A frequent blogger for Forbes and other outlets, Lisa currently manages communications for Solar Mosaic and is working on starting a nutrition-focused social enterprise. Previously, Lisa wrote political briefings for President Obama in The White House, served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Niger and managed communications for an impact investment firm in India.The Full Story After graduating from college, I joined the Peace Corps as a Municipal and Community Development Volunteer in Niger. Although Niger is best known for being one of the poorest countries in the world, I loved my experience there and cannot put into words the pain that I felt when the Peace Corps program was evacuated due to a terrorist attack in the capital city. I then flew to New Delhi, India for a family friend’s wedding and obtained a three month internship at Start Up! an impact investment firm. I then worked at a youth leadership program called Summer of Solutions in Oakland and now work for an innovative solar finance company called Solar Mosaic. My experience working on nutrition in Niger inspired me to start Kuli Kuli, a social enterprise focused on combating malnutrition in the developing world through moringa.
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, I spent four years in Walla Walla, Washington attending Whitman College. While there I served as the Campus Sustainability Coordinator and was an active member of the climate change club. I’m interested in community organizing and spent a lot of time working in lower-income neighborhoods in Walla Walla to decrease crime and increase civic engagement, particularly among the Latino population. I helped found Whitman eJustice which combined my interest in environmental issues and poverty alleviation by distributing energy efficient light-bulbs in few of the neighborhoods where I had previously worked. I’m also interested in international development and especially in increasing off-the-grid, renewable sources of energy in developing countries as a means to increase economic productivity and solve our climate crisis. In 2008, I helped start a biodigester project in Kakamega, Kenya that uses cow dung as an alternative source of fuel to wood harvested from the tropical rainforest. I have done quite a bit of youth organizing, as the North American Youth Representative for the United Nations Environment Programme and a youth delegate to conferences everywhere from Copenhagen to South Korea. I also had the privilege to serve as an intern in the White House Office of Political Affairs, an experience that has greatly increased my interest in public policy. Publications 7/02/12 Grist- After the Earth Summit, Young People Push for Real Change Unlike many of the gray-haired negotiators, we can’t afford to let our system continue to fail. We’re coming of age in a time of rising inequality, staggering rates of global unemployment, severe declines in natural resources, and this fun little thing called climate change that even scientists funded by Big Oil can’t seem to deny. Many of my peers and I have come to see this doom and gloom as an incredible opportunity to change the way the world works.
For most of my life, I’ve specialized in working really hard without getting paid. This specialty seems inherent to many young people who seek to create social or environmental change; we spend countless hours fighting for the causes we love for little or no compensation and the rest of our time working restaurant-type jobs to pay the bills. Or we eat a lot of ramen. Or both.
5/07/2012 Grist- Don’t Call me an Environmentalist If we’re truly going to create a more sustainable and equitable economic system, we need to look past the divisions and understand that most of us are on the same side, regardless of the labels we place on ourselves, or choose not to. 5/02/12 Forbes- The Millennial Dilemma: Just a Job or Truly Meaningful Work? Most Americans report being satisfied with their job-jobs. Young people, however, are not drinking the Kool-Aid. 3/09/12 Forbes- Why Crowdfund Investing is the Path to Economic Recovery The potential for crowdfund investing to transform the way startups access capital is staggering. 2/24/2012 Forbes- The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Changemakers Just as organizations need mission statements to spell out their overall goals and guide their decision-making, so too do individuals. After all, we all want to live meaningful lives but each of us have a different idea of what that means. 2/01/12 Forbes- Rethinking Happiness and Success Every generation leaves its mark in different ways. I have high hopes that my generation will take the splinters of success handed down to us and create a new, more constructive form of capitalism that creates real value and fills our lives with meaning. 1/23/12 Forbes- Happiness is the New Success: Why Millennials Are Reprioritizing Now that the ladder of success has been reduced to splinters, the question remains: what does “success” mean in the 21st century and how do we achieve it? 11/02/11 The Huffington Post- #Occupy Rooftops By harnessing the momentum of #OccupyWallStreet around the fastest growing industry in America, solar, #OccupyRooftops hopes to help people create beautiful, job-producing solar projects in their communities and speak to their visceral economic anxieties. 7/12/11 Forbes- Changing Delhi: One Cab Ride at a Time While India still has a long ways to go before women are widely recognized as valuable members of society, innovative social enterprises like Sakha provide hope amidst bleak statistics.