Dr. Kala Fleming is an innovator and engineer on a mission to democratize green jobs. She launched Frontline Gig to connect entry-level talent to green workforce programs and full-time work. In the process, her team is building the largest network of employers providing entry-level and hourly green jobs opportunities. In cities like DC and Baltimore, Frontline works with employers to fill surge staffing openings and to build part-time Climate Corps programs. This bottom-up effort is helping economic development orgs think about new multipliers for hourly work in general and multipliers for hourly work in the green economy.
Previously, she held strategy and research roles at IBM, working with clients to establish differentiated market positions through the use of emerging technologies such as IoT, AI and blockchain. Her seminal TED talk in 2015 on creating digital aquifers inspired a range of forward-thinking water management projects, from Kenya to California, that seek to use more granular water activity data to reduce water scarcity risks.
Dr. Fleming holds a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has lived and worked in the US, Caribbean, Kenya, Ghana and the Philippines and is a frequent speaker at entrepreneurship, international development and innovation-related events.
Ted Talk: https://youtu.be/78kzzMySOvw?si=qc_HnG2Vxq5VXyvY
Dr. Ravi Chawla is a scientist and engineer with over 12 years of interdisciplinary training and research experience in chemical engineering and life sciences. His PhD work focused on bacterial biophysics, specifically understanding bacterial mechanosensing - how bacteria detect mechanical surfaces. Most recently, he was awarded the prestigious American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellowship in Microbiology& Infectious Diseases at Scripps Research, La Jolla. As the founder of ChakraTech, a San Diego-based startup, Dr. Chawla is leading initiatives to bridge climatetech, cleantech, and biotech for sustainable manufacturing of materials and chemicals.
Nik Chekshin completed his undergraduate and masters studies in synthetic and computational chemistry at the University of Oxford and is currently a doctoral researcher in catalysis and computational modeling at Scripps Research. His research is focused on the discovery of sustainable and efficient approaches to the synthesis and modification of bioactive molecules. As an Executive Board member at the Scripps Society of Fellows and Nucleate, he helps build new connections between innovators in academia and industry and promotes early-stage founders in the life sciences. As the founder at ANSELM, he leads the team of scientists developing innovative digital technologies for profitable decarbonization of heat-intensive industries via energy efficiency optimization.
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