Denielle Sachs, Founder + Managing Director
Denielle is an impact strategist, organizational leader, and coalition-builder with extensive experience in the board room and in the field. She has a unique ability to turn ideas into action, skillfully manage complexity, and craft powerful alliances between unlikely collaborators. She advises a range of organizations, including family offices looking to build stronger platforms for social impact, companies building or restructuring corporate responsibility initiatives, foundations looking to strengthen ties between grantees, or enterprises looking to attract impact investment. Over the last two decades, she has built organizations, boards and coalitions from the ground up, designed culture and thought leadership strategies that ignite movements, and led special projects for Fortune 500 businesses. She founded The Tembo Group after seven years as the Director of Social Impact for McKinsey & Company, and she currently serves as the part-time Executive Director of Blue Sphere Foundation, a non-profit focused on safeguarding the planet's oceans.
Garance Choko, Innovation Director
Garance is a social entrepreneur, international system builder and innovation strategist. She is the founder of Coda, a global network of grassroots problem solvers exchanging how-tos across continents. Born and raised in Paris, France, she started her career as a concert pianist at the age of 3. Later, when she moved to the United States to continue her performance studies, she pursued her passion for political theory and design practices. She has designed organizational structures, national and local health care systems, educational programs, impact evaluations and poverty relief strategies for institutions, corporations and governments in Europe, the United States, the Caribbean and Latin America. She earned a Master of Public Administration from Cornell University. Garance's philosophy is rooted in challenging the notion of institutionalized expertise and its deriving power structures. She has used participatory design principles in her work with the US Congress, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Clinton Global Initiative, Purpose, The Lowline, Community Solutions, and Nesta. As a speaker and educator, she has taught her unique participatory design framework at the University of Pennsylvania, Cornell University, Parsons, Brown, and to high-level government officials.
Greta Knutzen, Campaigns Director
Greta is a master negotiator and producer extraordinaire, who is often said to pull off the impossible. She oversees large-scale campaigns and productions with competing stakeholder dynamics — moving them from paralytic complexity to working in lockstep towards the same goal. Greta has been intimately involved in the campaign surrounding Racing Extinction, the Oscar-nominated documentary film, serving as executive producer for two unprecedented events that together garnered just shy of 5 billion impressions after projecting images of endangered species on the Empire State Building and Vatican. Most recently Greta led the New York office of a digital experiential agency, Spinifex Group, a Project:WorldWide company. She previously spent 15 years producing documentary film and television for the world’s biggest broadcasters, including the Emmy award-winning, Sex Slaves for PBS Frontline, Manson for History Television, Gemini award-winning Mayday for the Discovery Channel. Greta is a Brit who has worked all over the world, and presently resides in New York City.
Sala Elise Patterson, Content Director
Sala is a strategist and storyteller who brings a cross-cultural, inter-disciplinary perspective to every project, balancing a sharp lens and careful aesthetic with accessibility and relevance. She is a serial expatriate (7 countries on 5 continents) and linguist (5 languages) whose insights and commitment to “the least and the lost” have helped uncover untold stories, festering injustices, and unanticipated beauty. For nearly two decades Sala has worked to reinforce the brand story of top-tier international organizations, companies and individuals. She broke the story of the first major US fashion magazine to put an African-American model in its pages for the New York Times; developed an advocacy strategy for UNAIDS that the Gates Foundation publicly lauded; helped an African government introduce English language instruction into the primary schools; supported an environmental justice campaign that successfully blocked a polluting factory from settling in a poor community outside New Orleans; and developed literature for parents of the poorest children in the New York City public schools on the new services available under the No Child Left Behind Act. Sala's clients include the OECD, African Development Bank, German Development Cooperation, McKinsey Social Sector Office, United Nations Development Programme, and UNESCO. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times T Magazine, OECD Observer, Ford Foundation Report, TRUE Africa, New Internationalist, Organic Style and Condé Nast Traveler. She holds a BA in African-American Literature from Columbia University and an MSc in Development Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies.