Pio Aguirre is CEO of OINARRI SGR, the only company in Spain that supports and specializes in the social economy. Prior to his recent move to OINARRI, Pio was Director of International Development at the Mondragon Cooperatives' Bank, Laboral Kutxa. He worked for 30 years in the Mondragon Cooperatives Group in the financial area. He specializes in Cooperative Development at Mondragon University and collaborates with the Leadership and Entrepreneurship Masters' program (LEINN) there. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Fund Fides for the Social Economy of Mexico and was a former member of the governing council of Caja Laboral Credit Cooperative (Mondragon) in Spain.
Gar Alperovitz is the Lionel R. Bauman Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland and co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative. He is a former fellow of the Institute of Politics at Harvard and of King's College at Cambridge University, where he received his PhD in political economy. He has served as a legislative director in the US House of Representatives and the US Senate, and as a special assistant in the Department of State. He was president of the Center for Community Economic Development, Co-director of The Cambridge Institute, and president of the Center for the Study of Public Policy. He is the author of Straight Talk About the Next American Revolution, America Beyond Capitalsm, and most recently, What Then Must We Do?
Ellen Brown is the co-founder and President of The Public Banking Institute. She developed her research skills as an attorney practicing civil litigation in Los Angeles. She is the author of 11 books, including Web of Debt, which traces the history and evolution of the current private banking system, and The Public Bank Solution, which details the way to a democratization of money. Ellen is currently running for Treasurer in the state of California on the Green Party ticket. She has degrees from UC Berkeley and UCLA School of Law.
Michael Brune is the Executive Director of the Sierra Club. Previously, he served as Executive Director of Rainforest Action Network. Since starting as Director of the Sierra Club, the organization has grown to more than two million supporters and its Beyond Coal campaign has been recognized as one of the most effective efforts in environmental history. His critically-acclaimed book, Coming Clean: Breaking America's Addiction to Oil and Coal (2010), details a plan for a new green economy that will create well-paying jobs, promote environmental justice, and bolster national security. Brune holds degrees in economics and finance from West Chester University in Pennsylvania.
Jihan Gearon is Executive Director of the Black Mesa Water Coalition in New Mexico. Originally from the Navajo reservation, she is Dine (Navajo) and African American. Jihan is a graduate of Stanford University in Earth Systems with a focus in Energy Science and Technology. She has built capacity and collective strength in indigenous communities throughout North America in energy development and climate change. She is on the steering committee of the Climate Justice Alignment. She is also a board member of the Center for Story-based Strategy.
Randy Hayes founded Rainforest Action Network (RAN) and remains on the board. Currently, he works in Washington, DC with Andrew Kimbrell and Brent Blackwelder at Foundation Earth, a new think tank that is developing a big picture for human order, which includes economic models, legal-governance systems, educational programs, and healthcare systems. This calls for a reinvention of the role of human society on earth. Randy served for five years as president of the City of San Francisco's Commission on the Environment and for two years as director of sustainability in the office of Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown (now governor). He has a Master's degree in Environmental Planning from SF State University. He has received numerous awards, including one from the Business Ethics Network and Alumnus of the year (2010) at SF State University.
Richard Heinberg is a Senior Fellow at the Post Carbon Institute and is widely regarded as one of the world's foremost Peak Oil educators. His work has appeared in several journals, including Nature, The Ecologist, Earth Island Journel, European Business Review, and many others. His books include The End of Growth, Snake Oil, Peak Everything: Waking Up to the Century of Declines, The Oil Depletion Protocol: A Plan to Avert Oil Wars, Terrorism & Economic Collapse, and others. He was professor of Human Ecology at New College. Richard is also a professional musician who has performed with string quartets and other instrumentalists.
Mark Hertsgaard is the environmental correspondent for The Nation Magazine and a frequent contributer on climate change in The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Scientific American, Rolling Stone, Le Monde, and several other publications. Mark has reported from twenty-five countries about politics, world affairs, culture and environmental issues. He is the author of On Bended Knee: The Press and the Reagan Presidency, Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth, and Earth Odysseey: Around the World in Search of Our Environmental Future.
