May 22–24, 2024

May

22

,

15:00

CEST

CET

/

9:00 am

EDT

EST

22

,

2024

May 22–24, 2024

May

22

15:00

CEST

/

9:00 am

PM

22

,

2024

,

May 22–24, 2024

Circularity 24

Watch Circularity 24 live on We Don't Have Time

GreenBiz Group

May

22

,

15:00

CEST

CET

/

9:00 am

EDT

EST

22

,

2024

,

May 22–24, 2024

May

22

at

15:00

CEST

/

9:00 am

EST

EDT

22

,

2024

May 22–24, 2024

Circularity 24

Watch Circularity 24 live on We Don't Have Time

GreenBiz Group

Welcome to Circularity 24, the leading conference for professionals building the circular economy, organized by Greenbiz, live on We Don't Have Time, May 22–24, 2024.

To build a just, resilient world that operates within planetary boundaries, we must transform our systems, structures and strategies. It’s time to unlearn linear systems. It’s time to move from extractive to regenerative. It’s time for the circular economy.

Join us on We Don't Have Time and on-site in Chicago to move beyond incremental action, catalyze systems change and accelerate the circular economy.

By participating, you’ll gain access to more than 60 thought-provoking sessions, connect with over 2,000 peers and become empowered in your role to accelerate the transition to a circular economy.

If you want to attend on-site, register before April 19 with the 10% discount code C24WDHT for a combined savings of over $700 off the Final Rate All-Access Pass: https://buff.ly/3PMZNzP

How to watch and interact?

The best way to experience our broadcasts is with the help of our app. Download our app and join the dialogue: 📲 Apple App Store 📲 Google Play 🌐 Web app (browser version)

May 22

2:25 pm EDT–2:30 pm EDT — Circularity 24 Livestream Day 1 | Introduction

Welcome to Circularity 24!

Speakers:

  • Katie Ryan, Director, Sustainability, GreenBiz Group
  • Nethra Rajendran, Manager, Sustainability, GreenBiz Group

Organizers:

2:30 pm EDT–2:35 pm EDT — Welcome to Circularity 24

Welcome to Circularity 24!

Speakers:

  • Jon Smieja, VP, Circularity, GreenBiz Group

Organizers:

2:35 pm EDT–2:45 pm EDT — The BIG Sustainable Square Mile System Will Build Thriving Communities

Blacks in Green’s Sustainable Square Mile system implements their 8 Principles of Green-Village-Building introduced in 2007 to achieve BIG’s theory of change: that only a whole-system solution can transform the whole-system problem common to Black communities everywhere; that ultimately self-sustaining Black communities everywhere would change the narrative of what it means to be Black in America; and that our communities would thereby become synonymous with beauty, prosperity, comfort, and joy.

Speakers:

  • Naomi Davis, Founder and CEO, Blacks in Green

Organizers:

2:45 pm EDT–2:55 pm EDT — Circularity's Quantum Leap

Circularity is tractable and achievable if we start with intention, purpose, and a focus on home.

Speakers:

  • Garry Cooper, PhD, CEO & Co-Founder, Rheaply, Inc.

Organizers:

2:55 pm EDT–3:00 pm EDT — Senator Jeff Merkley

Speakers:

  • Jeff Merkley, U.S. Senator, Oregon, United States Senate

Organizers:

3:00 pm EDT–3:10 pm EDT — Introducing the Circularity 24 Emerging Leaders

The Emerging Leaders Program aims to elevate, cultivate and support the next generation of Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) leaders in the climate community. Our goal is to foster a community of sustainability professionals that is diverse and representative of the world in which we live. We do so by fostering pathways into the sustainability space for students and early-career professionals who face barriers to entry in the field.

Speakers:

  • Bryan Lewis, Program Manager I GreenBiz.org, GreenBiz Group
  • Eric Faurot, CEO, GreenBiz Group

Organizers:

3:10 pm EDT–3:15 pm EDT — Material Recovery Partner: How You Can Help

Speakers:

  • Mark Armen, Founder and CEO, Replenysh

Organizers:

3:15 pm EDT–3:25 pm EDT — Overcoming Barriers to Change: Takeaways for the Defining Decade

As we approach the mid-point of this defining decade, the circular economy movement is finding itself at a critical crossroads. Momentum and early action have produced a sporadic mix of success stories, learnings, and new frontiers, yet many fear that transformational outcomes are farther away than ever. How do we accelerate the pace and scale of action to make the most of the six years that remain of this decade? Svanika will share lessons learned and takeaways from her lived experience of creating unlikely alliances and scaling outcomes across the circularity ecosystem.

Speakers:

  • Svanika Balasubramanian, Co-Founder & CEO, RePurpose Global

Organizers:

3:25 pm EDT–3:45 pm EDT — Artificial Intelligence for a Real-World Circular Economy

Artificial Intelligence has taken hold on the imagination of innovators in every sector and businesses everywhere are working to figure out how AI can benefit their industry. New and emerging generative AI capabilities have the potential to revolutionize circular models, materials and other activities. Hear from two founders on how they are using AI to accelerate the transition to a circular economy.

