Design Week: Taking Action, Making Change

Lecture / Panel
Open to the Public

"Designing Waste Out: Taking Action Making Change"

About this Event:

While research shows the importance of awareness as a necessary first step for behavioral change, research also shows that awareness is necessary but not sufficient. The complexity of issues such as climate change, the immensity of our waste problem, and the prevalence of systemic environmental injustices happening on a local, national, and global scale often prevents people from acting. These issues can create a "feeling of deep lethargy," people wondering "What's the use?' or 'What can we possibly do?". However, some individuals decide to take action and initiate change in their own communities and organizations with the goal to create broader changes at the societal level.

We are thrilled to be joined by a panel of four passionate changemakers and innovators, who are all working to make change happen. Our panelists have taken on the challenge of “designing waste out” through their work with community fridges, youth programming, creating recycling pipelines, zero waste education, and community organizing in order to create a more sustainable, equitable, and inclusive future for all.

This panel is a part of Design Week 2021: Designing Waste Out and is presented by Design Lab @ NYU MakerSpace. Design Week is an annual week of events focused on a critical aspect of design. The week is packed with talks, workshops, and a panel, and will be highlighting projects on sustainability happening at NYU as well. All of this year's event will be completely virtual. You can check out the rest of the week's events here.

headshots of the 4 women Panelists

Panelist Bios:

Zenat Begum, Founder, Playground Coffee Shop, Playground Youth

Zenat Begum is a native New Yorker, owner of Playground Coffee Shop, founder of Playground Youth, and an alumni of The New School. Zenat intentionally seeks to center BIPOC, marginalized bodies, the arts, and community engagement in order to foster change in a shapeshifting and gentrifying BedStuy. You can learn more about Playground Coffee Shop and the community initiatives they provide here:

Brigitte Vicenty, Founder, Inner City Green Team

Brigitte Vicenty, a lifelong New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) resident, is the founder of the Inner City Green Team. She has led the fight for herself and fellow residents in their "Right to Recycle" for a decade. She created Inner City Green Team when she learned that NYCHA's recycling program was nonexistent and there were no other options. In 2018, she won the NYCx Co-Lab Challenge and was honored at the Zero Waste in Shared Space Recognition Ceremony. The project was recently featured on New York’s PIX11 and News12 as well as by Politico. Brigitte is a 2020 Echoing Green Fellow.

Monalisa Prasad, Director of Sustainability, NYU Eats, Chartwells Higher Education

Monalisa has been with Chartwells for 5+ years demonstrating her passion, knowledge, skills, and adaptability. While in the UK she was struck by the sheer amount of edible food that would be wasted at her local supermarket and it sparked her interest in learning about the nexus of food, waste, energy, and the all-important climate! Her work is demonstrated through her spearheading efforts of certifying 5 dining halls at NYU as Green Restaurant Certified and tracking and implementing all things sustainability in the foodservice industry. Monalisa holds an MSc in Sustainability Management from Columbia University, NY and an MBA specializing in Sustainable Operations and Supply Chains from University of Exeter, UK.

Daneille Foster-Russell, Emergency Fresh Food Box Program Manager, GrowNYC

Daneille Foster-Russell is an engagement and operations professional with a focus on building and managing program and stakeholder development. Daneille is passionate about community capacity building and partnerships for creative problem solving. All her work stems from a focus on equity, cultural responsiveness, and community engagement. Daneille manages the Emergency Fresh Food Box Program at GrowNYC, a New York City-based non-profit focused on protecting the environment, creating green spaces, and helping people stay healthy. Daneille has worked as an outreach associate with the New York City Department of Sanitation and spent 4 years working with New York City public schools to develop and implement their sustainability and waste management programming with the aim of achieving New York City’s 0x30 sustainability goals. Daneille holds a BS in Journalism from The City University of New York and a MS degree in Environmental Policy & Sustainability Management from The New School.

Anne-Laure Fayard, Associate Professor in Department of Technology Management and Innovation and an Affiliate Faculty member in the Department of Technology, Culture and Society at NYU will facilitate the panel.