Conference & Expo   --   November 9-11th   --   Raleigh, NC

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Keynote Speakers

  • Lester R. Brown – Founder, Earth Policy Institute, and  author, “Eco-Economy,” “Plan B,” and "Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization”
  • Van Jones – Founder and President, Green for All
  • Peter Senge - Senior lecturer, MIT, and chair, Society for Organizational Learning (SoL)
  • Vandana Shiva  – Physicist, environmental activist, author (“Stolen Harvest,” and “Earth Democracy”), and winner of the 1993 Right Livelihood Award
  • Government Plenary featuring::

Lester Brown

Lester R. Brown is president of Earth Policy Institute,Lester Brown
an organization dedicated to building a sustainable future.
Described by the Washington Post as “one of the world’s most influential thinkers,” Brown started his career as a tomato farmer. Shortly after earning a degree in agricultural science, he spent six months living in rural India, where he became intimately familiar with the food/population issue.  Brown later became head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's International Agricultural Development Service. In 1974 he founded the Worldwatch Institute, leaving in 2001 to found the Earth Policy Institute. He has received 24 honorary degrees and numerous awards, including the 1987 United Nations Environment Prize, a MacArthur Foundation “genius award,” and the 1994 Blue Planet Prize.  He lives in Washington, D.C.

To attend the Lester Brown keynote only (no other conference events) follow these directions. Tickets are $20.


Van JonesVan Jones

Eco-visionary, human rights attorney, and founder of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Van Jones is one of the most creative and unifying progressive leaders in the United States. Today human society faces three grave perils: widening social inequality, radical environmental destruction and deepening despair. From the heart of urban America, new voices are rising -- proposing creative and holistic solutions for this triple-crisis. One such voice belongs to Van Jones. Based on a decade of front-line activism, Jones offers comprehensive solutions and inspirational models. His visionary proposals answer the call for expanded opportunity, ecological sustainability and renewed hope. Van is a passionate advocate for the environment and for responsible business. He has served on numerous governing boards, including: Rainforest Action Network, WITNESS, Bioneers, the New Apollo Project and the Social Venture Network. Van's efforts have earned him many honors, including the Reebok International Human Rights Award, the Ashoka Fellowship, and the Rockefeller Foundation "Next Generation Leadership" Fellowship.

 

Peter SengePeter Senge

Peter M. Senge is a senior lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  He is also founding chair of the Society for Organizational Learning (SoL), a global community of corporations, researchers, and consultants dedicated to the "interdependent development of people and their institutions."  He is the author of the widely acclaimed book, The Fifth Discipline:  The Art and Practice of The Learning Organization (1990, revised edition published 2006) and, with colleagues Charlotte Roberts, Rick Ross, Bryan Smith and Art Kleiner, co-author of The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook:  Strategies and Tools for Building a Learning Organization (1994) and a fieldbook The Dance of Change:  The Challenges to Sustaining Momentum in Learning Organizations (March, 1999), also co-authored by George Roth.  In September 2000,  a fieldbook on education was published, the award winning Schools That Learn:  A Fifth Discipline Fieldbook for Educators, Parents, and Everyone Who Cares About Education, co-authored with Nelda Cambron-McCabe, Timothy Lucas, Bryan Smith, Janis Dutton, and Art Kleiner.

The new book, Presence:  Human Purpose and the Field of the Future, co-authored with Claus Otto Scharmer, Joseph Jaworski and Betty Sue Flowers, and published in March 2004 by the Society for Organizational Learning, is available at www.solonline.org.

Dr. Senge has lectured extensively throughout the world, translating the abstract ideas of systems theory into tools for better understanding of economic and organizational change.  His areas of special interest focus on decentralizing the role of leadership in organizations so as to enhance the capacity of all people to work productively toward common goals.  Dr. Senge's work articulates a cornerstone position of human values in the workplace; namely, that vision, purpose, reflectiveness, and systems thinking are essential if organizations are to realize their potentials.  He has worked with leaders in business, education, health care and government.

Peter Senge received a B.S. in engineering from Stanford University, an M.S. in social systems modeling and Ph.D. in management from MIT.  He lives with his wife and their two children in central Massachusetts.

Vandana ShivaVandana Shiva

Dr. Shiva's record over the last 10 years has been that of the totally committed, productive and effective activist-advocate-intellectual. Time Magazine identified Dr. Shiva as an environmental "hero" in 2003 and Asia Week called her one of the five most powerful communicators of Asia.  In 2005, she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. 

As an activist she has coordinated, supported and learned from grassroots networks on a wide range of issues across India. As an advocate, especially in international arenas, she has proven to be one of the most articulate spokespersons of counter-development in favor of people-centered, participatory processes. As an intellectual she has produced a stream of important books and articles which have done much to shape the agenda of development debate and action.

Her Foundation is an informal network of researchers working in support of people's environmental struggles. In the last 20 years the Foundation has done important work in a number of areas, including:

Agriculture and genetic resources. Shiva's critical analysis of the effects of the Green Revolution, and looking beyond it to the impacts of the “second' Green Revolution powered by genetic engineering, is of pioneering importance. For more than 15 years, she has been a campaigner on the ethical and ecological impacts of genetic engineering. She has led campaigns on bio- safety and built citizens' responses to the introduction of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in agriculture.

Biodiversity. She started her work on biodiversity with the Chipko Movement in the 1970s. As with forestry and water, her contribution has gone beyond critique with the launch of a “people's program on biodiversity.” In the past 10 years she has built a new movement called Navdanya for the conservation of indigenous seeds. Shiva sees biodiversity as intimately linked to cultural diversity and knowledge diversity. She has campaigned nationally and internationally against 'biopiracy' – the patenting of indigenous knowledge. Her latest book on the subject, Biopiracy, deals with the emerging corporate monopolies on the living resources of the poor.

