Andre Head

Chief Design Officer

Andre is responsible for coordinating the development and deployment of Resilience Brokers’ service offering and technologies for systematic civic modelling and planning.

As a creative technologist, he also manages tools for collaboration within the organisation and between it’s partners and projects participants worldwide.

Educated as an engineer and designer of products and manufacturing processes Andre has over 20 years experience working in product development. He has previously used the technologies that have become available to create experiences for the customers of corporate brands including Apple, O2, IKEA, Land Rover and KPMG and charities including Macmillan. He has worked within in-house product development teams at advertising agencies including M&C Saatchi, LIDA and archibald ingall stretton…

Andre has won DMA awards for the creative use of technology and specialises in creating intuitive interfaces between people and systems through devices by marrying technical, creative and human factors.

Alastair Kennedy

Finance Director

Following a Masters Degree in Engineering at Nottingham University, Alastair joined Ernst and Young in London, qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in 1990. In 1991 he moved to Australia, working initially for a diversified industrial company, Howard Smith Ltd, later becoming Group Accountant at Pioneer International Ltd in Sydney.

On returning to the UK in 2007, Alastair first worked as Pioneer’s ERP Project Team Leader, and then as European Finance Manager in London, with particular responsibility for strategy, business development and analysis of European reporting and forecasting.

In 2000 Alastair became Finance Director for the UK Studio of Electronic Arts, the world’s leading developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software. During these four years, he managed a successful acquisition and integration exercise, established effective operational and financial processes in a rapidly growing business, implementing data warehousing, redesigning joint venture appraisal processes and improving cash flow forecasting.

Since 2004 Alastair has worked on a portfolio basis as a Finance Director and advisor to SMEs.

Peter Head

Non-Executive Chair

Peter is a champion of sustainable development. He established the Ecological Sequestration Trust in 2011. He advocates that changing the way we invest public and private money in the built environment could be made very much more effective if the public and private sectors adopt sustainable development principles.

Peter is a civil and structural engineer who has become a recognised world leader in major bridges (he received an OBE for successfully delivering the Second Severn Crossing as Government Agent), advanced composite technology and now in sustainable development in cities and regions. He has won many awards for his work including the Award of Merit of IABSE, the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Silver Medal and the Prince Philip Award for Polymers in the Service of Mankind.

He joined Arup in 2004 to create and lead their planning and integrated urbanism team which by 2011 had doubled in size. He directed work on the Dongtan Eco City Planning project which was voted by Chinese developers in 2005 as the most influential development project in China.

In July 2008 he was awarded an honorary doctorate in engineering at Bristol University, where he is a visiting Professor in Sustainable Systems Engineering.

In May 2011 he was appointed as a visiting professor in eco-cities at Westminster University. In 2009 he was awarded the Sir Frank Whittle medal of the Royal Academy of Engineering for a lifetime contribution to the well-being of the nation through environmental innovation.

In 2008 he was named by the Guardian Newspaper as one of 50 people that could ‘save the planet’.

He was cited by Time magazine in 2008 as one of 30 global eco-heroes and has been one of CNN’s Principle Voices.

In 2011 he was awarded the CBE in the New Year’s Honours List for services to Civil Engineering and the Environment.

Awarded the CEMEX global lifetime achievement award in 2016.

Jeroen Brink


Based in Amsterdam, Jeroen is keen to amplify the innovative approach to integrate big data in sustainability planning across North-West Europe. Jeroen has experience in creating partnerships between private and public sector. Specifically to contribute to more sustainable cities and communities.

Jeroen is Sustainability and Transformation Director with AkzoNobel, a leading Paints & Coatings company across all continents. AkzoNobel is consistently ranked as a leader in sustainability and dedicated to energizing cities and communities while creating a protected, colorful world. Since AkzoNobel offers solutions across the whole value chain it can provide valuable support to ensure the model of Resilience Brokers maximizes value to relevant stakeholders.

With a background as economist and over 20 years experience in international marketing in the building environment Jeroen brings a distinctive perspective to Resilience Brokers. Jeroen has been active as volunteer in NGO’s to help reduce environmental impact (the Sustainable Society Foundation, Gemeentelijke Duurzaamheidsindex). This passion translates into his role as Sustainability Director with AkzoNobel.

Jeroen recently pioneered the expansion of schemes to reuse paint leftovers to create social impact rather than incinerate paint as waste. This scheme is now rolled out in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and other cities in continental Europe. Jeroen specializes in identifying constructive ways forward in complex environments to achieve tangible results.

Louisa Harris

Change specialist

Louisa works with individuals, organisations and collections to find creative ways to tackle complex problems

After 9 years working in UK advisory firms driving business as a force for good she is shaping a portfolio of roles dedicated to unlocking our collective potential to create positive impact.

Her experience includes strategy design and implementation, non-financial reporting, ESG assurance, culture change, coaching, facilitation, co-creation and leadership. She worked with HM Government’s Inclusive Economy Partnership, the UK National Advisory Board for Impact Investing, the World Benchmarking Alliance, Future-Fit Business Benchmark’s Development Council and the Marine Foundation’s creative team.

Currently Louisa is focusing on a number of roles championing leadership, systems change and innovation including: Head of ESG at Brandpie, a tutor on the Sustainable Business Management programme for the Cambridge Institute of Sustainable Leadership, Advisory Board member for Business Declares a Climate Emergency, Leadership programme designer and facilitator for REAL Sustainability Centre and Head at 6heads.

She works with Resilience Brokers on culture, strategy and co-creation.

Lubaina Mirza

Urban Designer

Lubaina is an urban designer and researcher with a multidisciplinary background spanning regeneration project management, design consultancy, public policy evidencing and implementation, digitalisation and social entrepreneurship. After managing a built environment thinktank and the assessment of national awards programmes, she won a civic data hackathon and led a sustainable development pilot programme in rural Tanzania.

As an MPhil/PhD candidate at UCL, she researches the political economy of land and design innovation for housing, with a particular focus on unlocking value propositions for very small sites. She’s on the management board of RTPI London and co-curates it’s programme of public events. With Resilience Brokers, she works on the sustainability and data integration strategy frameworks for Meridian Water.

Andrew Simmons

Director of Urban Innovation and Strategic Partnerships

Andrew manages the Trust’s research initiatives and partnerships. In parallel with the deployment of the platform in the city-regions, the Trust works with a wide range of global research networks and university research centres to commission research streams on appropriate scientific and civic-technology topics that concern context-sensitive sustainable development paths, civic engagement and community resilience to climate-related impacts. A critical objective of the research is to foster participatory-planning processes through local-to-global and global-to-local knowledge exchange.

