Speakers and Performers
Joan Blades | Rich Fernandez | Dolores Huerta | Billy Parish | Cheryl Contee | Errol Schweizer | Doug Rauch | Judy Wicks | Michael Kieschnick | James Gordon | Akaya Windwood | Greg Steltenpohl | Father Joe Carroll | Gloria Simoneaux | Gar Alperovitz | Marc Lesser | Shainoor Khoja | Emily Elbert | Donna Morton | Caryl Levine | Mark Watson | Sara Ellis Conant | Keaton Simons | Drummond Pike | Heather White | Kevin Lynch | Nikhil Arora | Raphael Bemporad | Toshi Reagon | Rajasvini Bhansali | Lori Hanau | Adnan Durrani | Dan Zanes
Joan Blades is a Co-Founder of LivingRoomconversations.org, MomsRising.org and MoveOn.org. She recently co-authored The Custom-Fit Workplace: Choose When Where and How to Work and Boost Your Bottom Line, winner of a Nautilus book award. She also co-authored The Motherhood Manifesto, which won the Ernesta Drinker Ballard Book Prize in 2007. A mediator (attorney) by training and inclination, she is an entrepreneur (a Co-Founder of Berkeley Systems- best known for the flying toaster and game You Don't Know Jack.), nature lover, artist and true believer in the power of citizens and our need to rebuild respectful civil discourse while embracing our core shared values.
Rich Fernandez works at Google as the Senior People Development Lead focusing on the content, tools and programs that support the learning, leadership development and overall well-being of Google employees. Rich previously led the executive development function at Google. Before joining Google, Rich was the head of learning and organization development at eBay. Prior to that, Rich served as a learning and leadership development executive at Bank of America, and he also worked for a number of years as the head of talent advancement programs at JP Morgan Chase.
Dolores Huerta is the President of the Dolores Huerta Foundation and Co-founder of the United Farm Workers (UFW). Her lifelong journey has been working as a Community Organizer and Social Activist for over 50 years. Huerta has played a major role in the American civil rights movement. A founding board member of the Feminist Majority Foundation, she also serves on the board of Ms. Magazine. Her most recent recognitions include her induction to the U. S. Department of Labor Hall of Honor and the 2012 Presidential Medal of Freedom. As one of the most famous and celebrated Latinas in the US, Huerta has been an advocate for women’s rights, and reproductive freedom. She continues working to develop community leaders, for working poor, immigrants, women and youth, with the Dolores Huerta Foundation. She speaks at universities or organizational forums on issues of social justice and public policy.
Billy Parish is Founder and President of Mosaic, a clean energy investment marketplace. In 2002, he dropped out of Yale to found the Energy Action Coalition and grew it into the largest youth clean energy organization in the world with over 300,000 members. He was lead architect of the Clean Energy Corps proposal to create 5 million new green jobs (incorporated into the Stimulus Bill), and was elected as a Fellow by Ashoka. His book Making Good: Finding Meaning, Money & Community in a Changing World was an Amazon bestseller.
Cheryl Contee, Partner at Fission Strategy, specializes in helping non-profit organizations and foundations use social media to create social good. She is also the co-founder of Jack and Jill Politics writing as “Jill Tubman” on one of the top black blogs online. Cheryl is included in The Root 100 list of established and emerging African-American leaders. Huffington Post listed her as one of the "Top 27 Female Founders in Tech to Follow on Twitter" in 2011. Fast Company named her one of their "2010 Most Influential Women in Tech". She has over 15 years of award-winning interactive expertise and previously served as Vice President and lead digital strategist for Fleishman-Hillard’s West Coast region in San Francisco.
Errol Schweizer has dedicated his career to improving the landscape of the natural and organic food industry. He has nearly 20 years of experience working in all aspects of food retail -- from coordinating a CSA and managing overnight stock crews to leading Whole Foods Market’s global grocery program. Through his commitment to better sourcing and his passion for great food, Schweizer has helped to bring more than 4,000 culinary finds to the national marketplace. Under his leadership, Whole Foods Market is raising the industry standard on ethical sourcing and is providing consumers with the largest variety of organic and Non-GMO choices available.
