If you follow Open Team on Instagram, you’ll know that we have been posting some portraits of some of the amazing people we met at COP24 in Katowice, Poland, last December. This has been a fun way for us to show you all the wonderful people behind the work of some of the world’s leading sustainability movements and organizations. Their contributions to the race to solve climate change have been detrimental, and we were honored to see all the smiling faces of the changemakers behind the work.


We continue our COP24 Portrait Series with Andre Leu from Regeneration International…

Andre Leu – Regeneration International

What if the FUTURE of agriculture was simply… regenerative?! “Just transitioning 10% of agricultural production to best practice regenerative systems will sequester enough CO2 to reverse climate change and restore global climate.” We couldn’t believe our ears when we heard this.

Meet Andre Leu, a regenerative agriculture leader and advocate, who spends his time sharing this startling information. Andre directs Regeneration International, a global network that promotes, facilitates and accelerates the global transition to regenerative food, farming and land management, in coordination with lots of partnering organizations worldwide.

We were very inspired when meeting Andre again at this COP24 in Katowice last December. His energy, simplicity and leadership are precious for the joint task we have together: shift the climate change paradigm and speed up the cool down!

Check out his work at Regeneration International.


Alana Lea – iGiveTrees

“Stories inspire hope
Hope pollinates projects
Projects Grow to fruition
Art illustrates environmental stories”

Meet Alana Lea, an environmental artist, advocate and entrepreneur, whose life is dedicated to Mother Earth. “Madame la Pollénisatrice”, as we like to nickname her here in France, spends her time pollinating, connecting and promoting SOLUTIONS that come from the heart and have widespread positive impact for the planet. In a truly inspiring way!



The iGiveTrees crowdfunding campaigns that she led these past years have gathered gifts from the global public. The objective is to support the development of organic nurseries in Brazil and give them to smallholder farmer families in the degraded rainforest where she was born.

Learn more about the iGiveTrees project on Alana’s blog.


Juan Carlos Jintiach – Coordination of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin(CIOCA)

The calmness of Juan Carlos Jintiach from Ecuador is what strikes the most. He inspires resilience and perseverance in his actions. Climate change is his combat.

OpenTeam met Juan Carlos at COP24 during a press conference that he held with several Indigenous People representatives of the Amazon region. It was about how positive solutions to climate change like territorial management initiatives and sacred watersheds.




Next to the NGO for safe energy development that he develops, Equitable Origin, Juan Carlos is a strong indigenous rights defender and one of the key coordinators for COICA, the Coordination of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin. That’s an impressive organization that connects and unites the indigenous people in their fight. He represents himself the Shuar People, an indigenous group in the Amazon Rainforest of Ecuador.

Juan Carlos is very excited about the ScaleSchool program that we are developing, as there is great needs to share the indigenous knowledge for regenerative agriculture as widely as possible. The replication program would be a great way to do so and empower the indigenous youth.

Learn more about the work of COICA at their website.


Precious Phiri – Africa Centre for Holistic Management

Meet Precious Phiri, a change leader and hero in her very own unique, outgoing and inspiring way! It was a pleasure to see her again at COP24 and we just had to share with you who she is!

Precious is passionate about community development work that improves people’s lives. When she’s not busy facilitating workshops or being the MC at sustainability-related conferences, she dedicates her time as a Training Coordinator for the Africa Centre for Holistic Management. That’s a Zimbabwean organization that works on initiatives related to environmental issues, water and natural resources management, food security, and desertification in rural Hwange Communal Lands in Northern Zimbabwe.


She would define “holistic management” (from ὅλος holos, a Greek word meaning all, whole, entire, total) in agriculture as a systems thinking approach to managing resources. It was originally developed by Allan Savory for reversing desertification.

In 2010, at the Africa Centre for Holistic Management where she works, the Operation Hope (a “proof of concept” project using holistic management) was named the winner of the 2010 Buckminster Fuller Challenge for “recognizing initiatives which take a comprehensive, anticipatory, design approach to radically advance human well being and the health of our planet’s ecosystems”. Food for thought!

Check out her work for the Africa Centre for Holistic Management, here


Feeling inspired? Stay tuned for the next portraits coming up soon on our Open Team News Portal!

Joanne Schanté
Joanne is a French-American social entrepreneur, passionate about the climate, social innovation and supporting the scaling of social enterprises throughout the world. After her MBA at INSEAD in 2013, she switched her career switch from a corporate role and has turned her passion into her profession as an entrepreneur, connector and enabler. She directs with passion the social enterprise Open Team which she co-founded following the UN Climate Summit COP20 in Lima, and in particular the ScaleSchool program.


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