Green Festival Speakers
New York 2014
Speakers at Green Festival® are articulate, powerful advocates for a just and sustainable world. From authors and filmmakers to politicians, musicians and scientists, these renowned individuals inspire packed audiences with their expertise—one of the most compelling draws to Green Festival® since 2002. Our tremendous speaker line-up exemplifies why Green Festival® is the largest, most-respected event of its kind.
Hailing from New York City, Circa ’95 is an independent Hip-Hop music and media group comprised of Patty Dukes and Reph. Puerto Rican & Dominican by way of The Bronx and Washington Heights, they rhyme seamlessly through English and Spanish. The duo is inspired by groups like Calle 13, The Beatnuts, and The Fugees. They have performed all over the world gracing the stage with artists like KRS-One, Pitbull, NinaSky, Joel Ortiz, Anita Tijoux and Mala Rodriguez. They have been featured on the HBO Latino shows "RoadTrip" and "Habla Ya" and their debut album "FREE LUNCH" is available through their website www.circa95.com. When they are not performing or creating in the studio they teach Hip-Hop, Theater, and Mixed Media Arts to young people through their organization the Rhyme Factory (www.rhymefactory.org). They also recently completed two artistic residencies, first with the Bronx Music Heritage Center curating The Circa '95 Pop-Up Shop, and with Casita Maria facilitating the Rhyme Factory Master class. They are also co-founders of the Ladies Love Project, a seasonal pop-up shop featuring urban independent artisans. Circa ’95 is currently touring and in the studio working on their second musical project. They are next up and poised to make their mark on the world with their classic New York sound.
Tyler Adkins is the director of outdoor lighting solutions at Urban Green Energy, a NYC-based renewable energy solution provider. UGE puts users in control of their energy source by deploying hybrid wind, solar and storage solutions for use in off-grid lighting applications, enterprise solutions, and telecom towers in more than 80 countries around the world. From parking lot lighting in Brooklyn, to large infrastructure projects in the developing world, Tyler leads UGE's efforts to engage government, institutional, and commercial clients in understanding the economic, sustainability and energy security benefits of renewable-powered lighting solutions.
Tyler holds an M.Sc in Sustainability Science from Lund University, Sweden and moved to New York City in October 2012 - the day before Superstorm Sandy exposed the dire need for more resilient, robust, and sustainable infrastructure.
At the age of 18 Divya began studying yoga full-time, and continued this lifestyle for fifteen years. This included a five year tenure as a Sankrit editor for a major publisher of India classical texts, and a five year stay in India, where she helped establish a school for sacred arts in Uttar Pradesh. Throughout this, food, health and Ayurveda have been a base theme and practice for her, which she has shared and taught throughout India, Europe and the U.S. for the past 25 years.
She has taught cooking to thousands of people in New York over the past five years and has provided regular food service and nutritional instruction for Kripalu Center, The Art of Living Foundation, Eileen Fisher Inc, The United Nations and many others. She lives with her husband in the East Village.
The New Amsterdam School is a progressive, eco-friendly school in Manhattan's East Village neighborhood. Inspired by the Waldorf Approach to Education, New Amsterdam offers nurturing, supportive classes for children from birth through grade school, designed to help children reach their fullest potential.
Britta Aragon, natural beauty expert, cancer survivor, author and creator of CV Skinlabs, has spent over 13 years in the beauty industry, with much of that time focused on increasing awareness of potentially harmful toxins. While caring for her father during his cancer battle, she was shocked to find most cosmetic products laden with irritating and even dangerous chemicals. Dedicating her work to his legacy, she founded The Cinco Vidas blog, a robust information source creating awareness about toxins in everyday products. Britta’s book, When Cancer Hits, serves as a helpful guide for the newly diagnosed, and CV Skinlabs® offers safe, effective, natural and organic products to help soothe, repair and restore radiance to sensitive skin. Britta’s work has been featured in Organic Spa Magazine, People En Espanol, US Weekly, Telemundo 52, Real Simple Magazine, Crazy Sexy Life and more. She lectures around the country on personal detox.
Swati Argade, Creative Director and CEO of Bhoomki, creates clothing collections made from sustainable fabrics, which support artisan livelihoods around the world. In 2003, Swati launched her eponymous womenwear line, selling to specialty boutiques across the United States, Europe and India. Her collections are known for incorporating handmade fabrics with classic and tailored silhouettes.