Doug Rauch is CEO of Conscious Capitalism, Inc.; a recent Senior Fellow in Harvard’s Advanced Leadership Initiative where he worked on hunger/obesity issues, founding the Urban Food Initiative; Doug is also a Trustee at Olin College of Engineering; Chairs the Board of Overseers at Boston’s NPR flagship station WBUR; and serves on the board of several non-profit and for-profit companies. Formerly, Doug spent 31 years with Trader Joe's Company. During his last 14 years with Trader Joe's he served as President, helping grow the business from a small, nine-store chain in Southern California, to a nationally acclaimed retail success story with more than 340 stores in 30 states. He retired from Trader Joe’s in 2008.
Judy Wicks is an entrepreneur, author, and public speaker working to build a more compassionate, environmentally sustainable and locally based economy. Her memoir Good Morning, Beautiful Business: the Unexpected Journey of an Activist Entrepreneur and Local Economy Pioneer was published in March 2013. Judy is founder of Philadelphia’s landmark White Dog Café known for its leadership in the local food movement. She founded several non-profits including Fair Food Philly and the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia, and cofounded the nationwide Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE), a network of 30,000 local independent businesses in 80 communities.
Michael Kieschnick is CEO, president and co-founder of CREDO/Working Assets, a company dedicated to changing the world through progressive philanthropy and political activism. Since its founding, Working Assets has donated over $65 million to progressive organizations. Its members have contacted selected decision-makers by phone, e-mail and letters over 32 million times. During the last seven years, the company has helped over four million Americans register to vote. Michael teaches a course on social innovation at Stanford University, and previously taught a graduate seminar on financial innovation at the University of California, Berkeley.
Dr. James Gordon is a world-renowned expert in using mind-body medicine to heal depression, anxiety, and psychological trauma. He is the Founder and Director of The Center for Mind-Body Medicine, Dean of the Graduate School of Mind-Body Medicine at Saybrook University, a Clinical Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Family Medicine at Georgetown Medical School, and recently served as Chairman of the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy. He also served as the first Chair of the Program Advisory Council of the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Alternative Medicine and is a former member of the Cancer Advisory Panel on Complementary and Alternative Medicine of the NIH.
Akaya Windwood, President of Rockwood Leadership Institute, is internationally recognized for elevating the effectiveness of leadership and collaboration in the nonprofit and social benefit sectors. Her vision for our global community includes infusing a sense of purpose, delight and wonder into everything we do. She brings her skills as an organizational consultant and executive coach to her lifetime commitment to working for a fair and equitable society and to Rockwood’s network of 4,000 powerful, collaborative, and interconnected leaders.
Greg Steltenpohl is probably best known as Founder and former CEO of Odwalla, Inc, the leading U.S. supplier of fresh juice and nourishing beverages. Greg led the company through its transformation from a small start-up to a publicly held corporation with an average growth rate exceeding 50 percent per year. In building the Odwalla brand, Greg was a pioneer in employing ideals of environmental sustainability, employee empowerment, creative corporate culture, and community based marketing. After Greg’s departure in 2000, Odwalla was sold to Coca-Cola and remains one of the fastest growing brands in the Coke system. Greg is currently the CEO of Califia Farms, a grower-owned company dedicated to featuring the regional agricultural heritage of California by growing/farmer-owned brands. Greg is also spearheading a regional Slow Food Producers Center on the central coast of California.
Father Joe Carroll has been developing a new approach to rehabilitating our neighbors who are homeless since 1982. Called “one stop shopping” the idea is to have all programs needed on one site: housing, meals (over 1.5 million a year), medical, dental, counseling, addiction recovery, literacy and much more. Over 4,000 men, women, children and runaway youth are helped each day. Over the past 30 years, Father Joe has developed over 250 million dollars of buildings for his programming.
