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.

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.

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

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.

Carey Gillam

Veteran investigative journalist and Author of ``Whitewash``

Long version: Carey Gillam is a veteran investigative journalist, researcher and writer with more than 25 years of experience covering corporate news, including 17 years as a senior correspondent for Reuters international news service. She has specialty knowledge regarding the rise of biotech crop technology and associated rise in pervasive pesticide use in our farming and food production system. Gillam works now both as a freelance writer and researcher on food and chemical policy issues and directs research for the nonprofit consumer group U.S. Right to Know. Gillam has won several industry awards for her work and been recognized as one of the top journalists in the country covering food and agriculture. Her new book “Whitewash- The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer and the Corruption of Science” was released in October 2017 and won the coveted Rachel Carson Book Award from the Society of Environmental Journalists.
SHORTER version:
Carey Gillam is a veteran investigative journalist with more than 25 years of experience covering corporate news, including 17 years as a senior correspondent for Reuters international news service. She is the author of “Whitewash- The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer and the Corruption of Science,” an expose of corporate corruption in agriculture. The book won the coveted Rachel Carson Book Award from the Society of Environmental Journalists.
Gillam works now as Research Director for the non-profit US Right to Know.

Dr. Elena Kahn

Mexican Activist, Filmmaker, Educator and Founder and President of NGO Gerreros Verdes.


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.

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 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.

Aidee Guzman

PhD Candidate, UC Berkeley

Aidee Guzman works with Southeast Asian and Latinx small-scale farmers embedded in the monoculture landscape of California's Central Valley. Her research explores how on-farm diversification practices influence ``soil health`` and its links to other ecological processes. Aidee’s research aims to use social and ecological approaches to support farmers and rural livelihoods.

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”.

Leila Darwish

Author, Educator and Permaculture Designer.

Lexie Gropper is the Lead Scientist, Educator, and Product Consultant for Amisacho Restoration Park located in the Sucumbios province of the Ecuadorian Amazon, where she is investigating fungal cultivation and plant propagation for bioremediation and reforestation in the Amazon rainforest climate. As a cultural mediator, Lexie coordinates international scientists and activists to integrate their work with local organizations in Sucumbios for environmental projects in a wide range of fields, including bioremediation of environmental contamination, sustainable agriculture practices, and culturally sensitive tourism. Her personal researches dive into the field of applied mycology studying mushroom cultivation for food, medicine, and bioremediation, as well as the development of Amazonian self-care products.

Currently Lexie works as the Field Coordinator for the collaboration between CoRenewal, a 501(c)3 U.S. non-profit, and the Union of Affected People against Texaco, an environmental rights organization in Ecuador, to provide capacity building programs and hands-on trainings to the first Environmental Reparations Committees (ERC) consisting of community leaders from the petroleum-contaminated region of Sucumbios. This collaboration is specifically focused on embedding technical skills within the ERC and outreach communities to thoroughly respond to not only historical pollution but also ongoing pollution from expanding extractive activities.

Carmen Mata

Indigenous FarmWorker, San Quintin Baja California

Carmen Mata is an indigenous farmworker from Oaxaca who has been working in the fields since she was 8 years old. Currently she lives with her family and work in the ``San Quintín Valley” of Baja California.
She has experienced and being exposed all kind of workplace and human rights violations, that every day all women suffer in the fields. Many women have suffer abortions due intense exposition to pesticides, their fetuses do not develop completely and die. Lack of clinics, insurances or regular housing cause many diseases such as arthritis, cancer, rheumatism, spinal problems, leukemia, bronchitis and among many other health issues. Farmworkers in San Quintin work more than mas 13 hours for a salary under $150 pesos -$8 Dollars-.

