We exist to fund, support, and promote economic ideas and metrics that to go beyond neoliberalism and GDP and focus on the development of data-driven private sector policy recommendations. Our vision is to evolve economics to embrace change as quickly and vibrantly as the society to which the field is responsible. We believe that economics should be an empowering observation of society and not a restraint upon society. We are a privately funded non-profit research institute.

Leadership Team

Vinny Tafuro, Economist & Author

“I see distant horizons clearly and work meticulously towards them.”

Vinny Tafuro is a visionary thinker, writer, entrepreneur, communications theorist, and economist. Author of two books, Corporate Empathy and Unlocking the Labor Cage, he is a pioneering advocate for the twenty-first century economy that is disrupting society’s most rigid institutions and beliefs.

Vinny’s economic theories explore the societal and economic shifts being catalyzed by corporations as a result of technology, corporate personhood, and evolving human cognition. In addition to his work with IEE he is a founder and chair of Conscious Capitalism Florida Chapter, whose purpose is elevate humanity through business.

An engaging and energetic speaker, Vinny presents to organizations, corporations, and colleges on a variety of topics both professionally and through community organizations. He enjoys an active and blended professional, academic, and personal life, selecting challenging projects that offer opportunities for personal and professional growth.

[Website] [LinkedIn]

Melanie Hicks, PhD, Vice President, Education Solutions Group, MGT Consulting

Dr. Hicks has more than 18 years of education and public policy experience. Prior to joining MGT, Dr. Hicks served as Assistant Provost for the University of Tampa where she created UT’s first Office of Sponsored Programs, led campus wide faculty initiatives, and served as a member of the master planning and budgeting senior staff committee, responsible for 52 academic department budgets and millions in restricted funds.

Prior to joining UT, she founded InPursuit Consulting and Research Institute offering consulting on strategic planning, organizational development, grant writing/implementation, and advocacy volunteer training in the fields of entrepreneurial and small business, start-ups, and nonprofits.

Dr. Hicks also previously served as the Director of Research for the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida (ICUF), and concurrently as the Managing Director of the Florida Independent College Fund (FICF). Dr. Hicks began her career in local and state government policy advocacy working on behalf of clients in Miami-Dade and Tallahassee, Florida.


Juhi Kore, International Relations Researcher

Juhi Kore is a speaker, entrepreneur, and researcher who is a strong advocate for many different social, economic, political, and psychological causes. She is also the author of You Got This: How to Win at College, the most comprehensive guide to college success.

Juhi’s work focuses on community building in the impact space and she works with students and entrepreneurs from all over the world to help them pursue their impact journeys.

Juhi recently graduated with her Bachelor’s degree and plans to pursue her graduate education to answer the question “How can we make our cities happier?”.


Amanda Patanow, Strategist

Having grown up in family-owned businesses, Amanda Patanow recognizes the intrinsic value that business can bring to communities. Rather than disavowing profit as evil, she is passionate about helping businesses align profit with purpose so that they can do well while doing good. Amanda serves as the Conscious Capitalism Florida Chapter Coordinator where she combines her community service passion with her business strategy work to advance the mission of guiding businesses to be a force for good in the world.

Amanda has spent the last 20+ years fearlessly accomplishing the impossible with her combination of creative energy, strategic thinking, and passion for growth. Driven by the belief that she can achieve anything she puts her mind to, she has built startups, turned around failing businesses, and guided organizations through innovative approaches to growth and profitability. Put simply, Amanda specializes in creating value in new and unexpected ways.

A 13th generation Floridian, Amanda is dedicated to serving the Tampa Bay community in which she lives through voter education outreach, pro bono non-profit training, and teaching donation-based yoga classes.


Jamie Klingman, MBA, Serial Entrepreneur & Philanthropist

Jamie Klingman has more than 18 years experience in business development, startup strategy, social enterprise, nonprofit strategy, and philanthropy. She is currently a Doctorate of Business Administration with a focus in Social Impact candidate.

Jamie currently owns several real estate brokerages, working to streamline and revolutionize how society interacts with real estate. She has successfully started, built, and sold companies in a range of industries, including home care, the music industry, and accounting.

Jamie has been recognized as a Lightning Community Hero, Greater Tampa Realtors Community Service Realtor of the Year, and the Network for Executive Women Woman of the Year. She is Immediate Past Chair to the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, founder of Athletes Who Care 501(c)(3), and is involved in many charitable efforts and boards.