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Meet thE Judges

All submissions will be reviewed by our judging panel with expertise in plastic waste and other relevant fields. The judges hail from around the globe, representing innovation, advocacy, industry, and academia.

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Shilpi Chhotray
Shilpi Chhotray
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Shilpi Chhotray is responsible for developing and implementing communications strategies that advance the goals of Break Free From Plastic, the global movement working to stop plastic pollution for good. Prior to joining Break Free From Plastic, she worked at Mission Blue/Sylvia Earle Alliance to further its mission of igniting public support for a global network of marine protected areas. She brings over a decade of experience in ocean advocacy and conservation policy, including coalition building around plastic waste prevention. Her writing has been published in the Economist; Yes! magazine; the Stanford Journal of Law, Science & Policy; the Huffington Post; and the National Geographic Ocean Views blog. Chhotray is also the founder of Samudra Skin & Sea, a plant-based skincare line featuring wild-harvested seaweed. By using clean ingredients, zero-waste packaging, and brand activism, Chhotray’s goal with the skincare line is to incentivize everyday consumers to be better stewards of our blue planet.

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Nick Cliffe
Nick Cliffe
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Nick Cliffe is head of Innovate UK’s advanced materials team, which de-risks the commercialization of materials of the future on behalf of the British government. These include the most cutting-edge ceramics, metals, glass, polymers, nanomaterials, and functional materials.

Cliffe has a particular focus on resource efficiency, circular economy, and sustainability —embedding these themes across Innovate UK’s strategy and competitions. He also helps innovators consider the wider environmental and societal drivers of their markets and supports U.K. businesses exploring new manufacturing methods and business models.

Cliffe’s background in resource efficiency and circular economy was gained during 15 years in industry. Before joining Innovate UK, he worked for Closed Loop Recycling, a large plastic bottle recycling business based in Dagenham, East London, where he managed various projects, including one to create the first commercial plastic bottle made from recovered marine plastic waste. Cliffe also worked for a spin-off consultancy business, Closed Loop Environmental Solutions, managing projects such as the launch of a range of on-site food composting machines in the U.K., and a large waste auditing program for Heathrow Airport and various airlines to develop recycling options for both terminal and cabin waste.

Prior to Closed Loop, he worked at Green-Works, a Queen’s Award for Enterprise–winning social enterprise that recycled large volumes of office furniture across multiple U.K. sites; the Forest Stewardship Council, a worldwide timber and forest product certification scheme; and Storebrand Investments, a leading socially responsible investment fund manager.

Cliffe has a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Imperial College London and a master’s degree in oceanography from the University of Southampton.

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Corina Cioranu
Corina Cioranu
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Corina Cioranu is one of the top global supply chain leaders at Mondelēz International, with more than 23 years of experience in manufacturing, procurement, and supply chain strategy. At Mondelēz, Cioranu has led various multicultural teams as well as manufacturing facilities in several European countries. She developed the supply chain strategy for the European manufacturing network, defining and kicking off several major growth and restructuring programs. She now leads the global procurement team in packaging and external supply. She and her team are key to driving Mondelēz International’s packaging and external supply sustainability agenda, which supports the company’s commitment to using 100 percent sustainably sourced paper by 2020 and 100 percent recyclable packaging by 2025.

Cioranu also leads Mondelēz International’s Global Women in Technology network, whose vision is to support women in supply chain, procurement, and research and development to develop and grow their careers within Mondelēz.

Cioranu began her career at Kraft Jacobs Suchard in Romania as a marketing assistant, responsible for the candy category. After a few years in marketing, she grew her career in manufacturing, procurement, and strategy and relocated with her family to Poland, Austria, and then Switzerland, where she currently lives. She has a bachelor’s degree in international economic relations from the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest.

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April Crow
April Crow
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April Crow has worked for more than two decades throughout the value chain, from manufacturing to customer and stakeholder management, in a wide range of roles in sustainability, environmental affairs, scientific and regulatory affairs, and quality.

