Celebrating International Women’s Day 2024

Our Creative Climate Leadership (CCL) alumni network continues to grow with each new programme. Through CCL we have met remarkable individuals who identify as women, and this International Women’s Day we are celebrating some of our alumni who are currently developing and delivering exciting creative climate projects and programmes.

In line with a commitment to gender inclusivity, the recent COP (COP28) placed a significant emphasis on gender justice. Notably, it marked the launch of the Gender-Responsive Just Transitions & Climate Action Partnership, a collaborative effort supported by 68 Parties. This partnership focuses on three pivotal pillars: enhancing data accessibility to facilitate comprehensive and equitable transition planning, improving women’s access to climate finance in regions disproportionately affected by climate change, and fostering education and skills development to empower women’s engagement in climate action.

A woman smiling at camera with long wavy hair and a wooly scarf Karishma Rafferty

Karishma Rafferty (she/her) participated in CCL Wales 2017, and is also a trustee at Julie’s Bicycle. Both a curator and cultural programmer, Karishma works at the intersection of art, ecology and public space. For over a decade she has worked across cultural and heritage with institutional positions including Somerset House and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Elizabeth Valenzuela A woman smiling at camera with long dark hair and a green neck tie

Elizabeth Valenzuela (she/her) participated in CCL Slovenia 2017. She has been Technical Director at the Colombia not for profit Fondo Acción since 2019. With over two decades of experience, she specialises in formulating and monitoring environmental policies and projects, focusing on climate change, strategic ecosystems, watersheds, and protected areas.

A woman looking at the camera. she has her hair in a ponytail and is wearing a blue shirt and earrings Moa Karlberg

Moa Karlberg (she/her) participated in CCL Sweden 2021. She is a photographer with a particular interest in women’s reproductive rights, and how to visualise the biggest challenge of today: the climate emergency.

“Creative climate leadership means to be aware of the role and responsibility of artistic practices in moving societies in a better direction. To transform our knowledge into action, and to inspire others.”

Maria Ruiz Carreras A woman smiling at camera with long dark hair and a white top

Maria Ruiz Carreras (she/her) participated in CCL Scandinavia 2022. She is currently a lecturer at Lund University with a pHD in communications. Her interests include environmental studies, strategic communication, critical animal studies, feminism, and total liberation.

A smiling woman with long hair and a blue shirt Lucy August-Perna

Lucy August-Perna (she/her) participated in CCL USA 2020. Lucy is Director of Global Sustainability at Live Nation Entertainment. She recognizes the unparalleled opportunity the music industry has to leverage the power of live music for good. A new Live Nation initiative has just been launched in partnership with Coldplay, Warner Music and MIT – further addressing the environmental impact of concerts.

Julia Matamoros A smiling woman with short dark hair and hooped earrings

Julia Matamoros (she/her) participated in CCL Canada 2022. She is Communications Lead at SCALE, a network that aims to unite Canada’s arts and culture sector in a cohesive response to the climate emergency.

“Creative Climate Leadership means collective work, collaboration and imagination put to the service of transformation: transformation of our values, economic system, human and non-human relations to actively build a sustainable and just future for us and for coming generations on this planet.”

A smiling woman with grey headwear and a fluffy grey cardigan Sita Brand

Sita Brand (she/her) participated in CCL UK 2023. Sita is a master storyteller performing internationally. She is the founder and CEO of award winning Settle Stories with a mission to collaborate with exceptional artists to create transformative experiences for people and communities. In 2023 she established Stories for Schools which provides creative resources for educators to improve literacy and oracy. She curates Yorkshire Festival of Story, the world’s largest free online storytelling festival.

Ashley Thompson A smiling woman with long hair and a white jumper

Ashley Thompson (she/her) participated in CCL Benelux 2023. Ashley is a communications professional dedicated to using media and storytelling to create positive societal impacts.

“Creative Climate Leadership means to think outside of the box in daring and new ways on how as a society we can create a cultural shift and systemic change towards making actionable steps to addressing the climate crisis.”

A black woman smiling into camera. She is wearing red lipstick and has dark hair Sēini ‘SistaNative’ Taumoepeau

Sēini ‘SistaNative’ Taumoepeau (she/her) participated in CCL Australia 2023. She is a Regenerative Orator & Songwoman with roots in the Kingdom of Tonga, and is a seasoned interdisciplinary Artist, Storyteller, and Founder of OceaniaX, Pacific Wave & LELEI Wellness. Sēini brings a powerful Oceanic-Pacific perspective to her work, using her voice and presence to weave stories that resonate across communities.

Zamzam Ibrahim A young woman wearing a hijab and coat is holding a loudspeaker, speaking into a microphone

Zamzam Ibrahim (she/her) joined Julie’s Bicycle in 2022 and has played a crucial role in recent CCL programmes. A Climate Justice Activist, she previously served as the Vice President of the European Students Union in Brussels. With a finance degree from the University of Salford, she co-founded Students Organising for Sustainability UK and the Muslim Leadership Foundation. Zamzam, recognized as the first Black Muslim woman President of her union, has a decade-long track record of advocating for fully funded education and addressing societal injustices, including climate and racial issues. As an Advisor for the Union of Justice, she champions a shift away from Eurocentric perspectives in addressing climate injustice within the education system.

“Creative Climate Leadership to me is a real embodiment of justice through our work as a collective, challenging what we think we know, and continuously doing work to unlearn and learn.”


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