Climate and environment highlights from the 2008 and 2009 Tides Momentum gathering.
Momentum brings together some of the world's most innovative thinkers and dedicated activists to challenge, inspire, and energize each other. It's a conference and it’s a community where ongoing connections are built between key social issues and strategies.
Tides first convened Momentum in 2005 as a way to keep the energy and dialog from the 2004 elections open and productive. From that first gathering of donors, Momentum has evolved to embrace the larger Tides community in active, authentic dialog. In 2008, Momentum was re-envisioned with a unique format, placing the spotlight on innovative, emerging and challenging ideas while fostering collective experience.
With each Momentum gathering, the forum expands and evolves to embrace a broader vision of community. Momentum's engaging and brilliant speakers share their passion for new approaches to familiar problems, giving their most intriguing presentations in just 20 minutes.
Tides convenes Momentum to help create positive change for a healthy, just, and vibrant world. Tides is unique in the nonprofit sector. We serve as a nexus point -- building connections between donors, issues and strategies -- and it's for this reason that we host Momentum.
Tzeporah Berman is the program director for ForestEthics, an organization with programs in the United States, Canada and Chile that have protected over 5 million acres of forests in the last five years and have transformed buying patterns of major paper and wood consumers such as Staples and Office Depot. Prior to joining ForestEthics, Ms. Berman worked for seven years with Greenpeace International and Greenpeace Canada, and currently sits on the board of the Hollyhock Retreat Center and lives on Cortes Island, BC with her husband and their two children.
Ken Cook is president and founder of the Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Working Group (EWG), a public interest research and advocacy organization that uses the power of information to protect human health and the environment. The Hill named EWG one of Washington's ten most effective watchdog groups in 2005, the only environmental organization on the list, and Cook has frequently been described as one of the most effective lobbyists in Washington. Cook and EWG's research and analysis are major forces in national policy debates over toxic chemicals, pesticides, air and water pollution, and the environmental impacts of modern agriculture. Last year Ken was the primary blogger at www.mulchblog.com, which chronicled a contentious Farm Bill battle. Cook and EWG colleagues also developed the presentation called "Ten Americans" based on a groundbreaking biomonitoring study EWG conducted of toxic chemicals in human blood.
Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins is the Executive Director of Working Partnerships USA, named by San Jose Magazine as one of the 100 most powerful people in Silicon Valley and one of "40 to watch under 40" by the Silicon Valley Business Journal.
As a woman of color, she has distinguished herself as an innovative leader in the Silicon Valley and led the way for emerging leaders in the American progressive movement, directing campaigns to win policy victories on local, regional, and state levels. She has been featured in the Wall Street Journal online, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, America at Work, NBC News and ABC News.
Annie Leonard coordinates the Funders Workgroup for Sustainable Production and Consumption, a collaborative of funders committed to promoting ecological sustainability and social justice. Leonard is the writer and host of the remarkable online film, The Story of Stuff, produced by the Sustainability Funders, Tides Foundation and Free Range Studios. Viewed by over two million people around the world, the short film uses engaging animation and Annie's compelling storytelling to make a powerful call to action for a more sustainable and just world. It has compelled many viewers to change the way they consume resources. Leonard has worked on environmental health, production, and consumption issues around the world for 20 years. She has traveled to 40 countries to work with local NGOs investigating the factories where our stuff is produced and the dumps where it is disposed of. She has also worked with GAIA, Health Care without Harm, Essential Information and Greenpeace International.
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.
Jessy Tolkan is the Executive Director for the Energy Action Coalition, a group of 50 leading youth organizations throughout the U.S. and Canada that organize on college campuses, high schools, and in local communities. Energy Action Coalition is growing a generation-wide movement to stop global warming, by advocating for green jobs, stopping new coal plants, and making young people's voices heard in the policy debate around global climate change.
As state director for the New Voters Project, Tolkan helped register more than 130,000 young voters producing one of the highest youth turnout rates in the country. Tolkan helped plan Power Shift 2007 and 2009, conferences that brought together more than 12,000 youth representing all 50 states, and resulted in the largest single lobby day on Capitol Hill focused on global warming. She also spearheaded Power Vote, a campaign to mobilize 1,000,000 young voters on climate and energy issues. She has been featured in Time, Vanity Fair, and on "Hard Ball" with Chris Matthews. In 2006 she was named one of the Real Hot 100 Women in America.
Adam Werbach is widely known as one of the foremost experts in sustainability strategy. In 1996, at age 23, Werbach was elected the youngest-ever President of the Sierra Club, the oldest and largest environmental organization in the United States. Since then, Werbach has declared environmentalism dead, built and sold three companies, and merged with global ideas company Saatchi & Saatchi to create the world's largest sustainability agency. He is the author of the new book Strategy for Sustainability, published by Harvard Business Press.
As Global CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi S, Werbach guides sustainability work from China to South Africa to Brazil, advising companies with nearly $1 trillion in combined annual sales, including Procter & Gamble, General Mills, WellPoint, and Wal-Mart, where he engaged the company's 1.9 million associates in its sustainability effort. Twice elected to the International Board of Greenpeace, Werbach is a frequent commentator on sustainable business, appearing on networks including BBC, NPR, and CNN, and shows ranging from the "The O'Reilly Factor" to "Charlie Rose."