Staff & Leadership
Foresight Prep at Oberlin is a collaboration between Oberlin College and Foresight Design Initiative. Mutual commitments to experiential learning, diversity, sustainability, etc. Established leaders and innovators in social change-oriented education.
Program Designers and Collaborators
Foresight Prep is a project of the nonprofit Foresight Design Initiative, developed in collaboration with Oberlin College. Foresight and Oberlin are dedicated to helping build the capacity of future leaders to address global, complex challenges. Mutual commitments to sustainability principles, diversity, and holistic, experiential education sparked the collaboration that is Foresight Prep @ Oberlin.
The College has collaborated with Foresight on multiple fronts including: Hosting the program, providing access to the campus and community's innovative sustainability initiatives, offering support and feedback on the curriculum development process, and helping review Seminar applications. Oberlin Admissions staff have also made themselves available to Seminar participants who have questions about Oberlin, or the college application process more broadly.
Oberlin College is a four-year, highly selective liberal arts college and conservatory of music. Founded in 1833 by a Presbyterian minister and a missionary, it was the first college to grant bachelor's degrees to women in a coeducational environment and, historically, was a leader in the education of African Americans. The Oberlin community is known for its exemplary academic and musical pedagogy and its commitment to social justice, sustainability, and creative entrepreneurship.
Oberlin’s legacy of inclusion and respect for diversity sets the tone for campus life today. The presence of a top liberal arts college and a world-class conservatory of music on a single campus is rare and enriching. Students live, dine, play, and study together in a community of intense learning and discovery. Members of the Oberlin community revel in their differences as much as they value the sense that they are all in this together. The Oberlin community shares a commitment to pushing the boundaries of their determination, intellect, and creativity.
Together, the campus and community create a place of urban sensibility reflecting the music, art, and cultural richness of the world. Oberlin's size, residential character, variety, and selectivity provide an atmosphere that is conducive to intellectual and personal growth.
Foresight Design Initiative is a multidisciplinary innovation studio. We work with diverse partners to understand sustainability challenges and identify holistic, resilient solutions. We are committed to training the next generation of leaders.
The Foresight Design Initiative possesses over a decade of experience pursuing a range of sustainability-focused innovation projects and, concurrently, producing unique and compelling education experiences. Participant evaluations have consistently given the organization's programs top marks, validating its three-pronged approach that includes an emphasis on a triple bottom line (social, environmental, economic) perspective, reliance upon teacher-practitioners, and incorporation of experiential learning opportunities. Foresight program alumni have subsequently assumed influential positions in a diversity of sectors.
Learn more at the Foresight Design Initiative website.
Program faculty & staff
The program is led by experienced Foresight Design Initiative staff, supported by trained undergraduate teaching assistants, and emphasizes learning from teachers who are also practitioners in "real world" fields. Collectively, Foresight Prep faculty/staff possess more than fifty years of professional experience in sustainability-related pursuits, including policy, business, design, innovation, scientific research, youth development, philanthropy, and community organizing. Residential/teaching assistants benefit from a rigorous, preparatory winter internship with Foresight, and bring their Oberlin coursework to bear on their facilitation.
Guest speakers are drawn from the Foresight Prep Steering Committee, Oberlin faculty and staff, and Foresight's extensive network of sustainability and social justice leaders in Northeast Ohio and nationally.
Lead Instructor (Arts, Business)
Peter Nicholson leads a multifaceted career focused on innovating greater social, environmental and economic sustainability. He has consulted on and undertaken a diverse range of projects for clients, including municipal government agencies, institutional nonprofits, and small businesses, and large corporations. Dedicated to empowering the next generation of sustainability-minded leaders, Peter has also led sustainability-focused education programs for high school and college students to corporate executives since 2003. He established the nonprofit Foresight Design Initiative in 2002, for which he serves as the Executive Director. In 2012, he formed Foresight Bright, LLC, an innovation consulting practice forcused on private sector clients. Prior to this, he held a variety of positions in the private and nonprofit sectors. In each, he has consistently pursued innovative growth and effective innovation. Peter began his graduate study of Sustainability and Design at the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology, and holds a bachelors degree from Oberlin College
Lead Instructor (Movements)
Tim Jones-Yelvington possesses a range of facilitation, research, communications and program development and assessment skills. He worked for five years as program staff at Crossroads Fund, a public foundation supporting grassroots community organizing and social justice activists groups in the Chicago area, including a number of youth-led campaigns. His position included managing a portfolio of grantees and helping to coordinate a community-led grantmaking process. He worked closely with the staff and leaders of small, new and emerging organizations to navigate their organizational growth, and contributed to fundraising and communications efforts. He recently completed a Masters of Education in Youth Development at University of Illinois at Chicago. His culminating field experience took place in the After School and Expanded Learning Team at American Institutes for Research, the nation's largest social science research and evaluation organization, where he acquired a wealth of resources for promoting youth program quality.
Lead Instructor (Food)
Beatriz Beckford has more than 15 years of experience organizing around food, land, and racial and environmental justice. Through direct action, advocacy, community organizing, campaign development, and coalition/alliance building, she has worked to amplify the wisdom of, and develop campaigns led by, the grassroots communities most directly affected by these issues. Using dialogue and education, she seeks to channel the energy and innovative ideas of youth and communities, to support them in becoming a powerful leadership base for social and environmental change.
A Co-Author of the Movement for Black Lives Policy Platform, Beatriz currently serves as a Campaign Director with MomsRising, working to advance policies that promote family economic security and healthy kids. Previously, she served as Director of Grassroots Action Network (GAN), where she worked with the Network's partners to lift up the leadership of historically marginalized communities, build power and capacity for grassroots groups, and develop strategies rooted in the collective wisdom of communities. Prior to this, she co-founded and was Director of Organizing and Policy Initiatives at the Brooklyn Food Coalition, where she built the coalition's base, and supported campaign development as chief architect of the coalition's organizing and policy strategies.
