Judges | Open Category

Judges | Open Category

Awards judges header -

Austin Awards Judges

These judges will select the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place award winners from among the Challenge finalists. Awards will be made at the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge Awards event in Austin, TX, October 4, 2015.

Janine Benyus - Janine Benyus
Janine Benyus

Janine Benyus

Janine Benyus is a natural sciences writer, innovation consultant, and author of six books, including her latest − Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature. She co-founded the world’s first bio-inspired consultancy, bringing nature’s ideas to the design table and board room of 250+ companies including Nike, HOK, GE Procter and Gamble, Levi’s and General Mills; and an educational non-profit dedicated to promoting the study of biomimicry. In 2011, Janine and her co-founders combined staffs and administration services into a single entity, to create Biomimicry 3.8. In addition to her biomimicry work, Janine teaches interpretive writing, lectures at the University of Montana, and works towards restoring and protecting wild lands. She has received several awards including the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt Design Mind Award, the 2011 Heinz Award, Rachel Carson Environmental Ethics Award, and the Lud Browman Award for Science Writing. Learn more

Katherine Collins - Katherine Collins
Katherine Collins

Katherine Collins

Katherine Collins is Founder and CEO of Honeybee Capital, an independent research firmdedicated to reconnecting investing with the real world.  She is author of the book, The Nature of Investing, and her closest neighbors in Massachusetts are several thousand honeybees. Katherine has over twenty years of professional investment experience as portfolio manager and head of research at Fidelity Management & Research Company.  More recently she has earned her MTS degree at Harvard Divinity School and studied biomimicry as guides for investing in a >more integrated way, in service to our communities and our planet.

John (JP) Kloninger - John (JP) Kloninger
John (JP) Kloninger

John (JP) Kloninger

JP is a Global Buyer for Whole Foods Market’s World Headquarters in Austin, Texas. For the company and its nearly 450 grocery stores, JP leads the procurement for the company of the packed salads, sweet potatoes, winter squashes, beans and peas, and his favorite category – specialty products that include many tropicals from Latin America and certainly Costa Rica.

Prior to his recent move back to “the business side,” for over five years JP performed the accounting, financial reporting, metrics tracking and analysis, regulatory compliance work, and the U.S. programs monitoring and evaluation for Whole Planet Foundation, a Whole Foods Market non-profit organization.

JP grew up in Costa Rica and has native knowledge of Spanish. He has had various experiences involving work and travel throughout the developing world and management of companies’ efficiency and performance, such as exporting agricultural machinery to Latin America, international marketing of computer hardware, high-tech operations analysis, data administration and quality assurance at Whole Foods Market, and teaching international business, Latin American and general economics, and business statistics.  He holds Bachelor degrees in Agricultural Engineering and Management/Engineering, and a Master's degree in Economics with emphasis on Development.

JP loves camping, cooking, fishing, hiking, and roadtrips with his wife and two daughters; enjoys exploring domestic and international foods of all sorts (including Texas BBQ of course!); and is a soccer fan, normally rooting for the national teams of Brazil, USA, and especially Costa Rica.

Alex O’Cinneide - Alex O’Cinneide
Alex O’Cinneide

Alex O’Cinneide

Alex O’Cinneide is CEO of Gore Street Capital where he manages significant capital on behalf of institutional investors for renewable investments. Beside his role in Gore Street he acts as a Senior Advisor to Kleinwort Benson Bank in London and a Senior Advisor to Paladin Capital Group in Washington DC, serves on the Investment Committee for SDCL (a global energy efficient fund), serves on the Investment Committee of IndoChina Capital (an Oryx Corp Asia Renewables fund) and is partner in Aqal Capital, a leading impact investment firm. Alongside those commercial activities he also serves on the board of the NGO Educate Girls Globally and the NGO thirst4water.

Robert Suarez - Robert Suarez
Robert Suarez

Robert Suarez

Robert Suarez is the Managing Director of Innovation and Design for Singularity University Labs. SU labs brings together entrepreneurs, corporations and impact partners to enable the creation of sustainable solutions to difficult challenges—education, energy, environment, food, global health, poverty, security, space and water—that face humanity.