Karen Brown

Creative Director of the Center for Ecoliteracy

Karen Brown is creative director of the Center for Ecoliteracy. As creative director, her work has received recognition across the United States and beyond for its effectiveness in communicating complex, technical, or systemic issues with clarity, concision, and appeal. Her work has been included in the Smithsonian Institution and Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, and featured in The New York Times, Architectural Digest, and dozens of other popular and technical publications as well as on Today on NBC. She has lectured on design and environmental topics throughout the United States, Japan, and Europe. She is a co-author of the Center's latest interactive educational resource, Understanding Food and Climate Change, which she announced in April 2018 at the United Nations on International Mother Earth Day at the invitation of the President of the General Assembly, and which is available free at

Luis Olmedo

Executive Director of Comite Civico del Valle

Luis Olmedo Executive Director of Comite Civico del Valle, an organization located in the California Salton Sea Region whose mission focuses on addressing environmental justice and public health, with the endeavor of improving the lives of disadvantaged communities primarily located the Imperial and Coachella Valleys. Luis Olmedo is a community activist who advises on local, regional, and state environmental health programs affecting Imperial County and Eastern Coachella Valley and a member of various state and national networks that focus on environmental policy and regulation. His organization has partnered with academic and research institutions to expand environmental research in Imperial County. Currently partnered with other non-profit institutions, health agencies, and governmental entities with projects focusing on asthma, air quality monitoring, Salton Sea education and advocacy.

Lexie Gropper i

Lead Scientist, Educator, and Product Consultant for Amisacho Restoration Park

Lexie Gropper is the Lead Scientist, Educator, and Product Consultant for Amisacho Restoration Park located in the Sucumbios province of the Ecuadorian Amazon, where she is investigating fungal cultivation and plant propagation for bioremediation and reforestation in the Amazon rainforest climate. As a cultural mediator, Lexie coordinates international scientists and activists to integrate their work with local organizations in Sucumbios for environmental projects in a wide range of fields, including bioremediation of environmental contamination, sustainable agriculture practices, and culturally sensitive tourism. Her personal researches dive into the field of applied mycology studying mushroom cultivation for food, medicine, and bioremediation, as well as the development of Amazonian self-care products.

Currently Lexie works as the Field Coordinator for the collaboration between CoRenewal, a 501(c)3 U.S. non-profit, and the Union of Affected People against Texaco, an environmental rights organization in Ecuador, to provide capacity building programs and hands-on trainings to the first Environmental Reparations Committees (ERC) consisting of community leaders from the petroleum-contaminated region of Sucumbios. This collaboration is specifically focused on embedding technical skills within the ERC and outreach communities to thoroughly respond to not only historical pollution but also ongoing pollution from expanding extractive activities.

Maya Elson

Executive Director of CoRenewal and Amazon Mycorenewal Project

Maya Elson is a teacher, naturalist, mycologist, organizer and lover of the wild. As the Executive Director of CoRenewal and Amazon Mycorenewal Project, she is dedicated to enacting effective and just solutions to environmental and social crises. As one of the founding members of the Radical Mycology network, she’s worked on various fungal cultivation and educational projects in Olympia, WA and the San Francisco Bay area. She’s worked as a campaign organizer with a number of climate justice and wilderness defense struggles over many years. Maya is the founder and a guide for Wild Child Santa Cruz, a nature immersion program for homeschoolers. As an instructor of Mycopermaculture, Fungal Biology, Mycorenewal and Mushroom Identification for both adults and children, she has experience writing curriculum and giving mycology-related workshops. She is currently studying Ecopsychology, leading mushroom hunts and doing rites of passage for young women with Gaia Girls.

Humberto Lugo

California Environmental Justice Coalition

Humberto Lugo, California Environmental Justice Coalition
is a community organizer & advocate for environmental justice. Broadly, he
works at the intersection of policy and organizing regarding issues of air quality, climate change,
natural resources protection, land-use, and zero emission technologies. Currently, he is the lead
coordinator for the largest community-based air monitoring network in the US called IVAN Air at
the Comite Civico del Valle. In this position, Mr. Lugo engages and partners with communities,
academics and public officials throughout CA and the nation by way of citizen science.
He serves as a policy advocate with multiple organizations and coalitions,including the
California Environmental Justice
Coalition, the largest and most diverse environmental justice coalition in the state , and operates on the principles of unity
and solidarity, CEJC is a grassroots community led coalition of over 70 diverse community organizations, and was founded in Kettleman City in the San Joaquin Valley in 2014