World Bank and WTO Campaigns. Shiva has been an important figure in putting pressure on the World Bank, which the Bank has been forced to take increasingly seriously. She represented 'Nature' at the People's Tribunal on the World Bank and IMF in Berlin in 1988 and was on the steering group of the People's Forum which coincided with World Bank meetings in 1991. Shiva has also initiated major movements in India on World Trade Organization (WTO) issues, especially intellectual property and agriculture. She is a founding Board member of the International Forum on Globalization, the citizens' group dedicated to monitoring and intervening on the impact of globalization. She is currently leading an International Campaign on Food Rights, for people's right to knowledge and food security.

Vandana Shiva has been a visiting professor and lectured at the University of Oslo (Norway), Schumacher College (U.K.), Mt. Holyoke College (U.S.), York University (Canada), University of Lulea (Sweden), University of Victoria (Canada), and organizations worldwide on ecology, feminism and globalization.  She is also on the Advisory Boards of the Green Institute and the Center for Food Safety, both in Washington, D.C.  She completed her Ph.D. in the Philosophy of Science in 1978. After that she did research at the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore until 1982, when she left to set up her Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Natural Resource Policy in her home town of Dehra Dun in the foothills of the Himalaya.

City Government Plenary

Debra Rowedebra rowe

Dr. Rowe is the President of the U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development (www.uspartnership.org ).  TheU.S. Partnership convenes mainstream leaders in the business, education, communities, government, and faith sectors of the U.S. and catalyzes sustainability initiatives. Dr. Rowe is also National Co-coordinator of the Higher Education Associations Sustainability Consortium (www.heasc.net), Founder of the Disciplinary Associations’ Network for Sustainability (www.aashe.org/dans) and Senior Advisor to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (www.aashe.org ).  She helps higher education national associations and individual institutions integrate sustainability into mission, curricula, professional development, research, student life, purchasing and investments, facilities and operations, and community partnerships.

Debra has also been a professor of energy management, renewable energy technology and psychology for over 28 years. Dr. Rowe creates online sustainability related courses and degrees with funds from the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation, and helped establish the Consortium for Education in Renewable Energy Technology (www.ceret.us).  Debra Rowe is often a keynote speaker at national and international education conferences, is the author or editor of numerous publications on the integration of sustainability into education.

Mayor Kevin FoyMayor Kevin Foy (Chapel Hill, NC)

Kevin Foy is currently in his fourth term as Mayor of Chapel Hill.  During his time in office, Mayor Foy has focused on policies that recognize the development of Chapel Hill from a small college town into a vibrant mid-sized city. These have included instituting free-fare transit service, encouraging the redevelopment of downtown and ensuring that the infrastructure of parks and schools remains up to speed with housing development.  Mayor Foy has also encouraged Chapel Hill to become a leader in local environmental policy.  

Mayor Foy is an Assistant Professor of Law at North Carolina Central University and has experience as a practicing attorney.  He is also the incoming Chair of the NC Metropolitan Coalition, a group of Mayors committed to the growth of North Carolina cities 25 largest cities.   

 

Harvey RuvinMiami-Dade County Clerk Harvey Ruvin (Miami, FL)

Harvey Ruvin - A former President of the National Association of Counties (NACo), now serving as the elected Clerk of Miami-Dade County where he served as a County Commissioner for 20 years focusing on environmental issues. Before his election to the Commission, he served a term as Mayor of North Bay Village, Florida.

He helped found ICLEI in 1990 and has served multiple terms on its Executive Committee and as its Vice President. He led the CCP Working Group to Kyoto in 1997 where local officials demonstrated the viability of GHG efforts.

Now chairs the County's multi-disciplined Climate Change Advisory Task Force (CCATF) created primarily to produce recommendations regarding what proactive actions should be taken to maximize resiliency to climate change impacts. He is spearheading efforts to have Florida become the first state in the nation to require all local governments to do both GHG Reduction and Adaptation Planning.

Jim Elder - Campaign Director, Campaign for Environmental Literacy (Moderator)                                                                                                                      Jim Elder

James L. Elder is a social entrepreneur who focuses on launching high-leverage initiatives to help strengthen the national movement to improve the nation’s environmental and sustainability literacy. He currently is the founding Director of the Campaign for Environmental Literacy (CEL), which partners with AASHE, Second Nature, and many others to mobilize the collective voice and assets of the environmental and sustainability education communities in order to secure greater federal support for increasing the nation’s environmental/sustainability literacy. CEL drafted and enlisted essential community support and Congressional sponsors for two active federal bills: the Higher Education Sustainability Act and the No Child Left Inside Act, and is in the process of establishing a third bill on climate change education. CEL has also helped to restore over $60 million in federal environmental education funding since it began three years ago. Prior to CEL, he co-managed the successful start-up of The Ocean Foundation (a community foundation for philanthropists committed to ocean conservation), as well as the start-up of the Global Environmental Alliance - China, (a bilateral organization with the Chinese Ministry of Science and technology that brings sustainable approaches to development into mainstream Chinese society through education). He also founded The School for Field Studies in 1980, building it over 16 years as its President into the nation's leading international environmental studies field program for undergraduates. He sits on numerous non-profit boards of start-up organizations, advises several foundations, and provides ongoing strategic planning advice to many organizations. He recently authored “A Field Guide to Environmental Literacy: Making Strategic Investments in Environmental Education”, and received an honorary doctorate for his pioneering work in sustainability education.