Keynote Speakers

June 24 | Closing Plenary: The Intersection of Affordable Housing and Climate Change

Donnel BairdDonnel Baird
Founder and CEO | BlocPower

Donnel Baird is the founder of BlocPower, a clean tech startup based in New York City. BlocPower develops portfolios of clean energy retrofit opportunities in underserved communities and connects those opportunities to investors seeking social, environmental, and financial returns. BlocPower creates jobs for qualified local low-income workers and energy savings for community institutions, reduces carbon emissions, and provides returns to investors. The company is backed by some of the world’s top investors including The Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group, Kapor Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, the American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact, AccelR8, Salesforce Ventures, and New York Ventures of the Empires State Development Corporation.

Baird is a graduate of Duke University and Columbia Business School, where he was a recipient of the Board of Overseers Fellowship and a recipient of investment from the Lang Fund for Entrepreneurial Initiatives. He spent four years as a political and community organizer and more than two years managing a national initiative to leverage American Reinvestment and Recovery Act energy efficiency investments in underserved communities.

Baird lives in his native borough of Brooklyn with his wife and son.

More About This Speaker

The Washington Post: Block by block, he aims to fight injustice and save the planet
GLG Insights (video): Making Inner Cities More Energy Efficient
The Grio (article and video): BlocPower founder Donnel Baird inspired by childhood to create green energy in inner cities