In 2012, Swati opened Bhoomki Boutique in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Bhoomki carries clothing and accessory brands dedicated to environmental and/or social responsibility, including its in-house line designed by Swati. Bhoomki carries such brands as: Organic by John Patrick, Amour Vert, Coclico, Feral Childe, The Portland Collection by Pendleton, Raleigh Denim, Tabii Just, Study, Love is Mighty, Bhava Shoes and many more.
Swati’s work has been featured in such publications as Elle, Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, Associated Press, The Nation. www.bhoomki.com
Alex Beauchamp is the Northeast Region Director at Food & Water Watch. Based in the Brooklyn office, Alex oversees all organizing efforts in New York and the Northeast. Alex has worked on issues related to fracking, factory farms, genetic engineering, and water privatization at Food & Water Watch since 2009. His background is in legislative campaigning, and community and electoral organizing.
Rona Berg is the Editor-in-Chief of Organic Spa Magazine, a national consumer green luxury lifestyle magazine, and the Organic Spa Living blog. An internationally renowned journalist and green lifestyle expert, she is the Co-Chair of the Personal Care Advisory Council for the Green Spa Network, Green Beauty and Wellness Expert for beautypress.com, AOL Wellness Coach and best-selling author of Beauty: The New Basics and Fast Beauty: 1000 Quick Fixes.
Berg is the former Deputy Style Editor and Beauty Editor of The New York Times Magazine, Editorial Director of ELLE, and Contributing Editor to SPA and SELF magazines. Her work has appeared in over 75 national magazines and newspapers including Real Simple, O, Health, SELF, Vogue, InStyle, Fitness, ELLE, Cosmo, US Weekly, Ladies Home Journal, CHILD, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, The New York Post, Luxury Spa Finder, US Weekly, Psychology Today and more.
Jacquie Berger is the Executive Director of Just Food, a NYC nonprofit that empowers and supports community-led projects that increase access to locally-grown food, especially in underserved NYC neighborhoods. Since 2006, she has led Just Food's growth - diversifying programs and increasing community representation and reach.
Before joining Just Food, Jacquie managed community garden and urban greening programs at the Knox Parks Foundation in Hartford, CT. Before working in cities and on urban agriculture projects, Jacquie was the Director of the Holcomb Farm Environmental Learning Center, where she developed nature and agriculture education programs for students pre-K through high school, teachers, and the public. She is a graduate of Barnard College and received her MBA from Yale School of Management. She lives with her family in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn where she is a gardener and a member of the Clinton Hill CSA.
Founder and former editor-in-chief of Magnifeco.com, the digital source for eco-fashion and sustainable living, Kate has lived in some of the greenest cities in the world (Amsterdam, Basel, Tokyo, Vancouver and Zurich) before calling Brooklyn home. She has written over 1,000 articles about eco-designers and ethical fashion, with a decidedly global perspective on Magnifeco.com, UrbanTimes and HuffingtonPost. Taking storytelling to the next level, Kate launched EcoSessions, a global event platform that brings together designers, industry and consumers to discuss change.
“Bringing It Home” is the second feature documentary produced and directed by Linda Booker, owner of By the Brook Production based in North Carolina. Linda completed the Certificate in Documentary Arts from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University in 2005. “Bringing It Home” won the Jury Award at this year’s Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival and Best Environmental Film at Sedona International Film Festival. “Bringing It Home” has been part of a national outreach campaign to help educate consumers and lawmakers about hemp’s uses for healthy, sustainable products for nutrition, construction materials, bio-composites, textiles, body care and more and why policy change is needed to bring this beneficial crop back to all of America’s farmers for a greener future. By the Brook has produced videos for the City of Durham and Clean Jordan Lake on water protection issues in addition to work for numerous NC non-profits.
WICKHAM BOYLE has helped bring best business practices to non-profit organizations such as The Hartford Foundation, LaMama Theater, Breast Cancer Warriors, The City of New York, The New York State Counsel on the Arts, The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and the City of Los Angeles, among others. As a journalist she has written for The New York Times, National Geographic Traveler Magazine, MS and many others. Her work focuses on cultural exchange, and financial feasibility. She has an MBA from Yale and a BA in anthropology, African Studies from NYU.