With significant on-the-ground experience in East Asia, the U.K. and the U.S., Andrew is committed to inclusive, people-centred approaches to development. He holds an MSc in City Design and Social Science from the London School of Economics, where his research focused on the governance structure and urban-regeneration objectives of the London Olympic Park Legacy. Prior to joining the Trust, Andrew worked as a planning contractor and project manager on several international development and domestic-U.S. projects, including the development of a mixed-use, mixed-income LEED project in Washington, D.C., completed in 2017. With Bluepath Consulting in China, the team delivered comprehensive sets of site-bespoke sustainability key performance indicators for a range of high-level, large-scale bilateral (e.g., Sino-Singapore, Sino-Germany) development projects and eco-industrial parks in China under implementation.

In 2009, he was retained by the PPJ consortium as heritage planner on their politically-sensitive delivery of Hanoi’s new regional master plan for the Vietnam Ministry of Construction. From 2006-2009, Andrew served as cultural planner with Arup, leading a small project team of social scientists in Shanghai within Arup’s highly-collaborative, London-based Integrated Urban Design practice on their pioneering sustainability-driven planning projects in China and beyond. He also assisted with Arup’s programme management of the EPSRC China-U.K. Ecoregion Research Networks.

Philipp Ulbrich

Development Researcher

Philipp has a background in economic development and business (BSc Hons. Management, Warwick Business School; MSc Local Economic Development, London School of Economics) and is part of the third EPSRC funded cohort of MPhil/PhD students at the Warwick Institute for the Science of Cities (2016/2020). He has worked in urban and regional development and infrastructure projects in the UK and Latin America as well as foreign direct investment with national and municipal governments in Europe and Canada.

During his work with the Overseas Development Institute on a project for Costa Rica’s government to realign the country’s trajectory along green growth lines he identified the links between transport infrastructure investment priorities, housing and environmental performance. In collaboration with the Mexican government he was also involved in the development of economic strategies for four special economic zones in the south of the country. These experiences led him to develop a particular interest and expertise in diversification and transition towards sustainable development in resource based economies and the holistic and interrelated nature of urban and regional development. His recent work with Resilience Brokers includes consulting of data on the Yucatan Project in Mexico.

Independent Programme Board


Bob Bishop


Bob Bishop is President and Founder of ICES Foundation (International Centre for Earth Simulation), a Geneva based not-for-profit organization chartered to bring together the multitude of specialised sciences that contribute to our knowledge of the global future. His career spans the world of technical, engineering, scientific and high performance computing – especially that of of digital modeling, simulation, and big data visualisation. Over a 40-year period, he built and managed the international operations for three well-known computer companies: Silicon Graphics Inc., Apollo Computer and Digital Equipment Corporation, rising to Chairman and CEO of SGI from 1999 to 2005. He is a Fellow of the Australian Davos Connection, an elected member of the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences and serves on the advisory boards for the EU Human Brain Project and NICTA (National ICT Australia). In 2006, Dr. Bishop was awarded the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal for his role in building simulation facilities that helped NASA’s space shuttle fleet return-to-flight after the 2003 Columbia disaster.

Xuemei Bai

Future Earth

Professor Bai joined ANU in 2011, as a professor in Urban Environment and Human Ecology at the Fenner School of Environment and Society. Prior to this, Professor Bai worked as a Senior Principal Research Scientist at CSIRO, a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Global Environmental  Strategies in Japan, a visiting professor at Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, and a research scientist at the Japanese Center for International Studies in Ecology. She is an Adjunct Professor at Beijing Normal University.

Professor Bai authored/coauthored over 100 publications, and served as a Lead Author for Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and a Lead Author for Global Energy Assessment. She delivered invited lectures/seminars at many academic and research institutions, including Harvard University, Peking University, Yale University, Stockholm Seminar, United Nations University , and served as plenary speaker/panelist in many international conferences and science/policy forums.

Professor Bai is an appointed member of the Science Committee of Future Earth, a new 10-year international research program on global environmental change; Council member of International Society of Industrial Ecology; served as a Vice Chair of the Scientific Committee of the International Human Dimensional Program for Global Environmental Change (IHDP); an elected Board Member for Sustainable Urban Systems Chapter of International Society of Industrial Ecology; Foreign Expert Member of Task Force for Western Region Development under China Council for International Cooperation for Environment and Development. She served on the Science Steering Committee of IHDP Industrial Transformation Core Project, National Academies (USA) Study Committee on Electricity from Renewables, and Steering Committee member of US National Academies Sustainable Cities Initiative. She is on the Editorial Board of many international journals, including Current Opinion on Environmental Sustainability; Sustainability Science; Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainability; Computer, Environment and Urban Systems;Ecosystem Health and Sustainability; Urbanization; International Journal of Sustainable Cities and Society, etc

Emma Torres

UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network

Currently Associate Director and Head of New York Office at SDSN, Emma Torres enjoys a long experience in the United Nations, with increasing level of responsibilities involving management, strategic programme development and negotiations to promote sustainable development initiatives globally and regionally, and more recently as Senior Adviser on Sustainability at the Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean, UNDP.

She coordinated a strategic initiative Latin America and the Caribbean: A Biodiversity SuperPower, which makes the case of biodiversity importance for development, equity and long- term competitiveness of the region The report and policy brief were launched at the IberoAmerican Summit of Heads of State in December 2010.

As Deputy Executive Coordinator, UNDP/GEF- a partnership among the UNDP, UNEP and the World Bank, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) is the financial mechanism of the main UN Global Environment Conventions-she was responsible for managing a team of over 60 professionals and a over $1Billion portfolio. She advanced numerous initiatives to support a regional agenda on sustainable development as Director of the Regional Programme for Latin America and Caribbean.

As UNDP coordinator for the Commission on Development and Environment for Latin America and the Caribbean she produced “Our Own Agenda”, and “Amazonia without Myths”. Both remain a point of reference in the field. UNDP and the Inter-American Development Bank sponsored the Commission.

She is a Member of the Independent Advisory Group on Sustainability, InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB) appointed by the President of IDB. And currently serves as Chair of the Standing Advisory Group on Technical Assistance and Cooperation (SAGTAC) to the Executive Director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). She is member of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) on Sustainable Cities and Forests, Oceans and Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. And Co- Chair of the SDSN Amazonia.

Ms. Torres holds an MA, Economics, Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain; a Diploma on Language and French Civilization, Sorbonne, Paris; Certificates in Environmental Economics and Climate Change, IIED, Harvard University.

Anthony Capon

International Council for Science

Professor Capon is a public health physician and an authority on environmental health and health promotion. He has more than two decades of senior leadership and management experience in public health research, education and policy, and has consulted in many countries and for a wide variety of organizations. Since 2008, he has been working with the International Council for Science to develop a global interdisciplinary science programme on health and well-being in the changing urban environment using systems approaches. He has held prestigious National Health and Medical Research Council (Australia) and World Health Organization fellowships, as well as leadership roles with the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine (of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians) and the International Society for Urban Health.

