We want you to see this year’s Four Gen! 

The 2021 4GEN Awards Celebration was full of hope and action. We got to hear and learn directly from seven extraordinary innovators – from all around the US and as far away as the Netherlands!  They spoke about clean energy, nature-based solutions, future-ready cities, the circular economy, and climate activism – with new visions for best ways forward.  It was a celebration to remember!

Audience comments included:

  • “This is an amazing event!”
  • “WOW – this is so good. Speakers are EXCELLENT.
  • “Such inspirational talks, I love the thread of harmony with nature in all of them.”
  • “Glad to see trailblazers of all ages and from around the world tonight!”


We are excited to let you know that we are readying a video of the program to make available to you in the near future.  This for those of you who want to hear something again – and for those who missed the opportunity to attend live.  The information that was shared was so full of wisdom and insight, and exciting innovations, that we know it is well worth visiting and re-visiting.  Our intention is to keep it available for you.

We give continued thanks to all who supported our event via their sponsorship and donations.

For those of you who haven’t seen the Four Gen Celebration yet, and for of those who want a refresher, information about all the awardees is below!   Stayed tuned for when we announce that the video is available for viewing.

Our Individual Awardees

Catherine Zimmerman, an award-winning director of photography, celebrates her 46th year as a documentary filmmaker, working primarily on education and environmental issues. Environmental videos of hers include global warming documentaries for CNN Presents and New York Times Television; Save Rainforests/Save Lives, Fresh Farm Markets, Wildlife Without Borders: Connecting People and Nature in the Americas, and America’s Sustainable Garden: United States Botanic Garden.

GEN X Awardee: Lawrence E Jones, Ph.D., Vice President, International Programs at Edison Electric Institute (EEI) – A thought leader, patent holder, and award-winning practitioner in the energy field. At EEI, he has launched initiatives including the Global Electricity Forum, Africa Utility Power Sector Exchange, and grown its programs to 90+ countries. Born in Liberia, he believes if we discard old assumptions and adopt new mental models, we can achieve universal access to clean energy, including for Sub-Saharan Africa.

MILLENNIAL Awardee: Chris Castro, Orlando’s Sustainability & Resilience Director– A renowned sustainability professional, clean energy enthusiast, new urbanist, and eco-entrepreneur with a passion to advance smart, resilient, and sustainable cities in balance with nature. He is Senior Advisor to the Mayor of Orlando, Director of Sustainability and Resilience, and a ‘Future-Ready’ steering committee member – developing policies and programs to make Orlando one of the leading climate-action cities in America.

GEN Z Awardee: Samir Chowdhury, Bangladeshi-American Environmentalist and social entrepreneur at Stanford University – Environmentalist and social entrepreneur at Stanford University – Originating from Bangladesh, a country hit hard by climate disaster, Samir founded Youth Climate Action Team, Inc. – a global climate justice nonprofit composed of 1,500+ youth organizers in 22 countries which has collaborated with the EPA, the UN Environment Programme, and the White House. He also lectures on empathy models of social change at Harvard, Stanford, and global climate events.

Lifetime Achievement Awardee: Edward Saltzberg, Ph.D., Climate Educator – Inspired by Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring,” he earned his Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences and led energy and environmental analyses for government agencies. In 2009, he formed the Security and Sustainability Forum (SSF) to provide education on societal impacts from the degradation of natural systems. He helps Native American Tribes improve their well-being through resilient energy programs and also leads the Professional Education Program at George Washington University’s Environmental and Energy Management Institute.  Ed says, “Sound science, and raising the level of understanding about the responsibility of living on Earth, is what gets (him) motivated every day.”

Our Group Awardees

Circulair Friesland – Circulair Friesland, in the Netherlands, is striving to become the most circular region in Europe by 2025. It is bringing together business, government, education, social enterprises, and other relevant parties to minimize waste and emissions and to coordinate a wide range of sectors (agriculture, biomass, building, education, energy, food, mobility, plastic, and waste) to use each other’s resources, knowledge, and skills. This is helping the region to further an economy that allows companies to be profitable, create jobs, and work together towards a sustainable future. John Vernooij, Chairperson of Circulair Friesland, will speak on behalf of the group.

Engineering With Nature, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – The Engineering With Nature (EWN ®️) initiative of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is intentionally aligning natural and engineering processes to efficiently and sustainably deliver economic, environmental, and social benefits through collaboration. As climate change brings more frequent and severe weather events, ones that test the limits of concrete and steel, EWN’s nature-based solutions for flood control help to restore natural ecosystem functions and habitat. Dr. Jeff King, Program Manager and Deputy National Lead for the Program, will speak on behalf of the initiative.

Social Hour & “Green Wines” Demo 

Join us at the Awards Social Hour to rub virtual elbows and enjoy a “green wines” demo, too!

Thad Parsons, owner of the Crystal City Wine Shop, will conduct a virtual tasting featuring three wines to explore the intersection of sustainability and wine. He will share how sustainability weaves through local production, environmental stewardship, organic, restorative and alternative practices, plus sustainable packaging!

Not a wine drinker? Thad will suggest non-alcoholic imbibements, and how sustainably-produced bitters combine with seltzers and tonics for a refreshing alternative! You can also purchase the wines and bitters that will be shown in the demo – to enjoy during the program or thereafter! See the button below.

Four Gen Awards Sponsors!

Many thanks to our Clean Energy Leader sponsors – Longenecker & Associates, and the Crystal City Wine Shop! If you would also like become a sponsor, we welcome your support. There are multiple levels of sponsorship available that offer featuring you or your organization in connection with the event.