Sarah is a Sr. Advisor with SELCO, an organization that seeks to alleviate poverty and create assets for the poor via last mile energy access solutions. Sarah leads the organization’s inclusive investment advocacy program and global replication of an ecosystems approach to energy access.
With close to 10 years of experience in the energy access sector, Sarah has worked on multiple programs at the confluence of energy access, sustainable development and poverty. She has previously presented at various national and international programs to propagate the concept of an energy access ecosystem.
Chinenye has over five years of experience in social development interventions, with a focus on rural energy access, business development/entrepreneurship, women and girls empowerment, social enterprise management, advocacy, gender responsive budgeting, gender mainstreaming, health promotion and education as well as research and development. She earned a Master’s degree in Public Health from University of Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria, and was one out of 24 fellows who in 2018 earned a Diploma in International Gender Studies at the United Nations University of Gender Equality Studies Training, Iceland.
During this period, she attained the required level of competence to be granted Certified Project Management Associate IPMA – level D. She also earned Certificate in Non Profit Leadership and Management from Lagos Business School. Chinenye is a project manager, global health professional, capacity builder, sustainable development and renewable energy specialist, and activist for women’s right and equality. Within one year of working with Solar Sister Nigeria, she brought light and opportunity to 20 rural communities in Anambra through mentoring 30 women entrepreneurs who are clean energy advisers and reached over 200 users with clean energy in their communities.
Currently, she is a Gender Expert and Business Development Manager where she leads, trains and manages a team of Business Development Associates are mentoring of over 300 women as last mile clean energy entrepreneurs. Chinenye was among the panelists who at Libreville AMCEN/UNEP conference on women entrepreneurship and sustainable energy who developed the working paper that led to the launch of the Africa Women Energy Entrepreneurs Forum. She has strong interest in entrepreneurship, leadership development, sustainable energy, public Health, and gender equality.
Gerry Arances has been at the forefront of the climate and ecological justice movement for almost 15 years. He has engaged local and state governments, multinational companies, as well as international finance institutions in issues of climate change and development. He has worked with indigenous peoples and rural communities on issues of human rights, natural resource and minerals management.
Arances has also served as National Coordinator for both the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice and the SOSYamang Bayan Network pushing for Alternative Minerals Management Bill.
Today, his primary work is concerning issues of power, energy, and its role in pursuing ecological and climate justice through people-centered development as the current Executive Director of the Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development (CEED), Convenor of the Power for People Coalition (P4P), and Spokesperson of the national power consumers movement Murang Kuryente (MK).
Chairman Dave Archambault
David Archambault II (Lakota: Tokala Ohitika) is the former tribal Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota. He’s a father of two and a husband of over 20 years. He attended Standing Rock Community College (now Sitting Bull College), Bismarck State College, and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from North Dakota State University. He also earned a Master’s degree in Management from the University of Mary.
In 2014, Archambault hosted the historic visit of President Obama and the First Lady to the Standing Rock Reservation. During that visit, he accompanied the President and First Lady in a meeting with Standing Rock youth, who spoke about the challenges they face growing up on the reservation and their aspirations for the future.
In his role as Chairman, Dave was appointed to the US Sentencing Commission’s Tribal Issues Advisory Group, the Department of Justices Tribal Nations Leadership Council, and the US Department of Labor, Native American Employment and Training Council.
In 2016, Chairman Archambault emerged as a global leader for Indigenous Peoples’ rights as he led the opposition to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. He continues to be a voice for tribal sovereignty in championing protection of tribal treaty lands and natural resources. Archambault testified before the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, led the Washington, D.C. “Native Nations Rise” march, and published editorials in The New York Times.
Among many awards and honors Chairman Archambault was recently named a “Leading Global Thinker of 2016” by Foreign Policy Magazine, was given the “Native American Leadership Award” by the National Congress of American Indians, and received a “Doctorate of Law Honoris Causa” from the Vermont Law School.
He continues to speak regularly all over the United States on behalf of his tribe and on behalf of this land.
Nnimmo Bassey is director of the ecological think-tank, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) and member steering committee of Oilwatch International – a network resisting the expansion of fossil fuels extraction in the Global South. He was chair of Friends of the Earth International (FoEI) (2008-2012) and Executive Director of Nigeria’s Environmental Rights Action (1993-2013).
Bassey serves on the boards of a number of non-profit organisation including Global Greengrants Fund, Action Group on Erosion, Technology and Concentration (ETC Group), and of Navdanya International. He was a co-recipient of the 2010 Right Livelihood Award also known as the “Alternative Noble Prize.” In 2012 he received the Rafto Human Rights Award. In 2014 he received Nigeria’s national honour as Member of the Federal Republic (MFR) in recognition of his environmental activism. Bassey is a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Architects and has authored books on the environment, architecture and poetry. He is also a Member of the Action Research Network for a Wellbeing Economy in Africa (WE-Africa).
His books include We Thought it Was Oil, But It was Blood – Poetry (Kraft Books, 2002), I will Not Dance to Your Beat – Poetry (Kraft Books, 2011), To Cook a Continent – Destructive Extraction and the Climate Crisis in Africa (Pambazuka Press, 2012) and Oil Politics – Echoes of Ecological War (Daraja Press, 2016). He writes a weekly column, The Instigator, focusing on socio-ecological transformation in The Leadership Newspaper (Nigeria).
