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International journalist and social entrepreneur, Jensine Larsen, founded World Pulse, a global media source which covers world issues through women’s eyes, at the age of 28 in 2003. She dreamed of harnessing the power of media to unleash the voices and solutions of women across the globe after covering indigenous movements and ethnic cleansing in South America and Southeast Asia. Larsen began publishing her flagship project, World Pulse magazine in 2004. After becoming inundated with responses from women around the world who wanted to connect, Larsen turned her focus to interactive communications technology and is now pioneering the development of PulseWire.net, a social networking site that allows women to collaborate across borders and speak for themselves to the world. The site is targeted to women leaders in remote areas who are just coming online via internet cafes or cell phones.
Rainforest Foundation US
Suzanne Pelletier has been the Executive Director of the Rainforest Foundation US since April 2009. Suzanne leads the Rainforest Foundation’s work to partner with indigenous peoples in Central and South America to help them assert their rights and conserve their forests and natural resources. Suzanne comes from the National Audubon Society where she served as Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations for twelve years. Suzanne has an MBA from Columbia Business School, a Master’s of Environmental Studies from the Yale School of Forestry and a BA from Fordham University.
Author and Speaker
Solutions Journalism Network
David Bornstein is a journalist and author who focuses on social innovation. He co-authors the Fixes column in The New York Times, which reports on potential solutions to major social problems. He is the co-founder of the Solutions Journalism Network, which supports rigorous reporting about responses to social problems. His books include How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas, The Price of a Dream: The Story of the Grameen Bank, and Social Entrepreneurship: What Everyone Needs to Know. He is currently completing a book on social innovation in the U.S. and Canada. He lives in New York.
Author and Speaker
Skoll Global Threats Fund
Sylvia Lee has 15 years of experience in the water sector. She currently leads the water work at the Skoll Global Threats Fund. Prior, she worked as a Water Resources Specialist at the World Bank based in Kathmandu, Nepal where she focused on transboundary water issues and climate change adaptation & resilience building for vulnerable communities. Sylvia also was the Associate Director for the Water Initiative at the World Economic Forum based in Geneva, Switzerland. Sylvia was also a consulting engineer on the design and construction of water and sanitation projects in the United States and the United Kingdom. Sylvia is a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and McGill University.
Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy
Sigrid Kaag was appointed by the UN Secretary-General as Assistant Secretary-General/Assistant Administrator and Director of the Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy of the United Nations Development Programme in May, 2010. Prior to joining UNDP, from 2007 to 2010, Ms. Kaag was UNICEF’s Regional Director for Middle East and North Africa based in Amman, Jordan. Earlier, she served as the Chief of Staff for UNICEF’s Executive Director and as Deputy Director of Programmes in New York. She also served as Senior UN Adviser in the Office of the Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Khartoum, Sudan. From 1998 to 2004, Ms. Kaag was the Chief of Donor Relations with the International Organization for Migration, and Senior Programme Manager with the External Relations Office of the UN Relief and Works Agency in Jerusalem, covering Lebanon, Jordan, the occupied Palestinian territory and the Syrian Arab Republic.
Author and Speaker
Founder and CEO
Half the Sky Foundation
A former screenwriter and filmmaker, Jenny Bowen founded Half the Sky in 1998 in order to give something back to her adopted daughter's many sisters living in China's welfare institutions. She was convinced that training caregivers, teachers and foster parents to provide the nurturing care that neuroscientists say is crucial for healthy development, could transform the lives of institutionalized children. Half the Sky's 5 innovative programs now provide nurturing family-like care for thousands of children of all ages living in Chinese orphanages. In partnership with China's Ministry of Civil Affairs, Half the Sky has embarked on an initiative to train every child welfare worker in the country. In 2012, ChunHui Bo'Ai, Half the Sky's sister in China was launched. In 2008, Bowen received the Skoll Award. Her book, Wish You Happy Forever, a memoir about Half the Sky, has just been published by HarperOne.
People Operations Manager
One Acre Fund
Allison Bream is a people operations manager at One Acre Fund.
Author and Speaker
Founder and Executive Chairman
Volans Ventures Ltd
John Elkington is a writer and thinker, a serial-entrepreneur and an ‘advisor from the future’. John is a world authority on corporate responsibility and sustainable development and is credited with coining the ‘triple bottom line’. In 2004, BusinessWeek described John as “a dean of the corporate responsibility movement for three decades”. John serves on some 30 boards and advisory boards, where a key part of his role is to channel the future into the present across a wide range of disciplines. He is writing his 19th book alongside Jochen Zeitz, former CEO of PUMA and now co-chair, with Sir Richard Branson, of The B Team. The book is provisionally titled The Breakthrough Challenge, exploring ways to institutionalize tomorrow’s bottom
Sustainable Business Program Manager
Ben Thompson is sustainable business program manager for Autodesk’s Sustainability Initiative. In this role, Ben seeks to improve the company’s environmental and social performance and “lead by example” through demonstrating best practice in sustainable operations. He supports Autodesk’s employees to amplify their impact at work, at home and in the community. Autodesk’s products are also a key focus, where Ben uses the company’s own buildings as a “living laboratory” to enhance and simplify sustainable design software. Managing Autodesk’s cross organizational sustainable operations teams and strategy, Ben has a track record of expanding sustainability best practices and managing Autodesk’s environmental footprint. Prior to his work at Autodesk, Ben developed his passion for sustainability while consulting to Washington-based businesses, and drafting campaign plans for green jobs and energy legislation.
Thomson Reuters Foundation
Nita Bhalla covers disasters and conflicts, development, women's rights, climate change and governance. She is a former Reuters political and general news correspondent and has worked in India, east and southern Africa and the Indian Ocean region. Nita started her career in 1999 with the BBC in Ethiopia.