Before join SU, he was on the founding team of Level Money, a mission-driven design-led financial services organization in San Francisco. Level’s mission is to empower America’s young adults to take control of their financial futures, both individually and collectively, by creating fair and trustworthy personal financial services and by educating and advocating for financial sustainability.

Preliminary review header -

Preliminary Review Judges

We are honored to be working with a diverse assortment of leaders and experts working in food systems, social enterprise, design, and biomimicry, to review and score submissions and recommend finalists to advance to the awards event in Austin, TX, and to the Prototype Round of the competition.

John A. Lanier -
John A. Lanier

John A. Lanier

John A. Lanier is the Executive Director of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation, a Georgia-based private family foundation honoring the legacy of the late Ray C. Anderson (1934-2011). Lanier joined the Foundation in May 2013, leaving a successful career with Sutherland, Asbill and Brennan, LLP to assume his current role at the helm of the foundation that bears his grandfather’s name. Ray Anderson was a globally recognized industrialist and pioneer for environmentalism, and Lanier continues his legacy today through Foundation programs that seek to create a brighter, more sustainable world by funding innovative, educational, and project-based initiatives.

Hazel Henderson - Hazel Henderson
Hazel Henderson

Hazel Henderson

Hazel Henderson is a futurist, evolutionary economist, syndicated columnist, author of Mapping the Global Transition to the Solar Age (2014) and eleven other books. She is also Founder and resident Editor in Chief of Ethical Markets Media (USA & Brazil), a Certfied B Corporation. She holds many honorary degrees, Hon. Member Club of Rome, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (UK), Science policy advisory to US Office of Technology Assessment, National Science Foundation, Nat. Academy of Engineering ( 1974-1980).

Jim Corlett - Jim Corlett
Jim Corlett

Jim Corlett

Corlett & Associates provides consulting services in Clean Energy technologies, commercialization, and business development. Jim Corlett, CEO, has over 30 years of experience in several energy industries, including positions in corporate engineering and market development with BP, Thomas & Betts, and SDG&E/Sempra Energy. One of his current clients is the von Liebig Center for Entrepreneurism at the University of California in San Diego, where he is a Technology and Business Advisor. Jim holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a Master's degree in Business Administration. Open to Strategic Advisor and Board of Directors roles.

Erin Rovalo - Erin Rovalo
Erin Rovalo

Erin Rovalo

Coming from an architectural design background, Erin now weaves her design thinking expertise with the biomimicry approach for a distinctly innovative approach to sustainable solutions. Her goal is to deliver a holistic methodology for driving innovation and ecosystem regeneration and conservation while bringing awareness to new ways to view and value the natural world.

As a Senior Principal at Biomimicry 3.8, Erin has broadened her scope beyond the built environment to include a wider range of design sectors and challenges, such as packaging design and organizational development, while also serving as a biomimicry and design instructor to adult learners around the world. She has successfully managed biomimicry innovation initiatives for Natura, Estee Lauder, Lone Meadow, Interface, and Burt’s Bees and supported the professional training of over 150 alumni from Biomimicry 3.8 certification programs.

Jeff Birkby - Jeff Birkby
Jeff Birkby

Jeff Birkby

Jeff Birkby has been a Program Manager for the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) since the mid-1980s.  Birkby’s work includes managing a variety of local food , community sustainability and urban agriculture projects for state and federal agencies and nonprofit organizations. Birkby's current work focuses on the interface between urban agriculture and smart growth, including vertical and container farms, development-supported agriculture, keeping rural and corner grocery stores vibrant, and progressive zoning polices to support urban agriculture. Birkby has an MS in Plant Ecology from Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana.

