Anthony Giancatarino is the father of three daughters and brings over a decade of experience partnering with community leaders and organizations to develop policy strategies, participatory policymaking processes, and facilitate community-driven solutions that seek to dismantle structural racism within our energy, climate, and economic systems. Anthony has worked at the local to national level (particularly in PA and the Gulf South) – most recently through the Just Community Energy Transition Project. Previously, Anthony spent seven years at the Center for Social Inclusion, working with grassroots leaders, particularly in the Gulf South and New York state, on policy strategies to achieve racial equity in energy democracy, food equity, and transparency, participation, and accountability in governance.

Aurash Khawarzad is an artist, educator, and urban planner. His work uses a combination of research, creative practice, and multi-disciplinary collaboration, as a means of visioning communities. He currently teaches at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and has recently completed research + design commissions for the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung and The POINT CDC. He is also the author and publisher of The Upper Manhatta(n) Project, an international model for climate change planning. Website

Christina Hemauer and Roman Keller are exploring the relationship between nature and culture in the age of climate change. One of their areas of interest is the history of oil and its competing alternatives. The artist duo heralded the era of ‘Postpetrolism’ for the arts with a manifesto in the year 2006. Their video installation ‘A Curiosity, a Museum Piece and an Example of a Road Not Taken’ (2007, developed into a documentary essay ‘A Road Not Taken’, 2010) examined former US President Jimmy Carter’s early and ultimately futile efforts to promote alternative forms of energy generation. In collaboration with climate scientists for ‘Concerning the Blueness of the Sky‘ (2015) they learned that we’re already living under an anthropogenic firmament. The colour of the sky is not observed scientifically as it is not considered to be a relevant value. The artist duo believes that this is where art comes into play. Website

Daniel A. Barber is an Associate Professor and Chair of the PhD Program in Architecture at the Weitzman School of Design. His research explores the intersection of environmental and architectural history, and is also concerned with how contemporary design practices are confronting the climate crisis. His latest book is Modern Architecture and Climate: Design before Air Conditioning (Princeton UP, 2020).

Elizabeth Shores is an artist, writer, and curator currently based in Philadelphia whose limited liability corporation, My Presence is Productive, serves as a conceptual strategy to eliminate the legal distinction between their research and themself. Website

fields harrington (b. 1986 Brooklyn, NY) is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice considers the blurring of boundaries between poetics and science. His work revisits the history of western empiricism and scientific systems, addressing legacies of violence as well as the enmeshment of science, racism, and ideology. By appropriating scientific processes and subverting their grammar, his desire is to relieve the black subjective experience from a legacy of historical violence. The weaving of artistic and scientific languages proposes the formation of a relational knowledge that recodes science through poetics. Fields received his BFA from the University of North Texas and an MFA in Fine Arts from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a participant in the Whitney Independent Study Program for the 2019-2020 year. Website

Jen Chantrtanapichate is an artist, climate activist and community organizer from New York City. She received her Masters in Urban Planning from Hunter College. In 2012, she co-founded the Sixth Street Youth Program at Sixth Street Community Center, where she currently works as their Program Director. In 2015, she founded grassroots community organization, CNB, which advocates for environmental justice, particularly in response to waste inequity in North Brooklyn. She serves on the board of the Fifth Street Farm Project— a local rooftop farm on top of the Earth School. In her spare time, she works on a variety of climate justice campaigns that fall under the ethos of ecosocialism. Website

Kristen Neville Taylor’s diverse practice combines drawing, sculpture, and glass which converge in playfull installations. ​Her process has been described as alchemical and utilizes pseudo-scientific experimentation to reimagine our relationship to nature futures. Taylor’s​ work has been shown at Vox Populi, the Woodmere Art Museum and the Philadelphia Art Alliance (Philadelphia), Pacific Northwest College of Art (Portland), Richard Stockton and Rowan University Art Galleries (New Jersey), and Expo Chicago. She has organized several exhibitions including ​Landscape Techne at Little Berlin, ​The Usable Earth at the Esther Klein Gallery, and she co-curated ​Middle of Nowhere in the Pine Barrens. Taylor is the recipient of the Laurie Wagman Prize in Glass, a RAIR Recycled Artist in Residence, and a Vermont Studio Center Fellowship. Taylor is a recent alumni of Vox Populi gallery and co-founder of Little Berlin, a Philadelphia art gallery and collective renowned both nationally and internationally for its cutting edge programming and distinct curatorial model. Since 2007, Taylor has taught courses in glass and material studies at The University of the Arts, Tyler School of Art and Architecture, and Moore College of Art Graduate Studies Program.