She is currently supporting the launch of Circulate Capital, an impact-focused investment management firm dedicated to financing innovation, companies, and infrastructure that prevent the flow of plastic waste into the world’s ocean while advancing the circular economy.

She previously served as senior director of environment and sustainability for The Coca-Cola Company, providing leadership for the company’s environmental platform. She is most passionate about her work related to the circular economy, materials management, recycling, and finding solutions for marine debris. Since 2005, she has been one of the leading industry voices pushing forward research, coalitions, and programs to help understand and tackle the marine debris issue.

Crow has developed and managed a number of external programs and collaboration efforts in partnership with government, industry, and nongovernmental organizations. She was instrumental in the Trash Free Seas Alliance and was a founding member of the American Institute for Packaging and the Environment. She has served on the executive committees of the Michigan State University Center for Packaging Innovation & Sustainability, the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, and the Ocean Exchange. Crow currently serves on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Sanctuary System Business Advisory Council and as an advisor for the New Materials Institute.   

Crow is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a bachelor of science in environmental health and a master of science in instructional technology.  

An active volunteer, she was named to the University of Georgia Alumni Association’s 2012 “40 Under 40” for her impact in business, leadership, community, and philanthropic endeavors. She serves as a trustee for the 4-H Foundation and is on the boards of directors of the University of Georgia Alumni Association and the Captain Planet Foundation.

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Nadia Danhash
Nadia Danhash
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Nadia Danhash leads InnovationRCA, the enterprise and entrepreneurship center for the Royal College of Art (RCA), and is responsible for the direction of its startup and scale-up programs that invest in and support graduate and staff spinouts and startups. In this role, she has led investments in more than 50 companies, building a portfolio of companies, many of which deliver high social impact.

Danhash also leads the RCA’s intellectual property commercialization programs and is the founding director of AngelClubRCA, an angel investor network in London that has over 60 investor members. She is a member of the executive and representative boards of ELIA, a founding trustee of the Institute for the Future of Work, and a member of ImmerseUK’s Access to Finance and Investment Group. An angel investor in her own right, Danhash is a Ph.D. life scientist with a master’s degree in business administration and has mentored over a hundred early-stage companies.

Prior to joining the RCA, Danhash held senior business and commercial roles at GE Healthcare Life Sciences, with worldwide responsibility for the company’s industrial molecular biology business, and at Thermo Fisher Scientific. She has worked in Europe and the United States and also spent time in Asia establishing and managing distributor relationships.

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Jan Dell
Jan Dell
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Jan Dell is a chemical engineer and founder of The Last Beach Cleanup, a nonprofit that collaborates with shareholders and environmental groups on initiatives to reduce plastic pollution. Dell has worked with companies in diverse industries to implement sustainable business and climate resiliency practices in more than 40 countries. Appointed by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Dell was a member of the U.S. Federal Advisory Committee that led the third National Climate Assessment from 2010 to 2014 and was vice chair of the U.S. Federal Advisory Committee on the Sustained National Climate Assessment from  2016 to 2017. She has a master of science in chemical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

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Brajesh Kr. Dubey
Brajesh Kr. Dubey
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Brajesh Kr. Dubey has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering (hons.) from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and a Ph.D. in environmental engineering sciences from the University of Florida. He is an associate professor with a focus on sustainable engineering and integrated urban waste management in the division of Environmental Engineering and Management at IIT. Dubey has more than 15 years of research, teaching, training, and industrial outreach experience in sustainable engineering and urban waste management. He has authored/co-authored more than 200 publications in his areas of expertise, presented at several national and international conferences, and worked as an environmental expert for UN agencies and the World Bank.

Dubey is currently working with several proposed smart cities in India to develop integrated waste management systems. He has worked on integrated waste management projects in several countries—including the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, China, and Nigeria—and has provided training programs in waste management, resource recovery, and sustainable engineering. He has also taught at several universities in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, China, and India, teaching courses on integrated waste management, life cycle analysis (LCA), and environmental risk assessment. He has also developed and delivered several Massive Open Online Courses in integrated waste management for smart cities, sustainable engineering and LCA, e-waste management, and plastic waste management. Dubey is providing research support to National Geographic on its “Sea to Source: Ganges” expedition in India this summer related to studying plastic waste in the Ganges River.  

