Video Essays

Dr. Minu Hemmati
Clinical Psychologist in Environmental Psychology, Minu Hemmati’s Website 

Dr. Minu Hemmati, German-Iranian by background, is a clinical psychologist with a doctorate in organisational and environmental psychology. She was a Senior Lecturer at the University of Saarbrücken, Germany, 1992-1998. Since 1998, she has been working as an independent advisor with NGOs; governments; international agencies; women’s networks; corporations; and research institutions.Minu’s work is focusing on two areas: firstly, multi-stakeholder change processes where her work includes designing, facilitating and coaching change initiatives that use dialogue and cross-sector partnerships among stakeholders; social inclusion and conflict resolution; leadership development; training and coaching; and research and advocacy on political participation. Minu helped develop and run the SEED Initiative from 2002 until 2006, which is focusing on locally driven entrepreneurial partnerships, where effective business models are developed to support poverty alleviation, social equity and environmental protection. She is also the Chair of the Board of EcoAgriculture Partners, an organisation and network platform that brings together stakeholders of agricultural economic development and biodiversity conservation at landscape scale, including smallholder farmers in developing their businesses through increasing quality and diversifying production. Secondly, Minu does research and advocacy on gender and sustainable development issues, with a recent focus on climate change. Minu has wide experience with multi-stakeholder processes at all levels; international policy making on sustainable development and related issues; local and national level implementation, particularly through partnerships, as well as evaluation in the field, particularly in Africa. She has published two books and over 50 articles, book chapters, and reports.

Emem Okon
Founder, Kebetkache Women Resource & Development Centre

Emem Okon is a women’s rights activist and advocate from the Niger Delta’s oil impacted region of Nigeria. She is a campaigner against all forms of violence including that directed at women and the environment. Women’s rights are inextricable with environmental health, because environmental damage harms the survival and livelihood of women farmers and fisher folks. The destruction of self-sufficient lifestyles can lead women to seek wages through sex work, which has resulted in increasing rates of HIV & AIDS.  Ms. Okon is a gender analyst, a trainer and a researcher. She assesses the implications of projects, actions, and activities on men and women.  She is currently developing the Niger Delta Women Against Climate Change Network.

Laura Livoti
Founder, Justice in Nigeria Now (JINN)

Justice in Nigeria Now (JINN) was founded by Laura Livoti in 2008. Simultaneously, Ms. Livoti served as the Senior Program Officer at the French American Charitable Trust where she maintained a portfolio of grantees building leadership in low income and people of color communities in the United States. In that capacity, she developed and oversaw a program on strengthening organizations that came to be viewed as a model capacity building program within the philanthropic sector. Ms. Livoti provided leadership in a variety of professional associations including serving on the steering committees of the Funders Committee on Civic Participation and the Funders Network on Trade and Globalization. In the past, she served as Director at the National Radio Project, co-founded the Committee in Support of the People of Nigeria, founded West African Girls Empowerment, co-coordinated the Bay Area 50 Years is Enough campaign, which became Economic Justice Now, she coordinated its Africa Committee and was actively involved in the Women’s Action Coalition.

Cate Owren
Executive Director, Women’s Environment & Development Organization 
UN Climate Change Conference

A lifelong women’s rights and environmental activist, Cate found a natural home at WEDO six years ago, when she joined the organization to work on its gender and climate change portfolio. Her first major project was research, outreach and consultation with women’s and environmental organizations to help develop a gender and climate change alliance and national mobilization and advocacy projects. She supported numerous additional WEDO efforts, including the 50/50 women’s political participation campaign, as well as the 16 Days of Activism campaign. Serving as Sustainable Development Coordinator, she organized the international team of advocates working to integrate gender equality language into the UNFCCC negotiations and outcomes; then as Program Director, Cate developed and supervised the interlinked programming across Sustainable Development, Women’s Leadership and Global Governance themes. She was appointed Executive Director in February 2011.

Prior to coming to WEDO, Cate worked for various NGOs – from grassroots to international – on gender equality issues such as reproductive health and rights and AIDS education; microfinance; extractive industries and fair trade. She enjoyed living and working in West Africa and the Caribbean before re-settling in the New York City area with her family. Cate has a Master’s degree in International Affairs from the New School, where she concentrated in socioeconomic development with a focus on gender and women’s empowerment. She has an undergraduate degree in English Literature and Theater, and she was an early member of a NYC-based theater company, with whom she wrote, performed and produced for 10 years. She officially swapped her hobbies for her career almost a decade ago, but she appreciates the more ‘dramatic’ aspects of global advocacy, too.


women, climate change & human rights