Meet Our Keynote Speakers

Tuesday, Oct. 3
11:35 am – 1:15 pm
Luncheon Keynote Address in the Grand Ballroom
Presenter: Majora Carter, urban revitalization strategist and Peabody Award winning broadcaster

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Majora Carter is a leading urban revitalization strategy consultant, real estate developer, and Peabody Award winning broadcaster. She is responsible for the creation & implementation of numerous green-infrastructure projects, policies, and job training & placement systems.

At Sustainable South Bronx, Ms. Carter deployed MIT's first ever Mobile Fab-Lab (digital fabrication laboratory) to the South Bronx - where it served as an early iteration of the "Maker-Spaces" found elsewhere today. The project drew residents and visitors together for guided and creative collaborations.

After establishing Sustainable South Bronx and Green For All (among other organizations) to carry on that work, she opened a private consulting firm to help spread the message and success of social enterprise and economic development in low-status communities - which was named Best for the World by B-Corp. Clients include industry leaders in many fields, municipal and federal government agencies, and leading educational institutions across the US.

From this vantage point, Ms. Carter co-founded the now 750+ member Bronx Tech Meetup, as well as the StartUpBox Software Services company which is rebuilding the entry level tech job pipeline by using market forces and established business practices to help diversify the U.S. tech sector. Clients include, PlayDots, and GIPHY, among others.

Ms. Carter is a graduate of the Bronx High School of Science, and an advisory board member of the Bronx Academy of Software Engineering High School. She is a "Silicon Alley 100," one of Goldman-Sachs "100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs," and her 2006 TEDtalk was one of six to launch that groundbreaking site. Ms. Carter is also a board member of the Andrew Goodman Foundation.
Wednesday, Oct. 4
8:45 – 9:30 am
Morning Plenary Address in the Grand Ballroom
Presenter: Kristin Baja, climate resilience officer for the Urban Sustainability Directors Network

Kristin Baja is serving as the Urban Sustainability Directors Network's first Climate Resilience Officer. In this role, she is responsible for helping cities identify strategic ways to advance climate resilience planning and implementation, and building their capacity to take action. She spends the majority of her time supporting cities and facilitating deeper relationships between local governments and other stakeholders in the Mid-Atlantic region. Her work will help to accelerate the implementation of on-the-ground action, while advancing learning, collaboration, and momentum around climate resilience.

Prior to working at USDN, Ms. Baja was the Climate and Resiliency Planner for the City of Baltimore Office of Sustainability, where she was a Certified Floodplain Manager responsible for the city’s floodplain management program and for development and implementation of the City's Disaster Preparedness Project and Plan, which integrated climate adaptation with hazard mitigation efforts. She was recognized by the Obama Administration as a Champion of Change for work on climate and equity while in this role.

Ms. Baja received her Master of Urban Planning degree and a Master of Science degree from the University of Michigan.
Wednesday, Oct. 4
12:15 – 2:00 pm
Luncheon Keynote Address in the Grand Ballroom
Presenter: Louie Psihoyos, Oscar winning documentary filmmaker and executive director of the Oceanic Preservation Society

Louie Psihoyos is widely regarded as one of the world's most prominent still photographers. He has circled the globe dozens of times for National Geographic and has shot hundreds of covers for other magazines including Fortune Magazine, Smithsonian, Discover, GEO, Time, Newsweek, The New York Times Magazine, New York Magazine and Sports Illustrated.

Mr. Psihoyos' first documentary film, "The Cove," has won more than 100 awards globally from festivals and critics, became the first documentary in history to sweep all the film guilds and won the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature in 2009. In his newest film, "Racing Extinction," a team of artists and activists expose the hidden world of extinction with never-before-seen images that change the way we see the planet.

Mr. Psihoyos is currently in production on a documentary with executive producer James Cameron about elite athletes who have adopted plant-based diets.