Timothy McGee - Timothy McGee
Timothy McGee

Timothy McGee

Timothy R. McGee is chief biologist and designer at LikoLab, a biology & design firm on Bainbridge Island Washington that learns from nature, and makes things. Likolab explores the interface between biology and design helping organizations confront both the human and scientific challenges of emerging biological technology. Tim’s work spans broad challenges from developing new ways to manufacture materials to enabling cities to build resilient systems for growth and development. Tim is also co-founder of Biomimicry New England, a non-profit that works to establish nature and natural systems as an important resource for education and innovation in New England.

Saskia van den Muijsenberg - Saskia van den Muijsenberg
Saskia van den Muijsenberg

Saskia van den Muijsenberg

Saskia is the Chair and co-founder of biomimicryNL, and a Certified Biomimicry Professional with over 15 years of experience in marketing, change management and strategic innovation. With a variety of Fortune 500 companies Saskia catalyzes innovation by enabling others to explore life's design strategies to develop new ideas into real business opportunities. Through teaching, lecturing and consulting, she proactively spreads the practice of biomimicry across different disciplines and levels. Saskia currently also acts as an expert advisor to the European Commission for Societal Challenge 5: 'Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials'.

Gamelihle Sibanda - Gamelihle Sibanda
Gamelihle Sibanda

Gamelihle Sibanda

Gamelihle, a Certified Biomimicry Professional, fuses his training in civil engineering (BSc Eng Honours), business (MBA) and biomimicry (CBP) towards creation of a sustainable world; where there is enough for all forever. A visual story teller and rapid ideator, his diverse skill set enables him to abstract strategies from nature to create solutions for human challenges. He co-developed the Biominga Innovation Model based on evolutionary strategies that nature has continuously tested and refined over the past 3.8 billion years. Where others see things that are and ask "why?", Gamelihle dreams about things that do not exist and asks "why not?"

Tim Shaw - Tim Shaw
Tim Shaw

Tim Shaw

Tim Shaw is a graduate of Williams College, The French Culinary Institute, New York University (M.A. In Food Studies) and most recently Presidio Graduate School (MPA in Sustainable Management). He has over 20 years experience as a Chef and 15 years experience as an educator and has taught about food systems and food safety at both NYU and the International Culinary Center (formerly known as the French Culinary Institute). As a lecturer he has presented at Yale Medical School to incoming first year students during their week of nutrition on the importance of healthy dietary fats, and spoke at SXSWEco about teaching Farm to Table curriculums. After relocating to the Bay Area in 2011, he became focused on teaching classes about food systems to culinary students, getting them out of the kitchen and the classroom so they get a first hand look at what words such as "organic," "sustainable" and "local" mean - and don't mean. The idea behind these classes is to get students into the fields and onto the farms so they can see the benefits and limitations to the food systems with which they are going to work as chefs so they can have a better appreciation of how to successfully affect change. His capstone project at Presidio was a curriculum designed to look at food systems through the lens of the heated and partisan conversation around GMOs. For ten years in New York, Chef Tim also owned a private chef service and cooked for many celebrities and after a couple microbrews he may be convinced to break some confidentially agreements...

Mark Juergensen - Mark Juergensen
Mark Juergensen

Mark Juergensen

Mr. Juergensen is an expert in commercialization of clean and sustainable technologies including; renewables, bio-fuels, bio-tech, transportation and traditional clean energy. He is a Principal Advisor to the NSF through the Los Angeles Regional Technology Alliance (LARTA). He is a corporate advisor to LightSource Renewables, Wellhead Electric and SeaBreeze Power. Mr. Juergensen has judged for reviewed multiple clean technology competitions including; NREL’s Industry Growth Forum (IGF), California Clean Innovation (CACI), Connect Most Innovative Product, the UCSD von Liebeg Center and CleanTech San Diego.

Patrick Baumann - Patrick Baumann
Patrick Baumann

Patrick Baumann

Patrick Baumann is founder and CEO of a mechanical engineering company and a managing partner of Biomimicry Switzerland. With 20 years of experience and proven ability to manage and complete R&D projects to the highest standard, he maintains a top level overview on system interdependency and careful attention to user-friendliness.

