Head of the Gene Expression and Therapy Group, King’s College London (UK)
Dr. Michael Antoniou is the Head of the Gene Expression and Therapy group at King’s College London (UK), which is part of the Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics. Historically, the main focus of research within his group is the study of the molecular mechanisms of the regulation of gene function. He has also used these discoveries to develop efficient gene expression systems for efficacious and safe biotechnological, including gene therapy, applications. Dr. Antoniou holds inventor status on a number of patents with industrial partners in this area. More recently, Dr. Antoniou has expanded his research program to include using molecular profiling “omics” methods (transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics) in evaluating the safety of foods derived from GMO crops, low dose exposure from their associated pesticides and other chemical pollutants. Dr. Antoniou has been a critic of GMO crops highlighting their potential and realized dangers for more than 20 years. At the same time as promoting “efficacious and safe biotechnologies”, Dr. Antoniou, in his personal capacity, is one of 313 scientists who in signed the European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility (ENSSER) statement “No scientific consensus on GMO safety”. Dr. Antoniou is also a co-author of Earth Open Source publication “GMO Myths and Truths, an evidence-based examination of the claims made for the safety and efficacy of genetically modified crops and foods.” He is also one of the official expert witnesses who supported the State of Vermont in the case brought against them by the Grocery Manufacturers Association challenging the State’s GMO food labeling law.
Author, Going Green with a Bronner Mom
Lisa is the author of the blog, “Going Green with a Bronner Mom” and granddaughter of Dr. Emanuel Bronner, founder of Dr. Bronner’s, maker of the top-selling natural brand of soap in North America. A mother of three young children, Lisa has helped many make the transition to a healthier home and lifestyle. She educates consumers, the most powerful force for change in the market today, to be equipped with the knowledge to vote wisely with their dollars. In 2012, Lisa was a spokesperson for Proposition 37 to label Genetically Engineered Foods in California. Lisa’s writing has appeared on the Rodale Publishing blog and Prevention Magazine online, and she just finished up a speaking tour in Australia, focusing on the importance of Organic Integrity and Fair Trade business practices. Currently, Lisa is a spokesperson for Dr. Bronner’s and loves to share about their product excellence, progressive business practices, and revolutionary activism. Prior to her work with Dr. Bronner’s, Lisa was a high school English and journalism teacher for the gifted in Raleigh, NC. She enjoys cooking, crocheting, and quilting and volunteers with organizations that support moms in San Diego.
Student Advisory Board President, Turning Green
Megan Fuerst is a senior at The Ohio State University, graduating in the spring with a degree in “Environment, Economy, Development and Sustainability” and a specialization in Policy Analysis. Her interest in the environment was seeded at a young age, coming from a more rural setting in a small Midwestern town, but her passion for sustainability was not ignited until participating in Project Green Challenge her freshman year of college. Since then, Megan has worked at the Turning Green headquarters in Sausalito as an intern for the past two summers and has become the President of TG’s Student Advisory Board. Megan hopes to use her degree to help influence environmentally sustainable and socially responsible policy decisions in government. Specifically, Megan would like to use her education to help re-legalize industrial hemp, a miracle crop that she believes can solve a wide range of environmental problems, from soil nutrients to energy sources. Megan would like to own a hemp farm one day, perhaps in the Midwest to help this region become more progressive.
Founder, EcoBlend Consulting
Amy began her career with a focus in design and home furnishings. After college, she naturally embraced a path in the Home Furnishing industry, taking on roles in manufacturing and corporate merchandising for companies like Crate and Barrel and The Great Indoors. However, as she progressed through her career, her health became challenged. Plagued by stress and imbalance in the body, she developed aggressive, debilitating adult acne and adrenal fatigue.
After years of trial and error, she regained her health and became determined to help others with her knowledge and experience. In 2005 she obtained both a license in Esthetics and Massage Therapy and began a practice in Chicago using high performance, natural skin care treatments and clinical massage to help create health and balance in skin and body. In 2009, Amy was voted “Best Esthetician in Chicago” by Chicago Magazine and nationally publicized as the “Best Facial Treatment in Chicago” by Allure Magazine in 2010.
Searching for greater ways to use her training, she moved to Portland, Oregon to work with New Seasons Market. Known for its integrity of product selection and the commitment to support of local vendors, farmers and bettering the planet, this job allowed her to become an expert in 80+ body care lines, 150+ herbal, nutritional and supplement brands and expanded her knowledge of ingredients and holistic nutrition. It also exposed her to a myriad of ways that can lessen our environmental footprint and lead a more conscious lifestyle.
