Priyank Patel

A civil engineer with specialization in environmental management from IISc Bengaluru,  India, Priyank is driven naturally towards the field of Sustainability. 

Transitioning from a core engineering background towards the field of sustainability and built-environment was not a easy path. It is passion and determination which brings him opportunities from across the globe. He believes in hard work and strives hard to achieve goals. 

Priyank is also a trained climate reality leader and an ardent follower of the Gandhian principles of Earth Trusteeship . Hailing from a  Gujarat business joint family, he is naturally endowed with leadership acumen .Also, he is trained at RWTH International Academy (Germany) for Indo- German, and Chulalongkorn University (Thailand) for principles of Sustainable Living.

Dr. Lee Altier

College of Agriculture, California State University

Prof. Lee Altier grew up in Seattle and received undergraduate degrees in anthropology and horticulture.  He farmed and did agricultural extension work in Washington State, New Mexico, and Nepal.  He received MS and PhD degrees in horticulture from Cornell University studying the design of ecologically sound cropping systems.  For three and a half years, besides growing collard greens and exploring swamps in south Georgia, he helped coordinate a multidisciplinary team of scientists at the USDA-Agricultural Research Service in Tifton, Georgia in the development of REMM, a computer model to simulate riparian ecosystem management.  Since 1995, Dr. Altier has been teaching and doing research in vegetable production and agroecology at California State University, Chico.  He instigated and directed the Organic Vegetable Project and Aquaponic Unit at the Chico State University Farm.  His primary areas of interest are sustainable cropping systems and food security.  During summer months, he frequently leads student international programs in Asia.

Dr. Shritu Shrestha

Dr. Shritu Shrestha is a researcher at the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy in Germany. She is involved in European Commission and nationally-funded research projects on sustainable cities, transport and building, urban development, and climate action. She currently conducts environmental studies, and provides technical assistance to Asian cities on climate action and implementation of low carbon urban transportations. Her active research projects are in Kathmandu (Nepal), Kochi (India), Manila/Pasig (Philippines), Hanoi (Vietnam), and Jakarta (Indonesia). She facilitates city partnerships and knowledge sharing activities in Asia, Europe, Africa, and Latin America.

Shritu has a Ph.D. in energy-efficient and green buildings from the Technical University of Berlin, and a master’s degree in technology and resources management in tropics and subtropics from the Cologne University of Applied Sciences in Germany. She was a visiting researcher at Stockholm Environment Institute in Bangkok and UN-Habitat, Urban Mobility Unit in Nairobi.

Dilip Nandwani, PhD, CPH

Dilip Nandwani
College of Agriculture, Tennessee State University


1991: Ph. D. (Botany), University of Jodhpur, Jodhpur, India
1987: M. Sc. (Botany), University of Jodhpur, Jodhpur, India
1985: B. Sc. (Biology), University of Jodhpur, Jodhpur, India

Research Interests and Specialization
Vegetable Production (Organic & Conventional)
Sustainable Horticulture, Tropical Fruits, Roots & Tubers
Organic Certification, Plant Tissue Culture, International Agriculture

Books (Editor)

1. Dilip Nandwani. 2019. Genetic Diversity in Horticultural Plants. Springer Cham, pp 326 (ISBN 978-3-319-96453-9)
2. Dilip Nandwani. 2018. Urban Horticulture. Sustainability for the Future. Springer Cham, pp 260 (ISBN 978-3-319-67017-1)
3. Dilip Nandwani. 2016. Organic Farming for Sustainable Development. Springer Cham, pp 360 (ISBN 978-3-319-26803-3)
4. Dilip Nandwani. 2014. Sustainable Horticultural Systems: Issues, Technology and Innovation.  Springer Cham, pp 385 (ISBN 978-3-319-06904-3)

Dr Smrittee Kala Panta

Dr Panta is a tourism specialist, researcher and educationist. Shereceived her PhD from the University of Florida with a focus on tourism and livelihood sustainability.She is member of Research Advisory Board for an IDRC funded project led by a team at the University of Florida. As a co-founder of Samriddhi Agriculture Research and Development Pvt. Ltd., she has been utilizing her strong interdisciplinary academic background to explore the synergistic interrelationship among tourism and agriculture for inclusive development in Nepalese society.As an educationist, she is currently serving in the subject committee of Bachelor of Hospitality Management Program of Kathmandu University and leading the undergraduate program in tourism and hospitality management in Little Angels’ College of Management. She believes in life-long learning and is a strong advocate for science entrepreneurship that can create positive social impact.

Lucas Harms

As the Director of the Dutch Cycling Embassy Lucas is responsible for the strategic development of the public private partnership, as well as the operational and financial activities of the organization. Under delegation of the board, he manages the daily office and the team and coordinates, together with the project coordinators, the Embassy’s various projects that result from incoming requests from all over the world. Lucas has a background in urban geography and more than 15 years of research in various roles, focusing on urban planning and sustainable urban transportation. He is affiliated to the Urban Cycling Institute (UCI) of the University of Amsterdam and has worked at the Netherlands Institute for Transport Policy Analysis and the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. With his experience and extensive network Lucas and his team supports public and private organizations in creating the best conditions and solutions for cycling to flourish in countries and cities around the world.

