Judging: Make for the Planet D.C., April 2017

Two panels of judges ranked solutions based on the following criteria. 

  • Transformative: Game-changing solution for conservation
  • Innovation and inventiveness of the solution
  • Conservation impact
  • Scalability
  • Feasibility
  • Quality of the pitch

First Round Judges

A distinguished panel of first Round Judges selected the top four conservation solutions. The four teams pitched their solutions on the Earth Optimism stage on April 23rd during the Pitches for the Planet session.

 
Arthur Daemmrich, PhD

Arthur Daemmrich, PhD

Alex Dehgan, PhD

Alex Dehgan, PhD

    Nilanga Jayasinghe

 

 

Nilanga Jayasinghe

 
Dorothy Jones-Davis, PhD

Dorothy Jones-Davis, PhD

Chris Moschini

Chris Moschini

Alex Moseson, PhD

Alex Moseson, PhD

 
Stephanie Santoso

Stephanie Santoso

Ed Warner

Ed Warner

  Kaitlin Yarnall

 

Kaitlin Yarnall

 

Final Round Judges

The four Final Round Judges awarded prize money to two teams after the top four teams pitched their solutions during the Pitches for the Planet session on April 23rd.  

Brad Ack, Senior Vice President, Oceans, WWF http://www.worldwildlife.org/leaders/brad-ack Brad Ack leads the WWF-US Oceans program, overseeing a talented team that works on accelerating the global transition to sustainable fisheries and protecting resilient marine ecosystems around the world.Throughout his career, Brad has worked on a wide range of conservation and sustainability initiatives across many geographies, biomes, and issues. In the State of Washington, he served two governors as Executive Director for Puget Sound clean up and recovery, leading a broad public-private partnership dedicated to restoring the Sound. Following that, he worked for the Marine Stewardship Council as Regional Director for the Americas, and then as Global Director of Strategic Initiatives. He started his career at WWF working on the integration of community-based development with WWF’s protected areas work in Latin America, and also spent a decade in Flagstaff AZ leading efforts for the Grand Canyon Trust towards sustainability of the Colorado Plateau ecoregion.Ack holds an MS in international development from Georgetown University in Washington, DC, and a BA in political science and international studies from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. He now lives in Arlington, Virginia, with his wife, twin daughters, and two Boston terriers. Brad holds a Master of Sciences degree in Foreign Service and International Development from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. and a B.A. in Political Science from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Brad Ack, Senior Vice President, Oceans, WWF

http://www.worldwildlife.org/leaders/brad-ack

Brad Ack leads the WWF-US Oceans program, overseeing a talented team that works on accelerating the global transition to sustainable fisheries and protecting resilient marine ecosystems around the world.Throughout his career, Brad has worked on a wide range of conservation and sustainability initiatives across many geographies, biomes, and issues. In the State of Washington, he served two governors as Executive Director for Puget Sound clean up and recovery, leading a broad public-private partnership dedicated to restoring the Sound. Following that, he worked for the Marine Stewardship Council as Regional Director for the Americas, and then as Global Director of Strategic Initiatives. He started his career at WWF working on the integration of community-based development with WWF’s protected areas work in Latin America, and also spent a decade in Flagstaff AZ leading efforts for the Grand Canyon Trust towards sustainability of the Colorado Plateau ecoregion.Ack holds an MS in international development from Georgetown University in Washington, DC, and a
BA in political science and international studies from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. He now lives in Arlington, Virginia, with his wife, twin daughters, and two Boston terriers. Brad holds a Master of Sciences degree in Foreign Service and International Development from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. and a B.A. in Political Science from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.

 
Steven VanRoekel Steven VanRoekel is a maker, investor and philanthropist. In the Obama Administration, Steven was the former Chief Innovation Officer at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). At USAID, Steven helped coordinate the Administration’s response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, including coordinating efforts to clarify and systemize the collection of data from the field and led the maker efforts to redesign the Ebola protective suit. Prior to his role at USAID, Steven was the second, and longest-serving Chief Information Officer of the United States, appointed by President Obama in 2011. At the White House, Steven led the creation of the PortfolioStat agency review process, launched the “FedRAMP” cloud computing program, co-founded the United States Digital Service and the Presidential Innovation Fellows program, and led the U.S. Government’s Open Data and Mobile policies. Wired Magazine named Steven one of the world’s top 10 influencers of cloud computing. Concurrently, Steven spent six months as the acting Deputy Director for Management for the U.S. Before joining the White House, Mr. VanRoekel held two prior positions in the Obama Administration at USAID and the Federal Communications Commission. Prior to the Administration, Steven’s entire professional career was at Microsoft Corporation where he held many roles, including Speech and Strategy Assistant to Microsoft founder, Bill Gates.

