Chief of the Youth, Education and Advocacy Unit
Sam is Chief of the Youth, Education and Advocacy Unit in UNEP’s Ecosystems Division and Co-Chair of the UN Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI). At UNEP, he founded the Playing for the Planet Alliance, a collaboration with the video gaming industry to nudge gamers’ behaviour and for the industry to use cleaner energy, launched Earth School with TED-Ed and oversees the work of UNEP’s Youth and Education Alliance (YEA!) with networks representing over 2,700 universities from around the world. He also manages the non-formal education programme work with the Girl Guides and World Scout Movement which has seen the launch of the Tide Turners Plastic Challenge Badge programme and a new Earth Tribe initiative on environmental education.
Previously, Sam worked as Chief of Public Advocacy for UNEP where he ran all of the global campaigns on the issues of air quality, marine litter and wildlife crime in addition to the global efforts for World Environment Day. Before joining UNEP, Sam was Director of Communications for Avaaz, the global people-powered advocacy group with over 50 million members, for five years and Head of Communications for 1GOAL, where he worked with the former British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, to help get millions of children from Africa into school. He also served as Head of Media for Oxfam where he led their response to the Tsunami, secured global support for an Arms Trade Treaty and led Oxfam's work on the Make Poverty History campaigns which secured billions of new commitments in aid and 0.7% budgetary commitments to reduce poverty.
Joan Concannon is Director of External Relations at the University of York managing a portfolio that spans key aspects of reputation and income generation including student recruitment, outreach including widening participation, and admissions in UK/EU and international markets; philanthropy and alumni engagement including oversight of the recently launched institutional philanthropy campaign, York Unlimited
She is the Chair of the University’s City and Communities Sustainability Working Group and the programme lead for Civic Engagement for the University. She is also the co-founding Director of the York Festival of Ideas, one of the largest free festivals of its kind in the UK which is dedicated to demonstrating the relevance and societal value of education, research and ideas to diverse audiences.
She is a board member of Make It York, the city of York's destination marketing organisation and a member of the Company of Merchant Adventurers.
Director of External Relations
University of York
Naresh co-designed and co-facilitated the first Deep Adaptation Deep Dive in December 2018, and is part of a group who are exploring what ‘Deep Adaptation’ means both personally and as a society.
He is currently working with Gaia Education developing new ways of delivering regenerative education for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and on a new project currently called Contemplative Activism. Contemplative Activism is seeing the world as it is, and learning to act and be when we have no ground under our feet. Before the Transition movement took over his life he lived and worked in an eco community (and is currently again), was Managing Director of a landscape company, a gaffer in the film industry, and taught meditation.
As a Co-founder of Transition Town Totnes, the first Transition Town, and of Transition Training, he has been involved in designing, running and evolving many of the events, groups, and trainings that have been at the heart of the enormously successful Transition Towns movement.
“I am joyfully aware of the preciousness of life, my capacity for love, and my own mortality. I am father to two lovely daughters and two equally gorgeous grandchildren.”
Caroline Hickman is a psychotherapist who teaches at the University of Bath & is a member of the Climate Psychology Alliance (CPA) for whom she is creating a series of podcasts on Climate Psychology & Eco-Anxiety - ‘Climate Crisis Conversations - Catastrophe or Transformation’. She is currently researching children & young people’s feelings including eco-anxiety and grief about the climate and biodiversity crisis using a psychosocial free association methodology to uncover and explore different stories, narratives and images around our defences against the 'difficult truth' of the climate and bio-diversity crisis, and hidden and ‘less conscious’ feelings about climate anxiety. She is passionate about getting ‘under the surface’ metaphorically and literally.
University of Bath
Clover is a 21-year-old climate activist, researcher on eco-anxiety, and the founder of Force of Nature - a youth-led organisation empowering Gen Z to step up, rather than shut down, in the face of the climate crisis. She has worked alongside the world’s leading authorities on sustainability, consulted within the boardrooms of Fortune 500 companies, and mobilised mindsets within classrooms across the UK.
In June, Clover launched the Force of Nature podcast - a 9-part series with ordinary people doing extraordinary things to save the planet. Clover is also campaign strategist for #MyEcoResolution, serves as a trustee to Global Action Plan, and is on the advisory boards of the National Community Lottery's Climate Action Fund; the Teach the Future campaign; and the COP26 President-Designate Civil Society and Youth Advisory Council.
Force of Nature
Frederick Kakembo PhD
Frederick Kakembo holds a PhD in Community Education and Training of University of Pretoria, South Africa. He has 20 years’ experience in University Management; working as Dean of students in Uganda Christian University (2000-2008); Dean of Research and Graduate school in the same University (2009-2013).
He is the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Ndejje University (Uganda); coordinating Teaching, Research, Innovations and Community Outreach. He is the Vice president of the African Platform for Community Power and Energy Access for all. In 2012-2014, he was a consultant and coordinator of a project entitled; ‘From Waste to Wealth: Sustainable Wastewater Management in Uganda’ funded by the Grand Challenges (Canada) and Coordinated by the United Nations University (Institute of Water, Environment and Health), Canada.
