Organizing Committee


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MARISA ADLER

Senior Consultant, Resource Recycling Systems

Marisa is a senior consultant at the technical and management consulting firm Resource Recycling Systems (RRS). She has 10 years of experience developing and implementing recycling and waste reduction policies and programs for local governments. In her role at RRS, Marisa works with corporate businesses and municipalities to overcome their product, packaging and solid waste challenges. Prior to joining RRS, Marisa was a senior advisor for strategic planning at the NYC Department of Sanitation, where she headed several initiatives around the circular economy, school organics, special waste, reuse, and electronics recycling. She understands the unique challenges that every community and organization must address and overcome to provide and maintain a successful recycling and solid waste program. Marisa has an interest in reuse as a primary waste reduction strategy.

 


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ANNABELLE BLADON

Independent Consultant

Annabelle is an independent consultant with an interdisciplinary background bridging sustainable development, environmental conservation, and sustainable seafood. She has a PhD in Conservation Science from Imperial College London, and international experience in research, strategy, and communications with organizations such as the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Food and Agricultural Organization, and the International Institute for Environment and Development. Annabelle has worked extensively with fishing communities to enhance sustainability, and is now looking to harness her personal obsession with food waste and apply her skills in the urban environment.


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SHANNON COSENTINO-ROUSH

IUU Program Officer, Ocean Outcomes

Shannon is trained as an environmental lawyer and policy professional and is passionate about utilizing multi-disciplinary collaboration to address the complex environmental challenges of today.  In particular, Shannon is energized by the potential of bringing intellectual and creative capital together to reimagine the way we interact with our environment daily--through the things we use and the waste we produce.  Shannon is a member of the 2016 class of the New York City Environmental Law Leadership Institute (NYCELLI) and served on the Board of Advisors.  Professionally, Shannon works to ensure legal, responsible, and sustainable fisheries globally.


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MELINA DIACONIS

Director of Programs - CUNY

Melina is the Director of Programs at CUNY Startups, an initiative at the City University providing tech and entrepreneurship experience for current students outside of the traditional classroom. The programs include a startup accelerator, a hackathon, and a pitch competition. She has helped run CUNY wide hackathons with 200-250 students across the CUNY colleges in attendance for the weekend long event. Before joining CUNY Startups to pursue her entrepreneurial interests, Melina worked as an engineer for National Grid in New England on their natural gas system for several years after completing of her degree in civil and environmental engineering. Within the environmental field, waste systems and cycles have been a personal interest: both how to generate less waste to begin with and how waste can be seen as a resource instead of something to be tucked away. She is currently working on a side project to reduce plastic packaging.

 


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WILLIS HON

Associate, Nossaman LLP

Willis Hon is an associate at Nossaman LLP and works on environmental and water law issues. He is a member of the 2016 class of the New York City Environmental Law Leadership Institute (NYCELLI). Willis is interested in the intersection of law and technology, particularly in how the two come together to shape policy and produce results. He is enthusiastic to see how participants may bring together concepts from different disciplines to develop new solutions to facilitate increased reuse of goods.

 


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KAMLAJIT MALHI

Maker

Kamaljit "KJ" Mallhi is a formally trained Industrial Designer based in New York City, working to create solutions that elicit feelings and thought. An eternal optimist he feels there’s a solution for everything, what the exact solution is only process will reveal. That process, whether it’s called design thinking or design strategy is what allows for thorough immersion, understanding, and context in order for natural, elegant solutions to rise.  A focus on users, environments, culture and their connections give a lens to see products as artifacts, events as moments, and experiences as journeys.

 


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PETER SCHON

Vice Chair, IDSA-NYC & Co-Founder at Redseed Product Development

Peter is the vice chair of the Industrial Designer’s Society of America’s NYC chapter and is the cofounder of Redseed Product Development, a research, engineering and design consultancy focused on the development of early stage medical devices.  He is a native New Yorker and has been developing medical devices for over 16 years.  As an industrial designer Peter is acutely attuned to the ways in which we design, market, use and dispose of our products and has, in recent years become intrigued by the principals of the circular economy.  He’s excited to see a diversity of participants and ideas on how new business models along with changes in the way we design, distribute and utilize our products can close the loop on our consumption of materials and reduce waste!