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Judith Enck
Judith Enck
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Judith Enck is a senior fellow and visiting faculty member at Bennington College, where she teaches classes on plastic pollution and is the founder of Beyond Plastics. Beyond Plastics works with community leaders and trains college students to become informed and active on plastic pollution issues. Enck also serves as senior advisor at the Center for Climate Integrity.She recently was a visiting scholar at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University.

Appointed by President Obama, she served as the regional administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), overseeing environmental protection in New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as for eight Indian nations. Working with a staff of 800 and managing a $700 million budget, Enck secured a number of environmental accomplishments during her tenure at the EPA.  

She worked on environmental and energy issues related to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and served on the governor’s Hurricane Recovery and Resiliency Advisory Committee in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Before joining the EPA, Enck previously served as deputy secretary for the environment in the New York Governor’s Office and as a policy advisor to the New York State attorney general. Prior to that, she was senior environmental associate with the New York Public Interest Research Group. She also served as the executive director of Environmental Advocates of New York. She is a past president of Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, former executive director of the Nonprofit Resource Center, and a designer of her town’s rural recycling program.

Enck is a commentator on WAMC, a National Public Radio station, and a panelist on The Roundtable, a WAMC public affairs radio show. She serves on the advisory boards of Climate Action Now, The Institute for Health and the Environment at the Albany School of Public Health, and Sustainable Westchester. She is active with the Hoosick Falls Support Network, working to bring clean drinking water to a region impacted by toxic contamination.

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Xaquín G.V.
Xaquín G.V.
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A Galician visual journalist, instructor, consultant, and National Geographic Media Innovation Fellow, Xaquín G.V. is an expert in data visualization, visual explanations, and interactive storytelling. He has served as senior editor for interactives at National Geographic and graphics editor at the New York Times. Most recently, he headed a 40-person, cross-disciplinary team of graphics, interactive, multimedia, and picture editors at the Guardian. He has collaborated with Google, the Washington Post, the Office for National Statistics in the United Kingdom, and the United Nations Environment Programme. He has been honored at the Malofiej Awards dozens of times (including winning Best of Show), and by the Society for News Design, Online News Association, National Press Photographers Association, Kantar Information is Beautiful Awards, and Webby Awards. His most recent obsessions are emotional connections in data visualizations, automation of data-driven visual narratives, new formats on mobile devices—and molecular gastronomy. He is currently working on his Ph.D. in computer engineering at the Universitat de Girona, Spain.

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Graham Hillier
Graham Hillier
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Graham Hillier is the strategy and futures director at the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI). CPI provides open access assets and skilled people to help companies of all sizes assess and develop novel processes in industrial biotechnology and biorefining, emerging electronic devices for digital manufacturing, biologics, formulation, and resource-efficient manufacturing systems.

Hillier’s career has spanned technology development, innovation, and strategy development, providing innovation services to companies working in and with the process industries. He has a particular interest in resource-efficient manufacturing and low-carbon sustainable systems. Hillier works on processes that reduce resource consumption, reduce waste generation, and close the gaps in supply chain systems so that wastes can be reused or recycled. He also led a global program in sustainable urban design and construction for World Steel.

Hillier has a degree in metallurgy, a master of business administration, and a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge. He is a chartered engineer, a fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, a fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, and a fellow of the Institute of Directors. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Salford and Teesside University.  

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Arthur Huang
Arthur Huang
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Arthur Huang is a structural engineer, architect, and circular economy innovator. He has spent over a decade turning post-consumer waste into innovative products for businesses and consumers through his company, Miniwiz. As founder and CEO of Miniwiz, Huang is focused on accelerating the shift to a closed-loop circular economy where all products are made from recycled materials and, eventually, even those products will be recycled. Today, Miniwiz is a global leader in transforming post-consumer products into retail store interiors, architectural structures, and consumer goods.

