View our guest keynote speakers and panelists below, then download our full conference agenda.




Jim Durrett  |  COREY KEYES |  ellen dunham-jones  |  ROBERT COSTELLO


keynote: Flourishing

Corey Keyes

Winship Distinguished Research Professor, Emory University

Co-Founder of Simply Flourishing

An internationally recognized expert on mental health, Keyes helped conceptualize the principles for a new field known as positive psychology, the scientific study of optimal human functioning. Learn how you can elevate your individual emotional, social and psychological well-being.


KEYNOTE: The 14 Patterns of Biophilic Design

Bill Browning

Founding Partner, Terrapin Bright Green

Your natural environment can improve well-being and enhance creativity and healing. "14 Patterns of Biophilic Design" articulates the relationships between nature, human biology and the design of the built environment so that we may experience the human benefits of biophilia.


Panel: Nature connections & children | Moderated by steve nygren

Hayden Brooks



Children in Nature Collaborative

Robin Moore



Natural Learning Initiative

Mikaela Randolph

Director, Cities and Nature

Children and Nature Network

Humans are hardwired to need nature. For children, nature plays a key influence in social, emotional and physical health.  How can we get our children to interact with and care for the natural environment?


Panel: Nature's effect on health | Moderated by tim beatley

Julia Africa

Program Leader, 

Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School

Corey Keyes


Emory University

Micah Lipscomb

Sr. Landscape Architect, Associate

Perkins + Will

Nature soothes, restores and connects. Stepping outdoors can help rejuvenate mental and physical health after stress, sickness or trauma.


workshop: Grasssroots efforts

Stella Tarnay

Urban Planner,

Creative Environmental Consulting

Biophilic DC

Bonnie Casamassima 

Program Manager,



Each breakout session leader will give a pecha kucha style presentation about their work. After these initial presentations, participants will participate in one of the concurrent roundtable sessions. Stella Tarnay, Co-Founder of Biophilic DC, will lead a discussion on grassroots efforts to affect change in your community. She will share strategies and facilitate dialogue for creating momentum for biophilic urbanism.


Panel: Biophilic Codes - Planning for cities with nature | Moderated by Steve Nygren

James D. Brown


Biophilic Codes

Stephanie Stuckey

Chief Resilience Officer,

City of Atlanta & Rockefeller Foundation

Mary Lynn Wilhere

Urban Sustainability Administration, 

D.C. Department of Energy and Evironment

One way in which cities are planning for nature is through the adoption of legal codes to increase the abundance of and access to nature in within urban areas. Hear about  innovative legal mechanisms that have been adopted by cities to promote biophilic planning.


The biophilic building and design salon | Moderated by tim beatley

Ellen Dunham-Jones


MS in Urban Design at Georgia Tech

Julia Africa


Program Leader,

Center for Health and the Global Environment  at Harvard Medical School

Richard Piacentini

Executive Director,

Phipps Conservatory at City of Pittsburg

Each Cities representative will present how they are enacting a connection to and relationship with nature in their communities. Panelists will offer their strategies and host dialogue for creating a more nature-centered city.



Colonel Mark "Puck" Mykleby

USMC (Ret), Founding Co-Director, Strate Innovation Lab, Case Western Reserve University

Sustainability is more than a “green” movement. Puck Mykleby,  while working for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon, coauthored “A National Strategic Narrative” which argues that sustainability must become America’s grand strategic path to prosperity and security in the 21st Century.


KEYNOTE: edible and medicinal landscaping

Alfie Vick


College of Environment and Design at University of Georgia

Your backyard can be a resource for fresh food and health remedies. Gardens in Serenbe's newest neighborhood, Mado, feature lush plantings, grown and harvested to improve residents' health.


KEYNOTE: Exploring Nature with Citizen science 

Robert Costello

National Outreach Program Manager, Smithsonian Citizen Science Program


Volunteers and scientists can work together to answer real-world questions on what is affecting our planet today. Learn how citizen "naturalists" are helping to protect and preserve nature.


Keynote: Food policy and feeding georgians

Gus Schumacher

Vice President of Policy,

Wholesome Wave Foundation

Local food systems will become increasingly important. What is the future of food availability and delivery?