Andrew Kimbrell is an internationally recognized NGO leader, public interest attorney, public speaker, and author. He is the founder and Executive Director of Center for Food Safety, the leading food/environment NGO in the United States. He also is founder and Director of the International Center for Technology Assessment, and the Earth Advocacy Institute. Additionally, he serves as the President of the Board of Humane Farm Animal Care (that administers the internationally utilized Certified Humane label). Kimbrell has been leading efforts to address the Climate Crisis for 35 years. He founded the Greenhouse Crisis Foundation in 1988. This was the first US non-profit solely devoted to the Climate issue. In 1989, he filed the first case in the US to require federal agencies to include greenhouse gas emissions as part of their environmental assessments under the National Environmental Policy Act. In 1989 he organized Earth Day in NYC around addressing the Climate Crisis and later co-sponsored the World Council of Churches US conclave on Climate. In 1999 he initiated the court challenge that resulted in a 2007 U.S. Supreme Court victory forcing, for the first time, EPA regulation of greenhouse gasses and their impact on the climate crisis. His legal work has also helped establish and maintain the integrity of US organic standards. Kimbrell’s many accolades include a spot on Utne Reader’s list of the world’s leading 100 visionaries, and The Guardian recognizing him as one of the 50 people “most likely to save the planet.”
Debbie has worked for over two decades on intersections between agriculture and climate change, food and water security and safety, trade, equity, natural resources, and numerous other issues. She was a consultant for The Berry Center and other civil society groups working on ecological agriculture. She was formerly the international director for the Center for Food Safety, a legal and public policy institute in Washington, D.C., and executive director of the International Forum on Globalization, a think tank on economic globalization issues. Debbie is currently the marketing and development director at Sonoma Valley Museum Art. She’s participated in many international foras such as the United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, European Parliament, Congressional briefings, and guest lectured at universities. Publications include Invisible Government; The Wheel of Life: Food, Climate, Human Rights, and the Economy; Soil 2050: Rebuilding Healthy Soils for a Secure Climate, Food, & Water Future; Trade Matters: Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) Impacts on Food and Farming; and she contributed to the United Nations’ International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development.
Elizabeth is an organic farmer and activist based at Shashe in Masvingo, Zimbabwe. She has dedicated her life to working tirelessly for the betterment of smallholder farmers and the rights of women in general. She was the former General Coordinator of La Via Campesina from 2013-2021. She is a founding member of two important small farmer organizations, one at the national level and the other at the regional. At the national level, she helped establish the Zimbabwe Smallholder Organic Farmers Forum (ZIMSOFF), which promotes organic farming. At the regional level, she founded with others the Eastern Southern Smallholder Farmers’ Forum (ESAFF) which promotes sustainable farming practices. She is the former chairperson of ZIMSOFF and Chairs the Association of Zimbabwe Traditional and Environmental Conservationists (AZTREC) Boards and has been a Steering Committee member of the Alliance Food Sovereign Africa (AFSA). She presided as a Chairperson of ESAFF from 2004 to 2011, later became vice-Chairperson (2012-2013) and is now a Board member. She is currently the Co-founder and Director of the African Women Collaborative for Healthy Food Systems which was founded in 2017.
Dr. Hans R. Herren is an internationally recognized scientist who lived and worked for 27 years across Africa in agriculture, health, environmental research, and capacity development. As Director of the Africa Biological Control Center of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Nigeria, he conceived and implemented the highly successful biological control program against the cassava mealybug and the green mite that saved the cassava crop, the staple of 200 million Africans and averted Africa’s worst-ever food crisis. For this achievement, he was the first Swiss to receive the World Food Prize in 1995. Hans advocates for holistic and multi-stakeholder approaches to development planning that take cognizance of the three dimensions of sustainability, and result from a shared vision of sustainability by all the key actors. Hans holds numerous awards that recognize his distinguished and continuing achievements in original research and advocacy. These include the Right Livelihood Award, Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, Brandenberger Preis, and the Kilby Award. Hans earned his PhD at the Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, and completed post-doctoral research at University of California, Berkeley. He is also the founder of Biovision Foundation, Switzerland. He is a member of the World Future Council since 2018.