Under Huang’s leadership, Miniwiz has received the World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneer Award, the Financial Times’ Earth Award, and the Wall Street Journal’s Asian Innovation Award. Huang has been a National Geographic Explorer since 2016, and the World Economic Forum recognized him as the runner-up for The Circulars Leadership Award 2019 at Davos. In February 2019, the World Economic Forum named Miniwiz one of the top 11 companies leading the way to a circular economy.

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Andy Kirk
Andy Kirk
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Andy Kirk is a freelance data visualization specialist based in Yorkshire, U.K. He is a visualization design consultant, training provider, teacher, author, speaker, researcher, and editor of the award-winning website visualisingdata.com.

After graduating from Lancaster University in 1999 with a B.Sc. (hons.) in operational research, Kirk worked in a variety of business analysis and information management roles at organizations including CIS Insurance, West Yorkshire Police, and the University of Leeds.

He discovered data visualization in 2007 when he was shaping his master’s degree research proposal.. He launched visualisingdata.com to continue the process of discovery and to chart the course of the increasing popularity of the subject. The website offers contemporary discourse, design techniques, and vast collections of visualization examples and resources.

Kirk became a freelance professional in 2011 and has worked with a diverse range of clients across the world, including Google, CERN, Electronic Arts, the EU Council, Hershey, and McKinsey & Company. He has delivered over 270 public and private training events in 25 countries, reaching more than 6,000 delegates. He also provides design consultancy, with his primary client since 2015 being the Arsenal F.C. Performance and Research Team.

Kirk maintains regular engagements in academia. Between 2014 and 2015, he was an external consultant on a research project called “Seeing Data,” funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and hosted by the University of Sheffield. This study explored the issues of data visualization literacy among the general public and helped shape an understanding of the human factors that affect visualization literacy and the effectiveness of design.

He joined the Maryland Institute College of Art as a visiting lecturer in 2013, teaching a module in the Information Visualisation master’s program until 2017. From 2016 to 2018, he taught a data visualization module as part of the M.Sc. Business Analytics program at the Imperial College Business School in London.

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Monica Kuo
Monica Kuo
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Monica Kuo is the chair and dean of the College of Environmental Design and the Department of Landscape Architecture at Chinese Culture University (CCU). She is also president of the Taiwan Institute of Landscape Architects and winner of Taiwan’s Tung-Yuan Award for Outstanding Achievement in Landscape Planning.

After receiving a master of landscape architecture degree from the University of Pennsylvania, she started her professional practice in Philadelphia. She then returned to Taiwan and worked on the surveying and planning of six national parks. Thereafter, she became chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture at CCU. Since then, she has devoted much of her efforts to promoting the status of landscape architects in Taiwan and working on eco-urbanism, wetland protection, coastal zone management, public arts, and nature conservation in the country.

Kuo is involved in a wide spectrum of public policies on environmental protection, landscape education, and nature and cultural conservation. She will soon publish her new book, Formosa’s Landscape in Transition & Adaptation.

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José Alejandro Martínez
José Alejandro Martínez
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José Alejandro Martínez is a sustainability department director at the Institute for Sustainable Entrepreneurship at EAN University in Colombia. He has worked in sustainability and circular economy in Colombia for more than nine years. He teaches circular economy in undergraduate and graduate programs, and is part of the Cradle to Cradle (C2C) hub, a specialized group that works with companies from the Colombian productive sector. Martinez is working with the first Colombian company that will have C2C-certified products and is helping to develop several C2C-inspired products.

Martinez has been a consultant, program director, manager, and entrepreneur, with experience in rational use of resources at the rural, municipal, and urban levels; the environmental technical assistance program to the transport sector and small- and medium-sized enterprises of Bogotá; and environmental management and sustainability for large enterprises. He has extensive research and teaching experience at the undergraduate and graduate levels in Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil.

