Keynote Speakers

We are adding more speakers every week.

Vandana Shiva

Indian scholar, environmental activist, food sovereignty advocate, and anti-globalization author

Dr. Vandana Shiva trained as a Physicist at the University of Punjab, and completed her Ph.D. on the ‘Hidden Variables and Non-locality in Quantum Theory’ from the University of Western Ontario, Canada. She later shifted to inter-disciplinary research in science, technology and environmental policy, which she carried out at the Indian Institute of Science and the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore, India
In 1982, she founded an independent institute – the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology in Dehra Dun – dedicated to high quality and independent research to address the most significant ecological and social issues of our times, working in close partnership with local communities and social movements. In 1991 she founded Navdanya, a national movement to protect the diversity and integrity of living resources – especially native seed – and to promote organic farming and fair trade. For last two decades, Navdanya has worked with local communities and organisations, serving more than 500,000 men and women farmers. Navdanya’s efforts have resulted in the conservation of more than 3000 rice varieties from across India, and the organisation has established 60 seed banks in 16 states across the country. In 2004, Dr. Shiva started Bija Vidyapeeth, an international college for sustainable living in Doon Valley in collaboration with Schumacher College, U.K.

Miguel A. Altieri

Emeritus Professor UC Berkeley

Miguel A . Altieri received a BS in Agronomy from the University of Chile and a Ph.D in Entomology from the University of Florida. He has been a Professor of Agroecology at UC Berkeley since 1981 in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management ( and Dr. Altieri served as a Scientific Advisor to the Latin American Consortium on Agroecology and Development (CLADES) Chile an NGO network promoting agroecology as a strategy for small farm sustainable development in the region. He also served for 4 years as the General Coordinator for the United Nations Development Programme’s Sustainable Agriculture Networking and Extension Programme which aimed at capacity building on agroecology among NGOs and the scaling-up of successful local sustainable agricultural initiatives in Africa, Latin America and Asia In addition he was the chairman of the NGO committee of the Consultative Group on International Agriculture Research whose mission was to make sure that the research agenda of the 15 International Agricultural Research Centers benefited the poor farmers of the. He also was Director of the US-Brasil Consortium on Agroecology and Sustainable Rural Development (CASRD) an academic-research exchange program involving students and faculty of UC Berkeley, University of Nebraska, UNICAMP and Universidad Federal de Santa Catarina. He is advisor to the FAO-GIAHS program ( Globally Ingenious Agricultural a program devoted at identifying and dynamically conserving traditional farming systems in the developing world. He also served for 6 years as the President of the Latin American Scientific Society of Agroecology . He is the author of more than 250 publications, and numerous books including Agroecology: The Science of Sustainable Agriculture and Biodiversity, Pest Management in Agroecosystems and Agroecology and the Search for a Truly Sustainable Agriculture. In 2015 he received a Doctor Honoris Causa from The Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium

Tom Goldtooth

Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network

Tom is the executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network. Tom has been awarded with recognition of his achievements throughout the past 38 years as an activist for social change within the Indigenous and environmental and climate justice movements. From the strength of his community organizing and leadership experience he has brought the local issues of environmental, economic, energy, climate, water and food justice and the rights of Indigenous peoples to the national and international levels. Tom is a recipient of the 2015 Gandhi Award and in 2016 presented Sierra Club’s the John Muir award.