Anna Lappé - Anna Lappé
Anna Lappé

Anna Lappé

Anna Lappé is an internationally recognized expert on food systems and sustainable agriculture and a bestselling author. She is a contributing author to eleven books and the author or co-author of three, including her most recent, Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do About It (Bloomsbury USA, 2010). Along with her mother, Frances Moore Lappé, she is a founding principle of the Small Planet Institute and Fund. She currently directs Real Food Media, a collaborative initiative for creative communications about food and sustainability.

Travis Heneveld - Travis Heneveld
Travis Heneveld

Travis Heneveld

As United Nations' Account Director, Travis Heneveld oversees the delivery of business critical communication solutions to peacekeeping, emergency response and development agencies worldwide. Prior to joining Motorola's Europe, Middle East and Africa Strategy team in 2003, Travis spent several years as a Strategy Consultant driving new product & marketing initiatives for Fortune 100 companies such as Levi's, United Airlines, IKEA and Ericsson. A global citizen with living experiences in Europe and Asia, Travis is currently based in Germany and is a Guest Lecturer in Cross-cultural Management at The Berlin School of Economics and Law. He is a contributor to "Digital Kenya, the New Generation of Entrepreneurs", a management textbook that will be published later this year. Travis is a BA graduate of Pomona College and holds an International MBA from the University of South Carolina.

Sherry Ritter - Sherry Ritter
Sherry Ritter

Sherry Ritter

Sherry's career spans 30+ years of working as a biologist, with an emphasis on wildlife ecology. During that time she wrote several dozen magazine articles and authored one book. She loves doing research and observing how organisms adapt to their environments, and sharing that information with others.

Sherry is a Certified Biomimicry Professional. She started working with Biomimicry in 2004, first just a few hours a week, then half-time, then full-time. She was the content manager for AskNature, did biomimicry consulting, worked on various education projects, and taught biomimicry. She co-taught two Biomimicry Specialist cohorts and has taught biomimicry in the USA, Mexico, China, and France.

Cindy Gilbert - Cindy Gilbert
Cindy Gilbert

Cindy Gilbert

Cindy Gilbert (MEd, Griffith University, Australia; MS, Oregon State University) directs the sustainable design program at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD). In this role, she fosters a culture of awareness and creativity through sustainable, innovative, and collaborative design. Most recently, Gilbert served for three and a half years as the founding director of university education at the Biomimicry Institute, where she developed and managed all higher education programs, including the biomimicry professional certification program, the annual biomimicry education summits, the biomimicry affiliate and fellows programs, and the biomimicry student design challenges.

Evan Greenberg - Evan Greenberg
Evan Greenberg

Evan Greenberg

Evan Greenberg is a researcher, educator and design consultant. With over ten years experience working with architects, engineers, artists and fashion designers, and teaching studios and design workshops around the world, Evan investigates environmental strategies, biomimetics, advanced fabrication processes and the behaviour of responsive and distributed systems to tackle design problems both in research and academia. Evan is Studio Master in the Emergent Technologies and Design Programme and Technical Studies Course Tutor in the 1st and 5th Years at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, where he has been teaching since 2008. Evan has lectured and taught internationally and currently co-directs Embedded Intelligence, AA Visiting School New York, and has been a Fellow of the Biomimicry Institute since 2012.

Jane Toner - Jane Toner
Jane Toner

Jane Toner

Jane Toner is an architect, sustainability consultant and Australia’s first Biomimicry Specialist. Jane has a firm belief that nature has the answers to living sustainably on planet Earth - it's just a matter of asking the right questions. Jane is the founder of BiomimicrySwarm Australia, a collaborative network seeking to share knowledge of biomimicry to promote its uptake. Jane is passionate about the potential for biomimicry to contribute to design solutions that are environmentally regenerative, socially just and joyous. She is a strong advocate for the integration of sustainable design concepts at the earliest stage of a project and sees intra-disciplinary collaboration as key to successful sustainable design outcomes.

