Featured Speakers


Opening Keynote

Nature in Cities: Frontiers in urban ecosystem services

Moderator: Bonnie Keeler, Lead Scientist, Natural Capital Project

Lynn Scarlett, Managing Director, Public Policy, The Nature Conservancy
Former Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. Department of the Interior, Lynn Scarlett is now worldwide Managing Director for Public Policy at The Nature Conservancy (TNC). Prior to joining TNC, she was Co-director of the Center for Management of Ecological Wealth at Resources for the Future. She chairs the Science Advisory Board of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, co-chairs the National Academy of Sciences Sustainability Roundtable, and also co-chairs the federal Landscape-scale Collaborative Conservation Council. During her 8 years at the Interior Department, Ms. Scarlett initiated a multi-agency Cooperative Conservation Task Force and chaired the Department’s Climate Change Task Force. She served on the Executive Committee of the President’s Management Council and co-chaired the First Lady’s Preserve America initiative on historic preservation. She is the recent recipient of the Renewable Natural Resources Foundation lifetime Sustainability Achievement Award. She is author or co-author of recent publications on climate change adaptation; urban greening; large landscape conservation; and science and decision making. She serves on the National Research Council Sustainability Linkages Committee and their U.S. Global Change Research Program Committee. She received her M.A. in political science from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she also completed her Ph.D. coursework and exams in political science.

Timon McPhearson, Assistant Professor of Ecology, The New School
Dr. Timon McPhearson’s Urban Ecology Lab investigates the ecology in, of, and for cities. He teaches urban resilience, systems thinking, and urban ecology at The New School, is a researcher at the Tishman Environment and Design Center, and works directly with designers, planners, and managers to foster sustainable and resilient cities. Dr. McPhearson co-leads the 5-year U.S. National Science Foundation project Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network (UREx SRN).  He is a founding member of the ICLEI Urban Biosphere (URBIS) Initiative, a contributing author to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity’s Cities Biodiversity Outlook, and is a member of the Urban Climate Change Research Network (UCCRN) and the Urban Cluster within Future Earth. His work is published widely including in scientific journals (Nature, AMBIO, Urban Ecosystems, Landscape and Urban Planning, Ecosystem Services), books (Sustainability in America’s Cities, Urban Sustainability Transitions) and popular press (Revolve Magazine, The Nature of Cities). In 2014 he was a Visiting Research Scholar in residence at the Stockholm Resilience Center, in Stockholm Sweden.

Josh Henretig, Director of Environmental Sustainability, Microsoft
Josh Henretig is the Sr. Director of Energy, Environment and Cities for Microsoft and is responsible for helping define, implement and communicate the global energy and environmental strategy for the company. Josh and his team are also responsible for Microsoft CityNext, a company initiative that is helping cities around the world better leverage technology to realize a more sustainable place for people to live and work. As part of this effort, Josh is responsible for the company’s Sustainable Cities strategy, in which Microsoft and its growing ecosystem of partners are working with people and organizations around the world to accelerate the development of resource efficiency solutions for our growing cities.

Pathways to Impact Keynote

Generating Action in Business with the Natural Capital Coalition and Protocol

Moderator: Emily McKenzie, Science-Policy Interface Lead, Natural Capital Project/World Wildlife Fund

Mark Gough, Executive Director, Natural Capital Coalition
Mark Gough is the incoming Executive Director of the Natural Capital Coalition, beginning 2 March 2015. Mark previously worked at The Crown Estate where he held the role of Head of Sustainability. In this role he was involved with the organisations’ integrated planning and strategy. He has previously held senior corporate roles at Reed Elsevier, and has sat on a number of national and international committees, including the Steering Committee of the United Nations CEO Water Mandate and the Board of the Alliance for Water Stewardship.