Pasang Dolma Sherpa

Pasang Dolma Sherpa, Executive Director of Center for Indigenous Peoples’ Research & Development (CIPRED) has been working with Indigenous Peoples, Women and Local Communities for the promotion and recognition of the traditional knowledge, cultural values and customary institutions that contributed for natural resource management, climate change resilience and sustainable development at local, national and global levels for more than a decade. Ms. Sherpa has obtained her PhD at Kathmandu University in 2018 on Climate Change Education and its Interfaces with Indigenous Knowledge.She has already contributed more than dozens of research-based articles and book chapters in relation to the area of her interest at national and international publications.  Ms. Sherpa has served on the board of Forest Carbon Partnership Facilities (FCPF), World Bank and UN-REDD representing Asia and Pacific as well as lead  as Co-Chair of International Indigenous Peoples’ Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC). Presently, she is the Co-Chair of Facilitative Working Group of Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples’ Platform (LCIP) of the UNFCCC and Chair of Specialist Group on Indigenous Peoples’ Customary and Environmental Laws and Human Rights (SPICEH) of CEESP-IUCN, Expert member of the National Coordination Committee of REDD Implementation Center (RIC) of Ministry of Forest and Environment (MoFE) in Nepal and affiliated with different network and organizations both at national and global levels.

Professor Umesh Kulshrestha

Professor Umesh Kulshrestha is the Dean of the School of Environmental Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Prof. Kulshrestha is a Fellow of Indian Geophysical Union.  Presently, he is the Deputy Director, South Asian Nitrogen Center, New Delhi. He is a member of the Environmental Pollution Control Authority, a regulatory body under the Supreme Court of India. He is a member of the Advisory Board of Hanell International. He is a member of the Advisory Committee of Knowledge and Awareness Mapping Platform [KAMP] – A Knowledge Alliance with CSIR-NISTADS. He is a member of EIA Accreditation Committee of NABET-Quality Council of India. He is an Assessor for National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), India. He was the Director, Trans- disciplinary Research Cluster at JNU. He is the Vice President of Society for Conservation of Nature (SCON). He is the Editor-in-chief of the Current World Environment journal. He is a member of the Editorial Board of Aerosol and Air Quality Research journal. Prof Kulshrestha is a recipient of a number of awards viz. START Young Scientist Award by IGBP-START, USA, Thomas Kuhn Honor Pin by IUAPPA and International Academy of Sciences, CSIR Young Scientist Award, and M S Krishnan Gold Medal by Indian Geophysical Union (IGU). He has published more than 100 journal papers and 5 books. He has made significant contributions towards atmospheric chemistry, air pollution and climate change research.

Dr. Mary Hobley

Dr Mary Hobley studied forestry at Bangor, University of Wales and completed a doctorate at the Australian National University, Canberra in 1990. This doctoral research focused on the political and social dimensions of forest access and control in Nepal. Her work continued in South Asia supporting pioneering approaches to community-based forestry, challenging the power structures that excluded people from their rights to forests and their products. As a research fellow, working with the Rural Development Forestry Network at the Overseas Development Institute, she continued to research and advise on the institutional aspects of forests and livelihood systems including programme and project design for a range of government and non-government organizations. She has continued this work, as an independent consultant, in South and South-East Asia, Africa, the Caribbean and Europe, focused on alleviating the conditions that drive poverty and vulnerability in rural areas, through work on natural resource governance, working on the political processes of local government decision-making, and building the voice of citizens. Mary has continued throughout her professional career to work in Nepal, focusing on the multiple drivers of change including migration and now the political processes that underpin the new federal system. 

Mary operates from the macro to micro policy level to understand social and political dynamics – including working with households – women and men, community organisations, national governments, local governments, private sector, non-government organisations and civil society. She provides advisory services to bilateral, multilateral donors and NGOs, spanning programme design, appraisal, review, evaluation and policy-related research.

Mary was formerly a trustee of CIFOR. She is currently a trustee for Proforest and also for the Commonwealth Forestry Association, and is a peer reviewer for the International Foundation for Science. From 1996 to 2006 she was a member of the UK DFID Forestry Research Programme Advisory Committee, and a panel member for the Darwin Initiative Expert Committee.

Prisca Zwanikken

Prisca Zwanikken, MD MScCH PhD is a senior health advisor based in Amsterdam. She developed over the years extensive experience in developing and organizing degree and short courses in higher education especially in public health. Furthermore she has a broad experience in the development, implementation, management, monitoring and evaluation of public health capacity development projects with multiple partners. She is an experienced reviewer of public health projects and programs for different donors. Currently she is the project director of “FORCE”: a Collaboration of Public and Private Education for integration of adolescent and youth reproductive health into the basic curriculum of nurses and midwives in Mali. She provided technical support for curriculum development of laboratory training in Asia and Africa. She has wide experience in Sub Saharan Africa and Asia. Until September 2017, Dr. Zwanikken was KIT’s Area leader for education. She was the program director of KIT’s both Master’s in Public and in International Health and was responsible for the development of the option on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights as well as HIV. Dr. Zwanikken has provided short term technical assistance and evaluation in Mali, Vietnam, Zambia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Indonesia, India, Brazil, Ghana, Laos, Mongolia, Lithuania, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Moldova, South Sudan, Liberia, Poland, Russia in the fields of capacity building, health care training, curriculum development and review, human resources for health and health systems. She was responsible for the national as well as the international Masters of Public Health program at the Netherlands School of Public Health.

Dr. Zwanikken worked for five years in a community based health program, Community Primary Health Care, in the Philippines in the management of the program as well as a services and activities desk coordinator. In Vietnam, she was responsible for the Primary Health Care and community based rehabilitation program as part of an integrated development project in Quang Tri.