Co-founder Cohere Design Lab
Boulder, CO, U.S.A
Aran is a service designer, researcher, and strategist passionate about the role of design in tackling climate change and creating greater access to services, technology, and information. She is also an IDEO Civic Design Fellow.
Aran has an MS in Design and Urban Ecologies from Parsons School of Design, and an MFA in Graphic Design from the Academy of Art University. She taught sustainable design at Parsons School of Design, and recently started a service design and climate change working group with the San Francisco chapter of the Service Design Network
Dr. Yaw Agyeman Boafo
Senior Research Fellow
Yaw Agyeman Boafo is a Senior Research Fellow in Sustainability Science at the Centre for Climate Change and Sustainability Studies, University of Ghana, Legon. Yaw is an interdisciplinary scholar with a background in socio-ecological systems resilience. Yaw draws on conceptual and theoretical approaches to examine the implications of human-nature interactions in urban and rural landscapes. His research and teaching interests center around climate change and sustainability assessment, focusing on urbanization, biodiversity, and ecosystem services; adaptation and mitigation; disaster risk reduction and resilience; food and farming systems. Over the past five years, Yaw has been actively involved in the global biodiversity and ecosystem research network and serving as a Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Global Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (Deliverable 2c). His work has been published in leading journals, including Sustainability Science, Ecosystem Services, and Weather and Climate. He also undertakes to referee for several international journals and book publishers.
Indigenous Food Sovereignty Educator
San Carlos Apache Tribe, Arizona, U.S.A
Twila Cassadore is an Arizona-based forager, food educator, advocate for indigenous food sovereignty, and member of the San Carlos Apache Tribe who teaches indigenous food traditions throughout the Western Apache tribes. Through her work, Cassadore promotes the importance of foods consumed by Apaches prior to the forcible relocation of Native Americans to reservations and subsequent reliance on government rations. She interviews tribal elders, takes foraging trips into the wilderness, and delivers public presentations to share her research.
Santa Cruz, CA, U.S.A.
Ethan Estess (b. 1989) is an artist, surfer, and marine scientist who communicates about the challenges facing the ocean through sculpture. He holds M.S. and B.S. degrees in environmental science from Stanford University where he studied oceanography, mechanical engineering, and fine art. His artworks have been exhibited internationally at venues including the World Economic Forum, the Getty Museum, San Francisco International Airport, and the Bishop Museum.
Founder/Executive Director, Herbicide-Free Campus
Berkely, CA, U.S.A.
Mackenzie founded and directs Herbicide-Free Campus, an organization that works with students and groundskeepers around the country to advocate for an end to the spraying of synthetic herbicides at schools and a transition to organic land management. Her campaign resulted in the entire University of California system going glyphosate-free, and Mackenzie worked with a coalition to get herbicides banned from every public school in the state of Hawaii. Mackenzie is also a Food Research Fellow for Data For Progress and received the Brower Youth Award in 2019 for her work with Herbicide-Free Campus.
Natasha Deganello Giraudie
CEO & Founder Micro-Documentaries
Marin County, CA, U.S.A.
Natasha founded Micro-Documentaries with a vision to make compelling cinematic filmmaking accessible to all social innovators. The resulting short films, and solution trailers of sorts, have helped nonprofits and purposeful businesses in more than 30 countries advance their missions, raise funds, advance legislation, and increase thought leadership. Natasha regularly writes and teaches on topics related to storytelling, social innovation, short documentary film production, and distribution for purposeful businesses and nonprofits.
Prior to Micro-Documentaries, she was CEO of Papilia, where she helped nonprofits raise millions of dollars with innovative stewardship software that showed donors the difference their gifts make. She started her career in her native Venezuela filming adventure and nature documentaries distributed through the Discovery Channel. She went to film school at the University of Texas at Austin and received her Master’s degree in Journalism from Stanford, where she was awarded a Stanford Haas Center for Public Service fellowship to pursue documentary work in Nepal.