Brian Field

ex EIB

Brian Field is an urban economist and public policy analyst, specialising in sustainable planning and development, and related project appraisal and finance.He was until recently Special Managerial Adviser on Urban Planning and Development at the European Investment Bank (EIB) and therefore, de facto, the Bank’s leading urban specialist.His career has covered contemporary professional practice in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East and, prior to joining the EIB, he held a number of senior appointments at executive manager, director and board levels in the public and private sectors including, for example, Head of Planning and Economics at WS Atkins International.He has also pursued a successful academic career, with professorial appointments at the National University of Singapore and as Head of the School of the Built Environment at De Montfort University in the UK.He is currently an Associate of the OMEGA Centre and Visiting Professor in the Bartlett School of Planning at University College London (UCL), and also teaches in the Geography Departments at both the University of Luxembourg and the Sorbonne at the University of Paris.His current research focuses on the built environment and the promotion of more sustainable development at all spatial scales, spanning low energy planning and transport policies, and the social implications of settlement patterns that embrace a more explicit pursuit of the “green” agenda.He has published extensively on planning and related matters in books and scholarly papers, and is on the editorial board of several international peer reviewed journals

Professor Field has degrees from Brunel University, Cambridge University, the City University London and the University of Westminster, and was a doctoral candidate at the London School of Economics.As a qualified planning and development practitioner, he is a Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute (MRTPI), a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (FRICS), and a Chartered Member of the Institute of Logistics and Transport (CMILT).

Julia Prescott


Ms. Julia Prescot is Chief Strategy Officer and sits on the board of Meridiam Infrastructure Managers. MIM manages three long term (25 year) PPP infrastructure funds investing in OECD countries predominantly in Europe and North America with some $3.5bn funds under management. The substantial majority of investors in Meridiam are a selection of nearly 40 global pension funds as well as development banks such as the EIB, Industrial Bank of Japan, the EBRD and CDC of France. Meridiam is an active investor from the commencement of projects, through the construction period and then on a ‘take and hold’ basis until the latter part of operations in the transportation, environmental and public facility sectors. Meridiam has made 27 investments and has been involved in the generation of nearly $27bn of new build infrastructure in 11 countries. The team of 50+ is based in Paris, New York and Toronto. Major projects secured by Meridiam include the two high speed rail projects in France, a number of light rail projects and user and availability paid road schemes in a number of European and North American countries. As well as these, Meridiam has invested in a number of health and public facility projects on a PPP basis. Julia herself has an extensive background in infrastructure investment, having acted as an investor, adviser both to Governments and to the private sector and provider of debt and junior funding in respect of a large number of PPP projects around the globe over decades. Julia’s past roles have included Head of Project Finance at Hill Samuel in London, Co-Head of Project Advisory at Charterhouse Bank to Senior Director and Head of Eurozone Infrastructure Finance at Bank of Scotland. In 2005, she moved to work on the development and realisation of Meridiam, where she is a founding Partner and now provides general strategy and tactical direction to Meridiam, as well as heading up business development and being engaged in Meridiam’s management committees.

Catherine Martin


Advisor, Managing Director CAO office, World Bank group

Catherine has 30 years development experience. Her current role involves overseeing the management of the World Bank group as Advisor to the Managing Director, Chief Administrative office with a focus on strategy and business management for the WBG.In her last position Catherine was Principal Strategist for the East Asia Pacific region for IFC.

She also spent a long period working for the UK government as Senior Private Sector Advisor and Manager in DFID for 12 years as Head of the Growth team for DFID Bangladesh, where she also led on DFID’s global value chains work on “Making markets work for the poor”and prior to that post as Head of DFID’s financial sector team in London, overseeing DFID’s global engagement on financial sector development.

Catherine spent earlier diplomatic posts in DFID Ghana, and DFID China where she ran the economic reform programs with extensive engagement in urban and rural poverty and private sector development programs. She spent 15 years in the private sector as a Senior Manager in large Canadian and UK trading firms, and as a Director of a UK Consultancy managing joint ventures with China. She is a fluent Mandarin speaker, with a BA in Chinese Studies and Politics from Leeds University, UK and a postgraduate in the Chinese Economy from Nanjing University, China.

Lydia Sackey

City of Accra

Lydia E. A. Sackey-Addy has over 27 years of Public Sector Management and Local Government experience in Ghana. She is very conversant with Ghana’s decentralization and Local Government reforms through her long experience in working in Ghana’s Local government Sector as a Budget Officer in a number of Districts Assemblies (Local Authorities). Currently she is the Director of Budget and Rating for the City of Accra.

She co-ordinated the Millennium Cities Initiative Project and currently co-ordinates the Resilient Cities Initiative pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation. She is the City Lead for the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group at the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Apart from working for the Local Government Sector, she has been working in her private capacity as a consultant in Local Economic Development and Gender issues.

She also served and continues to serve on a number of boards including Ga Rural Bank, Accra Market Ltd, Women in Law & Development in Africa (WiLDAF) and a number of NGO’s

Her technical expertise includes Capacity Building, Budgeting and Planning, advocacy, participatory methods, public education, building capacities of community based organizations, monitoring and evaluation, building resilience, financial administration and Gender issues in Local Government. She is also a chief advocate on issues related to Local Government Finance.

Mrs. Sackey-Addy’s active involvement in local level programmes has strongly established her experience in working with local citizens as well as local level development institutions including civil society organization and District Assemblies in Ghana.

Jeffrey Newman


Jeffrey Newman is Rabbi Emeritus of Finchley Reform Synagogue and Adviser to the International Secretariat of, a systemic UN-inspired set of 16 Principles and 61 sub-principles for a just, sustainable and peaceful global society. The principles are based on Four Foundations: Care & Respect for the Community of Life; Ecological Integrity; Social & Economic Justice; Democracy, Non-Violence and Peace.

A visual introduction to the Charter can be found at

Each principle & sub-principle is stated in the form of an action and the final one (16f) reads: ‘Recognize that peace is the wholeness created by right relationships with oneself, other persons, other cultures, other life, Earth, and the larger whole of which all are a part’.

In 1996, with Dr Ahmad Khalidi, Jeffrey founded the UK branch of the Israel-Palestine Centre for Research and Information

His expertise covers areas of personal and community development (with a background in Jungian psychology, Human Social Functioining & NLP), interfaith projects, education – formal and informal – and philosophy. Jeffrey has a particular interest in cultural heritage, libraries and museums. He is concerned with the underpinning of The Trust in these areas and how the Earth Charter may be used to ‘map’ The Trust’s development.

Eugenie Birch

University of Pennsylvania

Eugénie L. Birch FAICP, RTPI (hon), Nussdorf Professor of Urban Research, University of Pennsylvania, is co-director of the Penn Institute for Urban Research, and co-editor of Penn Press’s The City in the 21st Century series. Her most recent publication is Slums: How Informal Real Estate Markets Work (2016), co-edited with Susan Wachter and Shohana Chattaraj.