Adam Sacks

Executive Director of Biodiversity for a Livable Climate

Adam has had careers in education, holistic medicine, computer technology, politics and advocacy. For five years he directed a non-profit that worked with communities invoking basic democratic and constitutional principles to oppose detrimental local corporate activity. He has been a climate activist for the past fifteen years and has been studying and writing about Holistic Management since 2007. On the side he is an artist, writer and student of classical piano. His primary goal is regeneration of biodiversity to reverse global warming and a livable planet.

Alisha Utter

Plant and Soil Science/Agroecology PhD Student; Veganic Farmer

Alisha earned a bachelor's degree in Environmental Policy and Marine Science from the University of California San Diego. She is currently a doctoral student at the University of Vermont where she studies Plant and Soil Science with a focus on agroecology. Alisha's dissertation research is examining the principles of veganic agriculture, as identified by farmers within the United States. Outside of academia, she co-stewards a small, diversified (veganic) fruit farm in the Lake Champlain Islands of Vermont and sells fresh fruit and fruit products direct-to-consumers.

Alisha serves as a board member for various agricultural organizations, including the Vermont Vegetable and Berry Growers' Association, Vermont Young Farmers' Coalition, and the Champlain Islands Farmers' Market. In 2017, Alisha was recognized as the Northeast Scholar by the James Beard Foundation.

Anaisabel Mercado

Artist, producer and permaculture designer, founder of La Guajira Restoration Project

Anaisabel is an artist, producer, and permaculture designer from Colombia. As a producer, she most recently worked on “El río que se robaron” (The River That was Stolen), an exposé of the health and environmental crisis affecting the Wayuu indigenous people of her native country. This documentary film served as legal proof in a case that was presented before the Inter-American court of Human Rights, whose ruling was in favor of the Wayuu Nation.
This work led her to founding La Guajira Restoration Project, a women led greening-the-desert initiative that transforms the landscape by applying a combination of Wayuu ancestral wisdom and permaculture principles of interconnectedness for the regeneration of the land. The expression of the integral sum of all aspects coexisting within the space: the people, the cosmology and beliefs constituting their culture and spirituality, the elements and the biodiversity, contribute to the creation of this Land Art piece that is alive and fruitful and serves as a demonstration site for what a holistic land intervention can accomplish.
As a designer, she focuses on repurposing and retrofitting existing materials in order to design holistic experiences and beautiful, efficient spaces, including curating art exhibits, dinners and events, where resourcefulness and creativity take center stage in her people and earth centered approach.

Andre Leu

International Director of Regeneration International

Andre Leu is the Author of ‘Poisoning our Children’ and the ‘Myths of Safe Pesticides.’ He is the International Director of Regeneration International, an organization that promotes food, farming and land use systems that regenerate and stabilise climate systems, the health of the planet and people, communities, culture and local economies, democracy and peace.

He was the President of IFOAM – Organics International, the world change agent and umbrella body for the organic sector from 2011 -2017. IFOAM – Organics International has around 850 member organisations in127 countries.

Andre has a degree in Communications, with a double major in Video/TV Production and Socio-political Theory. He has post-graduate qualifications in adult education.

Andre worked as a professional musician for many years. As well as performing and recording in bands, he worked in film and video production. This included computer animation, sound tracks, composing music, music videos and editing.

He lectures and teaches at universities, institutions and workshops around the world. He speaks at numerous conferences, seminars, workshops as well as United Nations events on every continent. He meets with governments, industry, farmers, consumers and NGOs on the multi-functional benefits of regenerative organic agriculture.

He has an extensive knowledge of farming and environmental systems across Asia, Europe, the Americas, Africa and Australasia from over 40 years of visiting and working in over 100 countries. Andre and his wife, Julia, have an organic tropical fruit farm in Daintree, Australia.