Speakers:

  • Heather Clancy, VP, Editor at Large, GreenBiz Group
  • Greg Mulholland, Founder and CEO, Citrine Informatics
  • Zahra Biabani, CEO, Author, IntheLoop AI

Organizers:

3:45 pm EDT–3:55 pm EDT — Regenerative Ecosystems As Circular Economies

Regenerative agriculture can give us strategies to better create circular economies that are rooted in cultural, environmental and economic equity. With a particular focus on fiber and textile production, this talk illuminates how regenerative ecosystems are pathways to circular economies.

Speakers:

  • Teju Adisa-Farrar, Co-Creator & Director of Programs, Black Fiber / Textile Network & Fibers Fund

Organizers:

3:55 pm EDT–4:00 pm EDT — Day 1 Closing Remarks

Speakers:

  • Jon Smieja, VP, Circularity, GreenBiz Group

Organizers:

4:00 pm EDT–5:00 pm EDT — Circularity 24 Livestream Day 1 | Interviews

Speakers:

  • Nethra Rajendran, Manager, Sustainability, GreenBiz Group
  • Katie Ryan, Director, Sustainability, GreenBiz Group

Organizers:

May 23

11:00 am EDT–11:30 am EDT — Circularity 24 Livestream Day 2 | Introduction & Interviews

Speakers:

  • Nethra Rajendran, Manager, Sustainability, GreenBiz Group
  • Katie Ryan, Director, Sustainability, GreenBiz Group

Organizers:

11:30 am EDT–11:35 am EDT — Welcome to Day 2

Speakers:

  • Jon Smieja, VP, Circularity, GreenBiz Group

Organizers:

11:35 am EDT–11:45 am EDT — Towards Just and Sustainable Futures: Braiding Indigenous and Western Sciences

Indigenous sciences are foundationally based in relationships, reciprocity, and responsibilities. These sciences constitute systems of knowledge developed through distinct practices of knowledge creation and decision-making that not only have the right to be pursued on their own terms but may also be vital in solving critical twenty-first century challenges.

This keynote conversation will dive into the relationship between Indigenous and Western science with Northwestern Professor of Learning Sciences and Director of the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research, Megan Bang, PhD.

Speakers:

  • Megan Bang, Professor of Learning Sciences, Northwestern University
  • Jon Smieja, VP, Circularity, GreenBiz Group

Organizers:

11:45 am EDT–11:50 am EDT — From Sea to Soil: How Sway is Replenishing the Planet with Seaweed Packaging

Speakers:

  • Julia Marsh, Co-Founder & CEO, Sway

Organizers:

11:50 am EDT–12:15 pm EDT — Accelerate at Circularity 24

Speakers:

  • Jake Mitchell, Senior Startup Programs Manager, GreenBiz Group
  • Hannah Friedman, Founding Principal, Planeteer Capital
  • Jennifer Louie, Managing Director, Closed Loop Partners
  • Joanne Rodriguez, CEO, Mycocycle
  • Yael Shemer, Tulu
  • Ravish Majithia, CEO, Magnomer
  • Michael Riedijk, CEO, Lucent Bio
  • Jakson Alvarez, Co-CEO & CFO, Evolectric

Organizers:

12:15 pm EDT–12:20 pm EDT — The Lens on Progress: Plastic and Climate Action

With the forthcoming United Nations Treaty on Plastic Pollution, the urgency to address plastic pollution and climate change has never been more pressing. Companies across the world are already engaged in hundreds of initiatives, pledges and commitments. Awash in disparate sources of information, how can we get to a more resolute picture of an individual company's plastic and climate action?

Speakers:

  • Marta Fiscina, Chief Executive Officer, Ocean Plastics Leadership Network

Organizers:

12:20 pm EDT–12:25 pm EDT — An Update from Replenysh on Material Recovery Efforts

Speakers:

  • Phoebe Yu, Head of Marketing, Replenysh

Organizers:

12:25 pm EDT–12:40 pm EDT — Scaling Corporate Efforts in CE

Speakers:

  • Joel Makower, Chairman & Co-founder, GreenBiz Group
  • Javier Quiñones, CEO and Chief Sustainability Officer, IKEA U.S.
  • Esther Speck, SVP, Global Sustainable Business and Impact, Lululemon

Organizers:

12:40 am EDT–12:55 am EDT — The Transformative Power of Hope-Based Leadership

Speakers:

  • Molly Kawahata, Principal, Systemic Impact Strategies

Organizers:

12:55 pm EDT–1:00 pm EDT — Day 2 Closing Remarks

Speakers:

  • Jon Smieja, VP, Circularity, GreenBiz Group

Organizers:

1:00 pm EDT–1:30 pm EDT — Circularity 24 Livestream Day 2 | Interviews

Speakers:

  • Nethra Rajendran, Manager, Sustainability, GreenBiz Group
  • Katie Ryan, Director, Sustainability, GreenBiz Group

Organizers:

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Program Highlights

All times are in Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). Find your local time here.

May 22

2:25 pm EDT–2:30 pm EDT — Circularity 24 Livestream Day 1 | Introduction

Welcome to Circularity 24!

Speakers:

  • Katie Ryan, Director, Sustainability, GreenBiz Group
  • Nethra Rajendran, Manager, Sustainability, GreenBiz Group

Organizers:

2:30 pm EDT–2:35 pm EDT — Welcome to Circularity 24

Welcome to Circularity 24!