Martinez is currently a doctoral student in strategic business administration. He has a master’s degree in environmental engineering from the National University of Colombia and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the same university. He is a waste management expert and has diplomas in teaching (from EAN University), environmental education (from Javeriana University), and sustainable management (from Leuphana University). He is a member of the Latin American network of experts in solid waste and renewable energy, and is also a member of the International Solid Waste Association, the Circular Economy Club (U.K.), and the Circular Economy Platform of the Americas. He is on the board of directors of the Colombia Green Building Council and the advisory board of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

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Tom Olunga Owuor
Tom Olunga Owuor
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Tom Owuor is managing partner of Direne Packaging and Business Advisory Services in Kenya. He has extensive experience as a packaging advisor for small- and medium-sized enterprises across Africa. He has expertise in all packaging materials, from plastics and metal to glass and paper, as well as in packaging design, research, and development. Owuor serves as a packaging consultant for the International Trade Center (ITC), Japan International Cooperation Agency, the Kenya Bureau of Standards, and the Tanzania Bureau of Standards. He is also a consultant on the introduction of private labels for supermarket chains in Kenya.

He has 10 years of business development experience in the packaging industry working with multinational corporations as well as experience in label printing as the general manager for Interlabels Africa. He has served as the lead workshop facilitator on packaging at major packaging fairs across Africa, and is an expert in packaging design for fast-moving consumer goods.

Owuor has a master of business administration, a bachelor of science, and a certificate in packaging and enterprise competitiveness from the ITC.

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Ji-Hye Park
Ji-Hye Park
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Ji-Hye Park is a design director at Impossible, an end-to-end service design consultancy and research and development lab that designs and engineers services and products to help solve meaningful problems and guide global change. Park manages a multidisciplinary team that delivers services across industries. She is an expert in designing for multiple platforms, and has a wide range of experience, from ethnographic research and strategy to launching products. Over the past decade, she has helped launch more than a dozen startups and growth ventures, and has worked with world-class companies across multiple industries and sectors, including telecommunications, music, banking, finance, and health care, as well as education, which is a passion of hers.

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Chris Sherwin
Chris Sherwin
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Chris Sherwin is founder and director of reboot innovation, a sustainable design and innovation consultancy with a mission to change what and how we innovate for the greater good. The company fuses cutting-edge innovation and design practice with world-class sustainable and ethical business know-how to partner with leading brands and innovators who want to practically design a better world.

Sherwin has worked on sustainable design for 25 years in creative consultancies (Seymourpowell, Dragon Rouge, and Interbrand), as head of innovation at sustainability advisory group Forum for the Future, and in corporate sustainability positions at Philips Electronics and Electrolux.

He has helped design and develop several world-first or world’s greenest products, including the world’s greenest modular, repairable, and ethically sourced smartphone—the award-winning Fairphone 2; Yeo Valley’s innovative “Left-Yeovers”—a dairy innovation that uses surplus food that would otherwise go to waste; and Winnow Vision—a revolutionary AI-based smart scales system that helps professional chefs run more profitable and sustainable kitchens by dramatically slashing food waste.

Sherwin has consulting experience with companies including Unilever, eBay, Mars, PepsiCo, Nestle, Sainsbury’s, BASF, Sony, and Samsung. He is a recognized thought leader on sustainable design and innovation, and regularly presents on these issues at conferences. He holds a Ph.D. from Cranfield University; his thesis was  titled “Innovative Ecodesign.”

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Kodiak Starr
Kodiak Starr
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Kody Starr was raised off the grid without electricity or running water in northern Maine. After joining the modern world at the age of 15, he became obsessed with the internet and design. After college, he moved to Brooklyn, New York, and worked for a number of design agencies. He then took off for a professional and personal adventure in Kampala, Uganda, working for Ogilvy.

After returning to the United States, he served as creative director of digital strategy at the White House under President Obama from 2010 to 2014. After three State of the Unions, launching the online platform We the People, and many other projects, Starr left the government to work on his own.

Currently, he co-runs Iced Coffee, Please., a Washington, D.C.–based design and communications studio. His work focuses on user experience, data visualization, branding, visual design, and storytelling.