He has published extensively in magazines, newspapers, journals, conference proceedings, newsletters, websites and other media, as well as doing numerous media interviews for TV, Radio and online systems.

Barbara Love

Co-leader of Sustaining All Life

Co-leader of Sustaining All Life and United to End Racism Delegation and International Liberation Reference Person for African Heritage People and Black Community Development Project.


Native rights activist, environmentalist and actress

Native rights activist, environmentalist and actress
Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca) is a long-time Native rights activist, environmentalist and actress. As traditional Drumkeeper for the Ponca Pa-tha-ta, Woman’s Scalp Dance Society, Camp-Horinek helps maintain the cultural identity of the Ponca Nation of Oklahoma for herself, her family and her community. She has been at the forefront of grassroots community efforts to educate and empower both Native and non-Native community members on environmental and civil rights issues. In April of 2008 Camp-Horinek, as a delegate of the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), was chosen to speak to the United Nations Permanent Forum on indigenous Issues and present IEN’s global platform regarding the environment and Native rights.

Clare Hedin

Co-Founder/Co-Author/Director of Cal Con Con Initiative

Co-Founder/Co-Author/Director of Cal Con Con Initiative.
Researcher of Consciousness and Social Change, multi-disciplinary Artist and Healer. She advocates for healthy waters, land and air and restoring right relationship to ourselves, each other and earth. Educator at SFSU, teaching management students creativity & ethically sustainable Innovation. Pending member of UN Harmony with Nature panel. Featured on ABC 7, KTVU, KCRW, Mother Jones, Infowars, Snopes, Jefferson Public Radio, The Daily Californian.

David Leon Zink

Executive Director | California Trails Education Project

David once got lost on the Continental Divide -- so he knows the value of a good trail!

His career spans both music and the business world. David got his professional start with the legendary New Christy Minstrels, and as a performing songwriter and recording artist he's toured extensively in Europe and the U.S. His work as a business consultant has included connecting local governments and nonprofits to federal funding opportunities.

Edward Willie

Educator and Permaculture Designer

Edward Willie, a true native of California (of Pomo, Wintu, Paiute, and Wailaki ancestry), is a native ecologist with 40 years’ experience teaching Traditional Ecological Knowledge, herbalism, permaculture, and ancient skills to people of all ages. Also an artist (drawing, painting, and sculpture), he has in recent years been a core organizer of the annual Buckeye Gathering, a gathering in support of ancestral arts.

Eric Steenstra

President, VOTE HEMP

Eric Steenstra is a hemp industry pioneer beginning as a co-founder and CEO of hemp clothing and lifestyle brand Ecolution in 1993. Steenstra was a founding member of the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) and served as its Executive Director from 2007 through 2016. During that time he grew HIA membership by more than 300%. Steenstra now serves as the president of Vote Hemp, the political advocacy organization that he cofounded in 2000.

Vote Hemp has been instrumental in getting pro-hemp legislation passed in 40 states. In 2005, Steenstra worked with Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) to get the first modern U.S. hemp legislation (H.R. 3037) introduced in Congress and in 2012 he worked with Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) to get hemp legislation introduced in the U.S.
Senate. Vote Hemp’s outreach, education and vote whipping efforts made it possible to get 225 bi-partisan votes to pass the Polis amendment. Steenstra worked closely with Congressman Polis (D-CO) and Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) to have breakthrough hemp legislation included in the 2014 Farm Bill that ultimately enabled the first legal hemp farming in over 50 years. Section 7606 of the Farm Bill resulted in 25,712 acres of hemp being planted across 19 states by 1452 licensed farmers and university researchers under state hemp pilot programs in 2017.

Gail M. Williamson

Director of National Equal Justice Association (NEJA)

Gail M. Williamson is Director of National Equal Justice Association (NEJA), and publisher of the quarterly NEJA Bulletin. NEJA is an all volunteer non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1981 by clergy, attorneys and other civil and community activists which provides publicity, sponsorship and support for low-income workers and others fighting for equal justice. A graduate of Bowdoin College, she has a 35 year history working with numerous grassroots, community-based organizations.

