Learn more about the 2015 Pioneers


After a background in fine arts and a degree in mechanical engineering in Product Design at Stanford University, Jasmine received a Haas Post Graduate Fellowship in 2009 to assist the Mapuche weavers of the Chol Chol Foundation in Southern Chile in creating contemporary products, branding, scalable production, and international sales channels. Since then she founded VOZ in 2011 to harness the beauty and power of the fashion industry to help skilled artisans out of rural poverty. She created a system that accomplishes this through collaborative fashion design methodology and local education programs. VOZ makes modern luxury fashions that are fair trade and ecologically sustainable.

VOZ clothing exists to celebrate the ethnic craft identity of its artisan partners in Latin America and bridge skilled rural communities and urban fashion audiences. VOZ has now presented six collections at New York Fashion Week, is selling in over 40 stores internationally, and was recently named by as one of the top five sustainable fashion brands of 2015.


Marianne is a facilitator, strategist, and communicator. Passionate about connecting the dots and people all over the world, she's lived in Bern, Zurich, Berlin, Stockholm and New York. Marianne is currently running the 30 Weeks incubator and educational program for designers in New York City. She has previously worked with the Swedish business school Hyper Island as a freelancer. Marianne has a background in communications and has been working with the PR and Public Affairs agency furrerhugi in Switzerland.


is a Menswear Designer and Creative Strategist. She has worked with the likes of Rag & Bone, Calvin Klein, Gucci and Urban Outfitters. After having worked as a designer she began focusing her attention on bridging the gap between purpose and profit and business and design. She started working with young, up and coming fashion brands that had a strong sustainability focus; helping them identify their brand identity and stay true to their purpose. Currently, she teaches a Luxury Strategy class in partnership with Columbia Business School and Parsons School of Design and freelances as a Strategist for various companies around New York


Leonardo Bonanni is Founder and CEO of Sourcemap, the supply chain mapping company. The New York startup develops enterprise software for companies to trace products, evaluate social, environmental and financial risks, and monitor real-time supply chain performance. One day soon you’ll be able to scan a product on a store shelf and be connected to the people who made it through the Sourcemap social network.

Leo is a supply chain transparency advocate named among the 100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics (2011) and America’s Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs (2012). He has taught sustainability at NYU, Columbia, Parsons, and at MIT where he received his doctorate from the MIT Media Lab. Leo has a background as an architect, an inventor and a performer. Learn more about him at and Sourcemap at


was an athlete at Dartmouth, running track and playing football, before becoming a writer for, and King Magazine. Returning to his native San Diego, a series of fortuitous connections were made, including the introduction to his co-founder, Matt Larson, and their ensuing partnership with Yamamoto Corporation in Osaka, Japan, producers of Geoprene: a titanium-coated, limestone-based rubber that was not only functionally superior but also more sustainable and kinder to Mother Nature. Built from their roots in surf culture and a vision for a superior product, Matuse was founded in 2005 with a mission to deliver premium (the Ichiban) game.

For Spring 2016, John and Matuse recently launched Matuse’s ALPHA PROJECT NO. 1: "The Elite Basics:” A premium and amphibious performance apparel collection for Men and Women. Matuse will celebrate its 10 year anniversary in the Fall of 2016.


Dr. Lucy F. Collins is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. At FIT she teaches courses in ethics, particularly in relation to fashion. Her research interests are primarily connected to questions of clothing and identity and the intersection of consumerism and sustainability. Dr. Collins has taught at Parsons the New School for Design and LIM College as well as speaking at a variety of scholarly conferences. Her writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Philosopher’s Magazine, Fashion Theory, Fashion Projects, Vestoj, and Worn Through among others.


Patrick heads sustainability and manufacturing ecosystem strategy at Manufacture New York, managing sustainability strategy, hub ecosystem planning, manufacturer engagements and onboarding, as well as sustainability consulting services. He has over 15 years of consulting and project management experience including the pioneer Bay Area Green Business Certification Program and Regional Smart Growth Strategy in California; the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA’s) Industrial and Process Efficiency Program; the Triangle J Industrial Ecosystem Development Project in the Research Triangle Park of North Carolina; the PlanNYC Jobs Impact Study for the Mayor’s Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability; and research examining the feasibility of product level sustainability certification systems for apparel with the consortium A Clean Future. Patrick holds a Master of Regional Planning (MRP) from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, with dual Concentrations in Economic Development and International Development & Social Change, and Majored in Philosophy at the University of California, at Berkeley. His graduate and undergraduate studies included extensive coursework in environmental science and ecology.


