Women in Green
Women in Green: The Culture of Courage
Women in Green is an interactive event that features discussions on the topics facing women around the world. This year's theme, Culture of Courage, celebrates the crucially needed and deliberate voice that women bring to society and to the green building movement.
Zaria Forman documents climate change with pastel drawings. She travels to remote regions of the world to collect images and inspiration for her work, which is exhibited worldwide. She has flown with NASA on several Operation IceBridge missions over Antarctica, Greenland, and Arctic Canada.
She was featured on CBS Sunday Morning, CNN, and PBS. She delivered a TEDTalk, and spoke at Amazon, Google, and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, exhibited in Banksy’s Dismaland, and was the artist-in-residence aboard the National Geographic Explorer in Antarctica.
Her works have appeared in publications such as The New York Times, National Geographic, Huffington Post, and the Smithsonian Magazine. Forman currently works and resides in Brooklyn, NY, and is represented by Winston Wächter Fine Art in New York, NY and Seattle, WA.
Living sustainably has always been a core belief and practice of Mahesh Ramanujam. Growing up in India where much of the population around him faced economic and environmental hardships, Mahesh learned from a young age to make do and be grateful for what things he had and to give what he could to others so they could share in his resources. This is the philosophy that Mahesh brings to U.S. Green Building Council and Green Building Certification Inc. — maximize the resources you have today so there is abundance for many tomorrow. Mahesh believes in the power of people to change the world for the better, and that true global market transformation can be achieved by working together to build healthier and more sustainable communities, where buildings perform at a higher level and human health and wellness is prioritized and enhanced. In his dual roles as President and Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and Green Business Certification, Inc. (GBCI), Mahesh leads and empowers hundreds of employees across the globe and thousands of volunteers across USGBC’s ever expanding community to help realize USGBC and GBCI’s mission and vision. Mahesh brings a true passion for people, global sensibilities and strategy, and an entrepreneurial leadership approach to USGBC and GBCI’s rapidly expanding and diversifying teams, as well as their respective suites of best-in-class products and offerings. Mahesh has a wide range of expertise including organizational leadership, consensus building and negotiation, global business and market development, marketing and communications, technological innovation and enterprise platform development, and organizational excellence. Before becoming CEO of USGBC, Mahesh served as USGBC’s Chief Operations Officer and as Chief Information Officer prior to that. Prior to joining GBCI in 2009, Mahesh was COO of Emergys Corp., a business technology-consulting firm that leverages emerging technologies to deliver business transformation to its clients. Over a period of 11 years, Mahesh successfully led various business transformation programs at IBM and Lenovo. Mahesh currently sits on the Advisory Council of the International WELL Building Institute and the Board of Directors of GRESB. Mahesh graduated from India’s Annamalai University with a degree in Computer Engineering. As USGBC’s Chief Operating Officer and as President of GBCI, Mahesh executes and supports the vision of USGBC and GBCI CEO Rick Fedrizzi by bringing a passion for people, the global business case for a sustainable built environment, and a strategic operational focus to a rapidly expanding organization that is certifying more than 1.9 million square feet of LEED commercial office space every day across the globe. Mahesh’s areas of expertise include strategic business planning, business and market development, the customer experience, business process optimization, finance, operations, human performance and productivity management, technology, organizational design, and marketing. Mahesh graduated from India’s Annamalai University with a degree in Computer Engineering. Before becoming COO of USGBC, Mahesh served as USGBC’s Chief Information Officer and oversaw technology, customer service at GBCI. Prior to joining GBCI in 2009, Mahesh was COO of Emergys Corp., a business technology consulting firm that leverages emerging technologies to deliver business transformation to its clients. Over a period of 11 years, Mahesh successfully led various transformation programs at IBM and Lenovo.
David Bluestone is a Founder and Partner of ClearPath Strategies. He has over a decade of experience providing strategic consulting and public opinion research to politicians, businesses, and organizations. His work spans five continents and over two dozen countries. He has been responsible for the design, methodology, and analysis of hundreds of surveys and has personally overseen hundreds focus groups across the world. Bluestone brings rich campaign thinking and public opinion research expertise to help corporate leaders use data to create meaningful insights and impactful executions. Bluestone has led research and strategy for several US issue advocacy organizations, with a particular focus on the new economy, housing, and healthcare. He also has led research and strategy for several prominent international political campaigns, including the recent elections Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, and Venezuela, among others. Bluestone holds a Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California—Berkeley. He is also a Fulbright Scholar. Bluestone is fluent in Spanish and is a trained focus group moderator. He lives in Oakland with his wife and new daughter.
The U.S. Green Building Council has commissioned ClearPath Strategies, a global public opinion research company, to conduct independent nationwide research on people’s views of the environment. By and large, respondents from all walks of life are deeply concerned about the health of our environment over the long-term but do very little to address the problem in their daily lives. When asked why, they say it simply feels like too daunting a task. And, in a wake-up call for our community, they still rank green buildings quite low as a viable avenue for improving the environment.
Throughout 2019, USGBC and the Living Standard campaign will continue this research, going out into communities across the U.S. and exploring how sustainability is part of the way in which we lead our lives. In this keynote address, David Bluestone, founder of ClearPath Strategies, will report out on how the public at large feels about the issues at the core of the green building community’s mission—sustainability, green buildings, and the environment—and how the green building community can scale our transformational efforts.
Dr. Tara Kulkarni, P.E.
Tara Kulkarni is an Associate Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Director of the Center for Global Resilience and Security (CGRS) at Norwich University (NU). She has a PhD from Florida State University and is a licensed professional engineer. She has over fifteen years of experience, across state government, management consulting, and academia.
Besides teaching engineering courses, Dr. Kulkarni has been the NU Society of Women Engineers chapter advisor, mentored local area girl scouts, NU Girls Inventors Camp participants, and served as a sustainability and environmental badge counselor for local area boy scouts. She has consulted for the NU STEM academy, and served for four years, as the engineering instructor for K-8 teachers in the Vermont Science Initiative’s Engineering and Science Summer Academy. She also mentors newer civil engineering faculty through the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Dr. Kulkarni regularly publishes in the water resources and engineering education areas. Her 2014 paper on service-learning, earned her the best professional paper award (from Xerox Corporation to the professional paper that focuses on bringing systemic approaches to increase the representation of women, underprivileged, and underrepresented groups in STEM education and careers) in an American Society of Engineering Education conference.