 

 
 

Advisory Board


 
 
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BRIDGET ANDERSON 

Deputy Commissioner for Recycling and Sustainability, New York City Department of Sanitation

Bridget Anderson is DSNY’s Deputy Commissioner for Recycling and Sustainability. She is responsible for the development and implementation of DSNY’s sustainability initiatives, with particular focus on waste reduction, recycling, composting. Ms. Anderson oversees the agency’s e-cycleNYC, re-fashioNYC, donateNYC, NYCHA Recycles!, Zero Waste Schools, SAFE Disposal programs, and the NYC Compost Project. In addition, she directs the public facing roll out of NYC Organics, the city’s new organics collection program. She has a Master of Public Administration degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and a BA in geology and biology from Macalester College.

 

 
 

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SANJEET AHIRA

Founder & CEO @ omission.studio

Sanjeet Ahira intersects the creative and business spheres, aiming to collapse the gap. From design detailing to strategic relationships, he is always looking to make what is at the periphery, tangible.

Sanjeet's experience traverses the worlds of design, architecture, tech, strategic innovation and startup advisory. Previously at Google [robotics] he bridged design, fabrication and R&D. As an Autodesk Researcher and Artist in Residence, he explored the future of optimization and digital fabrication. Formerly in London–where he wore many hats, from set design to ID, and spent his time at Heatherwick Studio, closing the divide of craft in architecture.


ALLAN CHOCHINOV

Chair, MFA in Products of Design, School of Visual Arts

Allan Chochinov is the Chair of the MFA in Products of Design graduate program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, and a partner of Core77, the design network serving a global community of designers and design enthusiasts since 1995. Allan lectures widely and at professional conferences and has been a speaker and guest critic at schools in including MIT, Yale School of Management, Columbia School of Business, RMIT, IIT, and Carnegie Mellon. He has moderated and led workshops and symposia at the Aspen Design Conference, the Rockefeller Center at Bellagio, and is a frequent design competition juror. Prior to SVA and Core77, his work in product design focused on the medical, surgical, and diagnostic fields (projects include work for Johnson & Johnson, Oral-B, FedEx, and Herman Miller). He has been named on numerous design and utility patents and has received awards from The Art Directors Club, The One Club, I.D. Magazine, and Communication Arts


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KATE DALY

Sr VP of the Center for Urban Innovation at the NYC Economic Development Corporation

Kate Daly is Senior Vice President of the Center for Urban Innovation at the New York City Economic Development Corporation.  She leads a team working across industry sectors to promote innovation and catalyze equitable, sustainable economic development. Her initiatives focus on supporting startups in advanced manufacturing, fashion, tech, media, smart cities, cleantech, and the circular economy. Prior to joining EDC, Kate served as the Executive Director of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, the largest municipal preservation agency in the United States. Recent publications include “Preserving New York City’s Waterfront Industrial and Maritime Heritage through Resilient and Sustainable Development”, and "Tourism among the Ruins: Heritage Interpretation at Sites of Conscience and Sites of Disaster". Kate earned a Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a Master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania.


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RON GONEN

Co-Founder and Managing Director of Closed Loop Partners

Ron is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Closed Loop Partners, an investment platform that invests in sustainable consumer goods, recycling and the development of the circular economy. Investors include many of the world’s largest consumer goods companies and family offices interested in investments that provide strong financials returns and tangible social impact.

Prior to the Closed Loop Fund, Ron was the Deputy Commissioner of Sanitation, Recycling and Sustainability for New York City. He joined the Bloomberg administration with the task of rebuilding NYC’s recycling program, managing NYC’s paper, metal, glass, plastic, textile waste, electronic waste organics as well as public policy and legislation.

In 2013, NRDC and Earth Day New York named Ron as the Public Official of the Year in New York City.

Ron has been an Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School since 2010. In 2012, he was the recipient of the Social Enterprise Teaching Award for Excellence in Teaching.

From 2004-2010, Ron was the Co-Founder and CEO of RecycleBank. During his tenure as CEO, the company grew from an idea into a company that serviced over 50 cities and over 1 million households. RecycleBank was recognized with a number of business and environmental awards including the Philadelphia Sustainability Award, The Conference of Mayors – Public/Private Partnership of the Year Award and a Technology Pioneer award from the World Economic Forum.

