Upcoming Seminars

Past Seminars & Webinars

Renewable Energy Access in Haiti

Sandra Kwak (C’04), 10Power CEO, Founder

Ms. Sandra Kwak is CEO and Founder of 10Power, a certified Benefit Corporation providing commercial-grade renewable energy internationally to communities that lack access to electricity. In Haiti, 10Power has developed and financed solar projects on water purification centers, health organizations and major international organizations. She is also a board member at the Foundation for Climate Restoration, working on solutions to bring the concentration of carbon in the atmosphere back down to 300 parts per million by 2050. Previously, Sandra worked with AutoGrid using big data from smart meters to save energy, scaling the company from prototype, through raising $14M, to a global brand. At Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) Utility Sandra helped implement the ClimateSmart program. She has a Sustainable MBA from Presidio Graduate School, has taught “Race, Activism and Climate Justice” at SFSU and guest lectures at CCA and Stanford. Ms. Kwak sees renewable energy as the key to providing clean water, gender empowerment and access to regenerative technology – a concept explored in her TEDx talk “Fourth World Nation Building”

Documenting the multi-generational saga of the climate crisis

John D. Sutter (C’05), Documentary Filmmaker, Geographic Explorer and CNN climate analyst

From Mr. Sutter’s website: John D. Sutter is a National Geographic Explorer and CNN climate analyst. His writing, journalism and documentary work have won the prestigious Livingston Award, the IRE Award, the Edward R. Murrow Award, the Peabody Award and have received two EMMY nominations — one for new approaches to documentary film and the other for environmental reporting. At CNN, where Sutter was a senior investigative reporter, producer and columnist for a decade, he created and directed several award-winning projects, including “Two Degrees,” “Vanishing” and “Change the List.” He is a former Knight Visiting Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, a former summer fellow at UNIONDOCS and is a visiting instructor at The Poynter Institute for media studies. With support from the National Geographic Society and UNIONDOCS, he is directing “BASELINE,” a pioneering documentary series that aims to tell the story of the climate crisis beyond a lifetime.

Get to know John Sutter’s work through the following online resources: Baseline Film Series Website

Urban Agriculture, Sustainable Development and Social Equity

K. Rashid Nuri, Founder, The Nuri Group

The Nuri Group continues Rashid Nuri’s 50-year career, rooted in building communities on the foundation of agriculture. Rashid’s experience in agriculture and organizational development has prepared him to share those skills with others who promote the vision of strong communities, with equitable access to the tools for prosperity. He is a pioneer in the U.S. New Food Movement, helping to build communities that have become more self-sufficient through natural urban agriculture.

The focus of The Nuri Group is to advocate broadly for urban agriculture at the local, regional, and national levels. In addition to his core constituency of urban farmers and urban farming organizations, Rashid works with educators, legislators, urban planners and advocates for social justice, to provide concepts, tools and training for greater impact. The mission of The Nuri Group is to solidify the position of urban agriculture as an economic engine and a tool for building powerful communities.

The built environment of the future will incorporate renewable power on every structure that can support it. Here’s to the builders.

Mr. Michael Chanin, CEO, Cherry Street Energy

Michael Chanin is the founder and CEO of Cherry Street Energy, the largest non-utility renewable energy provider in Georgia. Michael founded the business informed by his background in structured financial products and growth oriented businesses. He started his career in Goldman Sachs’ Special Situations Group, ran finance and operations for a San Francisco-based technology company, and has invested in renewable energy markets since 2013. He is a graduate of the University of Cambridge, where he received a MPhil in development studies, and Northwestern University, where he received a BA in American studies and history.

Emory University’s 15,000-plus solar panels show commitment to net zero goals – Saporta Report

Transformative solar power agreement will help Emory reduce greenhouse gas emissions – Emory News

Exploring Soil-Climate-Health-Policy Nexus through Sustainability Lens

Dr. Debjani Sihi

Debjani Sihi is a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the Environmental Sciences Division and the Climate Change Science Institute. She is interested in evaluating the dynamics of soil organic matter decomposition and greenhouse gas emission along aerobic to anaerobic gradients in systems ranging from the tropics and subtropics (El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico, Florida Everglades) to temperate and boreal transition forests (Howland Forest and Harvard Forest in NE USA). 

Her current research at ORNL aims to develop a genome-informed geochemical model framework for predicting greenhouse emission from tropical soils and wetlands.