The YEARS Project would not be possible without help from these supporters.
Anita Bekenstein manages a private family fund which supports non-profits focused primarily on health, education, the environment and the arts. She currently serves as a trustee on several non-profit boards including Upstream USA, Natural Resources Defense Council, Boston Medical Center, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston, Teach for America MA and Partners in Health. She is an overseer at the New England Aquarium and is a member of the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers Visiting Committee at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. After receiving her Master’s degree from Tufts Boston School of Occupational Therapy, she worked at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital where she specialized in neurology and pediatrics. She and her husband Josh live near Boston where they enjoy spending time with their five children, two horses, three dogs, a dozen chickens and one cat.
Seattle Foundation ignites powerful, rewarding philanthropy to make Greater Seattle a stronger, more vibrant community for all. Focused on creating equity and opportunity, our goal as a community foundation is to simplify giving and strengthen the impact of philanthropy for the more than 1,200 individuals, families, businesses and nonprofits we serve. We provide deep community insights, powerful civic leadership, effective philanthropic advising and judicious stewardship of assets in support of our mission. In addition, Seattle Foundation annually presents GiveBIG, a 24-hour online giving event to raise funds for area nonprofit organizations. Learn more at:
The Kongsgaard-Goldman Foundation is a small, private foundation formed in 1988. The Foundation provides support to nonprofit organizations in the Pacific Northwest within the program areas of Puget Sound restoration and protection, forest protection in Washington and Oregon, and climate change.
Wallace Global Fund
Tides is a philanthropic partner and nonprofit accelerator dedicated to building a world of shared prosperity and social justice. Tides works at the nexus of funders, changemakers, and policy, with extensive impact solutions including philanthropic giving and grantmaking, impact investing, fiscal sponsorship for social ventures, collaborative workspaces, and policy initiatives. Their extensive tools and know-how give their partners the freedom to hit the ground running and drive change faster than they can on their own.
George Soros is the founder and chairman of Open Society—a network of foundations, partners, and projects in more than 100 countries. His commitment to the idea of open society—where rights are respected, government is accountable, and no one has the monopoly on the truth—makes the Open Society Foundations unlike any other private philanthropic effort in history.
Soros began his philanthropy in 1979, giving scholarships to black South Africans under apartheid. In the 1980s, he helped undermine Communism in the Eastern Bloc by providing Xerox machines to copy banned texts, and supporting cultural exchanges with the West.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall, he created Central European University to promote critical thinking. He expanded his philanthropy to the United States, Africa, and Asia, and his Open Society Foundations have supported paralegals and lawyers to represent thousands of individuals who were unlawfully being held, sometimes for years and without any legal representation.
He underwrote the largest and most concerted effort in history to bring the Roma people of Europe into the mainstream. The Foundations have provided school and university fees for thousands of promising students, including young Roma, refugees from armed conflicts, and young people from other marginalized groups.
George Soros helped establish an international system to bring transparency and accountability to the natural resource extraction industries, whose practice of making secret payoffs to local tyrants has for decades fueled some of the world’s worst political unrest and most heinous violence. He has supported independent organizations such as Global Witness, the International Crisis Group, the European Council on Foreign Relations, and the Institute for New Economic Thinking.
“My success in the financial markets has given me a greater degree of independence than most other people,” Soros once wrote. “This allows me to take a stand on controversial issues: In fact, it obliges me to do so because others cannot.”
Rob is an experienced, versatile, global professional occupying a unique niche in the Financial Technology space. He has a demonstrated track record of creating and managing diverse teams of varying sizes.
He is currently the CEO and founder of Applied Financial Technology Ltd. The company, based in
London, is a proprietary trading firm, aiming to redefine the concept of risk and risk management in financial markets through the innovative use of technology.