Birch has served as editor, Journal of the American Planning Association, chair, Planning Accreditation Board, president, Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP). In addition, she has been as a member of the New York City Planning Commission and of the jury to select the designers for the World Trade Center site. She is currently chair, UN-HABITAT’s World Urban Campaign and president of its special initiative, the General Assembly of Partners toward Habitat III.

Michael Cohen

New School New York

Michael A. Cohen is Professor of International Affairs and Founding Director of the Julien Studley Graduate Program in International Affairs at The New School in New York, where he also directs the Global Urban Futures Project and the Observatory on Latin America. He worked at the World Bank from 1972 to 1999, served as Chief of the Urban Development Division for many years as well as Senior Advisor for Environmentally Sustainable Development, and worked in 55 countries. He is the author of many books and articles on urban issues and development, most recently Argentina’s Economic Growth and Recovery, (2012) and edited The Global Economic Crisis in Latin America: Impacts and Response (2012). He served as a Member of the Committees on Urban Population Dynamics and Infrastructure of the US National Academy of Sciences. In recent years he has also advised UN Habitat, the World Bank, the Corporacion Andina de Fomento, the Inter-American Development Bank, UN agencies, and many foundations.

Rachel Kyte

Sustainable Energy for All, Fletcher School

CEO of SE4All and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General

Rachel Kyte is Chief Executive Officer of the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All.

A leading advocate for sustainable development, Ms. Kyte is focused on affordable, reliable and sustainable energy as the key to combating both poverty and climate change. Ms. Kyte drives SE4All’s work to mobilize action towards its 2030 goals of ensuring universal access to modern energy services; doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. As Special Representative for the Secretary General she is the point person in the UN for action towards the recently agreed global goal on sustainable energy.

Ms Kyte served until December 2015 as World Bank Group Vice President and Special Envoy for Climate Change, leading the Bank Group’s efforts to campaign for an ambitious agreement at the 21st Convention of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP 21). She was previously World Bank Vice President for Sustainable Development and was the International Finance Corporation Vice President for Business Advisory Services.

Recipient of numerous award for women’s leadership, climate action and sustainable development, she is a Professor of practice in sustainable development at Tuft’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. She holds a master’s degree in international relations from Fletcher, and a bachelor’s degree in history and politics from the University of London.

Mike Rann


Professor Mike Rann was Premier of South Australia from 2002-2011 and ALP leader for 17 years.From 1 February 2013. He then became  Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.

He is a former ALP National President. He has held a variety of Ministerial positions including Minister for Economic Development and as one of the world’s first Climate Change Ministers remains active in the promotion of renewable energy technology.

In January2012, he was appointed by former UK PM Tony Blair to the International Leadership Council of The Climate Group.

He served on the International Advisory Board of the UK headquartered Ecological Sequestration Trust and chairs the board of Low Carbon Australia Limited.

Professor Rann,is also an Adjunct Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, Visiting Senior Research Fellow at Auckland University and a Fellow at the Center for National Policy in Washington, DC.

David Hodgkinson

ex ADB

David Hodgkinson is an international finance and investment executive. He started his career as a projects officer with the World Bank Group in Washington DC, with overseas postings in the South & East Asia, the Middle East/North Africa and Latin America. From 1992 to 1997, he was a senior staff member of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), with responsibility for managing the bank’s private sector investment portfolio. From 1997 to 2004, he headed ADB’s Commercial Co-financing team, with a global remit to structure and arrange financial and investment partnerships with leading international banks and institutional investors.

In 2006, David established Emerald Capital Asia Ltd in Thailand. Emerald specialises in structuring, financing and managing sustainable investments in the Asia-Pacific region. The firm is currently focused on projects in three sectors: Renewable Energy, Clean Fuels and Green Buildings.

In addition to his role at Emerald, David is Special Advisor to the Asean China Investment Fund, a private equity fund operating in South East Asia and China. Previously he served on the boards of H&Q Ventures and Planter’s Bank in the Philippines, and was a member of the Advisory Board of the NIF Daiwa Asia-Pacific Fund (Singapore).

David earned an MBA from the University of Southern California. Additionally, he holds graduate degrees from the George Washington University and the University of Hawaii (where he was an East-West Center Scholar). He completed undergraduate studies at the University of California, earning a degree in Political Economy.

Sue Parnell

University of Cape Town

Professor, Environmental and Geographical Sciences, University of Cape Town


1993: Ph.D. University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

1987: M.A. University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

1984: B.A. (Hons.) University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (First Class).

1982: H.Dip.Ed. (P.G.) University of the Witwatersrand, (Distinction, Teaching Experience).

1982: B.A. University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

Academic Appointments

2006-: – Professor, Environmental and Geographical Sciences, University of Cape Town

2007-2011: African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town (part time secondment to establish the Centre)

1997-2005: Associate Professor, University of Cape Town

1994-1997: Senior Lecturer, University of the Witwatersrand

1994/5: – Lecturer, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (full time 1 year maternity replacement while on sabbatical leave from Wits)

1987-1993: Lecturer, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

Michael Appelbaum

City of Boulder, Colorado

Matthew Appelbaum has been on the Boulder City Council for 17 years, initially from 1987 – 1995, and currently since 2007, serving as mayor from 2011 – 2015, and previously in 2009.  Boulder is recognized internationally for its leadership and innovation in sustainability, resilience, energy efficiency and transformation, vast open space system, environmental protection, and land use and urban design.

Matt currently serves on the ICLEI USA Board of Directors as well as ICLEI’s North America Regional Executive Committee, and the National League of Cities Board of Directors, having previously been the chair of NLC’s Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources Policy Committee.  He has also served on numerous regional and statewide committees targeting transportation, urban development, regional cooperation, and energy.

Matt has attended and been invited to speak at numerous national and international conferences, including Habitat III, COP21, the World Economic Forum in NY, the Ecosystem Preservation Society in Tokyo, the first European Green Capital Conference in Stockholm, ICLEI’s global conference in Seoul, the Ecocity World Summit in Nantes, and the Vatican summit on climate change.

Advisory Board

Theresa Anderson

Social Infomatics

Dr Theresa Dirndorfer Anderson is Course Director of the Master of Data Science and Innovation in the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Connected Intelligence Centre.

In her teaching and her research, Theresa engages with the ever-evolving relationship between people and emerging technologies, conceptually engaging with notions of risk, uncertainty and creativity. As a socio-technical researcher, she applies a transdisciplinary approach and value-sensitive participatory methods to explore human entanglements with emerging technologies and information practices.

As an information ethicist, she is particularly interested in the interaction between creative and analytic thinking and doing and in examining ways information systems and institutional policies might better support both creative and analytic activities. Internationally she is leading discussion about these issues as chair of the Information Seeking in Context international research community and founder of the Human-Centred Data Science Network.

Her research builds on her PhD thesis (“Understandings of relevance and topic as they evolve in the scholarly research process”), which in 2005 was awarded the 1st Annual Emerald/EFMD Outstanding Doctoral Research Award (Information Science category) in recognition of the innovative approach taken.

