LAGI 2020 Fly Ranch
David de Rothschild
Explorer and environmentalist
David de Rothschild is an explorer environmentalist, eternal optimist. Driven by his immeasurable curiosity for the natural world, he has ventured to some of the most remote and fragile ecosystems on our planet in order to bring widespread attention and innovative solutions to urgent global environmental issues. With numerous adventures, several books, a TV series, alongside being recognized by UNEP as Climate hero and National Geographic as an Emerging Explorer, David is always debating, collaborating, and innovating solutions for a more sustainable planet and driving individuals and groups alike to unlock their human potential and dream big.
Head of Design, Arizona State University
Jason Schupbach is the director of The Design School at the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. He was previously the director of Design and Creative Placemaking programs for the National Endowment for the Arts, where he oversaw all design and creative placemaking grantmaking and partnerships, including Our Town and Design Art Works grants, the Mayor’s Institute on City Design, the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design, and the NEA’s Federal agency collaborations. He has written extensively on the role of arts and design in making better communities, and his writing has been featured as a Best Idea of the Day by the Aspen Institute.
Hardware Engineer, Google X; Wilderness skills expert
Matt is an Engineer, Designer, and Wilderness Educator. His technical expertise is in renewable energy and sustainable materials; he has designed + built products, equipment, and factories. A lifelong passion for nature connection led him to an immersive study of traditional skills including living a completely stone-age lifestyle in the Cascade mountains for a year. Matt has taught and facilitated groups of youth from elementary school through university age, including leading young men’s wilderness trips with W.I.L.D. He is currently working with Google X to develop new technologies that can combat climate change. Matt holds dual degrees from Brown University in Mechanical Engineering and Visual Arts.
Heather Gayle Holdridge, LEED Fellow, EIT,
Sustainability Director at Lake|Flato Architects
Heather Gayle Holdridge is the Sustainability Director at Lake|Flato Architects, a firm that has gained national recognition for architecture that successfully responds to its particular place while seamlessly integrating with the natural environment. Leveraging her background in mechanical engineering, Heather directs all Lake|Flato project teams in establishing achievable sustainability goals. She devises strategies and establishes methods and systems to realize those goals under programs such as LEED, the 2030 Challenge, and the Living Building Challenge. Heather works closely with design teams to evaluate appropriate passive systems and performs energy modeling throughout the design process. Heather’s projects have included the Engineered BioSystems Building at Georgia Tech University, the Austin Central Library, and the LIVESTRONG Foundation facility. She received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Business Administration from The University of Texas at San Antonio.
Executive Director, Western States Arts Federation
A film, arts and technology leader in the nonprofit and for-profit sectors, Christian has held leadership positions at the Sundance Film Festival, the Hawaii International Film Festival and the American Film Institute. For five years beginning in 2008, Christian ran business development at Withoutabox after it was acquired by IMDb, a division of Amazon. In 2013, Christian became Executive Director of ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He also served as a council member on the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. In January of 2019, Christian joined the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) as its Executive Director. Christian is passionate about bringing opportunities to artists, inspiring teams to do their best work and creating joyful spaces where everybody belongs.
Assistant County Manager, Washoe County
Dave Solaro is an Assistant County Manager for Washoe County focusing on community services. During his 18 years at Washoe County Dave has held various leadership roles, including Director of Community Services, Division Director of Operations, Acting Public Works Director and Assistant Public Works Director-Facilities. Solaro holds a Bachelor of Architecture, Bachelor of Science, and a Professional Construction Management degree and is a Licensed Architect and a Professional Civil Engineer in the state of Nevada. In addition to his leadership roles at Washoe County, Dave also serves as President of Galena Volunteer Fireman, Inc., a private 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization that serves the community through funding opportunities for those wishing to enter the field of firefighting or emergency medical services.
Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Michelle is responsible for bringing the Foundation's mission to life in NYC and North America. She helps inform and develop partnerships, programs, and policies to demonstrate the circular economy in the urban context. She’s currently focused on identifying and activating the opportunities with the greatest potential to transform NYC into a circular city. Prior to joining the Foundation, Michelle worked at the global design and innovation company IDEO. Originally from California and currently living in NYC, Michelle loves to travel and explore the world (and the world of possibilities!) She’s endlessly curious and always up for an adventure.