Wenonah Hauter

Activist, Author & Founder & Executive Director of Food & Water Watch

Wenonah Hauter is an activist, author and progressive policy advocate. She is the founder and executive director of Food & Water Watch, an organization that, under her leadership, has fundamentally transformed the national debate about hydraulic fracturing (fracking), energy and the environment.
Wenonah has three decades of experience campaigning and writing on food, water, energy and environmental issues. She has played leading roles in successful campaigns to ban fracking in New York, label genetically modified foods, protect public water systems from privatization and promote renewable energy. She has trained and mentored hundreds of organizers and activists across the country and worked at the national, state and local levels to develop policy positions and legislative and field strategies to secure real wins for communities and the environment.
Wenonah’s career was inspired by childhood experiences that ingrained in her an appreciation for the environment and a passion for justice. When she was 11, her father bought a hardscrabble farm in the Bull Run Mountains of Virginia. There, she developed an appreciation for what it really means to grow food, she picked potato bugs, plucked chickens and chopped kindling. In high school, she organized her female classmates to wear pants in defiance of an outdated dress code and participated in a sit-in over a civil rights issue. After she received her undergraduate degree, she worked on poverty and aging issues in Virginia.
In the early 1990s, Wenonah worked at the Union of Concerned Scientists as a senior organizer, where she coordinated broad-based, grassroots sustainable energy campaigns in the Midwest. In a foundation-funded network of energy activists, she became an early opponent of electric utility deregulation, to the chagrin of energy funders. She then became environmental policy director for Citizen Action, where she worked with the organizations 30 state-based groups on electric utility issues and pesticide use. From 1997 to 2005, she served as director of Public Citizen’s energy and environment program, which focused on reforming energy policies, stopping water privatization domestically and internationally, and regulating dangerous food technologies.
While at Public Citizen, Wenonah saw the need for an organization that directly involved people all over the country to stand up for policies that put people before corporate profits. She founded Food & Water Watch to lead campaigns that aspired to ask for what we need, rather than settle for what we can get, and to excite people with the vision that we can move forward to a progressive future.
At Food & Water Watch, the first national advocacy organization to call for a ban on fracking, Wenonah has helped provide strategic guidance for national and international campaigns to halt the practice. Her current book, Frackopoly: The Battle for the Future of Energy and the Environment, exposes how more than 100 years of political influence peddling facilitated the control of our energy system by a handful of corporations and financial institutions, and looks at the growing movement to ban fracking and keep fossil fuels in the ground.
Her previous book, Foodopoly: The Battle Over the Future of Food and Farming in America (2012), examines the corporate consolidation and control over our food system and what it means for farmers and consumers. Publisher’s Weekly calls Foodopoly a meticulously researched tour de force.
Wenonah holds an M.S. degree in Applied Anthropology from the University of Maryland.


Author & Activist

Starhawk is an American writer, teacher and activist. She is known as a theorist of feminist Neopaganism and ecofeminism. She is a columnist for and for On Faith, the Newsweek and Washington Post online forum on religion. Starhawk's book The Spiral Dance (1979) was one of the main inspirations behind the Goddess movement. In 2012, she was listed in Watkins' Mind Body Spirit magazine as one of the 100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People.

John Dennis Liu

Chinese American film-maker and ecologist

John Dennis Liu (born 1953 in Nashville, Tennessee) is a Chinese American film-maker and ecologist. He is also a researcher at several institutions. In January 2015 John was named Visiting Fellow at Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO) of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. John is also Ecosystem Ambassador for the Commonland Foundation based in Amsterdam, Netherlands.


Zenzi Suhadi

Campaign Director, Walhi/Friends of the Earth Indonesia

Adelita San Vicente Tello

Director of Fundación Semillas de Vida (Seeds of Life Foundation)

She holds an Agronomist Master’s Degree in Rural Development from the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana Xochimilco, specialized in Economics of Agrifood System in Viterbo, Italy and is an Agroecology PhD candidate at the University of Medellin, Colombia .
Adelita has collaborated with various non-governmental organizations and farmers developing training programs, environmental education and planning for the sustainable management of natural resources resulting in the publication of manuals that systematize the experiences. She has also held positions linked to the rural sector in various institutions and governments, at both the municipal and federal levels.
She worked with the Regional Union of Ejidos and Communities in the Hidalgo Huasteca (URECHH ) in marketing their products and participated in Tepoztlan community against the Golf Club, a movement that managed to stop the imposition of a project that was billed as the largest golf club in Latin America.
In 2007 she was part of the organizers of the national campaign Sin Maíz, No Hay País – Without Corn There is No Country to fight for food sovereignty and the reactivation of fields, which continues to this day.
She currently heads the Seeds of Life Foundation whose mission is the defense of healthy eating without GMOs and the protection of Mexican seeds, especially corn.

Ninawa Huni Kui

President of the Federation of the Huni Kui, Brasil

Tracey Osborne

PhD, Associate Professor of University of Arizona

Tracey Osborne, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the School of Geography and Development at the University of Arizona. She conducts research on the social and political economic dimensions of climate change mitigation particularly in forest ecosystems, as well as associated finance mechanisms including carbon markets, taxes and funds. She also leads the Climate Alliance Mapping Project, which is a collaborative effort between academics, environmental NGOs and indigenous organizations working for a socially-just response to climate change through research, maps and digital stories. Her work has been published in top geography and social science journals and she has presented her work internationally including at the Conference of the Parties climate change meetings. She received her PhD from the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California, Berkeley.

Clara Nicholls

Professor Santa Clara University

Clara I Nicholls is a Colombian agronomist with a Master in Entomology from the Colegio de Posgraduados, Chapingo, Mexico and a Ph.D. in Entomology and Biological Control of Insect Pests from the University of California Davis. She is a Permanent Lecturer on Sustainable Rural Development in Latin America at the University of California, Berkeley

She also teaches at Santa Clara University, and various universities in Colombia, Brazil, Nicaragua, Argentina, Spain and Italy. Currently she serves as the president of the Latin American Scientific Society of Agroecology (SOCLA- and is the Regional Coordinator of REDAGRES
( a network of Latin American researchers exploring ways to evaluate and enhance resiliency of farming systems to climate change.

