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A Few Words About Us


Transition Earth aims to increase awareness on the effects of increasing population growth and unsustainable economic growth on people and the planet.

Our mission is to promote human rights and nature’s rights in a world of unsustainable population and economic growth and advocates for global systems change to enable the shift to a sustainable planet for all.




A new relationship with animals, nature and each other


Transition Earth is a project of Earth Island Institute.

Earth Island Institute, a 501(c)(3) organization, provides fiscal sponsorship, resources, training, technical assistance, and peer relationships to environmental activists looking for an organizational home and institutional leverage for their work. Becoming a fiscally sponsored project is a strategic decision Transition Earth made in order to increase our effectiveness, organizational durability, and greater capacity to do out work. Earth Island leverages the power of a network of diverse projects, the invaluable knowledge and influence of renowned leaders in the environmental movement, and the track record of a 35-year old organization and experienced staff. They are home to projects on the forefront of the environmental movement utilizing strategies that are responsive to the social, economic, and political realities of our time.

Staff

Suzanne York, Director


Suzanne York, Project Director

Suzanne is the director of Transition Earth, a project of Earth Island Institute that promotes human rights and nature’s rights in a world of unsustainable growth.

Previously Suzanne was Senior Writer and Program Director with the Institute for Population Studies in Berkeley, CA, where her work focused on the interconnectedness of population growth with women’s empowerment, human rights, consumption, alternative economies, and the environment.

Suzanne’s writing appears on the blog 6 Degrees of Population. She is the author of several reports, including Peoples' Rights, Planet's Rights: Holistic Approaches to a Sustainable Population and Prioritizing the PHE Approach: Linking Population, Health, and Environment for a Better World. As research director with the International Forum on Globalization, Suzanne was a contributing author to Paradigm Wars: Indigenous Peoples' Resistance to Economic Globalization.

She has a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from American University and a B.A. in Business Administration from Portland State University.

Suzanne is a member (and former chair) of the Sierra Club’s Trade, Human Rights and Environment Teams and also the Sierra Club's Global Population Team.



Consultants and Volunteers

Anushka Drescher, Youth Education Consultant


Anushka Drescher, Youth Education Consultant

Anushka’s concern for the planet began at an early age, while still a student at Hamburg International School in Germany. After studying physics at McGill University in Montreal, she completed her PhD in Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. She has worked on vermiculture systems in India, rainforest protection in Borneo, and the development of UV drinking water disinfection systems at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and WaterHealth International.

In 2012, Anushka started the Green Team at Longfellow Middle School. With the support of Green Schools Initiative, a local non-profit organization, Anushka worked for two years with students during lunch and after school to put in place composting and recycling systems, and to create fun and engaging activities to motivate and educate the school community about sustainability. She produced five short films featuring students in action, greening their school and inspiring others to do the same (search “Anushka Drescher” on vimeo.com).

In 2014 and 2015, Anushka worked with the Institute for Population Studies to create a variety of educational events engaging the general public, college students and high school students in thoughtful explorations and conversations on the topic of human population growth and its relevance to the quality of life of future generations and the health of our global ecosystem. She also helped bring the voices of concerned students to Washington, DC, delivering messages to California senators and local representatives. Anushka is always looking for new opportunities to engage with young people on topics of relevance to their future that they rarely get to explore as part of their regular school curriculum.

Emily Zionts, Social Media Coordinator


Emily Zionts, Social Media Coordinator

Over the past 15 years, Emily has been fully immersed in the field of Peace and Sustainability Education. Through international travel, service work, and time spent as a teacher and student; she has come to find a calling in education at the intersection of ecology, economics, and social justice.

Emily earned a Masters in Peace Education in 2009 at The United Nations University for Peace in Costa Rica focusing on the underutilized potential of youth to be peacebuilders.

The following four years were spent living and teaching at The Woolman Semester School in northern California, a four month program where teens come from across the country to intensively study peace, justice, and sustainability while living in a rural, intentional community.

Currently, Emily is living in Portland, OR where she actively working to create education programs that prepare our youth for the crises and opportunities of these unique times.

She believes that each of us has a role to play in creating a more just and sustainable way, and loves helping young people connect their gifts to the movement!

Candela Vázquez Asenjo, Youth Blogger


Candela Vázquez Asenjo, Youth Blogger

Candela Vázquez Asenjo is a 24-year-old environmental entrepreneur who is a graduate from the Environmental Economics and International Law Summer School Program at Harvard University; Environmental Management at the University of Manchester; and Law at Nebrija University, in Madrid, with a focus on Environmental Law.

Born in Spain, Candela is a citizen of the world, passionate about environmental international issues, and fluent in Spanish, English, French, Portuguese, and Indonesian. She is a member of the Rotaract Manchester, being the Committee Leader on 2016, and a volunteer at The Great Projects in Borneo, Indonesia.

Candela is currently developing several businesses related to the fight against climate change. Specifically, to the analysis of the impact of climate change and the research of solutions through mitigation and adaptation measures, as well as the creation of a zero waste and non-plastic online shop that will help the local market and developing countries. Additionally, she's currently working at Plastic Kills / El Plástico Mata, a growing network of online movements in several languages to stop the irresponsible use of plastics worldwide.

Karen Gaia Pitts, Project Coordinator, Maasai Harmonial Development & Sustainability (U.S.)


Karen Gaia Pitts, Project Coordinator, Maasai Harmonial Development & Sustainability (U.S.)

Karen Gaia Pitts has lived in California most of her life. Her professional career was in information technology and web development.

She started traveling the world in 1995, with a trip to China, where she saw that every piece of land, except in the mountains, was in use by the population. Karen has traveled to most of Asia, parts of Africa, and Central and South America. She found her travels were most enjoyable in rural areas and everywhere she went she studied sustainability, women’s empowerment, family planning, and girls education.

In 1997 she started a website called World Population Awareness.

In 2016 Karen’s partner went to Tanzania and visited a former student he had once sponsored, who lived in a remote Maasai village. There, a woman stood up in front the assembly of villagers, and asked for several things, including education and family planning. Upon hearing that, Karen got hooked into supporting the Maasai project and helping them meet their many challenges.



Advisory Council

Shannon Biggs - Movement Rights


Claire Greensfelder - International Women’s Earth and Climate Initiative (IWECI)


Randy Hayes - Foundation Earth


Andrzej Kozlowski - Paragon Philanthropy


Sarah Mitts - Organizational development and communications consultant


Rohan Shamapant - CoreAlign


Negash Teklu - PHE Ethiopia Consortium


Robert Walker - Population Institute




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