The Voices of 10 Women Leading the Way to a Sustainable Future

We may not know exactly what a sustainable future looks like, but one thing that’s certain is women have a role at the forefront. As the host of the Bigger Than Us podcast, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with some of the women leading the way in areas including finance, waste management, agriculture, fashion, environmental policy, and more. It’s been a pleasure to highlight their careers and accomplishments.

Unfortunately, women are still underrepresented in leadership. So, we’re making an effort to normalize these voices in historically male-dominated industries. To start, here are ten of the most recent women in sustainability leadership roles who have been featured on the Bigger Than Us podcast.

Valerie Rockefeller

Co-Chair of BankFWD and Chair of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund

Valerie Rockefeller embraces her responsibility and influence to persuade banks to phase out financing for fossil fuel and to lead on climate through BankFWD. She also chairs the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, a philanthropic fund focusing on social change that contributes to a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world.

Learn how BankFWD is shedding light on the risk of investing in fossil fuels, why Valerie sees guilt as a motivator, and what she’s learned about herself in the career pivot from education to entrepreneurship on Bigger Than Us episode 111.

Be sure to stick around until the end for some inspiring words of wisdom for anyone wanting to get involved in the sustainability movement.


Lisa Jacobson

President of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE)

Policy certainly plays a role in the widespread adoption of sustainable energy. But how do policymakers stay informed about new energy technology? That’s where the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) comes in.

Lisa Jacobson is President of the BCSE, advising states and federal policymakers on energy, tax, air quality, and climate change policy. Learn how she pivoted from domestic education and healthcare policy to energy, what energy technology she finds most exciting, and her words of advice for integrating your passion into your career on episode 109 of the Bigger Than Us podcast.


Tinia Pina

Founder and CEO of Re-Nuble

Soilless farms are one solution for improving the sustainability of our food system. But, getting plants the nutrients they need in a hydroponic setting can be tricky. 

Re-Nuble’s Organic Cycling Science solves soilless fertilizing problems by using food waste. Hear from Re-Nuble founder and CEO Tinia Pina about how Re-Nuble is bringing back closed-loop food, how she stays inspired by nature and her advice on sharing resources in business and in life on episode 106 of the Bigger Than Us Podcast.


Michelle Greene

President of the Long Term Stock Exchange (LTSE)

Michelle is the president of the LTSE, a public-market option for companies and investors who share a long-term vision. She has served in senior roles at the New York Stock Exchange and the US Department of the Treasury, as a consultant with McKinsey & Co., Inc. and as a securities lawyer. Michelle teaches at Columbia University and has served on numerous non-profit boards and as a member of the White House Council on Women and Girls.

Tune in to the Bigger Than Us podcast to hear her share LTSE’s 5 listing principles for long-term value creation and accountability of metrics that matter for long-term goals. She also talks about the time-horizon perspective shift that can help you align with your long-term mission, how the startup environment taught her to embrace failure, and her personal story about taking a professional risk to align with her authentic self.


Stacy Savage

Founder and President of Zero Waste Strategies 

How much is your waste costing your business? “Waste nerd” Stacy Savage can help you answer that question and implement solutions to drive increased revenue, deeper customer loyalty, and give your business a green marketing edge through her company Zero Waste Strategies, LLC.

Stacy reflects on how growing up with pollution and getting involved in grassroots efforts in her local community impacted her career path on the Bigger Than Us podcast. Plus, hear her thoughts on youth involvement in sustainability and knowing your worth as an entrepreneur.


Marilyn Waite

Program Officer in Environment at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

When you think abou sustainable swaps, your bank is probably the last thing that comes to mind. But Marilyn Waite knows just how important banking and investing sustainably is. In fact, she says it’s one thing we can all do to be better homo sapiens.

Marilyn leads the climate and clean energy finance work at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. She’s also the author of Sustainability at Work: Careers that Make a Difference, and editor-at-large at GreenBiz Group. One episode 88 of Bigger Than Us, she sheds light on exactly how much needs to be invested to make a significant impact on climate change, how different pools of capital can help shift the financial system to focus on climate mitigating activities, why she wants to see banks and retirement funds aligned with the green economy we’re working toward and more.


Stephanie Benedetto

CEO & Co-Founder of Queen of Raw

Stephanie Benedetto saw the fashion industry stacking up against people and the planet and decided to take action. She went from corporate attorney to fashion tech and sustainability entrepreneur and co-founded Queen of Raw, a marketplace to buy and sell unused textiles, keeping them out of landfills and turning pollution into profit.

Since then, Queen of Raw has saved over a billion gallons of water, and Stephanie says “we’re just getting started.” In her interview on the Bigger Than Us podcast, she reveals how Queen of Raw uses blockchain and AI to identify and minimize waste streams, why fashion and supply chains have the potential to solve the water crisis and her practical advice and words of wisdom for entrepreneurs. 


Elizabeth Sawin

Co-Founder and Co-Director of Climate Interactive

Elizabeth Sawin is Co-Founder and Co-Director of Climate Interactive. She’s an expert on solutions that address climate change while also improving health, well-being, equity, and economic vitality, and she is the originator of the term ‘multisolving’ to describe such win-win-win solutions. 

In her interview on episode 84 of the Bigger Than Us podcast, you’ll hear how Climate Interactive’s computer simulation tools help sharpen our intuition, her philosophy about dancing with systems rather than trying to control them, and not allowing uncertainty to hold you back from taking action. 

You’ll also hear about how you can become a Climate Ambassador through Climate Interactive’s En-ROADS program.


Sabrina Williams

Co-Founder & CEO of SEED

There will be 9 billion people to feed by 2050. SEED is opening the door to a sustainable future of food with a full-service “farm in a box” that allows anyone to grow food anywhere. 

On episode 80 of Bigger Than Us, SEED co-founder and CEO Sabrina Williams discusses how the calling to seek justice for low-income communities led her from a career in architecture to providing urban farmer education in Los Angeles and Cuba and here she sees possibilities for using technology to support nature. Listen and learn how growing your food can be an enjoyable and empowering experience.


Juliana Garaizar

Launch Director at Greentown Labs Houston

Greentown Labs is on a mission to solve climate change by providing companies with the resources and lab space they require to make it happen. Juliana Garaizar is the Launch Director at Greentown Labs’ new location in Houston. She sees massive opportunities for Greentown Labs and Houston as the city becomes the energy transition capital of the world.

Tune in to episode 79 of Bigger Than Us to hear what she’s learned about the importance of company culture and how she stepped out of her comfort zone to align her work with her passion and values. Plus, why she’s dedicated her career to diversity and inclusion.


Is there a woman in leadership you’d like to hear featured on the podcast? Send us an email at Subscribe to hear from more inspiring industry leaders every Tuesday and Friday on the Bigger Than Us podcast, and share your feedback about the show on iTunes.

Raj Daniels

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