Her research has centered on enhancing plant biodiversity of farms to provide habitat and foster natural eneimies of insect pests in a range of farming systems. She is also working on methodologies to evaluate the resilience of farms to climate change and based on such assessments in designing agroecological interventions to enhance the adaptability of farming systems to climatic extremes.

She is the author of 4 books ( among them Biodiversity and Pest Management in Agrecosystems) and of more than 50 scientific journal papers.

Andrew Kimbrell

CFS Executive Director

Andrew Kimbrell is an internationally recognized public interest attorney, public speaker and author. He is founder and Executive Director of Center for Food Safety. He also is Director of the San Francisco based Center for Technology Assessment, co-founder of Foundation Earth and President of the Board of Humane Farm Animal Care (that administers the Certified Humane label).
As an attorney, Kimbrell has successfully challenged federal agencies in several historic court cases, including initiating a U.S. Supreme Court victory forcing, for the first time, EPA regulation of Greenhouse Gases and Climate Change and a recent Supreme Court ruling holding that DNA is not patentable due it it being a “product of nature.” He also through his leadership at CFS has been at the forefront of legal challenges to approvals of genetically engineered crops, maintaining the integrity of the organics standards and winning a legal battle to force the FDA to adopt new food safety regulations.
As an author and public speaker Kimbrell has been a leading proponent of regenerative forms of agriculture and organic policies. He is the editor of the nationally renowned book Fatal Harvest, The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture and the author of Your Right to Know: Genetic engineering and the Secret Changes in Your Food. Kimbrell’s articles and editorials have appeared in the New York Times, Harpers, USA Today and numerous other print and social media publications including being a regular contributor to the Huffington Post. He has testified numerous times before the UI.S. Congress and has been a featured speaker at dozens of colleges and universities around the country and other public forums including Google Author Talks, Slow Food Nation, Bioneers and Ecofarm. He is featured in several documentaries including “The Future of Food,” “FRESH,” and a critique of genetic engineering, “Life Running out of Control.” Kimbrell is also a noted expert on a wide range of technology and economic issues. His works in this area include his international best-selling book “The Human Body Shop: the Engineering and Marketing of Life” and the printed versions of his influential E.F. Schumacher lectures, “Cold Evil: Technology and Modern Ethics,” and “Salmon Economics.”
In addition to his legal degree Kimbrell also has a graduate degree in Psychology and has often written in the field including his book,”The Masculine Mystique.” Besides his public interest work Kimbrell’s passions include his love of piano (stemming from his earlier career as a concern pianist), poetry, baseball and wilderness flyfishing.
Kimbrell’s many accolades include a spot on Utne Reader’s list of the world's leading 100 visionaries, and The Guardian recognizing him in 2008 as one of the 50 people “most likely to save the planet.”

Michelle Ciccarelli Lerach

lawyer, entrepreneur and activist

Michelle Ciccarelli Lerach is a lawyer, entrepreneur and activist, formerly a Partner/Of Counsel with the world's largest law firm specializing in protecting investor, consumer and human rights, helping to achieve billions of dollars and corporate governance, marketplace and working-condition reforms benefitting those harmed by abuses in those areas. In 2008, she received the Consumer Attorneys of California, Women's Law Caucus Outstanding Consumer Advocate Award.

An ``agvocate`` for sustainable food, she founded, a communal dinner for farmers, chefs and food activists in the Cali-Baja region, in 2010, and later BGN100 in 2017. She is the Founder of the Berry Good Food Foundation (, activating the community created through the Berry Good Night to advance a healthy, integrated food system by educating, connecting and supporting food producers and consumers. An outspoken critic of current GMO labeling policy, she was involved in the 2012 California ballot

