President Tarja Halonen
Tarja Kaarina Halonen is a Finnish politician who served as the 11th president of Finland, and the first woman to hold the position, from 2000 to 2012.
During her presidency, Tarja Halonen served as co-chair of World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization, appointed by International Labour Organization ILO, from 2002 to 2004. From March 2009 until September 2014, she served as the Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders. In August 2010, Tarja Halonen was appointed co-chair of the UN Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Global Sustainability.
HRH Princess Esmeralda
Princess Esmeralda of Belgium is a journalist, author and activist.
An environmental and indigenous rights’ campaigner, she is the President of the Leopold III Fund for Nature Exploration and Conservation, founded in 1972 by her late father who was one the first European to visit the Xingu National Park in Brazil during the sixties and to spend months with indigenous communities. She is also the Chair of Friendship Belgium, an NGO working in Bangladesh with the most vulnerable and marginalised people through programs of education, health, women empowerment and climate adaptation.
Tammy Snyder Murphy became the first lady of New Jersey when her husband, Governor Phil Murphy, was sworn in as governor on January 16, 2018.
The first lady’s upbringing, career, and worldview have been consistently shaped and defined by family, education, service, and leadership. Mrs. Murphy has worked with nonprofit and other organizations focused on the environment, education, health care, youth and family services, as well as the arts and trans-Atlantic relations. She also has worked in finance both at home and in Europe, and she partnered with her husband in representing the United States during his appointment as U.S Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany, from 2009-2013.
Upon returning home, the first lady and Governor Murphy founded New Start New Jersey, an organization aimed at exploring ways to help grow the middle class and jumpstart the state’s economy.
Mrs. Murphy earned a B.A. degree in English and communications from the University of Virginia and currently sits on the university’s Board of Visitors. She also serves as secretary and is a charter member of The Climate Reality Action Fund.
Andrew Jack is global education editor for the Financial Times, writing on educational issues around the world and editorial lead for the free FT schools programme. He was previously head of curated content, deputy editor of the big read section, pharmaceuticals correspondent, and a foreign correspondent in France and Russia.
Johnny Dabrowski aims to ensure that climate education is part of the school curriculum not just in his country, but also in other European ones. He is a co-founder of the Climate Education Team of Fridays for Future (FFF).
Started in 2021, the Team presently comprises members from across Europe. Under his leadership, the Team has published Climate Education Demands and forwarded these to ministers of education in 15 European countries. Johnny has personally met the minister of education in Poland. He is a student representative in his High School.
Christina Kwauk was a fellow in the Center for Universal Education at Brookings. She's research director at Unbounded Associates and Head Climate Education at The Education Commission.
Andreas Schleicher is a German mathematician, statistician and researcher in the field of education who is currently the director for education and skills, and special adviser on education policy to the secretary-general, at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris.
Dr. Matt Winning
Dr Matt Winning is a London-based Scottish comedian and environmental researcher who performs live climate change comedy and author of the book HOT MESS: What on Earth can we do about Climate Change? available in all good bookstores.
Matt has a TEDx talk about the importance of using humour to discuss climate change, hosts the podcast ‘Operation Earth’ and co-hosted the BBC Radio 4 show Mark Watson and Matt Winning: Seriously, Though, The Planet. Matt has a PhD in climate change policy and is an active researcher at the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources on various environmental issues.
Juan Pablo Celis Garcia
Juan Pablo Celis Garcia is a youth policy and environmental specialist who currently serves as Youth Programme Coordinator of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). He has served as Spokesperson of Education USA, a program of the United States Department of State. Mr. Celis is a founding member of the Youth Representatives Steering Committee and Adviser to the Civil Society Unit of the UN Department of Global Communications. He is a former Communications Associate for the United Nations Association of New York (UNA-NY). Mr. Celis served as Co-Chair of the Youth Subcommittee for the 66th United Nations DPI/NGO Conference on Education for Global Citizenship in South Korea. Here, he chaired the Gyeongju Youth Declaration on Youth and Decision-making. He has consistently promoted the active participation of youth in every level of governmental decision-making, recognizing the value of young people in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
Dr. Matthew Aruch
Matthew Aruch is the Director of Global Education with EARTHDAY.ORG. A career educator, Matt has worked alongside communities, schools, universities, NGOs, and government agencies to develop, implement, and evaluate a comprehensive set of K-16 education activities in the United States and abroad. Before joining the Earth Day Organization, he was the Assistant Director of the College Park Scholars Science, Technology, and Society Program and Senior Lecturer in the A. James Clark Engineering School. Matt has worked with George Washington University, the Protected Forest Association (Brazil), The University of Cuenca (Ecuador), The InterAmerican Development Bank, Boston Public Schools Office of English Language Learners, and Alexandria City Public Schools, among others. Matt earned a PhD in International Education Policy from the University of Maryland College Park where he researched transnational, multi-sectoral research and education partnerships for sustainable development with the Mebêngôkre-Kayapó in the Brazilian Amazon. He earned master’s degrees in International Education Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Elementary Education from Mary Washington College (MWC) as well as a bachelor’s degree in Biology from MWC.