Gloria Simoneaux, MA, REAT, EXA, is founding director of Harambee Arts, a train-the-trainers program in sub-Saharan Africa and Nepal. She taught expressive arts to counselors in Nairobi as a Fulbright scholar, affiliated with the Kenya Association of Professional Counselors. Gloria has worked with pediatric oncology patients in San Francisco hospitals. She is the founder of DrawBridge: An Arts Program for Homeless Children and is currently a consultant with Save the Children and READ Global in Nepal.
Gar Alperovitz, Lionel R. Bauman Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland, is Co-Founder of The Democracy Collaborative. He is a former fellow of the Institute of Politics at Harvard and of King’s College at Cambridge University, where he received his PhD in political economy. He has served as a legislative director in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, and as a special assistant in the Department of State. Earlier he was President of the Center for Community Economic Development, Co-Director of The Cambridge Institute, and President of the Center for the Study of Public Policy. Dr. Alperovitz’s numerous articles have appeared in publications ranging from The New York Times and The Washington Post to The Journal of Economic Issues, Foreign Policy, Diplomatic History. His most recent book is What Then Must We Do?: Straight Talk About the Next American Revolution (Chelsea Green, 2013).
Marc Lesser is the CEO, founder and serves on the board of SIYLI. Marc is a long-term Zen student and teacher. He is the author of Less: Accomplishing More By Doing Less, and Z.B.A. Zen of Business Administration; How Zen Practice Can Transform Your Work and Your Life, published by New World Library. He was the founder and former CEO of Brush Dance, a publisher of greeting cards, calendars and gift items, with spiritual themes and artwork. He spent 15 years taking Brush Dance from an idea in his garage to a multi-million dollar publishing company, with distribution throughout the U.S. and the world.
Shainoor Khoja is the Principal at Better Business Enterprise. Previously, Shainoor was the Managing Director of Roshan Community until December 2011. Since 2004, Shainoor has been an integral part of the fund raising cycles for Roshan that have raised in excess of $180 million for the company. Shainoor’s contribution has been focused around innovative strategies that bring strategic value to the growth and development of the group companies. This has entailed incubating initiatives and evolving them into viable commercial products that go to market. Her focus has further been to address lenders requirements for social and economic development increasingly being termed impact investing.
Emily Elbert has performed over 600 shows throughout the U.S. and around the world, including 13 different countries - from Peru to Palestine, and Spain to St. Barthélemy. A native Texan and graduate of Berklee College of Music, Emily is known for her rhythmic guitar chops, soulful original tunes, and her unique interpretations of classic blues, rock, and pop songs. She has independently released three albums of original material. Her music has won awards in the U.S. and U.K., earned accolades from publications including The Washington Post and Glamour Magazine, and YouTube videos of her performances have garnered more than 1.5 million views. The Boston Folk Festival notes, "Emily is among the most glowing of the upcoming generation of American singer-songwriters, if 'upcoming' even applies to this phenom any longer."
Donna Morton is CEO and Co-Founder of First Power, which puts clean energy, jobs and equity in the hands of communities. Donna also Co-Founded the Centre for Integral Economics, which serves to harness the power of the market to sustainability. Donna is a storyteller and an economic artist; and frequent speaker including 5 TEDx events, World Permaculture Forum and Bioneers. Her work has been profiled in Fast Company, The Guardian and “Act for the Planet” international TV series. She is also an Ashoka, Ogunte and Unreasonable fellow.
Caryl Levine is Co-Founder, Co-Owner of Lotus Foods, Inc. After a 17-year career fundraising in higher education Levine now heads the marketing and sales efforts at Lotus Foods and is primarily responsible for the image and positioning of the Lotus Foods brand, the development of all packaging, marketing and merchandising materials. Levine has been an invited speaker at Harvard’s 2011 Social Enterprise Conference, Global Week at Castilleja School and Stanford’s Center for Social Innovation, 2011 Justice Begins with Seeds Conference and 2012 Bioneers Conference. Levine is a founding member of the Whole Grain Council and a member of the Social Venture Network. She holds a MA in Public Administration.