Natasha combines her passion for film with a lifelong commitment to the nonprofit sector. She has worked as a field and board volunteer with nonprofits in Latin America, Asia, Africa, and the U.S. since she was a teenager. She co-chairs the Advisory Board of the Dalai Lama Fellows and serves on the Advisory Boards of Tools for Peace and the Biomimicry Institute. Natasha lives in the Bay Area with her husband and daughter, where she enjoys paddle boarding with sea lions and discovering the joys of the violin.
Fabiola Rivera Irizarry
Coral Reef Ecologist
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Fabiola Rivera Irizarry is a Puerto Rican Coral Reef Ecologist born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Passionate about coastal ecosystems, Fabiola completed a bachelor’s degree in Coastal Marine Biology at the University of Puerto Rico Humacao Campus, followed by a master’s degree from the University of Puerto Rico Río Piedras Campus specializing in Coral Ecophysiology. Currently, Fabiola is a Ph.D. Candidate in the UPR Río Piedras Biology Department specializing in Coral Diseases. Fabiola is also a biology professor at Ana G. Méndez University and an associated scientist in the local NGO Sociedad Ambiente Marino, Inc. where she has worked in coral reef restoration for the past eight years. Fabiola’s research interests include coral reef conservation, restoration, and anthropogenic effects on coral physiology, immunology, demography, microbiome, and coral diseases. She is presently researching Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease demographic dynamics in Puerto Rico with the aim of developing informed coral management strategies.
Sanket is an independent journalist and a documentary photographer based in India’s Maharashtra state, and a 2019-2020 People’s Archive of Rural India fellow where he documented vanishing livelihoods and dying art forms from rural India.
His work has been featured in more than 30 national and international publications, including The Daily Beast, Verge, USA Today, Baffler magazine, Progressive Magazine, Christian Science Monitor, British Medical Journal, Equal Times, and New Frame. Sanket has been extensively reporting on climate change, floods, human-wildlife conflict, agrarian crisis, vanishing livelihoods, and several other subjects through the lived experiences of everyday people from India’s remote villages.
He’s also the co-founder of Insight Walk – a non-profit that offers teaching fellowships to rural community women. These women work with children of their villages to ensure every child has access to the contextual education of their choice. At Insight Walk, every student chooses their learning by designing their own syllabus. You can check more about Insight Walk here https://www.instagram.com/insightwalk/
Food Justice Chef
North Carolina, U.S.A.
Njathi Kabui is a Chef with a passion for Food Justice, a Leading expert in Food Literacy, a Medical Anthropologist, and an Organic farmer. He is actively involved in promoting food literacy as a Public Speaker, Writer, and Social Commentator. Chef Kabui appears regularly on one of the most popular radio stations that broadcast in his local language in Kenya as well as in international media. Chef Kabui has literally worked on almost all common sectors of food from the farm, marketing, and food app design, to the consumer’s plate through his advocacy and eclectic food workshops and dinners on farms, Non-profits, museums, academic institutions, and corporate events.
Chef Kabui has designed his own cuisine which he calls Afro-Futuristic Conscious Cuisine as a more healthy option that deals with Climate Change, Health, and Food Justice. He has promoted this cuisine in Africa, Europe, the USA, and in the UAE, at numerous educational institutions, corporate companies, nonprofits, and embassies.
Chef Kabui has set up a food literacy and sustainability center in Kenya which has a village branch and an urban branch for the purpose of promoting food literacy, demonstration farms, and the creation of content. The center has both local and international attractions and collaborations. Chef Kabui is ranked as the top chef in sustainability in Africa.
Chef Kabui has presented at numerous conferences and panels such as SASS Conference in Milan Italy (2021), Kenyatta University, Kenya(2021), U.N Food Systems Summit (2021), Africa Week in Berlin (2020), SOAS Food Summit in London (2019), The Smithsonian (2018) in Washington D.C. He is also a notable Public Speaker at various gatherings such as BCAGlobal in New York (2020), the Males Place (2018), CFSA (2020) in North Carolina, Kenyatta University (2021), Dedan Kimathi University of Technology (2021), SASS International Conference in Milan Italy (2021) and Alliance of Leadership Fellows (2021) \. Chef Kabui believes that the best African food is in the future.