Esther Wojcicki "The Godmother of Silicon Valley" is a leading American educator, journalist and mother. She is the co-founder and Chief Learning Officer of Tract.
Esther is the mother of 3 very successful daughters: Susan (CEO of YouTue), Anne (founder 23andMe) and Janet Wojcicki (researcher). She's a leader in Blending Learning and the integration of technology into education, she is the founder of the Media Arts program at Palo Alto High School, where she built a journalism program from a small group of 20 students in 1984 to one of the largest in the nation including 600 students, five additional journalism teachers, and nine award-winning journalism publications. Wojcicki serves as Vice Chair of Creative Commons and has previously worked as a professional journalist for multiple publications and blogs regularly for The Huffington Post.
With two Honorary Doctorate Degrees - Palo Alto University (2013) and Rhode Island School of Design (2016). She was California Teacher of the Year in 2002; and a has been consultant for the U.S Department of Education, Hewlett Foundation, Carnegie Foundation for Advancement of Teaching, Google, Silicon Valley Education Foundation and Time Magazine Education.
Matthew Samuda is a Jamaican politician from the Labour Party. He is a member of the Senate of Jamaica and is Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation in the Cabinet of Jamaica.
Remy Zahiga is a 25 year-old climate activist and forest defender from Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) raising awareness about the protection of the Congo rainforest – the Earth’s second lungs – and the urgent need to respect Indigenous Peoples rights. He's passionate about youth and the planet.
Matt Larsen-Daw, WWF UK
Matt Larsen-Daw is Education Manager at WWF-UK and Chair of socio-educational charity HVP Nepal-UK. WWF-UK is part of the FutureProof Ed coalition, calling for commitment to support and equip schools to take climate action and embed nature education.
Richard Davis, NASA
Richard "Rick" Davis currently works at NASA Headquarters as the Assistant Director for Science and Exploration in the Science Mission Directorate (SMD). He's a pilot and former ISS CAPCOM
Dr. Janet Fike
Dr. Janet L. Fike is the Superintendent of the Morris-Union Jointure Commission (MUJC), a regional collaborative public school district formed by 30 member districts that provide services to students with significant disabilities. She is also the immediate Past President of NJASA. Dr. Fike has been a superintendent of the MUJC for 11 years and, prior to that, served as Assistant Superintendent of the MUJC. Major areas of responsibility include special education program development and implementation, offering professional development to all districts throughout New Jersey, and providing transportation services to hundreds of students. Dr. Fike is also an adjunct professor of school law.
Dr. Kelley Lê
Dr. Kelley Lê has been in the educational field for over a decade as a high school science educator, instructional coach, and educational leader. She is currently the executive director of the Environmental and Climate Change Literacy Projects (ECCLPs), director of the University of California Irvine Science Project, Friend of the Planet NCSE Award winner (2022), and author of, Teaching Climate Change for Grades 6-12: Empowering Science Teachers to Take on the Climate Crisis Through NGSS (2021). She also serves as a board member for Ten Strands, CAELI Professional Learning Hub member, CLEAN Accelerating Climate Capacity, Engagement, and Leadership Summit (ACCELS) Forum planning committee member, and a Climate Reality Corps Mentor.
Sophie is the founder and CEO of Kite Insights. Kite Insights is a research and communications agency focused on helping organisations deliver impact on the pressing social, economic and environmental issues of our time. Through research-based content, convenings and brave coalitions, Kite helps organisations shape the debate on issues that matter.
Sophie is also the Editorial Partner of the Women’s Forum for the Economy & Society and Content Partner for The New York Times Climate Solutions convenings.
David is part of the LEGO Build The Change team and is passionate about biodiversity and climate. In his spare time he is studying birds and working on sustainability at LEGO.
Maya is the Our Kids’ Climate Co-Director, where she works with parent-climate leaders from around the world to build global initiatives for clean air, renewable energy and climate justice. She is also the co-founder of Mothers Rise Up, a UK group that carries out cutting-edge creative campaigns to call out the role that the insurance industry plays in enabling dangerous fossil fuel projects.