Li Sumpter, Ph.D. is an independent scholar and multidisciplinary artist who applies strategies of D.I.Y. media and mythic design toward building better, more resilient communities of the future. Her artistic practice–the “art of survival”–addresses threats to mind, body and spirit with a focus on the readiness and resilience of black, brown and indigenous peoples. Li’s academic research explores apocalypse myths and afrofuturist narratives driven by feminine archetypes and existential crises. Her creative research and collaborative design initiatives engage the art of survival and sustainability through diverse ecologies and stories of change. Li’s transmedia narrative Graffiti in the Grass and related immersive story experiences have been awarded support by Sundance Institute, Knight Foundation, Doc Society, and the Puffin and Leeway Foundations. Li has completed artist/writer residencies with Haverford College, Leeway x NextFAB Studios and SwimPony (2017-2019) and was a recent recipient of the 2020 Leeway Transformation Award. Website

Nora Elmarzouky is currently working as a climate justice organizer with POWER in Philadelphia working on statewide policies, coalitions, and base-building. Nora co-founded the Friends, Peace, and Sanctuary Journal, the first Arabic newspaper in Philadelphia in 100 years. She is part of collaborative, a collective of seven other women who through our various work seek to address issues of unequal urban development. Nora is also a cultural organizer working on projects at the intersection of arts, culture, community development, and energy democracy, especially focusing on community engagement, political education, and program design and evaluation. Prior, she worked in democracy activism and designed experiential learning programs in Egypt. Growing up and working between Egypt and the US has offered Nora insights into a multitude of cultures – similarities, parallels, differences – which has largely influenced her work. Website

Ricky Yanas is a Texas born artist, educator, and curator living in Philadelphia, PA. Working within a pragmatic tradition of problem finding, Yanas aims to create intersectional spaces of  inquiry and mutual engagement through art making and art thinking. Recent projects include  Extension or Communication: Puerto Rico at Tiger Strikes Asteroid Gallery, Philadelphia and Taller Puertorriqueno and The Green Sun, a collaboration with artist Kristen Neville Taylor. In  2016 Yanas founded Ulises Books with Nerissa Cooney, Lauren Downing, Joel Evey, Kayla  Romberger and Gee Wesley. 

Rhys Williams is Lecturer in Energy and Environmental Humanities at the University of Glasgow. His recent publications include ‘Turning toward the Sun: The Solarity and Singularity of New Food’ in South Atlantic Quarterly (2021) and ‘This Shining Confluence of Magic and Technology: Solarpunk, Energy Imaginaries, and the Infrastructures of Solarity’ in Open Library of Humanities (2019).

Solar Synthesis: Energy Proposals Challenge Accepted Presenters

Adam Goudjil is a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences studying Urban Studies from New York City. He is interested in the role of civil society in urban education and international development. At Penn, he supports localized community development and partnership efforts with the Netter Center and Ideas for Action. He is also a Kleinman Center for Energy Policy Undergraduate Fellow. His recent publications include “Student Philanthropy for All” , “Philanthropy as a Catalyst for HIV/AIDS Community Prevention”, and a forthcoming article on philanthropy and energy poverty.

Brian Sutherland is a PhD Candidate at the University of Toronto Faculty of Information. He is researching how the confluence of new, low power sensing computers, short and long range wi-fi networks, and sustainable energy systems has the potential to “hybridize” objects and environments and so change the way we interact with information. What relationships in personal life, education, work, healthcare, cultural institutions and public spaces are possible as pervasive computing becomes more common? How might systems and frameworks be implemented in an open and sustainable way that enhances human lives? Brian currently teaches scientific visualization design at BMC.

Georgia Kareola is an interdependent writer + researcher. She recently co-founded, a studio for identity development, with a digital publication of the same name, providing a stream of consciousness along themes of climate adaptation, personal agency, and more-than-human ecologies. In 2018, she co-founded Specter together with Agnes Momirski. Specter investigates digital culture and spiritual practices to relish sentience and sensuality in our human-tech playgrounds. Specter has curated two online exhibitions. She is currently enrolled in two MA programs at the University of Amsterdam: Comparative Cultural Analysis and Religious Studies.

Mehdi Torkaman (b. 1987) is a PhD candidate in Environmental Humanities, affiliated with The Greenhouse in the University of Stavanger. With an M.A in English literature from the University of Oslo and a background in ecocriticism, he is interested in exploring technologically-entangled narratives that characterize urban activities and inform our performance of environmental citizenship. His PhD project combines empirical studies of energy infrastructure with science fiction literature to radically detrivialize and criticize our everyday interactions with forces of nature through power plugs, electric grids, solar panels and digital interfaces.