Alan Balch is Vice-President of the Preventive Health Partnership between the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, and American Diabetes Association. This initiative’s goal is to encourage the prevention and early detection of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke by increasing public awareness about healthy lifestyles, increasing the focus on prevention among healthcare providers, and supporting legislative action to increase funding for and access to prevention programs and research. Alan is former Executive Director of Friends of Cancer Research and a Course Instructor in the Environmental Studies Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Alan received his Ph.D in Environmental Studies from the University of California/Santa Cruz and his M.S. in Environmental Sciences from the University of Texas.
Liz Barratt-Brown is a Senior Advisor to the International Program of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), one of the nation’s largest environmental organizations. Liz started her career with NRDC in 1981 and worked on acid rain, climate change, and forest conservation, focusing on U.S.-Canadian issues. Most recently, she has worked to raise awareness of the strip mining of oil from the “tar sands” region of Alberta’s Boreal forest and dangers of the controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Before that, she led a campaign to stop clearcut logging of British Columbia's spectacular coastal rain forest, including launching one of the first "markets campaigns" to use the procurement power of companies like Home Depot to protect over 6 million acres of forest. She also runs an olive farm with her husband and two children in Mallorca, Spain. She received her JD from Yale Law School.
Tim Kasser is Professor and Chair of Psychology at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. He has authored over 70 scientific articles and book chapters on materialism, values, goals, and quality of life, among other topics. He is also the author of The High Price of Materialism (MIT Press, 2002), co-editor of Psychology and Consumer Culture (APA, 2004) and co-author of Meeting Environmental Challenges: The Role of Human Identity (WWF-UK, 2009). Tim spends a good deal of his time working with activist groups that try to protect children from commercialization and that encourage a more “inwardly rich” lifestyle than what is offered by consumerism. He lives with his wife, two sons, and assorted animals in the Western Illinois countryside.
Mike Lydon is the founding Principal of The Street Plans Collaborative, an urban planning, design, and research-advocacy firm based in New York City and Miami. Before launching the firm in 2009, Mike worked for Smart Growth Vermont, the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition, Ann Arbor’s GetDowntown Program, and Duany Plater-Zyberk and Company (DPZ), an international leader in smart growth planning, design, and research. As a planner, writer, and advocate, Mike’s work has appeared in or been featured by NPR, The New York Times, CNN Headline News, Planetizen, Grist, Salon, Next City, and Streetsblog, among others. Mike is a co-author of The Smart Growth Manual (2009), honored by Planetizen as one of the top 10 planning books of 2010. He is also the creator and primary author of The Open Streets Project and Tactical Urbanism: Short-Term Action, Long-Term Change. Mike remains a regular contributor to Planetizen and is a founding co-editor of the journal Living Urbanism. He was also selected in 2009 as one of 34 Urban Vanguards by Next American City magazine. Mike speaks regularly at trainings and conferences on the topics of smart growth, tactical urbanism, planning and social media, and complete streets/active transportation. He is a CNU-Accredited Professional, and he encourages you to trade four wheels for two.
Holly Minch is a founder of the LightBox Collaborative, a nonprofit consulting practice that helps nonprofits, philanthropies, and social entrepreneurs increase their impact through strategy development, community engagement, communications and marketing, and training. Holly's particular strength in the realm of communications. In her capacity as Vice President of Spitfire Strategies, she created communications programs for grantees of the nation’s largest foundations, including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and The David and Lucile Packard Foundation. Holly also was Executive Director of the Communications Leadership Institute, where she helped nonprofits use high-impact communications to achieve social change. She served as Director of the SPIN Project, assisting hundreds of grassroots groups with strategic communications resources, and launched the successful SPIN Academy.
Gay Nicholson is President & CEO of Sustainable Tompkins, a citizen-based coalition working towards a more sustainable regional community in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Gay emphasizes a systems approach to working with partners to build the infrastructure and social capacity for more sustainable ways of living and working. She has also been instrumental in the founding and development of the Green Resource Hub and its SEEN (Sustainable Enterprise & Entrepreneur Network), which focuses on expanding the regional marketplace for sustainable living. Gay participates in a number of local partnerships related to energy and climate, local investing, equity as an economic driver, and green tourism. She received the Bioneers Changemaker of the Month Award in May 2009. Gay was the 2008 Award Recipient of the The Cornell Tradition’s seventh annual Debra S. Newman ’02 Community Recognition Award for her extensive volunteer efforts in the local community, including her work with Sustainable Tompkins, which she helped create in 2004.
