Speakers

We are adding more speakers every week.

Vandana Shiva

Indian scholar, environmental activist, food sovereignty advocate, and anti-globalization author

Dr. Vandana Shiva trained as a Physicist at the University of Punjab, and completed her Ph.D. on the ‘Hidden Variables and Non-locality in Quantum Theory’ from the University of Western Ontario, Canada. She later shifted to inter-disciplinary research in science, technology and environmental policy, which she carried out at the Indian Institute of Science and the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore, India
In 1982, she founded an independent institute – the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology in Dehra Dun – dedicated to high quality and independent research to address the most significant ecological and social issues of our times, working in close partnership with local communities and social movements. In 1991 she founded Navdanya, a national movement to protect the diversity and integrity of living resources – especially native seed – and to promote organic farming and fair trade. For last two decades, Navdanya has worked with local communities and organisations, serving more than 500,000 men and women farmers. Navdanya’s efforts have resulted in the conservation of more than 3000 rice varieties from across India, and the organisation has established 60 seed banks in 16 states across the country. In 2004, Dr. Shiva started Bija Vidyapeeth, an international college for sustainable living in Doon Valley in collaboration with Schumacher College, U.K.

Adelita San Vicente Tello

Adelita San Vicente Tello is the Director of Fundación Semillas de Vida (Seeds of Life Foundation)

She holds an Agronomist Master’s Degree in Rural Development from the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana Xochimilco, specialized in Economics of Agrifood System in Viterbo, Italy and is an Agroecology PhD candidate at the University of Medellin, Colombia .
Adelita has collaborated with various non-governmental organizations and farmers developing training programs, environmental education and planning for the sustainable management of natural resources resulting in the publication of manuals that systematize the experiences. She has also held positions linked to the rural sector in various institutions and governments, at both the municipal and federal levels.
She worked with the Regional Union of Ejidos and Communities in the Hidalgo Huasteca (URECHH ) in marketing their products and participated in Tepoztlan community against the Golf Club, a movement that managed to stop the imposition of a project that was billed as the largest golf club in Latin America.
In 2007 she was part of the organizers of the national campaign Sin Maíz, No Hay País – Without Corn There is No Country to fight for food sovereignty and the reactivation of fields, which continues to this day.
She currently heads the Seeds of Life Foundation whose mission is the defense of healthy eating without GMOs and the protection of Mexican seeds, especially corn.

Michelle Ciccarelli Lerach

lawyer, entrepreneur and activist

Michelle Ciccarelli Lerach is a lawyer, entrepreneur and activist, formerly a Partner/Of Counsel with the world's largest law firm specializing in protecting investor, consumer and human rights, helping to achieve billions of dollars and corporate governance, marketplace and working-condition reforms benefitting those harmed by abuses in those areas. In 2008, she received the Consumer Attorneys of California, Women's Law Caucus Outstanding Consumer Advocate Award.

An ``agvocate`` for sustainable food, she founded BerryGoodNight.com, a communal dinner for farmers, chefs and food activists in the Cali-Baja region, in 2010, and later BGN100 in 2017. She is the Founder of the Berry Good Food Foundation (BerryGoodFood.org), activating the community created through the Berry Good Night to advance a healthy, integrated food system by educating, connecting and supporting food producers and consumers. An outspoken critic of current GMO labeling policy, she was involved in the 2012 California ballot

Miguel A. Altieri

Emeritus Professor UC Berkeley

Miguel A . Altieri received a BS in Agronomy from the University of Chile and a Ph.D in Entomology from the University of Florida. He has been a Professor of Agroecology at UC Berkeley since 1981 in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management ( www.agroeco.org and www.cnr.berkeley.edu). Dr. Altieri served as a Scientific Advisor to the Latin American Consortium on Agroecology and Development (CLADES) Chile an NGO network promoting agroecology as a strategy for small farm sustainable development in the region. He also served for 4 years as the General Coordinator for the United Nations Development Programme’s Sustainable Agriculture Networking and Extension Programme which aimed at capacity building on agroecology among NGOs and the scaling-up of successful local sustainable agricultural initiatives in Africa, Latin America and Asia In addition he was the chairman of the NGO committee of the Consultative Group on International Agriculture Research whose mission was to make sure that the research agenda of the 15 International Agricultural Research Centers benefited the poor farmers of the. He also was Director of the US-Brasil Consortium on Agroecology and Sustainable Rural Development (CASRD) an academic-research exchange program involving students and faculty of UC Berkeley, University of Nebraska, UNICAMP and Universidad Federal de Santa Catarina. He is advisor to the FAO-GIAHS program ( Globally Ingenious Agricultural HeritageSystems-www.giahs.org) a program devoted at identifying and dynamically conserving traditional farming systems in the developing world. He also served for 6 years as the President of the Latin American Scientific Society of Agroecology . He is the author of more than 250 publications, and numerous books including Agroecology: The Science of Sustainable Agriculture and Biodiversity, Pest Management in Agroecosystems and Agroecology and the Search for a Truly Sustainable Agriculture. In 2015 he received a Doctor Honoris Causa from The Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium

Elizabeth & Paul Kaiser

Awarded No-Till Farmers

At Singing Frogs Farm, Elizabeth and Paul developed a highly intensive, no-till, ecological management system for their small but mighty vegetable farm and CSA which has brought tremendous benefit to their soil, ecology, water, and livelihood. They grow over 100 different crops year-round on three acres, a third of which goes to their 130 member CSA and two-thirds to various farmers' markets, restaurants and a local food hub. They have increased their soil organic matter by over 300%, while drastically reducing their water use and generating over $100,000 per acre in sales.

Starhawk

Author & Activist

Starhawk is an American writer, teacher and activist. She is known as a theorist of feminist Neopaganism and ecofeminism. She is a columnist for Beliefnet.com and for On Faith, the Newsweek and Washington Post online forum on religion. Starhawk's book The Spiral Dance (1979) was one of the main inspirations behind the Goddess movement. In 2012, she was listed in Watkins' Mind Body Spirit magazine as one of the 100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People.

Ramón (Ray) Saidler, Ph.D.

Microbiologist and Author

Elected as Fellow American Academy for Microbiology, listed in the International Biographical Centre of Cambridge England list of the 2,000 Outstanding World Scientists of the 20th Century; Elected to Phi Kappa Phi honorary, Listed in Who’s Who in Science and Engineering, Who’s Who in the World and Twice received U.S. EPA Bronze Medals for research service to the agency. One of 3 founding editors of Molecular Ecology, a science journal dedicated to cutting edge research in this field.

Dr. Seidler has authored/co-authored over 155 scientific peer reviewed publications, co-authored 2 books. He wrote the first Biosafety research plan for the U.S. EPA which described the research needed for the evaluation of genetically engineered microbes and crop plants.

During his career he gave some 100 talks on GMO biosafety issues throughout the world. During the 1980s he was the Chief EPA scientist involved in monitoring the first ever microorganism GMO releases into the open environment.

Since retirement, Dr. Seidler has presented numerous talks on health and environmental risk assessment issues pertaining to GE crops, impacts of pesticides on beneficial life forms and on endocrine disruptors. He has also testified before the Oregon legislature on pending bills impacting these subjects and has been available to the press, as well as t.v. and radio audiences to discuss these issues. His Facebook page is entitled: “scientist says no to gmos ray seidler”

Penny Livingston Stark, MSc.

Co-founder & Instructor At Regenerative Design Institute

Penny Livingston-Stark is internationally recognized as a prominent permaculture teacher, designer, and speaker. She holds a MS in Eco-Social Regeneration and a Diploma in Permaculture Design. Penny has been studying the Hermetic Tradition of alchemy and herbal medicine making in Europe and the United States for 4 years.

Penny has been teaching internationally and working professionally in the land management, regenerative design, and permaculture development field for 25 years and has extensive experience in all phases of ecologically sound design and construction as well as the use of natural non-toxic building materials. She specializes in site planning and the design of resource-rich landscapes integrating, rainwater collection, edible and medicinal planting, spring development, pond and water systems, habitat development and watershed restoration for homes, co-housing communities, businesses, and diverse yield perennial farms.

With her husband James Stark, and in collaboration with Commonweal — a cancer health research and retreat center — Penny co-manages Commonweal Garden, a 17-acre organic and certified salmon-safe farm in Bolinas, California. In addition, Penny and James are stewarding and working to restore 200 acres of land in Trinity County, California.

Penny co-created the Ecological Design Program and its curriculum at the San Francisco Institute of Architecture, and she co-founded the West Marin Grower’s Group, the West Marin Farmer’s Market, and the Community Land Trust Association of Marin. Penny has also worked with the Marin County Community Development Agency and Planning Department to develop recommendations on sustainability for updating the Community Plan.

She has been featured in the following films: Symphony of the Soil by Lily Films and Deborah Koons Garcia, 2012: A Time for Change by Joao Amorim and Daniel Pinchbeck and Permaculture: The Growing Edge by Belili Films and Starhawk.