Maya has over 15 years experience in strategy and coalition building. She was Oxfam’s Head of Humanitarian Policy and Campaigns. She has lived in Kenya and South Sudan and travelled across Africa and the Middle East, where she has seen first hand the impact of climate disasters and extreme weather.
Benjamin Van Bunderen Robberechts
Benjamin Van Bunderen Robberechts is a 15 year old children's rights and climate activist from Belgium. In 2021 he lost his good friend, Rosa, to floods caused by climate change. Since then Benjamin has started a campaign called #ClimateJusticeForRosa. He and Rosa’s many other friends hope to make policy makers aware of the human tragedy caused by climate change. Benjamin is also an ambassador for Stop Ecocide, he is a firm believer that mass destruction of ecosystems should be an international crime.
Bob Regan is the Senior Director of Education at Gates Ventures. He divides his time between building products, advising other education efforts and thinking about the future of education. His efforts include leading the Big History Project, the World History Project and the Climate Project. Bob began his career in the classroom as a teacher in Chicago and New York City schools. He earned a Master’s in Elementary Education from Columbia University Teachers College where he focused his research on performance assessment, and has previously held product leadership roles at Macromedia, Adobe Systems and Pearson Education.
Timothy J. (TJ) Creamer
Expedition 22/23 (December 21, 2009 through June 2, 2010). Creamer launched aboard the Soyuz TMA-17 crew capsule from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Two days later, he docked with the International Space Station and joined the Expedition 22 crew. For the next 161 days, Creamer lived and worked aboard the space station as a flight engineer and NASA science officer. Creamer also has the distinction of connecting the onboard network to the Internet, via Twitter, by sending the first live tweet from orbit. The Expedition 23 crew returned to a safe landing in central Kazakhstan on June 2, 2010. In completing this long duration mission, Creamer logged a total of 163 days in space.
Georgina writes children’s books about sustainability and regeneration – non-fiction and fiction books – using what she has learnt from spending the last 20 years working with large corporates, NGOs and consultancies on issues ranging from sustainable travel, diversity and inclusion, sustainable supply chains, foot-printing, circular economy, green production, sustainable design, to zero carbon and waste.
When Xuxo started his teaching his greatest challenge was to make surethat his future students were always happy with school. He realized that most students were unmotivated to learn, and his answer was magic. He started using Magic and Illusion in classes, for primary or secondary schools and in pPhysical Education, Language, Mathematics, and Science. Not only to motivate, but also as an excellent resource for explaining content, improving behaviours and qualifications, encouraging self-esteem or mediating conflicts. The academic results of the students improved, as they were more motivated to go to school, they were happy and demonstrated this with improved behaviour and results. His students, improved year after year. Learning magic and illusions helps his students improve their self esteem and learn how to speak in public and become good communicators. Xuxo has written a book ‘Educating with Magic’ about the educational use of magic and how it can be used for mediation, to promote creativity, to improve maths and communication skills. It was the best-selling educational book in Spain in 2013 and hundreds of teachers from all over the world now use his method. Hehas presented his approach on national television in Spain, and has been featured in local and national press. In 2010, for teaching magic to children in hospital with cancer, he received the Guinness World Record for the World’s largest magic lesson.
Ellen is the founder of WaterBear Network, the free streaming platform dedicated to the future of our planet. Prior to founding WaterBear, Ellen was the Owner and CEO of Off the Fence, a global nonfiction production and distribution company based in Amsterdam. Under her leadership Off the Fence acquired, produced, and co-produced over 6,000 hours of content and won hundreds of awards for productions including the feature documentary MY OCTOPUS TEACHER, a Netflix Original which won the Bafta and Oscar for Best Documentary in 2021.
Ellen is a seasoned Entrepreneur, Executive Producer, Impact Producer and Distributor and has produced over 500 hours herself to date. She is the Chairperson Emeritus of the Jackson Hole Film Festival Board and an avid supporter of conservation, land regeneration and biodiversity. She runs her own NGO dedicated to the mitigation of air pollution. Her experience in factual programming and feature documentaries is extensive in both production and distribution.
Ellen has been presented with numerous awards, including Wildscreen’s Christopher Parsons Outstanding Achievement Award 2018 and the CogX Global Goals Impact Award 2022. She has three children and a great passion for the outdoors. Ellen's board experience is extensive including almost 13 years on the Jackson Hole Film Festival board, 5 years on the Wildscreen board and various advisory functions.
Minister Katherine Müller-Marin
Katherine was representative of UNESCO to VietNam and became Minister of Education in Costa Rica in 2022.
Vladislav Kaim is a young Moldovan economist and climate action and sustainability advocate with vast experience at the UN level, as well as on multiple national and local platforms in Eastern European region. His main fields of advocacy have been green jobs for youth, just transition, green and sustainable economic growth and reforms to the multilateral climate finance agenda.