Particularly intrigued by the creativity at the heart of scholarly work, she has been digging deeper into the role that intuition, insight and serendipity play in idea generation and scholarship through a series of installations (Playing with Pauses) based on her ongoing ethnographic and anthropological engagement with the question: where do ideas come from? At the heart of this exploration is a proposition that there are four distinct but inter-related phase states critical for nurturing an innovative culture — collectively referred to as the 4Ps (see Keen to explore ways that everyday creativity emerges through our ongoing engagements with various technologies, she is currently working with school and university libraries to explore ways that the interplay of artful and analytical engagements with information can nurture our creative intelligence.

Prior to joining UTS, she served as a diplomat, technical writer and environmental education officer.

Michael Braungart

Cradle to cradle and chemistry

Professor Dr Michael Braungart is Academic Chair, Cradle to Cradle Chair for Innovation and Quality, Rotterdam School of Management at Erasmus University in the Netherlands. He holds the Chair and is founder of The Cradle to Cradle Design Paradigm as well as co-author of the book Cradle to Cradle.

He is the scientific director of EPEA International which he founded in 1987, and is co-founder of McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry.

Ruth Deakin Crick

Systems learning and leadership

Dr Ruth Deakin Crick is Reader in Systems Learning and Leadership at the Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol and Conjoint Professor of Education at the University of Newcastle, Australia. The focus of her research interest is on pedagogies which promote deep learning and change for individuals, organisations and communities. She is one of the originators of a visual analytic assessment tool to develop an individual and group’s learning power, which has been applied around the world in education, corporate and community contexts. She directs the Centre for Systems Learning and Leadership at the Graduate School of Education and is one of the founders of the Learning Emergence Network.She is Chief Scientific Officer for ViTaL Partnerships, a charitable knowledge exchange partner responsible for leading in the dissemination of her research into learning power. Her current research is in designing and modelling contexts for learning.

Herbert Girardet


Professor Herbert Girardet is an author, film maker and international consultant. He is a co-founder, honorary member and former program director of the World Future Council. He developed sustainability strategies for London, Vienna and Bristol. In 2003 he was inaugural ‘Thinker in Residence’ in Adelaide, defining eco-development strategies for South Australia which have since been implemented. Herbert is visiting professor at University of the West of England, chairman of the Schumacher Society, UK, and a member of the World Academy of Art and Science. He is a recipient of a UN ‘Global 500 Award for Outstanding Environmental Achievements’.

Herbert has produced 50 TV documentaries on environmental topics. He is author and co-author of 12 books, including: Blueprint for a Green Planet, 1986; Earthrise, 1992: The Gaia Atlas of Cities, 1992 and 1996; CITIES, PEOPLE, PLANET – Urban Development and Climate Change, 2004 and 2008; A RENEWABLE WORLD – Energy, Ecology, Equality, 2009. His report REGENERATIVE CITIES was published in 2011. His books have been widely translated. He has also written many other reports and chapters for books. He has lectured in over 30 countries. He is currently working as senior adviser to the Saudi Sustainability Initiative based in Riyadh.

Andy Goldring


Andy Goldring is the Chief Executive of the Permaculture Association, the UK charity that helps people to learn about and use permaculture – an ethical design approach based on lessons from nature. He has a wealth of design and teaching experience and an excellent overview of permaculture in Britain and around the world.

Recent projects include the development of an England wide demonstration network, development of the world’s biggest permaculture Diploma system and co-steering of the Local Food Fund, a £57million lottery fund which supported over 500 food related projects. His team is currently preparing to host the 12th International Permaculture Conference in London in September 2015, and supporting the global network to develop a strategic plan for its next major phase of work.

Locally, Andy is a director of Leeds Love it Share it CIC – which explores new approaches to urban regeneration, and chair of Leeds Permaculture Network. Andy has also been a champion of ‘Holistic Management’ an exciting method of land management that can be used to regenerate land and combat climate change, and organised the first UK seminar on the subject with its founder Allan Savory.

Andy is currently thinking about how we might combine lessons from superorganisms (e.g. stigmergic processes that enable simple actions to emerge into complex systems), social enterprise, commons-based peer production and permaculture to rapidly re-orientate society along ethical and ecological principles.

Prof Laura Lee

Systems design

Laura Lee, FAIA, Hon FRAIA, is an architect and Professor of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon University where she served as Head from 2004-2008. Laura has also taught at the Higher Institute of Architecture in Antwerp, Belgium; the Royal Danish Academy in Copenhagen, Denmark; the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland, and most recently was the Cass Gilbert Visiting Professor at the University of Minnesota. In 2009 – 2010, Laura was the 16th “Adelaide Thinker in Residence” in South Australia, a program inviting global experts and leaders in their field to generate visionary and actionable recommendations for the government. Focused on the value of design and the impact of the built environment on the quality of life, Laura produced the report entitled an “Integrated Design Strategy for South Australia – Building the Future.”

Laura is an international leading voice for integrated design education, practice and research. Her work focuses on the development and implementation of integrated design strategies and collaborative programs between academia, government, industry and the professions. She has lectured and served on panels on issues concerning the relationship between design education, practice and research. For many years, Laura has acted as an advisor and consultant for many academic institutions, professional organisations and design practices.

Laura is the recipient the American Institute of Architecture Students National Educator Award and was elevated to Fellowship in the American Institute of Architects (FAIA) in 2004 for advancing the art and science of building through her contributions to architectural education, internship and practice. In 2005, Laura was presented with the Henry van de Velde Institute Award for Architecture Education in recognition of her development of intercultural programs. Laura was elected, in 2008, a Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council, a global network of design community professionals who explore trends, changes, and new opportunities in design, architecture, engineering, and building technology. In 2009, she was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the Royal Australian Institute of Architects (Hon FRAIA).

Marcus Lindner


Dr Marcus Lindner has been Head of Programme Sustainability and Climate Change at the European Forest Institute since 2003. Dr Lindner studied forest science at the University of Freiburg, Germany and obtained a PhD from the University of Potsdam, Germany with a dissertation in Geoecology: “The Impact of Climate Change on Managed Forests in Central Europe”. He has 20 years’ experience in research on climate change impacts and the development of response strategies in forest management, forest sector sustainability assessment and environmentally constrained bioenergy potentials from European forests.Dr Lindner coordinated the development of the Tool for Sustainability Impact Assessment (ToSIA) in the EFORWOOD project and is currently involved in projects like MOTIVE, GHG-EUROPE, and VOLANTE, where he leads a work package on Pathways Towards Desired Land Use Futures.

Marcus has a vision to support the transition to sustainable resource utilization by providing science-based knowledge to policy and practice. He believes in the important contribution of the forest sector in a future bio-economy and contributes his expertise on carbon sequestration, sustainability assessment, systems analysis and value chain thinking to the Trust activities.