Jeff Borum

Director of National Equal Justice Association (NEJA)

Jeff Borum is the Soil Health Coordinator for East Stanislaus Resource Conservation District (RCD). Over t he past few years, he has focused on building a strong foundation for state wide grower-led networks while simultaneously managing other projects, such as a collection of 17 compost field trials and several cover crop demonstrations spanning across California. Previously, he worked for San Joaquin RC D as Biological Technician for the NRCS Plant Materials Center in Lockeford , where he oversaw soil health trials, as well as designed and implemented restoration plans. Jeff was born in Ventura County, went to school and work ed in a few different regions of the U.S., and then obtained a B.S. in Environmental Science with a minor in Physics from Humboldt State. He now lives full-time in his pop-up camper, traveling throughout California so that he can find out what is really going on in ag at the local level. Jeff also e njoys fighting for food, shelter, clothing, healthcare, and education for all—if you have any ideas on ways to fight harder or smarter, please feel free to send a message his way.

Jo Ann Baumgartner

Executive Director of Wild Farm Alliance (WFA)

Jo Ann Baumgartner, the executive director of Wild Farm Alliance (WFA), promotes a healthy viable agriculture that protects and restores wild Nature. She is the author and editor of many conservation-based publications. Before joining WFA in 2001, she worked for other sustainable agricultural nonprofits, and was an organic farmer for over a decade. She has a keen interest in the conservation of native species for their own sake, and the connections between farms and the larger ecosystem.

Kanyon Sayers-Roods

Honored guest of Cal Con Con Initiative Breakout Session

Honored guest of Cal Con Con Initiative Breakout Session.
I am Ohlone & Chumash - California Native Woman. I am a creative Artist, ever inspired by nature and the natural world, Catalyst of decolonizing conversations, contemporary & traditional multi-media Artist, Native Representative, Consultant, Advocate of Truth in History, ``Coyote``, T.E.K. Educator, Founder of Indian Canyon Two-Spirit Society, CEO of Kanyon Konsulting, Cultural Director & COO of Costanoan Indian Research, Cultural Representative and Native Monitor for Indian Canyon Mutsun Band of Costanoan Ohlone People.


Bee Box Wrangler

Started out in photography but then hit the harder stuff..visual anthropology. Worked/traveled in SE Asia.. Came back to the USA to keep bees and build EVs. Currently devoted to Rehydration, soil carbon sequestration and 3 million little girls with wings.

Marcus Ruiz Evans

Co-Founder/co-Author/Director of Cal Con Con Initiative

Created the idea of Calexit in 2012 with publication of his book 'California's Next Century 2.0' - first time anyone explored in depth the idea of California's ability to survive as a nation. Interviewed by Politico, New York Times, Fox (Laura Ingraham), FOX with Jesse Watters, Washington Post, NPR, LA Times, LA Weekly, Sac Bee, Mother Jones & Daily Show w/Trevor Noah. Currently serves as President of Yes California, the recognized leader of Calexit movement.

Mari Rose Taruc

AB32 Environmental Justice Advisory Committee, Co-chair

For over 20 years, Mari Rose Taruc has advanced environmental justice campaigns for clean air, affordable housing, renewable energy and climate solutions in local, state, national and international arenas. She has coordinated important EJ formations under the Southwest Network for Environmental and Economic Justice (SNEEJ), Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), California Environmental Justice Alliance (CEJA) and Filipino/American Coalition for Environmental Solidarity (FACES), including the Asian Pacific American Climate Coalition and the SB535 Coalition to ensure that multibillion California climate programs benefit disadvantaged communities. For 5 years, she co-chaired the AB32 Environmental Justice Advisory Committee to push the integration of EJ community solutions into California's climate plans.

