Speaker: Stephen D’Esposito

Stephen D’Esposito
President, RESOLVE 

Stephen D'Esposito

Speaking Topics Include:

  • Sustainability
  • Environmental policy
  • Future of environmental policy
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Environment and business
  • Strategic Stakeholder engagement
  • Policy solutions—what works
  • Effective NGO-corporate partnerships
  • Certification and voluntary systems
  • History of environmental policy

About Stephen

From 1997 through September 2008, Steve was President and CEO of EARTHWORKS, founded by former U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Stuart L. Udall. Steve built EARTHWORKS into the leading independent NGO on mining, oil and gas issues, enhancing its reputation at the policy level and with leading companies, and bolstering its capacity as a technical resource to community groups. Steve helped engineer a rare policy breakthrough on US mining policy, enacting modern environmental and community safeguards to address shortcomings in the Mining Law of 1872. With Steve’s leadership the organization expanded to address international issues, strengthened its policy and science capacity, and launched new initiatives with leading companies in the sector such as Tiffany & Co., Newmont and Wal-Mart. Steve led efforts to bring together jewelers, mining companies and environmental and human rights groups to define responsible mining protocols.About Stephen
Stephen D’Esposito is President of RESOLVE. RESOLVE is an independent organization with a thirty-five year track record of success helping diverse interests find solutions to natural resource, public health and development challenges. RESOLVE’s Solutions Network (www.solutions-network.org) is a platform that supports the collaborative design, incubation and testing of solutions to conflicts.

From 1986 through 1992 Steve was instrumental in building Greenpeace USA into one of the largest environmental groups in the US. During that time he served as Field Director, Deputy Director and Acting Executive Director. Steve is credited with creating a nationally respected field program and leading a difficult integration of previously independent Greenpeace corporations spread across the U.S., into one, unified Greenpeace organization.

From 1993 through 1995 Steve was Deputy Director and then head of the Executive Committee of Greenpeace International, based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where he helped strengthen a number of national offices and programs. He worked to integrate corporate engagement strategies into advocacy campaigns. During his tenure as head of the Executive Committee, Steve was a key decision-maker on the Brent Spar campaign, which many think led to a shift in corporate strategy with regard to stakeholder engagement.

Steve began his career with the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) where he worked (1983-1986) on environmental, energy and consumer issues and built the organization’s field program. Steve received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Tulane University in New Orleans in 1983. He currently co-chairs the World Economic Forum Council on responsible natural resource development; serves on the boards of Center for Science in Public Participation and Resource Media; the steering committee for the Responsible Mineral Development Initiative (of the World Economic Forum); and the steering committee for the Responsible Minerals Sector Initiative at Simon Fraser University. As a community volunteer, Steve designed and led a volunteer recycling program that spread across Washington, D.C. and eventually sparked passage of the first recycling legislation in this US capital city.

For more information about Steve, please click here.