Founder Majik H2O
Kenya, West Africa
Beth is a Nairobi University graduate with a master’s degree in project planning and management and a degree in community development. She also has a post-graduate certificate in exponential technologies from Singularity University California.
Beth started a water filtration social enterprise while she was doing her undergraduate as part of the course work where she built a filter using activated carbon to filter water.
In 2017, she Founded Majik Water, a company that specializes in water-from-air devices to increase access to clean drinking water in arid and semi-arid regions. Beth has won several awards including the EDF Pulse Africa award in France, the MIT water innovation award in Boston, and Oxford innovation award in Britain, African Women in Technology award.
Youth Climate Activist
New York City, NY, U.S.A.
Jamie Sarai Margolin is a Colombian-American Jewish author, filmmaker, organizer, and public speaker. She is a founder of the international youth climate justice movement called Zero Hour which led the official “Youth Climate Marches” in Washington, DC, and 25+ cities around the world during the summer of 2018. Zero Hour has over 200+ chapters worldwide and has been a leading organization in the climate movement.
Jamie is the author of a book called “Youth To Power: Your Voice and How To Use It,” (www.youthtopowerbook.com) which has been translated into many languages and sold all over the world. The book serves as a guide to organizing and activism and is a recipient of the 2020 Gold Medal Nautilus Book Award for YA nonfiction. Jamie is also a plaintiff in the Our Children’s Trust Youth v. Gov Washington state lawsuit, Aji P. vs. the State of Washington, suing the state of Washington for denying her generation their constitutional rights to a livable environment by worsening the climate crisis.
Jamie served as a surrogate for the Bernie Sanders 2020 Presidential Campaign, speaking at several campaign rallies (including the 2020 Tacoma Dome rally to an audience of over 17 thousand people), filming campaign endorsement videos, and doing outreach to get out the vote for Bernie Sanders. She also was one of the youngest Delegates at the 2020 Democratic Convention.
Jamie is also the director, screenwriter, and lead actress in a web series called ART MAJORS (www.artmajorsshow.gay), which is a show about a friend group of LGBTQ+ art students struggling with queer love and breaking into the entertainment industry. She is also the host of “Lavender You” (https://lavenderyou.com), a podcast and online community talking about queer arts and media representation.
Jamie is one of Teen Vogue’s “21 Under 21” girls changing the world in 2018, One of People Magazine’s 25 women changing the world in 2018, Fuse TV’s Latina Trailblazer of 2018, one of The Today Show’s 18 Under 18 Groundbreakers of 2019, MTV EMA Generation Change winner of 2019, one of the BBC’s 100 most influential women of 2019, and one of GLAAD’s 20 under 20 LGBTQ+ people changing the world. She is on the OUT 100 list of 2020.
Marine Ecologist/Conservation Biologist
Monteray, CA, U.S.A.
Fiorenza (she/her) is a marine ecologist and conservation biologist conducting research and teaching at the Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University, where she is also the David and Lucile Packard Professor of Marine Science and the Director, with Jim Leape, of the Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions. Micheli’s research focuses on the processes shaping marine communities and incorporating this understanding into the management and conservation of marine ecosystems. Her current research projects investigate social and ecological drivers of the resilience of small-scale fisheries to climatic impacts in Baja California, Mexico, the ecological and socioeconomic impacts of coastal hypoxia and ocean acidification in California’s Current large marine ecosystem, the ecological role and spatial ecology of parrotfish and reef sharks in the coral reefs of the Pacific Line Islands, the effects of ocean acidification on seagrass, rocky reef, and kelp forest communities, and the performance and management of marine protected Areas in the Mediterranean Sea. She is a Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation, a fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, and a senior fellow at Stanford’s Woods Institute for the Environment.
