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.


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

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.

Candela Vázquez Asenjo, Project Associate

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.

Joshua Mirondo, Youth Blogger

Joshua Mirondo, Youth Blogger

Joshua Mirondo is a 24-year-old freelance blogger digital marketer and photographer. He is a graduate of Uganda Christian University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in public administration and management.

He also volunteers with Reproductive Health Uganda (RHU), where he is part of the communications team; Joshua has been a community-based reproductive health trainer and peer educator with RHU since 2015.

Joshua has a passion of using digital media for advocacy and has worked on several projects that seek to empower women, girls and young people to know their sexual reproductive health and rights in a country full of patriachy and cultural norms that hinder access these services.

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

Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka - Conservation Through Public Health

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