Prior to his current role, he led GETCO LLC’s Asia‐Pacific business, entering into all major markets in the region. These include Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea, Australia, India, and Malaysia. He represented the firm to regulators, exchanges, clearing firms, and other stakeholders. He served as Chairman of the Board for GETCO Asia (Singapore), GETCO Hong Kong, and GETCO Australia.
Before his time in Singapore, Rob was the CTO for GETCO LLC. There he led the development of a world‐class, multi‐currency, multi‐asset class, globally distributed trading platform. He participated in all day‐to‐day and strategic management of the company as part of the four person executive committee.
Rob holds a Master of Science in Finance from Suffolk University, Boston, Massachusetts and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Systems Engineering from University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts.
Michelle Smith is an environmentalist. She has five children and sees the world’s issues from a mother’s public-health perspective. Her key motivation is to maintain or improve the present condition of the Earth so that every living thing has abundant clean water, uncontaminated soil, and natural habitat to continue healthfully existing.
Michelle is an American citizen. In 2007 she moved to Singapore, where she volunteered as a docent and docent-trainer for the Asian Civilisations Museum. As part of her work for the museum, Michelle visited many indigenous tribes in Southeast Asia. There she was introduced to the work that World Wildlife Fund, Nature Conservancy, and Conservation International were doing to preserve our oceans and the world’s remaining primary forests. From witnessing these things first-hand, she became an active supporter for protecting our oceans and our forests.
In 2012 Michelle relocated to England where her environmental focus broadened to include the need to address climate change immediately. She encourages positive US policy decisions through support of the Sierra Club. She hopes to educate as many people as possible about the reality of climate change through support of The Years of Living Dangerously project.
Michelle is an advocate for socially responsible investing. She believes investors have the ability to influence companies by encouraging a robust sustainable corporate agenda.
Michelle is the President of the English Experience division of the American Women of Surrey, UK. She sits on the Parents Council for the Northfield Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts, US.
Michelle holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts and a Juris Doctor from Suffolk University Law School.
Founded in 1998 by Executive Producer Jacqueline Kelman Bisbee and renowned filmmaker/cinematographer Lance Acord, Bicoastal/London-based Park Pictures has an auspicious track record of discovering and mentoring new filmmaking talent and infusing all projects with big screen production values. Park Pictures has forged strong partnerships with agencies and clients by engaging all members of its team in creative problem solving.
Wendy Kelman Neu is Chief Executive Officer of Hugo Neu Corporation, a privately owned company that builds, operates and invests in innovative real estate, recycling, energy, and other cleantech ventures, and CEO of Hugo Neu Recycling, a company that specializes in the recovery, management, refurbishment and environmentally responsible recycling of used computers, cell phones and other electronic products. Wendy is also a recognized environmental, animal and social justice activist. Wendy has long been a leader in the recycling business and has focused on building businesses that are both environmentally and fiscally sound. Wendy began her career as a social worker for Trenton State Prison and Yardville Correctional Facility, where she counseled inmates and developed inmate work programs. Earlier in her career with Hugo Neu Corporation, she helped lead the team that returned curbside recycling of metal, glass and plastic to the City of New York. Wendy is a Trustee of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), East Coast Co-chair of E-2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs), and a Director of The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law. She has been honored by the New York League of Conservation Voters (NYLCV), NY/NJ Baykeeper, Edison Wetlands Association, PETA, BARD College Prison Initiative, and Getting Out and Staying Out (GOSO).
Keith Campbell Foundation for the Environment
The Campbell Foundation was established in 1998 to improve the conditions of America’s largest and most ecologically diverse and productive estuary systems: the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays. In 2003, Keith expanded the geographic focus of The Campbell Foundation to include Northern California and the San Francisco Bay watershed under the leadership of his daughter and the Foundation’s President, Samantha Campbell.
Convinced of the lifestyle benefits offered by healthy Bays, Keith has focused the Campbell Foundation on engaging others in partnership activities to protect living resources and their habitats. Deeply concerned that the Bays are on the brink of irrevocable decline, Keith is determined to convince citizens and policymakers that business cannot continue as usual. Indeed, all parties must take scientifically-based and strategically focused action to address the most critical problems facing these fragile resources.