Amy Skoczlas Cole, Principal, S3 Strategies LLC
Amy Skoczlas Cole worked at Pentair as vice president of corporate citizenship. In this role, Amy oversaw the Pentair Foundation and drove key corporate citizenship and sustainability programs. Prior to Pentair, Amy served as eBay Inc.’s most senior sustainability leader, spearheading customer engagement programs, improving the company’s environmental performance and championing industry initiatives on sustainability. Prior to eBay, Amy was vice president and co-founder of Conservation International’s Center for Environmental Leadership in Business, focused on helping businesses tackle global sustainability and human well-being challenges, including food security, smart infrastructure, water, energy and climate change. During her tenure at Conservation International, she spent three years in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as a founding member of the Brazilian sustainable development alliance, Instituto BioAtlantica. Amy received her masters of business administration in marketing and finance from The George Washington University School of Business and Public Management in Washington, D.C., and her bachelor of arts degree in public policy studies from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.

Jane Franch, Director of Operations, Food & Agriculture Division, SCS Global Services
Jane Franch joined SCS in 2010 and is currently the Director of Operations for the Food and Agriculture division. She has over 10 years’ experience in sustainable agriculture, development, and resource management.  In her current role, Ms. Franch oversees day to day operations within the Food & Ag division and supports strategic development for SCS at a corporate level as a member of the senior leadership team. In addition, she has managed key accounts and worked with SCS clients such as Starbucks C.A.F.E. and Cocoa Practices, Fair Trade USA, Stonyfield Farms, Ferrero, and Equitable Food Initiative on the development and implementation of proprietary environmental and labor standards for international and domestic agricultural supply chains. She has conducted audits and trainings in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and has researched and presented on certification of various consumer goods, including cocoa, coffee, and wood products. Prior to SCS, Jane directed the native plant nursery and habitat restoration program at the Hilton Bialek Habitat (now MEarth), collaborating with public & private partners on land management, community outreach and education along California’s Central Coast. She holds an MS in Forest Resources and a certificate in International Development from the University of Washington, and a BA in English Literature from the University of California, Berkeley.


Pathways to Impact

Preaching Beyond the Choir: Making the Case for Natural Capital

Moderator: Anne Guerry, Chief Strategy Officer & Lead Scientist, Natural Capital Project

David Hayes, Distinguished Visiting Lecturer in Law, Stanford University
Charles Savitt, President, Island Press
Brandon Keim, Journalist (Wired, Conservation Magazine)
Megan Guy, Senior Corporate Practices Advisor, The Nature Conservancy
Kate Schneider, Associate Program Officer, Agricultural Development, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Ben Goldfarb, Correspondent, High Country News

What Does Using Ecosystem Service Valuations in Decisions Really Look Like?

Moderator: Emily McKenzie, Science-Policy Interface Lead, Natural Capital Project/World Wildlife Fund

Laurent Mermet, Professor of Environmental Management, AgroParis Tech and Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle (CESCO Lab), Paris, France and Smith School, Oxford University, UK
Clément Feger, Lyonnaise des Eaux, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle (CESCO) and AgroParis Tech, Paris, France and Colombia University
Stephen Posner, University of Vermont

Forest Landscape Restoration and Ecosystem Service Modeling

Moderator: Michael Verdone, Environmental Economist, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Michael Verdone, Environmental Economist, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Michael Verdone is a Program Officer in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Global Economics Program and a Graduate Fellow at the Center for Collaborative Conservation. He is also a Ph.D. candidate in environmental and natural resource economics at Colorado State University and holds an M.A. in Applied Economics from the University of Colorado. Michael started working with IUCN’s Global Forest and Climate Change Program in 2011 to conduct assessments of ‘Restoration Opportunity’ in Ghana, Rwanda, and Uganda. His work uses economic tools and approaches in a multi-discipline, collaborative manner to engage with communities and stakeholders in the process of restoring degraded and deforested landscapes.
Ann Koontz, Senior Vice President of Social Enterprise, Relief International

Pathways to impact through national development: experiences from China and South Africa

Moderators: Dr. Belinda Reyers, Chief Scientist, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR); and Gretchen Daily, Stanford University

