2019 Partners 

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Relive Plan-It Earth 2019 by checking out our live-stream recordings and photo album.


For updates on next year's event, please join our mailing list.

To learn more about the three teams who won $10,000 in prize money—Dyenasty, Ecollegey, and AfterHours—read their project summaries.

What is Plan-It?


Plan-It Earth 2019: Conservation X Development was Georgetown University’s premier environmental sustainability ideathon on April 12-13 that brought together sustainability students and practitioners to generate solutions to critical environmental challenges.

Undergraduate and graduate students formed multidisciplinary teams to SOLVE a global environmental challenge, GENERATE a tech-enabled idea, and COMPETE for up to $10,000 in cash prizes to launch their projects.


Local experts in conservation, sustainable development, and entrepreneurship—leaders in academia, business, government, and philanthropy—volunteered as mentors, breakout session leaders, and judges.

The four competition tracks were based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This event is hosted in partnership with the Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation.

2019 Keynote Speakers

Jessica Seddon

Director of Integrated Urban Strategy at the Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, World Resources Institute

Keynote Speaker, SDG 11


She leads a network of researchers and practitioners across WRI’s offices that works with city stakeholders to change both places and planning to create livable and resilient cities. Her own work focuses on the way that new sources of information and environmental awareness can be leveraged to motivate and guide investments and action that improves air quality, resource efficiency, and access to shared, green spaces. Outside of WRI, Dr. Seddon serves on the advisory board of the Wilderhill Global Clean Energy Index (NEX) and the Academic Council of Krea University, a new liberal arts initiative in South India. She is a Non-Resident Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Dr. Seddon has published book chapters and articles on infrastructure, Indian political economy, IT and governance, environmental regulation and other institutional design topics in international academic and policy venues including Cambridge University Press, Journal of Development Economics, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Foreign Affairs, Bloomberg Business Week and Harvard Business Review. Dr. Seddon earned her Ph.D. in Political Economy from Stanford University Graduate School of Business and her B.A. in Government and Latin American Studies from Harvard University.

Matt McKenna

Executive-in-Residence at Global Social Enterprise Initiative, Georgetown McDonough School of Business

Keynote Speaker, SDG 12


Mr. McKenna recently served as Senior Advisor to the US Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack. In this role, he worked to leverage federal resources with public and private partners to foster job creation, business development and economic growth in rural America. Prior to joining USDA in 2013, Mr. McKenna served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Keep America Beautiful, Inc., the nation’s leading nonprofit that brings volunteers together to build and sustain vibrant communities. Before joining Keep America Beautiful, Matt served as the Senior Vice President, Finance at PepsiCo. Previously, he was Senior Vice President and Treasurer and before that, Senior Vice President, Tax. Before joining PepsiCo in 1993, Matt served as partner with the law firm of Winthrop, Stimson, Putnam & Roberts in New York. A graduate of Georgetown Law School, Matt is an active director of Foot Locker, Inc. and is also chairman of the Board of the Ignatian Volunteer Corps. He has served on the board of trustees of several other for---profit and not---for---profit organizations, including PepsiAmericas, Inc and Hamilton College, where he graduated in 1972 and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He has been an adjunct professor at Fordham University since 1984.

Jeremy Mathis

Adjunct Professor of Environmental Policy and Arctic Security at Georgetown University

Keynote Speaker, SDG 14

Dr. Jeremy Mathis has been working in the Arctic for the past 12 years and is an expert on carbon cycle processes and ocean acidification. Before joining NOAA in 2012, he served on the faculty and was the founding director of the Ocean Acidification Research Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Dr. Mathis has led numerous field campaigns in the Arctic and published more than 80 peer-reviewed articles on his research. He has served as the Arctic lead for the North American Carbon program and was co-chair of the Ocean Carbon Biogeochemistry Ocean Acidification subcommittee. As the former Director of the Arctic Research Program, Dr. Mathis provided guidance and mission leadership for many of NOAA’s Arctic activities. Dr. Mathis teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on Arctic security at Georgetown University.

Barbara Martinez

Open Innovation Director for Conservation X Labs

Keynote Speaker, SDG 15


Dr. Martinez leads prize-based Challenges and Make for the Planet competitions to source and accelerate impactful and scalable innovations. She was previously a science policy fellow in the Office of the Science Advisor and the Office of Research and Development at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where she worked on policies and projects related to citizen science and scientific integrity. Dr. Martinez has spent time studying endocrine disruption in prairie voles, seed dispersal by lemurs, seed dispersal by hornbills and monkeys, and songbird behavior. She has her PhD in Conservation Biology from the University of Minnesota with a minor in Development Studies and Social Change and a BS in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Wisconsin - Madison.

Other Expert Volunteers


Our mentors, breakout session leaders, and judges have experience working with numerous environmental fields. They currently work at Georgetown University, George Washington University, Brookings, Citizens Climate Lobby, Deloitte, Green Corps, Listening for America, PEW Charitable Trusts, United Nations Association, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Green Building Council, World Bank, and World Resources Institute.