Andrew Gunther is Executive Director of the Center for Ecosystem Management and Restoration in Oakland, CA. He has published research in the field of ecotoxicology and has extensive experience in applying science to the development of air, water, and endangered species policy. Dr. Gunther served as the assistant chief scientist for the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Restoration Program from 1991 to 2002, and is currently the executive coordinator of the Bay Area Ecosystems Climate Change Consortium. He speaks frequently to a wide variety of public audiences about climate science, and recently presented about this work to scientists at the 2015 annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union.
Global Environmental Facility
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) was established on the eve of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, to help tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems. Since then, the GEF has provided $14.5 billion in grants and mobilized $75.4 billion in additional financing for almost 4,000 projects. The GEF has become an international partnership of 183 countries, international institutions, civil society organizations, and private sector to address global environmental issues.
The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For more than 75 years it has worked with courageous people on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
Raymond T. Dalio, Chief Cook and Bottle Washer, Bridgewater Associates
Ray Dalio is the Founder, CEO and Chief Investment Officer of Bridgewater Associates, which he started in 1975. It is now the largest hedge fund in the world and was ranked by Fortune as the fifth most important investment companies in the U.S. As a result of his impact on the investment industry and his influence on global policy makers Time Magazine named Ray one of the 100 most influential people in the world and Ray has been called the “Steve Jobs of Investing”.
Ray’s greatest philanthropic passion is ocean exploration. He is on a mission to support the oceans and bring attention to them through the work of Alucia Productions, a media company that he and Mark Dalio are creating, so that the world realizes that ocean exploration is more exciting and more important than space exploration.
Mark Dalio is the Founder and Creative Director of Alucia Productions, a production company with the mission to create world-class media that educates and inspires people to connect to the oceans.
His vision for this company is to use vivid cinematography and digital media to tell the compelling stories of scientific discoveries and exploration on the vessel, Alucia, as it moves around the world. His inspiration for this vision began in 2012, when Alucia documented the first ever footage of the Giant Squid. The images of this significant ocean discovery captured the attention of audiences around the world, which Mark felt fully demonstrated the ship’s unique power to capture ground breaking ocean media. Since founding Alucia Productions, Mark has featured the work of Alucia in the PBS’ Nova Special Creatures of Light, David Attenborough’s show Great Barrier Reef and BBC’s landmark series Oceans.
As President of the Gerald and Janet Carrus Foundation Janet Carrus focuses on the global need of education and empowering indigenous peoples, cultivating an attitude of equality towards people with disabilities and supporting projects working towards a social and global engagement in altering the impact of climate change on the planet.
Janet Carrus is an entrepreneur and producer with interest and projects that span the globe, including a personal passion for Ballroom and Latin dance. Her belief that dance is a common denominator can be used in connecting people, regardless of age, gender or culture. It is the art that can encourage human expression, regardless of limitation. She has used her personal journey and experience of dance to inspire and Produce the feature film, Musical Chairs. The film has been influential in bringing awareness to issues of disability, gender and culture and promoting community programs teaching the art of wheelchair dance to both able and disables dances.
As in all the projects and interests of the Carrus Foundation, whether local, national or global, the emphasis in on inclusion and promoting a healthier society.
Linda Cabot is a visual artist and film maker. Linda also founded Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Scholarship Programs to inspire and support the next generation of ocean caretakers. She believes in the power of art, prose and film to raise awareness about ocean and environmental conservation She serves on the Board of Women Working for Oceans (W2O) and is a trustee of the New England Aquarium. Linda is also devoted to educational reform and values quality education for all children. She serves on the boards of the Neighborhood House Charter School and Horizons, a summer enrichment program for underserved youth. She is co-chair of the education cornerstone committee and an overseer at the Isabella Stuart Gardener Museum.