Maya Carlson

Organizer at CTJC

Maya comes to CTJC with a background in community organizing that has taken her from India and Ecuador to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, Massachusetts and more recently, the Bay Area. She has worked on women’s reproductive health, indigenous rights, land grabs/housing rights, regenerative agriculture and divestment from fossil fuels. She earned a BA in International Affairs & Anthropology from Northeastern University that focused on decolonization, globalization, and social movements. Her previous professional experience includes working in the fields of environmental education, regenerative agriculture, youth mentorship, community organizing, and social entrepreneurship. She also does organizing work building a cross-sector bioregional network of organizations, coalitions, community groups, and individuals in the East Bay with the vision of building more equitable, supportive, and regenerative communities.

Mia Rose Maltz

Co-Founder of CoRenewal

Mia Maltz received her Ph.D. in 2016 in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, with an emphasis on Ecological Restoration and Fungi. Mia's dissertation work looked at the effects of habitat fragmentation on fungal community composition and function. In addition, she evaluated methods for restoring mycorrhizal fungal function within degraded landscapes and documented how restoration techniques affect fungi. Findings from her research have already been used by land managers and directly incorporated into restoring degraded landscapes.

In an effort to address the tremendous problem of petroleum pollution in Ecuador and to explore the role of fungi in the restoration of severely contaminated land, Mia co-founded the nonprofit CoRenewal and the Amazon Mycorenewal Project, and continues to serve in an advisory capacity, when appropriate. Mia is an active member of the Mycological Society of America (MSA) and her efforts led to the initiation of MSA’s Student Section, as well as the MSA Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and she currently serves as a member of the Student Awards Committee. Additionally, Mia is certified permaculture teacher and has taught numerous workshops on fungi and ecological design.

Mia is currently a Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of California Riverside (UCR), advised by Emma Aronson. In collaboration with the Center for Conservation Biology at UCR, Mia investigates how microbes mediate important biogeochemical reactions relevant to global change, especially within extreme environments.

Michael Gallagher

Writer, painter, musician, and book curator

Michael Gallagher is a writer, painter, musician, and book curator from Oakland, California. He was born of an Irish teacher and a Mexican punk rocker. He got his start writing lyrics in a punk band at the age of 12 in Stockton, California. Later in his teens he joined a spoken word poetry collective called With Our Words and helped lead them to the semi-finals of the Brave New Voices competition two years in a row. A short time after that Michael attended California College of the Arts in Oakland and San Francisco with a major in Writing and Literature. During his stay at CCA he got to learn from masters such as Ishmael Reed and take painting courses on the side. Last year Michael published his first collection of poetry entitled Purple Needle Grass. Purple Needle Grass is a surreal ode to Nasella Pulchra as well as an aggressive, political, and beautiful take on the value of nature. Michael’s poetry often interweaves history, landscape, and personal experience. His work embodies heavy doses of reality as well as a call for change. Michael has worked with organizations such as La Pena – a Chilean-American culture center in Berkeley, California, and FME – an after-school program that provides hip-hop courses to kids in public schools. He is currently working on a science-fiction novel about renewable energy, as well as a collection of poetry about the service industry. For the last few years Michael has played and managed an anti-capitalist rock band who recently played a music festival organized by the anti-human trafficking organization Stellium. He first got into protest during the Occupy Oakland movement in 2011 and hopes to delve deeper into the world of political activism and environmental justice.

Mona Seymour

Associate Professor of Urban and Environmental Studies

Mona Seymour is an Associate Professor of Urban and Environmental at Loyola Marymount University. Her research broadly concerns veganism and the food movement, and her current project is on veganic farming in the United States. She is a member of Seed the Commons’ Working Group on Veganic Farming, which aims to support and spread veganic agriculture in the US.

Nassim Nobari

Executive Director of Seed the Commons

Executive Director of Seed the Commons and Founder of the People’s Harvest Forum. As a social justice and food activist, she has worked with radical community programs in Switzerland and the US and volunteered with peasant organizations in a dozen countries. With Seed the Commons, she strives to continue to help build a food system that works for farmers, workers and eaters, while promoting animal liberation instead of agricultural models based on animal exploitation.