Ronnie Cummins

International Director of Organic Consumers Association

Ronnie Cummins is co-founder and International Director of the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) and its Mexico affiliate Via Organica
(OCA) is a non-profit, U.S. based network of two million consumers, dedicated to safeguarding organic standards and promoting a healthy, just, and sustainable system of agriculture and commerce. The OCA’s primary strategy is to work on national and global campaigns promoting health, justice, and sustainability that integrate public education, marketplace pressure, media work, litigation, and grassroots lobbying.
Cummins has been active as a writer and activist since the 1960s, with extensive experience in public education, grassroots mobilization, and marketplace pressure campaigns. Over the past two decades he has served as director of US and international campaigns dealing with sustainable agriculture issues including food safety, genetic engineering, factory farming, and global warming. From 1992-98 Cummins served as a campaign director for the Foundation on Economic Trends in Washington, D.C. In 1998, Cummins co-founded the Organic Consumers Association, the largest network of organic consumers in the USA. In 2009 Cummins founded Via Organica, a network of organic consumers and farmers based in Mexico City and San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato. In 2015 Cummins co-founded with 60 other global scientists, farmers, and activists, Regeneration International, a network dedicated to mitigating and reversing climate change through regenerative food, farming and land use. Cummins is a frequent lecturer, both in the US and abroad as well as a regular contributor to online publications such as Organic Bytes, Common Dreams, Truthout, Alternet, and Eco-Watch. Cummins has published hundreds of articles in the alternative and mainstream press. He is also the author of a series of children’s books called Children of the World, as well as the book Genetically Engineered Food: A Self-Defense Guide for Consumers (Marlowe & Company 2004). Cummins lives with his wife and 20-year-old son in Minnesota and in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Theodosia Hamilton Ferguson

Healling Living Systems

Theodosia Hamilton Ferguson (Theo) has focused on designing community food, farming, and finance infrastructure investments and advocacy activities for more than a decade. Through advocating, forming enterprises, facilitating, and investing in food and farming infrastructure, Theo seeks to inspire community members to invest in communities to receive the highest Community Benefit Returns on Investment (CBROI). In collaboration with many amazing people and organizations, Theo seeks to catalyze nutrient dense food for all.

Elizabeth Kaiser

No-till Farmer Singing Frogs Farm

Elizabeth Kaiser with her husband Paul have operated Singing Frogs Farm in Sebastopol, California since 2007. With a background in tropical agroforestry, natural resource management and public health in the Sahel of West Africa, Central America as well as Northern California, they had fresh insights into farming and as such developed Singing Frogs Farm’s innovative model. Their farm is multi-award winning for their highly intensive, no-till, ecological management system. They have increased their soil organic matter by over 300%, while drastically reducing their water use and generating over $100,000 per acre in sales. Recently, they have focused on teaching their model of successful small-scale, regenerative, no-till vegetable production.

John W. Roulac

Founder of Nutiva

John W. Roulac is the founder of Nutiva, the world’s leading organic superfoods brand of hemp, coconut, chia and red palm. Founded in 1999 and dedicated to nourishing people and planet, Nutiva has been named one of Inc. magazine’s fastest-growing companies in America for seven years in a row.

A longtime advocate for healthy people and ecosystems, with expertise ranging from home composting and natural healing to forestry and hemp agriculture, John has authored four books on environmental topics, with combined sales of more than one million copies. He helped jumpstart the modern home-composting movement in the early 1990s and successfully sued the US DEA to keep hemp foods legal in 2001. He has founded four nonprofit ecological groups, including John speaks on environmental issues at various conferences, including but not limited to Soil Not Oil, EcoFarm, Provender Alliance andBioneers.

Michelle Perro

M.D. Author of What's Making Our Children Sick

Michelle Perro, MD, is a veteran pediatrician with over thirty-seven years of experience in acute and integrative medicine. More than ten years ago, Dr. Perro transformed her clinical practice to include pesticide and health advocacy. She has both directed and worked as attending physician from New York’s Metropolitan Hospital to UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland. Dr. Perro has managed her own business, Down to Earth Pediatrics. She is currently lecturing and consulting as well as working with Gordon Medical Associates, an integrative health center in Northern California.

Gary Graham Hughes

Friends of the Earth Senior California Advocacy Campaigner on climate, energy, forest and water issues.

Gary Graham Hughes works on climate, energy, forest and water issues as the Senior California Advocacy Campaigner. Gary has extensive domestic experience in the Western states of the U.S. and has worked throughout Latin America. Prior to working with Friends of the Earth, Gary worked with the Environmental Protection Information Center in the Redwood temperate rain forests of Northern California, and as the Patagonia Campaign Coordinator with International Rivers. He has led trips in some of the most spectacular wild areas in the Americas as a wilderness and mountain instructor with Outward Bound and the National Outdoor Leadership School. Gary earned a B.Sc. in Sociology from the University of Oregon, and a M.Sc. in the interdisciplinary Environmental Studies Program at the University of Montana. He lives in the East Bay with his wife and daughter.

Sarah Green

CFP®, Co-Founder and Principal of Transformative Wealth Management, LLC.