Stephanie Brancaforte is Executive Director for Italy of Change.org, the world’s largest petition and activism platform and leads their global climate work, as well as directing Fund Our Future, which aims to stop the flow of money to climate destruction. She formerly led Greenpeace’s global efforts to stop the climate crisis and has worked extensively in human rights, international justice, activism support and women’s leadership.
James Buchanan joined Operation Noah in March 2016 as the Campaign Manager for the Bright Now campaign, which calls on Churches in the UK to divest from fossil fuel companies and invest in renewable energy and climate solutions.
Since the launch of the Bright Now campaign, several UK Churches have taken steps towards divestment from fossil fuels, including the Church of England and the Methodist Church. The United Reformed Church, Quakers in Britain and the Church of Ireland have committed to full divestment from fossil fuels.
James studied International Management and German at the University of Bath, which included a year working in the Finance Department of Lehman Brothers in Germany, before going on to work for Christian Aid and CAFOD.
Prior to his current role he worked as Project Coordinator of the Pilgrimage2Paris, an event involving the Church of England, Christian Aid, CAFOD and Tearfund, in which 40 people walked from London to Paris ahead of the UN climate talks in 2015.
Tim has 30 years financial markets experience, now providing public interest related financial analysis in the seaborne coal and electricity sectors for IEEFA, studying energy efficiency and renewables across China, Japan and India, and the resulting stranded asset risks in Australia.
Tim has published numerous financial papers, including “Peak Thermal Coal Demand by 2016” in conjunction with the Carbon Tracker Initiative in 2014 and “Electricity Sector Transformation in India: A Case Study of Karnataka” in 2018.
Tim was co-founder of a start-up global listed clean energy equities fund with Westpac as a cornerstone investor. From 1998 to 2007 Tim was Managing Director at Citigroup, Head of Australasian Equity Research.
Samia Omar Bwana
Samia Omar Bwana is the former the County Executive Member for Trade, Tourism, Culture, and Natural Resources for the County Government of Lamu, from where she resigned in August 2016 in protest against the first coal power plant in Kenya. After her resignation she worked with the local organization Save Lamu to mobilize national and international organisations and co-found DeCOALonize campaign, where she now sits as a Board Member. deCOALonize is a movement that advocates against coal power production and mining in Kenya to secure a green and sustainable energy future. The campaign activities include pushing for divestment of the Chinese-funded Lamu Coal Power Plant.
Ms. Bwana has over 13 years of experience in environmental advocacy, including divestment against multinational energy projects. In addition to her recent work against coal in Kenya, she was also a co-founder and volunteer of Save Lamu (2010-2013), the lead organization behind deCOALonize Campaign, as well as co-founder of the Friends of Lake Turkana (2009-2010), the organization that is behind divestment advocacy against the Gibe dams in Ethiopia. Her career path also has included working with USAID’s Kenya SECURE Project promoting community-based resource management, and Turkana Basin Institute in community outreach conservation.
Samia is a recipient of several awards recognizing her public service including, but not limited to: 2014 Al-Muslimah Top 30 Under 40, the 2016 Business Daily’s Top 40 Under 40 Women in Kenya, The 2017 Norman H. Edelman Achievement Award, J.W. Saxe Award, and John C. Holland Award.
Hastings Chikoko is the Regional Director for Africa at C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. He serves on the Advisory Board for the African Centre for Cities (University of Cape Town). His work with local authorities started at the City of Blantyre and later at the Ministry of Local Government in Malawi working with Mchinji District Council.
Prior to joining C40, Hastings had a long career with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) where he served in leadership roles in Zimbabwe, Kenya, South Africa and Switzerland; including being the Regional Director for East and Southern Africa (ad Interim) and Head of IUCN in South Africa. He has also been one of the International Development Research Center’s (IDRC) African Mentors for policy think-tanks in Africa; and a member of the Regional Technical Committee for the Global Water Partnership (Southern Africa).
Besides an MSc degree in Cities from the London School of Economics (LSE Cities), he also holds an MSc degree in Strategic Management (University of Derby, UK), Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Diplomacy – specializing in Green Economy (University of Geneva, Switzerland) and a BSc degree in Economics (University of Malawi). He has had focused training in Climate Change Diplomacy and Bilateral Diplomacy at the Diplo Foundation, Switzerland.
After a long career in environmental policy communications and political organizing, Janet Cox shifted her focus to pension fund finance and fossil fuel divestment by the two largest public pension funds in the U.S. This turned out to be a larger, more consuming project than she anticipated—and a gateway to a growing number of initiatives designed to hit the fossil fuel companies where they are most vulnerable to public pressure.
Pension funds in the U.S. are far behind their counterparts in Europe in both fossil fuel divestment and carbon risk disclosure. “The inertia in these funds is remarkable,” Janet commented. “Their generally reflexive opposition to divestment in the face of accelerating risk, and their apparent conviction that shareholder engagement can transform the fossil fuel industry, are still baffling to me, after years of observing both staff and board members.”
