Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Tecton Energy, LLC
Bill Dirks is co-founder and Managing Partner of Tecton Energy, LLC in Houston, Texas. Tecton is an Oil and Gas Exploration company focused on finding and developing unconventional hydrocarbon resources in the US and Canada. From 2002-2005 he served as President of Samson Canada Ltd., a privately-owned oil company in Calgary, Alberta. Previously he worked for the Royal Dutch / Shell Group of companies in a variety of roles, including President and CEO of Shell Technology Ventures Inc., an organization he founded in 1995 to commercialize Shell’s global technology portfolio. Dirks also served as Division Manager of Shell’s Onshore U.S. Exploration Division, as District Manager of the Deepwater Gulf of Mexico Division, and as Manager and Budget Coordinator of Shell Oil Co. E&P Finance. He served as a Director of the Shell International E&P Company and Chairman of TerraTherm Environmental Services Inc. Dirks is active in community development projects in both the U.S. and Canada, with a personal focus on organizations dedicated to children’s welfare and protection. He received a BS degree in Geology (1979) and an MS in Civil Engineering (1981) from Iowa State University. He and his wife Tammy live in Houston; they have three children.
Artist, President, Janet Echelman, Inc.
Artist Janet Echelman reshapes urban airspace with monumental public sculptures which are animated by natural forces like wind, water, and sunlight. Now in construction for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, Janet's Richmond Skating Oval commission takes run-off water from the facility's 2-acre roof and transforms it into a water garden intersected by curved pedestrian bridges, Sky Lanterns, and water-remediating fountains. Her $2.5 million Phoenix Civic Space commission creates a new civic icon in the sky which makes desert winds visible to the human eye, and projects patterned shadow drawings upon the ground. Her winning the Hoboken September 11th Memorial competition will result in a new free-standing island in the Hudson River. In 2005, when Echelman permanently installed a 160-foot-tall knotted wind sculpture on the coast of Porto, Portugal, Sculpture Magazine called it "one of the truly significant public artworks in recent years." Echelman graduated from Harvard College, then received graduate degrees in painting and in psychology, prior to returning to Harvard in 2007 as a Loeb Fellow at the Graduate School of Design. From 1988-1993, Janet worked on the island of Bali, Indonesia; she has since moved her studio to both New York City and Brookline, MA, where she lives with husband David Feldman, Managing Director of Feldman Advisors, and their two children.
Chairman and CEO, Teknowledge
Neil Jacobstein is Chairman and CEO of Teknowledge Corporation, a knowledge systems company started in 1981 in Palo Alto. Jacobstein became a Senior Research Fellow in the Digital Vision Program at Stanford University in 2006, and is currently a Distinguished Visiting Scholar in Stanford’s Media X Program. He has been Chairman of the 501c3 Institute for Molecular Manufacturing since 1992. He has given talks worldwide on the future of nanotechnology. In 1999, Jacobstein became an Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellow. He received his BS in Environmental Sciences, Summa cum Laude from the University of Wisconsin, and an MS in Human Ecology from the University of Texas, in a program with NASA. Jacobstein was a Graduate Research Intern in the Learning Research Group at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, and a consultant in PARC's Software Concepts Group. He spent four years doing renewable energy and environmental research as a Research Associate with the Center for the Biology of Natural Systems. Jacobstein has served on a variety of industry, government, and nonprofit advisory boards. He has given seven Aspen Institute Socrates Seminars on the opportunities and risks of future technologies, and is a co-founder of the Aspen Institute’s Energy and Environment Awards.
CEO, Marcus Venture Consulting
Lucy Marcus is the Founder and CEO of Marcus Venture Consulting, Ltd., advisors to venture capital and private equity funds, institutions and corporations. Lucy is also the Chair of The Global Task Force on Building Women Leaders. Lucy sits on a number of boards, including serving as an independent non-executive director and treasurer on the board of the International Step-by-Step Association (ISSA), the international advisory board of the Instituto de Empresa Business School in Madrid, and the Advisory Board of Latilla LLC. Lucy is also on the board of the Wellesley College Business Leadership Council, and is a fellow and on the board of the British American Project. Lucy has worked in a number of sectors from software and the internet to government and financial services. Selected as a World Economic Forum Global Leader for Tomorrow, Lucy is also a fellow of the Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellowship Program. A regular speaker on global economic trends and best practices for investment, private equity, venture capital, entrepreneurship, and women in business, Lucy is frequently quoted in the press, including the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, The International Herald Tribune, and has appeared on CNBC, Sky Business Report, and BBC World Service. A dual American and British citizen, Lucy holds a B.A. from Wellesley College (Wellesley, Massachusetts) and an M.Phil. from the University of Cambridge (Cambridge, England).
Founder and CEO, Clean Partners
Vishal Vasishth is currently the founder and CEO of Clean Partners, a strategic consulting and investment firm serving innovative businesses in the consumer space. In this capacity, Vishal has worked on numerous projects in diverse areas, such as: buyout transaction, strategic planning, due diligence. and helped raise equity capital for an innovative sustainable agriculture company. Prior to this, Vishal served as Strategic Advisor and before that Vice President- Strategy for Revolution Living LLC, a private investment holding company. In these roles, he evaluated new investments and helped with post-investment management of the portfolio companies. Prior to that, Vishal was Chief Strategy Officer for Patagonia, Inc., assisting the CEO in developing the company’s strategic direction, restructuring and overseeing operations. Vishal has worked as an advisor to Investor’s Circle, an angel investor forum targeted towards the health and wellness/clean-tech space. He currently serves as an advisor to many emerging innovative companies, for example Good Magazine, Maverick Surf Ventures & Twenty Two Shoes. He serves as the founding board of advisor for B Corporation, an innovative non-profit venture. Vishal has been a speaker & moderator in numerous events, such as: MIT, UCLA, Vantage Point cleantech conference, Jim Leher show & Aspen Institute. He is a Henry Crown fellow of the Aspen Institute and Next Generation Fellow of the American Assembly. Vishal earned a B. Tech degree in India, a Master’s degree in Sciences from North Carolina State University and an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.