Meet the team

We have assembled an experienced core team, supported with a pool of expert associates in Europe, North America and UK – offering a unique fusion of business, commercial, technical, sustainability, transformation and educational capabilities – to deliver the greatest impact for you and your organisation. All our people are known as much for their enthusiasm and motivation as for their skills and experience, sharing a passion and drive to make a real difference. They're also great people to work with!

Mike Townsend

Founder & CEO

Mike is an influential business and economic transformation leader, board member, speaker, teacher, and writer – with thirty-five years of experience in business, supply chain, consultancy, education & training, and engineering.

Mike is passionate about sharing knowledge and skills in support of the transition towards a sustainable economy. He has worked with a wide range of organisations, large and small, in all sectors in UK, Europe, North America and Japan, including: Aviva plc, BAA, Barclays Bank plc, Birmingham Business School, British Airways, Copenhagen Business School, DIS-Copenhagen, eBay, Environment Agency, EY, Home Office, IKEA, Life Technologies, LoyaltyOne, Mace Group, Lund University, Norsk Ombruk, Northeastern University, Severn Trent Water, Thames Water plc, Triodos Bank, and many others, including Paul Polman at Unilever.

In addition to running Earthshine Group, Mike serves on an advisory board with University of Oslo, teaches courses on Sustainable Development, Sustainable Business Strategy, and The Business of Change. He also delivers inspirational keynote speeches.

Mike is author of The Quiet Revolution (Routledge, forthcoming), Editor of Reframing the Game (2015), Lead author of A Journey in Search of Capitalism 2.0 (2013). He is a regular contributor for Huffington Post, 2-Degrees, Edie.net, The Guardian, Medium, Sustainable Brands, and others. He has also published extensively in the field of strategic procurement and supply chain management.

Mike holds an MBA from the University of Birmingham Business School (UK), a bachelor degree in Civil Engineering Management from the University of Wolverhampton (UK). He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (UK), and Member of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (UK).

Martina Zahradnikova

PA & Head of International Relations

Martina is an educationalist and qualified teacher, with teaching and child development experience in Denmark, UK and Slovakia. She also has a strong ability in European languages, speaking Slovak (native), English (fluent), Danish (fluent), Russian (intermediate), and Italian (intermediate). In her continued desire for life-long-learning, she has also taken courses in Environmental Studies through the Open University in UK – and is currently studying Reflexology, Anatomy and Physiology in Denmark.

For the last ten years, Martina has worked in support of the development of Earthshine in roles in marketing, research and administration support. Key assignments include background research for company studies, arranging meetings and logistics for the CEO, marketing research and communications, international document translations, and support in developing training materials. Martina is a real team player – and great at planning, organising and getting things done.

Jae Mather

Senior Vice President (North America)

Jae Mather is an executive who influences senior leaders to move beyond theory to the practical application through innovating new technologies, training, and services. He designs and implements renewable energy, efficiency and climate change strategies. He is a clean-tech growth strategist, global macro trend specialist and a champion of the low carbon economy.

For 20+ years he has been instrumental in shaping the sustainability agenda across Europe including running the UK Eco-Enterprise project, which was the first EU-funded environmental technology support programme in the UK. He shapes policy and strategy for local governments and for companies such as Finger Food Studios, Heitman, ARM, and Footlocker. He is the Co-founder of the Carbon Free Group; has been the Executive Director of the Clean Energy Association of British Columbia, and the International Business Development & Sustainability Strategist for David Richardson’s group of companies.

Jae speaks as keynote at 20+ events a year and has delivered over 100+ events reaching 10K+ attendees. He is a guest lecturer on the University of British Columbia & University of Birmingham MBA programs and the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainable Leadership programme.

He is a Board member of the Board of Change (Vancouver) is a member of the editorial board of the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA) Transform Magazine.

Jae is an IEMA and an RSA Fellow, a Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv), and is GRI G4 Certified. He holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Environmental Decision Making from The Open University in the UK as well as a BA in Geography from Simon Fraser University in Canada.

Kate van der Merwe

Project Leader

Kate is an experienced finance and sustainability professional. A tenured Chartered Accountant of over 14 years, and sits on the Sustainable Expert Working Group  (by invitation) within Chartered Accountants Ireland.