Dr. Musonda Mumba
Director Rome Centre for Sustainable Development
Dr. Musonda Mumba, a Zambian National, is the Director of The Rome Centre for Sustainable Development under the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in close collaboration with the Italian Government (Ministry of Environment and Ecological Transition). The Centre focuses on three priority areas notably: Climate Change, Sustainable Development, and Nature Protection. In her role, she provides strategic leadership on these matters through convening, collaboration, connecting, and co-creation as the world navigates complexity and uncertainty, with the aim of achieving the SDGs collectively. Her ambition is that this work is done with a Systems Thinking lens and also Systems Leadership. She has over 25 years of experience in environmental and conservation issues globally.
Dr. Musonda Mumba is the Chair of the Global Partnership on Forest and Landscape Restoration (GPFLR) and Vice-Chair of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF). She is also the Founder of the Network of African Women Environmentalists (NAWE). She has published widely in various journals, newspapers, and articles and contributed to book chapters. Before joining UNDP, Musonda was the head of the United Nations Environment Programme – UNEP’s Terrestrial Ecosystems Programme and served in various roles over a period of 12 years. Before working for UNEP, Musonda worked for the Zambian Government, Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (in Switzerland), WWF (at International, UK, and East Africa Regional Offices), and as such working with governments in Africa, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. She received her BSc. Ed degree from the University of Zambia (UNZA) and a Ph.D. from University College London (UCL) in Wetland Conservation and Hydrology. Outside her work, her interests include abstract painting, cooking, running, yoga, mountain climbing, and introducing her children to and teaching them about the natural world. She speaks English, Bemba, French, and KiSwahili.
Micheal “Pom” Preston
Michael “Pom” Preston is a member of the Winnemem Wintu tribe and the son of the current tribal chief, Caleen Sisk. He grew up going to his tribe’s sacred places and has been dancing in the Winnemem way since he was four years old. He continues to protect sacred sites along the McCloud River, which have been under threat of inundation from the Shasta Dam raise effort by the US Bureau of Reclamation. He is a participant in the Run4Salmon, a 300-mile prayer run from the San Francisco Bay to the headwaters of the McCloud River. Runners make prayers at specific points along the waterways for the return of the Chinook salmon and the health of the water and lands. Throughout the production of the film, Michael held a full creative role and decision-making involvement as co-director with Natasha.
Director San Francisco Department of the Environment
San Francisco, CA, U.S.A.
Debbie Raphael is the Director of the San Francisco Department of the Environment and believes that cities can take bold action to address environmental harm. A scientist by training and public servant by profession, Debbie has spent most of her career working in government to ensure that everyone has an equal right to a safe and healthy environment.
As Director, Debbie leads the City’s efforts to address climate change and build resilience. Under the leadership of Mayor London Breed and the Board of Supervisors, she helped pass one of the City’s most ground-breaking bans on natural gas in new construction, implemented a new, accelerated goal of carbon neutrality by 2040, and updated the City’s Climate Action Plan with collaboration from residents, CBOs, and businesses to include specific goals and strategies in critical sectors of energy, transportation, materials, and biodiversity.
Named one of the world’s 100 most influential people in climate policy, Debbie is a frequent keynote speaker at international climate conferences and a national spokeswoman on environmental issues.
Executive Director Biomimicry Institute
Executive Director of the Biomimicry Institute ~ Mill Valley, CA, U.S.A.
Beth Rattner has been working in sustainability since 2000 and is currently the executive director of the Biomimicry Institute. The Institute brings the practice of bioinspired design to hundreds of thousands of people a year through its education and entrepreneurship programs. Beth speaks publicly on how biomimetic design of human products and systems can restore our economy and environment, which in turn spur new levels of social equity.
Prior to this position, Beth worked with William McDonough and Michael Braungart on The Upcycle, the sequel to Cradle to Cradle, before she helped co-found the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute and became its executive director.