Janet spent five years building Fossil Free California, the only NGO working for divestment by the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS). She is now working with 350 Silicon Valley and training climate activists around California in state legislative strategy and advocacy. “It’s a great responsibility to be working on climate in California while Trump is promoting coal and attempting to roll back environmental protections on every front,” Janet says. “California is big enough, and progressive enough, to effectively counter many of this administration’s destructive policies while leading the nation in areas like green sector jobs and electric vehicles on the road.”
Tracey Davies is executive director of Just Share, an NGO which promotes the use of investor power for a fairer South Africa. Just Share uses advocacy, engagement and activism to support active ownership and responsible investment which drives good corporate citizenship by SA-listed companies. Tracey holds a BA LLB from UCT and an LLM from New York University. She is admitted as an attorney in South Africa and as a solicitor in England & Wales.
Tracey practised as a litigation attorney in London prior to joining the Cape Town-based Centre for Environmental Rights in 2013, where she ran the Centre’s Corporate Accountability and Transparency Programme, raising investor awareness of environmental risks, and advocating for improved transparency and accountability around the impacts of polluting companies on our environment and people.
Just Share has commissioned and released a legal opinion on the question of whether the boards of pension or provident funds are required under South African law to take into account climate-related risks and opportunities when making investment decisions on behalf of their funds. Just Share also drafted and supported South Africa’s first shareholder proposed resolution on climate risk, which was tabled at Standard Bank’s AGM on 30 May 2019.
Audrey Elster has over 25 years senior management experience in the NGO sector in South Africa and internationally. She has been the Executive Director of the RAITH Foundation for the past 10 years. RAITH is a private South African Foundation working to promote social justice. RAITH supports a diverse group of projects ranging from freedom of expression to anti-corruption initiatives and also established the Social Justice Initiative (SJI), which aims to build local philanthropy for social justice in South Africa.
Prior to working for RAITH, Audrey spent 6 years working for the UNFPA in New York and Geneva, providing funding and technical support to a multi-million dollar adolescent SRH programme in four African countries. Audrey has led and consulted for both local and international NGOs, has worked for and with a range of different donors and is an experienced Board member.
Audrey was educated at Glasgow University, the National University of Mexico (UNAM) and at the Harvard School of Public Health (Centre for Population and Development Studies).
Joanne Etherton is an experienced City lawyer and is ClientEarth’s climate finance project lead. Her work focuses on developing and implementing legal strategies to drive improved disclosure and management of climate-related financial risks and greater integration of such risks into the investment decisions of institutional investors (including pension trustees).
Prior to joining ClientEarth in 2017, Joanne was a pensions partner in the London office of international law firm, Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP. She is qualified as a solicitor in England and Wales and a Fellow of the Pensions Management Institute, holds a law degree (LLB) from the University Of Warwick and a diploma in International Employee Benefits (DipIEB) from the Pensions Management Institute.
John Fay is an international development professional and entrepreneur with over 12 years’ experience designing and implementing market-led development projects. He is the co-founder and managing director of VITALITE Group, a community distribution and service social enterprise focused on making renewable energy products available and affordable throughout Africa households.
Prior to founding VITALITE, John worked as an international development consultant, and prior to that in finance in the US. He has worked for Cardno Emerging Markets and co-founded Zambian NGO Shared Value Africa. John holds a PhD from the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business, an MBA from Cornell University and a BA from Duke University.
Julia Fish is the Coordinator of Fund our Future, a global south based financial institution lobby to stop funding to the fossil fuel industry. Fund for our Future also represents the youth activists of #Allinforclimateaction, 80 young petition starters with almost a million signatures demanding climate action from world leaders.
Tine Fisker Henriksen
In her role at the Bertha Centre, Tine manages multiple projects focused on strengthening the impact investing sector in South Africa and Africa at large. She has worked with the World Bank, DBSA and multiple local investment funds to set up innovative finance mechanisms that drive more capital to small and growing business in the region. As part of her work at the Centre, she also supports foundations, financial intermediaries, DFIs, social entrepreneurs, start-ups, and investment funds to adopt and strengthen social investment strategies.
Prior to joining the Bertha Centre, she worked as a strategy advisor to SNV Netherlands Development Organisation’s Managing Board, focusing on new business models and key trends in sustainable development.
At SNV, she also led multiple projects across Africa focused on impact investing and social enterprise acceleration as part of the team that set up the organisation’s Impact Investing Advisory Services. She has worked in Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa on impact investing projects in the renewable energy and agriculture sector. Tine holds a M.Sc. in International Business & Politics from Copenhagen Business School and a B.A in BSc. Public Administration and Social Science.
Ivan Frishberg is the Director of Impact Policy for Amalgamated Bank. Ivan leads Amalgamated’s impact efforts by spearheading and proactively engaging in strategic initiatives at the bank, such as Amalgamated Bank’s carbon and climate commitments. He oversees the bank’s curation of a triple bottom line measurement and seeks other innovative approaches to measurement of the bank’s social and environmental impact, and works to increase participation in advocacy efforts – both on behalf of shareholders and Amalgamated’s clients. Frishberg also serves as a commercial banker and works across the bank on a range of treasury management, investment and lending products designed to serve sustainability goals and the goals of our clients in the energy, climate and environment communities.
