Mark Tercek

MARK TERCEK is president and CEO of The Nature Conservancy, the global conservation organization known for its intense focus on collaboration and getting things done for the benefit of people and nature. He is the author of the Washington Post and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling book Nature’s Fortune:  How Business and Society Thrive by Investing in Nature.

A former managing director and Partner for Goldman Sachs, where he spent 24 years, Mark brings deep business experience to his role leading the Conservancy. He is a champion of the idea of natural capital — valuing nature for its own sake as well as for the services it provides for people, such as clean air and water, productive soils and a stable climate.

In 2012, Mark was appointed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to serve on the New York State 2100 Commission, which was created in the wake of Superstorm Sandy to advise the governor and the state on how to make the state’s infrastructure more resilient to future storms. In 2016, Mark was appointed by President Barack Obama to the president's Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.

Mark is also a member of several boards and councils, including Resources for the Future, the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED),Harvard Business School's Social Enterprise Initiative, and SNAPPTNC's science joint venture with UC Santa Barbara and the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Drawing on his professional background in the financial sector, Mark is leading TNC’s impact capital initiative and serves as board chair of NatureVest.

3 words to describe Nature? 

Inspiring. Spiritual. Valuable

3 things Nature taught you? 

Interconnectedness. Shortcuts don’t work. We’re all (all species) in this together.

3 most treasured Nature spots? 

Very difficult - I lead The Nature Conservancy, so it is like asking me who is my favorite child. So I will answer: Mountains, Jungles & Oceans.

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...? 

At peace

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...? 

Happy

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...? 

Respectful

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...? 

Calm, happy

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...? 

Like rain is coming.

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

Like I'm outside

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person? 

All of the above

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being? 

10

Share with us a childhood nature memory? 

Early in my TNC days and for various reasons, I was feeling stressed about my new job. I had to go to the Great Bear Rain Forest in British Columbia. My anxiety and stress vanished as soon as I arrived and took in the majesty, beauty and glory of the area. I also realized that I had myself a very good job!

Photograph by Emiliano Granado


Claudia Robaina

Throughout her career, CLAUDIA ROBAINA’s personal mission has been to nurture creative individuals to reach their full potential. Born in Venezuela, and trained as a violist, she has dedicated a decade to classical music management while at Columbia Artists Management and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. At both organizations, she managed and empowered the careers of hundreds of conductors, instrumentalists, and composers. Claudia’s reputation as a thoughtful leader, effective producer, and personable manager has led her to cultivate strong working relationships with Yo-Yo Ma, André Previn, Yefim Bronfman, Colin Currie, and John Williams, among other professional collaborators including the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Silk Road Ensemble, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Aspen Ideas Festival.

To broaden her exposure to creative professionals in the fields of science and technology, Claudia joined the MIT Media Lab in 2015 to manage the Director’s Fellows Program, an initiative aimed at connecting thought leaders and creative catalysts from around the globe with the Media Lab’s antidisciplinary vision, encouraging the Fellows to become agents of change and international ambassadors for the Media Lab.

3 words to describe Nature? 

Grand. Life. Powerful

3 things Nature taught you? 

Humility. Beauty. Resilience

3 most treasured Nature spots 

Seating in front of the ocean, on top a mountain, or next to a waterfall.

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...? 

Human, fluid, calm

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...? 

Surrounded, protected by wise giants

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...? 

Energized, amazed, powerless

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...? 

Inspired, grateful

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...? 

Impermanent, small

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

Curious

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person? 

Ocean

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being? 

10

Share with us a childhood nature memory? 

Swimming in a school of fish while visiting the Los Roques archipelago off the coast of Venezuela. It was our chosen vacation spot during my entire childhood.


Mario Cyr

MARIO CYR is an internationally renowned expedition leader for Arctic and Antarctic missions. He is a cold-water diving expert and a world-class cinematographer. Cyr has participated in more than 150 films for broadcasters such as National Geographic, DiscoveryChannel, the BBC, IMAX 3D, Disney Productions, CBC and David Suzuki, la Société Cousteau, France 2, Arte and NHK Japan. In 2011, he won the Palme d’Or at the Festival d’Antibes for Walrus:Toothed Titans. His contribution to Oceans, directed by Jacques Perrin, helped the film win a César for Best Documentary. In 2013, his Ice Bear 3D got an Emmy nomination.

Originally from the Magdalen Islands, located in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Mario has become one of the very few specialists of cold water diving, capturing spectacular and unique scenes from marine life in the Arctic and Antarctic poles. In 1991, he pioneered filming wild walrus packs and polar bears at a very close range. His expertise and knowledge has enabled him to film authentic and never-before-seen underwater images of swimming polar bears and a female walrus nursing her young.

3 words to describe Nature? 

Imposing. Splendid. Fragile

3 things Nature taught you? 

Patience. Listening. Time arranges many things

3 most treasured Nature spots? 

The beach Old Harry Magdalen Island

Queen Charlotte Island

Tuvalu Island, South Pacific

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel…? 

I feel infinitely small.

When you see a forest, it makes you feel…? 

I keep repeating myself that all trees are alive.

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel…? 

That we are tiny in front of such a power.

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel…? 

That I am lucky to see such beauty.

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel…? 

For some reason, I always think of past empires and the fear they instilled through their powerful conquests.

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel…? 

I return to my childhood when I hid under the patio afraid of the high winds.

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person? 

Ocean

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being? 

10

Share with us a childhood nature memory 

My summer on a splendid beach Bluff on the Magdalen Island.


Max Stossel

MAX STOSSEL is an award winning poet + filmmaker, and one of the leaders of Time Well Spent, a movement to align technology with our humanity. His work has spanned across 14 languages,  has won two Webby Awards, multiple film festivals, consistently goes viral, and influenced the way digital media organizations tell the stories of mass murder in the news.

Before entering the worlds of poetry, film & digital activism, Max was a media strategist with an extensive background in social. He ran social for Budweiser, where he drove a 3,400% increase in average engagement, before being trained by Gary Vaynerchuk and creating social strategies for Dove and several Fortune 100 brands. He has written on the subject for Quartz and The Huffington Post.

The merging of these fields allows Max to provide a fascinating perspective on modern content and culture. He is currently helping select brands tell their stories in his style via video, speaking at schools, corporations, & events and helping content-focused brands stop wasting their money and start focusing their content resources effectively.

3 words to describe Nature?

Beautiful, Peaceful, Evolution

3 things Nature taught you?

Balance, Adaptation, that everything has it's opposite

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Kauai, Inca Trail, San Blas Islands

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

Calm

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

Breath-y

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

Awe

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

Small

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Alive

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

Warm

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

Ocean

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

5

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

When I was at summer camp as a kid a skunk got caught in the baseball batting cage net. My friend and I went to try and free it and SURPRISE! It sprayed us. We had to bathe in tomato juice and every room I went in before that smelled for the rest of the summer.