The Opportunity Project Demo Week 2020 The Opportunity Project Demo Week 2020
Join this event to build your agenda.

Building Resilience into Fractured Systems: Recycling, Agriculture, and Community Reactions

- EST
YouTube 1
Join on YouTube

Sarah Kollar
Ocean Conservancy, Outreach Manager, International Coastal Cleanup, Trash Free Seas Program

Sarah Kollar serves as the Outreach Manager for the International Coastal Cleanup under Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas Program®. She enjoys working with a fantastic network of beach and waterway cleanup organizers worldwide, along with passionate educators and individuals who take action on the issue in their own communities. She manages the creation and distribution of education and outreach materials for action-based solutions and maintains Ocean Conservancy’s online ocean trash database. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Environmental Studies from Eckerd College and has been with Ocean Conservancy for seven years. She’s had the pleasure of representing the Trash Free Seas Program® at a number of local, state and national marine debris meetings and conferences.

Lucas Mariacher
City of Phoenix, Operations Manager

Lucas currently serves as a Solid Waste Operations Manager with the city Phoenix Public Works Department. In 2018, Lucas was selected as one of Waste360’s 40 Under 40 award recipients, which is a program that recognizes inspiring and innovative professionals under the age of 40 whose work in waste, recycling and organics have made a significant contribution to the industry.

Lucas has a Master’s in Public Administration from Arizona State University.

Susan Mudd
ELPC, Senior Policy Advocate

Susan Mudd is an attorney and senior policy advocate for ELPC, where she directs ELPC’s Diesel Pollution Reduction Initiative to protect children’s and community health, ELPC’s Electric School bus campaign and with ELPC’s Science Advisory Council. Susan previously served as Citizens for a Better Environment’s Wisconsin director for 15 years, consulted for the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, and the Brico Fund. She lives in Chicago with her husband, daughter, and dog, all four of whom love Lake Michigan.

Dr. Ming-Chih Hung
Northwest Missouri State University, Professor of Geography/GIScience

Dr. Ming-Chih Hung earned his bachelor’s degree from National Taiwan University focusing on DEM applications, his MS from the University of Utah focusing on the V-I-S Model and soft classification of TM images, and his Ph.D. also from the University of Utah focusing on remote sensing and GIS on urban areas.  His research emphasizes the use of GIScience on urban areas.  In addition to urban areas, he is also interested in precision agriculture and environmental issues.  At Northwest Missouri State University, he teaches courses on remote sensing, GIS, GPS, and cartography.  

Ali Akil
Eco Bloc, CEO + Co-founder

Ali Akil is a US Army Veteran and the Co-Founder & Chief Vision Officer of Eco Bloc, accelerating economic growth through enterprise software solutions. Public Bloc is an innovative platform that leverages blockchain and AI technology to raise capital and secure payments for infrastructure related projects around the world. Ali also serves on the National Small Business Association Leadership Council and the Small Business Technology Council.

Mikel Maron
Mapbox, Community Team Lead

Mikel Maron is a programmer and geographer working for impactful community and humanitarian uses of open source and open data, most recently on Mapbox's COVID-19 response efforts. Mikel is a co-founder of Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) and leads the Community team at Mapbox. Mikel also serves on the OpenStreetMap Foundation Board. He is co-founder of Ground Truth Initiative, and of the Map Kibera project. He’s previously served as Chair of Voting Members for HOT, and as President of the Board of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team. He’s travelled widely, organizing projects in India, Palestine, Egypt, Swaziland, and elsewhere. Previously to this, he co-founded Mapufacture and worked on collaborative platforms, geoweb standards, and various applications, with a wide spectrum of organizations from UN and government agencies to anarchist hacker collectives.

Dave Williams
Newlight Technologies, CLOUD ARCHITECT AND SENIOR CONSULTANT

Dave Williams is a Cloud Architect and Senior Consultant for New Light Technologies Inc. and is responsible for leading the firm’s implementation and management of cloud services for customers. Dave specializes in automating deployment and management of infrastructure as code, accreditation and security implementation, cloud architecture and administration, and leading complex migrations to AWS and Azure environments. Dave has extensive experience managing cloud operations in the commercial and federal sectors including for Boeing, 4tell Solutions, Anthem Health, the Federal Reserve, FEMA, among others.

