Janine Benyus is a biologist, innovation consultant, and author of six books including Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature (1997). Janine is the founder of the Biomimicry Institute which empowers people to create nature-inspired solutions for a healthy planet. In 1998, Janine co-founded the world’s first bio-inspired consultancy, bringing nature’s sustainable designs to 250+ clients including Boeing, Colgate-Palmolive, Nike, General Electric, Herman Miller, HOK architects, IDEO, Interface, Natura, Procter and Gamble, Levi’s, Kohler, and General Mills. As a result of working with Janine’s team, the world’s largest commercial carpet manufacturer (Interface, Inc.) introduced a carpet line inspired by random pattern formation in nature. In record time, Entropy™/I2 rose to become Interface’s top-selling product, and now represents 40% of their carpet tile sales.
Tricia Medrano Bridges
Tricia Medrano Bridges’ important career in nonprofits began in the 1970’s with notable positions and results that demonstrate her enormous heart and commitment for social good. She was Vice President for Development at the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas where she cooordinated with the CEO to raise a $25 million dollar campaign to build new Y’s and renovate others. Tricia traveled to Africa and Mexico to work with international YMCA’S as a certified national trainer for fundraising and volunteer development. Upon completion of the YMCA campaign, she was recruited by the University of Dallas where Tricia served as Vice President of Advancement for the University for four years. In August of 2005, she was asked to join the Dallas based nonprofit Chiapas Project as CEO, founded by Dallas Real Estate Developer, Lucy Billingsley to fund microfinance to women in Latin America through support to Grameen Foundation. Over the years Chiapas provided funding for Mexico, Bolivia, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Honduras and Colombia securing over $6,000,000 for anti-poverty solutions. In November of 2010, Tricia was awarded Grameen Foundation’s “2010 Lifetime Achievement Award” for her work with Chiapas International and her lifetime commitment to eradicating poverty and improving lives of those in need. She also received a commendation from 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Recipient, Dr. Muhammad Yunus.
Tom Chi is perhaps one of the greatest minds in business innovation, social change innovation, and prototyping thinking. He started out doing astrophysical research at 15 and now business pedigree includes executive roles at Yahoo, being a key influencer in the design of Microsoft Outlook, and shaping Google X, self driving cars, and Google Glasses. He teaches a course on Prototype Thinking tools for hyper-learning to empower purpose-driven leaders worldwide and recently launched a new investment fund At One Ventures which finds, funds, and grows teams to catalyze a world where humanity is a net positive to nature. Think drones planting trees and robots repairing coral reefs.
Dr. Reverend Gerald Durley
Dr. Reverend Gerald Durley is a living legend who marched with Martin Luther King Jr. In 2011, Rev. Durley was inducted into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame for his contributions during the civil rights movement of the 1960s. He believes that climate change, global warming, and environmental justice are moral imperatives, which he sees as a contemporary civil rights issue. Rev. Durley is the former Pastor of the historic Providence Missionary Baptist Church of Atlanta, where he served for nearly 25 years. Rev. Dr. Durley now combines the disciplines of faith and science with the lessons learned as a civil/human rights advocate from the 1960’s. He believes that God created a perfect ecologically balanced world for humans to care for, but we are destroying it at an alarming rate. He asserts that for the environment to be saved, the educational, scientific, business, political, and faith communities must seek common solutions.
Paul Hawken is an environmentalist, entrepreneur, author and activist who has dedicated his life to environmental sustainability and changing the relationship between business and the environment. He is one of the environmental movement’s leading voices, and a pioneering architect of corporate reform with respect to ecological practices. Paul is Founder of Project Drawdown, a non-profit dedicated to researching when and how global warming can be reversed. The organization maps and models the scaling of one hundred substantive technological, social, and ecological solutions to global warming. Paul authors articles, op-eds, and peer-reviewed papers, and has written eight books including five national bestsellers and appeared in numerous media including the Today Show, Bill Maher, Larry King, Charlie Rose, and has been profiled or featured in hundreds of articles including the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Washington Post, Business Week, Esquire. His writings have appeared in the Harvard Business Review, Resurgence, New Statesman, Inc, Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, Mother Jones, among others.
Wes Jackson, founder and president emeritus of The Land Institute, earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Kansas Wesleyan University; a master’s degree in botany from the University of Kansas, and a doctorate in genetics from North Carolina State University. He established and served as chair of one of the country’s first environmental studies programs at California State University-Sacramento. Life magazine included him as one of 18 individuals predicted to be among the 100 important Americans of the 20th century. Smithsonian in 2005 included him as one of “35 Who Made a Difference.” Wes is the author of several books, including New Roots for Agriculture, Becoming Native to This Place, Consulting the Genius of the Place, and most recently Nature as Measure. Wes is widely recognized as a leader in the international movement for a more sustainable agriculture as a Pew Conservation Scholar in 1990, a MacArthur Fellow in 1992, and received the Right Livelihood Award in 2000.
For Talia Arnow, living a purposeful life is her mission. Her experiences studying ecology, building a social enterprise, and investing money towards social good have compelled her to challenge our inherited operating models that perpetuate siloed, unconscious and ego-centered solutions that are responsible for the existing inequality and environmental destruction. She is dedicated to creating spaces that refine our perceptions of ourselves and tools that enable trust, integrity, and cooperation. She is here to inspire living an authentic life and building a new path toward a caring economy.