In WCS Blog


​WCS Talks is back, now in its fourth year! The full-day event is on Saturday November 4, 2017, at Google’s beautiful new Sunnyvale Campus. Come learn and get inspired as sustainability industry leaders from Levi’s, Google, Skadden, OhmConnect, Autogrid, and more share their knowledge, passion and latest projects with an audience of 300 cleantech and sustainability professionals.

WCS Talks 2016. Clockwise from top left: Audience members get acquainted. WCS founder and Chairwoman Lisa Ann Pinkerton. Table Topics during lunch. Audience listening to a talk.

WCS Talks is a TED Talks-style event organized by Women in Cleantech and Sustainability (WCS), a non-profit organization with the goal of furthering the roles of women in the green economy. The event is generously hosted by Google for the 3rd consecutive year. At WCS Talks, you will be surrounded by like-minded individuals, passionate about changing the world through myriad innovative solutions. You will have the opportunity to meet new friends, make new connections in your field, and have access to leaders in sustainability that will be open to answer your questions.

Motivated by the scarcity of cleantech events featuring female keynote speakers, WCS founder and Chairwoman Lisa Ann Pinkerton created WCS Talks in 2014 to showcase women’s unique views on leadership, business, and policy.

“It was clear back then, and it still stands true today, that as an industry there are too few platforms where women can share their personal success stories, offer advice to others, and illustrate their industry expertise as a whole,” says Lisa Ann Pinkerton, who is also founder and President of Technica Communications. “WCS Talks is a celebration of the female voice in all its forms, inspiring people from the C-Suite to students to learn from those who have gone before them, and to find their own voice. The more of us who speak up about our vision for the future of our planet, the more the notion of a clean energy economy becomes mainstream.”

This year attendees will hear from leaders in OPower, Skadden, and AutoGrid, bringing our awareness to the broad impact women are making in cleantech and sustainability through private industry, non-profits, big brands outside the green industry, and start-ups.

WCS Talks 2017 speakers, from left: ​Natalie Musick, Opower/Oracle; ​Nike Opadiran, Skadden;  and Elise Benoit, AutoGrid.

Research has shown time and again that girls with exposure to successful female role models are more likely to do well in the same fields. They gain a sense of belonging, associate those fields less with masculinity, and are more likely to have high confidence in their own skills.

“Industry, age, and cultural diversity are important to us. This year we’ll hear from legal counsel, financial services, and a photographer, as well as from key players in the renewable energy revolution. Whatever your role in cleantech, the breadth of experience at WCS Talks, and of the people attending, will enrich your career path,” said Amie Lewis, WCS Membership Director.

This year’s roster of impressive speakers includes people like Courtney Bass, an HR Business Partner at Google, who focuses on sustainability and the workforce.

“There are more and more people thinking about the intersections between cleantech, sustainability, and diversity, equity and inclusion. We are asking how we can design, build, and implement in ways that positively impact our environment and make everyone feel included,” Bass said.

WCS Talks 2017 speakers, from left: Courtney Bass, Google; Mona Maitra, Silicon Valley Bank.

Mona Maitra, our speaker from Silicon Valley Bank, shared that she would like to see more women find funding for their ventures and grow their leadership roles within those companies and in the C-suite of large corporations.  

“Networks are critical to building a successful career and a successful business,” she said. “WCS Talks provides exactly the right environment to build those networks.”  

Join these speakers and others from Levi’s, OPower, and OhmConnect, and other companies representing the spectrum of cleantech and sustainability efforts. With a focus on delivering highly personal and actionable messages, WCS Talks leaves attendees energized, enlightened, and inspired to keep tackling their own big challenges.

You don’t want to miss this once-a-year event! To get more details on this year’s speaker lineup and to register, go to 2017 WCS Talks.

WCS Talks 2016, from left: happy hour; t-shirt booth.

​Contributors: Cathy Boone and Pat Christianson

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