Sister City workshop (Sponsored by Mayor Bloomberg and Ambassador Soderberg) which focused on New York City's Tourism industry and Economic Market and its similarities with our sister city Johannesburg.

An active visual artist, James created LoveLite with celebrated abstract artist Richmond Burton in 2004. The large-scale art installation fused the geometrical patterns and grid - a primary element in Burton's work - with a map of the world, all laid out in bands of light. The project was a temporary installment in Bellport Long Island. 

In 2005 James created an arts collective Tribal Truth which is an online community which strives to forge effective partnerships with artists and humanitarian organizations and work as an incubator for social change. It features artists in the fields of film, video, art, poetry, and photography. It showcases a variety of NGO’s and other humanitarian organizations in an attempt to inspire and encourage people to get involved in the issues facing the world today.

In 2005 Mr. Ferrari formed Ferrari Media Productions (FMP), a subsidiary Tribal Truth. FMP is the umbrella company for a myriad of media-based projects. Included in these are two feature films shot in South Africa; one based on travel writer and novelist Paul Theroux's novella An African Story from the collection Stranger at the Palazzo d'Oro; the second a film adaptation of Mbongeni Ngema's (Sarafina!) award winning play Asinamali. 

At the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival, James helped produce two films; a short film directed by actor Mike Doyle (TV's Law & Order: SVU) titled “Shiner” starring Tony-nominated actress Amy Ryan; and the romantic comedy “Kettle of Fish” (also exhibited at the Cannes Film Festival) starring Gina Gerson and Matthew Modine.

Personal involvement in the performing arts includes acting in Checkhov productions directed by Alice Spivak in New York City in 2017 and 2018.

In the for-profit world, James Ferrari founded Benjamin James Real Estate in 1993 after a long a frustrating search for the perfect home in New York. He saw the need for a real estate agency that was capable of catering to a full range of New Yorkers. His aim was simple: to create a truly service-oriented real estate firm with expert agents that worked hard for sellers, buyers, renters, and landlords. 

The first decade of Benjamin James established it as a leading firm in the New York City real estate market. In 2006 Benjamin James Real Estate utilized its reputation as a young and progressive company of creative and savvy New Yorkers to aid developers in marketing new buildings more effectively. 

In 1998 James co-founded Blue Velvet Boxing Gym which was named one of the two best boxing gyms by New Yorker Magazine a year later. During its five-year existence the gym catered to a wide variety of clientele from locals to celebrities.

James Ferrari attended Hunter College, majoring in Political Science, with continuing education in Globalization and its Effect on the 20th Century.

James Ferrari is a member of the Foreign Policy Association, the Ubuntu Education Fund, the Public Policy Institute, the Real Estate Board of New York, NYSIA, New York Art Society and Society for the Preservation of Public Space, the Threshold Foundation, The Arena, Synergos, The Creative Resistance and a friend of the Accompanied Library, and supports The Whitney Museum, The New York Philharmonic and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

 

Contact:
Cell: 917-532-4747
Email: ferrarijames@aol.com

 

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