I am representing the European Forest Institute as a knowledge hub and science‐policy interface in the Advisory Board and I am fully convinced that, the open‐source urban‐rural integrated planning and investment software tool developed by The Trust will greatly help improve resilience in the target regions, with significant benefits for achieving sustainable development goals both in the initial test regions as well as in many other urban areas around the globe. The European Forest Institute is currently establishing a new Resilience Research Programme and we are very much looking forward to collaborate with The Trust in the joint development of promising evidence‐based decision support tools. In an increasingly urbanized world, urban forests and forest‐based product value chains are of high importance to make our society more sustainable and resilient to climate change.

Clare Saunders

Materials resource recovery

Clare Saunders is a highly skilled Resource Management professional with 20 years’ experience in the public sector, 10 of those in a senior management role. Extensive public-private and public-public partnership experience. She is a focused professional with a track record of delivering on the vision; infrastructure, strategy, innovation and savings.

Clare is currently running her own Consultancy (Clare Saunders Ltd) with a primary focus on the circular economy and commercial waste.

John D Liu

Ecology and landscape remediation

John D. Liu founded and has directed the Environmental Education Media Project (EEMP) since its creation in the mid 1990’s. In this capacity John has produced, written and directed a number of films on various ecological and environmental subjects. In 1995 the World Bank assigned John to document the baseline of the restoration of China’s Loess Plateau and in returning to continue this documentation over the years John witnessed the amazing transformation of formerly barren landscapes into recovering ecosystems. The potential of restoration and the importance of communicating that potential in the face of biodiversity loss, desertification, climate changes and poverty have determined the course of John’s work. His films, including “Hope in a Changing Climate”, have helped policy makers and the public around the world to see the potential of restoration in sequestering carbon and returning natural ecological function to lands that have been historically degraded.

John’s work has taken him to over 80 countries in Asia, the Americas, Europe, Africa and Australia. In 2006, John was named Rothamsted International Fellow for the Communication of Science. John, formerly senior research fellow for IUCN for 3 years, is now Visiting Research Fellow at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO) of the Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences and Ecosystem Ambassador for the Commonland Foundation as well as remaining Director of the Environmental Education Media Project (EEMP).

Nick Mabey

Climate politics

Nick Mabey is Chief Executive and a founder director of E3G (Third Generation Environmentalism) a non-profit international organisation dedicated to accelerating the transition to sustainable development. In addition to his management role, Nick leads E3G’s work on European climate change policy, climate diplomacy and foreign policy, and the security implications of climate change.

Nick was previously a senior advisor in the UK Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit leading work on national and international policy areas, including: energy, climate change, countries at risk of instability, organised crime and fisheries. Nick was employed in the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Environment Policy Department, and was the FCO lead for the Johannesburg Summit in 2002 where he established international partnerships on clean energy, tourism and environmental democracy.

Before he joined government Nick was Head of Economics and Development at WWF-UK. He came to WWF from research at London Business School on the economics of climate change, which he published as the book “Argument in the Greenhouse”. This followed a period in the UK electricity industry working as a negotiator for PowerGen and an engineer for GEC-Alsthom. Nick trained as a mechanical engineer at Bristol University and holds a masters degree in Technology and Policy from MIT where he specialised in energy systems analysis.

Among other appointments Nick is currently on the advisory board of Infrastructure UK, the independent commission reporting to the UK Conservative Party on the design of a Green Investment Bank, and the Advisory Council of the European Technology Platform for Zero Emission Fossil Fuel Power.

Kerry Mashford

City energy systems

Dr Kerry Mashford is Chief Executive of the UK’s National Energy Foundation, a charity working at the forefront of improving the use of energy in domestic and non-domestic buildings.

Kerry has deep expertise in the built environment, technology development and integration, with an international reputation in sustainable urban development and regeneration.

Prior to joining the NEF, Kerry worked on the Executive Team of the Ecological Sequestration Trust to establish the Trust’s technical programme, and she continues to offer her expertise as a member of the Advisory Board. Her previous experience includes roles as Head of Sustainable Manufacturing and Construction for Arup, Lead Technologist at the Technology Strategy Board, and senior positions at Interfacing Ltd, the Centre for Remanufacturing and Reuse, and Benoy Architects and Masterplanners.

Kerry is a Chartered Engineer, Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. She has a master’s degree in interdisciplinary design of the built environment and a PhD in integrated design of complex, multi-domain systems.

Kerry is an experienced Non-Executive Director (corporate and charitable), and advisor to several academic institutions. She is a member of IMechE Council, a lead assessor for the Manufacturing Excellence Awards and has represented the Technology Strategy Board on working groups of the Green Construction Board.

Bill McDonough

Cradle to cradle and built environment

William McDonough is a globally recognized leader in sustainable development. Trained as an architect, his interests and influence range widely, and he works at scales from the global to the molecular. Time magazine recognized him in 1999 as a “Hero for the Planet,” stating that “his utopianism is grounded in a unified philosophy that – in demonstrable and practical ways – is changing the design of the world.” In 1996, McDonough received the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development, the USA’s highest environmental honour, and in 2003 he earned the first U.S. EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award for his work with Shaw Industries, the carpet division of Berkshire Hathaway. In 2004, he received the National Design Award for exemplary achievement in the field of environmental design. Bill is the architect of many of the recognized flagships of sustainable design, including the Ford Rouge truck plant in Dearborn, Michigan; the Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies at Oberlin College; and NASA’s new “space station on Earth,” Sustainability Base, completed in 2011.

He has written and lectured extensively on design as the first signal of human intention. He was commissioned in 1991 to write The Hannover Principles: Design for Sustainability as guidelines for the City of Hannover’s EXPO 2000, still recognized two decades after publication as a touchstone of sustainable design. In 2002, McDonough and the German chemist Dr. Michael Braungart co-authored Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, which is widely acknowledged as a seminal text of the sustainability movement.

William McDonough advises major enterprises including commercial and governmental leaders worldwide through McDonough Advisors. He also is active with William McDonough + Partners, his architecture practice with offices in Charlottesville, Virginia, and San Francisco, as well as McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry, the Cradle to Cradle® consulting firm co-founded with Braungart. He has co-founded, with Braungart, not for profit organizations to allow public accessibility to Cradle to Cradle thinking. These include GreenBlue (2000), to convene industry groups around Cradle to Cradle issues, and the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute (2009), founded at the invitation of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to create a global standard for the development of safe and healthy products. He and Braungart contributed the Cradle to Cradle certification program to the Institute. Bill also co-founded Make It Right (2006) with Brad Pitt to bring affordable, Cradle to Cradle-inspired homes to the New Orleans Lower 9th Ward after Hurricane Katrina.

David Miller

City governance for sustainability

David Miller is Counsel, International Business and Sustainability at Canadian law firm Aird & Berlis LLP. He was Mayor of Toronto from 2003 to 2010 and Chair of the influential C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group from 2008 to 2010.