Denny Royal - Denny Royal
Denny Royal

Denny Royal

As a principal and Azul 7’s design practice leader, Denny Royal has grown and nurtured our human-centered design approach. With a background in design research, customer experience, brand, design and technology, he is able to help clients solve challenges from a holistic perspective. Denny is a life-long learner. He completed design thinking training at Stanford's d.school and attended B.J. Fogg’s persuasion bootcamp. He is currently working toward his Master's degree in biomimicry with the Biomimicry 3.8 and Arizona State University. In 2012, Denny was selected as a Presidential Innovation Fellows finalist. He applies that same drive to learn and share information when developing a design thinking education specialty at Azul 7.

Regina Rowland - Regina Rowland
Regina Rowland

Regina Rowland

Regina Rowland is a Professor of Design Management and Design for Sustainability at the Savannah College of Art & Design on SCAD’s main campus in the US as well as on the SCAD Lacoste campus in France. She also teaches graduate and doctoral students in Europe and in South America in engineering and management programs. After earning a graduate degree in design, she earned her doctorate in transdisciplinarity from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, thereafter completed post-doctoral research in systemic sustainability at the Grenoble Ecole de Management in France, and earned additional executive and graduate certificates in Sustainable Enterprises at Willamette Univeristy in Oregon, and Biomimicry at Arizona State University. She is also a Biomimicry 3.8-certified Biomimicry Specialist and teaches the Biomimcry Framework and Biomimicry Thinking Design Process to designers, engineers, and managers all over the world. Regina consults in the nexus of business, design, and technology and is frequently asked to serve as a judge for sustainability-based awards and grant applications, such as Ocean Exchange and the National Research Foundation.

Colleen Mahoney - Colleen Mahoney
Colleen Mahoney

Colleen Mahoney

Colleen Mahoney is an architect, a biomimicry specialist, a mom, an amateur photographer, nature lover and life-long learner. In Colleen's career as an award-winning architect she has been a leader in green building. Colleen is linking her talent and design skills with credentials in sustainability and biomimicry through A Kid by Nature, a new organization dedicated to connecting kids with nature. She also-founded the Coastal Redwood Biomimicry Network in the Bay Area. Colleen is currently working with the City of Berkeley, the Green Schools Initiative, and Nature's Voices bringing lessons about conservation and care for our planet to children and teachers.

Emily Sadigh - Emily Sadigh
Emily Sadigh

Emily Sadigh

Trained as an educator and certified as a Biomimicry Specialist, Emily Sadigh helps organizations build sustainability into their culture by creating experiential learning and teaching opportunities for employees. Toyota and the National Audubon Society named her a TogetherGreen Conservation Leadership Fellow for her pioneering work applying biomimicry to organizational change.

Seema Anand - Seema Anand
Seema Anand

Seema Anand

Seema Anand is a Biomimicry Specialist (2011) & a practicing Architect in India; she consults and teaches the biomimicry approach in the field of design. She is a visiting faculty in RV College of Architecture, Bangalore, India. Some of the other prestigious institutes where she has taught biomimicry include Tongji University (Oct-Nov,2013 for three weeks) and National Institute of Design, Bangalore (June, 2014) and Srishi Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore(January 2014). She is the co-founder of “Biomimicry India Network”, a network which aims to spread awareness and catalyze biomimicry in India. She is also the co-founder of “Biomimicry India Lab and Studio”, a company which consults and undertakes research in the field of biomimicry.

Bill Barnard - Bill Barnard
Bill Barnard

Bill Barnard

Bill is an Architect licensed in multiple states with over 25 years of experience focusing on designing enduring, sustainable built environments. He brings over a decade of LEED expertise having completed 8 certified projects & sustainably focused developments throughout the country and internationally. He is a LEED Accredited Professional focusing on both new construction and development as well as renovation and retrofits. Bill was a founder of the Indiana Chapter of the USGBC and continues to provide leadership to the San Diego Green Building Councils Board of Directors. A regional and national speaker and published author, Bill encourages clients across the country towards sustainable developments to improve health, wellness and productivity.