Currently she is using all her talents and education as the VP of a hybrid organization called JUST SHEA (LLC) and One Village Planet (501C3) our tag line is Saving Your Skin and Women’s Lives as we created a line of creams where the profits return to help the women shea harvesters in Ghana to have a safely harvested crop.
Sass Brown is Acting Assistant Dean for the School of Art and Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York. Originally from London, England, Sass established herself as a designer with her own signature collection selling in the UK and across Canada. As a researcher, writer, blogger and educator, her area of expertise is eco fashion, in all of its various expressions, from slow design and heritage craft skills to recycle, reuse and new business models. She has published papers, spoken, taught and advised women’s cooperatives, educational institutions, governmental agencies, NGO’s, SME’s and the creative industries in Brazil, Peru, Columbia, Chile, Sri Lanka, Korea, China, Italy, France, US, Canada and the UK, on the topic of sustainable design. Brown communicates and promotes the best in eco fashion design, through a multitude of media, most notably her books; Eco Fashion and ReFashioned, her website www.ecofashiontalk.com and her journalism.
Carolina Cantor is the co-founder and fashion director of SHOPETHICA.COM. She launched her career in luxury marketing at the HSBC France headquarters in Paris, where she helped create and promote financial products for high-net-worth clients. After completing a graduate degree in international management, Carolina moved to New York City, where she worked in digital marketing while also freelancing as a stylist.
A native of Honduras, Carolina has a lifelong interest in causes related to international development. At SHOPETHICA.COM, she works to drive change within the fashion industry by promoting the top talent in ethical and sustainable design. www.ShopEthica.com
"Nappy G (a.k.a. Gordon Clay) is a Brooklyn-based dj,producer & long-time percussionist in NYC's dance club scene. He is well known from the world-traveling Turntables On The Hudson parties, his weekly Bembe parties in Williamsburg, his monthly residency at Le Bain, his former band (Grammy-nominated) Groove Collective, & the original Giant Step parties in the 90's. Currently, his latest e.p. "Good Timing" (available on iTunes,Amazon,Bandcamp,Spotify & Google Play), & his music video "Bembe Gente" are lighting up soundsystems & computer screens all over the globe. Nappy G is proud to be a part of the eco-movement, including the "Love NY,Don't Frack It Up" cause & 2014 marks the year he becomes known as "The Green DJ"!"
DJ Mixes: www.soundcloud.com/nappyg
The New York Chinese Cultural Center (NYCCC), a nonprofit cultural and educational institution, is dedicated to deepening the understanding and appreciation of Chinese culture in the global and local communities. NYCCC fulfills its mission by offering professional classes, workshops, and performances while nurturing creative and innovative new works through its artist residency program that reflect the rich cultural heritages and diverse communities of today.
Dr. Kevin Danaher is a Co-Founder of Global Exchange, Co-Founder of FairTradeUSA, and Co-Founder and Executive Co-Producer of the Green Festivals. His 1985 PhD in sociology from the University of California at Santa Cruz was based on his dissertation, “The Political Economy of U.S. Policy Toward South Africa.” He is the author and/or editor of 11 books, including his latest, “The Green Festival Reader: Fresh ideas from Agents of Change”; and "Building the Green Economy: Success Stories from the Grass Roots". Described by The New York Times as the “Paul Revere of globalization’s woes,” Dr. Kevin Danaher’s analytical expertise, sense of humor and blunt eloquence make him an exceptionally dynamic speaker.
A vegan chef and healthy living educator, Leslie is the glowing face of a fresher plant-based movement that refuses to compromise style for sustainability. Walking the plant-based talk since age eight, this Southern California native has always been well ahead of the times with her meatless mindset. She currently broadcasts her farm fresh recipes and warmhearted sensibilities via LeslieDurso.com.
After establishing herself as a private chef for the NYC and Hollywood elite, Leslie emerged as a public persona, hosting cooking segments on television and online. Determined to inspire beneficial life-long eating habits for everyone, she has appeared on Food Network, Discovery Channel, Hallmark Channel, and written for VegNews, CNN.com, Redbook, Glamour, and more, evangelizing the benefits of a mindful lifestyle, delivered with her trademark blend of sunshiney sophistication and girl-next-door relatability. Maxim Magazine wrote: "We want to hire Leslie as our own personal chef! We'll even eat vegetables for her."