Speakers:

  • Jon Smieja, VP, Circularity, GreenBiz Group

Organizers:

2:35 pm EDT–2:45 pm EDT — The BIG Sustainable Square Mile System Will Build Thriving Communities

Blacks in Green’s Sustainable Square Mile system implements their 8 Principles of Green-Village-Building introduced in 2007 to achieve BIG’s theory of change: that only a whole-system solution can transform the whole-system problem common to Black communities everywhere; that ultimately self-sustaining Black communities everywhere would change the narrative of what it means to be Black in America; and that our communities would thereby become synonymous with beauty, prosperity, comfort, and joy.

Speakers:

  • Naomi Davis, Founder and CEO, Blacks in Green

Organizers:

2:45 pm EDT–2:55 pm EDT — Circularity's Quantum Leap

Circularity is tractable and achievable if we start with intention, purpose, and a focus on home.

Speakers:

  • Garry Cooper, PhD, CEO & Co-Founder, Rheaply, Inc.

Organizers:

2:55 pm EDT–3:00 pm EDT — Senator Jeff Merkley

Speakers:

  • Jeff Merkley, U.S. Senator, Oregon, United States Senate

Organizers:

3:00 pm EDT–3:10 pm EDT — Introducing the Circularity 24 Emerging Leaders

The Emerging Leaders Program aims to elevate, cultivate and support the next generation of Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) leaders in the climate community. Our goal is to foster a community of sustainability professionals that is diverse and representative of the world in which we live. We do so by fostering pathways into the sustainability space for students and early-career professionals who face barriers to entry in the field.

Speakers:

  • Bryan Lewis, Program Manager I GreenBiz.org, GreenBiz Group
  • Eric Faurot, CEO, GreenBiz Group

Organizers:

3:10 pm EDT–3:15 pm EDT — Material Recovery Partner: How You Can Help

Speakers:

  • Mark Armen, Founder and CEO, Replenysh

Organizers:

3:15 pm EDT–3:25 pm EDT — Overcoming Barriers to Change: Takeaways for the Defining Decade

As we approach the mid-point of this defining decade, the circular economy movement is finding itself at a critical crossroads. Momentum and early action have produced a sporadic mix of success stories, learnings, and new frontiers, yet many fear that transformational outcomes are farther away than ever. How do we accelerate the pace and scale of action to make the most of the six years that remain of this decade? Svanika will share lessons learned and takeaways from her lived experience of creating unlikely alliances and scaling outcomes across the circularity ecosystem.

Speakers:

  • Svanika Balasubramanian, Co-Founder & CEO, RePurpose Global

Organizers:

3:25 pm EDT–3:45 pm EDT — Artificial Intelligence for a Real-World Circular Economy

Artificial Intelligence has taken hold on the imagination of innovators in every sector and businesses everywhere are working to figure out how AI can benefit their industry. New and emerging generative AI capabilities have the potential to revolutionize circular models, materials and other activities. Hear from two founders on how they are using AI to accelerate the transition to a circular economy.

Speakers:

  • Heather Clancy, VP, Editor at Large, GreenBiz Group
  • Greg Mulholland, Founder and CEO, Citrine Informatics
  • Zahra Biabani, CEO, Author, IntheLoop AI

Organizers:

3:45 pm EDT–3:55 pm EDT — Regenerative Ecosystems As Circular Economies

Regenerative agriculture can give us strategies to better create circular economies that are rooted in cultural, environmental and economic equity. With a particular focus on fiber and textile production, this talk illuminates how regenerative ecosystems are pathways to circular economies.

Speakers:

  • Teju Adisa-Farrar, Co-Creator & Director of Programs, Black Fiber / Textile Network & Fibers Fund

Organizers:

3:55 pm EDT–4:00 pm EDT — Day 1 Closing Remarks

Speakers:

  • Jon Smieja, VP, Circularity, GreenBiz Group

Organizers:

4:00 pm EDT–5:00 pm EDT — Circularity 24 Livestream Day 1 | Interviews

Speakers:

  • Nethra Rajendran, Manager, Sustainability, GreenBiz Group
  • Katie Ryan, Director, Sustainability, GreenBiz Group

Organizers:

May 23

11:00 am EDT–11:30 am EDT — Circularity 24 Livestream Day 2 | Introduction & Interviews

Speakers:

  • Nethra Rajendran, Manager, Sustainability, GreenBiz Group
  • Katie Ryan, Director, Sustainability, GreenBiz Group

Organizers:

11:30 am EDT–11:35 am EDT — Welcome to Day 2

Speakers:

  • Jon Smieja, VP, Circularity, GreenBiz Group

Organizers:

11:35 am EDT–11:45 am EDT — Towards Just and Sustainable Futures: Braiding Indigenous and Western Sciences

Indigenous sciences are foundationally based in relationships, reciprocity, and responsibilities. These sciences constitute systems of knowledge developed through distinct practices of knowledge creation and decision-making that not only have the right to be pursued on their own terms but may also be vital in solving critical twenty-first century challenges.

This keynote conversation will dive into the relationship between Indigenous and Western science with Northwestern Professor of Learning Sciences and Director of the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research, Megan Bang, PhD.

