Products’ origins, quality, and environmental and social impact are increasingly important to many consumers. Such consumers are demanding greater transparency about a product’s provenance in exchange for their business – and companies are responding. Today’s must-have accessories for a luxury good, for example? Blockchain technology to ensure the product’s authenticity, and slimmed-down, carbon-neutral packaging.
NICOLE BROWNING, Sr. Marketing Program Manager of “For All” Initiatives REI Co-Op, (Pronouns: she/her/hers) works at the intersection of social impact and storytelling across technology, consulting, education, and retail. In her current role as Sr. Program Manager, For All Marketing at REI, Nicole aligns marketing, communication and impact strategies to help the nation’s largest consumer co-op reach new audiences and take action on the belief that a life outdoors is a life well lived, for all. Her accountabilities include high profile bodies of work like Force of Nature, REI’s effort to actualize the outdoors as the largest level playing field on earth through a holistic approach to advancing gender equity, as well as guiding internal efforts to ensure REI’s For All commitments are integrated across the entire business, from policies to practices and culture.
Outside of the office, Nicole has served as a board member for Seattle-based Pride Foundation since 2012. She recently completed a two-year term as Board President, during which she led efforts to center racial equity in the programs, operations, and brand identity of the country’s largest LGBTQ community foundation; and to acquire a $2.3M LGBTQ foundation that expanded Pride’s operations in Oregon and southwest Washington. She has also served on the boards for Camp Ten Trees, Out in Front, and the Corporate Volunteer Council of Puget Sound.
DR. LEONARDO BONANNI is the founder and CEO of Sourcemap, the supply chain transparency platform. Sourcemap helps manufacturers and brands trace products from raw materials to end consumers, and in the process save money, reduce risk, and improve social and environmental compliance. Leo has been named among the 'Most Influential People in Business Ethics' by Ethisphere, and among 'America's Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs' by Bloomberg Businessweek. He is a supply chain transparency advocate, a designer and engineer. He developed Sourcemap as part of his PhD at the MIT Media Lab in 2006. He also teaches at NYU, is a visiting researcher at MIT. For more information visit www.sourcemap.com
SARAH NAGLE PARKER, Director of Research & Insights for VF Corporation leads the consumer research practice for VF’s Global Innovation Network and foresight and trend for VF’s Corporate Strategy team. Sarah has spent countless hours in homes, in stores, at skateparks, in surgical suites, and in the backcountry with users learning about their values, needs, and desires. She has over 13 years of research experience helping brands identify actionable insights through user understanding to develop strategies for product design, developing marketing stories and building brands.
Before VF, Sarah built and led the Design Research & Trend Practice at REI, was a manager of Trend and Foresight on Samsung’s Product Innovation Team and was Design Researcher with Smart Design in New York and San Francisco collaborating with a wide variety of global clients.
SASHA CALDER is the Director of Sustainability at Beautycounter, the leader in the safer skin care and cleaner cosmetics category. The Santa Monica, CA-based brand drives a national movement for improved transparency and accountability in the beauty industry, including advocacy to update federal regulations that have stood largely unchanged since 1938. The company’s mission is “to get safer products into the hands of everyone.” In this role, Sasha is responsible for driving and optimizing the organization’s sustainability strategy and growth. As an impact strategist, Sasha has worked across industries to leverage brands and high-growth startups environmental, social, and economic bottom line, to bring about long-term change through sustainable development, responsible management, and strategic business performance. She holds a M.A. in Responsible Management and Sustainable Economic Development from the United Nations Mandated University for Peace and a B.A. in Anthropology with a concentration in Finance from the University of California, Santa Cruz. In 2016, Sasha was awarded GreenBiz’s 30 Under 30 distinction.
BETHANY PATTEN is Lecturer & Senior Associate Director of the Sustainability Initiative at the MIT Sloan School of Management. As an experienced operational leader, Bethany mentors student teams as they tackle real-world problems with companies and organizations. She teaches course sessions focused on problem formulation, continuous improvement, and change management for sustainability. She is responsible for the growth and quality of MIT Sloan’s Sustainability Certificate and other programming for students pursuing careers of environmental and social impact. Bethany has been an active contributor across MIT, where she has directed the MIT Sustainability Summit and led several projects on campus aimed at reducing waste.
Outside of MIT, Bethany serves as President of the Bay Village Neighborhood association, as a member of the Boston Chamber of Commerce Alumni Advisory Group, and as Board Member and Treasurer of the Environmental League of Massachusetts. Prior to MIT, Bethany worked for more than a decade in operations in the book publishing industry.
Bethany holds an EMBA from MIT Sloan School of Management, and a BA from Boston College.