Nikki Silvestri is the founder and CEO of Soil and Shadow, LLC.
Nikki’s unique approach to inclusion, leadership, and organizational development takes cues from nature, building models of “social fertility” to weave them into a Joy and Impact™ framework. Her work also encourages a rigorous and shame-free approach to acknowledging our societal shadows and blind spots, especially when attempting to balance the triple bottom line (ecology, economy, and equity) in times of uncertainty, climate/health feedback loops, and increasing volatility.
Nikki’s wide-ranging career has taken her from presentations at the White House and negotiations with the Environmental Protection Agency to intimate workshops with local businesses and small retail organizing. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including ELLE Magazine’s Gold Award and OxFam America’s Act Local, Think Global Award, and she was named one of The Root’s 100 Most Influential African Americans. You can see her full bio and website here.
Effective ethical leadership in food requires more than a sense of right and wrong—it requires the ability to lead with purpose. New food leaders need the tools to develop and sustain a personal moral compass, a strong understanding of the risks inherent to the food system, and the ability to apply ethical decision-making across a range of issues impacting the food industry.
Nikki Silvestri reflects on environmentalism and warns against the dissonance created by treating the environment as something "out there." She advocates for an inclusive movement that builds a working world through reconnecting to the healing power of the environment.
In 2014, Nikki Silvestri was named one of the Root's 100 Most Influential African Americans for her role as a thought leader on the environment and environmental justice and her work creating green pathways out of poverty through Green for All.
Nikki Silvestri speaks on the importance of strong relationships within social movements and the need for building allies within the food movement.