Sarah Green CFP®, Co-Founder and Principal of Transformative Wealth Management, LLC serves individuals, families and small businesses to invest their savings in a way that stewards the sanctuary of our planet as well as their own long term interests. Sarah helps clients navigate and simplify all aspects of their long term investments, from portfolio management to financial planning and operational logistics. She organizes within the investment community to raise awareness, shine a light and advocate for consumer wellbeing where common good overlaps with corporate and policy interest. Before her investment work, Sarah developed and implemented a children’s yoga program for a child development center in underserved communities in San Francisco: Hunter’s Point, Western Addition and the Haight-Ashbury. When she began working with investments in 2000, she continued to lead children and family yoga at other community venues. Economic empowerment of children, social justice and intergenerational planning influences her work today to serve clients on a collective journey toward global peace.
Sarah is a member of the US Social Investment Forum (US SIF) and runs the local, grass roots study group Bay Area Social Investment Forum (BASIF). She is a Certified Financial Planner® and member of the First Affirmative Financial Network. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Unity Church of Richmond East Bay and actively volunteers in her community.

Andrew Behar

As You Sow CEO

Andrew Behar, As You Sow CEO, has 30 years of experience as a Senior Executive and strategist in the cleantech, communications, and life science sectors. Prior to joining As You Sow, Andrew founded and was CEO of a start-up developing innovative fuel cell technologies. He is a member of the board of US Social Investing Forum (US-SIF) is a member of the UN Sustainable Stock Exchange Green Finance Advisory Group. His book, The Shareholders Action Guide: Unleash Your Hidden Powers to Hold Corporations Accountable was published in November 2016 by Berrett-Koehler.

Antonia Juhasz

Oil & Energy Analyst, Author and Investigative Journalist

Antonia Juhasz is a leading energy analyst, author, and investigative journalist specializing in oil. Her investigations have taken her a mile below the ocean surface in the Gulf of Mexico to the rainforests of the Ecuadoran Amazon, from the deserts of Afghanistan to the fracking fields of North Dakota, from the Alaskan Arctic to the oiled beaches of Santa Barbara, and many more places in between. Antonia reported from Standing Rock on the Dakota Access Pipeline for Pacific Standard Magazine and Grist. She completed a series of six articles for Newsweek on the UN Paris climate talks, reporting from Alaska, North Dakota and Paris. She holds a Masters Degree in Public Policy from Georgetown University and a Bachelors Degree in Public Policy from Brown University. She is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors. Antonia founded and runs the (Un)Covering Oil Investigative Reporting Program, a project of the Society of Environmental Journalists (her fiscal sponsor). Antonia is a Yale University Poynter Fellow in Journalism.

Osprey Orielle Lake

Founder and Executive Director of the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International

Osprey Orielle Lake is the Founder and Executive Director of the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International, and originator of the Women Speak project. She works nationally and internationally with grassroots and Indigenous leaders, policy-makers and scientists to promote climate justice, resilient communities, and a just transition to a clean energy future. Osprey serves on the Executive Committee of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature and is the visionary behind the International Women’s Earth and Climate Summit, which brought together 100 women leaders from around the world to draft and implement a Women’s Climate Action Agenda. She teaches international climate trainings and directs WECAN’s advocacy work in areas such as Women for Forests, Divest/Invest/Protect, Rights of Nature and UN Forums. Osprey is the author of the award-winning book, Uprisings for the Earth: Reconnecting Culture with Nature.

Timothy J. LaSalle, Ph.D

Co-Founder and Co-Director

About Timothy J. LaSalle, Ph.D.
Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Regenerative Agriculture Initiative, CSU Chico.
LaSalle has served as the first CEO of Rodale Institute, Executive Director of the Allan Savory Center for Holistic Management, consultant, advisor, and research coordinator for the Howard Buffett Foundation in Africa on soils and food security for smallholder farmers.
He is Professor Emeritus of California Polytechnic State University, Adjunct Professor CSU Chico, and former President/CEO, of the California Agriculture Leadership Program.

Kathleen McAfee

Professor & Author

Kathleen McAfee’s research is about “selling nature to save it”: climate cap-&-trade, carbon offsets, payments for ecosystem services, other market-based and alternative approaches linking climate change, public health, food, and environmental justice. She received a PhD in Geography from UC Berkeley after a career in international development. She has authored a book, Storm Signals, and many articles on environment, agriculture, trade, debt, and the limits of capitalism. She was a co-founder of City Life/Vida Urbana and has ties with social-justice movements in different world regions. Before joining the International Relations Department at San Francisco State University, Professor McAfee was on the faculty of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. In California she works with local organizations against the expansion of fossil fuel operations.