Asst VP of Academic and Faculty Affairs,
Desert Research Institute
Dr. Schumer’s primary research interests involve stochastic models for environmental processes. She uses mathematical models to enhance understanding of subsurface transport in porous and fractured media, surface-subsurface exchange, sediment transport, as well as geomorphic processes and their signature in the geologic record. Using her background in applied mathematics, she also has projects that employ optimization techniques, time series analysis, extreme value theory, and probability and statistics.
Assistant Principal and Teacher, Gerlach K–12
Stacey Black has lived in Gerlach for eleven years and is the assistant principal of the Gerlach K-12 School where she teachers, plans experienced based learning opportunities, and oversees school operations. The first time she went to Burning Man was in 2001 and has been back every year since. She’s a Black Rock Ranger and contributes time year-round to Ranger leadership. Finally, she is the proud mama of two young boys. She and her husband enjoy seeing their burgeoning connection to the Black Rock Desert. Stacey loves the desert and cares deeply about the local community of Gerlach, Nevada.
Founding Board Member, Burning Man Project
Will Roger discovered Burning Man in 1994, through his life partner Crimson Rose. Together and with several others, they co-founded Black Rock City, LLC, which has overseen the Burning Man event for nearly twenty years. Will founded and managed the Black Rock City Department of Public Works — a team of several hundred people responsible for the pre-event and post-event construction logistics and production. He is a founding board member of Burning Man Project, and is the Vice-President of Friends of the Black Rock/High Rock. Will is heavily involved in conservation efforts of the Black Rock Desert, which is the United State’s largest National Conservation Area, and which is home to the Burning Man event. He served as Chairman of the Sierra Front – North Western Great Basin – Resource Advisory Council (RAC), and is currently a member of the RAC NCA Subgroup. Will is also an accomplished photographer, and worked nearly 20 years at the Rochester Institute of Technology as a photo chemist, administrator, associate professor, and Assistant Director.
Founder, Moving Windmills
William Kamkwamba was born in Dowa, Malawi, and grew up on his family farm in Masitala Village, Wimbe. Due to severe famine in 2001, his family lacked the funds to pay the $80 in annual school fees and William was forced to drop out of school a few months into his freshman year. For five years he was unable to go to school. Starting at 14, rather than accept his fate, William started borrowing books from a small community lending library, including an 8th grade American textbook, Using Energy, which depicted wind turbines on its cover. He decided to build a windmill to power his family’s home and obviate the need for kerosene, which provided only smoky, flickering, distant and expensive light after dark. William built his first 5-meter windmill out of a broken bicycle, tractor fan blade, old shock absorber, and blue gum trees. After hooking the windmill to a car battery for storage, William was able to power four light bulbs and charge neighbors’ mobile phones. William recreated this success with projects to provide malaria prevention, solar power and lighting, water wells with a solar powered pumps for clean water, a drip irrigation system. William graduated from Dartmouth College in 2014 and started his tenure at Ideo.org as a Global Fellow. William's time at Ideo focused on Human Centered Design and sent him around the world working on projects ranging from sanitation in India to gender-based violence prevention in Kenya. He is now working with WiderNet to develop appropriate technology curriculum that will allow people to bridge the gap between "knowing" and "doing."
Assistant County Manager, Washoe County
Kate Thomas is the Assistant County Manager for Washoe County. Prior to that, Kate served as Assistant City Manager. She began her 20+ year career in government overseeing environmental programs for the City of Thousand Oaks in Ventura County, California. Her employment with a Public Works Department is where she fell in love with local government work and contributing to the betterment of her community. Previously Kate has served as the Deputy Secretary of State for Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget for Reno. Kate has a Bachelor of Science degree in Resource Development/Environmental Studies from Michigan State University and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Phoenix. Kate has served as a board member for the Sierra Arts Foundation and Board President of Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful, a private 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a cleaner, more beautiful region through education and active community involvement.
