Alex Steffen

Alex Steffen is one of the world’s leading voices on sustainability, social innovation and planetary futurism. He is an award-winning writer and planetary futurist, who speaks to audiences around the world. His latest project, Carbon Zero: Imagining cities that can save the planet, is an exploration of the kinds of design, technological and policy innovations that could transform our cities into low-carbon engines of prosperity. Earth Day founder Denis Hayes says of Carbon Zero that “Alex Steffen may be the world’s boldest, most innovative thinker about future cities.”
Much of Alex’s current work focuses on planetary thinking: strategies for better understanding the large human and natural systems that increasingly impact every aspect of our lives, and using our new insight to focus on breakthrough efforts to increase the odds of humanity thriving over the long-term while we succeed now.
Previously, Alex was Executive Editor of after he co-founded the organization in 2003 until it closed in 2010. In those seven years, Alex made Worldchanging one of the world’s leading sustainability-related publications, with an archive of almost 12,000 articles and a large global audience (Worldchanging reached over 8 million unique readers and was rated the second largest sustainability site on the web by Nielsen Online in 2008).

Ms. Dockx

Ms. Dockx graduated as a Civil Engineer in 2000.  In 2002, after completing an MBA, she started working at the Brussels Administration for the Environment and Energy (“Brussels Environment.”)
Her initial responsibility was to implement the European EPB-Directive (Energy Performance of Buildings) for the  Brussels Region, as well as to promote the rational use of energy throughout the Region.  She was promoted to Head of Department in 2007.
Since November 2011, she has been working as the Head of the Department, Sub-Division “Promotion of Sustainable Buildings,” supervising a group of forty-five people.   This unit is responsible for three areas:
Professional Guidance: exemplary buildings, promotion of renewables, energy management program for existing building stock.
Individual Guidance: creation of energy raters, action “energy-challenge”, social energy guidance.
Budget management: building performance verification and subsidy distribution to the Brussels Region ($24 million – 18 million Euros)
Ms. Dockx has delivered presentations on the exemplary policies initiated by the Brussels Region at various conferences around the globe.  She will be delivering presentations and participating in meetings with legislators and city officials in New York, Seattle, Portland, Olympia and San Francisco on her tour of the US.

Mary James

Mary James is a science writer and a technical editor with the Energy Efficiency Standards Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. She is the author of Recreating the American Home: The Passive House Approach and of American Passive House Developments, Multifamily, Multi-Use, and Retrofit Buildings.
For 10 years she was the editor and publisher of Home Energy magazine, which covers building science topics. In 2007 she attended an energy efficiency conference in France and heard about Passive House retrofits in Germany that were designed to save 80% of the space conditioning energy use. Following up on this research, in 2008 she coauthored Homes for a Changing Climate: Passive Houses in the U.S. with Katrin Klingenberg and Mike Kernagis. She continues to research and write about very low energy buildings as editor and publisher at Low Carbon Productions.

Graham IrwinCPBD, CGBP, LEED AP, BPI Building Analyst, Certified Passive House Consultant,

is the principal of Essential Habitat, a Northern California design and consulting practice with an emphasis on Passive House methodology. Graham recognized the potential of Passive House immediately and was one of the first Passive House Consultants certified in the US, as well as a founding board member and vice-president of the Passive House Alliance (PHA), and a founder of Passive House California (PHCa.) He has a degree in physics with additional studies in engineering and architecture, and an extensive background in software development. His construction industry experience that runs the gamut from carpenter, plumber and electrician to general contractor, building designer and building scientist. Graham is actively involved in Passive House design, advocacy, promotion and education.

William J. Worthen, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

Urban Fabrick, Inc.

Principal-in-Charge and Founder Bill Worthen is a nationally recognized sustainability and collaborative design leader.  Over his twenty-year career Bill has balanced policy development with professional and public advocacy, practice experience, industry research and peer-to-peer education. Bill has served as the sustainability consultant for several high-visibility projects that explore the practical application of leading edge sustainability strategies, energy performance and high-level LEED certifications for clients including: MGM Resorts International, Tishman Speyer and the Energy Foundation. Bill served as a member of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom’s Green Building Task Force resulting in the city’s pioneering Green Building Ordinance, winner of the first World Green Building Council Government Leadership Award in 2011 and has represented his profession, serving as the AIA National Director and Resource Architect for Sustainability from 2010 to 2012, spearheading several cross-industry collaborative sustainability initiatives – most notably overseeing the development of the AIA Energy Modeling Practice Guide.