Juliet Schor is professor of Sociology at Boston College. She is a Guggenheim Fellowship recipient and was formerly on the faculty of Harvard University's Department of Economics. Juliet is the best-selling author of the books Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth (2010), Born to Buy: The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture (2004), The Overworked American: The Unexpected Decline of Leisure (1992), The Overspent American: Why We Want What We Don't Need (1999), and Do Americans Shop Too Much? (2000). She earned her Ph.D in economics at the University of Massachusetts and her undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University.
Gus Speth is Professor of Law at the Vermont Law School and Distinguished Senior Fellow at Demos. He served as Dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies from 1999 to 2009. From 1993 to 1999, Gus was Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme and chair of the UN Development Group. Prior to that, he was founder and president of the World Resources Institute, professor of law at Georgetown University, chairman of the U.S. Council on Environmental Quality, and senior attorney and co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council. Throughout his career, Gus has provided leadership and entrepreneurial initiatives to many task forces and committees whose roles have been to combat environmental degradation, including the President’s Task Force on Global Resources and Environment; the Western Hemisphere Dialogue on Environment and Development; and the National Commission on the Environment. Publications include America the Possible: Manifesto for a New Economy (2012), The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability (2008), Global Environmental Governance (2006), and Red Sky at Morning: America and the Crisis of the Global Environment (2004).
Eleanor Sterling is Director of the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation (CBC) at the American Museum of Natural History and Director of Graduate Studies and adjunct faculty at Columbia University's Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology. Her primary research is focused on endangered species, in particular behavioral ecology of mammals, turtles, and tortoises, and on tools for elucidating spatially explicit information on species and assemblages of species. In 2000, she spearheaded the establishment of the CBC's Network of Conservation Educators and Practitioners, which works to create and implement educational materials and teaching resources for biodiversity conservation at undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels around the world. Eleanor received her Ph.D and M.Phil. in Anthropology and Forestry and Environmental Studies from Yale University and her B.A. from Yale College.
Matt Stinchcomb is Vice President for Brand & Social Responsibility at Etsy. Etsy's mission is to empower people to change the way the global economy works. They see a world in which very-very small businesses have much-much more sway in shaping the economy, local living economies are thriving everywhere, and people value authorship and provenance as much as price and convenience. Their goal is to bring heart to commerce and, in the process, make the world more fair, more sustainable, and more fun. In his role at Etsy, Matt oversees the company's brand stewardship, mission, and social impact programs. He firmly believes that business can be a powerful and positive force for social, ecological, and cultural transformation. Matt has worked in digital media since 1997, and at Etsy since its earliest days.
Betsy Taylor is the President of Breakthrough Strategies and Solutions. She is the founder and former President of the Center for a New American Dream; Co-founder and Board President of 1Sky Education Fund; Board member of the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES), Town Creek Foundation, Ottinger Foundation, and Garrison Institute; and former Executive Director for the Merck Family Fund, Stern Fund, and Ottinger Foundation. Betsy is the author of What Kids Really Want that Money Can’t Buy and co-editor of Sustainable Planet: Solutions for the 21st Century. She received her M.P.A. from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and her B.A. in psychology from Duke University.
Mark Valentine has over 20 years of experience helping nonprofit and philanthropic institutions leverage their human and financial assets in order to achieve social change outcomes. Since 2003, he has operated ReFrame It Consulting, which provides program design and evaluation as well as organizational development services to organizations working across a diverse array of issues, including smart growth and sustainable land use, environmental health, energy and climate, marine and coastal conservation, social entrepreneurship, regional economic development, and microfinance. Mark previously was a Program Director with the Packard Foundation where he helped establish a conservation grantmaking program. Mark is chair of the Board of Directors of Resource Media and also serves on the Advisory Board for the San Francisco Green Film Festival. He received his B.A. in English and History from Union College.