Under his leadership, the City of Toronto became widely admired internationally for its environmental leadership, economic strength and social integration. He is a leading advocate for the creation of sustainable urban economies. In addition to being a strong and forceful champion for the next generation of jobs through sustainability, David advises companies – and governments – on practical measures to make this happen.

Martin Palmer

Religions and cultural heritage

Martin Palmer is a theologian, author, broadcaster and environmentalist. He is Secretary General of the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC), a secular non-governmental organisation founded by him and His Royal Highness Prince Philip in 1995 to help faiths to develop environmental and conservation projects based on their own beliefs and practices.

He is the author of more 20 than books on religious and environmental topics such as Faith and Conservation, Travels through Sacred China, and The Atlas of Religions. He is also a renowned Sinologist and is one of the foremost translators of ancient Chinese texts, having published translations on the Tao Te Ching (sometimes spelt Dao de Jing) I Ching (I Jing), Chuang Tzu (Zhuang Zi) and Kuan Yin. His translation of Chuang Tzu was chosen for the Penguin Classics lists. He has also translated all the early Christian texts in Chinese, dating from the Tang dynasty (618 – 907 AD) in his book The Jesus Sutras. He is currently working of three more translations of Chinese classics for Penguin classics. In 2014 his translation of China’s oldest history book, the Shang Shu/Shu Jing was published by Penguin.

In 2013 he was asked to head the new UN programme on Culture, Creativity and Values as part of the development of the next fifteen years of the UN’s sustainable development goals.

He was recently made a Fellow of the Club of Rome and co-directs their ValuesQuest programme worldwide.

Martin frequently appears on radio and television, and is a regular contributor to the BBC especially as one of the most regular contributors to Melvyn Bragg’s In our Time on Radio 4. In 2007 he was appointed as a co-chair with United Nations Development Programme on the programme of Long-term Faith Commitments to a Living Planet. He is also the Director of the International Consultancy on Religion, Education and Culture (ICOREC), which specialises in religious, educational, environmental and development issues.

He studied theology at Cambridge, with a special emphasis on Chinese studies, and is a lay preacher in the Church of England.

Pankaj Patel


Pankaj Patel is an innovator and business professional who exemplifies the combination of sound technical acumen as well as business and strategic expertise.

Mr Patel is one of the architects behind conceptualizing and realizing the business model of Abellon CleanEnergy Limited, an organization led by the Gandhian principle of sustainability and the philosophy of finding simple solutions to complex problems faced by the world. Today, he is driving the success of Abellon’s integrated business model as President & Member of the Board.

His personal vision, like that of his organisation, is to contribute towards solving deep and perilous problems of climate change, energy access, food security and empowerment through sustainability and a “Triple-Bottom-Line” approach.

Across a career spanning 18 years, his exposure has led him to develop a special inclination and expertise towards integrating environment, energy and other key elements to bring sustainability into industrial operations. His innovative approach, thinking and experience covering a diversity of domains make him a sought after industry expert in the domain of environment protection, clean energy generation and related concern areas.

Michael Pawlyn

Architect biomimicry

Michael Pawlyn established Exploration in 2007 to focus exclusively on biomimicry. In 2008 the company was shortlisted for the Young Architect of the Year Award and the internationally renowned Buckminster Fuller Challenge.

Prior to setting up the company, Michael worked with Grimshaw for ten years and was central to the team that radically re-invented horticultural architecture for the Eden Project. He was responsible for leading the design of the Warm Temperate and Humid Tropics Biomes and the subsequent phases that included proposals for a third Biome for plants from dry tropical regions.

He has lectured widely on the subject of sustainable design in the UK and abroad and in May 2005 delivered a talk at the Royal Society of Arts with Ray Anderson, CEO of Interface. In 2007 Michael delivered a talk at Google’s annual ‘Zeitgeist’ conference and, in 2011, became one of only a small handful of architects to have a talk posted on In the same year, his book Biomimicry in Architecture was published by the Royal Institute of British Architects. He is currently working on a range of biomimicry-based architectural projects and a book commissioned by TED.

The complexity of designing for future urban sustainability mean that interdisciplinary working and integrative design tools are essential to arrive at properly optimised results. All too often urban design is ‘pessimised’ through siloed thinking that undermines the effectiveness of the overall system. The tool allows virtuous cycles of design that truly integrate the many design strands. It is perfectly possible to design for happy, healthy for everyone within the limits of the planet but only with the right approach.

Biomimicry can play an important role in this design process by helping to develop highly resource efficient design solutions that are consistent with circular economy models and make the broader task of designing sustainable infrastructure more readily achievable. Biomimicry can also contribute to the computer modelling process by incorporating techniques using genetic algorithms that are equivalent to a process of design evolution.

Sanjay Prakash

Architect sustainable development

Sanjay Prakash, B. Arch., A.I.I.A., is an architect with a commitment to energy-conscious architecture, eco-friendly design, people’s participation in planning, music and production design.Over the years, he has integrated all his work with the practice of new urbanism and sustainability in his professional and personal life.

His area of practice and research over the last 32 years includes passive and low energy architecture and planning, hybrid air-conditioning, autonomous energy and water systems, bamboo and earth construction, community-based design of common property, and computer-aided design. Under his guidance, hundreds of persons have developed capabilities in performing design, conceptual or management work in these areas.

He is Principal Consultant of his design firm, SHiFt: Studio for Habitat Futures (formerly Sanjay Prakash & Associates), and was a partner of DAAT and Studio Plus, firms that predate his current firm. He is a senior advisor at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS).

His name and work is mentioned in the twentieth edition of one of the main reference works in architectural history, A History of Architecture by Sir Bannister Fletcher.

Prof Kristin Ragnarsdottir

Soil science and health

Professor Kristín Vala Ragnarsdóttir is a Professor of Sustainability Science at the Sæmundur frodi Institute for Sustainable Development and the Institute of Earth Sciences at the University of Iceland. She was the Dean of Engineering and Natural Sciences at the University of Iceland from 2008-2012. Prior to moving to Iceland she was a Professor of Environmental Sustainability at the University of Bristol, UK. Educated in geochemistry at the University of Iceland, Reykjavík (BSc) and at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois (MS, PhD) she changed her focus a decade ago from Earth Sciences to cross-disciplinary Sustainability Science. From 2005-2008 she engaged with the citizens of Bristol in a series of Sustainability Café discussions to envision a sustainable city, and the outcomes of these conversations underpin many of the green actions in the city to this day. Her research pertains to sustainability in its widest context including nature protection, economics, society, and wellbeing of citizens. She is currently developing a framework for the establishment of sustainable communities within the Earth’s boundaries.

Vala is also working on soil sustainability indicators for land-management and undertaking a comparative study of the relative fertility of conventionally versus organically managed land to ensure future food security under the EU SoilTrEC project. Her activities also include the establishment of a framework for a sustainable financial system, link between natural resources and wealth and she is investigating the factors involved in complex multi-factoral disease development.

