Susanna Barla is a creative director and a brand architect. As a communication and marketing strategist to globally-known brands, institutions, and startups, she facilitates mutually beneficial partnerships between clients, understanding business development & brand development strategy, marketing and communications strategy, design strategy, and how to integrate it all together. What binds all these elements together is her overarching mission to reconnect people to be in harmony with nature.
To fulfill this mission, she employs a strategy inspired by the Nordic Economic model, and adapted to the US, the UK and the rest of the world. Drawing on the lessons she learned through her prior success in marketing luxury products, Susanna adapts these methods to the world of environmentalism – with the ultimate goal of influencing the world’s most well-known corporations to become more eco-conscious.
Her motto? “Compete with brands and make caring the new currency”.
In 2016 she extended her vision and created the AYD foundation, a platform devoted to raising awareness of, and giving financial aid assistance for refugees, as well as to provide long term solutions for their successful futures.
Susanna holds a BA from the University of the Arts London (London College of Fashion). Her 14+ years experience working in brand & business development, marketing and communications, as well as in creative direction in the luxury fashion and design sectors, have led to her working with numerous brands and clients: Maison Martin Margiela, Paule Ka, Rick Owens, Louis Vuitton, White Cube London, Thyssen – Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Annenberg Foundation, DDB Worldwide Communications Group.
Linz Wilbur is a researcher, strategist and filmmaker, alumna of the University of Hawaii with a degree in political science focusing on peace and conflict resolution in the high seas through scientific research and conservation. As a student researcher at the Hawaii Institute for Marine Biology, she participated in a National Science Foundation supported project on population genomics and ecotypic divergence in the most dominant lineage of marine bacteria, SAR 11; and a project supported by the DOE -Joint Genome Institute that hopes to provide the first comprehensive assessment of the microbial community structure in what may be the largest biome on (or in) the planet supporting microbial life, the subseafloor basement biosphere.
As an independent researcher and strategist with the Institute for the Future, Blockchain Research Institute, and Governance Lab, she analyzes how startups, NGOs, governments and Fortune 500 companies could change because of data, governance and institutional technology. Driven to start making films that look deeper, she joined production company Planetary Collective, making short film Overview, and the feature documentary Planetary. She was also a field producer for True Blue Films, working on Mission Blue and Sea of Hope featuring Sylvia Earle.
Ruth Glendinning was born in London UK, grew up in Texas, lived in the Caribbean, California and Oklahoma where she worked with Native American tribes, before firmly planting her roots in Austin, Texas. She is a social entrepreneur and innovator with a history of working with clients in the local, national and global arenas focusing on grassroots entrepreneurship with a special emphasis on women’s work, including food and craft accelerators.
Her entrepreneurial path began in Los Angeles and continued in Austin, Texas where she discovered her true passion lay in the social impact entrepreneurship sector of the market. It was here that Ruth developed the model of cultural strategy which demonstrates the importance of creating a balance between community, culture and commerce for sustainable economy which was most notably demonstrated with the creation of the Community Renaissance Market (CRM), a 60,000 square foot grocery store repurposed into a microbusiness incubator containing 40+ microbusinesses. To better reflect the purpose of CRM to incubate businesses which meet the criteria of sustainable, local, organic work, she trademarked the “SLOW Tech® Incubator” (Sustainable Local Organic Work + Technology) concept in which specific technology is added to no-or low-tech community-based human-scale businesses to better equip them to thrive. Ultimately SLOW Tech is about using technology to improve the human experience, rather than distract from it.
Ruth is the relationship builder/connector/creative partner on projects that are mapped to real needs in the market, catalyzed by expanding technology and activated by personal relationships. Ruth is also an Associate with Thriving Business Solutions, focusing on developing relationship capital and stakeholder tools.