Rebecca Sappenfield - Rebecca Sappenfield
Rebecca Sappenfield

Rebecca Sappenfield

Rebecca Sappenfield holds a B.A. in English and B.S. in Marine Biology from Texas A&M University and recently completed a dual-masters program in Sustainable Environmental Resources Management and Integrated Science and Technology from the University of Malta and James Madison University. Always interested in expanding her sustainability knowledge, Rebecca is also currently pursuing UCSD Extension's Sustainable Business Practices certificate program. While looking for full-time employment, she works part-time providing comprehensive sustainability and business consulting services. Rebecca also volunteers in her community through the Junior League of San Diego and San Diego Green Building Council (SDGBC) and currently serves on the Events Committee for the SDGBC. She also works on the Green Assistance Program (GAP) at the SDGBC, where she spearheaded the LEED v4 Feasibility Study for the San Diego Food Bank.

Ravi Bajaj - Ravi Bajaj
Ravi Bajaj

Ravi Bajaj

Ravi has professional experience as a green building consultant with an emphasis on education and training. He holds a degree in Earth Science: Environmental Systems from UC San Diego and is a LEED Accredited Professional with specialties in Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance, Interior Design and Construction, and Building Design and Construction (LEED AP O+M, ID+C, and BD+C). He coordinates and serves as a primary instructor for the Green Associate and LEED AP study groups for the San Diego Green Building Council (SDGBC), as well as facilitating monthly educational events. He has completed the USGBC Instructor Training Course, and as a resource for green building strategies and planning for the SDGBC.

Shelly Connor - Shelly Connor
Shelly Connor

Shelly Connor

Shelly Connor is the Assistant Director of Wild Farm Alliance, www.wildfarmalliance.org, working to promote healthy, viable agriculture that protects and restores wild nature. She earned her Bachelors of Arts in Biology with an emphasis on Natural History and her Masters in Environmental Studies with an emphasis on Food and Farming both from the University of Montana. While in graduate school, she co-founded the first Montana Farm to College Program, which still remains a strong model for others. Shelly has also worked extensively on pesticide issues in food, farming and urban places while serving as the associate director of the Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides. Prior to that she worked as the associate director for Appalachian Voices, an environmental non-profit working to end mountaintop removal coal mining. Shelly also worked as director of Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture, a nonprofit aimed at helping women farmers find a voice in the Appalachian region. Growing food has always been an important part of her life. She grew up working on a family dairy operation in WI and has grown food commercially for a restaurant. She continues to be an avid backyard gardener and food preservationist, showing her kids how to be continually inspired by dirt, seeds and food.

Ruprecht von Buttlar - Ruprecht von Buttlar
Ruprecht von Buttlar

Ruprecht von Buttlar

Ruprecht is the former head of the CONNECT Springboard program where he directed the execution and development of initiatives, access to capital, technology transfer acceleration and Global Services. Ruprecht also served on several executive boards, including CCAT (Center for Commercialization of Advanced Technologies), San Diego Advanced Defense Technology cluster and SDSU’s University Copyrights and Patents Committee. Prior to CONNECT, Ruprecht held global chief executive, general management and business development positions in the Internet and communications industries with companies including Motorola, DSC Communications (Alcatel), Nortel Networks, Scientific Atlanta and Aegis Broadband. Ruprecht has a BS in Industrial Engineering from the University of Hamburg and a MBA from Loyola College in Maryland.

Cheryl Spector - Cheryl Spector
Cheryl Spector

Cheryl Spector

Cheryl is a Certified Biomimicry Specialist, Eco-Social Architect, amd LEED Accredited Professional. Cheryl Spector has been a leader in her field bringing a fresh and different perspective to solving design challenges by focusing on the people while carefully considering how the entire building process affects our individual, social, and natural environments. Experience has taught her that using nature as our mentor requires thinking in terms of systems; one of nature's basic patterns. Individual things - like plants, people, buildings, communities, and watersheds — are all systems of interrelated elements. To Cheryl, everything is alive and connected, which requires a different way of solving problems! Cheryl Spector’s practice has its roots in the world of architectural and development services, but as a social entrepreneur, she applies her expertise to a broader range of issues. Her integrated services enable a thorough analysis of the foundation for a project and translate this understanding into effective solutions. Cheryl has over 24 years of architectural experience, 18 years community development experience and often teaches courses in sustainability. She also has over 8 years’ experience as the Creative Director for an event/gallery venue with a focus on raising awareness of social and environmental issues through experiential exhibitions. Her firm has received several awards for the projects she has completed for design, development, sustainability and historic preservation.