Kate has a rich experience across a broad range of environmental and social areas via sustainability consultancies, research, and content creation and distribution.  She has worked across large sector-leading multinationals (Google, Pfizer) as well as NGOs (Trócaire, MERLIN), working in a variety of roles such as month end reporting (data collation and analysis, including carbon budgets and related reporting), improvement projects (ERP and process-related), and strategic initiatives (including ESG strategy). Consultancy assignments include Greenwatch, the University College Dublin greenwash watchdog, and CIRCULÉIRE, Ireland’s national platform for circular economy manufacturing.

Kate has delivered a number of publications and public speaking events, exploring the intersection of finance and environmental sustainability. As a member of Chartered Accountants Ireland’s Thought Leadership and Publishing committee, Kate has raised membership awareness of the business case for sustainability, and has provided introductions to circular and social economies.

Kate is a Chartered Accountant (Ireland), and holds an MSc in Renewable Energy and Environmental Finance from UCD Smurfit School of Business (Ireland), and a Bachelor of Social Science (Politics, Philosophy & English) from University of Cape Town (South Africa). She is also a Lean Six Sigma, Yellow Belt.

George May

Project Leader/Senior Consultant

George is an experienced business transformation consultant with experience in energy, transport, automotive and retail sectors. With an outcome focused approach, he leverages a variety of disciplines to create value, including process design, effective communications and capability development – paving the way for successful transition towards a new vision.

Most recently, George has developed a sustainability impacts and benefits model, providing insight into embedded carbon and material flows within the UK automotive value chain. This work reveals directional shifts among the sector’s key actors, along with further opportunities to increase circularity, deliver radical shifts in sustainability performance, while generating new business opportunities.

George graduated from Loughborough University (UK) with a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and a postgraduate master’s in Finance and Management. An alumnus of the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) – he now returns as an Assessor for their Business Sustainability Management course. He is also studying Systems Thinking with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In his spare time, George is a devoted surfer, keen cook, avid reader, and enthusiastic snowboarder – having achieved multiple instructing qualifications in the latter, whilst living for a brief spell on New Zealand’s mountainous South Island.

Shyaam Ramkumar

Circular Economy Leader

Shyaam is a circular economy innovation expert with experience in Europe and the United States. He is currently a finishing his PhD in Economic Sociology at the University of Milan researching the accelerated adoption of circular innovation by companies using sociology and social network theories.
Shyaam has over 10 years of experience in sustainability and circular economy and has previously worked as the Knowledge and Innovation Manager at Circle Economy in Amsterdam, has interned with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, and was a sustainability consultant with Accenture’s Chicago office in the United States. He is also the Founder of aRoundTable, a global circular economy initiative to help local communities develop circular projects and a member of Tondo, an association for advancing the Circular Economy in Italy.

Shyaam holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Northwestern University and an MSc in Industrial Ecology from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

Mathias Bjørnhof

Project Consultant

Mathias is a driven and experienced strategic foresight professional who empowers organizations and individuals to navigate uncertain futures and achieve long-term success. He is deeply passionate about the interaction between people, change, and futures, and how we leverage our collective intelligence to build better systems.

With five years of experience in Advisory at the renowned think tank Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies, Mathias has successfully guided multinational corporations, governmental organizations, and start-ups to become ‘futures-ready’.

Mathias has developed a high level of expertise in anticipating trends and uncertainty, identifying emerging opportunities, crafting futures scenario and guiding businesses towards transformative strategies across fields such as urban futures, sustainability, retail, and energy. Mathias is also an experienced teacher within the field of applied strategic foresight and futures-driven innovation, helping people learn to anticipate disruptive shifts and devise proactive strategies.

Recognized for his ability to bridge visionary thinking and ideation with practical implementation, he enables organizations to thrive amidst uncertainty. With a proven track record in public speaking, training, and project management, Mathias consistently delivers quality results and empowers others to do the same.

In addition to being a member of the Association of Professional Futurists, Mathias holds a BSc in Business, Language, and Culture, as well as an MSocSc in Organizational Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Copenhagen Business School.

Inger Kærgaard

Senior Trainer & Ecology Consultant

Inger is trained as a biologist, and works in teaching, training, consultancy, and as a nature guide and ecologist. Inger has a passion for sharing her knowledge and opening our minds to the natural world – enabling us to find new possibilities in our businesses, our economies and society.

Inger has been teaching a number of key semester-based courses in Copenhagen, including: Sustainable Development – exploring the divergent goals and complex processes associated with sustainable development from a European perspective, and Urban Ecology – developing understanding on the interaction and complex interconnectedness between humans and the urban environment. Inger also teaches courses in Biological Conservation and Biodiversity – and loves to give lectures about the vital contribution of forests.