Ivan has more than 25 years of public interest advocacy, organizing and policy experience. Previously he was Senior Advisor and Climate Change Campaign Manager for Organizing For Action, a senior advisor to the Climate Action Campaign, a multi-year national coalition effort to defend the Clean Air Act and support new federal policies on climate and public health. Most recently, Frishberg directed the State Climate Hub – facilitating coordination of state level efforts to implement the Clean Power Plan – and worked with the Climate Briefing Service on the intersection of US Climate Advocacy and the recent international climate negotiations. He serves on the board of directors for DC Water, the public water and sewer utility for Washington, D.C.
Australian-born Samoan woman whose journey in the climate movement began in 2014 after witnessing the Pacific Climate Warriors blockade the worlds largest coals port using traditional canoes. A state organiser with 350.org Australia, fashion artist with Off2war, and a Council of Elder member for the diaspora teams with the Pacific Climate Warriors.
Vibhuti Garg is an Associate and Senior Energy Specialist with over 14 years of experience in the energy sector. Her recent work includes promoting sustainable development through influencing policy intervention on energy pricing, subsidy reforms and clean energy, and private participation in various areas of the energy sector.
She has advised a number of private and public sector clients about a range of power sector market issues, including: commercial and market entry strategies, market diligence for investment in power projects, the impact of power sector performance on state finances, recommendations on least-cost options for energy supply, long- and short-term demand, and price forecasting. Her publications span opinion editorials, media articles, policy briefs and peer-reviewed publications.
Shelagh Gastrow has been involved in the philanthropic and civil society sectors through her work with GastrowBloch Philanthropies and her leadership of Inyathelo: The South African Institute for Advancement which she founded in Cape Town in 2002. She served as its Executive Director from 2002-2015.
Her work in the philanthropy sector has gained local and international recognition through her writings in various media, her speaking at conferences, on radio and television as well as her authorship of booklets and reports relating to philanthropy in South Africa. She has been involved in interactions with the South African government (through its Treasury and the SA Revenue Services) to encourage the establishment of an enabling environment for philanthropy and she has also convened conferences and symposia relating to philanthropy in South Africa. As a consultant she has worked with individuals, foundations and financial services companies in their quest to further their philanthropic interests.
Shelagh has also had years of experience working with non-profit organisations and their leaders, particularly relating to organisational long-term financial sustainability. She has designed and delivered a range of programmes to strengthen university fundraising units as well as civil society organisations and has provided holistic advisory and mentoring services to leaders in the civil society sector, including support relating to strategy, financial sustainability and resilience, issues of accountability and the functionality of boards. In addition, she has written widely about philanthropy and the civil society sector in the media, has produced fundraising tool kits, how-to pocket-books and contributed to chapters in various publications.
Panel: A World of Good – Philanthropy and Divest Invest
Malcolm is CFO and a co-founder of Libryo, a UK based legal tech start-up with a sustainability bias. Prior to co-founding Libryo he spent 16 years working for Investec Asset Management in a number of senior roles, including Head of Client Service, Portfolio Manager and Global Head of ESG.
Malcolm has been involved in the establishment of a number of key sustainability initiatives in South Africa and abroad. He was a founding member of the JSE SRI Index Advisory Board, the world’s first emerging market Sustainability Index. He was a member of SAICA Integrated Reporting Working Group which developed the original guidelines for Integrated Reporting (<IR>). He was the conceptualiser and founding portfolio manager of the WWF Living Planet Fund in South Africa.
Malcolm, an admitted attorney, graduated with a BSc in Geology and Hydrology, an LLB and an LLM in Environmental Law. Malcolm held a Gencor bursary and during his BSc and LLB studies spent time working on mineral sands exploration projects in the Free State, gold mining in Stilfontein and during his legal studies at the mining rights department in Johannesburg.
Malcolm is a Senior Associate of the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) and a faculty member on a number of their programmes. He contributes and teaches on sustainability, climate change, sustainable finance and regulation. He is an ALI Fellow and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Panel: What You Need to Know – the Practicalities of Divest Invest
Tomás is Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Global Catholic Climate Movement, working to help the Catholic Church turn the Laudato Si’ call into bold action for climate justice. He was previously a Fulbright Scholar at the Harvard Kennedy School, served in the UN Climate Secretariat doing political outreach and comms for the COP21, worked as a marketeer with Google for Latin America and Southeast Asia, and co-founded a faith-based nonprofit doing social justice work in the slums of Buenos Aires.
He completed a Master’s degree in Public Administration with a concentration in climate policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and a Master’s degree in Public Policy at Universidad Torcuato Di Tella. He grew up in Buenos Aires, where he had his spiritual home with the OFM Franciscan friars, and lives in Rome with his wife, Vicky.
James Irlam is a Senior Lecturer in the Primary Health Care Directorate at the UCT Faculty of Health Sciences. He is an associate of the of Environmental Health Division in the School of Public Health and Family Medicine and a course convener on the MPH Environmental Health track.
He is a graduate of the MPhil (Epidemiology) and the MSc (Climate Change and Development) programmes at UCT.
James is a teacher, researcher and advocate for mitigating climate change and improving public health by means of healthy energy and lifestyle choices.