Pam Krone

California Marine Sanctuary Foundation as the agricultural water quality coordinator

Pam Krone works for the California Marine Sanctuary Foundation as the agricultural water quality coordinator, in charge of working collaboratively with growers, ranchers, researchers, technical service providers and other organizations to improve water quality entering the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. She is currently managing a CDFA Healthy Soils Program Demonstration project grant to implement soil health practices that sequester carbon into soils and remove CO2 from the atmosphere on two ranches in Monterey County. Prior to this position, she worked for the NASA-CSUMB collaborative on models that use satellite imagery for estimating evapotranspiration. She has also held positions working in industry as an organization effectiveness consultant, a manager, and a chemical engineer. She has a B.S. degree in chemical engineering from Stanford University and an M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from California State University Monterey Bay.

Spencer Smith

Owner and operator of the Jefferson Center for Holistic Management

Spencer Smith is owner and operator of the Jefferson Center for Holistic Management with his wife, Abbey. He is a certified Holistic Management Field Professional with the Savory Institute. He travels throughout Northern California and Nevada, nationally and internationally conducting Holistic Management workshops, courses, events and consultations. With a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness from CSU,Chico and experience managing cow-calf and yearling cattle herds in Northern California and Nevada, Spencer brings years of ranch management experience to his work in regenerative agriculture. His joy in life is being the dad of Miss Maezy Smith and spending time hunting, hiking and Dutch-oven cooking with his family.

Timothy Freundlich

CEO Impact Assets

Tim is a long-time innovator in new financial instruments in the social enterprise sector, which he now applies as the Head of ImpactAssets, the $350mm boutique donor advised fund and investment note offerer for impact investments. While previously at Calvert Foundation for 12 years, he conceived of and launched the donor advised fund. He was also instrumental in building the $250mm Community Investment Note with more than $1 billion invested into 300-plus nonprofits and for profits globally.
He co-founded and serves as Managing Partner for Good Capital that, in addition to its flagship Social Enterprise Expansion Fund LP, founded the 2,500-person annual Social Capital Markets (SOCAP) conferences in San Francisco and four Impact Hubs in the US; co-working, meeting and community space serving approximately 2,000 social innovators.
Tim is a sought-out industry speaker and regularly featured and quoted in media such as ThinkAdvisor and WealthManagement and has appeared on TheStreet and Forbes. He received a BA from Wesleyan University and an MBA from the University of San Francisco. Tim and his wife, Julie, live in San Francisco with their sons, Milo and Gus.

Will Wiltschko

Organizer at CTJC

Will Wiltschko is a graduate of UCLA with a B.A. and an M.A. in Political Science. At UCLA, Will worked as a student organizer for civil rights and studied the theory and philosophy behind nonviolence. He was a legal intern with the ACLU in Southern California, where he planned community outreach strategy within the state of California, fighting school districts in response to D.J. v. State of California on issues of equitable access to English Learner programs. Will was also recently a staffer on Bernie Sanders’ 2016 Presidential campaign, where he was the lead field organizer in Southwest Virginia. He ran operations out of the Southwest Virginia regional field office, where he trained and recruited hundreds of new volunteers.Will spent the past year supporting the California Trade Justice Coalition’s efforts to defeat the TPP & NAFTA.

Zoë Cina-Sklar

End Amazon Crude Campaigner

Zoe is passionate about fighting the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure and creating a just transition to a clean and equitable economy. During college, she lived in Ecuador and participated in the youth-led YASunidos movement against oil extraction in Yasuní National Park.