Ron has been a recipient of a number of environmental and business awards including being recognized as a ‘Champion of the Earth’ by the United Nations Environment Program which is the highest distinction for environmental protection given by the United Nations and recognizes outstanding visionaries and leaders in the fields of policy, science and entrepreneurship and the Medal of Excellence from Columbia University which recognizes alumnus under the age of 45 for excellence in scholarship, public service and professional life.

Ron was a Henry Catto Fellow at the Aspen Institute, a past term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is currently on the Board of Directors at Net Impact and serves as an advisor to Sidewalk Labs (a Google venture focused on developing technologies for cities). Since 2010, he has personally invested in a number of early stage companies focused on merging strong financials returns and tangible social impact.

He holds patents in the recycling industry and rewards/loyalty industry.

Ron received an MBA from Columbia Business School.


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Kate Gouin

Policy Advisor, NYC Mayor's Office of Sustainability 

Kate Gouin is a Policy Advisor in the New York City Mayor’s Office of Sustainability where she works on policies and programs related to the City’s goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050, particularly as they related to the City’s Zero Waste initiatives. In addition, Kate works closely with the Office of Food Policy to build a more sustainable, resilient, and equitable system focused on mitigating the environmental impacts of food. She holds a graduate degree in Gastronomy from Boston University and an undergraduate degree from New York University. 

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JD Lindberg

Principal and President of RRS 

JD Lindeberg is a Principal and President of RRS with over 30 years of experience in various aspects of sustainability and material recovery activities including organics recovery, biomass energy and most recently the ReFED Food Waste Roadmap. JD’s training and experience as a professional engineer give an added dimension to his business background and provide insight into the development of actionable projects.

 

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Peter Raymond

Principal at The New Bureau

Peter is a serial innovator, entrepreneur, strategist and creative technologist. He merges art, science, and business acumen to develop disruptive technology, models and companies. He is looking to collaborate with people and organizations who can bravely accelerate disruptive, yet socially conscious solutions for the world's toughest challenges.  Peter works across education, environment, technology, renewable energy, healthcare, media, agriculture, transportation, bigdata, and finance sectors. He is an expert in IoT and emerging technology.  In 2016 he was named as an IBM Platinum Global Entrepreneur for his work in Cognitive/AI and IoT.  His last startup was valued at over $90M in under 2 years, backed by Wall St. investors.

His work has been featured by: New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Wired, Smithsonian, Apple, Forbes, Popular Science, PBS, Financial Times, Fast Company, Bloomberg, New Scientist, and he has appeared on both ABC and CBS Nightly News.  He and his teams uncover unique insights and develop innovation strategies that result in socially conscious technologies, products, and revenue models, for Fortune 500's, startups, nonprofits, and governments, such as:  Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, City of NY, Nissan, WeWork, Viacom, ESPN, IKEA, Tom Ford, Astra-Zeneca, AIG, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Dalai Lama Fellows, Biogen Idec, Boehringer Ingelheim, IBM, SETI, Microsoft, Nokia, NAACP, Drum Major Institute, and the Baseball Hall of Fame.  For 7 years Apple featured Peter for developing the world’s first biometric AI and clinically accurate Heart Failure simulation for clinicians. This simulation lead to groundbreaking innovations in connected sensors, VR, AI and wearable technology.  As a global healthcare professional his programs have been deployed in Rwanda, Sudan and North America. As a Sr. Fellow at Thomas Jefferson School of Population Health he focused on empathy, simulation and behavioral change.

 

Judging Panel


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BRIDGET ANDERSON 

Deputy Commissioner for Recycling and Sustainability, New York City Department of Sanitation

Bridget Anderson is DSNY’s Deputy Commissioner for Recycling and Sustainability. She is responsible for the development and implementation of DSNY’s sustainability initiatives, with particular focus on waste reduction, recycling, composting. Ms. Anderson oversees the agency’s e-cycleNYC, re-fashioNYC, donateNYC, NYCHA Recycles!, Zero Waste Schools, SAFE Disposal programs, and the NYC Compost Project. In addition, she directs the public facing roll out of NYC Organics, the city’s new organics collection program. She has a Master of Public Administration degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and a BA in geology and biology from Macalester College.


