WCS Talks Virtual Event Series Part 4

May 8, 2021

WCS Talks is a series of virtual TED-style events featuring the brightest minds and most inspiring stories of the clean economy transition. In part 4 of our 4-part series, we hear from speakers that will highlight fascinating topics in the sustainability space, as well as provide you with a great networking experience!

Learn some life lessons, with topics including ‘Life after Sustainability’, ‘How my Life’s Work Found Me’, and ‘What I learned from living carbon neutral in 2020’. Other interesting topics include ‘Saving the world – with Plastic’, ‘The importance of female mentorship’, ‘Can 2+2 ever equal 5?’, and ‘Will Ferrell got it right – The Future is in Norway, today’.

A unique aspect of this event is the significant time we will provide for networking! Have multiple opportunities to engage one-on-one or in small groups with other attendees. Make real connections during the speed networking sessions, and discuss the fascinating speaker topics during our breakout sessions. Grow your network, make business connections, and meet others with the same passion for cleantech and sustainability!

Talk Topics

Natalie Hollier, Microsoft, “What I Learned From Living Carbon Neutral in 2020”

Meredith McClintock, Aurora Solar, “How My Life’s Work Found Me”

Jessica Poliner, Barnes Group Inc., “Saving the World – with Plastic!”

Liz Ludwig, OhmConnect, “The Importance of Female Mentorship”

Richard Youngman, CEO, Cleantech Group, “Can 2+2 Ever Equal 5?”

Kelly Ratchinsky, Innovation Norway, “Will Ferrell Got It Right. The Future Is In Norway, Today”

Susan Gladwin, Gladwin Consulting, “Life After Sustainability”

Speaker’s Biography

Natalie Hollier
Head of Cleantech & Sustainability Solutions

Natalie Hollier is a Principal Product Manager at Microsoft on the Environmental Sustainability team, responsible for leading sustainability product innovation vision, strategy and roadmap across the company working with engineering teams.

Prior to joining Microsoft she was Product Principal and Head of Cleantech & Sustainability Solutions at ThoughtWorks, a global software consulting firm, working with clients to build digital platforms, products and services towards a clean and circular economy and use green software development practices.

Natalie has worked in the tech industry for over 10 years, starting her career as a software developer at Ericsson on IPTV solutions and moving into UX design and product management roles including as VP of UX and Product at B2B SaaS solution Validately (acquired by User Zoom) and Head of Product Innovation at ThoughtWorks. She has served as a mentor with Cleantech Open, Greentown Labs and Technovation Challenge, as well as on advisory boards for startups and university programs.

She holds a BA/BSc in Computer Science and Mathematics from the University of Melbourne and an MBA in Strategy and Sustainable Business Innovation from NYU Stern. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and son.

Talk Topic: What I learned from living carbon neutral in 2020

Meredith McClintock
Aurora Solar
Head of Business Development

Meredith McClintock is a solar veteran who left a successful career in tech to fight climate change. 

Following executive positions at GE and two tech startups, she launched into the solar industry by earning her certification as a solar installer. She published the first in-depth market study of the residential solar industry, and co-authored a white paper that was used by the Governor’s office to structure the California Solar Initiative. The initiative was responsible for growing installed solar capacity by 12X over the life of the program. 

Meredith then founded and ran Ready Solar, manufacturer of Solar in a Box®, a fully pre-assembled, modular, AC-out array that reduced design and installation costs by 50%. She earned three patents in the process. 

She has been in solar ever since. Along with leadership roles in Sales, Operations, Marketing and Product, Meredith coaches sustainability startups and volunteers to fight climate change.

Meredith is currently Head of Business Development at Aurora Solar, where she creates business partnerships to enhance the value of Aurora’s solar sales and design platform for its customers.

Outside of solar, Meredith sits on the board of the National Association of Urban Debate Leagues and volunteers as a sustainability researcher at Stanford University. She holds degrees from Dartmouth College and the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Talk Topic: How My Life’s Work Found Me

Jessica Poliner
Barnes Group, Inc.
President, Molding Solutions

Jessica Poliner is a transformational leader with a history of leading geographically dispersed and culturally diverse industrial businesses. Poliner thrives on taking over challenged businesses and achieving aggressive financial goals while engaging teams around a shared vision. She is able to translate strategic direction into a practical and executable plan and then keep the organization focused with a cadence that drives a sense of urgency.

Currently Poliner serves as the President of Molding Solutions, a strategic business unit in Barnes Group. Poliner is responsible for all aspects of this global platform, consisting of six distinct businesses in the plastic injection molding industry including: Synventive, Thermoplay, Manner, FOBOHA, Priamus and Gammaflux. Molding Solutions’ end markets include medical, automotive, packaging and personal care, among others. She leads a global team with 15 manufacturing locations around the world. Recently, Jessica and her family relocated from Brussels to Freiburg, Germany.