Scott Shell, FAIA, LEED® APBD+C

Principal and Director of Sustainability, EHDD

Scott Shell is a nationally recognized expert on high-performance buildingsand sustainable design and has written and lectured widely on these topics.He emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to design, to create beautiful,comfortable, and healthy spaces with excellent natural lighting, thermal comfort, and indoor air quality. Scott specializes in the design of educational projects, particularly schools, libraries, and science buildings. Since joining the firm in 1996, he has designed a number of EHDD’s most successful high-performance projects, including the recently completed Marin Country Day School, designed to create exceptional learning environments and earn a LEED® Platinum rating as a net zero energy
building. His design direction, leadership, and technical savvy have also been influential on the highly energy-efficient and award-winning Department for Global Ecology for the Carnegie Institution for Science on Stanford University’s campus, and a feasibility study for a zero-carbon Green Dorm for Stanford University, an innovative housing project that will serve as a living-learning laboratory for sustainable building and sustainable living technologies. He is currently serving as principal in charge of the Millikan Laboratory Renovation at Pomona College and the Master Plan Study for the School of Earth Sciences at Stanford University.

Henry Siegel, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C
Principal, Siegel & Strain Architects

Since the early 1990s Henry Siegel has championed the idea that ecological design and design excellence are inseparable; he has put this conviction into practice as lead designer for many of Siegel & Strain’s award-winning projects. Under Henry’s leadership, the firm has received over sixty national, regional, and local design awards, including four Top Ten Green Projects of the Year from the AIA’s Committee on the Environment (COTE). Henry is past chair of the COTE National Advisory Group and is active at the national level in advocacy for sustainable design and the incorporation of sustainable design values into architectural awards programs and architecture school curriculums.
Henry is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. He has taught sustainable design and architectural design studios at the University of California, Berkeley, and is a past member of the University’s Design Review Committee. He has spoken widely on ecological design and the work of Siegel & Strain at national conventions and universities and has served on many architectural awards juries, including the AIA National Honor Awards and the COTE Top Ten Green Projects juries.
Henry founded Henry Siegel Associates in 1985. The firm became Siegel & Strain Architects in 1991 when Larry Strain became a partner. Prior to starting his own firm, Henry was an associate in the office of William Turnbull Associates in San Francisco, where he worked on many award-winning projects.

Ann Edminster

Leading international expert on green home design and construction, focusing on assisting design and building professional firms in developing their capacity to create better buildings.  A principal author of the LEED for Homes Rating System and author of the award-winning book, Energy Free: Homes for a Small Planet, a comprehensive guide for those seeking to design and build zero net energy homes. An acclaimed speaker, teacher, and writer, Ann advises a wide range of building industry clients.

Scott Anderson

Regional Vice President, Pankow Builders

As Regional Vice President of Pankow Builders, it is Scott’s responsibility to ensure that we deliver exceptional performance to our clients. He holds the pivotal role of overseeing all activities, operations and personnel for Northern CA.  Scott was one of Pankow’s first LEED Accredited Professionals and his leadership led to the formation of Pankow Blue™.  This group’s mission is to demonstrably and profitably reduce the carbon emissions and resource use for our clients and ourselves by delivering sustainable value.  Scott is passionate about integrating the team early to achieve the best results in terms of sustainability, cost, quality and schedule.  Current Pankow Blue™ projects include the net-zero carbon footprint Jess S. Jackson Sustainable Winery Building at UC Davis and the Center for Environmental Studies at Bishop O’Dowd High School.


Scott holds a Master of Science in Structural Engineering from Stanford University and Bachelor of Science Degrees in Civil Engineering and Mathematics from the University of Maryland.

Sylvia WallisRA, CPHC, LEED AP BD+C

An architect since 1988, Sylvia Wallis brings expertise in creating sensitive sustainable interventions to landmark buildings and sites.  As an associate with Harley Ellis Devereaux, she has focused her practice on sustainable design and net zero strategies for civic, cultural, and educational projects, integrating a range of energy modeling and performance simulation applications into the design process.  Projects include the West Branch of the City of Berkeley Library, a new library designed to achieve net zero energy consumption through daylighting, natural ventilation, photovoltaic panels, and solar thermal radiant heating.  Recent K-12 projects have incorporated sustainable design as a significant component of the educational program of the schools.   

Sylvia Wallis became a certified Passive House consultant in 2009 and joined the Board of Directors of Passive House California in 2012.  Ms. Wallis has developed and implemented Passive House details and systems for both residential and institutional projects.  For CSU San Marcos, she evaluated the feasibility of Passive House strategies for a facilities building that will provide a platform for student monitoring of campus energy use. Studies for Southern California Edison evaluated Passive House measures to optimize energy efficiency for production housing.  She currently lectures on the Passive House approach at the University of Southern California.