Dr. Belinda Reyers
Dr Belinda Reyers is a Chief Scientist at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Stellenbosch, South Africa. A conservation scientist by training, Belinda’s research now focuses on biodiversity and ecosystem services: their condition, conservation and links to social development and poverty alleviation, as well as the implications of global change for these relationships. She is also a senior research fellow at the Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Sweden and an extraordinary Professor at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Belinda plays a number of advisory roles in national and local government in South Africa, specifically in the area of disaster risk, land use and development planning, and biodiversity stewardship. She serves on international science and science-policy bodies including: Vice-Chair of the Science Committee of Future Earth, GEOBON’s working group on Ecosystem Services, and working groups of the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. She is an associate editor (and past editor) for a number of international journals. Her publications include over 80 articles in scientific journals and chapters in books. She is author and co-author of several technical reports and popular articles.

Dr. Jeanne Nel, Principal Researcher in biodiversity and ecosystem services, CSIR
Dr Jeanne Nel is a Principal Researcher in biodiversity and ecosystem services at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), South Africa. She has 15 years of experience in undertaking research relevant to water management and policy within the fields of in biodiversity, ecosystem services and human wellbeing and sustainability science. She has a PhD in water resource and conservation planning and has been involved in a number of collaborative projects and programmes aimed at identifying freshwater ecosystem priorities, and developing appropriate region-specific mechanisms for their conservation. Jeanne serves as a GreenMatter Senior Fellow, which is a fellowship designed to connect a community of outstanding biodiversity champions and leaders, to support their professional development and positively profile their work and the biodiversity sector. She has served as past President of the Freshwater Working Group of the Society for Conservation Biology (an international body of conservation scientists), is a Board Member on the Freshwater Monitoring Working Group of GEOBON (the global biodiversity observation network), and is a member of the Scientific Committee of ecoSERVICES, a project of DIVERSITAS/Future Earth (http://www.diversitas-international.org/activities/research/ecoservices).

Ouyang Zhiyun, Professor, State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Ouyang Zhiyun is a professor in Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences. His scientific research spans three areas of direct relevance to the proposed work: (i) biodiversity pattern change and conservation in China; (ii) characterizing the production and value of ecosystem services (including provision and regulating services), across scales and scenarios of land use management and change; and (iii) informing and implementing policies that improve outcomes for biodiversity and ecosystem services in China. Ouyang has studied ecosystem service zoning of China, and identified the critical areas for ecosystem services in China, and is leading ecosystem assessment of China.

Hua Zheng, Professor, State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Hua Zheng is a professor in Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences. His research focuses on the relationships between ecosystem structure-process and ecosystem services, ecosystem service assessment and its policy application. First, he explored how forest ecosystem structure and processes impact ecosystem services through long-term ecological research. Second, he assessed the ecosystem services at different scales (including watershed, regional and national) and applied them into different context of policy assessment and design (e.g., payment for ecosystem service policy, ecological redlining institution, sustainable landuse policy).

Pathways to impact at the local scale: lessons learnt from disaster management, rural development and ecotourism in China and South Africa

Moderator: Dr. Belinda Reyers, Chief Scientist, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR); and Gretchen Daily, Stanford University

Li Shuzhuo, Professor, Xi’an Jiaotong University
Li Jie, Professor, Xi’an Jiatong University
Dr. Nadia Sitas, Researcher in biodiversity and ecosystem services, CSIR
Dr Nadia Sitas is a researcher in biodiversity and ecosystem services at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), South Africa. She has recently completed her doctorate in the opportunities and challenges of mainstreaming ecosystem services in decision making. Over the years, Nadia has been involved in numerous collaborative research and outreach projects dealing with stakeholder engagement, social learning, environmental education and capacity building, mainly related to endangered species management, ecosystem services, social-ecological resilience and development planning. Nadia’s research interests span both the social and ecological spheres with the majority of her experience in developing countries in Africa, with a particular focus on ecosystem based disaster risk reduction.