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GALE BREWER

Manhattan Borough President

Gale A. Brewer is the 27th Borough President of Manhattan, with a role in deciding land-use and zoning issues in the borough, appointment of members to the 12 community boards, and the ability to introduce legislation in the City Council. Since she took office in 2014, her bills to reform the deed restriction process and remove criminal history from initial employment applications have been enacted, and her community land use planning groups have addressed development issues at the South Street Seaport and in East Midtown.

Brewer previously served on the New York City Council for 12 years and passed legislation guaranteeing paid sick leave for most hourly employees, requiring that all City data be published online, and protecting domestic workers from abusive practices-- the first such law in the nation.

Brewer earned an MPA from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and did her undergraduate work at Columbia University and Bennington College.

 


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Margot Kane

Chief Investment & Financial Officer at Closed Loop Fund

As chief investment and financial officer, Margot manages all investment activity of Closed Loop Fund, including due diligence and portfolio management. She also oversees risk management and corporate finance for the Fund and related entities, and informs strategic planning and business development.  Margot recently hails from Calvert Social Investment Foundation, an impact investment fund that has successfully invested over $1 billion globally for social good over the past 21 years with a cumulative loss rate of less than 2%.

At Calvert Foundation, Margot led corporate strategy and fundraising, and developed investment partnerships with a wide array of institutional investors and philanthropic partners.  She also managed the innovation function at the Foundation, including launching a pioneering women’s empowerment portfolio and developing a climate change investment strategy.

She has worked in a commercial lending capacity at a bank focused on developing low-income communities, and spent several years working for an NGO specializing in women’s health in developing countries.

Margot earned her M.B.A. from University of California-Berkeley and a B.A. from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.


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Mikal Hallstrup

Founder & Global CEO at Designit

Mikal Hallstrup is the founder and global CEO at Designit, one of world’s leading design firms. As a part of a global technology giant, Wipro, Designit helps its clients unlock value at the intersection of strategy, technology, and design.

Responsible for Designit’s vision, values and culture, Mikal is passionate about design as a way of driving growth and positive change — in industries, in society and in our everyday lives.

Over the course of more than two decades, Mikal and the Designit team have been helping some of the world's most ambitious companies deliver business and end-user value with design that goes beyond beautification and becomes the strategic foundation.

An active speaker and adviser at global design and business conventions, Mikal addresses the need for organisations to adopt a more human-shaped mindset when developing new products, services, and systems.


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Peter Raymond

Principal at The New Bureau

Peter is a serial innovator, entrepreneur, strategist and creative technologist. He merges art, science, and business acumen to develop disruptive technology, models and companies. He is looking to collaborate with people and organizations who can bravely accelerate disruptive, yet socially conscious solutions for the world's toughest challenges.  Peter works across education, environment, technology, renewable energy, healthcare, media, agriculture, transportation, bigdata, and finance sectors. He is an expert in IoT and emerging technology.  In 2016 he was named as an IBM Platinum Global Entrepreneur for his work in Cognitive/AI and IoT.  His last startup was valued at over $90M in under 2 years, backed by Wall St. investors.

His work has been featured by: New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Wired, Smithsonian, Apple, Forbes, Popular Science, PBS, Financial Times, Fast Company, Bloomberg, New Scientist, and he has appeared on both ABC and CBS Nightly News.  He and his teams uncover unique insights and develop innovation strategies that result in socially conscious technologies, products, and revenue models, for Fortune 500's, startups, nonprofits, and governments, such as:  Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, City of NY, Nissan, WeWork, Viacom, ESPN, IKEA, Tom Ford, Astra-Zeneca, AIG, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Dalai Lama Fellows, Biogen Idec, Boehringer Ingelheim, IBM, SETI, Microsoft, Nokia, NAACP, Drum Major Institute, and the Baseball Hall of Fame.  For 7 years Apple featured Peter for developing the world’s first biometric AI and clinically accurate Heart Failure simulation for clinicians. This simulation lead to groundbreaking innovations in connected sensors, VR, AI and wearable technology.  As a global healthcare professional his programs have been deployed in Rwanda, Sudan and North America. As a Sr. Fellow at Thomas Jefferson School of Population Health he focused on empathy, simulation and behavioral change.