Rhett Godfrey is a Director of Sustainability at Loomstate and Co-Founder and Coordinator of ChetCo a sustainable buyers club for community development for organic cotton production in India. Rhett is also a published author, public after school educator, and wilderness skills expert.


is a Catalan-raised, British-born contemporary artist and cyborg activist best known for having an antenna implanted in his skull and for being officially recognized as a cyborg by a government. The antenna allows him to perceive visible and invisible colours such as infrareds and ultraviolets via sound waves. The antenna’s internet connection allows him to receive colors from space as well as images, videos, music or phone calls directly into his head via external devices such as mobile phones or satellites. Harbisson identifies himself as a cyborg, he feels both his mind and body are united to cybernetics. He doesn’t feel he is using or wearing technology, instead he feels he is technology. His artworks investigate the relationship between colour and sound, experiment the boundaries of human perception and explore the use of artistic expression via sensory extensions. In 2010 he co-founded the Cyborg Foundation with Moon Ribas, an international organization that aims to help humans become cyborgs, defend cyborg rights and promote cyborgism as a social and artistic movement.


Nicole holds an acute passion for the space where entrepreneurism and creativity meet, where aesthetics and meaning collide, where profit and purpose merge. With fourteen years of experience in the field of art and design, Nicole is a multidisciplinary designer with a decade long career in corporate fashion; the majority of her time spent designing apparel for mega-brand Victoria's Secret. In late 2013, she left her New York City career to independently travel through Africa in hopes of finding a more meaningful way to use business and design. In May 2014, inspired to create a modern brand built on a meaningful supply chain after falling in love with Ethiopia, and the craftsmanship of local textile weavers, Nicole founded womenswear brand Cienne NY. Designed and made in New York, the brand uses minimal design to highlight artisanal textiles from around the world, with seasonal collections available exclusively at Cienne is B Corp Certified Pending.


Debera Johnson is the executive director of the Center for Sustainable Design Studies at Pratt Institute and has a lifelong commitment to integrating sustainability into academics, research and practice. Debera founded the Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation in 2002 which recently transitioned into the Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator a hub for ethical design, production and technology. The BF+DA mentors emerging design-based ventures building triple bottom line businesses. The BF+DA also supports research projects exploring the intersection of sustainability, technology and manufacturing. Deb was the chair of Pratt’s Industrial Design program and founded the Partnership for Academic Leadership in Sustainability (PALS) a consortium of 25 art and design colleges that are working collaboratively to advance sustainability in art and design programs.


Sara Kozlowski is a fashion design maker, strategist, and program architect with twenty years of experience within industry and education. As Director of Education and Professional Development, Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), she is responsible for the research, development and delivery of educational initiatives and post graduate opportunities for the next generation of American and global designers.

Previously she served as Director of External Projects and an Assistant Professor of Fashion at Parsons The New School for Design, curating opportunities for academic engagement by developing and managing a roster of industry partnerships which include but are not limited to collaborations with: Kering,, Luxottica, Coach, Esprit, Uniqlo, and Louis Vuitton as well as a number of cross-program, institutional, and public program initiatives. She also contributed as lead developer to the curricula of new program offerings including the Masters of Professional Studies (MPS) in Fashion Strategies, Parsons Executive Education for The New School, and NYCEDC Fashion Talent Week. Students of these programs have made a number of achievements such as CFDA scholarships, external partnership awards, and successful global post graduation placements at Theory, Tory Burch, Donna Karan, Balenciaga, and other global brands.

Sara holds an MBA in Design Strategy from California College of the Arts (CCA) and a BFA in Fashion Design, with both the Byron Lars & Anna Sui Golden Thimble Awards. She has worked at Anna Sui and launched her own brand sara kozlowski: CAKE, which has sold at 40+ accounts worldwide, presented seasonally at NYFW, and featured editorially by major publications. Sara’s work is dedicated to serving the third space between education and industry by researching the intersections between fashion, sustainability, and systems of thinking.


is the VP of Member Engagement for WeWork, a coworking space and platform for creatives. Previously Erik was US General Manager for Depop, a social shopping app, and prior to that the longtime General Manager at reddit. In 2012 TIME Magazine named him to their list of “The 100 Most Influential People in the World.” Erik is an outspoken supporter of protecting internet freedom and innovation and serves on the Internet Infrastructure Coalition advisory board. Erik also launched a pro bono service that helps senior citizens and other underserved communities sort out customer service problems with big companies. Before his internet addiction fully took hold, he worked as a documentary filmmaker. Erik is half-Swiss but grew up in Chapel Hill, NC, and graduated from Tulane University.