Helmy Abouleish is CEO of the SEKEM Initiative in Egypt, founded by his father Ibrahim Abouleish in 1977. SEKEM promotes sustainable development in ecology, economy, societal and cultural life. The SEKEM Holding produces, processes and markets organic and biodynamic foodstuff, textiles and herbal medicine in Egypt, Arabia and internationally. SEKEM also operate educational facilities and is regarded as the Egyptian pioneer in Organic farming. 2003 SEKEM was awarded the Right Livelihood Award (‘Alternative Nobel Prize’) under the leadership of Helmy Abouleish. He studied economics and marketing in Cairo and was for a long time campaigning in national and international politics to promote responsible competitiveness, social entrepreneurship and tackling the greatest challenges of the 21st century, such as climate change and food security. He is a member of a number of international organizations and councils, such as Cradle-2-Cradle, the World Economic Forum, the World Goetheanum Association or the World Future Council. He became a NAP-Champion for adapting to climate change and was appointed president of Demeter International in 2018.
Dr. Rayburn is an ecotheologian, business attorney, and specialist in strategic leadership. She has organized and facilitated numerous conferences that brought together international leaders in food supply to strategize the transformation from industrial food systems to regenerative and environmentally supportive food systems. She has a doctor of ministry degree in spiritual renewal, contemplative practices and strategic leadership. Her work also includes providing legal, leadership and strategic infrastructure to help organizations operate in ways that are beneficial for humanity and the planet.
Liz Hosken was born in South Africa and was active from a young age in both environmental issues and the anti-apartheid movement. In the mid 80’s Liz co-founded The Gaia Foundation, based in the UK. During the first decade of Gaia’s work, Liz spent many years in the Amazon, where she was “initiated” into indigenous ways of seeing the world, which resonated with her own. Together with partners and indigenous communities, they developed a methodology for accompanying communities to revive their indigenous knowledge and practices. When Liz returned to her continent, she was inspired to share these lessons and search for ways to restore Africa’s rich cultural, spiritual, and ecological heritage. Liz now teaches the philosophy and practice of this approach, which is rooted in experiential learning and Earth Jurisprudence. She has a BSc in Environmental Sciences and a Masters in Philosophy and Education for Social Change.
Dr. Miguel A. Artieri has been a Professor of Agroecology at UC Berkeley since 1981 in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management. Dr. Altieri served as a Scientific Advisor to the Latin American Consortium on Agroecology and Development (CLADES) Chile, an NGO network promoting agroecology as a strategy for small farm sustainable development in the region. He also served for 4 years as the General Coordinator for the United Nations Development Programme’s Sustainable Agriculture Networking and Extension Programme which aimed at capacity building on agroecology among NGOs and the scaling-up of successful local sustainable agricultural initiatives in Africa, Latin America and Asia. He also was Director of the US-Brasil Consortium on Agroecology and Sustainable Rural Development (CASRD), an academic-research exchange program involving students and faculty of UC Berkeley, University of Nebraska, UNICAMP and Universidad Federal de Santa Catarina. Currently he is advisor to the FAO-GIAHS program (Globally Ingenious Agricultural Heritage Systems) a program devoted at identifying and dynamically conserving traditional farming systems in the developing world.
Founder of MELCA – Ethiopia and Co-ordinator of the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa, Million Belay is an expert and advocate for forestry conservation, indigenous livelihoods and food and seed sovereignty. MELCA-Ethiopia was created as an indigenous NGO working on agro-ecology, intergenerational learning, conservation of forests and improving the livelihood of local communities and indigenous peoples. He also played a significant part in the establishment and activities of the Africa Biodiversity Network (ABN), and is a co-founder and coordinator of the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA), a network of networks that advocates for seed and food sovereignty, as well as promoting agroecology and supporting the rights of local communities and indigenous peoples to their land. He won the National Green Hero Award for both Ethiopia and Addis Ababa, the capital city, in 2008. He was also a nominee for the International Forest Hero Award in 2011. He has a PhD in Education, an MSc. in Tourism and Conservation, and a BSc. in Biology.