Inger also has many years of experience involved in forest conservation – including forest restoration projects in Thailand and forest protection in Indonesia. She has also produced a major photography exhibition about the forest situation in Borneo, Indonesia – shown in six locations across Denmark. Inger organised a Forest Festival in the centre of Copenhagen attracting 25,000 visitors. More recently, Inger has been providing analysis on bat conservation for Copenhagen Municipality. She also enjoys giving public tours exploring bat and natural habitats.

Inger has also worked as project manager at the University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland, working on government and EU funded projects, including a design for environmental education, and a Swiss government project involving sustainable income generating activities for organic farmers in the Swiss Alps.

Inger holds a MSc in biology from the University of Copenhagen. In her spare time, Inger is a keen gardener and beekeeper.

Sarah Manning

Project Consultant

Sarah is a talented sustainability consultant, passionate about integrating multidisciplinary approaches to policy planning, climate justice, and transformative change. She has worked on a range of projects, involving inter-related sustainability themes: sustainable food systems, international development, market systems, community development, and urban national parks.

Sarah has developed a wide range of skills, including procurement, staff recruitment, community engagement and project management. She is now keen to further develop her experience in shaping projects for sustainable and circular cities, which better integrate the lives of businesses and residents with nature.

Sarah also worked as an Earth Fellow with the Edinburgh Earth Initiative. Her research projects have explored the institution’s historical connections between the University and the fossil fuel economy, and examined how various disciplines define, value, and apply climate adaptation in their work. Her research resulted in actionable recommendations to increase interdisciplinary climate action across the whole University.

Sarah’s master’s thesis explores the complicated governance of Scotland’s emerging climate action network, examining linkages between factors that either support or hinder effective action, through the experiences of practitioners working on the front lines. Her project culminated in a summary report shared with the Scottish Government to inform the development of key impact indicators for the network.

Sarah holds an MSc in Environment and Development from the University of Edinburgh, and a BA in Global Environmental Change and Sustainability and Public Health Studies from Johns Hopkins University.

Alexander Landau

Project Consultant

Alexander is a talented sustainability professional on a personal mission to unlock the value of ESG, accelerate the circular economy, and create a regenerative society.

He has worked with start-ups, non-profits, medium-sized businesses, and multi-national organisations in the United States and Europe, spanning the biotech, software, packaging, and entertainment industries. His sustainability expertise comprises corporate sustainability strategy, emissions management and reduction, life cycle assessment, ESG reporting, and implementing circularity.

Alexander was part of the Impact team at Notpla, the Earthshot Prize-winning sustainability packaging start-up. He conducted the company’s first complete greenhouse gas inventory, developed research on the applicability of environmental commodities to Notpla’s business, and created business development materials to educate clients on product biodegradability.

Most recently, he was a Project Manager for the development of strategies that support the preservation of green spaces and the restoration of the Nile riverfront for a Cairo-based neighbourhood advocacy organisation.

Alexander is also proud to have designed an organic waste recovery platform for the food-tech start-up Ryp Labs – and has created the first sustainability report for the contract management company Concord.

Alexander has a Master of Science in Sustainability Management from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Analysis and Media Studies from Pitzer College.

Doris Wimmer

Project Analyst

Doris is a project analyst with experience in hydrology, water engineering, sustainability and management – with a broad knowledge in environmental sciences. She is passionate about sustainable development, the environment, and development cooperation.

Doris originally studied Environmental Engineering and Water Management in Vienna with the aims of improving people’s lives and livelihoods, and preserving natural ecosystems. With the increasing awareness of the effects of anthropogenic activities on natural ecosystem, Doris saw the need to complement this knowledge with a further degree in business – not only to observe and assess the effects of land degradation and pollution, but also to counteract unsustainable resource consumption.

Doris has a keen interest in learning from other cultures, and has travelled to many places around the world, including a three-month project in the Kenya-Uganda Border Region, working under a project for the Austrian Development Agency.

Doris is enthusiastic about linking together different fields, in order to manage resources more sustainably. She has engaged with key topics such as corporate responsibility and the circular economy within her master’s degree in Management at Cranfield University – along with her thesis on business models in the circular economy. More recently, Doris has also started to engage and participate within the European start-up scene, seeking to drive and accelerate proactive sustainability solutions in a commercial environment.