Fashion Fights Poverty is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization that raises awareness for initiatives that encourage and support creative, effective, and sustainable means of challenging poverty. FFP believes that the industries of fashion, textiles, and design offer unique and effective opportunities for designers, artisans, and consumers alike to contribute to the alleviation of poverty through trade, skill building, community empowerment and consumer awareness.
Jill Fehrenbacher is a LEED certified green designer and green design consultant, and the founder and editor of Inhabitat.com, the web's most popular site on green design.
A native New Yorker and quintessential "factory girl," Alexandra cut her teeth in the fashion industry managing sample rooms for top designers and working with local producers. She later spent gobs of time working out of southeast Asia with some of the largest (and smallest) factories and sub-tier suppliers developing accessories. Today, she runs her own company and specializes in home and personal accessories that feature sassy phrases. Everything is made from her 4,000 sq ft factory located in Brooklyn's Industry City, and uses 100% recycled felt from plastic bottles, organic cotton canvas, and domestically milled denim. Her products are sold in over 550 retailers around the world, and has been featured in dozens of publications and programs including Vanity Fair, The New York Times, the Today show, HBO Girls, Cosmo, Fitness, and Glamour.
Ann Finneran has been a volunteer for Share International Foundation for over thirty years, and adheres to the organization’s view of distributive justice via sharing as paramount. In 2004, she was one of the charter founders of Sullivan Alliance for Sustainable Development, an upstate New York concern whose mission is “to foster economic development that is environmentally and economically sustainable as well as socially responsible”. She has spoken for Share International on numerous occasions, most recently on a panel at Barnard College where her focus was the environment. She is a member of New York Water Action Group whose concern is to limit the use of New York State’s fresh water by heavy industry. She embraces the ideas of the commons and transition towns, is an outspoken “fractivist” and thinks all of these concerns support Share International’s priority to redistribute the world’s resources and curtail commercialization. “People over Profit.”
Anne Friedman Glauber is an award-winning public relations executive. She is a Managing Partner of Finn Partners and the director of the Global Issues group where she focuses on fostering social change through meaningful corporate social responsibility programs, advocacy initiatives and creative partnerships. She co-founded the Business Council for Peace in 2002, served as its chair for 2 years and was named a 21 Leader for the 21st Century by Womens eNews. She also is the co-founder of NO MORE, www.nomore.org , the first national branding intiative to galvanize greater attention and action to end domestic violence and sexual assault. Her writing has appeared in USA Today, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal among other outlets. Anne is a mother of two children.
Called an “organic sensation” by The New York Times and named as “one of the nation’s leading organic food experts” by Shape Magazine, Max Goldberg is the founder of Living Maxwell (www.livingmaxwell.com), one of the most widely read organic food blogs in the country, and Pressed Organic Juice Directory (www.pressedjuicedirectory.com), the world's first pressed organic juice directory. Max has been featured in The New York Times, Fox News Channel, CNN, Forbes, Shape Magazine, Self Magazine, The Huffington Post, Veria Living, and numerous other publications.
Aside from his blog, Max runs the Organic Food Industry Group on LinkedIn, where his weekly curated email is read by thousands of organic food executives. Max received his BA from Brown University and his MBA from the Columbia University Graduate School of Business, and he is the author of the upcoming memoir CLEAR: Life After a Decade of Antidepressants and Other Escape Mechanisms.
Amy Goodman is the first journalist to receive the Right Livelihood Award, known as the 'Alternative Nobel Prize' for “developing an innovative model of truly independent grassroots political journalism that brings to millions of people the alternative voices that are often excluded by the mainstream media.” She is the first co-recipient of the Park Center for Independent Media’s Izzy Award, named for the great muckraking journalist I.F. Stone.
Goodman’s fifth book, The Silenced Majority: Stories of Uprisings, Occupations, Resistance, and Hope, written with Denis Moynihan, rose to #11 on The NYT bestseller list. She writes a weekly column syndicated by King Features.
Goodman has received the American Women in Radio and Television Gracie Award; the Paley Center for Media’s She’s Made It Award; and the Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship, the George Polk Award, the Robert F. Kennedy Prize for International Reporting, and the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award.