Speakers:

  • Megan Bang, Professor of Learning Sciences, Northwestern University
  • Jon Smieja, VP, Circularity, GreenBiz Group

Organizers:

11:45 am EDT–11:50 am EDT — From Sea to Soil: How Sway is Replenishing the Planet with Seaweed Packaging

Speakers:

  • Julia Marsh, Co-Founder & CEO, Sway

Organizers:

11:50 am EDT–12:15 pm EDT — Accelerate at Circularity 24

Speakers:

  • Jake Mitchell, Senior Startup Programs Manager, GreenBiz Group
  • Hannah Friedman, Founding Principal, Planeteer Capital
  • Jennifer Louie, Managing Director, Closed Loop Partners
  • Joanne Rodriguez, CEO, Mycocycle
  • Yael Shemer, Tulu
  • Ravish Majithia, CEO, Magnomer
  • Michael Riedijk, CEO, Lucent Bio
  • Jakson Alvarez, Co-CEO & CFO, Evolectric

Organizers:

12:15 pm EDT–12:20 pm EDT — The Lens on Progress: Plastic and Climate Action

With the forthcoming United Nations Treaty on Plastic Pollution, the urgency to address plastic pollution and climate change has never been more pressing. Companies across the world are already engaged in hundreds of initiatives, pledges and commitments. Awash in disparate sources of information, how can we get to a more resolute picture of an individual company's plastic and climate action?

Speakers:

  • Marta Fiscina, Chief Executive Officer, Ocean Plastics Leadership Network

Organizers:

12:20 pm EDT–12:25 pm EDT — An Update from Replenysh on Material Recovery Efforts

Speakers:

  • Phoebe Yu, Head of Marketing, Replenysh

Organizers:

12:25 pm EDT–12:40 pm EDT — Scaling Corporate Efforts in CE

Speakers:

  • Joel Makower, Chairman & Co-founder, GreenBiz Group
  • Javier Quiñones, CEO and Chief Sustainability Officer, IKEA U.S.
  • Esther Speck, SVP, Global Sustainable Business and Impact, Lululemon

Organizers:

12:40 am EDT–12:55 am EDT — The Transformative Power of Hope-Based Leadership

Speakers:

  • Molly Kawahata, Principal, Systemic Impact Strategies

Organizers:

12:55 pm EDT–1:00 pm EDT — Day 2 Closing Remarks

Speakers:

  • Jon Smieja, VP, Circularity, GreenBiz Group

Organizers:

1:00 pm EDT–1:30 pm EDT — Circularity 24 Livestream Day 2 | Interviews

Speakers:

  • Nethra Rajendran, Manager, Sustainability, GreenBiz Group
  • Katie Ryan, Director, Sustainability, GreenBiz Group

Organizers:

Circularity 24

Select Speakers

Jon Smieja

 (
)

VP, Circularity & Senior Analyst, GreenBiz Group

Jon Smieja works to accelerate the transition from a linear to a circular economy. He is the Vice President and Senior Analyst on the circular economy at GreenBiz Group, where he leads the company’s circularity strategy, programs, and partnerships.

Garry Cooper, PhD

 (
)

CEO & Co-Founder, Rheaply, Inc.

Dr. Garry Cooper is the Co-founder and CEO of Rheaply, a Chicago-based climate tech, which scales reuse programs for large organizations, by helping them better utilize physical resources. He also serves as vice chair on P33 Chicago’s board as well as a board member of 1871 and Northwestern's Master of Product Design and Management program. He is a founding partner at LongJump Ventures. Previously, Dr. Cooper served on the faculty of Northwestern University and facilitated supply chain improvements for enterprise businesses at Ernst & Young. He holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Northwestern University, a certificate in management from the Kellogg School of Management, and a BS & BA in mathematics and chemistry from Indiana University. He also has a 7 year old rescue dog named Sasha that takes up most of his free time, in the best way possible.

Bryan Lewis

 (
)

Program Manager, GreenBiz.org, GreenBiz Group

Bryan Lewis leads the Emerging Leaders program at GreenBiz.org, which elevates, cultivates and supports the next generation of Black, Indigenous and other leaders of color (BIPOC) in the climate community. Prior to joining GreenBiz, Bryan served as Executive Director of EcoWorks Detroit where he led climate and energy education, building decarbonization, and local community organizing initiatives. He has a background in youth mentorship and career development and currently leads a network of emerging clean energy leaders in Michigan.

Eric Faurot

 (
)

CEO, GreenBiz Group

Eric Faurot leads GreenBiz Group, the leading B2B media company amplifying sustainable innovation. In this role he is responsible for the overall strategy and growth of the company. Previously he managed and produced some of the most influential technology events, including COMDEX, INTEROP, Black Hat and Web 2.0. Most recently he grew the technology division of UBM from $38 million to $63 million in three years.

Heather Clancy

 (
)

Editorial Director, GreenBiz Group

Heather Clancy, vice president and editorial director at GreenBiz, specializes in chronicling the role of technology in enabling corporate climate action and transitioning to a clean, inclusive and regenerative economy. An award-winning journalist, she started her journalism career on the business desk of United Press International, and her articles have appeared in Entrepreneur, Fortune, The International Herald Tribune and The New York Times. Clancy was the launch editor for the Fortune Data Sheet, the magazine's newsletter dedicated to the business of technology. She co-authored the Amazon best-seller for entrepreneurs, "Niche Down, How to Become Legendary By Being Different." She is proud to serve on the boards of the WSLA Alumnae Group, a mentorship organization dedicated to nurturing feminine leadership in the corporate sustainability movement, and EcoAthletes, a collective of collegiate, professional and amateur athletes dedicate to using their voices to surface solutions to climate change.

