30 Fearless Women Leading Sustainability and Regeneration

Janine Benyus at Sustainable Brands flagship conference.
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In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8th, the Sustainable Brands team celebrates 30 fearless women leading the charge in sustainable and regenerative business practices. 

Janine Benyus
Co-Founder of Biomimicry 3.8; Author of Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature

Janine is a trailblazer around biomimicry, a discipline that emulates nature’s designs and processes to create a healthier, more sustainable planet. She 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, Interface, Levi Strauss, Kohler and many more. Janine’s theory of biomimicry is now taught globally to students who will one day design, engineer and manage our world. Don’t miss Janine on the main stage at SB’20 Long Beach this June – did we mention it’s her only speaking engagement for 2020? 

@JanineBenyus

Amanda Brinkman
Creator, Producer and Host, Small Business Revolution – Main Street

In 2015, Amanda was recruited to transform Deluxe Corp.’s 100-year-old, $2 billion brand. Fueled by a hypothesis that authentic content will garner more results than traditional advertising, her team launched the Small Business Revolution to travel the US and tell inspiring stories of our country’s small businesses. Today, the movement has gained 11x the reach and impressions of a traditional media campaign with the same budget. Amanda will share how she revitalized local economies through smart activation of collective purpose at SB’20 Long Beach this June.

@AmandaKBrinkman

Carol Cone
CEO of Carol Cone ON PURPOSE; Founder of the Purpose Collaborative

Carol is a social purpose pioneer, top-notch strategist, communicator and creative helping brands evolve for sustainability. For over 25 years, she has built lasting partnerships between companies, brands and social issues for deep societal impact. Carol conducted the world’s first research on social purpose, and she has facilitated dozens of studies to inspire organizations to engage with society as a wise business strategy. Don’t miss Carol’s session on new research exploring the changing roles purpose can play in B2B relationships and strategies at SB’20 Long Beach.

@CarolCone

“Little Miss Flint” Mari Copeny
Youth Activist, Philanthropist and “Future President”

12-year-old youth activist Mari Copeny helps kids embrace their power through equal opportunity. When the Flint Water Crisis began, Mari used her voice to fight for the children of Flint – and she hasn’t stopped since. Since her 2016 letter to President Obama, convincing him to observe Flint Michigan’s water crisis, Mari has helped raise $350k+ through active fundraising and advocacy on her social networks. As an activist just getting started, Mari offers a “we vote next” future-looking declaration to the world: “I’m 11. My generation will fix this mess of a government. Watch us.”

@LittleMissFlint

Aria Finger
CEO of Do Something

Aria is CEO of DoSomething.org: the largest tech company dedicated to youth activism. Under her leadership, DoSomething.org scaled from 100,000 members to 5 million+ members. As a world-class expert on understanding and collaborating with Gen Z and Millennials, Aria founded Do Something Strategic in 2013. Her consultancy leverages research from DoSomething.org to create purpose-driven relationships between companies and consumers.

@AriaIrene

Eileen Fisher
Founder of EILEEN FISHER

In 1984, Eileen Fisher started her namesake company with $350 in her pocket and a mission to create comfortable clothing. In recent years, the company made huge leaps to lead the fashion industry in creating sustainable apparel. EILEEN FISHER is a renowned brand with a commitment to creating organic and sustainable fibers, manufacturing clothing in the USA, and recycling clothes with the EILEEN FISHER ReNew program. 

“We don’t want sustainability to be our edge, we want it to be universal.”

Eileen Fisher

Nathalie Green
Co-Founder & CEO, Doconomy

Nathalie is a trailblazer in leveraging the power of fintech to enable more sustainable lifestyles at scale. After 13 years working on communications and business development within financial services, she co-founded Doconomy – the first banking service to measure customers’ spending and saving by their negative and positive impact on the planet. Doconomy’s credit card, DO Black, is the first credit card that limits consumer spending once the carbon emission limit is reached. Don’t miss Nathalie at SB’20 Long Beach, where she will reveal her journey.

@NathalieGreen1

Virginie Helias
Chief Sustainability Officer at Procter & Gamble

Virginie embeds sustainability into innovation, brand-building and everyday business practices at one of the world’s largest consumer packaged goods companies: Procter & Gamble. As Chief Sustainability Officer of a global corporation, she is an expert at getting sustainability, marketing and product innovation teams to collaborate effectively. Her portfolio includes sustainable innovation for Fabric Care (P&G’s biggest footprint category), the design and commercialization of Ariel Excel Gel (a P&G Sustainability Innovation hallmark), and the development of the Future Friendly multi-brand program. Virginie will be speaking on engaging the C-Suite to accelerate brand transformation at SB’20 Long Beach this June.

@VirginieHelias

Hazel Henderson
Founder of Ethical Markets Media; Author of Ethical Markets: Growing the Green Economy

Hazel is a futurist, evolutionary economist, a worldwide syndicated columnist. As an early environmental activist, Hazel recognized the transition to a greener, cleaner economy and seized the opportunity to create Ethical Markets Media. Her public TV series, Ethical Markets, profiles entrepreneurs, environmentalists, scientists, and professionals who lead highly successful green businesses around the globe. Hazel later published Ethical Markets, a book by the same name as her TV series, which brings to light the rapidly growing green economy through statistics and analysis.

