Day 1 Sustainatopias (10)

2019 Keynote Speakers

Laughlin Artz

Laughlin Artz is a leader and innovator in the fields of cultural transformation and contextual activism. As executive director of 2020 or Bust, his mission is to empower humanity to end the climate crisis, to mobilize 500 million people in the next 2 years to get on track to having that happen. 




Thad Copeland

Thad Copeland is the Deputy Director of Sustainability for New York City Department of Education. Previously, Thad managed an environmental education program that worked with K-12 NYC students on recycling and zero waste programs. Thad holds a Master degree in Sustainable Development from SIT Graduate Institute in Brattleboro, Vermont and a Post Graduate Certificate in Sustainability Strategies from The New School in New York City. In Thad’s current position at DOE Office of Sustainability, a key focus has been on identifying and creating new methods of engagement to strengthen the role of the school-based Sustainability Coordinator. Thad is enthusiastic about creating a culture shift towards sustainability in NYC schools and the potential for NYC students and teachers to lead this change.

 Aniket Shah

Aniket Shah is the Head of Sustainable Investing at OppenheimerFunds, a leading global asset manager. In this role, Shah is responsible for working with OppenheimerFunds’ portfolio managers and investment product specialists to further integrate sustainable investing practices across all aspects of the firm’s business activities to better serve investors. Aniket Shah is currently pursuing his doctorate at Oxford University in Economic Geography, focusing on sustainable finance at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment.  His research topic is on the role of development banking, at various spatial-scales, for sustainable development.

2019 Presenters

Maggie Favretti

As an expert in educational frameworks and collaborations (k-16), Maggie uses design thinking/creative problem solving to empower students to thrive by enhancing their skills, deepening their knowledge, and strengthening their own “superpowers” to make their world more sustainable, equitable, resilient and happy.  After 34 years encouraging students to engage in the real world (City 2.0, Students For Refugees, SHS Sustainable Garden Project) Maggie is delighted to be listener, catalyst, bridge-builder, teacher among teachers, and innovator among innovators in the service of Puerto Rico and the world. www.designEd4resilience.org

Luz Guel

As the Project Coordinator for The Community Engagement Core (CEC) of the The Mount Sinai Transdiscliplinary Center on Early Environmental Exposures, my mission is to foster communication and collaboration among environmental health scientists and stakeholders (CBOs, clinicians, advocacy groups, policymakers) on the role of environmental exposures in children’s health, and strategies to build healthier environments, particularly in East Harlem and the South Bronx. We work together with diverse academic and community partners to translate research findings into evidence-based community engaged approaches that improve public health. The CEC ensures community concerns that affect the community’s health guide our Center’s environmental health research.  

Nassim Zerriffi

Nassim Zerriffi teaches history, current events and leads the activism project at Manhattan Country School. Nassim has 14 years experience leading students in designing and implementing activism campaigns that involve policy change, advocacy, and media creation in both public and private schools.  


Bethany Kogut

Bethany is a second year Master's Degree Candidate in the Environmental Conservation Education program at NYU and the Garden Educator for the Bees Alive! program through the Wallerstein Collaborative. Her background is in Elementary Education and her passion lies in developing awareness in young populations around food systems and sustainability. She has experience in education, organic agriculture, entrepreneurship, and tech and enjoys finding the intersection of all of these areas to design solutions to wicked problems. 

 Rose Guerrier

Rose is a science educator with the New York City Department of Education. This year she is excited to be working at Village Academy Middle School Located in Far Rockaway NY. She is a big believer in caring for the environment and educating students about their surroundings. She has been a teacher for approximately 15 years, and holds a dual degree in Special Education and General education from Touro College School of Education. 

Rebecca Light

Dr. Light is a professor of Early Childhood Education at NYU Steinhardt. Her specialities are integrated emergent curriculum and coaching pre-service teachers. Dr. Light has worked with pre-service and in-service teachers in a variety of NYC DOE settings, as well as Head Starts and private early childhood centers.