Dave is also an accomplished Geospatial expert and led AECOM’s Technical Services Department from 2004-2011 implementing and managing enterprise Geospatial solutions across the U.S Air Force (USAF) ACC GeoBase program.

Dave received his Bachelor of Science in Geography and IT from Old Dominion University and is a certified AWS Architect Professional, Oracle Associate, GIS Professional.

 When not immersed in the cloud, Dave enjoys outdoor activities and reading and writing poetry.

Polina Girshman
SAP, Senior Manager, Experience Design

As an experience designer and researcher, I help companies define business problems by uncovering human needs and translating them into innovative products, services and business models.

James Sullivan
SAP, Head, Global Sustainability Innovation Accelerator

Jim joined SAP in June 2009 with the Clear Standards acquisition. In his current role, Jim is responsible for providing strategic advice to help SAP and its customers, partners and analysts identify and achieve tangible shareholder value through proactive resource management and for helping them understand and employ technology solutions to profitably reduce environmental impacts across global business operations. Prior to joining SAP, Jim was Vice President of Strategy and Advisory Services at Clear Standards.

Formerly Director of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Leaders program and acting Branch Chief of EPA’s Energy Supply and Industry programs, Jim is an internationally recognized expert on policies and measures to combat climate change. Jim’s previous work included developing and analyzing performance metrics for U.S. climate programs and serving as UNFCCC expert reviewer of the European Union’s climate policy. Prior to his service at EPA, Jim worked at Skadden, Arps as an environmental specialist.

Jim represents SAP on the Steering Committee of The Sustainability Consortium where he co-chairs the IT Standards and Tools Workgroup and various technical workgroups of the WRI GHG Protocol Product/Supply Chain initiative. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Climate Change Officers, and sits on the advisory boards to the Greenhouse Gas Management Institute and Sustainable Brands. A frequent speaker at environmental and climate change related events, Jim is a strong advocate of industry efforts to implement meaningful, verifiable energy efficiency and emissions reduction programs.

Jim holds a Masters of Science from John Hopkins University and a BA in History from Brown University.

Eric Ewing
General Services Administration (GSA), Director, AI Center of Excellence
Dominica Zhu
Lead Program Manager and Impact Strategist

Dominica Zhu is a multidimensional professional with a uniquely diverse and culturally dynamic background. She is currently the Lead Program Manager and Impact Strategist for Census Open Innovation Labs (COIL), a small and nimble team within the U.S. Census. Bureau; a team that is pioneering innovation in civic technology and partnerships. 

 Prior to this role, Dominica has worked as a global development professional for over seven years. She focuses in the fields of health, human rights, social entrepreneurship, and protecting indigenous wisdom. Her most recent projects include countering human trafficking with technology in Southeast Asia in partnership with USAID, driving and supporting multinational technology companies to enter frontier markets, and developing models to preserve ancient knowledge in Sri Lanka and Africa. 

In her personal time, Dominica follows her family ancestral bloodline of healing and holistic medicine, working with practitioners in this field to create wellness for others. She is a Certified Health Coach and nutritionist. In addition, she is the founder of a project entitled Global Wisdom Collective, that is focused on uniting and preserving indigenous wisdom on the African and Asian continent. 


The systems that connect society and our natural environment pose challenges that technology may help us to solve.  Recycling is a billion dollar industry that provides millions of jobs to American workers, yet there is great untapped potential for connecting companies and manufacturers that need access to raw and recycled materials. Farmers and ranchers are part of a vital infrastructure that powers America, but are often at the mercy of environmental and economic conditions out of their control. Connecting people to data and information is key to solving both of these challenges.  Join this session to hear about the treasure trove of data at USDA, from AI and data expert Eric Ewing, and then hear about new products built through TOP sprints by SAP, Eco Bloc, Mapbox, and Newlight Technologies.

On the Ground Community Reactions: Lightning Round Discussion

Following these demos, join our community experts from conservation and advocacy groups, city government, universities, policy centers and more to discuss how we can translate these incredible tools to reach those that need them the most. In this lightning round, co-creators of the products will reflect on how they can be deployed in their communities, the potential impact and benefit to targeted end users, and next steps ahead. Featuring speakers from The Ocean Conservancy, City of Phoenix, Environmental Law and Policy Center, Universities and more.