9:55-10:00 AM

Welcome Remarks

Sandra Navalli ’03BUS, OAM

Sandra Navalli ’03BUS, OAM
Managing Director of the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise and Assistant Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School

Sandra Navalli is the managing director of the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise at Columbia University. The center trains the next generation of leaders to address social and environmental challenges, by supporting the creation and communication of new ideas, and by providing curricular and extra-curricular opportunities for students. Focus areas include social entrepreneurship, international development and emerging markets, public and nonprofit management, corporate responsibility and sustainability. Under the center, the Tamer Fund for Social Ventures provides seed grants to nonprofit, for-profit, or hybrid early-stage social and environmental ventures. Sandra has over a decade of experience in the social impact field, and previously worked in business and product development for an education technology social venture, management consulting, microeconomic policy, and in corporate law. She received an MBA from Columbia Business School and honors degrees in economics and in law from the Australian National University.

Managing Director of the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise and Assistant Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School

10:00-10:50 AM

Solving Renewable Energy Intermittency: Can the United States Rely on 100% Renewables?

Sources of Capital

While wind and solar have become cheaper forms of energy to build in most places, the intermittency of renewable energy remains a challenge to converting to 100 percent renewable energy usage. The intermittent nature of renewable energy causes challenges for the energy grid to meet supply and demand. What will the grid look like in the future? If we were to design the grid tomorrow, how would we build it to take advantage of renewable energy? This panel will discuss the challenges of converting our energy usage to 100 percent renewables, as well as possible solutions to the energy grid that can be implemented to convert to 100 percent renewable energy.

Watch the recording →

Steven Cohen

Steven Cohen
Professor in the Practice of Public Affairs at SIPA; Director of the Research Program on Sustainability Policy and Management at The Earth Institute; Director of the MPA Program in Environmental Science and Policy

Dr. Steven Cohen is the senior vice dean of Columbia’s School of Professional Studies and a professor in the practice of public affairs at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. He is also director of the Master of Public Administration Program in Environmental Science and Policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, director of the Master of Science in Sustainability Management at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies, and the director of the Earth Institute’s Research Program on Sustainability Policy and Management at Columbia University.

He is a 1970 graduate of James Madison High School in Brooklyn, New York. Cohen received his BA in political science from Franklin College of Indiana (1974), and his MA and PhD in political science from the State University of New York in Buffalo (1977; 1979). From 1976 to 1977, Cohen was a Ford Foundation Fellow in urban environmental policy; from 1978 1979, he was a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow in public and environmental policy and implementation.

Dr. Cohen is the former executive director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute, and now serves as a senior advisor for the institute. He is a former policy analyst and consultant to the US Environmental Protection Agency. Dr. Cohen has served on numerous boards and committees, including the board of the Pew Faculty Fellowship in international affairs, the executive committee and Committee on Accreditation and Peer Review of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration, and the US Environmental Protection Agency's Advisory Council on Environmental Policy and Technology. He currently serves on the board of directors of Homes for the Homeless, board of directors of the Willdan Group, Inc., advisory board of the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment, and steering committee for the Porter School of Environmental Studies at Tel Aviv University. Dr. Cohen also serves on the judging committee for the Yidan Prize Foundation and is the chair of the Lotos Club’s science and technology committee.

Dr. Cohen is the author of The Sustainable City (2017, 2020), Understanding Environmental Policy (2006, 2014), Sustainability Management (2011), The Effective Public Manager (1988, now co-authored in its fifth edition), and the co-author of Management Fundamentals (2020), Sustainability Policy: Hastening the Transition to a Cleaner Economy (2015), The Responsible Contact Manager (2008), Strategic Planning in Environmental Regulation (2005), Tools for Innovators: Creative Strategies for Managing Public Sector Organizations (1998), and Total Quality Management in Government (1993). He has written numerous articles on public management, sustainability management, and environmental policy. Dr. Cohen also writes a weekly blog for the Earth Institute’s State of the Planet website.

Professor in the Practice of Public Affairs at SIPA; Director of the Research Program on Sustainability Policy and Management at The Earth Institute; Director of the MPA Program in Environmental Science and Policy

Chelle Izzi ’04BUS

Chelle Izzi ’04BUS
Executive Director of Distributed Generation at NextEra Energy Resources

Chelle Izzi leads new business and product development for NextEra Energy Resources’s distributed energy business. Chelle and her team drive growth and innovation through product development, commercializing new technologies, designing integrated solutions, building strategic partnerships, and pursuing acquisitions.