In 2011, she became VP of Product Development for ACURE and traveled the country, increasing brand awareness, while discussing the impact of toxic chemicals on the skin, body and planet. This led to her direct role in concept creation of new products for the brand with a focus on sourcing cutting-edge natural technology and responsible manufacturing practices. She helped design products that truly performed without harming the body or the planet. Promoted to President in 2012, ACURE continued rapid expansion and won prestigious beauty awards like Allure’s Best of Beauty in both 2015 and 2016.
Having left her position with ACURE this past summer, Amy’s next endeavor is to consult with like-minded businesses and continue with causes that hold powerful potential for positive change in the world. Using her diverse skill set and experience from multiple angles of industry, she founded EcoBlend Consulting to creatively nurture ideas, concepts and campaigns that foster compassionate business and eco-consumerism.
Deputy Director of the Food and Technology Program, Friends of the Earth
Kari Hamerschalg has been challenging, changing and improving our food system for more than fifteen years. She is currently the deputy director of the food and technology program, based in Berkeley, California. Kari carries out research and implements market and policy campaigns aimed at reforming animal agriculture, protecting pollinators and promoting sustainable, fair, healthy and resilient food and farming systems. Prior to Friends of the Earth, Kari worked for five years as a senior analyst with the Environmental Working Group where she focused on wide range of food and ag issues including the U.S. farm bill, GMOs, climate change, organic agriculture, food security and conservation policy. Kari has done extensive research on the links between food production and climate change and was the lead author of a comprehensive web-based Meateater’s Guide to Climate Change and Health, and numerous other blog posts, op-eds and reports. Prior to EWG, Kari worked for many years as a sustainable food policy and fair trade consultant. Kari began her career more than twenty years ago as an organizer, researcher and advocate for socially and environmentally sound development policy, focused in Latin America. Kari has a Masters from UC Berkeley in Latin American Studies and City and Regional Planning. She speaks Spanish, French and some Portuguese.
Co-Founder & Co-Director, US Right to Know
For over a decade, Stacy has led campaigns to shift the market to safer products, healthy food and clean production. She is a co-founder and co-director of US Right to Know, a nonprofit organization that investigates and reports on what the food industry doesn’t want us to know about our food. Stacy is author of the award-winning book, “Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry” (New Society 2007) and she co-founded the national Campaign for Safe Cosmetics in 2002. For eight years, Stacy was the communications director for Health Care Without Harm, an international coalition working to transform the health care industry so it is no longer a source of harm. Prior to her work as an environmental health activist, Stacy was a reporter and newspaper publisher. Follow her on Twitter @StacyMalkan and @SafeCosmetics.
PGC 2015 Champion, Turning Green
Missy Martin is Turning Green’s Director of Happiness and the PGC 2015 Champion. She has studied environmental science and social entrepreneurship at Belmont University, as well as environmental law at the leading environmental law school, Vermont Law School, through the New Frontiers in Environmental Justice program. She has competed nationally in the forensics and social entrepreneurship sectors talking about food insecurity and the effect food has on human and environmental health. This summer she took action and started a Change.org petition demanding that her school, Belmont University, change its practices to allow her and all students to opt out of unhealthy meal plans. Despite the success of her petition and the validity of her request to protect her right to health, Belmont refused to change its practices. As a result, Missy chose to leave Belmont University in favor of a school that prioritizes the health and wellness of its students. Because of her deep belief in FLOSN food, Missy aspires to continue her education studying food systems so that she can keep fighting for FLOSN food in schools and transform the food and health systems.
Director, San Francisco Department of the Environment
In May of 2014, Mayor Ed Lee appointed Debbie Raphael as the Director of the San Francisco Department of the Environment, a city agency that creates visionary policies and programs to ensure a sustainable future for San Francisco. Raphael returns to San Francisco after three years leading the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, where she worked to bal-ance stakeholder interests in protecting the public and environment from toxic harm.
Raphael believes that cities like San Francisco are incubators for bold action that results in meaningful change. Her approach to environmental decision-making focuses on using the best available science and robust stakeholder interaction to ensure that all voices are honored. This perspective has allowed her to succeed in addressing some of the most challenging environ-mental problems, including the rollout of California’s landmark Green Chemistry Initiative.
In 20 years of public service at city, county, and state levels, Raphael has crafted and imple-mented groundbreaking policies around toxics reduction, green building, business engagement, integrated pest management, and environmentally preferable purchasing. She graduated with honors in biology from the University of California, Berkeley, was a Smithsonian and National Science Foundation fellow, and has a Master’s degree in Physiological Plant Ecology from UCLA.
President & Co-Founder, Indigenous
Matt is President and Co-founder of INDiGENOUS, a leading premium organic apparel brand and producer of hand-crafted fair trade clothing. He and INDiGENOUS have won dozens of awards, been featured in scores of books and periodicals, and received numerous accolades, including winner of the global SOURCE Awards for best in Womenswear. “Top Innovator Award” from Apparel Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazines “Young Millionaire”, and singled out as a leader in socially conscious apparel by the Wall Street Journal, the San Francisco Examiner, Yoga Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Sustainable Industries. Matt has also lectured extensively, both on branding and with regards to issues of sustainability in fashion and business, at a multitude of venues including Stanford University, Coterie NY, WWDMAGIC and Prompex, Lima Peru.