Panel: Your Money and Your Life – the Health Sector and Divest Invest
Katelyn Kriesel is an expert in the field of sustainable finance. She is a Financial Advisor with Hansen’s Advisory Services, located in Fayetteville, NY, a firm that has specialized in Socially Responsible Investing for over 30 years. She is also Board President and founder of the Sustainable Economies Alliance (SEA), a not-for-profit organization that is raising community awareness regarding economic sustainability and empowerment.
She uses this expertise in sustainable finance and outreach to educate the community on the merits of fossil fuel divestment and sustainable reinvestment. She has consulted with several higher education fossil fuel divestment campaigns across New York State with a focus on financial case and mechanics of divesting from fossil fuels. Through the SEA, and in collaboration with 350.org and Divest NY, she is helping to build a coalition of higher education divestment campaigns to join together and redirect their efforts in support of the New York State Fossil Fuel Divestment Act which would divest the state’s pension of billions of dollars of fossil fuel companies.
Brenda Martin has an established track record as an effective practitioner, facilitator of multi-sector dialogues and partnership-builder in South Africa’s Development & Energy sectors. She has most recently worked as the CEO of the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA).
She has an MPhil in Energy & Development (ERC, UCT). Her dissertation focused on the politics of Integrated Resource Planning (the IRP). Brenda has also completed post-graduate programmes in Climate and Business leadership at Wits University and at Harvard Business School.
She splits her time working as an independent consultant on the SA Energy Transition and as a Director at GreenLine Africa. GreenLine Africa provides affordable Solar Thermal solutions to companies with Industrial heat processing needs.
Rachel founded Green Anglicans, a movement inspiring Anglicans and other people of faith to get involved at three levels: environmental spirituality “caring for creation”, local action for individuals and congregations “walking the talk”, and advocacy.
The “Green Anglicans” movement has now spread to Malawi, Kenya and DRC. Through this movement Anglicans and other people of faith are inspired to get involved at three levels: environmental spirituality “caring for creation”, local action for individuals and congregations “walking the talk”, and advocacy.
Currently the Executive Director of Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) and the Chair of the Institutional Collaboration Platform for Climate Research for Development in Africa (CR4D), Mwenda has distinguished himself as a strategic thinker, dynamic, consummate networker and team builder, with wide experience working and catalyzing transformative change in communities, civil society and other sectors he has worked.
Before leading PACJA as a formidable movement on climate justice across the African continent, Mwenda was working with All African Conference of Churches (AACC) where his mandate was to help faith communities to understand the moral moral imperatives of climate crisis. Previously before joining climate advocacy as the Climate Network Africa as Programme Officer.
He was actively involved in pro-Democracy and Governance movement that was agitating for expanded democracy in his country, which engineered the promulgation of one of the most celebrated people-driven Constitutions in the world in 2010. He studied at Moi University where he was a student Leader, before joining Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology for post-graduate studies in Public Policy Analysis. He is now pursuing his PHD with the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa.
In 2016, the influential Pan African Magazine, Le Afrique, named him among the top 50 African Intellectuals due to his contribution to climate policy discourses in the continent. This was followed by his election to the Participants Committee of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility of the World Bank as African Civil Society representative. He also represents Civil Society in the Steering Committee of Africa’s flagship climate policy and practice coordination platform, CliMDEV Africa, which is spearheaded by the African Union Commission, African Development Bank and UN Economic Commission for Africa.
Coordinator of the Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development, an alliance of peoples organizations, citizens groups, grassroots movements and NGOs in Asia; Co-coordinator of the Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice; Convenor of the Asian Energy Network; Member of the Fight Inequality Alliance in Asia; Member Coordinating Committee of the Global Alliance for Tax Justice.
Member of the Board 350.org; Chairperson of the Oriang Women’s Movement in the Philippines; Vice President of the Freedom from Debt Coalition Philippines; One of the founders of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice; She has been an activist, feminist, organizer, campaigner for more than 3 decades.
Alderman Ian Neilson
Ian Neilson holds a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering from UCT. He spent 20 years as a Consulting Engineer primarily in the fields of water supply planning and design and flood studies across many parts of South Africa.
He has been a City Councillor since 1996. In 2000 he was appointed as the Executive Councillor for Safety and Health, and oversaw the establishment of a Municipal Police Service for the city. In the Health portfolio he oversaw the City’s first Air Pollution Bylaw and the roll-out of the mother-to-child antiretroviral programme.
He was the Mayoral Committee member for Finance from 2006 to 2016 and again from December 2018 onwards.
Ian was a Director of the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 2000 until 2002. Since 2006 he has held oversight responsibility for the CTICC.
He was also the chairperson of the City’s 2010 World Cup Committee that oversaw the construction of the Cape Town Stadium and the City’s role in managing the event.
He was elected as Executive Deputy Mayor in 2009, again in 2011, and was re-elected for a third term in 2016. In this capacity his role has included oversight of the Probity function, Project Management and International Relations.
During 2018 he was tasked with leading the City’s response to the drought crisis.
Simon Nicholas is an energy finance analyst at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), an international think tank that conducts research and analysis on financial issues relating to the energy transition from fossil fuels towards renewable energy.