Jackie Kelman Bisbee is an Executive Producer and Co-Founder of Oscar-and-Emmy winning production company Park Pictures, with offices in New York, Los Angeles and London.
In 1998, Jackie teamed with director-cinematographer Lance Acord to form Park Pictures. Together Jackie and Lance created a company known for their top tier talent and expert productions. Some of Park’s most recent awards include the 2014 Emmy Award for Apple’s “Misunderstood,” a directing Cannes Gold Lion in 2014 for P&G’s “Pick Them Back Up,” and the 2015 Grand Prix for Geico “Unskippable.”
After their short film, The New Tenants, won the 2010 Academy Award, Park launched the Park Pictures’ feature division. Since its inception in 2012 Park Features has produced five successful feature films, Robot and Frank (2013),God’s Pocket (2014), Infinitely Polar Bear (2015), Cop Car (2015), and Other People (2016), all of which premiered and sold at the Sundance Film Festival.
A consummate New Yorker, Jackie resides in Chelsea with her husband, two children, three rescue dogs, and one feral cat.
Wendy Abrams is an environmental activist and founder of Cool Globes, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness of climate change. Designed to utilize the venues of public art and education, the inaugural “Cool Globes: Hot Ideas for a Cooler Planet” exhibition premiered in Chicago in 2007 with more than 3 million visitors. The exhibit has since traveled to four continents and has been translated into nine languages. Cool Globes launched the KNOW TOMORROW campaign in 2015, amplifying the voices of Millennials speaking out on climate change on campuses across the country.
Wendy helped to establish the Abrams Environmental Litigation Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School and the Abrams Environmental Research Fellows at the University of Southern California. She serves on the board of the Center for American Progress c4, the Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund, and is a Trustee for Waterkeeper Alliance. She also serves on the board of trustees for WTTW, Chicago’s PBS affiliate, the RFK Human Rights Leadership Council and Brown University’s President’s Council. In 2016, Wendy was a co-Executive Producer of the documentary film I Voted, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Wendy graduated from Brown University in 1987, and received an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management in 1990. She lives in Highland Park, IL with her husband, Jim. They have four (wonderful!) children.
William K. Bowes
Founding partner William (Bill) K. Bowes has seen a lot of change since USVP’s inception in 1981 – in the venture community, in the Valley, in the world. But some important things remain the same; namely, the passion of entrepreneurs: “It’s the entrepreneurs that keep this business new and fresh, every day,” says Bill.
A venture capitalist in the Bay Area for nearly 50 years, Bill founded and helped to build USVP to what it is today. His belief that venture capitalists should guide companies based on real-world experience continues to set the tone at USVP: “We’ve always put our emphasis on the operational experience of our team,” notes Bill. “The partners here can say to entrepreneurs ‘we’ve been where you’re going’ and really mean it.”
Bill was the founding shareholder of Amgen and was its first Chairman and Treasurer. Prior to founding USVP, he’d already had success as a venture capitalist with companies like Cetus, Raychem (where he served on the board from 1961 until the late 1970s), and Dymo Industries. Bill had previously been Senior Vice President and Director of Blyth Eastman Dillon & Company, where he worked from 1953 to 1978 and was a consultant to Blyth Eastman Paine Webber from 1978 to 1980.
Bill holds a B.A. in Economics from Stanford University, an M.B.A. from Harvard University and served in the U.S. Army infantry in the South Pacific and Japan during and after World War II.
Paul G. Allen
Paul G. Allen is a Founder and Chairman. With lifetime giving totaling over $1.5 billion, investor and philanthropist Paul G. Allen has spent his career tackling some of the world’s biggest challenges and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. Through both for-profit and philanthropic investments, Allen has sparked important developments and innovations in the areas of science, technology, education, conservation, the arts and community improvement.