Udi Lazimy - Udi Lazimy
Udi Lazimy

Udi Lazimy

Udi has been a leader in the movement to create a more sustainable food system for over 15 years. At age 19, he co-owned a fair-trade, organic restaurant and cafe and since then has been farming and leading private, public and nonprofit sector sustainable food projects on the national and global scale. He served as the National Policy Advocacy Director for the Organic Farming Research Foundation, responsible for securing over $300 million in the U.S. Farm Bill for organic and sustainable food programs, as well as for building a network of over 6,000 organic farmers to speak in the halls of Congress on behalf of a more sustainable food system in the U.S. He currently is the Global Plant Sourcing Director for Hampton Creek, the world's fastest growing food company, responsible for working with farmers around the world to provide plants for our revolutionary plant-based product portfolio. I hold a Masters in Public Affairs from the University of Colorado, and am a candidate for a sustainable MBA from Presidio Graduate School, focused on food systems sustainability.

Kuowei Chiu - Kuowei Chiu
Kuowei Chiu

Kuowei Chiu

Dr. Kuowei Chiu (KC), is an assistant professor in the Department of Architecture at the Tunghai University (Taichung, Taiwan). He specializes in urban morphology, sustainable future cities planning and design. His research interests include intelligible urban structure in biomimicry, ancient urbanism and cultural heritage management. He was awarded Special Scientific Research Talents Award in 2014 and 2015 by the National Science Council (Taiwan). He sits in design reviews for local universities. Dr KC actively conduct trainings for local officials since 2013. He is an associate of A.N. Order of the Knights Templar for humanitarian aids in sustainable architecture design and research for the poor in Nepal. He is the coordinator-in-chief for the Master of Architecture (MAUDES) program and chairs Sustainable Urbanism and Future Cities Lab in the Dept. of Architecture at the Tunghai University. He was a research scholar in the National University of Singapore under the NUS Research Scholarship for Intelligible Urban Form research (2007-2011). He is a member to the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS). He had won First Prize in International Urban Design Competition for large scale information and technological science park in southern China (2003).

Walter Kanzler - Walter Kanzler
Walter Kanzler

Walter Kanzler

Walt Kanzler is a licensed Architect and LEED accredited professional with over 20 years of successful experience in Architectural Design and Project Delivery with a focus on Sustainability. His current role at Qualcomm is Director of Facilities Design where he manages a staff of design and engineering professionals to provide new and renovated spaces within Qualcomm real estate and facilities group, developing and maintaining standards utilized throughout the company, programing new construction, master planning multiple sites, renovations, and numerous tenant improvements. Walt is a liaison with the smart cities team within Qualcomm developing smart building technologies for the growing IoE marketplace. He is also a Board Member at the US Green Building Council- San Diego, Walter has been active in USGBC for over ten years and has been the LEED administrator for several projects that received LEED certification. He is currently working on several projects at Qualcomm that are seeking LEED certification and Walter is providing in house guidance and direction for the project teams. Walter is committed to transforming the built environment in the city of San Diego to reflect Sustainable Design principles that are recognized by the citizenry and the local leadership as fundamental to our way of life regionally, nationally and worldwide.

Mauricio Ramirez - Mauricio Ramirez
Mauricio Ramirez

Mauricio Ramirez

Mauricio is a designer and nature lover who uses his talents to teach and apply Biomimicry thinking in Mexico. Mauricio helps  talented people to use nature’s wisdom to solve the inconsistency of having a rich and diverse biology, yet impoverished communities. Trained as an architect, he is the head of Sustainability of the Lend Lease Mexico Business Unit, where he manages and implements corporate sustainability programs, and act as LEED consultant for design, construction and operation, for a diverse set of buildings, including high-rise, museums, multi-site and academic buildings. He is a graduate of the Biomimicry Professional certification program with Biomimicry 3.8.

