After more than seven years working in the private sector providing social media and marketing services, Bearns founded Current Shift to support non-profit and for-profit business and organizations whose products and work promote community building and sustainable practices and choices. Current Shift provides innovative, integrated new media solutions, marketing and media planning, with the focus on flexible strategies that can be quickly and easily adapted to respond to the constant changes in the business, financial and political landscapes. Clients include Klean Kanteen and Bronwen Jewelry, and political campaigns in Oregon: “Ban The Bag,” “Clean Energy For Oregon,” and “BPA-Free Oregon.” Bearns is also a co-owner of Wend Magazine and holds a Master’s degree in New Media Journalism from Northwestern University. In addition, she also spent time as web developer for public television in Chicago and has been a freelance writer and editor for the last 17 years.
In 2006, author Colin Beavan, a newly self-proclaimed environmentalist, could no longer avoid pointing the finger at himself. He left behind his liberal complacency for a vow to make as little environmental impact as possible for one year. No more automated transportation, no more electricity, no more non-local food, no more material consumption...no problem. That is, until his espresso-guzzling, retail-worshipping wife Michelle and their two year-old daughter are dragged into the fray! What would it be like to try to live a no-impact lifestyle? Could it catch on? Is living this way more satisfying or less satisfying? These are the questions at the heart of his endeavor, through which Colin hopes to explain to the rest of us how we can realistically live a more "eco-effective" and, by turns, more content life.
Colin's experiment became the subject of his provocative, award-wining blog noimpactman.com (one of Time Magazine's Top 15 environmental blogs), his book No Impact Man: The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to Save the Planet, and the Discoveries He Makes About Himself and Our Way of Life Along the Way (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), and a Sundance-selected documentary by the same name. His story provided a narrative vehicle by which he could attract broad public attention to the range of pressing environmental crises including: food system sustainability, climate change, water scarcity, and materials and energy resource depletion.
Following the release of the book and the film, Colin founded the No Impact Project, an international environmental non-profit dedicated to empowering citizens to make choices which better their lives and lower their environmental impact through lifestyle change, community action, and participation in environmental politics.
Marisol Becerra is a 20yearold Chicana from Chicago and 3rd year public policy, geography, and community service studies student at DePaul University where she cocoordinates the campus Environmental Concerns Organization (ECO). In 2003, Marisol volunteered with Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO) to map and inventory the toxins found within 150 blocks of her predominantly MexicanAmerican community, Little Village in Chicago. Marisol was enraged to discover that in Little Village more than 60,000 youth in a twomile radius of the Fisk and Crawford Coal Power Plants are forced to breathe air that violates EPA standards. She was inspired to act, she said, in order to shut down these coal power plants, build more parks, and clean up the toxics. We must organize more people to stand up and fight. Her first step was launching the youth branch of LVEJO
Vanessa Beck became a healthcare activist five years ago, motivated by her own struggles to obtain care for a chronic condition. She was searching for the care she needed in the short-term, and for a long-term solution for uninsured, under-insured and un-insurable people like herself. That is when she discovered Healthcare-NOW.org, a national organization fighting for single-payer national healthcare, and House Bill 676, the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act. Heartened, especially after Michael Moore’s SiCKO was released, Vanessa became a fighter, and with other activists, co-founded the grassroots group Chicago Single-Payer Action Network (ChiSPAN) in the summer of 2004. ChiSPAN is dedicated to fighting for national healthcare through action and education.
Representing ChiSPAN, Vanessa has spoken about single-payer and healthcare disparities at numerous universities and rallies across
Drawing on over 25 years experience in industrial design and renewable energy engineering, Becker discovered a unique way to utilize wind power in locations previously unavailable. In the 1990s he began the development of an urban wind generator he calls the Aeroturbine which is now at the center of his effort with Aerotecture International, Inc. (AI). AI is an Illinois corporation working on all forms of renewable energy and centered on urban wind power.
Beckers most important influences have come from R. Buckminster Fuller; his research as professor of industrial design at University of IllinoisChicago; and his years of collaboration with architects exploring solar thermal and solar electric design applications.
As part of an Evanstonbased volunteer group, Becker cooperatively designed and erected the first successful urban wind generator in the US. He also helped found the Center for Neighborhood Technology in Chicago, and coordinated the design and construction of five solar heated greenhouses/solaria located throughout the city. As a product development engineer with SunWize Inc, he collaborated with CEO Richard Lewandowski in the design and development of over twenty solar electric projects and products. SunWize is now one of the most successful renewable energy companies in North America.
As CEO at AI, Becker has led an innovative team that has established AI Aeroturbines from San Francisco to New Jersey and is now planning manufacturing in India and China to complement production in Chicago. Locals in Chicago can see his largest project to date, a multifamily residential building with eight rooftop Aeroturbines developed with the international architect Helmut Jahn.
Please see www.aerotecture.com. Becker can be reached through his email email@example.com, or by phone at 3128293240.
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Jaime is an artist and illustrator who channels her creativity into many different projects connecting children to the natural world. She recently illustrated her first children's book, My Mother is a Mountain and teaches art to students at the Pacific Art League in Palo Alto as well as private instruction in the Santa Cruz area. She has been face painting for 4 years and loves transforming children and adults into leaf goddesses, butterflies, fairies and dragons!