Select Speaking Engagements

  • Rio Tinto Stakeholder Engagement Academy Dinner – Salt Lake City, UT (May 1, 2013)
  • IFC Summit – Washington, DC (June 19, 2013)
  • GEMM 20/20: Global Exploration, Mining and Minerals in 2020 – Responsibility and Sustainability Challenges and Opportunities – Vancouver, B.C, (April 16, 2012)
  • Anglo American Advanced Social Management Program/University of Cambridge Program for Sustainability Leadership – Stellenbosch, South Africa, (April 22, 2012). Plenary remarks.
  • Ethical Corp, Social Environmental Risk Conference – London, England (March 21, 2012). Stakeholder Engagement, Conflict Resolution Risk
  • Stakeholder Engagement & Sustainability: Trends, Opportunities and new Tools – Fairmont, NM, (February 14, 2012). Plenary remarks to sustainability leaders at BHP-Billiton global conference.
  • 2011 Canadian Coal Conference, Paradigm Shift—A Survey of Key Natural Resource and Sustainability Challenges and the Business Case for Collaborative Leadership – Vancouver, B.C. (September 26, 2011).  Plenary remarks at Canada’s major coal industry conference.
  • Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University, Simon Fraser University – Cranbrooke, B.C.Canada (April 4, 2011). Sustainability and Right v Right Conundrums for Policy Leaders –Remarks and workshop focused on trends in sustainable development, and case studies in right v. right leadership challenges for corporate leaders.
  • 113th National Western Mining Conference – Denver, CO (February 27, 2011). Opening plenary remarks on sustainability challenges in the natural resource sector and the need for collaborative leadership.
  • Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition and Global e-Sustainability Initiative Tin and Tantalum Supply Chain Workshop – Washington, DC (November 16, 2010). Offered a foundation for cross-sector programs designed to respond to the challenge presented by “conflict metals.”
  • National Academy of Sciences Committee Meeting to Discuss Meeting our Nation’s Natural Resource Needs:  Balancing Risks and Rewards – Washington, DC (October 19, 2010). Presented “Paradigm Shift—A Survey of Key Natural Resource Challenges and the Need for Collaborative Leadership”
  • SWU Global Sustainability Symposium and Music and Arts Festival – Sao Paolo, Brazil (October 9-11, 2010). Remarks in person and on live television offering a formula for tangible consumer actions and movement to a new phase of collaboration and partnership.
  • 2010 Association for Conflict Resolution Environment and Public Policy/ U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution Conference – Tucson, AZ (May 25-27, 2010). Presentation on environmental dispute resolution and the importance of collaborative leadership at  The Environment and Public Policy (EPP) Section of the Association for Conflict Resolutions annual conference.
  • Green: Sustainability, Significance and Style Fashion – New York, NY (December 6, 2008). Explored the need for permanence on “green” issues at a Conference hosted by the Graduate Center at the City University of New York. Presented speech on ethical sourcing in fashion.

Speaking Endorsements

“Environmental and sustainability issues are solved when advocacy can move to solutions. Steve D’Esposito offers an insider’s view on this journey to solutions—what works, what doesn’t and how to think outside the box. He speaks from experience, he’s self-critical, and tells a compelling story.”
– David Rice, former Policy Director of BP and consultant on social and environmental issues

 “Steve tells a real and motivational and real story about the intersection between the environment and business—he took us on a journey from the frontlines of activism to the corporate boardroom, not just in theory but in practice.”
– John Petterson, COO, Tiffany & Co.

“Your comments were fascinating, your sustainability 3.0 theme struck a chord, and the feedback has been terrific.”
– Julie McAdams, Chair of the Dispute Resolution Section of the Utah State Bar

“Steve’s extremely knowledgeable and unique approach to modern stakeholder engagement and issues management offered fresh perspectives and actionable guidance for organizations looking to create strategic and sustainable solutions through effective stakeholder engagement, locally and globally.”
– Jason C. Jarrell, Head of International Programs, Public Affairs Council

“Wonderful keynote presentation by Stephen D’Esposito. Very timely and important…I would love to see a course or be mandatory in the undergrad curriculum [on sustainability]…students taught how to incorporate sustainability as part of feasibility studies, etc.”
– Bruce Stanley, Mining Engineer and Teacher

“I believe the keynote session was a huge success. I base this not only on my personal observations, but more importantly on the tremendous response and feedback I received from people who attended the keynote. Every place I went on Monday, I was approached by people wanting to congratulate me on the session. Complements ranged from simple “good job” and “great session’ to my favorite, “That was by far the best keynote session I can remember.”
– Bill Langer, Research Geologist, U.S. Geological Survey

“An excellent expose of issues, trends and solutions. I am asked questions all the time to which your speech had answers. I have printed it out and will crib from it ruthlessly (with credit, of course).”
– Ian Smillie, Author and Chair, Diamond Development Initiative

“You have a real talent for bringing the right points to the discussion and making people feel comfortable sharing their views.”
– Jennifer Horning, International Programme Coordinator, Solidaridad