Shannon Biggs directs the Community Rights program at Global Exchange, an international human rights organization that addresses root causes of injustice. She helps communities confronted by corporate harms adopt binding laws that place community rights and community nature above the legal rights of corporations. Ms. Biggs also teaches rights-based organizing frameworks at weekend-long Democracy Schools, held in 23 states around the country. She is the author of the book, Building the Green Economy: Success Stories from the Grassroots. She is a regular contributor to Global Exchange media, and her articles and speeches are cited in a variety of alternative and mainstream media. Prior to her involvement at Global Exchange, Ms. Biggs was a senior staffer at the International Forum on Globalization (IFG), where she served as a staff contributor and editor. She has also been a lecturer on international relations at San Francisco State University. Ms. Biggs holds a Master’s in Empire and Post Colonialism Economics from the London School of Economics, and a BS in International Relations from San Francisco State University.
Tony Clarke is the founder and director of the Polaris Institute of Canada, which enables citizen movements to develop new tools for democratic social change in the age of economic globalization. Dr. Clarke also currently serves on the boards of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the International Forum on Globalization. From 1987 to 1993, he was the National Chair of the Action Canada Network, a nation-wide coalition of social, labor, farm, and environmental organizations which mobilized public opposition to Canadian free trade deals (e.g. NAFTA). He was also the National Director of social justice programs for the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Chair of the Canadian Council of Churches’ Justice and Peace Commission. In 2005, Dr. Clarke received the prestigious Right Livelihood Award, known worldwide as the “alternative Nobel Prize.” His publications include The Emergence of Corporation Rule – and What We Can Do About It and Behind the Mitre: The Moral Leadership Crisis in the Canadian Catholic Church. Dr. Clarke received his PhD in Social Ethics and Professional Ministry from the University of Chicago.
Jeff Furman served as Ben & Jerry’s in house legal counsel, fostered many of the company’s social initiatives, and has served on the company’s corporate board for more than 30 years. Mr. Furman is currently the Chair of the Ben & Jerry’s corporate board and a trustee of the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation. He is also on the steering committee of the Funders Network on Transforming the Global Economy. Mr. Furman resides in Ithaca, New York with his family. Locally, he is the president of Social Ventures, a 501(c)3 organization as well as the founder of a community dispute resolution center and a community micro-finance program. He has also served on the local school board, working to eliminate socio-economic status as a predictor of student success, and is an advisor to the Dorothy Cotton Institute.
Anuradha Mittal is an internationally renowned expert on trade, development, human rights and agriculture issues. After working as the codirector of Food First/ Institute for Food and Development Policy, Ms. Mittal established the Oakland Institute, a progressive policy think tank, in 2004. Ms. Mittal is the author and editor of numerous articles and books including America Needs Human Rights; The Future in the Balance: Essays on Globalization and Resistance; Sahel: A Prisoner of Starvation; and most recently of Voices from Africa: African Farmers and Environmentalists Speak out Against a New Green Revolution; and The Great Land Grab: Rush for World’s Farmland Threatens Food Security for the Poor. Her articles and opinion pieces have been published in widely circulated newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Bangkok Post, Houston Chronicle, and The Nation. Ms. Mittal has given several hundred keynote addresses including invitational events from governments and universities, and has appeared on television and radio shows around the world. Named as the 2008 Most Valuable Progressive Thinker by the Nation magazine, Ms. Mittal was awarded the 2007 Global Citizen Award by the UNA-USA East Bay and KPFA Peace Award in 2006. She is on the board and advisory committees of several non profit organizations including the Polaris Institute and is a member of the corporate board of Ben & Jerry's which focuses on providing leadership for Ben & Jerry’s social mission and brand integrity. Ms. Mittal lives in Oakland and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carolyn Purcell is a family nurse practitioner with over 20 years of experience working in community clinics, including the United Farm Worker’s Delano clinic. Ms. Purcell lives in Mountain View, California and is active in her local community as a contributor to a variety of education, peace, faith-based, and immigration rights projects.
Carol Johnson has been the director of St. Mary’s Center in downtown Oakland since 1999. Since becoming Director at St. Mary’s Center, the organization has grown to serve more clients and provide comprehensive service delivery, which includes leadership for affordable housing, food security, and affordable health care. Guided by principles of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights, the center’s and Ms. Johnson’s leadership has been recognized by the community. St. Mary’s Center has been honored with the UNA-East Bay Global Citizen Award and a Local Hero Award from Housing Rights Inc. St. Mary’s Center advocates have also been honored by the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, the Alameda County Mental Health Association, and others.
Tania Rose has been practicing law in San Francisco for over twenty years. Her practice focuses on civil rights, employment discrimination, and international human rights law. She is also a charter member of the non-profit United4Iran, where she served as Deputy International Coordinator for 2010-2011. She is currently working on establishment of a small worker collective in Nayarit, Mexico with the goal of creating cradle to cradle surf apparel.
Atul Sharan is a veteran of the high-technology industry with experience as an engineer, serial entrepreneur, CEO and angel investor. He specializes in identifying early stage companies with breakthrough technologies and successfully commercializing their technologies and products.
Curently a resident at Artiman Ventures in Palo Alto, Sharan was previously the President & CEO of AutoESL, a start-up with innovative technology licensed from UCLA. Prior to that he has been instrumental in the success of various start-ups including Compass Design Automation, Ambit, Numerical Technologies, and ClearShape Technologies Inc. Sharan brings his corporate experience with the hope of turning OI into a lasting organization that will transcend generational change.