WHO WE ARE

Initiatives for Land, Lives and Peace (ILLP) is a programme of Initiatives of Change International (www.iofc.org)

The direction and strategy for ILLP is set by a Steering Group, and supported by an Executive Group. The Steering Group also receives advice from other senior figures, forming an Advisory Group.

Steering Group:

Prof. Dr. Ilan Chabay

Ilan Chabay is Senior Advisor for Global Sustainability Research at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), Potsdam, which he joined as Senior Fellow in February 2012. At IASS Ilan also co-leads a multi-disciplinary team on the SMART project (Sustainable Modes of Arctic Resource-driven Transformations). He is the author or co-author of over 50 peer-reviewed articles in major journals in both social science and natural science. He chairs and has led the development of the Knowledge, Learning, and Societal Change international research alliance (www.KLASICA.org) since its inception in 2008. His interest is in understanding the relationship between knowledge sources, learning processes, and making decision on complex systems and on collective behaviour change toward sustainable futures for all.

Ilan was Hasselblad Professor of Public Learning and Understanding of Science in the sociology and applied IT departments in Gothenburg and Chalmers Universities in Sweden, consulting professor of chemistry at Stanford University, and led research groups on laser spectroscopic analysis development at the US National Institute of Standards and Technology. He was the associate director of the Exploratorium Science Museum in San Francisco and founder and president of the New Curiosity Shop in Silicon Valley in 1983 until 2001. In his company, he led the design and production of interactive exhibitions and learning experiences for more than 230 museums, science centres, government agencies, and corporations in 16 countries.


Dr Alan Channer

Dr. Alan Channer is a Media and Peace-building Consultant, and the Director of For the Love of Tomorrow Films. 

Most notable of Alan Channer’s documentaries is The Imam and the Pastor (2006) – which was launched at UN Headquarters, screened at the World Bank and in the House of Commons, broadcast on Al-Jazeera Arabic and from Sweden to Somalia and won first prize at the Africa World Documentary Film Festival. Its sequel, An African Answer, was described by Kofi Annan as “a very important film”.

Dr. Channer has worked with the UN and civil society networks in Chad on mediation, and recently directed a United States Institute of Peace project in Kenya,

He wrote the chapter ‘Trust-building and mobile pastoralism in Africa’, for the book Restoring land: reclaiming landscapes for a sustainable future (Elsevier 2015).

Dr Channer was born in London in 1964, the son of cameraman and producer David Channer. He studied at Reading University, UK and the International Centre for development-oriented Agriculture in Wageningen, The Netherlands. After a phase of research in Malawi, Zimbabwe, Tuvalu and China, Alan joined his father on a film project to foster healing and social renewal in post-war Cambodia. The father and son team received an award from the Cambodian government and a commendation from King Norodom Sihanouk for this work.

Alan was a featured speaker at the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize Forum.

He is based in Kenya, with his French wife and two children.


Dr Martin Frick

[biography coming soon]


Brendan Bromwich

[biography coming soon]


Dr Jennifer Helgeson

Jennifer F. Helgeson is an economist in the Applied Economics Office of the Engineering Laboratory (EL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). She is a member of the steering committee for ILLP. She recently served as a co-editor for the book: “Land Restoration: Reclaiming Landscapes for a Sustainable Future” with Ilan Chabay and Martin Frick.

In the past, Jennifer did work for the Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research, Norway and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, France.

Following the completion of her B.A. Degree in Economics at Brandeis University in 2005, Jennifer spent a year researching Environmental Economics issues on a Fulbright Grant to Norway. She earned her M.S. Degree in Environmental Change and Management with a focus on Environmental Economics at the University of Oxford, UK in 2007.  Jennifer studied for her PhD in Environmental Economics at the London School of Economics (LSE).

Jennifer is primarily interested in economic analyses that consider behavioral aspects and approaches to dealing with environmental issues, especially land degradation.  She spends the majority of her time working on the AEO’s Community Resilience project, looking at resilience to hazards in the built environment, with consideration for cost-effectiveness of community- scale mitigation and adaptation efforts.


Noel Oettlé

[biography coming soon]


Dr Peter Rundell

Dr Peter Rundell has worked in international development for over 35 years.  Formerly a senior governance advisor in DFID, he served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya with British, Danish and EU missions, and is currently a consultant to the World Bank in Zimbabwe.  He was awarded the CBE in 2013.