Adelita San Vicente Tello

Agronomist by the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana –Xochimilco UAMX

Agronomist by the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana –Xochimilco UAMX; specialization studies in Economics of the Agri-food System by the Trainig Centre for Development Assistance at Viterbo, Italy; Masters degree in Rural Development by the UAMX; PhD in Agroecology candidate by the University of Antioquía, Colombia.
For ten years, she held several positions in various government institutions linked with the rural sector, both in the executive and legislative powers.
She has worked with peasant and non-government organizations, developing training, environmental education, and planning programmes for the correct management of natural resources; the work with these organizations has resulted in various publications which systematize the projects.
Today, she is the head of Fundación Semillas de Vida, whose mission is the preservation of native Mexican seeds, as well as the promotion of safe, GMO-free food. The organization works with peasant farmers supporting the preservation and breeding of maize seeds as well as other species of the cornfield or milpa system.
In 2007, she was one of the conveners of the National Campaign Sin maiz no hay país (Without maize there is no country), and in 2013 of the Carnaval del Maíz (Maize Carnival).
She is the Legal Representative of the community who filed the Class Action lawsuit -Fundación Semillas de Vida being one of the signatories- which resulted in the judicial mandate to suspend the sowing of genetically modified maize in Mexico since September 2013 to date.
She is an active member of the Unión de Científicos Comprometidos con la Sociedad (UCSS – Union of Scientists Committed to Society), as well as of the citizen committee of her neighborhood.
Fundación Semillas de Vida is part of the Biosafety Alliance-Justice begins with seeds, as well as of the Alianza por la Salud Alimentaria (Food Safety Alliance), and of the Red Semillas de Libertad (Seeds of Liberty Network).

Ted Lewis

Director of Human Rights programs for Global Exchange

Ted Lewis is Director of Human Rights programs for Global Exchange. In the late 1980s, he founded a school that sent students to Central America and Southern Africa. In 1990 he organized a month-long civil observation mission to Nicaragua’s landmark post-revolutionary elections. Then after three years of teaching in public schools in California and New York, Ted organized another international election observation mission, this time for the 1994 Presidential elections in Mexico. This collaboration led Global Exchange to invite Ted to build a program of exchange and solidarity with Mexico’s civil and human rights movements. In recent years Ted has focused supporting Mexican organizations working to end the murders, corruption and impunity resulting from misguided drug policy designed in the United States. During 2011-‘12 Ted took a leading role in organizing the Caravan for Peace that brought dozens of Mexican drug war victims to tell their stories and appeal for change in 27 cities across the U.S.

Marta Benevides

Long-time peace and social justice activist from El Salvador

Marta Benevides is a long-time peace and social justice activist from El Salvador, a friend and coworker with the martyred archbishop Oscar Romero. Currently, she works in community organizing and permaculture in El Salvador and internationally.

Amber Eck

Chairs Haeggquist & Eck’s Securities Litigation Practice Group

Amber Eck chairs Haeggquist & Eck’s Securities Litigation practice group and handles securities and derivative litigation, consumer class actions and employment cases. She is a tireless advocate for consumers, employees and shareholders and has litigated all aspects of complex individual and class actions for the past 22 years.

Over the years, Amber has recovered millions of dollars on behalf of shareholders, consumers and employees who have been wronged by real estate investment scams, securities fraud, and unlawful employment practices. Most recently, she was co-lead class counsel representing a widespread class of consumers against Donald Trump and Trump University. The case settled for $25 million, with class members estimated to receive an incredible 90% of their losses.

Amber was recognized as one of the San Diego Business Journal’s Best of the Bar in 2016 and 2017. In 2016, she was named a Super Lawyer, and was a finalist for San Diego Magazine’s Woman Of The Year Award. Amber was also nominated for the National Association of Women Business Owners’ (NAWBO) Woman Business Owner Of The Year award in 2016 and their Trailblazer’s Award in 2017 . Amber also has received an AV Preeminent rating, the highest peer rating standard bestowed on attorneys by research clearinghouse Martindale-Hubbell, for professional excellence in legal knowledge, skills, and ethics.

Erin Axelrod

Partner at LIFT Economy

Erin Axelrod is a Partner at LIFT Economy, helping to accelerate the spread of climate-beneficial businesses, specializing in businesses that address critical soil and water regeneration. She is an avid ecologist, grassroots organizer and regularly forages for wild food in her home in rural Sonoma County. LIFT Economy is an impact consulting firm whose mission is to create, model, and share a locally self-reliant economy that works for the benefit of all life. You can follow Erin on Twitter @erinaxelrod or email