An attorney by training, Beth was also a managing director for one of the first sustainability business consultant firms, Blu Skye, and business manager for Hewlett Packard’s Emerging Market Solutions (EMS) group. This HP internal “start-up” championed a new lens on providing technology solutions to those who earn less than $2 a day. The team launched HP’s first multi-user, daisy-chained computer for poorly funded schools and a solar-powered printer, providing microfinance opportunities for women who could bring photographs to remote villages for the very first time.
Beth lives amongst the redwoods and ceanothus in Marin County, California, and is endlessly amazed by the region’s natural beauty.
Director, Storytelling & Engagement Project Drawdown
Washington D.C., U.S.A.
Matt Scott leads storytelling at Project Drawdown, translating complex, science-based climate solutions to everyday people to spread awareness, shift attitudes, and spark action. His work focuses on “passing the mic” to the underrepresented, underestimated changemakers who’ve often gone unheard. Matt joined Project Drawdown in 2020, following five years of creating impact storytelling and engagement initiatives and campaigns alongside partners including Nike, USAID, Pivotal Ventures by Melinda Gates, the Australian Government, and the Obama White House. From 2016 to 2020, he helped engage more than 100,000 people from 150+ countries in the world’s largest global hackathon, NASA’s International Space Apps Challenge, serving as the global community lead and storyteller. In addition, Matt is the founder of Let’s Care, where he’s released the film 20s & Change: San Francisco – honored at the San Francisco Black Film Festival and Las Vegas Queer Film Festival – and interviewed 100+ changemakers to date. Throughout his career, Matt has reached more than half a billion people in the digital space.
Dr. Jessica Shade
Director of Science Programs The Organic Center
Redwood City, CA, U.S.A.
Dr. Shade is the Director of Science Programs at The Organic Center where she directs projects associated with communicating and conducting research related to organic agriculture. During her tenure at The Organic Center, Dr. Shade has collaborated on diverse research programs ranging from applied solutions to on-farm challenges to methods for improving the environmental impacts of agriculture. Some of her most recent collaborations include projects aimed at mitigating climate change, decreasing agriculturally-mediated nutrient pollution, increasing on-farm biodiversity, and developing integrated pest management solutions for organic growers. Dr. Shade developed and leads the Center’s signature conference event, Organic Confluences, which brings together policymakers, researchers, farmers, industry members, and other non-profits to address and overcome challenges faced by the organic sector. She has also been an invited speaker to a wide range of events including academic conferences, farmer meetings, industry expos, and TEDx, and received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley
Co-founder / Impact Director Activate Agency
Image Description: Photo of Kera Sherwood-O’Regan, an Indigenous Ngāi Tahu/ Kāi Tahu Māori woman with light olive skin and long brown hair, sitting in her office with green houseplants behind her. She is wearing a black turtleneck jumper and vintage tortoiseshell-style glasses, and black pointy eyeliner. She wears Māori pounamu greenstone earrings and a pounamu pendant around her neck, and she is looking directly at the camera with a confident look on her face. Photo credit: Jason Boberg (Activate Agency)
Kera (Kāi Tahu, Te Waipounamu) is an indigenous and disabled multidisciplinary storyteller and rights advocate based in Te Waipounamu, the South Island of New Zealand. She is the Co-founder and Impact Director at Activate, an indigenous and disabled social impact agency specializing in ethical campaigning and narratives for social change. Her work centers on structurally oppressed communities in social change movements; explores collaborative and collective storytelling in the community; and seeks to raise the bar for free, prior, informed, and ongoing consent in the media. Kera’s work is grounded in kaupapa Māori practices and approaches and is informed by more than 15 years of activism within the climate movement. In her spare time, she runs Fibromyalgia Aotearoa NZ, and advocates for indigenous and disability rights at the United Nations climate negotiations with the International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change, The SustainedAbility Disability & Climate Network, and within the wider climate movement. Kera’s recent writing includes co-authoring From Threat to Opportunity: Climate Change and Health in Aotearoa with Dr. Rhys Jones, and Nothing about us without us: Climate Change and disability justice with Jason Boberg, both in Climate Aoteroa, Ed. Helen Clark.