Meera Shah

Meera is a member of the Steering Group of Initiatives for Land, Lives and Peace. In this capacity she assisted with the delivery of the Caux Dialogue on Land and Security in 2013, 2014 and 2015; she was lead coordinator in 2016 . Meera helped to organise the North Rift Dialogue on Land and Security, in Baringo, Kenya.

Meera has a Masters in Environment and Development from University of Edinburgh, UK. Her dissertation focused on the impact of oil and groundwater discoveries in Turkana, Kenya, on pastoralists within the region. Her research features in a chapter in Land Restoration: Reclaiming Landscapes for a Sustainable Future.

Prior to her postgraduate studies, Meera was the Corporate Relations Manager at Save the Rhino International, where she developed and implemented a fundraising strategy. Previously she was the Office Manager at E3G – Third Generation Environmentalism, a climate policy think tank, where she supported E3G’s exponential growth from 2008-2012.

Between 2006 and 2007 Meera was a Researcher and Team Administrator at AccountAbility, a corporate social responsibility think tank. She provided research support for several publications on public-private partnerships, stakeholder engagement, consumer assurance and human rights.

Between roles, Meera has completed several internships at think tanks and conservation organisations including Environmental Law Foundation, Environmental Investigation Agency, Chatham House and Global Call for Climate Action. Meera grew up in Kenya and moved to the UK for further studies.

She holds a BSc in Accounting and Finance from the University of Warwick.


Patrick Worms

Patrick Worms, a molecular geneticist, represents the World Agroforestry Centre, the premier research institution devoted to the study of the roles of trees in agricultural landcapes, to policy makers in Brussels and elsewhere in Europe. Active since the 1970s, the Centre has reported on the astonishing benefits of multicrop agriculture involving trees in thousands of peer-reviewed publications. Headquartered in Nairobi and active across the tropics, the Centre is best known for its work in Africa’s drylands, where agroforestry is leading to a revolution in farming productivity.

Patrick has been active at the science-policy interface since the late 1980s, with a start teaching biology in the Hindu Kush. As a young European official, he pioneered a new way of using communications to deal with the environmental legacy of communism across the former Soviet Union before leaving for the private sector and engaging with the disastrous environmental legacy of China’s Great Leap forward.

Later, he helped commercialise ESA’s assets on the International Space Station, consulted for a range of international organisations and Fortune 500 companies, and managed the Georgian government’s international media relations during Russia’s 2008 invasion.

Patrick received bachelors and masters degrees from Cambridge University. A French- and English-speaking German citizen, he is the happily married father of three children.


Executive Group

Chris Evans (Chair)

Chris Evans was born, and now lives with his wife Anne, on his family’s farm in the west of England. In addition to farming, he has worked with Initiatives of Change in one volunteer capacity or another since 1969. From 1975 – 1997 he was lead coordinator of the Caux Conference for Business and Industry. He was treasurer of IofC UK from 1991 – 2004, and helped launch a training programme in Eastern Europe (Foundations For Freedom). From 2003 – 08 he served on the International Council of Initiatives of Change, and from 2010 – 12 as Chair of the Trustees of IofC UK. Presently he is on the steering groups of two IofC programmes, Addressing Europe’s Unfinished Business and Initiatives for Land, Lives and Peace.


Irina Fedorenko

Irina is doing a PhD in Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford. She has co-founded an Environmental NGO and worked for private companies and charities in the areas of research, communications and environmental protection. She is also a co-founder of a successful reforestation start-up and has forestry and community development expertise. Irina has a bachelors degree in public relations from Far Eastern Federal University of Vladivostok and a Masters of Environmental Science from the University of Oxford, Green Templeton College.


Rainer Gude

[biography coming soon]


Dr. Bronwyn Lay

Dr. Bronwyn Lay is a lawyer, writer and community organiser. She worked as a legal aid lawyer in Melbourne before moving to France where she completed her PhD on legal philosophy and soil at the European Graduate School in 2014. She has worked as a legal and communication consultant for international environmental NGO’s, published in a wide variety of forums and organised numerous conferences and events focused around land, soil and governance. Her book Juris Materiarum: Empires of Earth, Soil and Dirt is available from Apropos Press.