LAUREN ITO

Community Design for Social Impact, OpenIDEO

Lauren is a community designer and storyteller, and photographer for social impact with OpenIDEO, IDEO’s open innovation portfolio. When designing communities for global movements, Lauren draws on her experience in online and offline community building for grassroots organizations in the maternal health, indigenous rights, and malnutrition spaces from Guatemala to Uganda. Lauren mentors OpenIDEO’s global community of nonprofits, entrepreneurs, and designers through the design thinking process, while equipping innovators with the resources to take concepts from ideas to impact. Her projects with OpenIDEO span topics including reimaging maternal health, plastics in our oceans, and gratitude in the workplace.

TRAVIS KWEE

PGC 2017 Finalist, Sustainability Specialist, Cisco

Travis took part in Project Green Challenge each year while at Rice University and was a finalist in PGC 2017. He now works on Cisco’s Social and Environmental Responsibility team to ensure that human rights and environmental protection are a priority in every element of their supply chain. Outside of work he also loves supporting Turning Green in empowering young people to make an impact as well as the Citizen’s Climate Lobby in their push for bipartisan policy solutions to fight climate change.

JUSTINA LAI

Director of Impact Investing, Wetherby Asset Management

Justina is a private equity investor that believes in harnessing the power of capital – and applying the discipline and rigor of conventional investing – to create meaningful social and environmental impact. Justina joined Wetherby Asset management in 2015 where she leads the firm’s impact investment strategy. Prior to Wetherby, she was a Director and Senior Investment Analyst focused on private markets strategies at Sonen Capital, an impact investment management firm. Previously, Justina helped manage the Rockefeller Foundation’s Program Related Investments portfolio comprised of domestic and international impact investments in private equity and private debt. She was also a core member of the Impact Investing team where she advanced and shaped the initiative strategy focused on building the field of impact investing. In addition, she has held positions with Legacy Venture in Palo Alto, CA and Rwanda Ventures, a business incubator launching and operating sustainable agricultural companies in Kigali, Rwanda.

Prior to her career in impact investing, she was an Associate in the New York and Paris offices of Vestar Capital Partners, where she diligenced and executed growth equity and leveraged buyout transactions across the US and Europe. Justina began her career in the sponsor coverage group within Citigroup’s Investment Banking Division in New York. Justina received a BS in Finance and International Business, summa cum laude, from New York University and an MBA with certificates in Public and Global Management from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Justina is proficient in Cantonese Chinese and Spanish and has lived and worked in Hong Kong, France, the UK and Rwanda.

AMY LIPNER

Messaging Strategist and Copywriter,

Amy is a messaging strategist and copywriter for values-forward companies and organizations. Trained as a litigator, she finds much more satisfaction writing for changemakers than the courtroom. In her free time, Amy travels to far-flung mountains and makes her home on a Sausalito houseboat.

BETH RATTNER

Executive Director, Biomimicry Institute

Beth directs the Biomimicry Institute’s strategic vision, managing the organization’s program development, fundraising, and marketing efforts. She speaks publicly on how biomimetic design in products, cities, and agriculture can bring about a new level of resilience to our economy and ecosystem, which in turn spur new levels of social equity. Prior to this position, Beth worked with William McDonough and Michael Braungart on The Upcycle, the sequel to Cradle to Cradle, before she helped co-found the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute and became its first Executive Director and then Vice President. An attorney by training, Beth was also a managing director for one of the first sustainability business consultant firms, Blu Skye, and business manager for Hewlett Packard’s Emerging Market Solutions (EMS) group. Beth is a graduate of U.C.L.A. and Loyola Law School and lives in Marin County, California.

JESSA WEST

PGC 2011 Finalist, US Marketing Executive, Natracare

Jessa K. West is a Project Green Challenge 2011 Finalist who currently resides in San Diego, CA, where she works as Natracare’s US Marketing Executive and handles digital marketing for a variety of other sustainability and wellness brands. Since PGC she has graduated from UT Austin (Hook ‘em!) with a BA in Geography and Sustainability and helped build two health and wellness startups in Austin, TX.