Greg Mulholland

 (
)

Founder and CEO, Citrine Informatics

Gregory Mulholland is the founder and CEO of Citrine Informatics, the Generative AI platform enabling the faster development and deployment of the next generation of materials and chemicals. He is an internationally recognized leader in both materials technology and digital transformation and has led Citrine to work with some of the world’s largest and most important materials and chemicals companies to create greener, less expensive, and more performant products. He has been honored as a Technology Pioneer at the World Economic Forum, won the Start Up and Scale Up challenges at the World Materials Forum, and been awarded over a dozen other start-up and business awards.

Zahra Biabani

 (
)

Founder, In the Loop

Zahra is a youth climate activist and entrepreneur that has been sharing action items and tidbits of hopeful news for the planet for over 2 years to ~50K people on her social media platforms. She is the CEO and Founder of In the Loop, a circular economy software startup, the author of forthcoming book “Climate Optimism: Climate Wins and Creating Systemic Change Around the World”, and a TED Speaker.

Molly Kawahata

 (
)

Principal Systemic, Impact Strategies

Molly Kawahata is a strategist, public speaker, advocate, and former Climate Advisor at the Obama White House. She is the Founder of Systemic Impact Strategies, a consultancy specializing in organizational development, climate strategy, and communications. Her life story, depicted in Patagonia's film, THE SCALE OF HOPE, can be watched here: https://bit.ly/3pEcm6n. The film intimately explores her pursuit of climbing steep ice faces in Alaska, her personal struggle with mental health, and her work to transform climate narratives by infusing them with hope and empowerment. The film has resonated with audiences worldwide, amassing over one million views on YouTube, streaming on Delta Airlines, and being inducted into the permanent collection at the New York Museum of Modern Art. Molly is an Advisory Board Member to the Environmental Voter Project and an Advisory Council Member to the AAPI Victory Fund. Outside of work, Molly is an avid ice climber, with a focus on climbing mountains the Alaska Range. An introduction to the film can be viewed here: https://rb.gy/pxe2y

Julia Marsh

 (
)

Co-Founder & CEO, Sway

Julia Marsh is the CEO and co-founder of Sway, a clean tech startup scaling seaweed-based, home-compostable packaging. Julia spent over a decade designing brand and packaging systems for consumer goods companies, technology startups, and design studios around the world. Her work is driven by a deep passion for regenerative design and biological circularity.

Jake Mitchell

 (
)

Startup Programs Manager, GreenBiz Group

Jake Mitchell manages the Accelerate program at GreenBiz, which includes searching and selecting startups to participate in VERGE programming. He also collaborates on event design, strategy, and content to grow GreenBiz’s innovation ecosystem. Prior to GreenBiz, Jake worked across various industries including film & podcast production, sales & marketing for early stage startups, and non profits in renewable energy and economic development. Currently, Jake is pursuing his MBA in Sustainability at Bard College. Outside of work, you can find him in the woods playing disc golf, upside down in a handstand, or following the whims of his golden retriever.

Hannah Friedman

 (
)

Founding Principal, Planeteer Capital

Hannah is a climate investor and operator. She invests in and advises executives as they scale up their first demonstrations and commercial projects. Hannah helped launch a new venture capital fund, Planeteer Capital, that invests as the Pre-Seed climate lead for founders navigating the climate capital stack. Planeteer invests in the insights derived from Sightline Climate (formerly the Climate Tech VC newsletter, or CTVC), now a leading climate intelligence platform that tracks all climate deals and projects across sectors. Prior, Hannah spent ~4 years investing in the circular economy at Closed Loop Partners, a multi-asset class investment firm. As an original 1 of 2 on the Ventures team, she was involved in the deal process for nearly a dozen completed investments, supported the fundraise of a $50m+ second vintage fund, and built out the firm’s subject matter expertise on carbon utilization and compostable packaging materials - work that informed key sustainability decision makers of Fortune 100 companies including Walmart, Microsoft, Nestle, PepsiCo, P&G and more. Hannah is climate native - quite literally. As an Indigenous woman from tribes in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, Hannah cares deeply about the intersectional impacts of climate change. She has trained as a systems thinker to help be a part of the solution, earning her Master's of Sustainability Management and Bachelor's in Sustainable Development from Columbia University.

Jennifer Louie

 (
)

Managing Director, Closed Loop Partners

Jennifer Louie is a managing director at Closed Loop Partners (CLP). She is responsible for the firm’s catalytic private investment strategy, which makes impact-first debt and equity investments in companies and projects across North America that improve the circularity of plastics and packaging materials. Prior to joining CLP, Jennifer spent the last ten years managing emerging market debt portfolios across both the public and private markets. It was through Jennifer’s experience of living and working in emerging markets that she developed an interest in the role of catalytic capital and impact investing.