Specific focus areas include residential energy optimization, electric vehicle infrastructure, microgrids, monetizing distributed energy resources (DERs), and public-private partnerships for energy infrastructure.

Chelle has more than 25 years of experience commercializing, launching, and managing new products and services across multiple industries in the United States., Europe, Africa, and Asia. She helped launch the storage business at NextEra, build CPower, one of the original demand response (DR) firms, commercialize a waste-to-energy solution, and manage a product that integrated energy efficiency and retail energy.

Outside the energy industry, she has developed and distributed consumer products in Asia, helped convert a captive UN service bureau (UNOPS) into a competitive professional services firm, and co-founded the South African – American Business Association in Atlanta.

Chelle holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. She’s also a proud Ohioan who still roots for every Cleveland sports team.

Executive Director of Distributed Generation at NextEra Energy Resources

Donna Sanders ’17BUS

Donna Sanders ’17BUS
Founder and CEO of Virimodo

Donna is a military veteran and a 2017 graduate of Columbia, Hong Kong, and London business schools. She is a certified energy auditor with the Association of Energy Engineers and a 2016 Environmental Defense Fund Climate Corp Fellow.

Donna co-founded Virimodo, a NYC-based carbon reduction intelligence company committed to reducing greenhouse gases in cities globally. Virimodo partners with utilities, utilizing real-time data to measure and monitor customers' carbon impact economically, socially, and environmentally.

An avid outdoorswoman, rower, and master naturalist, she (and three friends) went off the grid for 20 straight days to sea kayak all 235 miles of Alaska’s Glacier Bay’s National Park.

Founder and CEO of Virimodo

David Snydacker

David Snydacker
CEO of Lilac Solutions

David Snydacker is the founder and CEO of Lilac Solutions, a lithium extraction company based in Oakland and backed by Breakthrough Energy Ventures. He holds a PhD in materials engineering from Northwestern University and has authored seven patents in lithium batteries and hydrometallurgy. While at Northwestern, Dave led seminars on energy technologies and coal divestment. He holds a BA in biochemistry from Wesleyan University.

CEO of Lilac Solutions

10:50-11:00 AM

Coffee Break

11:00-11:50 AM

Sustainability in the Fashion Industry: Is it Scalable?

Uses of Capital

Fast fashion is one of the biggest challenges to sustainable garments and an equitable supply chain within the fashion industry. With the demand for sustainable fashion rising, many fashion retailers are cleaning up their supply chain and improving their working conditions and hiring practices. But what does it mean to be truly sustainable in the fashion industry? How has the pandemic affected the industry and movement towards a more sustainable supply chain? Leveraging industry knowledge from financing through end-stage production, this panel will explore multi-layered approaches to mitigating the impacts of garment and footwear supply chains on people and the environment.

Watch the recording →

Rachel Cernansky ’08JRN

Rachel Cernansky ’08JRN
Sustainability Editor at Vogue Business and Freelance Journalist

Rachel Cernansky is the sustainability editor at Vogue Business. She's covered toxic chemicals in apparel manufacturing, circular business models, fashion's role in global biodiversity loss, and more. She's based in Colorado and has a background in health, science, and environmental reporting.

Sustainability Editor at Vogue Business and Freelance Journalist

Ashia Sheikh Dearwester

Ashia Sheikh Dearwester
Chief Strategy and Partnerships Officer at Nest

Ashia Dearwester is the chief strategy and partnerships Officer for Nest, a nonprofit building human-centric value chains that connect handworkers, brands, and consumers through transparency and sector-wide solutions.

Ashia leads Nest’s strategic partnerships and mobilizes industry efforts to advance sustainability initiatives impacting workers outside of traditional factories. Ashia played an integral role in the launch of Nest’s Seal of Ethical Handcraft, an industry-wide initiative to bring transparency to the informal sector. She serves as a trusted advisor to major brands and philanthropic foundations seeking guidance on improving supply chains.

Ashia is deeply committed to equity, inclusion, and cultural/environmental preservation. Prior to Nest, Ashia spent nearly seven years working with the National Audubon Society, building and scaling its Women in Conservation Program. There she served on Audubon’s diversity committee, ensuring programs were reaching diverse communities and constituents.

