Pre-Conference Field Trips

Tuesday, March 5th | 12-4pm


1) Field Trip: Climate Disaster Response, Resilience, and a Just Transition
Organized with NY Community Trust and Surdna Foundation

Hurricane Sandy was one of the most costly and destructive hurricanes in U.S. history, and it exposed New York’s vulnerabilities in a changing climate. This field trip will examine the Hurricane’s impact to some of the City’s waterfront communities and citizen response. We start off with a walking tour in Redhook, Brooklyn, a mixed income neighborhood, known as a thriving enclave for artists and its spectacular river views. Community and City leaders will share stories about how they saved homes and businesses through public-privatephilanthropic partnerships post Sandy and their strategy for mitigating future events. Next we visit UPROSE to learn about how the aftermath of climate events can be used to create a Just Transition. Join us to experience a diversity of inspiring voices and perspectives about how New York is tackling the threats posed by climate change.


  • Allison Corwin, Program Officer, Sustainable Environments, Surdna Foundation

  • Arturo Garcia-Costas, Program Officer, Thriving Communities, The New York Community Trust

  • Shuaib Siddiqui, Director of Impact Investing, Surdna Foundation

  • Elizabeth Yeampierre, Executive Director, UPROSE

  • Tevina Willis, Red Hook WIFI Communications Associate, Red Hook Initiative

2) Field Trip: Exploring Green Built Infrastructure by Foot: A Waterfront Walking Tour in DUMBO (DUMBO = “Down Under the Manhattan Brooklyn Overpass”)
Organized with Natural Resources Defense Council and Mercer

Green infrastructure is visible throughout Brooklyn’s built landscape. We’ll start with a brief exploration of 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge itself, which incorporates state-of-the-art energy and environmental design to demonstrate urban sustainability made real. Following, we head out on foot to explore DUMBO’s spectacular waterfront, while soaking in some of the sites and tastes of this beautiful neighborhood. Along the way we’ll hear how a once ramshackle shoreline was transformed to become one of the city’s most prized public parks and go-to destinations. Join us as we learn more about green infrastructure within our built environment, why it’s so important, and how investors can support such kinds of projects.


  • Jason Babbie, Senior Director, Healthy People & Thriving Communities, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

  • Amy Chester, Managing Director, Rebuild by Design

  • Sarah Dougherty, Green Finance Manager, Natural Resources Defense Council

  • Jay Koh, Managing Director and Founder, Lightsmith Group

  • Roland Lewis, President and CEO, Waterfront Alliance

  • John Macintosh, Partner, Seachange Capital Partners

  • John Mandyck, CEO, Urban Green Council

  • Max Messervy, Senior Associate, Responsible Investment Consultant, Mercer

  • Nicole Palomino, Senior Events Manager, 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

  • Russell Unger, Chief Strategy Officer, Urban Green Council


3) Field Trip: Brooklyn Affordable Housing: Leveraging Investor Creativity to Foster Greater Opportunity
Organized with van Ameringen Foundation

Brooklyn – a new global hot-spot – is having to balance rapid growth, affordability and an array of special needs. While it is arguably government’s responsibility to enable deep subsidies and serve the very low-income population and the homeless, endowments can play a creative and responsible role in leveraging such resources. Some argue that more public dollars would be available to address such issues if there was greater investment flow into NY’s burgeoning mixed-income housing market, placing less reliance on controversial public subsidies for developers. As investors, how do we make the best use of public and private dollars to meet the wide range of need in demanding markets such as New York City? How do we leverage our influence to craft enlightened public policy and structural change? Join non-profit affordable housing developers and investors, along with Jonathan Rose, President of Jonathan Rose Companies, to tour a vibrant new housing development, and explore the dynamic yet embattled Brooklyn housing landscape.


  • Michelle de la Uz, Executive Director, 5th Ave Committee

  • Laura Kind McKenna, Trustee and Treasurer of the Patricia Kind Family Foundation, Trustee of the van Ameringen Foundation

  • Brendan McLaughlin, Executive Director of Credit & Special Underwriting and Credit Committee Chair, Office of Development, New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD)

  • Mark Reed, Principal & Founder, The Contact Fund

  • Jonathan Rose, President, Jonathan Rose Companies

  • Ismene Speliotis, Executive Director, MHANY Management Inc.

4) Field Trip: From Farm to Fork in Brooklyn!
Organized with Fair Food Fund, Woodcock Foundation, and Natural Resources Defense Council

Brooklyn is famous for its thriving food culture and innovative start-ups that are transforming the business of food from farm to fork. Join us for a delicious afternoon out and about in New York’s most populous borough where we will hear first-hand about the opportunities and challenges food entrepreneurs face, dig into real deals, and explore the kinds of support beyond capital required to take such businesses to the next level. The day will start with a tour of a food incubator featuring lunch with local outfit Empanaderia and conclude with a tour and happy hour at New York Distilling Company, a recipient of impact investment funding via Fair Food Fund. Join us and learn why impact investors are putting food and agriculture businesses in their portfolios.

Field Trip Leaders:

  • Stacey Faella, Executive Director, Woodcock Foundation

  • Oran Hesterman, Founder and CEO, Fair Food Fund

  • Alex Linkow, Director, Fair Food Fund

  • Sebastian Jaramillo, Co-Founder, Mi Casa Foods and Empanaderia

  • Tom Potter, Co-Founder and President, New York Distilling Company

  • Michael Winik, Co-Founder and CEO, Our Harvest


5) Field Trip: Brooklyn Art, Culture, and a Community in Change
Organized with Hip Hop Caucus and Brooklyn Community Foundation

Like many of America’s major metropolitan areas, Brooklyn’s vitality and diversity has nurtured and attracted a thriving arts scene -- an eclectic tapestry of cultural expression and neighborhood pride. Three decades of aggressive development have brought major changes however in the borough’s landscape and demographics. How does art and culture fare in the midst of these pressures? And can local arts initiatives be a force for community stabilization and resident-driven growth? We’ll explore these questions through a short viewing of the some of the borough’s new mega buildings in the midst of burgeoning downtown Brooklyn; then we’ll travel to the largely African-American and Latinx areas of Bedford-Stuyvesant andEast New York to visit with three community organizations that address art in the context of real-life challenges and the search for not only survival but viable economic opportunity.


  • Amy Chou, Program Officer, Brooklyn Community Foundation

  • Dr. Divine Pryor, Executive Director, Center for NuLeadership on Urban Solutions

  • Catherine Green, Founder and Executive Director, ARTs East New York

  • Terence “TC” Muhammad, Community Outreach Manager, Hip Hop Caucus

  • Regine Roumain, Founder, Haiti Cultural Exchange