Mark Watson is an investment advisor with over 28 years of experience in the financial services industry including banking, asset management and organizational financial/strategic planning. He has extensive non-profit board experience, as a chair and treasurer, an SVN Board Member, a US/SIF member, member of Overseers Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and Board Chair of The Highlands Center on Truro Cape Cod.
Sara Ellis Conant is a leadership coach and strategy consultant for world-changing executives and entrepreneurs who are raising children. Sara's clients lead companies, corporate divisions, and not-for-profits to create significant social and environmental impact. Many of Sara's clients are SVN members, and she has been a member since 1999. Sara serves on the boards of RSF Social Finance and Young Women Social Entrepreneurs. She holds an MBA and a BA from Stanford University.
Keaton Simons has worked as a writer, musical director, singer, bassist and guitarist with notable acts like Gnarls Barkley, Black Eyed Peas, Snoop Dogg and Tre Hardson of The Pharcyde. In addition, Keaton has opened for Coldplay, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar and Train, written with Jason Mraz and Hanson, produced songs for Disney teen star Nolan Sotillo, and acted as the face of Advanced Guitar for the new Xbox game Rocksmith. His music has been heard in dozens of feature films and television shows, including Private Practice, NCIS, Malcolm in the Middle and Crash. Keaton has worked with platinum producers, Mikal Blue (Colbie Caillat, One Republic), The Matrix (Avril Lavigne, Liz Phair) and David Bianco (Tom Petty, Bob Dylan), and has released albums both independently and through major labels, most recently 2008's "Can You Hear Me" on CBS Records. Keaton's second full-length album entitled "Beautiful Pain" which was recorded in Los Angeles and is due out April 30, 2013.
Drummond Pike is a Principal at Equilibrium Capital Group. His past accomplishments include leading Highwater, Inc., a real estate development venture that is responsible for the restoration of 12 historic buildings into offices for various nonprofits; founding the Youth Project, which followed a long student involvement in the anti-war movement of the late 1960's; and, as CEO of Tides, creating the platform around which many of today's social finance foundations revolve.
Heather White is currently a Network Fellow at Harvard University’s Edmund Safra Center for Ethics. Her investigative work on transparency in global supply chains has led to improved industry standards in social auditing and verification practices. She is the founder and former Executive Director (1995-2005) of Verité, a nonprofit organization that has won international recognition for its efforts to reduce labor violations in factories producing for American consumer brands. Heather and Verite have received numerous awards, and she has been widely interviewed on the need for independent oversight of corporations’ global supplier networks. In 2012 her perspectives on Apple Computer's labor challenges in its Chinese factories appeared in the U.S. and European media, including: The New York Times, Bloomberg, CNN, The Philadelphia Inquirer, NPR, and European newspapers. An advisor to the socially responsible investment community for over a decade, Heather served on the National Academy of Sciences’ Monitoring International Labor Standards committee, and was lead consultant on labor standards performance of the State of California (CalPERS) and NYC pension funds from 2001-05.
Kevin Lynch is the President and CEO of Social Enterprise Alliance, the membership organization that serves as convener, aggregator and voice of social enterprise in North America. From 2003 until 2011, he served as President of Rebuild Resources, Inc., a non-profit social purpose business in St. Paul, Minnesota that exclusively employs recovering ex-offenders. After starting and selling a direct mail business in college, he worked from 1980 to 2001 in the advertising industry, the last 14 years as founder and principal of Lynch Jarvis Jones, a social enterprise ad agency whose mission was to create positive social change through the power of advertising and marketing. Kevin is the primary co-author of Mission, Inc, The Practitioner's Guide To Social Enterprise, a highly regarded, practical book in the SVN Book Series that focuses on the day-to-day challenges and opportunities faced by social enterprise practitioners. He has keynoted across the United States and on three continents.
