The guest speakers are thought leaders from government, academia, and the non-profit and for-profit sectors. Here's a breif bio on each of them:
Brian Czech is the founder and president of the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy (CASSE). He is also an interdisciplinary biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and visiting professor of natural resource economics at Virginia Tech. Originally from Green Bay, Wisconsin, Brian has a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona, an M.S. from the University of Washington, and a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin. He has authored more than 50 articles for dozens of peer-reviewed journals, reflecting the breadth of his work in ecological and economic sustainability. His books include Supply Shock: Economic Growth at the Crossroads and the Steady State Solution; Shoveling Fuel for a Runaway Train, and The Endangered Species Act: History, Conservation Biology, and Public Policy. Brian is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and to the Daly News, a blog devoted to advancing the steady state economy as a policy goal with widespread public support.
Sonia Kowal is Zevin’s Director of Socially Responsible Investing. She incorporates sustainability discussions into investment decision making and manages environmental, social, and governance research and proxy voting, as well as the shareholder engagement strategies of the firm. She also oversees the firm’s marketing, advisor, and client relationships. Previously, Sonia headed Ethical Investment Research Services’ (EIRIS) US office in Boston where she was a Senior Research Analyst. She has also worked for over six years as a Portfolio Manager and Investment Research Analyst at Baillie Gifford in Scotland where she had responsibility for investments in Emerging Markets. Sonia holds a BS in Zoology from the University of Edinburgh and an MS in Investment Analysis from the University of Stirling, Scotland . She is an active member of US SIF (the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment) as well as the Sustainable Investment Research Analyst Network and sits on the steering committee of US SIF's International Working Group.
John M. Gowdy is Professor of Economics and Professor of Science and Technology Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. He is past president of the International Society for Ecological Economics. His current research interests include climate change, biodiversity valuation, behavioral economics, and evolutionary economics. He has been a Fulbright scholar at the Economic University of Vienna, Leverhulme Professor at Leeds University and a visiting scholar at the Autonomous University Barcelona, the University of Zurich, the Free University of Amsterdam, the University of Queensland and Tokushima University Japan. He is the author of over 170 published articles and 10 books. His most recent book is Microeconomic Theory Old and New: A Students Guide, Stanford University Press 2010.
Marjorie Kelly is a Senior Fellow and Director of Consultancy Services with The Democracy Collaborative, a non-profit research organization founded in 2000. She is also an Associate Fellow at the Tellus Institute, a 35-year old nonprofit research organization based in Boston, and the director of ownership strategy with Cutting Edge Capital, a national consulting firm. Marjorie was co-founder and for 20 years president of Business Ethics magazine, known for its annual ranking of the 100 Best Corporate Citizens and Social Investing Awards.
She specializes in ownership and financial design for the “mission-controlled enterprise,” a term she devised to define the companies — including many large corporations in both the U.S. and Europe — that maintain a primary focus on social mission, even when they might be publicly traded. She has experience working in many forms of ownership design, including cooperatives.
Marjorie is author of the book, Owning Our Future: The Emerging Ownership Revolution, released June 2012 by Berrett-Koehler. In it, she explores many experiments with new forms of ownership, which she calls generative: aimed at creating the conditions for life for many generations to come. Her previous book, The Divine Right of Capital, was named one of Library Journal’s 10 Best Business Books of 2001. Marjorie’s writings and op-eds have appeared in many publications, including Harvard Business Review, New England Law Review, Chief Executive, Boston Globe, Yes! Magazine, and San Francisco Chronicle.
James Gifford is a Senior Research Fellow at the Initiative for Responsible Investment at the Harvard Kennedy School, where he researches sustainable investment in emerging markets and delivering positive impact within mainstream investment strategies. He is also a Senior Strategic Adviser for Tau Investment Management, a turnaround fund that invests in unsustainable apparel and textile companies and transforms them into sustainable and ethical enterprises.
He was the founding Executive Director of the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment, taking the initiative from inception in 2003 and building it, over 10 years, into the pre-eminent global initiative on responsible investment with 1,200 signatories representing US$ 30 trillion in assets. He has published numerous articles and book chapters on responsible investment. James has a PhD from the University of Sydney on the effectiveness of shareholder engagement in improving corporate environmental, social and governance performance, degrees in Commerce and Law, and a Master's in Environment Management. He speaks Indonesian and has established an NGO that supports young Indonesians to enter university.