Prior to this role, Jessica held global general management roles with the Thermo King business of Ingersoll Rand. Poliner also served in roles in sales, marketing, distribution, and operations at Caterpillar, Inc. Earlier in her career, Jessica worked as an attorney in corporate and mergers & acquisitions. Jessica is proud to have lived and worked all over the world, including the U.S., Argentina, Panama, India, Belgium, and now Germany. She is strong believer in talent development and putting people first.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University and a juris doctor degree from Marquette University. In addition, Poliner has completed graduate work at University of Buenos Aires and is enrolled in executive coursework for a Certificate of Management Excellence at Harvard Business School. An endurance athlete – both in the workplace and out, Poliner is also a published co-author of “[Un]Skirting the Issues: A Guide for the Well-Intentioned Man in Today’s Workplace,” and is an avid speaker on gender parity and unconscious bias, in addition to sustainability.

Talk Topic: Saving the World – with Plastic!

Liz Ludwig
Chief Marketing and Product Officer

Liz Ludwig currently the Chief Marketing Officer at OhmConnect, working to decarbonize our economy by flexing residential demand. She manages product development, marketing, business development and customer experience. OhmConnect incentifies hundreds of thousands of households for reducing their energy use during peak energy use periods, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and local air pollution. 

Liz has 8 years experience in the clean teach industry having spent 4 years as SVP of marketing and partnerships at Sungevity, and then serving as CMO for 3 years at Inspire Clean Energy. Her experience includes marketing, product, business development and strategy. Previously, Liz spent 16 years in consumer packaged goods and was the Vice President of Marketing at Black & Decker until 2012. 

Liz holds a BS in Civil Engineering from University of Colorado, and an MBA in Marketing from the University of San Francisco. She is passionate about animals and has served on the board of the Oakland Zoo since 2019. Liz lives in Northern California with her husband, Josh and two children.

Talk Topic: The importance of female mentorship

Susan Gladwin
Gladwin Consulting
Founder and CEO

Susan Gladwin leads a business strategy consulting practice accelerating the shift to a circular and decarbonized economy. A product and marketing executive, she works with technology companies, boards, and investors.  During her 15-year tenure at Apple, Susan ignited and grew new lines of businesses in software, hardware, and digital media. She then pivoted to focus on leveraging advanced technology for sustainable outcomes. At Autodesk over the last decade, she has propelled the company’s recognition as a sustainability leader through design and engineering of the built environment, manufacturing, and infrastructure.  Her work has extended from partnering with global brands like IKEA and Tesla to investing software in 1000s of cleantech startups worldwide.

A frequent speaker and author, Susan’s work has touched on subjects ranging from energy access, sustainability implications of machine learning, lifecycle impacts of 3D printing, and innovation methodologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in construction. She serves on the advisory boards of Checkerspot, a high-performance materials company, and 10Power, providing renewable energy in countries like Haiti, and the board of the California Council for Environmental and Economic balance. She’s excited to lay the foundation for increasing female representation and sustainability and climate literacy on boards – and the potential of these combined. 

Susan received a B.S. degree (honors) in computer and information science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and studied international political economy at the University of Copenhagen. 

Talk Topic: Life After Sustainability

Kelly Ratchinsky
Innovation Norway
Project Manager

Kelly Ratchinsky is the Membership Committee Co-Chair for Women in Cleantech & Sustainability (WCS). As a board member, she brings expertise on transportation innovation and smart cities. Kelly has earned an MSc and BSc in Ocean / Mechanical engineering specializing in autonomous vehicle control systems and renewable energy systems. Globally oriented and technically trained, Kelly has enjoyed success collaborating with business and technical teams to manage and execute industrial-scale projects.

Talk Topic: Will Ferrell Got It Right. The Future Is In Norway, Today

Richard Youngman
Cleantech Group

Since January 2016, Richard Youngman has been CEO of San-Francisco based Cleantech Group. This followed 7 years of driving the growth of Cleantech Group’s activities outside North America, especially in Europe and Israel, and Asia, based in Cleantech Group’s office in London.

Since 2002 Cleantech Group has been providing research, consulting and events services, to bring clients access to the trends, companies and people shaping the future and the customized advice and support businesses need to engage external innovation.

Richard has more than ten years of experience researching cleantech innovation, venture capital markets, and start-ups across Europe and globally. He is a regular keynote speaker at major cleantech events and is the driving force behind the annual Global Cleantech 100, a list of the world’s most promising private cleantech companies.

This followed 10+ years building a broad-based finance and research background with leading financial institutions in the City of London. 

Richard has an MA from Cambridge University, and an MBA from Theseus International Management Institute, Sophia Antipolis, France.

Talk Topic: Can 2+2 Ever Equal 5