Allen, who co-founded Microsoft in 1975, is mapping new frontiers and fueling exploration across a broad range of industries as the founder and chairman of Vulcan Inc., the Seattle-based company that oversees his business and philanthropic efforts. Allen’s vision has forwarded projects such as leading the massive redevelopment of Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, founding three museums including Seattle’s critically acclaimed EMP Museum, funding the first privately-backed effort to successfully put a civilian in suborbital space, and launching Stratolaunch Systems, which is developing a revolutionary airborne launch system.
He also owns the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League, the Portland Trail Blazers of the National Basketball Association, and is part of the primary ownership group for the Seattle Sounders FC, the city’s Major League Soccer team.
Allen is included among the world’s leading philanthropists who have pledged to give away the majority of their fortunes to charity. His giving is channeled through The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, and through direct gifts, including $26 million in 2010 to Washington State University for the Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health. In 2003, he founded the Allen Institute for Brain Science to accelerate understanding of the human brain in health and disease, supporting the Seattle non-profit with $500 million to date. A decade later, he launched the Allen Institute for the Artificial Intelligence to explore critical questions in AI.
Allen’s award-winning film company, Vulcan Productions, develops and supports media projects that help audiences understand the world around them and respond to challenges.
Idea Man, Allen’s 2011 memoir, was a New York Times bestseller.
As president and CEO of Vulcan Inc., Jody Allen has spent nearly three decades developing and leading a wide range of the Allen family’s business projects and charitable endeavors around the world.
She also serves as president of Vulcan Productions, which produces thought-provoking films, digital programs, and outreach initiatives. The award-winning film company is a co-producing partner of 10×10, a global campaign behind the feature film Girl Rising, aimed to educate and empower girls.
She is also president of the board of Seattle’s EMP Museum, the critically acclaimed museum of music, popular culture and science fiction. It was her influence that brought Frank Gehry in for the design of EMP, which has since been seen as a revolutionary architectural statement.
She is vice-chair of First& Goal Inc., which oversees operations of the Seattle Seahawks, and also serves on the boards of the Allen Institute for Brain Science and the Seahawks Charitable Foundation.
An active member of the arts and education communities, Ms. Allen is known for her love of the arts and for her strong leadership skills. She has served on the boards of ArtsFund, the Theatre Communications Group, the University of Washington Foundation, the Museum of Glass, the Los Angeles International Film Festival and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
Ms. Allen has also supported a number of major research projects, including the study of the long-term effects of nuclear detonation testing on the marine environment, and helping marine biologist Hans Fricke unravel the mystery of the coelacanth. An avid traveler, Ms. Allen is a member of the Explorers Club and the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.
Wendy Schmidt is the President of The Schmidt Family Foundation, where she works to advance the development of renewable energy and the wiser use of natural resources. The foundation houses its grant-making operation in The 11th Hour Project, which supports more than 150 nonprofit organizations in program areas including climate and energy, ecological agriculture, human rights, and our maritime connection.
On Nantucket, The Schmidt Family Foundation operates ReMain Nantucket, a local group devoted to enhancing the economic, environmental and social life in the downtown of America’s oldest continuous community. In addition to leading the foundation, Wendy was a founding board member of Climate Central, an organization that connects scientists and journalists working together to provide accurate, non-advocacy news and analysis about our changing climate and its impacts on our cities, coastlines, agriculture, fresh water, and oceans.
In 2009, Wendy and her husband Eric Schmidt, created the Schmidt Ocean Institute (SOI), and in 2012 launched the research vessel, Falkor, as a mobile platform to advance ocean exploration, discovery, and knowledge, and catalyze sharing of information about the oceans.
In 2010, to further her commitment to ocean health issues, Wendy partnered with XPRIZE to sponsor the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup XCHALLENGE, a $1.4 million competition designed to identify efficient and innovative solutions to address oil spillage from ocean platforms, tankers, and other sources. The 18-month long competition, prompted by The Deepwater Horizon disaster, resulted in a solution that yielded fourfold improvement over existing cleanup capabilities. In 2012, Wendy again partnered with XPRIZE to design the Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE a prize that will respond to the global need for better information about the process of ocean acidification, one of the harbingers of climate change. The prize launched in September 2013.