Jason has had a circuitous route to the Executive Suite of a diaper company. He started his career with Nomura Securities in Tokyo as an Equity broker, then returned to his native Australia to teach Japanese at high school.
Around that time he met his future wife, and together they went dating 200 times. They co-authored two dating guidebooks to Australia that morphed into “2’s Company” Boutique Event Management, where they organized once in a lifetime romantic events for clients.
With all the romance, babies were inevitable. With babies came the question of which diapers to use. Once they learned that one disposable diaper takes 500 years to biodegrade, they went on a quest to find a better way. gDiapers - a flushable, home-compostable alternative was born!
For nearly 30 years, Alisa Gravitz has led Green America, the national green economy organization. Green America develops marketplace solutions to social and environmental problems with a key focus on tackling climate change, building fair trading systems, stopping corporate abuse and growing the green economy. Green America operates the nation’s largest green business and consumer networks.
Ms. Gravitz is a leading expert on how families and businesses can “go green,” saving money and resources. She is also a nationally recognized leader in the social investment industry. She authored Green America’s acclaimed Guide to Social Investing, with over a million copies in print and the popular Guide to Community Investing.
Ms. Gravitz’s board service includes Ceres, Positive Future Network, Network for Good and People 4 Earth. She earned her MBA from Harvard University and her BA in economics and environmental sciences from Brandeis University. Green America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Sarah Gross and Nira Paliwoda founded the U.S. Veg Corp. They are active members of the local vegetarian and green movement. Their involvement with the community ensures that the events they put on address the latest issues concerning the vegetarian market and the most of-the-moment technologies.
Kate Halpern founded Kate’s Joint in 1996, a trailblazing concept that provided an all-vegetarian choice of international comfort food or macrobiotic healthy options. Kate’s joint was a neighborhood icon and host to a bevy of celebrities such as Paul McCartney and Madonna, everyone felt at home there. Kate began at the age of sixteen as full time apprentice to Annemarie Colbin, founder of Natural Gourmet cooking school. Simultaneously, she became privet Chef to leading naturopath at that time Dr. Dominic Richard. Inspired she traveled to France to study practical homeopathy and regional cuisines. upon her return she opened Kate's Joint, Where you could get a deliciously crisp buffalo not wing and or a steamed organic plate of vegetables, brown rice, beans and seaweed. After a very successful seventeen years Kate’s Joint closed in 2012.
Amie Hamlin is the Executive Director of New York Coalition for Healthy School Food. Under her direction, the coalition has distributed its recipes to 25,000 schools nationwide, helped the first public non-charter school in the country go vegetarian,and been recognized by the US Department of Health and Human Services. In addition their Wellness Wakeup Call program is heard by more than 100,000 students nationwide each day, and their Food UnEarthed curriculum is taught to over 500 New York City students each week.
Dan Harris is co-anchor of ABC News’ Nightline and also co-anchor for the weekend edition of Good Morning America. Before that, he was the anchor of the Sunday edition of World News. He regularly contributes stories on ABC for such shows as 20/20, World News with Diane Sawyer, and GMA. Harris has reported from all over the planet, covering wars in Afghanistan, Israel/Palestine, and Iraq; and produced investigative reports in Haiti, Cambodia, and the Congo. He has also spent many years covering America's faith scene, with a focus on evangelicals—who have treated him kindly despite the fact that he is openly agnostic. He has been at ABC News for 13 years, receiving Murrow and Emmy awards for his reporting. Prior to joining ABC, he was in local news in Boston and Maine. He grew up outside of Boston and currently lives with his wife, Bianca, in New York City.
Looking for the value in your values? Green marketing consultant/copywriter and international speaker Shel Horowitz specializes in profitability strategies and marketing materials to help green, socially conscious, ethical business PROSPECTS to call YOU. His latest book is Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green. He also writes the internationally syndicated column, Green And Profitable. Shel's latest effort is to build momentum in the business community to create a world that has overcome hunger/poverty, war, and catastrophic climate change. He has given his talk, "Making Green Sexy," from San Francisco to Switzerland.
