Liz Maw is the CEO of Net Impact. Since 2004 when Liz joined, Net Impact has tripled its chapter network to nearly 300, formed partnerships with over 50 global corporations, and developed multiple new programs that engage students and professionals to drive transformational change in the workplace and the world. Liz is a frequent speaker and writer, with blogs appearing in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Guardian Sustainable Business, GreenBiz, and World Economic Forum. Liz was named one of the 100 most influential people in business ethics by Ethisphere. She holds a BA with honors from Yale University and an MBA from Columbia Business School and the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.
Paul Polman, Chief Executive Officer, Unilever
Moderator: Joel Makower, Chairman and Executive Editor, GreenBiz Group
Introduced by: Lord Michael Hastings, Global Head of Citizenship, KPMG International
Unilever is one of the world’s largest consumer products companies—a company with the kind of scale where even small decisions can make a major impact. But when Paul Polman took the helm as CEO in 2009, he wasn’t thinking small. Polman set radical goals—from halving the environmental footprint of its products to sustainably sourcing 100% of its agricultural raw materials—to ensure that Unilever better serves the world’s citizens, not just its stakeholders. He has proven that a strong leader can influence not only the future of one’s company, but global business as a whole. Now that’s groundbreaking.
- M. Jahi Chappell, Director of Agroecology and Agriculture Policy, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
- Natalie DiNicola, Vice President of Sustainability and Signature Partnerships, Monsanto
- Moderator: Marc Gunther, Editor at Large, Guardian Sustainable Business US
By 2050, the world’s population will reach 9 billion people. With so much of the world already facing food insecurity, can we increase food production fast enough to meet global demand—and do so sustainably? Consensus on the right solution—from the role of genetically engineered crops to the importance of transparency—has not been reached. Are the boundaries set between opposing factions holding us back from a global solution? Hear from experts who view the optimal future of our global food system in radically different ways, and decide for yourself where you stand on the issue.
Professor of Animal Sciences
Colorado State University
Dr. Grandin is a professor of Animal Sciences at Colorado State University. Dr. Grandin obtained her B.A. at Franklin Pierce College: she earned her M.S. in Animal Science at Arizona State University and was awarded her Ph.D. in Animal Science from the University of Illinois in 1989. Temple’s achievements are remarkable because she is a woman with autism. In fact, Temple Grandin is the most accomplished and well-known adult with autism in the world.
Her fascinating life, with all its challenges and successes has been brought to the screen in her HBO biopic, Temple Grandin, which won numerous awards and accolades at the 62nd Emmy Awards in August 2010.
Dr. Grandin didn’t talk until she was three and a half years old, communicating her frustration instead by screaming, peeping, and humming. She received early speech therapy and became fully verbal by age four.
She tells her story of “groping her way from the far side of darkness” in Emergence: Labeled Autistic, a book which stunned the world because, until its publication, most professionals and parents assumed that an autism diagnosis was virtually a death sentence to achievement or productivity in life.
Even though she was considered “weird” in her young school years, she eventually found a mentor, who recognized her interests and abilities. Dr. Grandin later developed her talents into a successful career as a livestock-handling equipment designer, one of very few in the world. She has now designed the facilities in which half the cattle are handled in the United States, consulting for firms such as Burger King, McDonald’s, Swift, and other companies on animal welfare.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Happy Family Brands
For as long as she can remember, Shazi Visram has wanted to be a part of something bigger than herself. As a daughter of immigrants who took life-changing risks in order to create a better world for their children, Shazi has always sought to create wealth and pay it forward—the question was: how? Her journey took her to Columbia Business School, where she had an “Aha! Moment” while listening with a compassionate ear to a friend’s anguish about the difficulty of finding the time to make her own baby food, and the lack of healthy options in the traditional baby food aisle. In that moment Happy Family was born. Shazi made it her mission to create a business that could positively impact the health of our children and give back to those who are in need.
Her accomplishments have earned her the respect and admiration of her peers and colleagues, including being named one of Crain’s New York Business 40 Under 40 and recognized by Forbes as a Top Female Executive and Visionary in 2012, honored by Ernst & Young as Entrepreneur of the Year in the New York region in 2011 and nominated as one of Babble’s “moms who are changing the world” for 2011. Happy Family is recognized as one of the fastest growing companies in the country by Inc. Magazine for two years running and was named as Fast Company’s 2012 “Rockstar of the New Economy.”
Shazi lives in Westport, CT with her husband, Joe, her son, Zane, and their perfect pup, Willy. While she considers Happy Family to be her first “baby,” true motherhood is what she loves the most in the world. In the little free time she has, she works with the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) as a mentor to young and aspiring entrepreneurs from low-income communities, enjoys yoga and spending quality time with her family.