Chris Carlsson

Co-Director of the “History from Below” Project Shaping San Francisco

Chris Carlsson, co-director of the “history from below” project Shaping San Francisco, is a writer, publisher, editor, and frequent public speaker. Carlsson moved to San Francisco in 1978 after growing up in the East Bay, and took up residence in the Mission District in 1987. Carlsson was one of the founders in 1981 of the seminal and infamous underground San Francisco magazine Processed World. In 1992 Carlsson was one of the co-founders of Critical Mass in San Francisco, which not only led to the boom in bicycling locally but spread across the planet and has been the incubator for transformative urban movements in hundreds of cities, large and small, worldwide. In 1995 Carlsson and his colleagues began work on “Shaping San Francisco”. Since then Shaping San Francisco has grown into a multi-faceted project consisting of an incomparable archive of San Francisco history at, award-winning bicycle and walking tours, and more than a decade of Public Talks covering history, politics, ecology, art, and more (see Carlsson has written two books, including a novel set in a future “post-economic” San Francisco (After the Deluge, Full Enjoyments Books: 2004), and edited six books including three “Reclaiming San Francisco” collections with the venerable City Lights Books. He redesigned and co-authored an expanded Vanished Waters: A History of San Francisco’s Mission Bay after which he joined the board of the Mission Creek Conservancy; he is on the board of the San Francisco Community Land Trust, and also serves as an advisor to the Shipyard Trust for the Arts at Hunter’s Point. He has given hundreds of public presentations based on Shaping San Francisco, Critical Mass, Nowtopia, Vanished Waters, and his “Reclaiming San Francisco” history anthologies since the late 1990s, and has appeared dozens of times in radio, television and on the internet.

Leila Salazar Lopez

Executive Director, Amazon Watch, United States

Leila is a mother; proud Chicana-Latina woman; and passionate defender of Mother Earth, the Amazon, indigenous rights and climate justice. Since 2015 she has served as the Executive Director of Amazon Watch, leading the organization in its work to protect and defend the bio-cultural and climate integrity of the Amazon rainforest by advancing indigenous peoples' rights, territories, and solutions. For 20+ years Leila has worked to defend the world's rainforests, human rights, and the climate through grassroots organizing and international advocacy campaigns at Amazon Watch, Rainforest Action Network, Global Exchange, and Green Corps. She is a 1998 graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara. Leila lives in San Francisco, CA with her husband and two young daughters.

Jeff Connant

Director of Friends of the Earth’s international forests program

Jeff Conant directs Friends of the Earth’s international forests program, which protects forests and the rights of forest-dependent peoples by addressing the economic drivers of forest destruction. Previously Jeff worked with Global Justice Ecology Project where he advocated for climate justice at the U.N. and other global arenas; with International Accountability Project he co-authored a Community Guide to the Environmental and Social Safeguards of the Asian Development Bank; and with Hesperian Health Guides he co-authored A Community Guide to Environmental Health, a grassroots manual published in over a dozen languages. Jeff is also author of A Poetics of Resistance, about Mexico’s Zapatista movement, and translator of Wind in the Blood: Mayan Healing and Chinese Medicine. In his spare time he writes, raises bees, chickens and vegetables, and enjoys biking, cooking, and art of all sorts.

Mackenzie Feldman

Co-Founder, Student Ambassador, writer

Mackenzie Feldman: Mackenzie graduated from UC Berkeley in Spring 2018 with a degree in Society and Environment and a minor in Food Systems. She is the co-founder of Herbicide-Free Cal, and was the UC Global Food Initiative Student Ambassador for UC Berkeley. Mackenzie and her mom are currently writing a plant-based cookbook that they hope to be finished with by the end of the year.

Brock Dolman

Co-Director of Water Institute at Occidental Arts & Ecology Center

Brock Dolman is a wildlife biologist and is internationally recognized as a restoration ecologist and renowned innovator in watershed management and Permaculture design. Brock integrates wildlife biology, native California botany and watershed ecology with education about regenerative human settlement design, ethno-ecology, and ecological literacy to illuminate what it is to live in partnership with a living, emergent Earth and engender societal transformation. Brock co-founded the Sowing Circle, LLC Intentional Community & Occidental Arts and Ecology Center (OAEC) where he continues to reside and act as a co-director of OAEC’s Permaculture/Resilient Community Design Program, Wildlands Program and WATER Institute. He has taught Permaculture and consulted on regenerative project design and implementation in 15 countries and widely in the U.S. He has been the keynote presenter at numerous conferences and is featured in the award-winning films The 11th Hour by Leonardo DiCaprio, The Call of Life by Species Alliance, and Permaculture: A Quiet Revolution by Vanessa Shultz. Brock graduated with honors from the University of California Santa Cruz in Agro-Ecology and Conservation Biology.