Joanne Rodriguez

 (
)

CEO, Mycocycle

Joanne Rodriguez (LEED AP, Fitwel Ambassador, CDT) is Founder & CEO of Mycocycle, which employs applied mycology to remove toxins from waste and create new biobased material inputs. Addressing the decarbonization of the waste management sector, Joanne started her company with the goal of improving recycling rates of the 4th largest waste stream being landfilled: construction and demolition debris and now addresses some of the highest volume waste streams generated on a daily basis. Recognized for her innovation by Forbes Magazine, FastCompany, and the EPA she is shifting the paradigm on how we view waste: as a reusable resource, not a burden. Prior to founding Mycocycle, Joanne was Director of Sustainability for a major manufacturer of building materials, headed an environmental consulting firm and continues to be recognized as a sustainability leader in the construction products industry. She is a specialist in technologies like the circular economy, biomimicry and green chemistry, and has decades of experience leading cross-divisional sales and technical teams to success. She has participated in convenings at the United Nations, Clinton Global Initiative, and GreenBiz while lending her technical expertise to the US Green Building Council, the American Energy Innovators Network, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Yael Shemer

 (
)

Co-founder & Chief Customer Officer, Tulu

Yael Shemer is an environmental entrepreneur, and is the co-founder and chief customer officer of TULU, a series A, MIT DesignX venture and an on-demand physical and digital platform that operates in residential buildings and student housing, providing residents with access to household items they can rent by the hour. Her company raised nearly $30 million dollars and operates in 30 cities serving 70K people worldwide. Her main passion is urban sustainability and innovation. Prior to co-founding TULU, she has been an environmental entrepreneur and led several ventures in the field of urban communities and sustainable living. Her professional academic background includes an environmental science degree and training from Columbia University Transboundary Environmental Management course, a Harvard Business School social entrepreneurship seminar. In 2023 she was selected as a forbes 30 under 30, and today she is inspired more than ever to help advance technologies on mitigating climate change, circular economy, and promoting responsible consumerism.

Jeff Merkley

 (
)

U.S. Senator, Oregon, United States Senate

U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) is leading the fight in Congress to take on the plastic production and pollution crisis, holding the first-ever series of hearings on plastics. Plastic production is a major driver of carbon pollution and climate chaos. And now micro- and nano-plastics are being found in everything we touch, from our food and water to our own blood. Senator Merkley has reintroduced the Break-Free From Plastic Pollution Act to reduce single-use plastics, hold corporations accountable for their waste, and bring Oregon’s “bottle bill” to the national stage to address this crisis for the next generation.

Joel Makower

 (
)

Chairman and Co-founder, GreenBiz Group

Joel Makower is a well-respected voice on business, the environment, and the bottom line. As a writer and strategist on corporate sustainability practices and clean technology, he has helped a wide range of companies align environmental goals with business strategy. Joel is a bestselling author or co-author of several books on business and sustainability, including his latest, The New Grand Strategy: Restoring America's Prosperity, Security, and Sustainability in the 21st Century (St. Martin's Press). He is a frequent commentator in print, broadcast and online media, and a sought-after speaker to companies and business groups around the world. In 2012, Joel was awarded the Hutchens Medal by the American Society for Quality, which cited “his ability to tell compelling stories that both inform and inspire business leaders toward profitable action.” From 1991 to 2005, Joel was editor of The Green Business Letter, an award-winning monthly newsletter on corporate environmental strategy. He is a graduate in journalism from the University of California at Berkeley and is an advisor to both for-profit and non-profit organizations. The Associated Press has called Joel "the guru of green business practices."

Javier Quiñones

 (
)

CEO and Chief Sustainability Officer, IKEA U.S.

Javier Quiñones is a forward-thinking and passionate leader with an enduring connection to IKEA values. As CEO and Chief Sustainability Officer of IKEA U.S., he guides over 18,000 coworkers towards the IKEA vision: to create a better everyday life for the many people by offering well-designed, functional and affordable, high-quality home furnishing, produced with care for people and the environment. Javi joined IKEA Badalona in Barcelona as a sales coworker in 1999. His leadership experience spans three different retail markets around the world, including Store Manager in IKEA Spain; Country Retail Manager in IKEA UK and Ireland; and now Country Retail Manager of IKEA US.

Esther Speck

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SVP, Global Sustainable Business and Impact, Lululemon

Esther Speck is SVP, Global Sustainable Business and Impact at Lululemon.

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Jon Smieja

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VP, Circularity & Senior Analyst, GreenBiz Group

Jon Smieja works to accelerate the transition from a linear to a circular economy. He is the Vice President and Senior Analyst on the circular economy at GreenBiz Group, where he leads the company’s circularity strategy, programs, and partnerships.

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Garry Cooper, PhD

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CEO & Co-Founder, Rheaply, Inc.

Dr. Garry Cooper is the Co-founder and CEO of Rheaply, a Chicago-based climate tech, which scales reuse programs for large organizations, by helping them better utilize physical resources. He also serves as vice chair on P33 Chicago’s board as well as a board member of 1871 and Northwestern's Master of Product Design and Management program. He is a founding partner at LongJump Ventures. Previously, Dr. Cooper served on the faculty of Northwestern University and facilitated supply chain improvements for enterprise businesses at Ernst & Young. He holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Northwestern University, a certificate in management from the Kellogg School of Management, and a BS & BA in mathematics and chemistry from Indiana University. He also has a 7 year old rescue dog named Sasha that takes up most of his free time, in the best way possible.

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Bryan Lewis

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Program Manager, GreenBiz.org, GreenBiz Group

Bryan Lewis leads the Emerging Leaders program at GreenBiz.org, which elevates, cultivates and supports the next generation of Black, Indigenous and other leaders of color (BIPOC) in the climate community. Prior to joining GreenBiz, Bryan served as Executive Director of EcoWorks Detroit where he led climate and energy education, building decarbonization, and local community organizing initiatives. He has a background in youth mentorship and career development and currently leads a network of emerging clean energy leaders in Michigan.