Wendy earned an M.A. in Journalism from The University of California at Berkeley, and a B.A. magna cum laude from Smith College. She serves on the boards of the Natural Resources Defense Council, Climate Central, The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, The Trust for Governors Island, V-Day, XPrize Foundation, Grist and MAIYET. Interests include sailing, scuba diving and tennis.
Sue Mandel is a director of the ZOOM Foundation, a family foundation focused on education and the environment. She is a trustee of the Environmental Defense Fund and Vassar College. She is a co-founder of Moms Clean Air Force, a national movement of over 200,000 moms (and dads) who are protecting our children’s right to clean air. She graduated from Vassar College and Harvard Business School, where she is a member of the Board of Dean’s Advisors.
Steve Mandel is the founder of Lone Pine Capital, a global long/short and long-only equity money manager that he started in 1997. Prior to founding Lone Pine, Mr. Mandel was managing director and consumer analyst at Tiger Management Corporation, mass-market retailing analyst at Goldman, Sachs and consultant at Mars and Company.
He graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy, Dartmouth College and Harvard Business School. He is a member of the Harvard Business School Board of Dean’s Advisors, a trustee of Teach for America and Board Chair of Dartmouth College, and a founder and board member of the Lone Pine Foundation.
Christian Krüger is Chairman of Krüger Holding AG and Krüger & Co. AG. Krüger & Co. AG provides solutions for building sites after water damage and for maintaining pleasant room climate in living and working areas. Since 1978, Mr. Krüger has led the company and is the third generation of his family to do so.
As a student, he became involved in the Club of Rome in 1972 and saw first-hand the impact that can be achieved when prevailing theories are challenged by bold thinking and smart action. Keen to make a difference to those in need and a firm believer in the power of education, Mr. Krüger founded the Krüger Foundation for Child Aid in India, the Krüger Kinderhilfswerk für Indien in Switzerland, and a foundation for his company employees.
He serves on the board of the Mobiliar, Switzerland’s oldest private insurance company, as well as other international boards, including Impact Economy.
Barbara and Amos Hostetter
Amos B. Hostetter, Jr. of Boston is Chairman, Pilot House Associates, L.L.C.; Co-founder, Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Continental Cablevision, Inc.; Former Director of AT&T; Former Board Member and Chairman of the National Cable Television Association (NCTA); Founding Board Member and Former Chairman of C-SPAN and Cable in the Classroom; Former Board Member of the Corporation of Public Broadcasting (CPB). Children’s Television Workshop (CTW), the Nantucket Conservation Foundation and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation; Recipient of the Harvard Business School Alumni Achievement Award; Inducted into the Cable Television Hall of Fame and Broadcasting magazine’s Hall of Fame for lifetime contribution to the Communications Industry.
Currently, Hostetter is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of WGBH, and of Global Post, LLC and is a Trustee of the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), the North Bennet Street School, Belmont Hill School, and Chair Emeritus of the Board of Trustees of Amherst College. He is a Former Member of the Vestry of Trinity Church, Boston.
Mr. Hostetter received a B.A. from Amherst College and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School.
Jeremy Grantham is Co-Founder and Chief Investment Strategist of GMO, LLC, a global investment management firm with approximately $100 billion in assets under management.
In 1998, Jeremy and his wife Hannelore established the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment, which supports communication and collaboration in addressing the world’s most pressing environmental problems.
Rena Shulsky David
Rena Shulsky David is the founder of Green Seal, the national environmental seal of approval. Through its partnership with the Environmental Media Association (EMA), Green Seal has established stringent green standards for the entertainment industry.
Rena is the founder of Green Audit, the first firm to evaluate companies from a “deep green” perspective. She is also CEO of a national real estate investment firm.