Patrick Holden is the founding director of the Sustainable Food Trust, working internationally to accelerate the transition towards more sustainable food systems. After studying biodynamic agriculture at Emerson College, he established a mixed community farm in Wales in 1973, producing at various times: wheat for flour production sold locally, carrots and milk from an 85 cow Ayrshire dairy herd, now made into a single farm cheddar style cheese by his son Sam. He was the founding chairman of British Organic Farmers in 1982, before joining the Soil Association, where he worked for nearly 20 years and during which time the organization led the development of organic standards and the market for organic foods. His advocacy for a major global transition to more sustainable food systems now entails international travel and regular broadcasts and talks at public events. He is Patron of the UK Biodynamic Association and was awarded the CBE for services to organic farming in 2005. Patrick is passionate about the application of Nature’s principles of Harmony to food and farming, which is explored in the SFT’s latest initiative, The Harmony Project.
Randy Hayes is Executive Director at Foundation Earth, an organization rethinking a human order that works within the planet’s life support systems. As a former filmmaker and Rainforest Action Network founder, he is a veteran of many high-visibility corporate accountability campaigns and has advocated for the rights of Indigenous peoples. He served seven years as President of The City of San Francisco Commission on the Environment, and as Director of Sustainability in the office of Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown (former governor). As a wilderness lover, Hayes has explored the High Sierras, the Canadian Rockies and the rainforests of the Amazon, Central America, Congo, Southeast Asia, Borneo, and Australia. He is a special advisor to the World Future Council. He has been described in the Wall Street Journal as “an environmental pit bull.” Randy sits on about four non-profit Boards of Directors and numerous Boards of Advisors. Hayes holds a master’s degree in Environmental Planning and an honorary PhD from San Francisco State University (Inducted in Alumni Hall of Fame in 2010). His master’s thesis, the award-winning film “The Four Corners,” won the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences award for Best Student Documentary in 1983. He contributed to Alternatives to Economic Globalization: A Better World is Possible, published in 2004. His current focus is a strategy to halt the 6th Great Extinction – Nature Needs Half, shifting industrial agriculture to ecological farming and how do we rebuild post-collapse since humanity doesn’t seem able to solve this serious assault on the planet’s life support systems.
Taylor received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California and is currently pursuing a Master of Public Health degree with an emphasis in Nutrition and Health Policy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Taylor is passionate about the intersection of food, climate, and public health. She has ten years of experience serving in the public health sector, both as a published author in clinical research and on strategic partnership teams at non-profit organizations.
Tim Lang has been Professor of Food Policy at City University’s Centre for Food Policy since 2002. He was a hill farmer in the 1970s and for the last 38 years has engaged in public and academic research and debate about food policy. He’s been an advisor to many bodies, from the European Commissioner for the Environment to the Mayor of London. He was Commissioner on the UK Government’s Sustainable Development Commission from 2006 to 2011. He is co-author of Ecological Public Health (Routledge, 2012), Food Policy (Oxford University Press, 2009) and Food Wars (Earthscan, 2004).
Besides being a physicist, ecologist, activist, editor, and author of numerous books, Vandana Shiva is a tireless defender of the environment. She is the founder of Navdanya, a movement for biodiversity conservation and farmers’ rights. Shiva fights for changes in practice and paradigms of agriculture and food. Intellectual property rights, biodiversity, bioethics, and genetic engineering are among the fields where Shiva has contributed intellectually and through activist campaigns. Shiva has also served as an adviser to governments in India and abroad as well as non-governmental organizations, including the International Forum on Globalization, the Women’s Environmental and Development Organization, the Third World Network, and the Asia Pacific People’s Environment Network. In 2003, Time magazine identified her as an “environmental hero,” and Asia Week called her one of the five most powerful communicators of Asia.
Vicente Paolo B. Yu III works as an independent expert and consultant for various United Nations agencies and NGOs, and is also currently a Senior Legal Adviser with the Third World Network, Visiting Research Fellow at the UN Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), Knowledge Expert with Veritas Global, and a founding partner of the Clean Energy Innovations Partnership. Previously, he served as the Deputy Executive Director of the South Centre, the intergovernmental policy research institution of developing countries, and coordinated the Centre’s work on global governance, climate change, investment, South-South cooperation, and sustainable development issues. His substantive policy work includes policy research and analysis and the provision of technical policy and legal advice to developing country governments, including on the right to development, international environmental law, development economics, international climate change policy, and South-South cooperation. Prior to the South Centre, he worked for Friends of the Earth International (FOEI) and was a Staff Attorney and head for Research and Policy Development of the Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center (LRC) in the Philippines. He has also been a consultant for various United Nations agencies, providing research and training/capacity building services on international trade, development policy, and climate change (including reviews and reporting on national climate change actions).