Janine Benyus, a biologist, consultant, and author of six books, including the classic Biomimicry, is cofounder of the Biomimicry Institute, a nonprofit organization that promotes the study and imitation of nature’s remarkably efficient designs. biomimicry.net
Jeremy Rifkin, president of the Foundation on Economic Trends, is an authority on economic sustainability. His books include The Third Industrial Revolution and The Empathic Civilization. Jeremy Rifkin will deliver his talk via Skype. foet.org
Dickson Despommier, a microbiologist and environmental health ecologist, is author of The Vertical Farm, a method of producing food crops in tall buildings located throughout densely populated urban centers. verticalfarm.com
Bob Berkebile is an influential sustainable design architect and community planner, a founding principal of BNIM Architects, and a board member of the U.S. Green Building Council, the Nature Conservancy, and the Center for Global Community. bnim.com
Natalie Jeremijenko is an innovative artist and engineer whose background includes biochemistry, physics, neuroscience, and precision engineering. As director of the xDesign Environmental Health Clinic and a professor in New York University’s visual art department, she bridges the technical and art worlds. nyu.edu/projects/xdesign/hub
Steve Miller, cofounder of MindMixer, has more than 20 years of planning and urban design experience, and has used his land-use planning and urban design skills and experience on numerous projects, including regional, community, and downtown planning; transportation planning projects; and economic development and private development projects. mindmixer.com
Robert “Skip” Backus, Omega’s chief executive officer and the visionary behind the Omega Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL), helped lay the foundation for Omega’s environmental and conservation initiatives.
Sobonfu Somé, whose name means “keeper of ritual,” is an initiated member of the Dagara tribe of Burkina Faso and one of the foremost authorities on African spirituality residing in the West. She and her husband, Malidoma Somé, both residents of the United States, teach the ancient wisdom of their tribe in workshops and trainings throughout the world.
(Nick Bowden is unable to attend; MindMixer cofounder Steve Miller will be attending instead.)