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Advisory Board

Peter Barnes, M.A.
Peter Barnes is an entrepreneur and writer who has founded and led several successful companies. At present he is a senior fellow at the Tomales Bay Institute in Point Reyes Station, California.

Barnes grew up in New York City and earned a B.A. in history from Harvard and an M.A. in government from Georgetown. He began his career as a reporter on The Lowell Sun (Massachusetts), and was subsequently a Washington correspondent for Newsweek and west coast correspondent for The New Republic.

In 1976 he co-founded a worker-owned solar energy company in San Francisco, and in 1983 he co- founded Working Assets Money Fund. He subsequently served as president of Working Assets Long Distance. In 1995 he was named Socially Responsible Entrepreneur of the Year for Northern California.

He has served on numerous boards of directors, including the National Cooperative Bank, the California State Assistance Fund for Energy, the California Solar Industry Association, Businesses for Social Responsibility, the Rainbow Workers Cooperative, Techmar, Redefining Progress, the Family Violence Prevention Fund, Public Media Center, TV-Turnoff Network, the Noise Pollution Clearinghouse, Greenpeace International, the California Tax Reform Association, and the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

In Barnes’ most recent book Capitalism 3.0 he offers a practical alternative to our current flawed economic system and points the way to a future in which we can retain capitalism’s virtues while mitigating its vices. His previous books include Pawns: The Plight of the Citizen-Soldier (Knopf, 1972), The People’s Land (Rodale, 1975), and Who Owns the Sky? Our Common Assets and the Future of Capitalism (Island Press, 2001). His articles have appeared in The Economist, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Christian Science Monitor, The American Prospect, the Utne Reader, Yes!, Resurgence and elsewhere.

In 1997 he founded the Mesa Refuge, a writers’ retreat in northern California. He has two sons, Zachary and Eli; a partner, Cornelia Durrant; and a dog, Smokey.


Paul Hawken
Paul Hawken is an environmentalist, entrepreneur, journalist, and author. Starting at age 20, he dedicated his life to sustainability and changing the relationship between business and the environment. His practice has included starting and running ecological businesses, writing and teaching about the impact of commerce on living systems, and consulting with governments and corporations on economic development, industrial ecology, and environmental policy.

He has appeared on numerous media including the Today Show, Larry King, Talk of the Nation, Charlie Rose, and has been profiled or featured in hundreds of articles including the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Washington Post, Business Week, Esquire, and US News and World Report. His writings have appeared in the Harvard Business Review, Resurgence, New Statesman, Inc, Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, Mother Jones, Utne Reader, Orion, and over a hundred other publications.

He is author and co-author of dozens of articles, op-eds, papers, as well as six books including The Next Economy (Ballantine 1983), Growing a Business (Simon and Schuster 1987), and The Ecology of Commerce (HarperCollins 1993). The Ecology of Commerce was voted in 1998 as the #1 college text on business and the environment by professors in 67 business schools. His last book, Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution (Little, Brown. September 1999) co-authored with Amory Lovins, is published in fourteen languages and has been read and referred to by several heads of state including President Bill Clinton who has called it one of the five most important books in the world today. His books have been published in over 50 countries in 27 languages and have sold over 2 million copies. Growing a Business became the basis of a 17-part PBS series, which Mr. Hawken hosted and produced. The program, which explored the challenges and pitfalls of starting and operating socially responsive companies, was shown on television in 115 countries and watched by over 100 million people. His piece on Seattle and the WTO entitled “N30” was published on over 100 websites and by 13 magazines. He is currently writing a book to be published by Viking in Spring 2007 entitled Blessed Unrest.

Companies he has founded or co-founded include Metacode, a software company specializing in proprietary content management tools; Groxis, a graphic information delivery provider for search engines, libraries, scientific repositories, and databases; Smith & Hawken, the garden and catalog retailer; and several of the first natural food companies in the U.S that relied solely on sustainable agricultural methods. He is presently the head of PaxIT, PaxTurbine, and PaxFan, three companies associated with Pax Scientific a California-based research and development corporation focused on proprietary technologies involving fluid dynamics, convection, flow form geometry, propulsion, and thermodynamics.

Paul heads the Natural Capital Institute, a research group located in Sausalito, California. Natural Capital Institute (NCI) conducts research in diverse areas including socially responsible investing (SRI), global civil society, environmental funding, and water.  http://www.naturalcapital.org

As a speaker, he has given keynote addresses to the Liberal Party of Canada, King of Sweden at his inaugural Environmental Seminar, American Bookseller’s Association, Urban Land Institute, SRI International, Harvard University, Stanford University, Wharton, Cornell, Prime Minister of New Zealand’s Conference on Natural Capitalism, US Department of Commerce, Australian Business Council, Yale University and Yale University Commencement, University of California (Berkeley) Commencement, Ministry of Agriculture France, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Prince of Wales Conference on Business and the Environment—Cambridge University, Commonwealth Club, Herman Miller, National Wildlife Federation, State of Washington, American Society of Landscape Architects, American Institute of Architects, American Institute of Graphic Arts, American Solar Energy Association, Apple Computer, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Cleveland City Club, Conference Board, U.S. Forest Service, Ontario Hydro, Environment Canada, EPA, and several hundred others.