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Eric Faurot

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CEO, GreenBiz Group

Eric Faurot leads GreenBiz Group, the leading B2B media company amplifying sustainable innovation. In this role he is responsible for the overall strategy and growth of the company. Previously he managed and produced some of the most influential technology events, including COMDEX, INTEROP, Black Hat and Web 2.0. Most recently he grew the technology division of UBM from $38 million to $63 million in three years.

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Heather Clancy

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Editorial Director, GreenBiz Group

Heather Clancy, vice president and editorial director at GreenBiz, specializes in chronicling the role of technology in enabling corporate climate action and transitioning to a clean, inclusive and regenerative economy. An award-winning journalist, she started her journalism career on the business desk of United Press International, and her articles have appeared in Entrepreneur, Fortune, The International Herald Tribune and The New York Times. Clancy was the launch editor for the Fortune Data Sheet, the magazine's newsletter dedicated to the business of technology. She co-authored the Amazon best-seller for entrepreneurs, "Niche Down, How to Become Legendary By Being Different." She is proud to serve on the boards of the WSLA Alumnae Group, a mentorship organization dedicated to nurturing feminine leadership in the corporate sustainability movement, and EcoAthletes, a collective of collegiate, professional and amateur athletes dedicate to using their voices to surface solutions to climate change.

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Greg Mulholland

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Founder and CEO, Citrine Informatics

Gregory Mulholland is the founder and CEO of Citrine Informatics, the Generative AI platform enabling the faster development and deployment of the next generation of materials and chemicals. He is an internationally recognized leader in both materials technology and digital transformation and has led Citrine to work with some of the world’s largest and most important materials and chemicals companies to create greener, less expensive, and more performant products. He has been honored as a Technology Pioneer at the World Economic Forum, won the Start Up and Scale Up challenges at the World Materials Forum, and been awarded over a dozen other start-up and business awards.

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Zahra Biabani

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Founder, In the Loop

Zahra is a youth climate activist and entrepreneur that has been sharing action items and tidbits of hopeful news for the planet for over 2 years to ~50K people on her social media platforms. She is the CEO and Founder of In the Loop, a circular economy software startup, the author of forthcoming book “Climate Optimism: Climate Wins and Creating Systemic Change Around the World”, and a TED Speaker.

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Molly Kawahata

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Principal Systemic, Impact Strategies

Molly Kawahata is a strategist, public speaker, advocate, and former Climate Advisor at the Obama White House. She is the Founder of Systemic Impact Strategies, a consultancy specializing in organizational development, climate strategy, and communications. Her life story, depicted in Patagonia's film, THE SCALE OF HOPE, can be watched here: https://bit.ly/3pEcm6n. The film intimately explores her pursuit of climbing steep ice faces in Alaska, her personal struggle with mental health, and her work to transform climate narratives by infusing them with hope and empowerment. The film has resonated with audiences worldwide, amassing over one million views on YouTube, streaming on Delta Airlines, and being inducted into the permanent collection at the New York Museum of Modern Art. Molly is an Advisory Board Member to the Environmental Voter Project and an Advisory Council Member to the AAPI Victory Fund. Outside of work, Molly is an avid ice climber, with a focus on climbing mountains the Alaska Range. An introduction to the film can be viewed here: https://rb.gy/pxe2y

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Julia Marsh

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Co-Founder & CEO, Sway

Julia Marsh is the CEO and co-founder of Sway, a clean tech startup scaling seaweed-based, home-compostable packaging. Julia spent over a decade designing brand and packaging systems for consumer goods companies, technology startups, and design studios around the world. Her work is driven by a deep passion for regenerative design and biological circularity.

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Jake Mitchell

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Startup Programs Manager, GreenBiz Group

Jake Mitchell manages the Accelerate program at GreenBiz, which includes searching and selecting startups to participate in VERGE programming. He also collaborates on event design, strategy, and content to grow GreenBiz’s innovation ecosystem. Prior to GreenBiz, Jake worked across various industries including film & podcast production, sales & marketing for early stage startups, and non profits in renewable energy and economic development. Currently, Jake is pursuing his MBA in Sustainability at Bard College. Outside of work, you can find him in the woods playing disc golf, upside down in a handstand, or following the whims of his golden retriever.

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Hannah Friedman

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Founding Principal, Planeteer Capital

Hannah is a climate investor and operator. She invests in and advises executives as they scale up their first demonstrations and commercial projects. Hannah helped launch a new venture capital fund, Planeteer Capital, that invests as the Pre-Seed climate lead for founders navigating the climate capital stack. Planeteer invests in the insights derived from Sightline Climate (formerly the Climate Tech VC newsletter, or CTVC), now a leading climate intelligence platform that tracks all climate deals and projects across sectors. Prior, Hannah spent ~4 years investing in the circular economy at Closed Loop Partners, a multi-asset class investment firm. As an original 1 of 2 on the Ventures team, she was involved in the deal process for nearly a dozen completed investments, supported the fundraise of a $50m+ second vintage fund, and built out the firm’s subject matter expertise on carbon utilization and compostable packaging materials - work that informed key sustainability decision makers of Fortune 100 companies including Walmart, Microsoft, Nestle, PepsiCo, P&G and more. Hannah is climate native - quite literally. As an Indigenous woman from tribes in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, Hannah cares deeply about the intersectional impacts of climate change. She has trained as a systems thinker to help be a part of the solution, earning her Master's of Sustainability Management and Bachelor's in Sustainable Development from Columbia University.