Simon’s current focus is on the role of coal and renewable energy in emerging nations including Pakistan and Bangladesh. He also focuses on the long-term outlook for the Asian seaborne thermal coal market as it enters structural decline with significant implications for major exporters including Australia and South Africa.
A fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales. Simon joined the IEEFA team in July 2016, after 16 years’ experience within the finance industry at banks ABN Amro, Macquarie Group and Commonwealth Bank of Australia in both Sydney and London.
Martin joined Greenpeace in 2003 and is currently in leading the Nordic sustainable finance campaign work. He started out with working on several campaign issues related to Norway and Iceland. Since 2006, the main focus has been climate and energy related.
In 2007, when the Norwegian part (67%) state owned oil company Equinor (formerly Statoil) bought into Canadian tar sands, institutional investors was identified by Greenpeace as key targets for influencing both the company and the Norwegian government. With the help of smart campaigning and alliance building, Martin was instrumental in building the campaign that stopped Equinor from investing further in tar sands and eventually sold all out in 2016.
From 2013, Martin was key in building the Norwegian coal divestment alliance and developing the work that lead to the Norwegian Oil Fund setting a new global standard for coal divestment with the 30% criteria in 2015. Greenpeace Norway also commissioned the Norwegian oil and gas overexposure report that is the basis for the decision behind the current drive to sell the oil and gas assets in the Oil Fund.
In addition to leading the Nordic Sustainable Finance work, Martin is working to spread Nordic sustainable finance thinking globally.
Mariana manages Christian Aid’s international advocacy work across various thematic areas. She has been engaged in international climate campaigning for over ten years, following the UN climate negotiations. She also led the establishment of the Big Shift Global campaign, focusing on shifting energy finance policies from fossil fuels to renewable energy and its access.
Previously, Mariana worked for Greenpeace International, UK and Brazil where she is originally from and, she holds a MSc from the London School of Economics in International Political Economy.
Julia Peck has served for the past two years as co-chair of the Oxford Climate Justice Campaign, the coalition of students working towards divestment at the University of Oxford. She and her fellow campaigners revitalized the dormant divestment movement at the university level and launched new campaigns at Oxford’s constituent colleges, reaching over 25 active college campaigns after two years. Julia also organizes with the UK collective Reclaim the Power, which opposes fracking and other extreme energy extraction with direct action.
Julia came to climate justice activism after years of campaigning for Palestinian human rights at Columbia University, where she did her undergraduate degree. Julia continues to work for the educational non-profit Extend, which takes young American Jews to meet with Palestinian justice activists in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
With her academic hat on, Julia is a linguist who focuses on minoritized and endangered languages, receiving her MPhil at Oxford for work on the Judeo-Spanish spoken by Sephardic Jews in Istanbul. She sees the marginalization of languages as the result, too often, of other types of oppression of its speakers.
Julia is originally from Washington, D.C. Her writings have been published in The Guardian, The Washington Post, and Elle.
Member of Parliament representing Donegal constituency since 2011 and a member of local government since 1999 before that. Thomas is an independent member of parliament and part of the Independents4change group in the Dail.
He is a member of the Agricultural, Climate Change and Justice Committees in the Parliament. The parliament passed his ‘Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill’ in 2017 with government opposition and ironically now the government use it as an example of their climate actions, unfortunately they can’t point to much else. The bill was a great example of parliament, NGOs and the public cooperating to make change.
Donegal is from the extreme northwest of Ireland and is a very rural constituency with high levels of unemployment and dependence on agriculture and tourism for employment in the rural areas and foreign direct investment in the urban areas of the county.
Kale leads ICLEI USA’s fossil fuel divestment program, for which he provides technical assistance to cities around the U.S. to scope divestment opportunities as a key step of ICLEI’s Carbon Neutral City framework. He is the author of the case study on New York City’s divestment commitment, produced in collaboration with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Resilience Office.
He provides technical assistance to local governments on city greenhouse gas emissions inventories, sustainability planning, nature-based solutions and climate adaptation.
Before joining ICLEI, Kale worked as proposal-development support to the United Nations Development Programme’s Climate Change Adaptation Team from the Bangkok Regional Hub, was the renewable energy editor of Mother Earth News magazine, and from 2010-2012, served as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in the Issan region of Thailand. Kale received an M.S. in Climate Science and Policy as a Rachel Carson Scholar at the Bard Center for Environmental Policy and a B.S. in Environmental Science from Humboldt State University. He lives in Hudson Valley region of New York.
Ajaita Shah is an entrepreneur, a mentor, a speaker, and board member. She is the Founder/CEO of Frontier Markets and the President of Frontier Innovations Foundation.
Frontier Markets is a rural marketing, sales, and service distribution company providing access to affordable and quality clean energy solutions and appliances to low-income households in India by building a network of rural entrepreneurs.
Ajaita has committed to empowering rural women across the developing world through market based business models, clean energy, technology, and inspiring women to push themselves beyond their societal boundaries.
Born in the US, Ajaita graduated Tufts University and started working in India from 21 til present. She started her career in Microfinance, where she won many award for her ground breaking innovation around healthcare, mobile technology, and social performance management in the sector.