Nikhil Arora co-founded Back to the Roots with Alejandro Velez upon graduating from UC Berkeley in 2009. They have since launched the Grow-Your-Own Mushroom Garden and a Home Aquaponics Kit into over 2500 retailers nationwide. They have been awarded Inc’s "2012 30 Under 30", Forbes "2011 30 Under 30", and been recognized by the White House for innovation and entrepreneurship. Their vision is to make food personal again through the passionate development of tools that educate and inspire, one family at a time.
As Founding Partner and Chief Strategy Officer of BBMG, Raphael Bemporad unites branding, sustainability and innovation to help organizations unleash shared value. An expert in brand strategy, CSR/cause marketing and public affairs, Raphael is a passionate champion for a new approach to branding that’s driven by participation, collaboration, shared values and mutual relationships. He has directed recent branding and marketing programs for clients such as Seventh Generation, EILEEN FISHER, CLIF Bar, Dr.Hauschka, NBC Universal, Samsung and Fair Trade USA.
Toshi Reagon is a talented, versatile singer, songwriter and musician with a profound ear for sonic Americana. While her expansive career has landed her comfortably in residence at Carnegie Hall, the Paris Opera House & Madison Square Garden, you can just as easily find Toshi turning out a music festival, intimate venue, or local club. Toshi knows the power of song to focus, unite and mobilize people. In 2011 Toshi created Word* Rock* & Sword: A Festival Celebration of Women's Lives as a way to learn and be connected to the powerful work and skills coming from the Women in her community. The festival brings together everyday brilliant people. The upcoming festival will be held September 15-22, 2013. To learn more, visit www.toshireagon.com.
Rajasvini Bhansali is the Executive Director of International Development Exchange (IDEX). In a wide-ranging career devoted to social and economic justice and movement building, she has previously led a national social enterprise, managed a public telecommunications infrastructure fund addressing digital divide issues and worked as a community organizer, researcher, planner, policy wonk, management consultant and technical writer. She is currently active on the Board of Directors for CUSO International, Voice of Witness, International Fund to Amplify Agroecological Solutions, and Bay Area Justice Funders Network. Vini has lectured at various universities and is also a published poet, essayist, storyteller and popular educator.
Lori Hanau is the founder of Global Round Table Leadership (GRTL) whose mission is to steward the emergence of a thriving, resilient world through the strengthening of the positive, essential qualities of our humanity. GRTL envisions a world in which individuals and communities come together through the best of our collective humanity for the good of the whole. To this end, GRTL engages people across all sectors in leadership development through the lens of whole systems and in building flourishing relationships with the self, one another and the systems of which we are a part.
Adnan is a serial entrepreneur and CEO of American Halal/Saffron Road, applauded by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, PR Week (Best Digital Campaign), CNN, NPR, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Fast Company. His other successes include Vermont Pure/Crystal Rock, Stonyfield Farms. Adnan is Chair of Columbia University’s Entrepreneurship Advisory Board. His successful faith based business model has been recognized by the Holy Sees at the Vatican, and in: Marketing to the New Majority (Burgos, ARF), Green Deen ( Ibrahim-Matin), and Beating The Global Odds (Laudicina, Chair of AT Kearney).
Dan Zanes, occupies a unique place in American music where sea shanties, English music hall, North American and West Indian folk music, Mexican son jarocho, the spirit of early rock-and-roll and soulful originals collide. For the past decade the Grammy award winner has toured around the world collaborating with musicians of all ages and backgrounds while sharing his handmade 21st century social music with enthusiastic crowds of kids and kid sympathizers. Referred to as “the family-music genre’s most outspoken and eloquent advocate” by Time Magazine, his widely- acclaimed music has all been featured on Sesame Street, Playhouse Disney, Nickelodeon, HBO Family and Sprout. He is currently developing a music education program with the Brooklyn Conservatory of music and curating The Dan Zanes Porch Party, an acoustic festival of art, music, and good times to be held on and around the porches of Governor's Island, New York in the spring of 2014. Find more about Dan Zanes at www.danzanes.com.