Cortney McDermott is an internationally sought after communications and business-life strategist.

An award-winning writer and inspirational speaker, Cortney has served as an executive at Vanity Fair Corporation, Vice President at Sustainability Partners, Professor of graduate studies for Big Ten US universities, and Global Associate for the prestigious beCause consortium.

A successful serial entrepreneur, Cortney now advises Fortune 500 executives and entrepreneurial leaders on compelling communications, sustainable innovation, and business-life harmony.

Cortney is a graduate of the London School of Economics and a certified cultural mediator in multiple languages. She lives with her husband and daughter in the North of Italy. Connect with Cortney at


Ross Popoff-Walker is a UX designer at Google where he works on improving Google Search. Before that, he designed websites for big brand clients, created console video games, crafted mobile apps for Android and iOS, and worked as a product designer and manager at several different startups. He studied at the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh, and is passionate about connecting with others who believe in the transformative power of user-centered design.


is a scientist, engineer and investor working in the greater New York area. He lectures on research with data and the use of sensors. Before working in finance he worked in medical research at the Penn Med, finding new connections between diseases using multiple sources of data. He also taught automated gene sequence alignment prior to the Human Genome Project and did research in Cardiology elucidating cell signaling in erythrocytes.

Brendan integrated the numerous sensors on one of the first unmanned submersibles. He was also a Visiting Investigator at MIT. Brendan holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and has taught at a number of universities. He had medical training at Ross University and clerkships at Penn Med.

He was an associate producer, a founding member of the IETF, worked on email standards with the team that won the Postel award in 2009 and enjoys quarterly meetings with the Shadow Open Market Committee.


(May 24th, 1985) is a Catalan contemporary choreographer and the co-founder of the Cyborg Foundation, an international organization that aims to help people become cyborgs, defend cyborg rights and promote cyborgism as an artistic and social movement.

Moon graduated in Choreography at Dartington College of Arts (England), and studied at Theatreschool of Amsterdam SNDO (School for New Dance Development).

Since 2007 Moon has been experimenting with different cybernetics devices that allow her to perceive movement in a deeper way. Moon's main research consists in developing the seismic sense, perceiving the movement of real-time earthquakes all around the world, small as 1 in Richter scale. Moon then translates this new sense on stage, her main piece is called Waiting for Earthquakes, a piece where she stands waiting for an earthquake to take place, when this happen she moves according to the intensity of the earthquake, so if there are no earthquakes there will be no dance. Ribas has performed and given talks in several venues and festivals such as TedxMunich (Germany), TedxMuscat (Oman), Campus Party London (UK), Fierce Fest (UK) or TNT (Festival of New Trends, Spain).


Dr. Sabine Seymour is an entrepreneur and researcher focusing on the next generation of wearables and the intertwining of aesthetics and function in our garments. She is described as being an innovator and has been involved in wearables for almost two decades. Sabine is the founder and CEO of Moondial, a consultancy working with Fortune 100 companies worldwide on inventing new products, examining manufacturing processes, and building prototypes. She recently founded the soft computation start-up Moonlab to serve the need for a truly seamless sensor system for clothing.
Sabine is an active member in the wearable technology community; which affords her to have access to the latest R&D. She recently was a visiting researcher for Computational Cellulose at Aalto University in Helsinki, curated the MAK Fashion Lab at the Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna, co-directed the research project BODYMetaphor at The New School, and was on the steering committee for ZeroPower Smart Fashion. Sabine authored the successful books "Fashionable Technology, The Intersection of Design, Fashion, Science, and Technology" and "Functional Aesthetics".
Sabine serves as adviser and jury member, and chairs the Rockefeller Foundation Grant funded project Computational Fashion at Eyebeam. She has received numerous grants and awards and was awarded the Michael Kalil Endowment for Smart Design Fellowship.


Rebecca is a sustainability and innovation consultant and educator, and co-founder of an emerging cleanweb startup, Efficient Cities. She has worked with global companies and NGOs including the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Walmart, Sanofi, The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), Adidas and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), to develop cross-functional innovation programs, resources, and new products which return positive value to both business and the environment. For the past three years Rebecca has also served as an adjunct professor at both the School of Visual Arts’ Products of Design masters program and at Parsons the New School for Design, where she teaches sustainability to burgeoning designers and entrepreneurs. Rebecca has a BFA in Industrial Design from RISD, and two masters degrees from the University of Michigan: an MBA from the Ross School of Business and an MS in environmental science from the School of Natural Resources and Environment, through the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise.


is an NYC based industrial designer. His studio, Sinclair Smith & Co., has provided strategic consulting services for clients including PSFK, Amex, BMW and Samsung, product design services for Disney and Svbscription, and retail interiors for DKNY, Staple Design and Dolce Vita Footwear. He is a professor at SVA’s MFA in Products of Design and at Pratt Institute and is a co-founder of Modern Primitive Exchange. He holds a BFA in film production from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and worked in film for a few years before receiving a masters of industrial design from Pratt Institute. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and son and makes music as much as possible.