Susan Hunt Stevens
Founder & CEO, WeSpire

Susan is a world-class expert on employee engagement and education for sustainability. She recognized the potential of combining social mechanics, game mechanics and content, and seized the opportunity to build a behavior change app focused on health and sustainability. Today, the employee engagement platform, WeSpire, helps forward-thinking global companies design, deliver, and measure the benefits of positive-impact programs such as sustainability, CSR, wellbeing and more.

@HuntStevens

Naomi Klein
Author of This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate

Naomi is a fearless world-class climate activist, award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist and New York Times bestselling author. Her 2014 book, This Changes Everything, exposes myths that are clouding the climate debate. Naomi’s rigorous reporting not only identifies problems, but also brings to light successful solutions.

@NaomiAKlein

Sirikul (Nui) Laukaikul
Brand Strategist and Sustainability Advisor at The Brandbeing Consultancy; Country Director at SB Bangkok

After working at global corporations for nearly 20 years, Nui established the Brandbeing Consultancy to advise Thai companies in sustainable branding and systematic methodology. Nui is an evangelist for Thailand’s Sufficiency Economy Philosophy, which creates sustainable development based on one of the most important Buddhist concepts: moderation. In addition to being a strategic advisor, Nui leads the charge on Sustainable Brands’ events in Thailand, including SB’19 Chumphon and SB’20 Chantaboon.

@NuiBrandBeing

Renee Lertzman
Author of Environmental Melancholia: Psychoanalytic Dimensions of Engagement

Renee is a pioneer in marrying psychological research with sustainability. Her work explores the role of anxiety, ambivalence, and aspiration in our relationship with environmental and social crises. Renee translates complex psychological and social science research insights into tools uniquely suited for the challenging nature of environmental work.

@ReneeLertzman

Gwen Migita
Global Head of Social Impact, Equity & Sustainability at Caesars Entertainment

Gwen is a world-class expert on diversity, equity and inclusion. Her sustainability career began as the Corporate Director of CSR at Caesars, with no team and no budget. Under her leadership, the program evolved to include employee engagement, climate action and eventually social issues. Today, Caesars is an industry leader in corporate social responsibility, driven by its People Planet Play framework.

@GMigita

Joanna Macy
Author of Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy

Joanna is a thought leader around systems thinking, accepting rapid change, and coping with multi-faceted overwhelming crises. Her book, Active Hope, shows us how to strengthen our capacity to face crises like climate change, the depletion of oil, economic upheaval, and mass extinction, so that we can respond with unexpected resilience and creative power.

Erin Meezan
Chief Sustainability Officer, Interface

As Chief Sustainability Officer at Interface, Erin ensures the company’s strategy and goals are in sync with its aggressive sustainability vision, which was established over 20 years ago. Today, Interface has evolved from doing ‘less harm’ to creating positive impacts, not just for Interface and the flooring industry, but for the world. Erin led the company to unveil a new mission in 2016, Climate Take Back, which tackles reversing global warming, not just reducing carbon emissions.

@ErinMeez

Khalilah Olokunola
VP of Human Resources, TRU Colors Brewing

Khalilah spent much of her teens active on the streets of Brooklyn and Troy NY with what many view as the cities’ most notorious street gangs—Bloods, Crips, and Folks. Throughout it all, KO remained adamant about the importance of education in her life. Today, she is VP of Human Resources for TRU Colors Brewing, where she is the force behind defining a company culture that drives both personal and professional growth. TRU Colors is a business employing active, rival gang members coming together to stop gun violence. Don’t miss Khalilah’s remarkable story at SB’20 Long Beach this June.

@KhalilahEquips

Laura Palmeiro
Senior Advisor at UN Global Compact

Laura entered the sustainability scene when she became the first VP of Finance, Nature, at Danone. She established environmental reporting for Danone, and her endeavors led the company to become certified as the world’s largest B Corp. Today, she is a senior advisor for UN Global Compact, and has developed important frameworks including the SB Brand Transformation Roadmap and the recently launched SDG Action Manager.

@LauraPalmeiro

Carol Sanford
Author of The Regenerative Business: Redesign Work, Cultivate Human Potential, Achieve Extraordinary Outcomes and The Regenerative Life: Transform Any Organization, Our Society, and Your Destiny

Carol Sanford pioneered the principles of regenerative business. Her acclaimed books, The Regenerative Business and The Regenerative Life, suggest radical new ways of thinking for business leaders. Carol educates companies, like Google, DuPont, Intel, P&G, and Seventh Generation, to invest in their employees and create a stream of innovation that continually delivers extraordinary results. Catch her session at SB’20 Long Beach on translating the science of regeneration into practical business and leadership principles.