Born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1977, John grew up in St. Louis, MO. At a young age, he excelled in football and basketball. He continued his streak of athletic excellence throughout his high school and college years in Mc Cluer Senior High and Harris-Stowe State College respectively. Graduating with a Bachelors degree in marketing, he later went on to pursue his MBA from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL. He is now working on finishing his Master’s in Health Education to later go on to start his PhD in Holistic Sports and Nutrition. John’s education in business coupled with his love for health and fitness gave him the ability to start his venture – Bad Ass Vegan – a health and nutrition company that strives to educate individuals on plant based nutrition.
An AIA registered architect, Margaret Matz has 20 years of experience in designing new, restoration, and sustainable renovation projects for academic institutions, health care institutions, and corporate and retail organizations. Before founding Milestone in 2010, she served as project architect, project manager, senior designer, and executive principal with several major architectural firms. Margaret is also a visiting assistant professor at the New York Institute of Technology and the Pratt Institute schools of architecture. She is LEED AP and an AIA and USGBC member. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.
Maker’s Row is a Brooklyn-based online marketplace for American manufacturers with network of over 3,000 manufacturers and 30,000 designers and brands looking to create products in the USA. Tanya and Matthew were recently listed on Business Insiders 2013 list of the 100 Coolest People in NY Tech and Maker's Row has also been featured on NPR, Forbes, and CNBC.
Throughout his youth, Jesse Meyer was submerged in the family tanning business, Richard E. Meyer & Sons, where, from an early age, he honed an appreciation for the distinctive occupation of the tanner. While completing a fine arts degree in sculpture at SUNY New Paltz, Jesse began to experiment with the unique materials available at his father’s tannery. By the time he graduated, Jesse had developed a robust fascination with parchment. His extensive research unearthed a long history of parchment applications and uses — many that had been forgotten over time — as well as ancient methods of production, long-abandoned. It was enough to build a career on and, in 1999, Pergamena was born. In subsequent years, Jesse and his team have continued to research and experiment, blending ancient practices with modern applications, in an effort to satisfy clients and customers. Curiosity is a tough habit to break, so Jesse is always looking for new ways to make and use parchment.
Steve Meyerowitz was christened "Sproutman" in the 1970s in Vegetarian Times magazine because his New York City apartment was filled with gardens of mini-vegetables - part of his lifetime fight against chronic allergies and asthma. After years of disappointment with orthodox medicine, he became symptom-free through his use of diet, juices, and fasting.
Steve is a health crusader and author of 10 books including Power Juices Super Drinks, Wheatgrass Nature's Finest Medicine, Juice Fasting and Detoxification, and Food Combining and Digestion. His newest book is "7 Days to a Juicier You." He has been featured on PBS, the Home Shopping Network, TV Food Network, and in Better Nutrition, Prevention, Organic Gardening and Flower & Garden Magazines. His sprouting inventions, such as the "Hemp Sprout Bag" are sold worldwide. Visit him at www.Sproutman.com.
Alex Nadolishny has 21+ years of experience in technology implementation, engineering design, construction management and project delivery. Working in renewable and conventional power generation, waste management, emergency response and environmental assessment sectors he successfully completed many high profile projects for a client list that includes major oil and utility companies, government agencies such as DoD, FEMA, NASA and US EPA, local government and public agencies including MTA, NYC DEP, NJ DEP and others.
In addition to his extensive experience in the US Mr. Nadolishny has also worked internationally, with projects in Italy, Romania, Russia and Japan.
Alisa Nadolishny graduated from Pratt Institute with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art, focusing in sculpture. During her education, she had the opportunity to study in the Netherlands at the Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten through Pratt Institute’s International Exchange Program. Alisa has been involved in brand development and image manipulation, working for a variety of clients ranging from fashion designers to environmental engineering concerns. In her work for Milestone, Alisa has collaborated on design and community outreach projects, focusing on architectural restoration and the implementation of sustainable resiliency measures in high-flood-risk neighborhoods. She is pursuing additional education in Architecture, and is currently preparing for her LEED GA Exam.
Elizabeth O’Connell has led consumer action campaigns relating to Fair Trade, labor, and corporate social responsibility at Green America since 2009. Most notably, she ran the campaign to get forced child labor out of Hershey chocolate. This three-year campaign won Hershey’s commitment to verify their entire cocoa supply chain for all products. Most recently she worked on Green America’s GMO Inside campaign to reduce the amount of GMOs in the food supply. Elizabeth spent seven years of her childhood in Hong Kong, where she first learned about the discrepancies that exist among workers around the world. She speaks introductory Mandarin and holds a bachelor’s degree from NYU’s Stern School of Business.