Kiely Sweatt is a facilitator, writer, teacher and co-founder of an international performing arts company. She is currently acting as an advisor to 30 Weeks.


Julie Sygiel is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Dear Kate, a startup that makes high performance underwear and activewear. Made by women for women, Dear Kate's mission is to give women the confidence to do anything by equipping them with apparel that’s up for the challenge. Conceptualized in an undergraduate entrepreneurship class at Brown University, Dear Kates are designed with a built-in breathable lining that keeps women prepared for anything. Julie developed the patent-pending fabric using her engineering background and the line is now manufactured in New York City. Dear Kate has been featured in over 150 publications including New York Magazine, Inc, CNBC, Fast Company, Glamour, Elle, Shape, Refinery29, ESPN W, Well+Good, and Yoga Journal.

Julie is a member of the Girl Scouts of the USA National Board of Directors and has a special place in her heart for Girl Scout Cookies given that she sold 10,000 boxes while growing up. She co-founded The Lady Project, a group that strives to connect, inspire, and showcase amazing women doing awesome things. Julie graduated in 2009 from Brown University with a degree in chemical engineering and believes that all women should hold their underthings to a higher standard.


Glen is a senior interaction designer at Google in California primarily focused on user engagement. He grew up in Melbourne, Australia on a diet of bike riding, record shopping and DIY projects in his Dad's garage which led to a passion for product design, emerging technologies and maker culture. Prior to joining Google, he lived in New York, Vienna, and London developing digital interfaces, brand strategy, and visual identity for clients including Core77, Coroflot, Hand-Eye Supply, FashionWare, The Impossible Project, Lomography, Epaulet, SVA, and Filmakr.


works closely with Kickstarter creators from the Design and Technology communities. He helps them plan, develop and run campaigns to bring projects and products to life. Before Kickstarter Julio worked as a producer of interactive installations at the LAB at Rockwell Group, and explored creative applications of hardware technology at NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program.


Dana Thomas is the author of the new double-biography Gods and Kings: The Rise and Fall of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano and the New York Times bestseller, Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster, both published by The Penguin Press. She is a contributing editor for T: The New York Times Style magazine as well as a regular contributor to Architectural Digest. She began her career writing for the Style section of The Washington Post in Washington, D.C. and from 1995 to 2011, she served as a cultural and fashion correspondent for Newsweek in Paris. She has written for the New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, WSJ, the Financial Times, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Architectural Digest and Elle Decor and was the European editor of Condé Nast Portfolio. Thomas is a member of the Anglo-American Press Association in Paris and the Overseas Press Club. She taught journalism at The American University of Paris from 1996 to 1999. In 1987, she received the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation Scholarship and the Ellis Haller Award for Outstanding Achievement in Journalism. She lives in Paris.


Erika is an information architect and senior web producer by trade and lead CoClear's digital strategy and product design. Erika has an MPA from the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), Columbia University, and an Honors degree in digital media and computer science from UNSW.


Christina Lila Wilson is the Project Manager at AngelHack, launching an international series of hackathons and a B Corp accelerator next year. She worked with Springboard and the Partnership Fund for NYC to launch the New York Fashion Tech Lab, selecting disruptive fashion tech concepts for collaboration and iteration with LVMH, Kate Spade,, Ralph Lauren. Christina is directing NYCs & working with MIT Enterprise Forum solving international development challenges through entrepreneurship. She helped expand Open Source Fashion and the Freestyle Fashion Conference to new cities. A Former MidEast nonprofiteer, she has worked with entrepreneurial women in Turkey, Afghanistan and Syria. She specializes in investor decks, UX & is on the team for a soon to be launched female mentorship platform mentHER and skills barter exchange service: Karma.


Nida leads the New Search Products user experience team in Google Search. Part design team, part design incubator, they are charged with making the future of Google Search awesome. She’s biding her time until space travel is affordable. Player of games, shooter of pictures. She likes to look at stars.