Mark Z. Jacobson is Director of the Atmosphere Energy Program and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University. He is also a Senior Fellow of the Woods Institute for the Environment and of the Precourt Institute for Energy. Mark develops and applies computer models to understand air pollution, global warming, and renewable energy resources. In his TED talk and appearance on the Dave Letterman Show, he explained how the world could completely convert to clean energy by 2050. He has published two textbooks and 140 peer-reviewed articles. Mark has received awards from the Amerian Meteorological Society, the American Geophysical Union Ascent Award, and the 2013 Global Green Policy Design Award for developing state and country energy plans. He also served on the advisory committee to the U.S. Secretary of Energy. He has degrees in civil engineering, economics, and an M.S. in environmental engineering from Stanford University and holds a PhD in Atmospheric Sciences from UCLA.
Georgia Kelly is the founder and executive director of Praxis Peace Institute. She has produced several multi-day conferences in Europe and California. She also leads groups for a week-long seminar at the Mondragón Cooperatives in Spain every year. Georgia creates educational programing for Praxis as well as leading workshops in Conflict Resolution. She is editor and co-author of Uncivil Liberties: Deconstructing Libertarianism, a critique of libertarian ideas and laissez-faire capitalism. She writes a blog on Huffington Post and enjoyed a previous career as a harpist, composer, and recording artist.
Andrew Kimbrell is a public interest attorney, activist, and author. He is the founder and executive director of the Center for Food Safety in Washington, DC, and the International Center for Technology Assessment. Andrew has been at the forefront of legal and grassroots efforts to protect the environment and to promote sustainable agricultural production methods. He is the author of Your Right to Know: Genetic Engineering and the Secret Changes in Your Food, The Human Body Shop: The Engineering and Marketing of Life, Salmon Economics, and The Masculine Mystique: Men and Technology. Andrew was named one of the 50 people most likely to save the planet by the UK-based Guardian.
David Korten is the co-founder and board chair of YES! Magazine, co-chair of the New Economy Working Group, founder and president of the Living Economies Forum, a former board member of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE), and associate of the International Forum on Globalization. He earned MBA and PhD degrees from Stanford University Graduate School of Business and served five years as a faculty member of Harvard University Graduate School of Business. In the 1970s, David left academia and moved to Southeast Asia, where he served as a Ford Foundation project specialist and later as an Asia regional adviser on development management to USAID. Disillusioned with official aid programs, he shifted his work to Asian non-governmental organizations. He is the author of Agenda for a New Economy, When Corporations Rule the World, The Great Turning, and The Post-Corporate World: Life After Capitalism.
Lisa Kristine, acclaimed humanitarian photographer, is the conference Artist-in-Residence. Her photographs document indigenous cultures in more than a hundred countries on six continents. Lisa gained broad recognition for her collaboration with the NGO, Free the Slaves and was the recipient for the Lucie Foundation's 2013 Humanitarian Award that recognizes achievements of master photographers. She has published five books and has been the subject of four documentaries. She was the sole exhibitor at the 2009 Vancouver Peace Summit and has received international acclaim for her exquisite photography that celebrates the world's beauty and the dignity of men, women, and children around the world. Lisa's photography will be on display and available for purchase at the conference.
Osprey Orielle Lake is the founder and president of Women's Earth and Climate Caucus (WECC), which works nationally and internationally to promote resilient communities and foster a post-carbon energy future, while also addressing societal transformation. She is co-chair of International Advocacy with the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, and she co-founded the International Women's Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN), a rights-based approach to climate solutions with women leaders from around the world. Osprey is the author of the award-winning book, Uprisings for the Earth: Reconnecting Culture with Nature. She is also a renown sculptor and artist whose work is featured in many public venues, including Jack London Square in Oakland, CA.
