When we first started 350.org, our focus was raising a powerful alarm about climate change so that world leaders might agree to a bold and ambitious climate treaty way back in 2009. We knew then that people power would be the ingredient to change politics. Looking ahead to another major global climate summit in just days’ time, COP26 in Glasgow, it’s clear just how much more people power is required to overcome the entrenched status quo that puts profits over people.
Over the past thirteen years, we have evolved and grown, just as the movement for climate justice has. We’ve learned that alongside catalytic campaigns that build movement power, building an organisation that can fight for the long haul is a valuable asset. The fossil fuel industry plans decades into the future, and we’re still living through the impacts of those decisions. It’s time for us to plan with the same rigor about the impacts we want to see in the world.
We believe Board transformation is a powerful agent of achieving our purpose, especially as we strive to be accountable as a movement building organisation. Change like this needs to be consistent all across the organisation: from frontline staff that embody 350 day to day, to members of the Board who hold overall responsibility for governance.
We are therefore pleased to announce that the 350 Board of Directors has recently welcomed three new members: Yiting Wang, Yeb Saño, and Rashmi Mistry. Each of them brings wide experience in the climate justice movement, as well as a strong activist and organisational commitment to the cause throughout their lives. In keeping with our commitment to build a powerful governing Board, each of them also brings with them a range of perspectives on governance and leadership.
Additionally, all three new members were explicitly chosen in order to increase Board membership from the Global South – particularly in Asia and Africa, where many of our priority campaigns take place. This change is in keeping with our commitment to transform from an organisation founded in the United States but with a global focus, to one where the identities and experience of those in leadership and governance reflects its programmatic work and values. We believe this kind of diversity both keeps with our integrity and enables our work to be more impactful.
You can read more about our new Board members below, and about all of our Board members on our website. Moving forward, our Board Governance Committee will be periodically reviewing membership to continue having the Board composition reflect the growing program emphasis in the Global South, in addition to other needed aspects of a global program focussed on intersectional issues leading to climate justice.
Based in South Africa for the last 11 years, Rashmi has led campaigns in international development for a number of years and is currently a co-founder of a multi-disciplinary collective Better by Codesign. Prior to this, Rashmi was the Head of Oxfam’s global GROW campaign on food & climate justice, providing leadership for Oxfam’s campaigns on climate, hunger, land rights, sustainable agriculture and the rights of women small scale producers. Her career began in the private sector in media & communications, before moving into the NGO sector, first at CAFOD managing campaigns on extractives, aid & climate before moving to Civicus to lead a global human rights campaign. In 2011 Rashmi joined Oxfam in South Africa as climate lead working with communities of women & activists on national & global policy change. She joined Oxfam International in 2014 to support southern campaign leadership.
Rashmi is a passionate advocate for ensuring the voices of women & people most affected by the climate crisis are at the heart of policy & decision making.
Yeb Madla Saño is a climate justice activist from The Philippines and currently serves as the Executive Director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia. He is also the Vice-Chair of the Board of the Laudato Si’ Movement (the Global Catholic Climate Movement). Previously, he was Commissioner of the Philippines’ Climate Change Commission, the country’s lead policy-making government body on climate change. Yeb was the Philippines’ chief negotiator in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and was widely known for championing climate justice in the climate negotiations. He also served as Chair of the UNFCCC’s Long Term Finance Work Programme. He has been working with local communities and international bodies for more than 25 years, tackling domestic and international issues that relate to climate policy, clean energy, international finance, biodiversity, marine conservation, disaster risk reduction, and governance, including a stint as the Director of the Climate and Energy Programme of the World Wide Fund for Nature. Yeb led a 1500 kilometer walk with other climate activists from Rome to Paris in 2015. He is also an avid scuba diver, wildlife photographer, cyclist, painter, and a firm believer in community empowerment.
Yiting is a climate strategist from Southwestern China. She was inspired to pursue a career in climate and sustainability when she attended the Powershift Conference and connected with youth activists from around the world as a student in the US. Since then, her search for climate and sustainable development solutions has taken her all around the world. She spent time researching in India and East Africa, exploring the ways in which transforming cooking equipment could serve as a win for sustainability and women’s health. Working with WWF and the Sunrise Project, she fostered multistakeholder initiatives and global coalitions to promote greener energy investment and responsible commodity trade between China and other developing countries. She is also on the board of the China Youth Climate Action Network, based in Beijing.