Matt Reynolds is an ardent advocate about the positive power of business for the benefit of people and the planet. He has been a pioneer in the areas of fair trade, organics, environmental practice and the sustainability movement.He has worked for over twenty years in bringing together organizations around the world and helping to createnumerous collaborative initiatives. His passion and dedication have firmly established him as a leader in the global organic and fair trade movement.
Founder & CEO, Nutiva
John Roulac is the founder and CEO of Nutiva, the world’s leading organic superfoods brand of hemp, coconut, chia, and red palm superfoods. Founded in 1999 and dedicated to nourishing people and planet, Nutiva has been named one of Inc. magazine’s fastest-growing companies in America for seven years in a row.
A longtime advocate for healthy people and ecosystems, with expertise ranging from home composting and natural healing to forestry and hemp agriculture, John has authored four books on environmental topics, with combined sales of more than one million copies. He helped jumpstart the modern home-composting movement in the early 1990s and successfully sued the US DEA to keep hemp foods legal in 2001. He has founded four nonprofit ecological groups, including GMOInside.org.
RACHEL LINCOLN SARNOFF
Executive Director, 5 Gyres Institute
Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff is the Executive Director of 5 Gyres Institute, a nonprofit that fights ocean plastic pollution. Previously, Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff designed and executed marketing and development strategies for mission-driven brands and organizations through her company, Sugar Conscious Communications. She is the former Executive Director of the non-profit Healthy Child Healthy World who founded EcoStiletto and MommyGreenest.com and appeared as a sustainability expert on “The Today Show” and “CNN Headline News,” and at SXSW Eco and Natural Products Expo West, among others. Rachel is also the author of The Big List of Things That Suck and The Mommy Greenest Guide to Pregnancy, Birth & Beyond.
Founder, GMO WTF
Robert is a student who is skeptical of the industry-sponsored pro-GMO claims espoused by his school, Cornell University in upstate Ithaca, NY. He decided to host his own course on GMO agriculture, in response to Cornell’s starkly pro-GMO version called “The GMO Debate”. The entirety of his course, plus much more, is available for free on his website, gmowtf.com, which will be continually updated to reflect the latest findings and news on this incredibly complex, nuanced, and important topic.
Robert is interested in the non-corrupted future of science than our current GMO paradigm, particularly: human nutrition with respect to plant-based diets, ending the crisis of chronic human disease, actually ending world hunger with agroecology, authentically mitigating climate change, appropriate uses of technology (including some biotechnologies), and generally, a more nuanced, critical use of science as a tool to benefit humanity.
On a deeper level, he feels that his main mission in life goes beyond quibbling over the troubled state of science in today’s world. He is here to assist both in the ending the global abuse and exploitation of animals, and ending world hunger.
Co-Founder, Turning Green
Erin Schrode is a young ecoRenaissance woman. As the “face of the new green generation,” the co-founder / spokeswoman of TG promotes global sustainability, youth leadership, environmental education, and conscious lifestyle choices. Since 2005, she has developed eco education and social action platforms to inspire, educate, and mobilize millions of students and the global public with her youth-focused non-profit and beyond. After working in disaster response in Haiti, she founded and launched The Schoolbag, a youth education project to provide materials for students, as well as initiate active citizenry and environmental stewardship. Having visited over seventy countries, Erin has developed a keen global perspective and hopes to inspire her peers to take action and make the world a more sustainable, just place for future generations.
Director of Science Programs, The Organic Center
Dr. Jessica Shade is the Director of Science Programs at The Organic Center where she directs projects associated with communicating and conducting research related to organic agriculture. During her tenure at The Organic Center Dr. Shade has collaborated on a number of diverse research programs ranging from applied solutions to on-farm challenges to methods for improving environmental impacts of agriculture.
Some of her most recent collaborations include projects aimed at decreasing nitrogen pollution from agricultural sources, increasing on-farm biodiversity, and developing integrated pest management solutions for organic growers. Dr. Shade has extensive experience leading groups of diverse stakeholders to successfully develop unified visions and project goals. She developed and leads the Center’s signature conference event, Organic Confluences, which brings together policy makers, researchers, farmers, industry members, and other non-profits to address and overcome challenges faced by the organic sector.
Dr. Shade has been honored for her environmental accomplishments by the Audubon Women in Conservation through their Women Greening Food Special Recognition, the Ecological Society of America Student Section and Union of Concerned Scientists through their Ecoservice Award, and is a Switzer Environmental Fellow. She received her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley.
