About the Beacon

The Beacon for Sustainable Living is an initiative supporting those leading the way on sustainable everyday living. The goal is to move work forward by identifying creative strategies and overlooked approaches to living well for all within our ecological footprints in ways that reflect the scale, urgency and magnitude of change.

Beacon team

The Beacon is led by Vanessa Timmer and the team at OneEarth and by Lewis Akenji, founder of Hot or Cool, with Lisa Mastny, Raagini Appadurai and creative strategist Erica Priggen Wright. The initiative is generously supported by the KR Foundation.

OneEarth is a Canadian-based nonprofit ‘think and do tank’ focused on creating sustainable ways of living in cities and around the world. Hot or Cool is a nonprofit focused on achieving 1.5 degree lifestyles through cutting-edge research, policies, data and innovation.


Dr. Vanessa Timmer

Co-Lead Beacon for Sustainable Living, Executive Director of One Earth, Senior Research Fellow at Utrecht University

Vanessa sits on the Multi-stakeholder Advisory Committee for the United Nations 10YFP Sustainable Lifestyles Programme, and is a board member of the Canadian National Zero Waste Council. She holds degrees from Queen’s University, Oxford and the University of British Columbia and was a Fulbright scholar at Harvard. Vanessa writes, speaks and teaches on sustainable living, social change, envisioning futures and systems thinking.

Dr Lewis Akenji, Beacon for Sustainable Living

Dr. Lewis Akenji

Co-Lead Beacon for Sustainable Living, Managing Director of Hot or Cool

Previously, Lewis has served as Executive Director of SEED, founded as a UN partnership at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development to promote entrepreneurship for sustainable development. Prior to that, he was Director for Sustainable Consumption and Production at the think tank Institute for Global Environmental Strategies. Lewis conceived and led the 1.5-Degree Lifestyles project, analysing potential contribution of lifestyle changes to the aspirational 1.5 °C target under the Paris Agreement on climate change.


Erica Priggen Wright

Executive Creative Producer

Erica has over a decade of experience working in feature film, television, commercials and “edutainment.” She creates change-making media with a special focus on social and environmental content. As a passionate storyteller, media maker, vision holder and systems thinker, she champions powerful collaboration with others, resulting in high-impact creative work out in the world. She brings a balance between intuition, experienced know-how and playfulness to her work. Every day she feels gratitude for what she does, celebrating the creative process matched with courageous strategy.

Lisa Mastny


Lisa brings more than two decades of experience in the environmental and sustainability fields. Drawing on her extensive background in research, writing and editing, she provides communications support to a variety of nonprofit and international organizations, including UN Environment, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), REN21, Generation 180 and Food & Water Watch. Previously, Lisa served as Senior Editor and Director of Publications at New Dream (formerly Center for a New American Dream) and worked for nearly 20 years at the Worldwatch Institute as a researcher and as Senior Editor, editing Worldwatch’s monthly magazine and annual State of the World reports, among other publications.

Max Serpa

Associate, One Earth

Max is the project coordinator for the Beacon for Sustainable Living. He brings a nuanced understanding of somatic psychology and sociology, faith traditions, data analysis and community/organizational consultations. He has worked in various community-based social service initiatives, and has helped large organizations such as the University of British Columbia build their consultation processes. He is passionate about translating the health of the person to the health of society at large.

Raagini Appadurai


Raagini is a consultant, educator, and facilitator in equity and social justice. Her work and passions lie predominantly around building creative and equitable educational platforms to social justice for young people in various different spaces – through an anti-racist and anti-capitalist framework. Informed by her unique positionality as an Indian immigrant, woman of color, artist, activist, and educator, and her extensive engagement with diverse groups of youth, she is fueled by a deep commitment to movement building and educational transformation that inspires young people to be active social change makers in the world. Raagini holds a BA in Peace, Conflict & Justice and an MEd in Social Justice Education from the University of Toronto. By night, she is a singer-songwriter and lover of art.

Dagmar Timmer

Managing Director, Strategic Initiatives at One Earth

Dagmar focuses primarily on One Earth’s work in British Columbia, collaborating with partners to highlight the links between who we are, what we buy, where we live, what we make, what we trade and how we live together. Dagmar has been actively involved in sustainability action, policy and research for more than two decades, including international experience on environmental conservation.

Dan Burns


Dan has 25 years developing and teaching interdisciplinary programs for universities and professional programs. He started his career in aquaculture where he utilized modeling to drive innovation. Subsequently, he served 18 years in U.S. Tribal Colleges preparing leaders through programs that integrated “Western” and Indigenous worldviews. Later Dan joined the Carnegie Foundation at Stanford, working to change mathematics curriculum through networked improvement communities. He later joined Simon Fraser University where he led the development of the Bachelor of Environment and its three interdisciplinary majors. Presently Dan is on the Board of One Earth and a UNEP Regional Facilitator in the lead up to the U.N. Environmental Assembly in 2021.

The Beacon team is grateful for the contributions of Adrian Rojas Elliot (Beacon visual brand and design), Keiko Lee Hem (graphic design), Ruben DeLuna (visual storyteller), Junxion Strategy (website development) and Artaban Productions (video production and editing).

Beacon partners

The Beacon is collaborating with a number of aligned initiatives. Our main partners and partner programs include:

C40 Cities Thriving Cities Initiative is a collaboration between C40 Cities, Doughnut Economics Action Lab and Circle Economy supporting diverse city change makers to create ecologically safe and socially just cities that are homes for people to thrive.

EcoCity Centre of Excellence at the British Columbia Institute of Technology supports the evolution of ecocities globally through research, expert planning and policy advice, training, and tools and metrics including the ecocity footprint tool.

Global Action Plan logo

Global Action Plan–UK is an NGO that specializes in sustainable behaviour change and education for sustainable development. We partner on their youth engagement in imagining sustainable futures.

The IMAGE Sustainable Lifestyles project led by Utrecht University’s Prof. dr. Detlef van Vuuren with Doctoral candidate Nicole van den Berg and the Beacon team is adding sustainable lifestyles actions into the widely used IMAGE global climate model.

Project InsideOut is an initiative translating key evidence from clinical psychology insights and practice into tools and resources for those in sustainability and climate change sectors. We are testing their approaches as part of the Beacon.

The Beacon is led by OneEarth Living and Hot or Cool, with generous support from the KR Foundation