In July 2020, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres appointed Mr Kaim to be one of his seven Youth Advisors on Climate Change and oversee the implementation of his Climate Strategy. Vladislav is also the contact point on green jobs at YOUNGO, official youth constituency to the UNFCCC, and 2021 IMF Youth Fellow.
The word "Bhangra" can be literally translated to "intoxicated with joy" which is why it is performed in times of celebration. The dance is a type of folk dance, originating from the Punjab region of India and Pakistan. It can be described as a high-energy style of dance performed at weddings, parties, clubs, etc. Bhangra helps get everyone moving to ensure that they are all on their feet, dancing to the spirited beat of the music. So, now get excited for Penn State’s only premier bhangra team, Sher Bhangra. They aim to energize the crowd with their explosive dance moves. They provide students with the opportunity to learn Bhangra as well as foster personal growth in a fun, friendly community. They love performing and bringing excitement at competitions and events on campus such as Diwali, Holi, and THON, so get hyped and energized for their performance tonight!
Turra is a professor at the Oceanographic Institute of the University of São Paulo (IO-USP) and coordinator of the UNESCO Chair on Ocean Sustainability, based at the Oceanographic Institute and the Institute of Advanced Studies at the USP.
Turra is a biologist with a master's and PhD in Ecology from the State University of Campinas (Unicamp) and a 1B research productivity fellow from CNPq. He was awarded the Kirby Laing Fellowship at the School of Ocean Sciences, Bangor University, United Kingdom, and the Merit Medal of Tamandaré from the Brazilian Navy.
His work exercises the interdisciplinary and integrated research, focusing on themes such as marine biodiversity, governance, integrated management, marine conservation and environmental impact, climate change and marine pollution (marine litter).
Michael Dunlea teaches third grade in Tabernacle, New Jersey, and has been teaching for the last 17 years. Michael attained National Board Certification as an Early Childhood Generalist in 2015. He is currently pursuing his second master’s degree in teacher leadership at Mount Holyoke College. In 2018, he received the Presidential Award of Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching and is a 2020 NEA Global Learning Fellow. In 2012, he was recognized as New Jersey State Teacher of the Year Finalist. Michael lives with his wife and three children in southern New Jersey.
Swarali Parikh is a Washington State native and a Penn State fourth year student earning a Bachelor’s degree in Community Environment and Development. She is passionate and hopes to pursue a career in community education and corporate sustainability as it relates to climate action after graduation. She currently is a Special Projects intern through the Global Teach Ag Network making a repository of climate change education resources for agricultural educators. In addition to her internship, she is also secretary and dancer of an on-campus collegiate Indian folk-dance team called Sher Bhangra. Sher Bhangra will be performing at Climate Action Day 2022.
SENIOR DIRECTOR OF PARTNERSHIPS & COMMUNICATIONS, UN Foundation
Danielle Zapotoczny is Senior Director of Partnerships & Communications and a Strategic Advisor to the United Nations Creative Community Outreach Initiative. In these roles, she works with content creators, influencers, corporations and foundations to strategically leverage their platforms to create impact across the Sustainable Development Goals. She has also served as a Strategic Advisor to Lucasfilm on the Star Wars Force for Change social action campaign and to the UCLA Burkle Global Impact Initiative.
Jack is the Programme Manager for the World’s Largest Lesson team where he manages Generation Earthshot, in partnership with The Earthshot Prize and The Royal Foundation. Before joining Project Everyone Jack studied Politics and Philosophy and spent 7 years working on education projects in Bristol, Manchester and London – from national teacher training programmes to coaching football to 3 year olds! He is an ambassador for TeachSDGs and UNLEASH Innovation Labs, and a UNITE 2030 Youth Delegate.
Regina Cabrera Batista
Take Action Global Advisor, Youth Activist
Fridays for the Future, Mexico
Dr. Jennifer Williams
Host Climate Action Day and co-founder TAG
Host Climate Action Day and co-founder TAG
Rachael is also a firm believer in the power of education as a transformative tool. She created an innovative bilingual early childhood and primary programme under her brand, Fundaciones. This later grew to two locations offering day schools in Kingston and Montego Bay, a daycare facility in a call centre and a variety after schools programmes, services and activities for children up to the age of 18. Using these platforms, Rachael, began engaging children in Jamaica to the inevitable challenges that exist in today's global village and guiding them towards innovative solutions.
Host Climate Action Day and Fellow TAG
Dr. Riley Justis
Host Climate Action Day and COO TAG
Host Climate Action Day and fellow TAG
Host Climate Action Day and member TAG