Janelle Orsi

Executive Direcotr and Co-Founder of the Sustainable Economies Law Center

Janelle Orsi is a lawyer, advocate, writer, and cartoonist focused on cooperatives, land trusts, sustainable agriculture, community-owned energy, shared housing, and the creation of a more just and equitable society. She is co-founder and Executive Director of the Sustainable Economies Law Center (in Oakland, CA) and author of Practicing Law in the Sharing Economy.

Greg Karras

Senior Scientist of Communities for a Better Environment

Greg Karras is the Richmond, California-based Senior Scientist of Communities for a Better Environment. He has authored or co-authored twenty major scientific publication and is an expert in oil refinery pollution and pollution prevention engineering.

Cynthia Daley

Professor within the College of Agriculture at California State University, Chico

Cynthia Daley is a professor within the College of Agriculture at California State University, Chico, and Co-Director of the Regenerative Agriculture Initiative (RAI), a program designed to support producer trainings, applied research and educational programming in regenerative production practices. This consortium of farmers and scientists support the ideology that when done regeneratively, agriculture can be the solution to soil degradation and climate change.

Rob Bennaton

University of California Cooperative Extension Bay Area Urban Agriculture Advisor

Rob Bennaton is the UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Bay Area Urban Ag Advisor and Alameda/Contra Costa UCCE County Director. His urban ag applied research and education program focuses on providing technical support for urban food growers around urban soils management, food safety towards the development of food safety and soils safety plans, and horticultural education. His urban ag policy programming focuses on policy development and technical advising related to land use and community based urban farm and community garden site governance and management.

Bennaton has over 23 years of experience in horticulture/community development, habitat restoration and youth programming. Prior to UCCE, he was a Community Coordinator at the NYC Housing Authority’s Garden & Greening Program where he increased program participation to over 3000 members supporting 743 gardens citywide, leveraged >$4.5 million in-kind resources, and spearheaded the installation of NYCHA’s first rainwater harvesting system. Previously, Bennaton worked as a Forester for NY’s Department of Parks and Recreation on frontline ecological restoration of the Bronx River and local deciduous forests. Working with various non-profits, he has also taught youth/adult staff/volunteers stream bank/forest restoration, led AmeriCorps teams in organic vegetable production for donation to the homeless/AIDS patients and managed a farmer’s market. He also spent 16 years supervising programming and staff on weekends at an interactive organic children’s farm called the Howell Family Garden at the NY Botanical Garden.

Bridget Gustafson

3rd Year Undergraduate Student at UC Berkeley

Bridget Gustafson: Bridget is a 3rd year undergraduate student at UC Berkeley studying Molecular Environmental Biology. She co-founded Herbicide-Free Cal with Mackenzie, and serves as the Co-Chair of the Junior Board of The Swifty Foundation, which raises funds and awareness for pediatric brain cancer research in celebration of the life of Bridget's twin brother, Michael Gustafson.

Howard Vlieger

Third Generation Family Farmer

Howard Vlieger is a third generation family farmer who has been a “student of the soil,” studying why and how the soil works as it does, since 1989. Howard lives on the family farm where he was born and raised in northwest Iowa, and assists his son with the work on their diverse family farm. Since 1992 Howard has been a crop and livestock nutrition adviser. He founded three companies to help family farmers reduce their dependency on chemical- based farming and transition to biological and/or organic crop production methods. Howard has been privileged to work with crop and livestock family farming operations all over the US and Canada.
Howard also works with scientists and researchers around the world investigating problems caused by GMOs and the chemicals used in growing them and developing effective solutions, based on the latest science, to solve the real-life problems farmers are experiencing because of the GMO crops and glyphosate herbicides. Howard is a co-author and the primary coordinator of a first of its kind scientific study: the feeding of Non-GMO grain and GMO grain to pigs for their lifetime as a meat animal. Howard is an internationally recognized educator and speaker on the topic of GMOs.
Howard serves on the board of directors for the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (FARFA) and the Council for Healthy Food Systems (CHFS). Howard serves on the advisory board for GMO Free USA.
“It is an amazing opportunity to be a caretaker of the soil. The good Lord made an amazing creation when He created the soil. It is a true joy to continue the never ending learning experience of working with all of the biological and elemental components of the soil to produce a clean, nutrient dense food for all deserving families to eat. It is an even greater privilege to work with family farmers to help them gain a better understanding of crop and livestock production (nature’s way) to produce a premium quality food.”
Howard’s greatest accomplishment is that of being a Christian husband to his wonderful wife Pamela of 37 plus years, a father to 3 young adult children and proud grandfather of three.