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Jennifer Louie

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Managing Director, Closed Loop Partners

Jennifer Louie is a managing director at Closed Loop Partners (CLP). She is responsible for the firm’s catalytic private investment strategy, which makes impact-first debt and equity investments in companies and projects across North America that improve the circularity of plastics and packaging materials. Prior to joining CLP, Jennifer spent the last ten years managing emerging market debt portfolios across both the public and private markets. It was through Jennifer’s experience of living and working in emerging markets that she developed an interest in the role of catalytic capital and impact investing.

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Joanne Rodriguez

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CEO, Mycocycle

Joanne Rodriguez (LEED AP, Fitwel Ambassador, CDT) is Founder & CEO of Mycocycle, which employs applied mycology to remove toxins from waste and create new biobased material inputs. Addressing the decarbonization of the waste management sector, Joanne started her company with the goal of improving recycling rates of the 4th largest waste stream being landfilled: construction and demolition debris and now addresses some of the highest volume waste streams generated on a daily basis. Recognized for her innovation by Forbes Magazine, FastCompany, and the EPA she is shifting the paradigm on how we view waste: as a reusable resource, not a burden. Prior to founding Mycocycle, Joanne was Director of Sustainability for a major manufacturer of building materials, headed an environmental consulting firm and continues to be recognized as a sustainability leader in the construction products industry. She is a specialist in technologies like the circular economy, biomimicry and green chemistry, and has decades of experience leading cross-divisional sales and technical teams to success. She has participated in convenings at the United Nations, Clinton Global Initiative, and GreenBiz while lending her technical expertise to the US Green Building Council, the American Energy Innovators Network, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

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Yael Shemer

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Co-founder & Chief Customer Officer, Tulu

Yael Shemer is an environmental entrepreneur, and is the co-founder and chief customer officer of TULU, a series A, MIT DesignX venture and an on-demand physical and digital platform that operates in residential buildings and student housing, providing residents with access to household items they can rent by the hour. Her company raised nearly $30 million dollars and operates in 30 cities serving 70K people worldwide. Her main passion is urban sustainability and innovation. Prior to co-founding TULU, she has been an environmental entrepreneur and led several ventures in the field of urban communities and sustainable living. Her professional academic background includes an environmental science degree and training from Columbia University Transboundary Environmental Management course, a Harvard Business School social entrepreneurship seminar. In 2023 she was selected as a forbes 30 under 30, and today she is inspired more than ever to help advance technologies on mitigating climate change, circular economy, and promoting responsible consumerism.

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Jeff Merkley

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U.S. Senator, Oregon, United States Senate

U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) is leading the fight in Congress to take on the plastic production and pollution crisis, holding the first-ever series of hearings on plastics. Plastic production is a major driver of carbon pollution and climate chaos. And now micro- and nano-plastics are being found in everything we touch, from our food and water to our own blood. Senator Merkley has reintroduced the Break-Free From Plastic Pollution Act to reduce single-use plastics, hold corporations accountable for their waste, and bring Oregon’s “bottle bill” to the national stage to address this crisis for the next generation.

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Joel Makower

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Chairman and Co-founder, GreenBiz Group

Joel Makower is a well-respected voice on business, the environment, and the bottom line. As a writer and strategist on corporate sustainability practices and clean technology, he has helped a wide range of companies align environmental goals with business strategy. Joel is a bestselling author or co-author of several books on business and sustainability, including his latest, The New Grand Strategy: Restoring America's Prosperity, Security, and Sustainability in the 21st Century (St. Martin's Press). He is a frequent commentator in print, broadcast and online media, and a sought-after speaker to companies and business groups around the world. In 2012, Joel was awarded the Hutchens Medal by the American Society for Quality, which cited “his ability to tell compelling stories that both inform and inspire business leaders toward profitable action.” From 1991 to 2005, Joel was editor of The Green Business Letter, an award-winning monthly newsletter on corporate environmental strategy. He is a graduate in journalism from the University of California at Berkeley and is an advisor to both for-profit and non-profit organizations. The Associated Press has called Joel "the guru of green business practices."

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Javier Quiñones

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)
CEO and Chief Sustainability Officer, IKEA U.S.

Javier Quiñones is a forward-thinking and passionate leader with an enduring connection to IKEA values. As CEO and Chief Sustainability Officer of IKEA U.S., he guides over 18,000 coworkers towards the IKEA vision: to create a better everyday life for the many people by offering well-designed, functional and affordable, high-quality home furnishing, produced with care for people and the environment. Javi joined IKEA Badalona in Barcelona as a sales coworker in 1999. His leadership experience spans three different retail markets around the world, including Store Manager in IKEA Spain; Country Retail Manager in IKEA UK and Ireland; and now Country Retail Manager of IKEA US.

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Esther Speck

 (
)
SVP, Global Sustainable Business and Impact, Lululemon

Esther Speck is SVP, Global Sustainable Business and Impact at Lululemon.

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