Beeman has worked as the Everett Community College Administrative Services Manager and Resource Conservation Manager since 2006. Beeman gained prior experience at Department of Corrections and in commercial business; developing resource conservation plans, beginning in 1985. Beeman is also an associate Faculty member at EvCC. She teaches two of EvCC's four course certificate program in Sustainable Business. Molly is a graduate of the Washington State Criminal Justice Academy and is a Certified Building Operator, as well as an Energy Manager.
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Rachelle Carson-Begley grew up in Atlanta, GA, during the Civil Rights Movement and escalation of the Vietnam War. It was needless to say a very dramatic time. Her home was not lacking in the drama department either, thus grooming her for a theatrical life. She wanted to be an actress since she was four years old and started pursuing it in high school. She then moved to NYC to study when she was 18 years old and got her first professional job on the soap “Another World” when she was 20 years old.
Rachelle has not stopped working since although there have been many dry periods for work in which she opened a Pilates Studio in Los Angeles.
Another passion of Rachelle;s is recently completing working on a musical with her husband, Ed Begley Jr., who wrote and directed it about the life of Cesar Chavez. Chavez was the farmer who helped create the Farm Workers Union. It was a great experience and a wonderful project. Rachelle and Ed also wrapped their third season of their own show “Living With Ed” on Discovery’s Planet Green. It’s about their wonderfully wacky lifestyle that hopefully one day will be more main stream. But, today, it’s still a novelty. They live in a solar powered house, and drive a Prius or Ed’s all electric car around LA. They recycle everything! It’s been an adjustment to live like he does, but she managed to adjust. She has said she feels a little like Eva Gabor in “Green Acres”
Over the years, Rachelle has supported many charities, including Water Keepers, Green Wish, anything involving children and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Rachelle has worked in theater, films and TV for 27 years, and she is hoping for another fifty! In her free time, she loves decorating her home and spending time with her husband Ed and their daughter, Hayden.
As environmental issues become more pressing, there are two possible responses: forget it and hope that government and corporations will figure it out, or take action yourself.
In the “take action yourself” camp, a few individuals are leading the way. One such person in California is Ed Begley, Jr.
Turning up at Hollywood events on his bicycle, Ed has been considered an environmental leader in the Hollywood community for many years. He serves on the boards of The Coalition For Clean Air, The Thoreau Institute, and the advisory board of the Union Of Concerned Scientists, among many others,
His work in the environmental community has earned him a number of awards from some of the most prestigious environmental groups in the nation, including the California League of Conservation Voters, the Natural Resources Defense Council, The Coalition for Clean Air, Heal the Bay, Santa Monica Baykeeper, and the Cesar E. Chavez Foundation. ED has a slew of film and TV credits behind him most notable a long –standing role on St. Elsewhere and more recently his co created and produced Show Living With ED, co-starring wife Rachelle Carson – Begley.
Ed and Rachelle currently live near Los Angeles in a self-sufficient home powered by solar energy.
Andrew Behar, CEO, As You Sow. Founded in 1992, As You Sow promotes environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building, and innovative legal strategies. Our efforts create large-scale systemic change by establishing sustainable and equitable corporate practices. As investors, we communicate directly with executives to collaboratively develop business models that reduce risk, benefit brand reputation, and protect shareholder value while bringing about positive environmental change. Companies impacted by our work include: Chevron, ExxonMobil, General Electric, McDonald's, Safeway, Whole Foods, Apple, Dell, HP, Best Buy, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Nestlé Waters, Starbucks, Target, Walt Disney, and DuPont.
With 25 years of experience growing green and socially responsible nonprofits and businesses, Belanger is Coop Americas new Green Business Network deputy director.
Utuma Belfrey’s community background is in outreach, having spent over 15 years organizing and helping on various efforts as a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW); the Hunters Point Shipyard Citizens Advisory Committee; an outreach coordinator with solar non-profit Grid Alternatives and UCSF; and as a student of Labor studies. She is an electrician by trade, and has been a proud member of IBEW Local number 6 for the past 12 years. She’s certified in many areas of the green and sustainable building sector. For example, she holds a certification as a green point rater, home energy rater and a sustainable building advisor. She also holds a certification in photovoltaic from IBEW. She was appointed by Mayor Newsom to the Citizen's Advisory Committee of Hunter’s Point Shipyard and has served for five years. Mayor Ed Lee recently appointed her to the San Francisco Renewable Energy Taskforce, and she has also recently been appointed as a commissioner to the Citizen's Community Development Block Grant. Her policy background is in workforce development and renewable energy, having spent the past four years as a construction job retention specialist for the Port Of Oakland Social Justice Committee retention project, which tracks the outcomes of individuals participating in Port job initiatives. She has also spent the past year helping to initiate and implement the recently passed Mandatory Local Hire legislation in San Francisco. She is a watchful eye, helping to ensure the investment of CDBG funds is put to the best use by encouraging better outcomes and performance from CBOs, and working with them to help them do their job better.