Karim Orange is a two-time Emmy nominated makeup artist, green beauty ambassador, and urban farming advocate. She focuses on sustainable inner and outer beauty.
Aimee firmly believes that learning is a life-long process and that our experiences along the natural path of life can be our best teachers. Aimee is currently an educator at Manhattan Country School where she has taught Movement, 2nd grade, 5th grade and pre-kindergarten. At New York University, she studied Early Childhood and Elementary Education with a minor in Anthropology. Aimee later went on to study Educating for Sustainability at the CELF Summer Institute and at Antioch University New England. The relationship between personal experience and professional pursuit has been fluid for Aimee. Whether in the forest, the city, at the farm, or traveling in another country, she seeks out the connections and dynamics within and between things, and strives to embody Kirkegaard’s notion that we are not merely human beings, but “human becomings.
Sarah Gross and Nira Paliwoda founded the U.S. Veg Corp. They are active members of the local vegetarian and green movement. Their involvement with the community ensures that the events they put on address the latest issues concerning the vegetarian market and the most of-the-moment technologies.
Born and raised in India, Monisha Raja graduated from Parsons School of Design, NY with a BFA in Fashion Design. Prior to launching LOVE IS MIGHTY, Monisha had a eponymous clothing line and has worked as a freelance designer on shoe brands as diverse as Tory Burch, Max Azria, Nicole Miller, Banana Republic and BCBG.
A lover of animals, nature and adventure, Monisha launched her vegan line of shoes, LOVE IS MIGHTY, in 2011 with the vision of bridging the dying world of indigenous arts and the world of modern innovation and design. The debut collection includes exquisite handwork created in collaboration with tribal artisans in India.
An avid painter, Monisha has exhibited widely. She teaches yoga and lives in New York City.
Ariana Boussard-Reifel is an artist, entrepreneur, lover of found things and founder of Mode Marteau. After stints in textile design, jewelry retail, gallery management, real estate development and fine arts, Ariana launched the online vintage shop Mode Marteau as an amalgamation of her varied passion for fine found objects.
Since it's inception in 2012, Mode Marteau has become the go-to destination for stylists and creative professionals searching for sustainable self-expression through ethical fashion. MM's curated collection is often featured in fashion magazines & films. MM is a value-lead business that proudly implement sustainable practices from credit-union banking, to recycled packaging, to the innately world-friendly act of sharing and reusing wonderful things.
Ariana still finds time to make her artwork, which has been exhibited at museums and galleries around the country and has been reviewed by The New York Times, Fast Company, Time Out New York among others. www.modemarteau.com
Health and wellness writer and speaker Renita Rietz has spent over a decade researching nutritional strategies to increase the innate rejuvenative capacity we all possess by harnessing the pharmacologic and phytotherapeutic potential of indigenous foods and plants for prevention and regeneration. From the array of competing nutritional ideologies, Renita weaves together multiple paradigms focusing on the importance of high vibrancy, nutrient dense, plant-based superfood nutrition, fermentation and germination as the cornerstones of a healthy diet.
Elea Robinson is a Waldorf Kindergarten teacher and a Founding Faculty member of the New Amsterdam School in the East Village. Hailing originally from Massachusetts, she’s a professional musician and violinist, when not leading kindergarteners in nursery rhymes.
Gardein is made of non-GMO soy and wheat, organic ancient grains and veggies. The award winning line of every day foods are high in protein, contain no trans-fat, no cholesterol and are rich in iron and fiber. Find Gardein chillin’ in the freezer aisle of your favorite grocery or natural foods store. We’re also available in many restaurants such as Veggie Grill, Yard House and college campuses across North America. www.gardein.com
Chef Info: Jenné Claiborne
Erin Schrode is a young ecoRenaissance woman. As the “face of the new green generation,” the co-founder of Teens Turning Green promotes global sustainability, youth leadership, environmental education, and conscious lifestyle choices. An award-winning ecopreneur, international orator, and media personality, Erin just joined Havas Worldwide to lead Global Sustainability and Purpose, driving better business with clients across the agency's 350 offices in 75 countries. This social innovator and vocal activist is on a lifelong journey to inspire her peers to take action and make the world a more sustainable and just place for future generations.