Some of these include: Most influential award in Microfinance for people under 30, and Business Week’s 30 under 30 award, Forbes 30 Under 30’s Social Entrepreneur of the Year, #3 of top 40 women entrepreneurs of India in 2014, Nasscom Foundation’s 2.0 of 2015, Indian Affair’s India Leadership Conclave’s Women Entrepreneur of Year 2015, CNBC’s Young Business Women of the Year, Vodafone’s Women of Pure Strength, Loreal’s Women of Worth 2016, and the Global Enterprise Summit’s GIST Competition 2017 Winner.
Jamison Drake Suter
Jamison is the great-great grandson of Lauren Jay Drake, long-time vice-president and later president of Standard Oil of New Jersey before his death in 1918. This company was the ancestor of today’s ExxonMobil. The inheritance from his great-great grandfather allowed him to complete degrees in cultural anthropology and environmental science in the early 1990s. However, as a long-time shareholder, he lost patience with the company’s stubborn intransigence on climate change – touted as ‘agnosticism’ – and its unethical behaviour in the field and in the boardroom, dumping his shares in recent years.
Professionally, he worked for the World Bank Group from 1993 to 1997, mainly in its Global Environment Division on grant-making by the newly created Global Environment Facility, including for projects to combat climate-change. Then, for eight years he managed African programs for the international environmental NGO, Fauna & Flora International, specialising in West Africa. This work focused increasingly on nature conservation in times of civil unrest and post-conflict reconstruction, and in particular on balancing the perceived need for immediate ‘development’ in contexts of severe poverty and civil disarray, with longer-term imperatives like sustainability, protection of biological diversity & ecosystem services, and fighting corruption. Since 2006, he has worked on environmental and social responsibility in mining projects in West Africa, contributing actively to developing and promoting good practices.
Finally and most importantly, he is a father, an uncle and a grandfather who wants a liveable planet for his family and all future generations.
Prof Mark Swilling
Prof. Swilling is an international expert in sustainable development, with over thirty years experience in ‘societal transitions’, initially with respect to democratization and governance, and more recently within the wider discipline of sustainability studies. He has supervised over 40 Masters theses and 18 PhDs across 5 universities, and published numerous articles in accredited journals.
His most recent book is Age of Sustainability: Just Transitions in a Complex World that will be published by Routledge in September 2019. In recent years, he has increased his participation in international research collaborations, particularly via UN institutions and several Scientific Committees of international conferences.
In 2007, he was invited to be a member of the International Resource Panel, and in 2014 he was appointed by the Minister of Finance as a Board member of the Development Bank of Southern Africa, and since January 2019 he has acted as the Chairperson of the Board.
Born and raised between Mali and Senegal, Coumba Toure is a writer and storyteller. She publishes children stories through Falia and she promotes social entrepreneurship through Ashoka for the past 10 years.
She designs popular education programs to bring change for women and children. She has and extensive experience in facilitating meetings internationally, engaging young people, and designing and implementing and evaluating training programs to promote human’s rights specially for women. She has worked with organizations such as the Institute for Popular Education in Mali, the 21st Century Youth Leadership Movement in Selma Alabama, and the Youth for Environmental Sanity in Santa Cruz California.
She is a member of the African Feminist Forum and the Per Ankh collective. She is a board member of TrustAfrica and an Ambassador of Africans Rising for peace justice and dignity. She has serve on the board of urgent action fund for women Africa. She is as an advisor to the Global Fund for Women and to International Development Exchange. She is a mother, a sister, and a daughter to many. Coming soon is Muuso, her new illustrated book for children.
An economist by training, Emily has focused her career on climate mitigation in a development context, bringing both an economics and complex systems perspective to the policy and practical challenges she encounters in this space.
Emily brings over eighteen years of experience across a wide range of energy and mitigation related issues, including carbon footprinting, corporate strategies, climate finance, UNFCCC mechanisms applied to developing countries, South African carbon pricing policies, low carbon transition planning, energy policy, carbon budgeting, and power sector employment. Complementing her consulting work, Emily is engaged in transdisciplinary research initiatives relating to climate mitigation, publishing regularly in international journals.
Clara Vondrich is the Director of Divest Invest, a campaign calling on investors to accelerate the clean energy transition by moving their money from the past to the future. The call to action is for investors to divest their portfolios from fossil fuels and to invest in climate solutions, such as renewable energy, sustainable food and water systems and clean energy access for the developing world. Today institutional investors managing assets of more than $10 trillion have made some form of divestment commitment. The movement spans universities, sovereign wealth funds, cities, pension funds, insurance companies, health organizations, foundations, faith groups and individuals.
Clara previously served as Account Director for Climate & Energy at Fenton Communications, where she led client efforts on anti-fracking campaigns, divestment and the clean energy transition. She sits on the Board of Directors of 2 Degrees Investing, a multi-stakeholder think tank working to align the financial sector with climate goals. An attorney by training, Clara served as Counsel to the President’s Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, focusing on ecological restoration and environmental justice. Clara clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit after graduating from the University of Virginia Law School in 2006. She is an athlete, who enjoys hiking, biking, swimming, snowboarding and yoga.