@CarolSanford

Leith Sharp
Director and Lead Faculty, Executive Education for Sustainability Leadership — Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Co-Founder of Leaders on Purpose

Leith is a thought leader around the evolution of business leadership for a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world. She drives sustainability into the core business of organizations, utilizing a myriad of highly innovative organizational, financial, decision-making and change leadership models that she has opened sourced. Her cross-sectoral program at Harvard University brings sustainability leadership, human well-being, purpose, agility, and organizational design together into a powerful curriculum that ushers in a new leadership paradigm based on idea flow. Leith will dive into regenerative leadership and building capacity for resilience in a rapidly changing world at an SB’20 Long Beach workshop.

@LeithSharp

Atossa Soltani
Founder & Board President at Amazon Watch

Atossa founded Amazon Watch in 1996 when she unexpectedly confronted the Brazilian president on deforestation in the Amazon. Amazon Watch is an international NGO dedicated to protecting the rainforest and advancing the rights of indigenous peoples in the Amazon Basin. She has spent her career tirelessly fighting for a more harmonious coexistence with indigenous people and protecting their rights to self-determination, territories, natural resources, culture, and way of life. 

@ASoltani

Laura Storm
Founder at The Regenerators; Podcast Host; Co-Author of Regenerative Leadership: The DNA of Life-Affirming 21st-Century Organizations

Laura has spent her entire career pushing for ambitious action on climate change and making the sustainability agenda more attractive. She is an experienced thought leader around regenerative leadership and organizational behavior. Laura’s book, Regenerative Leadership, provides a comprehensive framework for building restorative, life-affirming businesses. Her work draws fascinating examples from nature’s living systems and brings to light insights from front-line pioneers.

@Laura_Storm

Kate Raworth 
Author of Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist

Kate is a renegade economist addressing the evolution of economics for the 21st century. Her internationally acclaimed idea of Doughnut Economics, which addresses social and ecological challenges in the context of economics, has widely influenced sustainable development thinkers, businesses, and political activists. Her work has been presented to audiences ranging from the UN General Assembly to the Occupy movement. 

@KateRaworth

Greta Thunberg
Climate Youth Activist; Time’s Person of the Year

With a “School Strike for Climate” sign in hand, Greta initiated a global movement by skipping school. Over the past two years, she has inspired millions of young people around the world (and people of all ages, really) to march in favor of action on climate. In 2019, Greta was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and named Time’s Person of the Year.

@GretaThunberg

Solitaire Townsend
Co-Founder at Futerra, Author of The Happy Hero

For the past 30 years, Solitaire has leveraged marketing and communications to make sustainability more desirable. As co-founder of the global change agency Futerra, Solitaire advises governments, charities, and big brands on ways to solve social and environmental problems. Her book, The Happy Hero, lays out the principles of how to feel good by doing good, and how we can ultimately change our lives by changing the world.

@GreenSolitaire

Lynne Twist
Founder of The Soul of Money Institute; Author of The Soul of Money: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Life

For more than 40 years, Lynne Twist has been a globally recognized visionary committed to alleviating poverty, ending world hunger, and supporting social justice and environmental sustainability. Her book, The Soul of Money, examines our attitudes toward money – how we earn it, spend it, invest it and give it away – can offer surprising insight into our lives, our values and the essence of prosperity. Find her at SB’20 Long Beach, and learn how you can transform your relationship with money and life.

@Lynne_Twist

Sally Uren
CEO at Forum for the Future

Sally is a world-class expert on sustainable business models and scaling up for system change. As CEO of Forum for the Future, Sally is on a mission to accelerate the shift towards a sustainable future by transforming global systems. She works with organizations to address complex challenges in systems such as food, energy, apparel and shipping. 

@SallyUren

KoAnn Vikoren Skrzyniarz
CEO & Founder at Sustainable Brands

Since 2006, KoAnn has led the global conversation on how 21st-century brands can (and are) delivering new business value through environmental and social innovation. In addition to overseeing direction and strategy at Sustainable Brands, KoAnn has been a vocal proponent of the shift in consumer demand, and the opportunity for brands to respond by changing the way they think of and deliver against their role in society.

@KoAnn

Freya Williams
CEO of Futerra, Author of Green Giants: How Smart Companies Turn Sustainability into Billion-Dollar Businesses

Freya spent her career making sustainability relevant to mainstream consumers, business leaders, and investors. As a top-notch strategist, communicator and creative, she helps brands from the likes of Unilever to the UN evolve for sustainability. Freya’s book, Green Giants, captures her insights from the field and has been profiled in The Economist, Fortune and Forbes.

@Freya1

Marci Zaroff
Founder, CEO & Chairwoman of MetaWear Organic

Marci is a long-time leader in regenerative agriculture and sustainable fashion. She launched the leading lifestyle brand Under the Canopy, coined the term “ECOfashion®”, and pioneered the market for organic and sustainable textiles. Today, Marci is the Founder and CEO of MetaWear, the first “sustainable style” Global Organic Textile Standard and Cradle to Cradle Certified cut-and-sew manufacturer in the world for turnkey, full package organic and eco-friendly apparel. Marci will join us at SB’20 Long Beach to unpack the evolution of regenerative agriculture and its relationship with a variety of industries.

@MarciZaroff

Don’t miss the opportunity to meet many of these fearless women leaders in person at our upcoming flagship event, SB’20 Long Beach, taking place this June 1-4 in California. 

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