Zero Hour Founder, Co-Executive Director, & Art Director
Nadia Nazar is a 17 year old artist and youth climate activist. She is a Founder, Co-Executive Director, and Art Director of the international youth led climate organization, Zero Hour. She uses art as a tool to bring awareness on the climate crisis and other environmental issues. She has been an activist since she was 12 years old. Nadia is a Girl Scout Ambassador. Nadia has taken her environmental efforts to school and her local Indian community in Baltimore. She spoke at the 2018 International Day of the Girl summit at the United Nations Headquarters about the impact of the climate crisis on girls. She also testified at the House Natural Resources’ hearing on climate change urging elected officials to act on climate. She was also one of the lead organizers for the DC Climate Strike on March 15th and September 20th.
CEO, Nevada Museum of Art; Burning Man Board Member
Mr. Walker joined the Nevada Museum of Art as executive director and CEO in 2007. In addition to establishing a vision and strategic plan for the museum, he launched the Museum’s internationally-recognized Center for Art + Environment; increased the operating budget, permanent collections, and endowment; and has renovated and expanded the current Museum facility. Previously, he served 11 years as the Dean of Public Programs at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, where he created the School of Public Programs and provided the leadership for a new 100,000 square-foot South Campus designed by Daly Genik Architects. During this time, he co-founded The Design High School, a public charter school that employed design-based learning across the curriculum. He also served as director and founding partner of the Walker and Walker Gallery in Santa Monica, and worked five years as an associate with McBain, Rose Partners, an investment banking firm in Los Angeles that specialized in leveraged buyouts. He received a Bachelor’s Degree from Humboldt State University and did his graduate work at the Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design.
Founding Board Member, Burning Man Project
As a co-founder of Burning Man, the Black Rock Arts Foundation and Burning Man Project, Crimson Rose’s life passion and work have focused on the arts and artistic expression. She began participating in the Burning Man event in 1991, and developed the organization’s Art Department, including the infrastructure, financial and other support services that make possible the large-scale participatory art works that Burning Man is renowned for. With Crimson’s guidance, Burning Man serves as an inspirational limitless canvas, the works of which now find public placement in cities around the world and serve as catalytic sparks for community collaboration.
Artist and Founder of Studio Victor Pérez-Rul;
LAGI Board Member
Víctor Pérez-Rul is a multidisciplinary artist whose ongoing artistic research about energy and life merges futurism, natural sciences, cosmology, and engineering with a strong interest in collaborating with industries, institutions, cities, and landscapes. His solar sculptures, experimental collaborative projects, and large-scale installations propose and explore new ways of understanding and perceiving the universe, energy, and the living.
Victor's work has been showcased at exhibitions in the Netherlands, Germany, South Korea, Italy, the United States, and Mexico. Victor’s work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts in the United States (NEA) and the National Fund for Arts and Culture (FONCA) in Mexico. Victor’s quest is a neo-futurist approach to the problem of understanding the multidisciplinary crossing between energy and art, urbanism, architecture, and the reconception of our role in the planet.
Writer, entrepreneur, speaker, and performing storyteller
Yodassa Williams is a powerful conjurer of black girl magic (70% Jedi, 30% Sith). A Jamaican American writer, entrepreneur, speaker, and award winning performing storyteller, Yodassa (Yoda) has performed at Beast Crawl, Lit Quake festival, The Black Woman is God Exhibit, The Moth SF, Empowering Women of Color, Burning Man Center Camp and AWP conferences. An alumna of the VONA/Voices Travel Writing program and creator of the podcast “The Black Girl Magic Files,” Yodassa is publishing her debut novel, The Goddess Twins, in 2020.
Yodassa holds a Master’s degree in Fashion Business and runs a wardrobe styling firm in the Bay Area. In 2019, she crafted and project managed ‘Writers Emerging', a wilderness writing retreat for women of color and non-binary people of color that was hosted at Fly Ranch. She has spoken on panels about inclusivity at Burning Man and is writing a memoir of her experiences as a queer black femme burner. Yodassa grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio but currently resides in the Bay Area.
Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Darien Sturges has advised governments on clean energy and infrastructure projects in multiple continents, including Africa, India, Latin America and the Caribbean. He currently leads strategic partnerships for the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, and previously worked for the World Bank and the Clinton Foundation. He has undergraduate degrees in economics and architecture, and a masters degree in international affairs. He is passionate about the environment and big systems change. Darien currently lives with his two year old son in San Francisco, where he runs, swims and semi-regularly attends Burning Man.