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Carla Tennenbaum
Carla Tennenbaum
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Carla Tennenbaum is a Brazilian artist and designer who creates—and helps others create—innovative products from a wide range of materials. Her work has won awards from UNESCO, the Latin American Design Foundation, and SEBRAE’s Top 100 Brazilian Handicraft Projects, and she has led workshops, innovation labs, and other creative processes for several groups, companies, and institutions. In 2015, Tennenbaum co-founded Ideia Circular, a project that promotes circular design initiatives based on the Cradle to Cradle methodology and investigates circular economy principles applied to local realities. She is a member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s International Development Innovation Network and the Brazilian United World Colleges’ board of advisors. 

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Sophie Thomas
Sophie Thomas
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Sophie Thomas is a creative campaigner, practicing designer, and agitator. She has been working in the fields of sustainable design, behavior change, and material processes for over 20 years through her design agency, Thomas.Matthews, and through a number of campaigning posts including director of circular economy at the Royal Society of Arts (RSA). An interest in material disposal, recycling, and recovery led Thomas to share her experience of closed-loop thinking with other designers. In 2012, she founded The Great Recovery, a program that built capacity and understanding of circular design in the materials supply chain, which she ran through the RSA, supported by Innovate UK, until 2016.

Her long-term interest in materials and waste has taken her around the world, exploring attitudes to waste (including a day working on the bins) and helping networks including designers, scientists, waste managers, businesses, and politicians redesign systems for resource recovery. Thomas works with governments, businesses, and designers across the globe to build a narrative around green living and creative sustainability. Using insights taken from end-of-life processes, she has developed an in-depth knowledge of material reuse. She has worked and lectured around the world and has exhibited in many countries across Europe and Asia. She is the first designer to become a chartered waste manager; is a trustee for WRAP UK; designs, writes, and talks about designing out waste; and has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship at the University of the Arts London. Thomas has a masters of the arts in communicatins design from the Royal College of Art and is a member of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management.

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Jason Treat
Jason Treat
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Jason Treat is an art director, editor, and designer focused on communicating complex scientific subjects for a large general audience. He has worked as a senior graphics editor for National Geographic magazine since 2012, and before that, spent six years as the art director for The Atlantic magazine. His work has been recognized by the Society for News Design, the Malofiej Infographic World Summit, the Society of Publication Designers, the Cartography and Geographic Information Society, the British Cartographic Society, the Kantar Information is Beautiful Awards, and the Webby Awards.

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Evan White
Evan White
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Evan White graduated with a Ph.D. in chemistry in 2014 from the University of Georgia. In 2016, the University of Georgia New Materials Institute was founded, which he joined as an assistant research scientist in the division of Technology Development and Implementation with a focus on translating innovative technologies from the laboratory to commercial viability and application. As a polymer chemist, White has nine years of experience building stimuli-responsive polymers for a variety of applications, from biocidal to biodegradable plastics and from superhydrophobic to color-changing materials. White has engaged in several broadly-scoped projects, which has been advantageous for interdisciplinary research investigating new biodegradable polymer and composite designs. Current projects he is involved in aim to develop single-use industrially compostable and biodegradable multilayer packaging, single-use coated paper products, biodegradable foams, and other ancillary single-use-plastic packaging targets. These projects closely consider economic feasibility where industry partners play a critical role in defining the design parameters associated with sourcing, producing, converting, and delivering biodegradable single-use-plastic solutions to products that will help alleviate the upstream problems associated with plastic waste.

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Sara Lindeblad Wingstrand
Sara Lindeblad Wingstrand
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As project manager of the New Plastics Economy initiative, Sara Lindeblad Wingstrand oversees the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's work on plastic packaging. Basing her approach on the principles of circular economy, Lindeblad Wingstrand works with large corporations as well as emerging innovators from across industry to rethink and redesign plastic packaging and drive momentum toward upstream solutions. Prior to joining the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, she obtained a Ph.D. in polymer physics at the Technical University of Denmark. She has a background in chemical and biochemical engineering, and has studied in Denmark,Switzerland, Canada, and Belgium.

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