Vala was a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for Framework 7 Environment Programme from 2006-2008.She has been a member of grant research panels for the EC (Brussels), NERC (UK), NSF (USA) and ESA (Netherlands). Vala is a past Director of the Geochemical Society and was a member of the Board of the European Association for Geochemistry and the Geological Society of Great Britain.Vala is an associate editor of Solutions. She is also a past Associate Editor of Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta, Chemical Geology and Geochemical Transactions. She is currently a Guest Editor of a special issue of Solutions – entitled Solutions for Successful Societies. She was the chair of the Schumacher Society and is a current Vice President of the Balaton Group. She was invited to take part in a high level meeting at the United Nations in April 2012 on a new economic paradigm based on well-being and happiness at the invitation of the Prime Minister of Bhutan.

Vala is a Fellow of the Icelandic Academy of Sciences. She is an Honorary Fellow of the Schumacher Institute, Bristol and in 2011 she was awarded the Balaton Group Member of the Year award. She is a co-recipient of Times Higher Education Sustainability Award (2008) and the Plant (GAIA student association) Award. She is a Scientific Adviser to Health Empowerment Through Nutrition and an adviser to TreeSisters. In Iceland she advised widely on sustainability issues, including the Prime Minister, the Ministers of Education and the Environment, Parliament, the City of Reyjavík and the Federation of Icelandic Industries.

Robin Stott


Robin Stott worked for 27 years as a consultant physician in Lewisham University Hospital.For much of this time he was also site dean and medical director. He has a life-long commitment to understanding and seeking to improve the economic, environmental and social circumstances which are most supportive to good health. In this context he has served as Chairman of the International Committee of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, Chairman of the UK affiliate Medact, and member of the London Sustainable Development Committee. He is currently the co-chair of the BMJ initiated Climate and Health Council, sustainability advisor to the elected mayor of Lewisham, Chairman of C3 collaborating for health, a trustee of Bioregional and member of the Commission for Sustainable London 2012.

I am a physician with a life long involvement in promoting social environmental and economic justice as an essential precursor to human and planetary health. I see the approach taken by The Ecological Sequestration Trust as the best possible way of moving humanity towards the goal of a more equal society , developed by giving people greater agency and confidence in planning and decision making , developed without breaching environmental boundaries , and so benefitting people’s health and wellbeing.

I have worked with the trust from its inception and have no doubt that ,given appropriate funding , the roll-out of our platform will transform the lives of urban dwellers.

Michael Velders

Urban agriculture

Michael Velders is a Senior Consultant at Arup with more than 15 years’ experience in sustainable development. Michael mastered in Agricultural and Environmental Engineering in Wageningen and Change Management in Utrecht. He is committed to good project management and continues to implement a variety of initiatives that strive to make a difference to society.

“How can we feed ourselves sustainably in a low carbon economy?” Michael’s pet and particular interest lies in sustainable food production. Future food shortages and food affordability issues are expected to be far more widespread and increasingly difficult to remedy. He currently explores and implements innovative concepts securing a sustainable future food system on projects in the Americas, Europe, China, Australia and the Gulf region, and is a lecturer on this topic in many forums and universities.

Dr Kongjian Yu Fasla

Landscape, water and ecology systems

Kongjian Yu received his Doctor of Design at the Harvard GSD. He is Changjiang Chair Professor in Design at Peking University and is the founder of the College of Architecture and Landscape. He founded Turenscape, an internationally awarded firm of architecture, landscape architecture and urbanism and is one of the first private firms in China. Through his research and practice, Yu tries to reconstruct ecological infrastructure at various scales and to define a new aesthetics based on ecology.

He is well recognized for his numerous proposals to the Chinese central government about ecological security and eco-city planning and design that have fundamentally changed the environmental and land use policies in China. He is well recognized for his determined effort in promoting the profession and education of landscape architecture in China. Yu’s projects received numerous international awards for their ecologically sound and culturally sensitive design, including the 2009 ULI Global Award for Excellence, the 2010 and 2012 ASLA award of Excellence, and 9 other ASLA Honor Awards, three time winner of World Landscape Award at the World Architectural Festival.

His projects have been reviewed in over 1000 magazine and journal articles worldwide. The most recent book: Designed Ecologies: The Landscape Architecture of Kongjian Yu (William Saunders ed., Birkhauser, 2012) explores Yu’s work in eleven essays by the world noted authors and extensively documents 22 of selected projects.

Yu publishes widely including 20 books and over 300 papers. His current publications include The Beautiful Big Foot, Landscape as Ecological Infrastructure and The Art of Survival. He have lectured worldwide and was keynote speaker for the 40th, 43rd, 46th and 48th IFLA World Congress, the 2006 and 2008 ASLA annual conference, and taught at Harvard Graduate School of Design for the past five years. Yu served the Master Jury for the Aga Kahn Architecture Award in 2010, and the Super Jury for 2011 World Architecture Festival.

Rita Soni


20+ years as an engineer turned development professional with a passion for platforms that facilitate collaboration and create change for the most marginalized. Seven years senior leadership experience running the social wing of business-focused institutions, evolving strategic CSR and ‘technology for good’ platforms. Exposure to international development in five continents, with in-depth assignments across the US and India. Passion for combining business principles with social/environmental systematic challenges.

Rita is currently working as an independant, working across industries (CSR) and development sectors (non-profits and social enterprises) to further their mission for equity, sustainability and poverty alleviation.

Geoff Smith

GEO data and mapping

Geoff is a Senior Scientific Officer at Specto Natura Ltd providing consultancy services to organisations developing or implementing EO data for the monitoring of land surfaces. He  particular focuses on land cover mapping and the European Copernicus programme with involvement in a number of land oriented EU framework projects. He was part of the UK team producing CORINE Land Cover and a member of the European Environment Agency EIONET Action Group on Land monitoring in Europe. He now focuses on Copernicus land services and space component as well as numerous UK development and mapping projects.

Scott Williams

Mission Finance

Scott Williams is a very big picture thinker and doer with around 20 years of professional service experience managing and directing teams and delivering complex multi-country, multi-year programs and projects in more than 100 countries working at intergovernmental, national, municipal and local level with both public and private sector.

Scott’s mission is to catalyse global scale change to build systemic resilience by re-establishing a connection between our physical reality and our economic and financial systems to enable a safer transitional pathway for human civilization as we negotiate novel systemic risks that threaten the viability of our species this century.

Author of Theme 6 Transparency & Accountability of Roadmap 2030.

Development of phases of activity to 2030 and beyond to 2500

Development of global financial system transitional plan from IFRS to ISHA

On his 30th birthday, Scott set a short-term goal of running 100 marathons/ultramarathons in 20 years, with a complementary longer-term goal of running another 150 marathons/ultramarathons in the following 50 years.