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People

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The rose portal at the Ideagarden site 

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Will Rosenzweig and the Plant Futures Initiative team collaborating on a curriculum development session at the Ideagarden site

Cultivating Purpose

The collaboration between longtime friends Will Rosenzweig and Greg Steltenpohl formed over their shared dedication to transforming the entrepreneurial world from "me" to "we" through systems thinking and action. Rosenzweig and Steltenpohl created Ideagarden Institute to inspire and support entrepreneurs who seek
a sustainable future for all. 

We manifest this mission with a commitment to
cross-pollination - bringing together interdisciplinary communities of creativity and purpose, in our physical garden in Healdsburg, California and through our live and online educational programs and outreach. 

 

Board Members

Ed is partner emeritus at Bessemer Venture Partners, where he served in different operational and leadership roles for over 20 years. His time in private equity informs his financial and professional decisions, and now he offers his valuable insight to Outward Bound California and the Urban School of San Francisco on their respective boards and investment committees. 

Kristin serves as the current Chair of the Board of Revolution Foods, a foodservice company that fights food insecurity by making healthy meals accessible for American communities. Prior to co-founding Revolution Foods, Kristin offered her insight and skills as the Vice President of Resources for Indispensable Schools and Educators, and as a member of the White House Council for Community Solutions. 

Will is Faculty Director of the Sustainable Food Initiative at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and Chairperson of Plant Futures, a multi-campus, multi-disciplinary initiative aimed at accelerating the transition to plant-centric food systems. Will also serves as Chair of the board of The Teaching Kitchen Collaborative. 

Erin Sietstra is the Head of Investments at Hopelab, where she leads venture investments in companies that aim to improve the mental health and well-being of teens and young adults. Prior to Hopelab, she led Transactions and Business Analytics at Johnson & Johnson Innovation, and began her career as a strategy consultant at Leerink Partners, a healthcare-focused boutique. Erin holds an MBA with a Certificate in Public Management & Social Innovation from Stanford and a BA in Biology from Harvard.

Catha is an advisor at Radicle Impact, an early-stage venture fund focused on tackling climate change and economic inequality. She was a partner on the investment team for 7 years and led partnerships at fintech startup Personal Capital prior. Her earlier experience includes tours of duty at impact VC Physic Ventures, Farm to Cup, a coffee company she co-founded, and La Cocina, an SF-based incubator for immigrant women’s food businesses. She started her career in investment banking and private equity. Catha has an MBA from Stanford and a BA in Politics from Princeton. 

Beth Rattner is the Executive Director of the Biomimicry Institute, an organization that supports the next generation of sustainability innovators. With a long history of success with two leading sustainability nonprofits and in the private sector with Hewlett Packard, Beth’s attention now focuses on how biometric design of our urban, commercial, and environmental spaces may generate resilience in our economy and ecosystem. 

Sparsha is a researcher and lecturer at Harvard University in the Government Department, but specializes in animal agriculture and gender studies. She shares her knowledge about food, animals, and human-animal relations with diverse communities, in hopes of sparking conversation around the intersecting topics that meat-consumption discourse provokes. 

Victoria is a Food Innovation Strategist and current Senior Manager of Product Strategy at Oatly. Before her role at Oatly, Victoria contributed to several large food and beverage corporations in senior positions, as well as founding and serving as CEO for a strategy and operations consulting firm for food businesses. 

Howard is a Seed Venture Investor in the areas of health, wellness, food, and nutrition. He has decades of experience in seed, pre-seed, and private equity, and currently serves as the Managing General Partner for WhoKnew Ventures and stands as a board member of multiple non-profit organizations. 

Contributing Gardeners

Director of Operations

Cynthia has over 17 years of project and program management experience in the areas of research, policy, and healthcare. Cynthia is enjoying a lifelong love affair with food, and has been working with it in some capacity over the last 15 years as a pastry chef, caterer, urban farmer, and food systems policy advocate. 

Executive Director

Dawnelise has spent the last 17 years as owner and operator of  two successful restaurants,  Scopa and Campo Fina. She is the co-founder of Corazon Healdsburg, a social equity non-profit.  Dawnelise comes to this work through a permacultural lens of interconnectivity. She believes that the best relationships are built working together in the soil or breaking bread around a table and has a superpower for community building and collaborative connections. 

Ideagarden Intern

Laïla is a passionate change maker whose interests surround sustainable food systems, organic farming, native plant and ecosystem restoration, and healing the planet through social change. For the last 5 years she has farmed locally in Sonoma County and is now using her skills in graphic design, photography and videography to tell stories for positive impacts that aim to catalyze shifts in the food system.  

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