Our Team &
The Planet Project Stewardship Entity (SE) is a U.S. 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 2021 to support and advance the Planet Project and the core vision of a civilization that empowers all people to thrive and contribute in ecological balance with our living planetary systems. Our tagline, All People One Planet, represents this aspiration.
We call ourselves a Stewardship Entity because we do not own the Planet Project – all of us do – but we are stewards of the ongoing work by many people and organizations to co-create a just and sustainable world. We aim to connect and amplify the exemplary work already being done to advance social justice and environmental stewardship, ranging from young leaders like Greta Thunberg and Vanessa Nakate to seasoned organizations like SumOfUs and the Southern Poverty Law Center. We will curate and broadcast positive culture that uplifts and inspires, and grow a planetary community that becomes a force for genuine social and cultural change.
The Planet Project SE is not political or religious, and we are not a business trying to sell you something, or a conventional non-profit always asking our community for money. Our aim is to capture hearts and minds in a global unification that shifts humanity towards a Planetary culture and consciousness underpinning a new era for humanity on Planet Earth.
We are values-based and we have a whole-systems strategy for social and cultural change. We use the word Planet as a symbol, a meme, for the wholeness and interconnectedness of our planetary systems, of all living things, and all of humanity. We aim to spread this meme throughout the world and thereby grow a Planetary culture.
Beau Rezendes, Co-Founder, Board Chair, Culture Holder
Beau grew up in Peoria, Illinois and has lived in Colorado since 1964. She attended the University of Colorado where she earned an undergraduate degree in Psychology, an MA in College Student Personnel Administration, and a Doctorate in Counseling Psychology.
Beau’s background is a blend of corporate, academic, and public sector work. Her career encompassed senior and line management positions in energy, healthcare, manufacturing, and data processing, and professorships for the University of Colorado’s graduate program and Regis University’s school of undergraduate studies. Her coaching work includes interpersonal communication, transitional change management, and executive development. She was the founder and guided development of one of the first Hospice programs in America, currently known as TRU Hospice, and was a founding member of the National Hospice Organization. She also participated in the Global Volunteer Program teaching conversational English in Ghana, China, and Portugal.
Steve Melville, Co-Founder, Technology, Memetics
A Colorado native, Steve earned a BA in Philosophy from Hamilton College and an MS in Computer Science from University of Colorado. He enjoyed a 30+ year career as a software developer and enterprise architect helping high-tech companies improve their competitive posture, agility, and responsiveness. He contributed to the architecture and use of various distributed computing platforms at US WEST and spear-headed Sun Microsystems’ shift from phone-centric to web-centric customer support as Chief Architect and Development Manager for their Online Support Center. While at Sun, he later led a Solution Design team responsible for what is believed to be one of the largest CRM/ERP implementations of the Oracle eBusiness Suite ever attempted. Steve managed the architectural evolution of Oracle Corporation’s portfolio of applications supporting Oracle’s $18B Services business and served as lead architect for an initiative that enabled Oracle to achieve certification as a HIPAA Business Associate.
Yet throughout his career, Steve grew increasingly aware of the mounting interconnected global crises and felt a deep calling to find ways to leverage his technical skills to help address them. In 2021, Steve left his professional career to focus full-time on helping to drive the realization of an integrated social, economic, and technical architecture supporting those on the forefront of the evolutionary shift towards a world that works for all life.
Roger Briggs, Co-Founder, Operations, Vision
Roger grew up in the mountains of Colorado and fell in love with nature and science at an early age. After studying physics and classics at the University of Colorado, he jumped into the world of public-school teaching at age 22. For the next thirty-two years he was a team builder, program developer, curriculum writer, and an award-winning teacher who touched many lives. During this time, he also established himself as one of the pioneering rock climbers of his generation. Since retiring from the public schools in 2005, he wrote the book, Journey to Civilization: The Science of How We Got Here (2013), and founded and grew a local non-profit for public lands stewardship. His latest book, Emerging World: The Evolution of Consciousness and the Future of Humanity (2021) is the culmination of his lifetime of seeking and research that lays the foundation for the Planet Project. See also www.rogerpbriggs.org
Scott Rennak, Branding & Communications
Scott was raised as a Boy Scout in the midwest and those values have continued to guide him his entire life. He’s a serial small business entrepreneur and marketing operations veteran who feels privileged to support the Planet Project with his skills and experience. Scott is also a dedicated father to two kids in grade school.