He has served on the board of many environmental organizations including Point Foundation (publisher of the Whole Earth Catalogs), Center for Plant Conservation, Trust for Public Land, Friends of the Earth, and National Audubon Society. He was the founder and Chair of The Natural Step in the United States as well as The Natural Step International in Stockholm. Among recognition and awards received are: Green Cross Millennium Award for Individual Environmental Leadership presented by Mikhail Gorbachev in 2003; World Council for Corporate Governance in 2002; Small Business Administration “Entrepreneur of the Year” in 1990; Utne “One Hundred Visionaries who could Change our Lives” in 1995, Western Publications Association “Maggie” award for “Natural Capitalism” as the best Signed Editorial/Essay” in 1997; Creative Visionary Award by the International Society of Industrial Design; Design in Business Award for environmental responsibility by the American Center for Design; Council on Economic Priorities’ 1990 Corporate Conscience Award; American Horticultural Society Award for commitment to excellence in commercial horticulture; Metropolitan Home Design 100 Editorial Award for the 100 best people, products and ideas that shape our lives; the Cine Golden Eagle award in video for the PBS program “Marketing” from Growing a Business; California Institute of Integral Studies Award “For Ongoing Humanitarian Contributions to the Bay Area Communities”; Esquire Magazine award for the best 100 People of a Generation (1984); and five honorary doctorates.


John Kassel, J.D.
John B. Kassel counsels businesses, non-profit organizations (including foundations) and individuals, with a particular focus on the creation, permitting and start-up of renewable energy projects. John has a BA, magna cum laude, in Russian, from Middlebury College (1980) and a JD, magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, from Cornell Law School (1986), where he was a senior editor of the Cornell Law Review. He was a law clerk to the Hon. Joseph L. Tauro, United States District Judge, District of Massachusetts, from 1986-87, and from 1987-92 practiced environmental and public utility law, and general business litigation, with a law firm in Burlington, Vermont. From 1992-94 he prosecuted felonies and misdemeanors as a criminal prosecutor in the Chittenden State's Attorney's office, and in 1994 became General Counsel to the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources. He was appointed Deputy Secretary of the Agency in 1997 and served from 1998 to 2000 as Secretary of the Agency, a Cabinet-level position. From 2000-01 he was Of Counsel to a Burlington litigation firm. He is a former Chair of the Environmental Law Section of the Vermont Bar Association, and is also active in several professional organizations as well as many community and environmental organizations.
David Orr, Ph.D.
David W. Orr is the Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics and Chair of the Environmental Studies Program at Oberlin College. He is also a James Marsh, Professor at large at the University of Vermont. Born in Des Moines, Iowa and raised in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania, he holds a B.A. from Westminster College (1965), a M.A. from Michigan State University (1966), and a Ph.D. in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania (1973). He and his wife have two sons and three grandchildren.

He is the author of five books: Design on the Edge: The Making of a High Performance Building (MIT Press, 2006); The Last Refuge: Patriotism, Politics, and the Environment (Island Press, 2004); The Nature of Design (Oxford, 2002); Earth in Mind (Island, 1994/2004); Ecological Literacy (SUNY, 1992) and co-editor of The Global Predicament (North Carolina, 1979) and The Campus and Environmental Responsibility (Jossey-Bass, 1992). He has published 150 articles in scientific journals, social science publications, and popular magazines.

He is best known for his pioneering work on environmental literacy in higher education and his recent work in ecological design. He raised funds for and spearheaded the effort to design and build a $7.2 million Environmental Studies Center at Oberlin College, a building described by the New York Times as “the most remarkable” of a new generation of college buildings and by the U.S. Department of Energy as one of thirty “milestone buildings” of the 20th century.

He is the recipient of a Bioneers Award (2003), a National Conservation Achievement Award by the National Wildlife Federation, a Lyndhurst Prize awarded by the Lyndhurst Foundation "to recognize the educational, cultural, and charitable activities of particular individuals of exceptional talent, character, and moral vision." He was named “an Environmental Hero for 2004” by Interiors & Sources Magazine. He holds three Honorary Doctorates and has been a distinguished scholar in residence at University of Washington, Ball State University and Westminster College in Salt Lake City. In a special citation, the Connecticut General Assembly noted Orr’s “vision, dedication, and personal passion” in promoting the principles of sustainability. The Cleveland Plain Dealer described him as “one of those who will shape our lives.”

Dr. Orr is a contributing editor of Conservation Biology. He has served as a Trustee of the Educational Foundation of America, the Compton Foundation, and the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation. He serves on the Boards of the Rocky Mountain Institute (CO), the Center for Ecoliteracy (CA), and the Center for Respect of Life and Environment. He is also an advisor and consultant to the Trust for Public Land, the National Parks Advisory Committee, and other organizations. He has lectured at hundreds of colleges and universities in the U.S. and elsewhere.