Shoshana Wechsler

Founding Member of the Sunflower Alliance

Shoshana Wechsler is a founding member of the Sunflower Alliance and on the Steering Committee of 350 Bay Area. She serves on the Sustainability Commission of Contra Costa County.

Stacy Malkan

Co-Founder and Co-Director of US Right to Know

Stacy Malkan,
Is the co-founder and co-director of US Right to Know, a nonprofit organization working for transparency and accountability in our nation’s food system. Stacy is the author of the award-winning book, “Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry. She is a co-founder of the national Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a coalition of health and environmental groups that pressured major cosmetics companies to remove hazardous chemicals from personal care products. She also served as media director for the California Right to Know ballot initiative to label genetically engineered foods. She currently reports about pesticides, GMOs and how the agrichemical companies mislead the public, media and policy makers.

Alan Laubsch

CEO of GenBlue

Alan Laubsch
Alan is an entrepreneur, connector, and a thought leader in risk management. His mission is to protect vital ecosystems and empower the regenerative economy with exponential technologies. Alan is CEO of GenBlue, a venture studio for nature. Previously, Alan established Natural Capital Markets at Lykke AG, and listed the world’s first mangrove and Blue Carbon backed blockchain token (TREE). Alan has over two decades of risk management experience with leading financial institutions, and was a founding member of the RiskMetrics Group, a JPMorgan spin-off. Alan is an avid kitesurfer and an ocean lover.

Margaret Rossoff

Activist with the No Coal in Oakland campaign

Margaret Rossoff is an activist with the No Coal in Oakland campaign and the Sunflower Alliance.

Tom Duncan

CEO & Founder of LiquidToken

Personal Bio
Mr Duncan is the CEO & Founder of and Regen Investment. Tom was involved in sustainable agriculture for many years growing up on a farm and as a consultant in the Asia Pacific region. Tom invested a floating wetlands technology to bioremediate lakes and prevent algal blooms, called AquaBiofilter. He managed a small intergenerational fund for over a decade and is an experienced securities and project investment and finance professional for large and small projects, including land and water restoration and renewables. Previous roles include leading the Strategic Planning Unit’s Decision Support System (DSS) for Melbourne Water Corporation’s $16B AUM. Tom developed the Corporation’s strategic plan to mitigate risk and plan for asset protection through scenario testing of extreme climate disruption, catastrophic fire and flood. He developed investment prioritization tools and decision making algorithms via complex quantitative and qualitative modeling. This work enabled the water management authority to create climate resilient infrastructure and maintain high water quality for ecosystems and residential drinking water.

Niria Alicia

Xicana Storyteller and Community Organizer

Born in Oregon to a migrant farmworker from Michoacan, and a former northwest tree planter from Chihuahua Mexico, Niria Alicia is a Xicana storyteller and community organizer who's work is rooted in her spirituality, undying love for her community and her commitment to the decolonization, decarbonization and collective liberation of Mother Earth and humanity. As a writer, she has contributed to environmental blogs, local newspapers and magazines in English and Spanish writing about the effects that pesticides, pipelines and climate change have on frontline communities. In her creative works she has also contributed poems and short stories exploring the themes of ancestry, healing, and sacred activism. As an Organizer she has worked on campaigns with Earthjustice, Our Children's Trust and the Winnemem Wintu Tribe. She is enamored by the sacred force of migration by both humans, land relatives and water relatives and works to protect the sacredness of migration through the restoration of salmon runs and the dignification of human migration. Niria believes migration is sacred and says, ``Nothing great ever happened by you sitting still. To transform and to be transformed is our greatest calling. The great forces of change manifest through the migration of all beings. The great energies that create this universe can only exist in movement, to be stagnant is to be dead. And even our spirit takes flight after the soul is released and the body is returned to the Earth. Migration is our birth right. Migration is sacred and we must protect it.``

Bronte Velez

Black-Latinx Multimedia Artist

Bronte Velez
brontë is guided by “the many rivers that have come together” to make and sustain them. as a black-latinx multimedia artist, life-long student, and designer, their praxis (theory + action) lives at the intersections of critical geography, black liberation ecologies and creative placemaking. they live by the call that ``black wellness is the antithesis of state violence`` (Mark Anthony Johnson). their work intends to compost the violences forged by environmental racism through radical imagination. this commitment iterates through several mediums (farming, ancestral arts skills, popular education) and this year grows through Lead to Life where they serve as the creative director for a process where they transform weapons into shovels and hold ceremonial tree and garden plantings at sites impacted by violence. they are committed to joy, wellness, decomposition as rebellion and walking in the prayer that “justice is what love looks like in public”.

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