Microbiologist, forester, and soil scientist Smits shares his personal journey: from witnessing firsthand environmental and human crises in Indonesia, to making the economic case for sustainable crops, to the power of a Village Hub -- Smits' own invention -- a cooperative combination health, communications, and business center for rural agricultural communities.
Smits' momentum: "Nature is beautiful. Destroying its complexity is suicidal for mankind. I want to contribute to a better and fair future for people and nature."
Drummond Pike is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Tides. Awarded as an Outstanding Foundation Professional, Pike helped pioneer the advent of donor advised funds in philanthropy.
Through his leadership, Tides has helped increase the capacity and effectiveness of thousands of social change organizations. Pike was a founder and Associate Director of the Youth Project in Washington, DC, and served as Executive Director of the Shalan Foundation from 1976 to 1981. He was among the original founders of Working Assets, a telecommunications company dedicated to progressive philanthropy and political activism.
The founder of the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation and Chairman of the Masarang Foundation in Indonesia, Willie Smits has rescued tens of thousands of animals from the illegal wildlife trade and planted several million trees. He uses his knowledge of diverse scientific fields, including plant propagation and microbiology, forestry, carbon issues, social agroforestry, environmental monitoring, and alternative energy, for the betterment of people and their living environment.
Masarang Foundation’s most well-known project is its palm sugar factory, a zero-waste facility that provides sustainable jobs and saves 200,000 trees each year. Smits directs a university in Indonesia, his home for 30 years, and has trained more than 1,000 Indonesian environmental experts and hundreds of Ph.D. students. He is the recipient of many awards and was knighted in his country of origin, The Netherlands.
Conservationist Willie Smits explains the goals of Samboja Lestari, an agricultural project helping to combat the environmental crisis in Indonesia. The project has been successful in not only regrowing the rain forest, but also in fighting climate change and creating jobs.