OUR ADVISORY COUNCIL
Dr. Marc Bekoff, Advisor
Marc Bekoff, Ph.D., is professor emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He has published 31 books (or 41 depending on you count multi-volume encyclopedias), won many awards for his research on animal behavior, animal emotions (cognitive ethology), compassionate conservation, and animal protection, has worked closely with Jane Goodall, is co-chair of the ethics committee of the Jane Goodall Institute, and is a former Guggenheim Fellow. He also works closely with inmates at the Boulder County Jail. In June 2022 Marc was recognized as a Hero by the Academy of Dog Trainers. His latest books include The Animals’ Agenda: Freedom, Compassion, and Coexistence in the Human Age (with Jessica Pierce), Canine Confidential: Why Dogs Do What They Do, and Unleashing Your Dog: A Field Guide to Giving Your Canine Companion the Best Life Possible (with Jessica Pierce). Marc and Jessica’s most recent book A Dog’s World: Imagining the Lives of Dogs in a World Without Humans was published by Princeton University Press in October 2021. Dogs Demystified: An A to Z Guide to All Things Canine will be published by New World Library in June 2023 and the second edition of The Emotional Lives of Animals will be published in March 2024. (Many of Marc’s books can be seen here.) Marc also publishes regularly for Psychology Today. His homepage is marcbekoff.com. In 1986 Marc won the Master’s Tour du Haut, aka the age-graded Tour de France.”
Dr. Oakleigh Thorne II, Advisor
In 1954, Oak Thorne founded Thorne Ecological Institute, now known as Thorne Nature Experience, when he was a graduate student in Biology at the University of Colorado, and also founded Thorne Films, an educational film company that produced more than 800 titles. In the 1960s, Oak helped the campaign to pass a sales tax to create the City of Boulder’s Open Space program, one of the first in the U.S. In 1987 he helped found the Environmental Studies Department at Naropa University and has been working at Thorne Nature Experience ever since, running its bird banding program and connecting youth to nature. Today, in addition to his work at Thorne Nature, Oak serves on the External Board of the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies and is on the Leadership Council for the Yale School of the Environmental. He is also on the Advisory Board for the American Music Research Center, as well as the Science and Technology Committee for the Conference on World Affairs, both at the University of Colorado. In 2022, he was profiled in the documentary film, Mighty Oak.
Dr. Cheryl Genet, Advisor
Cheryl Genet earned her BA in Psychology and her MA and PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies (Science and Theology). She is an Adjunct Professor of Philosophy (DE) at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, CA, (2007 to present). As past Managing Editor of the Collins Foundation Press (CFP) and director of the Science and Humanities Program for the Collins Educational Foundation (CEF) (2002-2019), she co-chaired and co-edited several conferences and resulting books, including The Evolutionary Epic: Science’s Story and Humanity’s Response, and Science, Wisdom, and the Future: Humanity’s Quest for a Flourishing Earth. In 2021 Genet participated in a project of the Cultural Evolution Society (CES) to develop a course entry for their educational outreach: Dynamic Models of Human-Earth Systems: How they can help us explain our past and manage our future. As part of her work on the project she wrote a paper, Dynamic Systems Thinking and Modeling: Interdependent Systems Processes, that graphically portrays (with narrative) the eight “systems thinking skills” developed by Barry Richmond in his An Introduction to Systems Thinking. Stella. She and her husband Russell live in Payson, Arizona, and Waianae, Hawaii in the winter.
Dr. Louis G. Herman, Advisor
Louis Herman is a Professor of Political Science and Chair of the Division of Social Sciences at the University of Hawaiʻi–West Oʻahu. He grew up in a traditional Jewish community in neo-Nazi, racist South Africa in the aftermath of the Holocaust. The two poles of his formative political experiences were outrage at human-inflicted suffering and the healing beauty of southern Africaʻs rugged wilderness. He obtained degrees in medicine and the history and philosophy of science at Cambridge University in England, then emigrated to Israel where he lived out his Jewish connection to the Biblical homeland working on a kibbutz. His participation in the Yom Kippur War as a paratrooper confronted him with Palestinian indigeneity in a way that impelled him to return to big questions of life and philosophy: How do we know what is true and good? How should we live together? After three years of graduate work in political philosophy at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, he was invited to complete his Ph.D. at the University of Hawaiʻi. He formulated this vision in Future Primal: How our Wilderness Origins Show us a Way Forward (2013) and then founded The Institute for a New Political Cosmology in 2018 to promote an educational and political culture with truth-questing as the central practice of a new political cosmology.