Environment & Energy

Matthew Barker puts his expertise and passion into practice in his position as an arborist for the city of Alexandria, Virginia. His days include examining trees and assessing their health and well being, as well as planning strategic tree plantings in an urban foreign to maximize the human health and wellness benefits of each tree planted in Alexandria. Prior to his current position, Matthew worked in the tree care division of the Architect of the Capitol, overseeing thousands of trees in the greater Capitol Hill area including nationally recognized memorial trees and experimental specimens. On this jam-packed, highly caffeinated, Espresso Shots episode, Matthew shares advice for those starting out in the tree care industry, and insights for those who want to climb to the top. And if that’s not enough, you might just learn a fun fact or two about trees along the way!
In his teens and early 20s, Levi Meeuwenberg was flipping off of walls, somersaulting over railings, and performing impossible stunts across the US as a professional parkour and stunt man. His extraordinary acrobatic skills helped him land gigs as a parkour dancer on one of Madonna’s World tours, as a star competitor on Japan’s Sasuke Ninja Warrior, and even as a stunt man in The Avengers (he briefly doubled Captain America) and in the movie The Bourney Legacy (he doubled Jeremy Renner)! But after all of this success, Levi grew disillusioned with his parkour career and decided to pursue a lifestyle that he felt could produce something of more lasting value. Enter: permaculture. Leaving his parkour career behind, Levi developed a deep concern about climate change and discovered permaculture — the development of self-sustaining agricultural systems. Levi moved back to his hometown in Michigan and applied his new love for ecology and sustainable living, and has since become successful enough to share his knowledge with others. Supplementing his permaculture lifestyle with his own web design business, Hog the Web, Levi is on a mission to show other Americans the importance of living sustainably in communities in which neighbors not only regularly support one another but also eschew the trappings of so-called successful lives in order to build truly happy lives. 
David Nicholson is the Senior Director of the Environment, Energy & Climate Change Technical Support Team (TSU) at Mercy Corps, a global humanitarian and development organization.  This team is responsible for honing Mercy Corps’ technical sector approaches and enhancing uptake across a global portfolio of development programs. Prior to joining Mercy Corps in 2012 David worked in Uganda as an energy project specialist working for the Uganda Carbon Bureau.  He has also worked at Development Alternatives Inc (DAI) supporting a Climate Change knowledge platform called InfoSpring, an integrated ICT based innovation and knowledge sharing tool for development practitioners.
Mike Steep is the Executive Director of the Digital Cities Program at Stanford University and an adjunct professor. He works in the field of disruptive technology where he analyzes innovation in the tech industry and its ability to change and improve life in urban centers. He got his B.A. in American Civilizations from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton Business School in the late ‘70s and then went on to receive his M.B.A. in General Management and Finance from the University of Virginia Darden Business School. After graduating, he worked at Hewlett-Packard, Xerox, Apple, Microsoft Corporation, PARC, and a variety of other tech companies and startups.

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