In 2012 he worked as a Consultant for the Association of African Universities to review a HIV/AIDS Toolkit for Higher Education Institutions in Africa and recommended appropriate online course delivery. In 2006 he was the chief consultant for the USAID-funded project that produced video vignettes known as ‘Be a Man’. The project was coordinated by Health Communications Partnership (HCP) and executed by Young, Empowered and Health (YEAH). In September 2016 he was the Convener of the 1st international Scientific Conference on Bio-waste recycling in Uganda, hosted by Ndejje University.
He has participated in numerous international projects and presented papers in; South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Portugal, Ireland, Austria, France, United Kingdom, USA, Porto-Rico, Mexico, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Mali, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Kenya.
Sara Khan (she/they) is the elected Liberation and Access Officer at the University of Manchester Students’ Union, and a part-time undergraduate student of English Literature. They are the founder of the Decolonise UoM campaign, and are deeply passionate about fighting for a free, liberated, accessible education for all.
They are also NEC (National Executive Council) 2 nd place for the NUS (National Union of Students’) LGBT+ campaign, and have been working within this role to develop resources, deliver workshops, and deliver training to student activists, societies, and Students’ Union staff on ‘Building Anti-Racist LGBT+ Spaces’.
Students’ Union staff on ‘Building Anti-Racist LGBT+ Spaces’.
Liberation and Access Officer
University of Manchester Students' Union
Mac is an international speaker, writer, and change-maker. Mentored by indigenous people
over many years, he has acquired profound and original insights into questions
preoccupying many contemporary leaders. Mac seeks to inspire the emergence of the leader in each of us, the leader who will take courageous action for a better world. Championing A New Story of Sustainability lies at the heart of this.
Nona was appointed Pro Vice-Chancellor at Solent University in July 2019, having previously been Director of Student Achievement at Kingston University, London. Nona has over 25 years’ experience in higher education as a business management lecturer, course leader and as a deputy head of faculty in London. Prior joining Solent, Nona was the Director of Student Achievement at Kingston University, London and, before that, Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. During this time, Kingston rose to the top 50 in the league tables and gained a national reputation for closing the BME attainment gap.
Nona is the chair of the Higher Education Race Action Group (2012-present), a member of the UUK Advisory panel on racial harassment and a member of the Advance HE Peer Review Advisory Panel. Over the last decade Nona has worked closely with NUS, Advance HE and the Office for Students to raise the profile of learning and teaching, co-creation with students and race equality and inclusion for both staff and students. In 2017 Nona became a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and was awarded an OBE for her services to diversity and higher education.
Gonzalo is a business entrepreneur and social change-maker at the forefront of environmental innovation in Chile, who reinvented the country’s recycling industry to usher in a future without waste. He did so by founding a recycling company in 2009 and, ever since, has been presiding over the expansion of the company to other parts of Latin America. His company produces a recycling station capable of recycling 90 percent of household solid waste. Through the popularity of his innovation, Muñoz has been leading a cultural movement to advance environmental sustainability and social inclusion.
In recognition of his leadership, Gonzalo Muñoz was awarded the Circulars 2019 international prize at World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos and was also invited to join the New Plastics Economy advisory panel at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
Sarah Mukherjee is the CEO of IEMA. She was the BBC's Environment Correspondent for many years, presenting on national and international BBC radio and television news, working – and winning awards - across the world. Since leaving the Corporation, she has had leadership roles in utilities and agriculture. She was a panel member for the National Parks Review and sits on the National Food Strategy Advisory Panel. She is a Trustee of the Woodland Trust and a governor of Harper Adams University.
Maya Prabhu is a medical doctor practicing in psychiatry and an international jurist in
international health law and sustainable development. Prabhu is a professor of psychiatry
at Yale University, in the Faculty of Law and Psychiatry Division. In addition, Prabhu works with
victims of international conflicts seeking political asylum through the Yale Center for Asylum Medicine and the Yale Institute for Global Health, and is the lead counsel for Health at the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law. As of 2016, Prabhu was appointed co-leads the Yale Adult Refugee Clinic, Maya completed her undergraduate studies at Harvard College, continuing on to complete a Master of Science in Economics from the London School of Economics. Later she completed a Medical Degree from the Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine, and a Bachelor of Laws from McGill University Faculty of Law.
Dr Maya Prabhu
Professor of Psychiatry
Marcos Regis da Silva
Inter-American Institute of Global Change Research (IAI)
Marcos is responsible for the strategic direction of the IAI, implementation of its strategic plan and scientific agenda and leadership regarding the role of the IAI in current environmental governance discussions.
Prior to joining the IAI, he held the position of Chief, Knowledge Management and Outreach Services at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). In this role, he provided CITES Parties with advice in the implementation of new electronic trade procedures and technologies to ensure that international trade in CITES-listed species was legal, sustainable and traceable.
