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Women in Cleantech & Sustainability hosts an annual TED-style event hosted by Google, including a female-focused startup pitch competition for the cleantech and sustainable industry.

As a full day conference, WCS Talks features the brightest minds and most inspiring stories from the clean economy revolution. The event features both women and men from a variety of sectors sharing their perspectives and challenging our assumptions.

2019 Sponsors

Our 2018 Sponsors

WCS Talks 2019 Speakers

Arila Barnes
AXM Software LLC
Managing Director

Arila Barnes is the managing director of AXM Software LLC, a small company providing “Architecture as A Service” and incubating software products in the IoT space focused on renewable energy for the consumer and improving women health. Arila has a tenure as Principal Software Architect with GE Digital building the Industrial Internet for GE Renewables Energy (Digital Hydro Plant, Digital Wind Farm), and improving the reliability of the traditional grid with Grid Analytics by GE Digital Energy.  She was the co-founder of Pluto Health Innovations Inc, and a Principal Text Analytics Architect with SAS Institute Inc.

Talk Topic: Resurrecting DC one house, one block, or one village at a time

Marina Golden
Recurrent Energy
Engineering Manager

Marina is an engineering manager at Recurrent Energy working to decarbonize the grid by installing large solar and storage systems. Recurrent is a top US solar developer, with over 2.3 GW of operating solar projects, and 5GW project portfolio including a 180 MWh storage project. Recurrent Energy is a subsidiary of the 3rd largest solar manufacturer in the world, Canadian Solar.

Deeply dedicated to fighting climate change, she has previously helped install some of the first solar+storage systems at SunPower. There also oversaw designing and launching the #1 US commercial rooftop and carport solar product, Helix, as an Engineering Program Manager. At Environmental Systems Design, she led engineering and energy design and optimization for the most iconic and sustainable high-occupancy buildings in the world such as Tour First in Paris, Willis and Hancock Towers in Chicago.

Marina is a licensed Professional Mechanical Engineer and is a LEED Accredited Professional. She is currently working on her MBA at the Wharton School of Business. Marina is from Moldova and graduated Cum Laude from Illinois Institute of Technology’s Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering department.

Talk Topic:  Global Warming  = Droughts = Armed Conflict

Natalie Hollier
Global Head of Product Innovation

Natalie is a technology product leader who is passionate about creating positive social impact and addressing climate change.

She is currently the Global Head of Product Innovation at ThoughtWorks, a technology consulting firm with a mission to better humanity through software that works with Fortune 500s, startups and NGOs in every industry to design, launch and scale meaningful digital platforms, products and services. During her time at ThoughtWorks, Natalie has participated as a Women’s Network Board member, Environmental Justice Campaign regional lead, Climate Coalition member, and as part of a small team to spearhead Clean Technology client exploration.

Natalie also co-organizes Products with Purpose, a meetup for social entrepreneurs, product managers, designers and technologists to integrate social and environmental impact tools and strategies into their day jobs.

She holds a BA and BSc in Computer Science from The University of Melbourne and an MBA in Strategy and Sustainable Business & Innovation from NYU Stern School of Business.

Talk Topic: Digital Sustainability: How tech companies can be more sustainable

Rachel Major
NuLeaf Tech
CEO and Co-founder

Rachel is  an avid tinkerer and writer and have worked in geochemical and metallurgical engineering labs as well as a content editor at a leading biomimetic solutions database. With degrees in biology, chemistry, and management, she is particularly interested in the sectors of natural infrastructure, the circular economy, and biomimicry. She brought the idea of bridging clean tech and biomimicry to NASA Ames in 2015, and from leading this research project she created a biotech makerspace for youth environmentalists. This eventually became the startup NuLeaf Tech. Rahcel’s team is composed of California natives, and the problem they saw and seek to solve as a business is that most water treatment & recycling solutions are catered to large corporations and municipalities. NuLeaf provides decentralized, all-natural wastewater treatment and recycling units that range from the size of a septic tank to modular units that treat industrial brewery wastewater. With similar nutrient recycling technology, they also provide aquaponic units for residential and office space use.

Talk Topic:  Activists turned entrepreneurs: how we can learn to make an impact.

Allison Paradise
My Green Lab
Founder and CEO

Allison Paradise is the CEO and Founder of My Green Lab.  Under her leadership, My Green Lab has established itself as a pioneer in laboratory sustainability.  The organization developed the first nationally recognized standard for laboratory operations, established the first ENERGY STAR category for laboratory equipment, and recently released the first eco-label for laboratory products.  Allison regularly speaks at industry meetings and scientific conferences. She holds degrees in neuroscience from Brown and Harvard.

Talk Topic: There is no why in waste

Ruchi Shah
Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (TNDC)
Senior Sustainability Manager

Ruchi has 7 years of experience in sustainability across real estate and consulting sectors, helping companies reduce operating costs and manage climate risks. Currently as a Senior Sustainability Manager at Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (TNDC) – one of the largest affordable housing developers in San Francisco, she implements energy, water, and waste management strategies for a portfolio of 45 buildings. Under her leadership, TNDC met their water and energy reduction goals ahead of their 2023 schedule as part of the National Better Buildings Challenge.

Prior to TNDC, Ruchi has worked with Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future (SAHF), a non-profit based in Washington D.C. where she conducted energy and water data analysis of over 500 buildings and secured $2.7 million in utility rebates to pursue energy efficiency projects. Before SAHF, she worked at AvalonBay Communities, Inc., a national real estate investment trust (REIT) where she assisted in developing the corporate sustainability program and managed external reporting and stakeholder engagement. Ruchi is a LEED Green Associate, holds an M.S. in Environmental Studies, Sustainability from the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) and a B.Tech in Biotechnology from Mumbai, India.

Talk Topic: Psychology Of Why And How We Recycle

Featured WCS Talks Video

2018 Photos

Featured WCS Talks 2018 Video

Event Photos