George Lakoff is the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at UC Berkeley, where he has taught since 1972. Previously, he taught at Harvard and the University of Michigan. His research covers many areas of Conceptual Analysis within Cognitive Linguistics, including the nature of human conceptual systems, especially metaphor systems for concepts such as time, events, causation, emotions, morality, the self, politics, etc., and the neural foundations of conceptual systems and language. George is the author of many books, including the New York Times bestseller, Don't Think of an Elephant, Metaphors We Live By, Moral Politics; How Liberal and Conservatives Think, and The Political Mind. He holds degrees from M.I.T. in mathematics and English literature and a PhD in Linguistics from Indiana University. George is American's leading expert on the framing of political ideas and is one of the world's best-known cognitive scientists.
Gayle McLaughlin, Mayor of Richmond, CA. Under Gayle's leadership over the past eight years, Richmond is leading the Bay Area for solar installations per capita and her city has earned countless awards for its model green jobs training program. Violent crime has decreased 66% during her terms, as she has overseen community gardens, park rennovations in neighborhoods throughout the city, and the expansion of bike paths and trails. Committed to social, economic, and environmental justice, Gayle is at the helm of the largest city in the US with a Green Party Mayor. She was elected twice as Mayor and without the benefit of any corporate money. She co-founded the Richmond Ptrgressive Alliance, Solar Richmond, and has been a strong advocate for new economic structures such as worker-owned cooperatives.
Michael Peck has served as the North American Representative for the Mondragon Cooperatives for the past 14 years. He launched the non-profit "One Worker-One Vote," which is dedicated to solving America's unhealthy and unequal opportunity, mobility and wealth divides through broad-based, equal share worker ownership. Michael was instrumental in bringing the leading Spanish wind turbine manufacturer to Pennsylvanis, which invested over $220 million and created 1,000 green jobs and has been hailed as a model US green economy company. He is on the Apollo Alliance Advisory Board as well as the Blue-Green Alliance Corporate Advisory Council. He also participated in forming the Mondragon and United Steelworkers Union partnership to create union-coop hybrids with the goal of revamping US manufacturing through worker empowerment and ownership.
Janet Redman is director of the Climate Policy Program at the Institute for Policy Studies in Wahsington, DC. As a founding participant in the global Climate Justice Now! network, Janet is committed to bringing hard-hitting policy analysis into grassroots and grasstops organizing. She is currently working with grassroots coalitions and global campaigns like the Climate Justice Alliance and Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice. Her focus is developing innovative policies to reinvest in the new economy. She holds a Master's degree from Clark University in International Development and Social Change and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from the University of Vermont.
Don Shaffer has served as President and CEO of RSF Social Finance in San Francisco since 2007. As leaders in social finance, Don and the team at RSF seek to transform the way the world works with money. Their constant question: "How can we model financial transactions that are direct, transparent, personal, and based on long-term relationships?" Don has been a social entrepreneur for many years, growing a for-profit education business, a software company, a sporting goods manufacturer, in addition to a non-profit, and the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE).
Nikki Silvestri is the executive director of Green for ALL, an organization working to build a more inclusive, healthy, and sustainable economy. Prior to joining Green for All, she served as executive director of People's Grocery in Oakland, CA, where she led efforts to cultivate economic and environmental justice within the food sector. She holds a Master's degree in African American studies from UCLA.
Melissa Hoover is the Executive Director of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives (USFWC), the national membership organization for worker cooperatives, founded in 2004. She is also founding director of the Democracy at Work Institute, which provides technical support to existing cooperatives.
Tim Huet is a founder and legal cousel for the Arizmendi Bakeries, a group of six worker-owned bakeries in the SF Bay Area. He is also a lawyer and director at the Center for Democratic Solutions.
Joseph Tuck has been the General Coordinator/CEO of Alvarado Street Bakery in Petaluma, CA for over 25 years. During his time there, the worker-owned cooperatives has grown from a small local bakery with ten workers to one of the largest and most successful worker-owned cooperatives in the United States. The median compensation for worker/members now exceeds $85,000 annually and is augmented with profit sharing, a robust medical plan, 401k contributions, and a generous vacation plan.