He was previously with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) as Program Officer, Clearing-House Mechanism where he worked with CBD Parties to facilitate and promote technical and scientific cooperation. Before joining the United Nations, Marcos was a Programme Officer with the NAFTA Commission on Environmental Cooperation (CEC) where he worked to establish the North American Biodiversity Information Network, perhaps the first global interoperable network of biodiversity data. He holds a PhD from McGill University where he was an Adjunct Professor for many years.
Katherine is a professor in biological oceanography at the University of Copenhagen, leader of the Sustainability Science Centre and a principle investigator in the Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate Her research focuses on the importance of biological processes in the ocean for the uptake of CO2 from the atmosphere and how ocean biology, including diversity, contributes to ocean function in the Earth System.
Katherine is also a core author on the Planetary Boundaries Initiative. and was Chairman of the Danish Commission on Climate Change Policy that reported in 2010 and presented a roadmap for how Denmark can become independent of fossil fuels by 2050. She is at present a member of the Danish Climate Council and was a member of the 15 person Independent Group of Scientists appointed by Ban Ki Moon to draft the 2019 UN Global Sustainable Development Report.
University of Copenhagen
Dr Nina Seega Director for Sustainable Finance at the Cambridge Institute for Sustainable Leadership. She is an expert in the use of risk management tools to address environmental sources of risk in the financial sector. Since 2016 she has co-led the CISL team serving as Knowledge Partner for the risk analysis track of the G20 Green Finance Study Group.
Dr Nina Seega
Director for Sustainable Finance
Cambridge Institute for Sustainable Leadership
Rhian Sherrington has both an MSc in Environmental Management at the University of Stirling which followed her Geography Degree at Oxford University, which started her on a path where caring for the planet has been at the heart of her career choices.
This has included teaching field studies on the Isle of Arran, running a conservation expeditions company for young people (building on her earlier experience of similar expeditions to Pakistan and Greenland), leading behaviour change programmes in schools, workplaces and communities across the UK, and two years advising Government on sustainable school travel.
Women in Sustainability
Rob started his conservation career reconstructing climate change over the last few thousand years from records contained within peat bogs. After completing his PhD – and horrified by the destruction of precious peatland systems – he worked for the Scottish Wildlife Trust, running a European LIFE project to develop a conservation strategy for Scotland’s lowland raised bog.
Staying with the Wildlife Trusts Partnership Rob then took up positions as Chief Executive of the Sheffield and Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trusts, Director of Conservation for all the Wildlife Trusts, and latterly Chief Executive of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.
Rob holds a passionate belief that a wilder Europe would allow us to resolve some of most pressing issues – from climate change and biodiversity collapse – and create a more prosperous Europe, especially in rural areas.
Rob has been working as the Rewilding Area Coordinator for northern and central Europe since May 2019.
Rewilding Area Coordinator
Northern & Central Europe
We Mean Business
Nigel Topping was the CEO of We Mean Business until December 2019, where he drove radical collaboration for climate action among NGOs working with the world's most influential businesses. This coalition played a key role in bringing the constructive voice of business in support of the Paris Agreement and, under Nigel's leadership has continued to drive ambition and action to accelerate the transition to a zero carbon economy.
Previously, Nigel was Executive Director of CDP, launching new programs and partnerships including supply chain, water, forests and cities. Nigel has 18 years’ experience in the private sector, including as a member of the management board of the world's largest manufacturer of brake pads, TMD Friction.
Nigel is a commissioner on the Energy Transitions Commission and has been instrumental in the launch of many collaborative initiatives such as Science Based Targets, Business for Nature and the Global Commons Alliance.
He holds an MA in Mathematics from Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK and an MSc in Holistic Science from Schumacher College, Devon, UK
Jennifer is a Nigerian ecofeminist and sustainable development advocate.
In 2016, she founded SustyVibes, a social enterprise making sustainability actionable and interesting for young people in Nigeria through projects, products, and policies. SustyVibes was born out of the need to create a platform where Nigerian youths can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals through pop-cultural tools like music, photography, movies, tourism etc
Since inception, the organization has trained over 2000 students from different schools and has a network of over 200 volunteers in Nigeria.
Jennifer grew up in Lagos, where she attended primary and secondary school before enrolling at Covenant University where she completed a bachelor's degree in biochemistry.
Chantal van Ham
EU Programme Manager
Nature Based Solutions
International Union for Conservation of Nature
Chantal is EU Programme Manager Nature Based Solutions in the IUCN EU Representative Office. She is responsible for IUCNs activities on urban biodiversity and the cooperation with subnational governments in Europe. She develops and coordinates projects for biodiversity and ecosystems services conservation, restoration and valuation that help policy-makers, cities, local and regional governments find nature-based solutions for sustainable development, by mobilising IUCN knowledge and best practices.
She represents IUCN in networks and fora at the European and global level to raise awareness of the value of nature-based solutions to improve quality of life, as well as economic prosperity.
Before joining IUCN, Chantal worked as Finance Specialist with PricewaterhouseCoopers in the Netherlands. She has a degree in International Business and an MSc in Forest and Nature Conservation Policy. Chantal is passionate about nature and perceives the exchange with people from different professional and cultural backgrounds as an enriching and inspiring starting point for sustainable change.