Chief Strategy and Partnerships Officer at Nest

Mallory McConnell

Mallory McConnell
Senior Director of Supplier Sustainability and Partnerships at PVH Corp

Mallory is a senior director of supplier sustainability and partnerships at PVH Corp., one of the largest global apparel companies with a portfolio of iconic lifestyle brands including Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein.

Mallory is responsible for leading, managing, and driving progress against all forward fashion supply chain targets and programs. This work includes developing strategic plans and executing all human rights and environmental sustainability supply chain programs, global data roll-ups, and developing materials to communicate key developments to key stakeholders. Mallory develops and drives key corporate responsibility strategies and initiatives across PVH and helps ensure the global corporate responsibility team is building future capabilities to remain a best-in-class organization focused on flawless execution and forward-thinking.

Mallory has lived and worked in Bangalore, India, and Hong Kong S.A.R, managing global and diverse teams. Outside of work, Mallory is interested in fine art and design, hiking, and baking.

Senior Director of Supplier Sustainability and Partnerships at PVH Corp

Anushka Salinas ’10BUS

Anushka Salinas '10BUS
President and Chief Operating Officer at Rent The Runway

Anushka serves as president and chief operating officer at Rent the Runway, where she leads a team of tech, product, and analytics in achieving the long-term vision of disrupting the $2.4 trillion fashion industry by pioneering dynamic ownership and powering women to feel their best every day.

Prior to RTR, she joined Lawrence Lenihan, former founder of First Mark Capital, and Joseph Ferrara, as an early leader at Resonance, a venture operating company that invests in and operates early-stage fashion brands. Resonance aims to change the fashion industry through its just-in-time manufacturing process, efficient operating platform, and innovative technology products. Anushka previously managed the dual-country e-commerce merchandising and planning organizations at Hudson’s Bay Company.

Prior to her role at HBC, she was a founding member of the Rent the Runway executive team. During her time at RTR from 2009 to 2013, she oversaw merchandising, planning, and customer service. This role was a natural fit after a career that started with buying dresses at Lord & Taylor. Anushka earned a BA in economics from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

President and Chief Operating Officer at Rent The Runway

Jessica Schreiber ’11GSAS

Jessica Schreiber '11GSAS
Founder and CEO at FABSCRAP

Jessica Schreiber is the founder and CEO of FABSCRAP, which provides convenient pickup and recycling of fabric scraps from businesses in New York City and creates opportunities for reuse. Prior to launching FABSCRAP, she worked in the Bureau of Recycling and Sustainability at the NYC Department of Sanitation. She has a master's degree in climate and society from the Earth Institute at Columbia University and has been featured in Forbes, CNN, Waste360, and Apparel Magazine.

Founder and CEO at FABSCRAP

11:50 AM-12:00 PM

Closing Remarks

Bruce Usher

Bruce Usher
Co-director of the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise; Elizabeth B. Strickler '86 and Mark T. Gallogly '86 Faculty Director; and Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia Business School

Bruce Usher is a Professor of Professional Practice and the Elizabeth B. Strickler '86 and Mark T. Gallogly '86 Faculty Director of the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise at Columbia Business School. Professor Usher teaches on the intersection of finance, social and environmental issues, and is a recipient of the Singhvi Prize for Scholarship in the Classroom, the Lear Award, and the Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence.

Professor Usher has written numerous cases for use in business school courses, with a primary focus on climate change and business. In 2019, Usher published Renewable Energy: A Primer for the Twenty-First Century (Columbia University Press), the first in the Earth Institute’s sustainability series of books.

Prior to his work at Columbia, Professor Usher was CEO of EcoSecurities Group plc, which developed greenhouse gas emission reduction projects in developing countries. EcoSecurities was acquired by JP Morgan in 2009. Professor Usher was previously the co-founder and CEO of TreasuryConnect LLC, which provided electronic trading solutions to banks and was acquired in 2001. Prior to that, he worked in financial services for twelve years in New York and Tokyo. Professor Usher is an active investor and advisor to entrepreneurial ventures focused on climate change and clean energy (UsherWorks.com). He is a board member of Community Energy, OptiRTC, and CapShift, and is Chair of the Tamer Fund for Social Ventures. Usher earned an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Co-director of the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise; Elizabeth B. Strickler ’86 and Mark T. Gallogly ’86 Faculty Director; and Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia Business School