Kevin Slaten, Program Coordinator at China Labor Watch, has been involved in the study of Chinese society and politics since 2008. He finished a Chinese-language Master's thesis on Chinese labor rights defense from The Ohio State University, has interned at a Chinese non-profit training migrant workers on rights defense, worked for a year at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and has served on a Fulbright Grant in Taiwan. Kevin has written pieces for In These Times, South China Morning Post, Global Post, and the Diplomat, among others.
The Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center Inc. is a Puerto Rican/Latino cultural institution that has demonstrated a broad-minded cultural vision and a collaborative philosophy. While The Clemente’s mission is focused on the cultivation, presentation, and preservation of Puerto Rican and Latino culture, it is equally determined to operate in a multi-cultural and inclusive manner, housing and promoting artists and performance events that fully reflect the cultural diversity of the Lower East Side and the city as a whole.
Stefanie Iris Weiss is the author of nine books, including her latest - "Eco-Sex: Go Green Between the Sheets and Make Your Love Life Sustainable" (Random House/Ten Speed Press, 2010). She keeps her carbon footprint small in New York City, where she writes about sustainability, sexuality, reproductive rights, dating and relationships, politics, fashion, beauty, and more. Stefanie’s "Sexual Healing" column posts weekly on EcoSalon.com. She also has a monthly column in British ELLE, and has written for Above Magazine, Nerve.com, GOOD Magazine, The Daily Green, Marie Claire, and Teen Vogue, to name a few. Stefanie is also an on-and-off adjunct professor when not busy writing and teaching about sustainable love. A vegetarian and eco-activist since her teen years, Stefanie has made her passion into her work, and she wouldn't want it any other way. She believes that life is always better when there's more pleasure, and sustainable satisfaction is the best kind.
Certified nutritionist and holistic health expert, Ashley Welch, specializes in the importance of nourishing the body through a balanced combination of diet, physical fitness, and holistic lifestyle design. She is a key figure in Los Angeles’s health movement, and has played vital roles in multiple nutrition networks throughout the entire Southern California Region. Most recently she has created ActiveAsh.com, a holistic nutrition and fitness website full of information, videos, corporate wellness programs, ActiveKids programs, and much more!
Today, ActiveAsh is speaking internationally, hosting educational seminars to inform the public of its current health state, and how we can counteract the damage that has been done through a balanced combination of proper nutrition, fitness, and well-being. Stop by ActiveAsh.com today and stay up-to-date with Ashley's ActiveHealth monthly newsletter!
Heather White is an award-winning non-profit executive and researcher with 25 years experience in international advocacy on labor and human rights issues. She is currently a Network Fellow at Harvard University’s Edmund Safra Center for Ethics. Her investigative work on transparency in global supply chains has led to improved industry standards in social auditing and verification practices. Heather is the founder and former Executive Director (1995-2005) of Verité, a non-profit organization that has won international recognition for its efforts to reduce labor violations in factories producing for American consumer brands.
Heather and Verite have received numerous awards, and she has been widely interviewed on the need for independent oversight of corporations’ global supplier networks. In 2012 her perspectives on Apple Computer’s labor challenges in its Chinese factories appeared in the U.S. and European media, including: The New York Times, Bloomberg, CNN, The Philadelphia Inquirer, NPR, and European newspapers.
Markly Wilson, Director, International Marketing for New York State’s Division of Tourism, is responsible for generating increased international travel to New York State.
He was previously President of The Wilson Company, specializing in empowering communities to assess, plan, and market their tourism resources. Clients have ranged from the Lakota Sioux Reservation, Harlem, Government of Belize, among many others.
He was Director of Marketing for the Caribbean Tourism Organization for three years, after serving as US Manager for the Tourist Board of Barbados for nine years.
Wilson managed the NY Watchable Wildlife Program, a project between federal and state agencies, non-profit organizations and businesses. This group published the first Wildlife Viewing Guide of New York State in 1998.
Markly Wilson, a graduate of St. Claire College in Windsor, Ontario and Adelphi University in Long Island, was on the faculty of New York University for six years where he lectured on Ecotourism.