Steven VanRoekel

Steven VanRoekel is a maker, investor and philanthropist. In the Obama Administration, Steven was the former Chief Innovation Officer at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). At USAID, Steven helped coordinate the Administration’s response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, including coordinating efforts to clarify and systemize the collection of data from the field and led the maker efforts to redesign the Ebola protective suit. Prior to his role at USAID, Steven was the second, and longest-serving Chief Information Officer of the United States, appointed by President Obama in 2011. At the White House, Steven led the creation of the PortfolioStat agency review process, launched the “FedRAMP” cloud computing program, co-founded the United States Digital Service and the Presidential Innovation Fellows program, and led the U.S. Government’s Open Data and Mobile policies. Wired Magazine named Steven one of the world’s top 10 influencers of cloud computing. Concurrently, Steven spent six months as the acting Deputy Director for Management for the U.S.
Before joining the White House, Mr. VanRoekel held two prior positions in the Obama Administration at USAID and the Federal Communications Commission. Prior to the Administration, Steven’s entire professional career was at Microsoft Corporation where he held many roles, including Speech and Strategy Assistant to Microsoft founder, Bill Gates.

Nancy Knowlton, PhD, Sant Chair for Marine Science, Smithsonian Museum of Natural History http://invertebrates.si.edu/knowlton.htm

Nancy Knowlton, PhD, Sant Chair for Marine Science, Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

http://invertebrates.si.edu/knowlton.htm

 
Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, Former President of Iceland and Chairman of Arctic Circle https://earthoptimism.si.edu/calendar/summit/speakers/olafur-ragnar-grimsson Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson was the President of Iceland for twenty years, 1996-2016; elected five times in nationwide elections. He now serves as the Chairman of Arctic Circle, which he founded three years ago with other Arctic partners. The Arctic Circle Assembly held in Iceland every October has become the largest annual international gathering on the Arctic, attended by 2000 participants from 50 countries: heads of states and governments, ministers, members of parliaments, officials, experts, scientists, entrepreneurs, business leaders, indigenous representatives, environmentalists, students, activists and others from the growing international community of partners and participants interested in the future of the Arctic. The Arctic Circle has also organized specialized Forums in other countries; so far, in Alaska, Singapore, Greenland and Quebec.  Prior to becoming President, Grímsson served as Minister of Finance, Member of Parliament, and was the first Professor of Political Science at the University of Iceland. In the 1980s and early 1990s, he was the President of Parliamentarians for Global Action, an international organization of legislators.  For decades, Grímsson has been an active participant in the global climate dialogue and during his Presidency initiated and promoted clean energy projects in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, the United States and the Americas; especially using Icelandic achievements and technologies as a model. Cooperation with Sinopec has led to the largest geothermal projects in the world, building clean energy urban heating systems in a multitude of Chinese cities. He has also worked closely with Abu Dhabi in its clean energy program and is the Chairman of the Jury of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, one of the most distinguished energy prizes in the world. Grímsson serves on the Advisory Board of Sustainable Energy for All, created by the United Nations and the World Bank.  In addition to devoting his post-presidential efforts to the three areas of climate, the Arctic and clean energy, Grímsson is also involved in international cooperation on the oceans and the evolution of sustainable use of marine resources.  He has received many international awards, including the Nehru Award for International Understanding, presented by the President of India; and has lectured at universities in many countries. 

Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, Former President of Iceland and Chairman of Arctic Circle

https://earthoptimism.si.edu/calendar/summit/speakers/olafur-ragnar-grimsson

Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson was the President of Iceland for twenty years, 1996-2016; elected five times in nationwide elections. He now serves as the Chairman of Arctic Circle, which he founded three years ago with other Arctic partners. The Arctic Circle Assembly held in Iceland every October has become the largest annual international gathering on the Arctic, attended by 2000 participants from 50 countries: heads of states and governments, ministers, members of parliaments, officials, experts, scientists, entrepreneurs, business leaders, indigenous representatives, environmentalists, students, activists and others from the growing international community of partners and participants interested in the future of the Arctic. The Arctic Circle has also organized specialized Forums in other countries; so far, in Alaska, Singapore, Greenland and Quebec. 

Prior to becoming President, Grímsson served as Minister of Finance, Member of Parliament, and was the first Professor of Political Science at the University of Iceland. In the 1980s and early 1990s, he was the President of Parliamentarians for Global Action, an international organization of legislators. 
For decades, Grímsson has been an active participant in the global climate dialogue and during his Presidency initiated and promoted clean energy projects in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, the United States and the Americas; especially using Icelandic achievements and technologies as a model. Cooperation with Sinopec has led to the largest geothermal projects in the world, building clean energy urban heating systems in a multitude of Chinese cities. He has also worked closely with Abu Dhabi in its clean energy program and is the Chairman of the Jury of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, one of the most distinguished energy prizes in the world. Grímsson serves on the Advisory Board of Sustainable Energy for All, created by the United Nations and the World Bank. 

In addition to devoting his post-presidential efforts to the three areas of climate, the Arctic and clean energy, Grímsson is also involved in international cooperation on the oceans and the evolution of sustainable use of marine resources. 
He has received many international awards, including the Nehru Award for International Understanding, presented by the President of India; and has lectured at universities in many countries.