A leader and manager with extensive experience building new institutions and driving social and technical innovation in the private, public, & non-profit sectors.
Michel’s book, Lean Startups for Social Change was published in 2016. In addition to working with social sector organizations on implementing the lean startup, Michel directs the innovation & energy practices at infoedge, a firm leading innovative information strategies for a number of industries. Michel was recently a Senior Fellow with the Packard Foundation, developing a new innovation portfolio for climate policy-making, and founded Cooler (a company whose mission is to connect every consumer purchase to a solution for global warming), BuildingEnergy.com. He served as Chief Green Officer for Hara, the leading enterprise energy and environmental management software startup.
Beyond business, Michel also has a long history in research and teaching, policy, and advocacy. He is a lecturer at U.C. Berkeley and presently serves on the Boards of the Natural Resources Defense Council, Ceres, and the California Clean Energy Fund. He led Redefining Progress in designing the world’s most aggressive climate legislation (AB32 — signed into California law in August of 2006), was a Congressional Black Caucus Fellow with the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee; Director of Environmental Quality for the City of New York, and founding director of the Environmental Policy Program at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. He also served as Issues Director for Mayor Dinkins’ campaign for Mayor of New York.
Michel earned his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D at U.C. Berkeley (where he wrote the first dissertation and taught the first-ever class on environmental justice) and is an alumnus of Deep Springs College. Michel holds two provisional patents for dynamic carbon footprinting and is the author of a number of academic and popular articles including “The Soul of Environmentalism”.