Peter Lynch - Peter Lynch
Peter Lynch

Peter Lynch

Mr. Lynch has worked, for 36 years as a Wall Street security analyst, an investment banker and a private investor in small emerging technology companies with a focus on renewable energy companies.. He has been actively involved in following developments in the renewable energy sector since 1977 and is regarded as an expert in this field. During this time he assisted a number of renewable energy companies with private placements and in going public in the 1980’s, 1990’s and 2000’s and has raised over $500MM for renewable energy companies in the Photovoltaics, Solar Thermal, Wind and Biomass areas

Peter Slaugh - Peter Slaugh
Peter Slaugh

Peter Slaugh

Peter Slaugh is the Founder and Managing Member of OpenPath Investments, LLC. After his initial career in residential real estate starting back in 1991, Peter moved into commercial real estate in the capital markets arena with GMAC CM in 1997 funding in excess of $1billion in debt & equity products for his clients in all asset classes. Quickly, Peter recognized the value of investing in multifamily investments alongside his clients starting in 1999. Peter initially formed Su Casa Investments in 2005 and to acquire value-add apartment communities in the Western States, and later rebranded the platform to OpenPath in an effort to capture the Social & Environmental Impact direction of the firm’s philosophy. Peter has owned either as a GP or a limited partner over 3000 units (dating back to 1999) in various markets ranging from San Antonio, TX, Las Vegas, NV, Richland, WA, Santa Rosa, CA, and now owns and operates a portfolio of assets in CO, UT, AZ, OR & TX comprised of approximately 2500 units and growing. Recognizing the value in a “whole property stewardship” approach to the business, Peter evolved his platform to include “community building” and “greening” of resident lifestyles through the Urban Village program. The OpenPath platform is the latest evolution of this approach and really embraces the notion that “doing good” is also “good for business” and now measures success not only economically, but also socially environmentally.

Alexander Mandel -
Alexander Mandel

Alexander Mandel

Alexander has been involved with many projects ranging from electric vehicles to aircraft as well as computer systems design to internet development. His current endeavors include an internet privacy start-up and recycling electric and hybrid vehicles. Alexander has a Bachelors of Science in Aerospace Engineering from Cal Poly and a Masters of Business Administration for San Diego State University.

Kamal El-Wattar -
Kamal El-Wattar

Kamal El-Wattar

Kamal El-Wattar is the co-founder and CEO of Sequoia Laboratories, a nutraceutical company bridging the gap between Western consumers and indigenous populations around the world (keepers of global bio-cultural diversity). Kamal is responsible for putting the vision into operational reality through Sequoia’s flagship product, VitaNova. He works closely with international minority language experts to support the maintenance and revival of plant knowledge. Traveling the world to uncover hidden botanical wisdom, Kamal is constantly seeking to bring forth unique combinations of healing vitamins and supplements. Kamanya (Kamal’s philanthropic family foundation) promotes language preservation workshops aimed at strengthening indigenous knowledge and helping stem the tide of cultural and ecological loss around the world. The foundation also supports K-12 biomimicry education, environmental education in California, and food-as-medicine programs. Prior to this, Kamal had lived for 8 years in China, studying Chinese language and culture, including the vast history of Chinese medicine. Previously, Kamal spent 15 years overseeing localization strategies that translated software into more than 100 languages for the world’s largest companies. He holds degrees in both linguistics and biomedical sciences. He currently resides in San Francisco with his wife and four children.

Dimitri Deheyn -
Dimitri Deheyn

Dimitri Deheyn

Dimitri Deheyn is a marine biologist studying light production and iridescent coloration in organisms. His research is cross-disciplinary, involving chemistry, physics, and material science. Deheyn collaborates extensively with engineers to replicate designs found in Nature, especially with regards to light manipulation and production, but also other aspects such as bioadhesion.