Founder & Executive Director, Turning Green
Judi Shils is a passionate grassroots activist and community leader. She has spent the last 14 years of her life spearheading innovative, impactful projects with diverse stakeholders on local, national, and global levels. The dearth of answers around Marin County’s high cancer rates led Shils to found the non-profit Search for the Cause, giving birth to Turning Green, a powerful student-led movement around education and advocacy that inspires and mobilizes students to transition from conventional to conscious. She is the force behind The Conscious Kitchen (TCK), a program in public elementary schools to serve fresh, local, organic, seasonal, non-GMO (FLOSN), scratch-cooked breakfast and lunch to students. TCK launched in 2013 on a campus where 95% of children are on free-and-reduced meals. Since expanding in scale and reach this past year, TCK formed the first organic, non-GMO school district in the country. Moving to the Bay Area in 1989 and becoming a mother to daughter Erin changed the course of Judi’s life. Prior to this, she was an Emmy Award-winning television producer for 25 years with ABC Sports, FOX and Oxygen, founded The Diary Project forum for youth at the onset of the internet. Judi also consults for the California Coastal Commission around public education and is a fierce advocate for positive change in the face of injustice across the globe.
Founder, Trash is for Tossers and The Simply Co.
Lauren Singer is author of the Zero Waste blog Trash is for Tossers and founder of organic cleaning product company The Simply Co.
An Environmental Studies graduate from NYU and former Sustainability Manager at the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, the amount of trash that she has produced over the past four years can fit inside of a 16 oz mason jar.
Through her blog, she has empowered millions of readers to produce less waste by shopping package free, making their own products, and refusing plastic and single use items.
Her work has been profiled by The New York Times, New York Magazine, MSNBC, NBC, AOL, CNN, Yahoo, Fox Business, BBC, and NPR amongst others.
Founder, Institute of Responsible Technology
Jeffrey M. Smith is an international best-selling author and filmmaker; Executive Director, Institute of Responsible Technology and leading spokesperson on the health dangers of GMOs. He is the leading consumer advocate promoting healthier non-GMO choices. Mr. Smith’s documentary Genetic Roulette, The Gamble of Our Lives was awarded the 2012 Movie of the Year (Solari Report) and the Transformational Film of the Year (AwareGuide). His books include: Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies about the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You’re Eating and Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods.
Program Coordinator, Turning Green
Ashley graduated from Rice University in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences. Growing up, her multiple passions for medicine, food and nutrition, environmental science, and writing inspired her to pursue a calling that fused them all together. As an undergrad, Ashley joined the Turning Green “tribe” as an intern following their 2nd annual Conscious College Road Tour. She went on to work as a fellow and serve two terms as the president of their Student Advisory Board. Her work with TG mobilized her to lead various initiatives at Rice, where she co-founded and presided over the Rice Environmental Society, a group that fosters collaboration among various eco organizations, and the Environmental Health Collaborative, a group that unites pre-med students and health professionals to inform communities around environmental impacts on wellness. Upon graduating Rice, Ashley accepted the prestigious R25E Summer Research Experience Competitive Award from the National Cancer Institute and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to work as a summer fellow in their Integrative Medicine Program. Upon completing her fellowship, Ashley accepted a gap-year position as the research coordinator for the Environmental Health Service at Baylor College of Medicine. Ashley is thrilled to be working full-time for Turning Green and The Conscious Kitchen as the program coordinator, where she plans to merge her skills in medical research, her passion to inform and activate youth, and her mission to shift the paradigm in our global food system.
PGC 2013 Champion, Turning Green
Born and raised in rural Massachusetts, Madeleine Welsch is a senior at Skidmore College studying Communication Design and Drawing. Project Green Challenge 2013 ignited her passion for the sustainable food movement. As a illustrator and designer, she hopes to use art as a catalyst for change: a way to communicate causes of–and solutions for–the multitude of environmental issues our planet faces today. In her free time, Madeleine bakes peach pie and hikes every peak she can set her feet on.
Education Coordinator, DOI/VISTA
Born and raised in Georgia, Julia grew up hiking, canoeing, and running around barefoot. She was a Project Green Challenge finalist in 2011 as a high school senior and has been involved with Turning Green ever since. After receiving degrees in Environmental Science and Spanish from the University of Alabama, Julia moved to Denver and is currently serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA with a wildlife refuge and an environmental education nonprofit. She is constantly learning about Denver communities, inclusivity in public land, and how to engage families in outdoor experiences. Julia is passionate about conservation, creative expression and social justice, and she abides by the Wendell Berry quote, “Do unto those downstream as you would have those upstream do unto you.” When she’s off the clock, you can find Julia biking across Denver, hiking through the Rocky Mountains, and snapping photos along the way. This will be the fifth time Julia has attended the PGC Finals.