Dave Watson is the recently retired head of policy at UNISON Scotland. He was also joint secretary to the Scottish Local Government Pension Scheme Advisory Board, the largest pension scheme in Scotland with assets of over £43 billion. During his tenure, UNISON Scotland led several initiatives on fossil fuel divestment and investment, which were subsequently adopted more widely across the UK trade union movement.
Dave has written extensively on pension reform, including, fiduciary duty, infrastructure investment, and fossil fuel divestment. He was the editor of Pensions Scotland.
A graduate in Scots Law from the University of Strathclyde, Dave is the Secretary of the Keir Hardie Society, a board member of the Jimmy Reid Foundation and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He has written several publications and been a government advisor on public service reform, health and energy policy. He is a regular contributor to a range of policy journals.
Born in Liverpool, he spent his teenage years in London, before working for UNISON in Wales, Dorset and for past 28 years in Scotland. He lives in Ayrshire and is currently working on policy development and consultancy projects. He is the policy lead on the Scottish Labour manifesto for the 2021 Scottish Parliament elections.
Malika Ndlovu‘s words and productions have appeared on pages and stages all over South Africa, in Austria, Uganda, USA, UK, Holland, Ireland, Germany, Spain, Ethiopia, India and the Philippines. As a poet, playwright, performer and arts project manager, Malika’s contribution to (South) African poetry and literature, via numerous writing groups, workshops and festivals spans over 20 years. Between 2007 and 2011 she was project manager, then guest curator/podcast presenter of the Africa Centre’s Badilisha Poetry X-Change, supporting its evolution from live international festival to BadilishaPoetry.com the first ever Africa – focused poetry podcasting platform.
She was a founder-member of Cape Town-based women writers’ collective WEAVE between 1998 and 2004, and co-editor of their trailblazing multi-genre anthology WEAVE’s Ink @ Boiling Point: A selection of 21st Century Black Women’s writing from the Southern Tip of Africa. In 2004 she initiated And The Word Was Woman Ensemble. Listed as a 2011 British Times’ Top50 contemporary African artists to look out for Malika was also a. 2015 DAC’s Mbokodo Awards finalist. Her poetry collections include Born in Africa But (1999) Womb to World: A Labour of Love (2001), Truth is both Spirit and Flesh (2008), Invisible Earthquake: a Woman’s Journal through Stillbirth (2009) and two published plays A Coloured Place (1998) and Sister Breyani (2010), CLOSE (2017).
She was 2018 National Book Week project co-ordinator, curated the 2018 SA Book Fair’s #OURSTORIES Storytelling Festival and the Keorapetse Kgositsile Poetry Café. Most recently she co-ordinated the CoCreate –Poetica site-specific poetry journeys and panel host for the 2019 Open Book Festival.
Jemima Spring is a filmmaker and facilitator, with 25 years experience in film and television. She is a passionate believer in the transformational potential of storytelling, creativity and collaboration as powerful tools for personal and social change. With a BSc (Hons) in Genetics and MA in the History of Scientific Thought, she brings a biological, nature-inspired approach to her work, which sees creativity and evolution as intimately connected.
Jemima’s films and tv shows have been broadcast and shown at festivals locally and internationally. Her most recent project is Disney Cookabout, a kids reality cooking game show, for Disney Channel and SABC, which was awarded a Safta and nominated for an International Kids Emmy in 2016, and nominated for a Safta in 2017. She has directed documentaries in East Africa and Angola, for It’s Africa’s Time and Time for Global Action.
She has written, directed, edited and/or produced numerous educational and entertainment series for local broadcast, showcasing inspirational South Africans in different ways. These include Manstwe a Bonono (Word Art) celebrating South Africa’s wordartists, and Expresso Morning Show, for SABC; and Bornfrees Turning 18 and Generation Free, about the children of South Africa’s democracy, for etv. Jemima has a personal commitment to sustainability and regeneration, and to the role of media and the arts in creating a viable future for humanity. She is a founder member of Mycelium Media Colab, an innovative collaborative enterprise that creates, aggregates, curates, supports and amplifies regenerative storytelling and a sustainable world vision, across many platforms.
Ernestine Deane’s velvet voice draws you deep into her stories, her poetry and her songs. For her, music and story is a form of creativity, a mystical language that can bring deep healing and connection between humans. Her family moved to Grassy park after they were forcibly evicted from their farmland in Constantia. Her mixed heritage and upbringing on the Cape Flats in Apartheid South Africa, has given her work a depth that is palpable in every song she sings and writes.Her professional career started at age 16 with South African Hip Hop legends, Black Noise.
Later she found a home with live hip hop act Moodphase5ive who rose to the top of the SA music scene between 1998 and 2005. ‘I feel blessed to have enjoyed so many highlights in my career. I have had the honour of performing for both Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. I have shared a press conference with Miriam Makeba at the North sea jazz festival, supported so many international acts both at home and abroad. But my greatest memory is the joyous phone call I received from my mom: “Your music is playing on the radio- and Granny is dancing in the kitchen with the broom!”
Ernestine moved to Germany in 2011, where she signed with Delicious tunes. On her return to SA, she launched her all woman band ‘Dub for Mama’ and has been warmly received by South African audiences. As a Constantia land claimant, she is a passionate director and committee member of CHEP, the Constantia heritage and education project.