She has been apprenticing in Germany and Italy at the Arven School for Medicinal Plants, Aromatherapy and Wilderness Wisdome with her teacher, Susanne Fischer-Rizzi in Germany since 2011. Susanne is an herbal master alchemist and holder of the lineage of the ancient line of women European herbalists and author of 13 books: The books translated into English include: The Complete Aromatherapy Handbook, Medicines of the Earth, The Complete Incense Handbook, The Complete Earth Medicine Handbook. Penny is holding this lineage here in the United States and is embarking on sharing what she has learned over the years.

Andrew Kimbrell

CFS Executive Director

Andrew Kimbrell is an internationally recognized public interest attorney, public speaker and author. He is founder and Executive Director of Center for Food Safety. He also is Director of the San Francisco based Center for Technology Assessment, co-founder of Foundation Earth and President of the Board of Humane Farm Animal Care (that administers the Certified Humane label).
As an attorney, Kimbrell has successfully challenged federal agencies in several historic court cases, including initiating a U.S. Supreme Court victory forcing, for the first time, EPA regulation of Greenhouse Gases and Climate Change and a recent Supreme Court ruling holding that DNA is not patentable due it it being a “product of nature.” He also through his leadership at CFS has been at the forefront of legal challenges to approvals of genetically engineered crops, maintaining the integrity of the organics standards and winning a legal battle to force the FDA to adopt new food safety regulations.
As an author and public speaker Kimbrell has been a leading proponent of regenerative forms of agriculture and organic policies. He is the editor of the nationally renowned book Fatal Harvest, The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture and the author of Your Right to Know: Genetic engineering and the Secret Changes in Your Food. Kimbrell’s articles and editorials have appeared in the New York Times, Harpers, USA Today and numerous other print and social media publications including being a regular contributor to the Huffington Post. He has testified numerous times before the UI.S. Congress and has been a featured speaker at dozens of colleges and universities around the country and other public forums including Google Author Talks, Slow Food Nation, Bioneers and Ecofarm. He is featured in several documentaries including “The Future of Food,” “FRESH,” and a critique of genetic engineering, “Life Running out of Control.” Kimbrell is also a noted expert on a wide range of technology and economic issues. His works in this area include his international best-selling book “The Human Body Shop: the Engineering and Marketing of Life” and the printed versions of his influential E.F. Schumacher lectures, “Cold Evil: Technology and Modern Ethics,” and “Salmon Economics.”
In addition to his legal degree Kimbrell also has a graduate degree in Psychology and has often written in the field including his book,”The Masculine Mystique.” Besides his public interest work Kimbrell’s passions include his love of piano (stemming from his earlier career as a concern pianist), poetry, baseball and wilderness flyfishing.
Kimbrell’s many accolades include a spot on Utne Reader’s list of the world's leading 100 visionaries, and The Guardian recognizing him in 2008 as one of the 50 people “most likely to save the planet.”

Clara Nicholls

Professor Santa Clara University

Clara I Nicholls is a Colombian agronomist with a Master in Entomology from the Colegio de Posgraduados, Chapingo, Mexico and a Ph.D. in Entomology and Biological Control of Insect Pests from the University of California Davis. She is a Permanent Lecturer on Sustainable Rural Development in Latin America at the University of California, Berkeley

She also teaches at Santa Clara University, and various universities in Colombia, Brazil, Nicaragua, Argentina, Spain and Italy. Currently she serves as the president of the Latin American Scientific Society of Agroecology (SOCLA- www.socla.co) and is the Regional Coordinator of REDAGRES
(www.redagres.org) a network of Latin American researchers exploring ways to evaluate and enhance resiliency of farming systems to climate change.

Her research has centered on enhancing plant biodiversity of farms to provide habitat and foster natural eneimies of insect pests in a range of farming systems. She is also working on methodologies to evaluate the resilience of farms to climate change and based on such assessments in designing agroecological interventions to enhance the adaptability of farming systems to climatic extremes.

She is the author of 4 books ( among them Biodiversity and Pest Management in Agrecosystems) and of more than 50 scientific journal papers.

Kathleen McAfee

Professor & Author

Kathleen McAfee’s research is about “selling nature to save it”: climate cap-&-trade, carbon offsets, payments for ecosystem services, other market-based and alternative approaches linking climate change, public health, food, and environmental justice. She received a PhD in Geography from UC Berkeley after a career in international development. She has authored a book, Storm Signals, and many articles on environment, agriculture, trade, debt, and the limits of capitalism. She was a co-founder of City Life/Vida Urbana and has ties with social-justice movements in different world regions. Before joining the International Relations Department at San Francisco State University, Professor McAfee was on the faculty of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. In California she works with local organizations against the expansion of fossil fuel operations.

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