Guest Facilitator (Movements 1)
Sarita Bhakuni, PhD, has worked for over 20 years with people at all levels of organizations as an assessment expert to assess, develop, and select leaders, create synergy on teams, implement strategic growth initiatives, create diversity empowerment programs, and provide coaching to executives. She has worked across many industries including healthcare, financial services, technology, education, and nonprofits, amongst others. Over the past ten years, Sarita has led and managed her private consulting firm, specializing in health care (understanding and transforming the patient experience), working with engineers and MBA students in building Emotional Intelligence, and helping companies manage organizational change during growth and development periods. She specializes in multicultural issues around individuals and organizations, and working with clients to achieve insight around their potential to grow and change. Sarita also has a private clinical practice in the Chicago loop where she works with adults.
Jenny Goldsmith is experienced in youth programing and mentoring, as well as consulting and research focused on complex sustainability challenges. She is specifically passionate about water & energy access, and believes in the necessity of moving from single (profit) to triple (environment, profit, social equity) bottom-line thinking to address sustainability & resiliency challenges. Jenny has been involved with developing and implementing Foresight Prep @ Oberlin College since the program's launch in 2014. She received her B.A. in Economics with a focus on Environmental Economics from Oberlin College in 2015.
Lead Instructor (Cities)
Lyndon Valicenti brings over 10 years of experience in scientific study, policy analysis, and planning around sustainable ecological and urban systems. She has conducted scientific research on vulnerable ecosystems in the Arctic and Antarctic; contributed to debates on international climate change policy; developed and implemented engagement programs to support city-scale climate action; and has informed ecological thinking in urban planning across China and the Middle East. Lyndon has a solid record of leading thoughtful, science-based planning, policy making, and research, as well as convening coalitions to advance strategic agendas to protect our most essential resources. Lyndon is Adjunct Faculty of Sustainability Leadership and Change Management at University of Chicago’s Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies. She holds a Masters in Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University and a Bachelors of Science in Aquatic Ecology from University of California, Santa Barbara. She also holds a certificate in Sustainable Urban and Environmental Design from Archeworks.
Resident / Teaching Assistants (RATAs)
The RATAs (pronounced rah-tahs) are current Oberlin College students who mentor Seminar participants as teaching/residential assistants.
Jenny Pham is a rising senior at Oberlin College majoring in Environmental Studies and minoring in Comparative American Studies. Her academic interests lie in agricultural sustainability and food studies within ethnic communities. In her free time, Jenny enjoys sculpting, cooking Vietnamese food and playing Pokémon as well as participating as a performer in Oberlin College Taiko, which is a collegiate level Japanese drumming ensemble. Aside from being a student, she actively works as a Residential Assistant as well as a Peer Mentor for first generation and Pell Grant eligible students.
Kelly McCarthy is a rising Junior at Oberlin College. As an Environmental Studies major with a pathway in Environmental Policy, Politics, and Law, her main interests lie in exploring how political structures and institutions can serve to empower or disempower communities to take action for creating meaningful change. She is especially interested in what makes a community resilient to social and environmental challenges and injustices, as well as how to combat those. Kelly is involved in many environmental sustainability related groups at Oberlin, including the Resource Conservation Team, Real Food Oberlin, and the Food Recovery Network. She is also a member of Oberlin's all-gender club soccer team, which she loves very dearly! Theres no better way to decompress than running around outside with friends and teammates!
Larry Leggett is a graduate of Oberlin College, Class of 2017. As a recipient of BA’s in Law & Society and Philosophy, he finds it paramount that the younger demographic is educated with regard to how they are perceived within society. During his time at Oberlin he strengthened his understanding of the law through engaging in political, sociological and philosophical frameworks. An advocate of Equal Rights and Equal Opportunity, he looks to help provide the youth with a foundation for which they can progress through the social lens of their given demographic. Larry was a recipient of the Jesse L. Phillips Scholarship, and a four year varsity letter recipient, as he served as Captain for the 2016-2017 Oberlin College Football Team.
The Foresight Prep Steering Committee is composed of established professionals from a variety of sectors, and students that are alumni of Foresight’s education programs. The steering committee support and help insure program excellence with insights on curriculum, professional connections, financial support and by often serving as guest speakers.
David Beach, Director
Lenore Beyer-Clow, Policy Director
Jarami Bond, Sustainability Coordinator
Ariane Burwell, Sustainability and Climate Change Consultant
Environmental Resources Management (ERM)
Brigid Connelly, Student, Class of 2018
Douglas Farr, President & CEO
Farr Associates Architecture & Urban Design
David Greaves, Student, Class of 2018
Marshall Hanig, Student, Class of 2015
Wildwood School, Los Angeles, CA
Jeff Hogue, Chief Sustainability Officer
Lindsay James, Vice President for Restorative Enterprise
Marvin Krislov, President
Sadhu Johnston, City Manager
City of Vancouver, B.C.
Former Chief Sustainability Officer, City of Chicago
Kayla Kellar, Student, Class of 2015
Olney Friends School, Barnesville, OH
Bob Langert, Vice President, Global CSR & Sustainability (retired)
Glen Low, Co-Founder
The Earth Genome
Lyrica McTiernan, Sustainability Manager
David W. Orr, Senior Adviser to the President
Eliot Padzensky, Student, Class of 2018
Jeff Seabright, Chief Sustainability Officer
Clarissa Itzel Villegas Smith, Student, Class of 2015
Bioscience High School, Phoenix, AZ
Lanita Stevens, Manager, Product Stewardship and Sustainability
Chuck Templeton, Managing Partner
Chairman, Impact Engine