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Phil Radford  

Environmental, Clean Energy & Democracy Thought Leader

How America grapples with this decade’s biggest trends – global climate change, the rapid adoption of clean energy, money in politics and the emerging electorate – will determine if we leave a livable planet to future generations and if we as a nation embody our ideals of a pluralistic, democratic and inclusive society. Phil Radford is an American environmental, clean energy and democracy leader who, as the youngest Executive Director of Greenpeace USA, convinced Facebook, Apple and other high tech companies to shift to 100% clean energy. His work to change over 100 companies’ environmental practices was called “activism at its best” by The New York Times.

Radford engages audiences with a clear message: that the solution to climate change — clean energy — is winning in the market today. He believes this will take the leadership of students and corporate executives to accelerate the inevitable clean energy revolution in time to stop climate change.

Radford’s work has focused on the leadership role corporations can play in protecting the environment and human rights, creating groundbreaking partnerships to reduce the role of money in politics, promote universal voting rights for all Americans and supporting youth leadership, who he argues are the engine behind most major modern social change.

Radford served as a co-founder of the Democracy Initiative, a national coalition of major unions, environmental groups, civil rights and government reform organizations working for universal voter registration, to get money out of politics and to reform Senate rules. Ben Jealous, former president and CEO of the NAACP as well as co-founder of the Democracy Initiative, said: “Phil Radford is a modern movement building giant. He has built powerful diverse coalitions to bolster the fights for the environment and voting rights. In the process, he has shown himself to be unmatched in mobilizing everyday people to fund their movements directly.”

Radford is a regular contributor to Huffington Post and has appeared on CNN, Fox News, NBC and ABC News. He has a degree from Washington University in St. Louis. In his inspiring speeches, Radford outlines the inevitable clean energy revolution that is happening at this moment, how business can and must lead in protecting the environment and the steps students and youth can take to make a better world come faster.


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Speech Topics

Democracy in America

Students are 20% of the population and 100% of the future, but special interests are working around the clock to suppress the student vote, pushing laws that would allow people to vote with a gun license but not a student ID.

This is all a part of an assault on our democracy like one we have not seen in decades, with a combination of wealthy interests working to push even more money into politics while pushing voter suppression laws across the country.

This decade could determine if America continues to march forward towards democracy, or shift backwards to a few individuals having the vast majority of power. In his speech, Phil shares the history and stories of the activists who have opened up the right to vote for more and more Americans, news on the fights to stave off the assault on our democracy and what you can do shape the world you live in.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has evolved from PR to part of the core business for many companies. As it has evolved, a business case has developed for why companies should have CSR programs. Authentic CSR efforts have proven essential for recruiting, retaining and motivating talented employees. Companies can either bolster or weaken their brands through their actions. Those businesses that integrate sustainability into their innovation efforts have found that doing the right thing is profitable.

But what is missing from this business case is the Mozilla Moment: the moment when the CEO of Mozilla lost his job after two weeks for opposing gay rights.

In an era of increasingly sophisticated NGOs and social media, executives need to understand the black swan risks – the Mozilla Moments – to protect their companies’ bottom lines. Phil Radford, the former Executive Director of Greenpeace, has worked with over 100 companies from Apple and Facebook to Proctor & Gamble to change their environmental practices. In his speech and the ensuring dialogue, Phil will discuss CSR best practices, the risks waiting just around the corner and how you can move your company forward to mitigate the risk of Mozilla Moments.

How Student Activism Changes History

From the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 1960s to the environmental, DREAMer, and social justice movements of today, students and young people have played a central role in putting society’s most important issues on the table.

In his empowering speech to young people, Radford shares the critical role that students have played in making change happen throughout history, discusses the some of the biggest challenges of our times and outlines the proven ways that students can continue to shape the world that they have inherited and will pass on to future generations.

Climate Change

Climate change is the most pressing issue facing all of humanity, and the world’s governments and the market have yet to address it. At stake are our water resources, our economies, the lives of hundreds of millions of people, national security and the acidification of our oceans. In short, at stake is the world we leave for our children. But while our weather is getting wilder and pollution increases, there are signs of hope on the horizon. Clean energy – the solution for preventing pollution – is winning in the marketplace. Coal use is on the decline. And electric vehicles are beginning to take a foothold. Phil Radford, veteran environmental leader who has promoted clean energy and fought climate change for over 15 years, shares the problem, how it affects each of us, the solutions and how we can all be part of creating a more prosperous, green economy.

Corporate America’s Clean Energy Opportunity

Clean energy is surging. In January and February of 2014, 90% of new energy was clean energy in the U.S. – solar, wind and geothermal. Stanford University studies show that the U.S. can be powered by 100% solar, wind and water energy and storage by mid-century. Apple, Google, Facebook and major companies have already achieved this goal, powering the cloud with 100% clean energy.

The Fortune 1000 can play a pivotal role in accelerating the inevitable clean energy revolution with a positive return on investment. Clean energy has dramatically dropped in price, and generating more than three times the jobs produced by older, more pollution intensive energy sources. Phil is a long-time clean energy leader and advocate, who as the leader of Greenpeace convinced Apple, Facebook and other major companies to switch to 100% clean energy and led the team that persuaded the City of Cincinnati to go 100% clean energy for every resident of the city. In his speech, he’ll share the latest trends in clean energy, the promise and what you can do to help accelerate America’s inevitable transition to clean energy.


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