The TEDxPeachtree team spoke with some of the upcoming speakers at TEDxPeachtree on Friday, Oct. 6, 2017 at the Rialto Center for the Arts to dig beneath the surface of their biographies. In this edition of Beyond the Bio, we spoke with Dana Kanz, researcher and doctoral fellow at Columbia Business School. Here’s what we found:

When asked that typical icebreaker question, “Share one fun/interesting fact about you,” what do you usually say?

That I’m a twin! Specifically a mirror-image twin. “I’m left-handed, she’s right-handed. We have birthmarks on opposite sides and we each can only lift one eyebrow on opposite sides.

What’s your favorite memory from your childhood?

I was a quirky kid, unusually preoccupied with helping to combat social injustices. My pièce de résistance in elementary school juxtaposed Betty Friedan’s “Feminine Mystique” with Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” I had my first public speaking engagement in fourth grade when I read a poem I wrote based on “I Had a Dream” for my town’s Martin Luther King Day.

If you could have any celebrity as a sibling, who would you pick and why?

Tina Fey because she’s smart, funny, self-deprecating and would get along great with my other two sisters and me.

Do you have a “party trick” talent (like putting on lipstick without your hands, à la “The Breakfast Club”) or a skill that usually surprises people when they learn about it?

I memorize numbers, mostly credit cards, insurance cards, tax IDs. Turns out this is not only an off-putting parlor trick but also a great way to expose yourself to identity theft!

Who’s your role model? Why?

I’m a huge fan of Professor Amy Cuddy. I love how she was able to overcome personal challenges to become a social psychologist. She lets herself be vulnerable in ways that help and inspire others to lead more fulfilling lives.

What would you be doing (career-wise) if you weren’t doing what you are currently doing now?

I would love to be able to make a living as a historical fiction writer.


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