About Us


Visualizing Complex Research and Societal Issues in Novel Ways

impactmania, an award-winning program development firm, features and connects people and projects to accelerate cultural, social, and economic impact. This is realized by visualizing research and societal issues, providing interactivity between experts in the fields and the community-at-large.

impactmania has collaborated with more than 300+ impactmakers in 30+ countries and connected hundreds of people and programs. impactmania’s work has been featured at the United Nations (UN), U.S. Consulates, universities, and (inter-)national media. It has formed partnership across sectors and industries, one of which is the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) offering students entrepreneurial and interdisciplinary internship programs.

Learn more on Wikipedia

“Double Bravo for the discussion meeting: I was impressed with the people who have joined up, the ones who showed up, and the ones I personally know whom you introduced at the dais. You obviously have tapped into some special energy system … keep it up … no one can do it better. You are onto something really exciting.”

— Duncan Mellichamp

Professor Emeritus, Department of Chemical Engineering and Philanthropist

The impactmania Team

Paksy Plackis-Cheng, impactmania

Paksy Plackis-Cheng, Founder | 

Paksy, awarded with the U.S. Embassy Public Diplomacy grant, has covered and connected hundreds of people and projects globally. Her work has been cited in a number of international media outlets, universities, two U.S. Consulates, and the United Nations.
As the Senior Fellow Research and Media at Art Design & Architecture Museum, University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) she created and leads the AD&A Museum/impactmania internship program producing entrepreneurial and interdisciplinary learning experiences.

Previously an executive in the tech industry, she has worked in 12+ countries and speaks Cantonese, Dutch, and English. Paksy has served on half a dozen boards, including twice as the President of the Board of the Santa Barbara Symphony. She graduated from the Erasmus University, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Jody Turner

Jody Turner | 

Jody Turner, Culture of Future, is an insight strategist and writer with a foundation in design communications. For sixteen years Turner has advised 200+ brands on project initiatives small, large, local and global in scope. Her specialty is innovating to the human experience. To date, her favorite work has been with sparks and honey NYC, TrendWatching London, IDEO San Francisco, Starbucks Seattle, Nike Portland, and Apple Silicon Valley.

Paola Ferrari | 

Paola Ferrari’s personal and professional journey took her from a small town in Italy, to the United Nations, and to social entrepreneurship in STEM education and community regeneration. The platform developed by the non-profit she founded in a small village of Calabria, Italy (L’Accademia di Gagliato, nanogagliato.org) has received mention by UNESCO and is now replicated in several countries. Paola is among the founders of the Equality Moonshot, an initiative aimed to balance global wealth allocation as a requisite to achieve the SDGs. Paola is also a member of FAB, Lamborghini’s Female Advisory Board, and a consultant for Automobili Lamborghini on matters of global sustainability.

Carla De Landri

Carla De Landri | 

Carla De Landri, Emmy-winning journalist, produced at ABC News for decades, and reported on the Gulf War, US political campaigns, the Tiananmen Square uprising, and the fall of the Berlin Wall. She and her team were the first to break the story about sexual assault at the US Air Force Academy and uncovered inhumane labor practices faced by women in clothing factories.

Since ABC, Carla has pursued a wider portfolio as a media consultant. For the PBS NewsHour she produced a story on vaping. She has also contributed her skills to Reading Partners, a national organization for children’s literacy. For impactmania, Carla is writing an occasional column on media and news.

Advisory Group

Ricardo Gandour, Executive Director, Rede CBS, Brazilian Radio News Network, Brazil | Eva Haller, activist, mentor, philanthropist | Prof. Emeritus Duncan A. Mellichamp | Prof. Emeritus Bruce Robertson

AD&A Museum (UCSB) and impactmania students

Alex Moon | Austin Bernales | Laic Beugre | Joanne Mun | Natalie Gomez | Saehee Jong | Jenna Cambilargiu | Lizbeth Martinez | Tess Reinhardt | Joyce Tsui | Denisse Gonzalez | Nerwel Zhao | Zoe Crouzat | Haoran ‘Tyler’ Jiang | Nicollette Juchum | Madeleine Lazarovits | Nikhil Ograin | Marirose Meyer | Winston Braun

PhD candidates: Courtney Applewhite | Letícia Cobra Lima | Sophia McCabe | Virginia ‘Ginny’ Reynolds Badgett | Mary Okin | Melina Gooray

Past Contributors

Elyse A. Gonzales | Kayla Bonnin PhD | Nick Pici PhD | Chelsea Catania PhD | Kristina Van Dyke PhD | Erika Carlos | Nastacia Schmoll | Leah Kuritzky PhD | Melissa Walker | Chad Sykes | Victoria Herbert | Ida Storm | Joanna Lamstein | Cliff Lundberg | Sebastian Schumacher | Ilse Westerik

In The News

View all impactmania News & Media

impactmania’s work have been cited by a number of global media outlets, university presses, the United Nations, and the U.S. Consulate. The Women of Impact program has been awarded with the U.S. Embassy Public Diplomacy Grant (2019).

Harvard Business School

“impactmania interview with Robert Zimmerman, Berlin Philharmonic, was cited as a source for the report: The Berliner Philharmoniker’s Digital Forte.”

Harvard Business School

Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV)

“impactmania interview with artist Barbara Caveng was cited in the IKSV report: Living Together. Fostering Cultural Pluralism Through The Arts.”

Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV)

Media Highlights

impactmania Timeline



Paksy Plackis-Cheng named as one of the 29 women leaders in innovators list by PSFK.


impactmania’s interdisciplinary program supported by two UCSB Trustees and representatives from 6 faculties.


After citations in reports and books published by Harvard Business School, Cambridge Scholars Publications, one of impactmania interviews is quoted in a book by Duke University Press.


Women of Impact in New Zealand formed lasting personal and professional relationships



impactmania and Neuroscience Research Institute (NRI) at UC Santa Barbara to launch collaborative project.

After an overwhelming successful Women of Impact program, impactmania starts second project and internship program with AD&A Museum, UCSB.


WOI Header

Women of Impact book, museum exhibition, and presentation launched with 200+ community members and close to 30 women from the project traveled from 8 U.S. cities and 5 continents for the July 19th launch.

Pat Mitchell, first female President and CEO of PBS and Co-Director of TED Women, writes Women of Impact foreword.

impactmania partners with Art, Design & Architecture (AD&A) Museum, University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) to deliver entrepreneurial, design-led, internship program for students.


impactmania featured more than 300 original interviews with impact makers in 30 countries.

Newton Paiva University (Brazil) partners with impactmania to uncover and feature social enterprises.

impactmania’s video story The Future of Business is Responsible is also available on view at the United Nations Foundation’s website as part of the Every Woman Every Child initiative.

impactmania video story The Future of Business is Responsible was featured at the United Nations Global Compact Conference 2017.


impactmania interviewees have gone on to speak at the White House.

impactmania interviewees have gone on to be covered in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Wired, Business Insider, and American Express’s Departure Magazine.

The U.S. Consulate in Lahore, Pakistan features an impactmania interview on their social media. Two national news outlets in Pakistan publish one of our interviews.

impactmania has been cited as a source in several publications:

Harvard Business School, The Berliner Philharmoniker’s Digital Fort

Doner D/Construct, Xtrapreneurshi

Discussion Guide from UNC Journeys in Film & USC Rossier School of Education

impactmania launches at Art, Design & Architecture Museum (UCSB)

impactmania help realize a strategic alliance for Trekking for Kids and Universal Giving.


Impact X book and community event for 290 people takes place at The New Vic Theatre in Santa Barbara, California.

We matched dozens of people and projects.

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