Dr. Jagannadha Pawan Tamvada
Associate Professor Southampton Business School
Dr. Jagannadha Pawan Tamvada is an award-winning business economist specializing in interdisciplinary entrepreneurship and strategy research. He is currently working as an Associate Professor at the Southampton Business School where he also serves as the Deputy Director for Impact and Collaboration at the ESRC South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership. He is a co-founder of iPowerz, the global digital ecosystem for fast-tracking microentrepreneurship and small businesses growth, and a steward at the Council for Inclusive Capitalism. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Goettingen and the Max Planck Institute for Economics. For his doctoral thesis on entrepreneurship in developing countries, he was awarded the Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society and the Inaugural Best Dissertation Award of the Danish Research Unit for Industrial Dynamics (DRUID).
Dr. Pawan is an alumnus of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning and Narendrapur Rama Krishna Mission, two revered Indian institutions founded on the ancient Advaita philosophy. He is a Universalist committed to advancing the cause of societal well-being through his endeavors and is a founding trustee of three registered charities in England. He is married with three children and lives near Southampton, UK.
“Humanity is waiting for paradigm-shifting innovations that advance universal education, empowerment, and environmental resilience.” Jagannadha Pawan Tamvada
Marinel Sumook Ubaldo
Social Justice Advocate
Marinel Sumook Ubaldo is an advocate for climate justice and the environment who helped organize the first youth climate strike in her country. She is one of the leading young female climate activists that is driving change in Asia. An advocate for climate justice and environmental issues, Marinel has been a vocal figure and changemaker in the Philippines from collaborating on the Philippines’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to implementing a Conference of Youth at a local scale. She is a Registered Social Worker and one of the Founders of the Youth Leaders for Environmental Action Federation, a youth-led organization based in Eastern Visayas that aims to mentor youth individuals and organizations in climate advocacy. She is also the Advocacy Officer for Ecological Justice and Youth Engagement of Living Laudato Si’ Philippines and was the Philippine Country Coordinator for UN COY16 Glasgow while co-leading the implementation of one of the most comprehensive youth gatherings, the Local Conference of Youth 2021. She also serves as the Philippine Focal Point for Climate Science Olympiad.
Marinel has been actively involved in educating communities – especially, youth and children – about climate change and the roles they can take to adapt and mitigate its effects. She has spoken to world leaders on behalf of Filipinos during the opening of the UNFCCC COP 21 in Paris and at UNFCCC COP 25 in Madrid. She has been trained by former US Vice-President Al Gore as a Climate Reality Leader. Her global campaign with Amnesty International calling on the Philippine government to ensure the relocation of Super-Typhoon Haiyan survivors generated 528,070 actions from around the world. She has been building impactful campaigns, and forming strong collaborations with the government, social and environmental organizations, and youth. Most of all, Marinel aims to co-power and build agency among frontline communities around the world, and to have a safer place to live. She continues to tell her story on the global platform aiming to shed light on the reality of climate change, and the urgency for world leaders to keep their climate commitments and for the rest of the world to act on it.
San Francisco, CA, U.S.A.
Ashley Ugarte is a chef and chocolatier currently leading the confections program at Dandelion Chocolate, a bean-to-bar chocolate company based in San Francisco. Her combined passions for health, sustainability, and cacao have intertwined to inform her latest project as Founder and CEO of Hijita, a wellness company rooted in heritage that transforms Mexican heirloom cacao and botanicals into traditional drinks, functional lattes, and craft chocolate inspired by her Mexican culture. Ashley formerly worked as the program coordinator for Conscious Kitchen and spent many years as an intern and fellow for Turning Green. She holds a BA in Health and Environmental Science from Rice University, with research experience in environmental health and integrative medicine from Baylor College of Medicine and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.