- Team Members
Lucia Grenna created Connect4Climate in 2011 in response to the overwhelming need for effective and engaging communication on climate change. The initiative has since grown into a major global network of concerned individuals and committed organizations. Lucia was the task manager for the first World Congress on Communication for Development (WCCD, Rome 2006), which brought together for the first time more than 800 communications professionals with experience in development initiatives, policy- and decision-making, NGO work, community activism, and academic research. This group of thinkers from around the world discussed how best to adapt mainstream development communication into policies and practice. Lucia was also the author of several articles and publications on communication for development. Prior to joining the World Bank, she worked as a journalist in print and electronic media, and produced hundreds of interviews on issues related to economic and social development. She produced and marketed movies and documentaries as well, and was a team member of the World Bank/CNN Millennial campaign.
Giulia C. Braga is a communications professional passionate about exploring the role of visual media and the arts in creating a better world. She coordinates Connect4Climate’s engagement with creative industries, as well as the Film4Climate global campaign dedicated to greening the silver screen. At Connect4Climate, she also works as creative and production senior consultant for several high-profile projects and events, including the recent “Fiat Lux: Illuminating Our Common Home” public art display.
Max Thabiso Edkins was the climate expert and content lead at Connect4Climate. He brought eight years of climate experience to the team. Max contributed to South African climate and renewable energy policy, lectured in Masters classes, and trained local communities in Namibia, Tanzania, and Kenya. He was passionate about translating climate science and solutions into engaging communication that would lead to concrete action, and had a special knack for forging connections with youth leaders. He also worked as an ecologist, a marine biologist, a photographer, and a filmmaker. Max was raised in Lesotho, Germany, and South Africa.
Francis Dobbs worked in UK television and independent film production before moving to the World Bank Group media division 25 years ago. At the World Bank he ran a production unit responsible for the production of a variety of videos and television documentaries on development issues. Francis now helps the Connect4Climate team plan and execute the program’s communications projects.
Max Bartoli has been a media consultant for Connect4Climate and other private companies since 2003. The founder and CEO of MaXaM Productions Holding LLC, he is an award-winning producer and director. His projects include the sci-fi feature Atlantis Down, the 8-episode TV series entitled Atlantis Rising: The Making of Atlantis Down, the short film Ignotus, and the two documentaries Postcards From The Past and Time Travelers. Most recently, he produced and directed The Secret of Joy, a $500K project comprising a short film, a book and a song, to raise awareness and funds for the cause of pediatric cancer. He’s also worked for advertising agencies in Italy and England, directing and producing videos as well as television commercials.
Grazia Atanasio is a development communication consultant providing support to World Bank projects promoting climate resilience. Grazia has been with the Bank since 2001, working in different regions on strategic communication and stakeholder engagement in sustainable development operations. Lately Grazia is working primarily in the Sahel region of Africa, focusing on Ethiopia's natural resource management portfolio. Grazia speaks English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese, in addition to her native language, Italian.
Leigh Vogel is a photographer and communications consultant who has worked on the Connect4Climate initiative since 2011. Leigh utilizes both imagery and communications strategies to reach audiences with targeted messages. She comes with a background as editor in chief of a national lifestyle publication, and regularly contributes images to agencies and clients including Getty Images, The Associated Press, Polaris Images, and UPI. She is credentialed to photograph on Capitol Hill, and is a member of the White House News Photographers Association. A graduate of Georgetown University's master's in communications program, Leigh is the Photography Fellow at the University's Center for Social Impact Communications. Having developed a guide to help nonprofit organizations communicate strategically via imagery, she received the Center's Social Impact Award in recognition of her commitment to positive social change.
Paula Alves da Silva is a journalist, a proud native of northern Portugal, a sun and sea lover and a passionate traveler. Over the years, Paula has had the chance to experience a range of enriching professional and personal opportunities in different countries and realities. In her current position at Connect4Climate, Paula has the privilege of working to address one of the major issues the world is facing today: climate change. Paula believes that informed people are capable of changing not only their own personal worlds, but also the wide world they all share. At Connect4Climate, information is treated as gold, because we see it as the key to altering mentalities and actions and ultimately building a better future. As Nathaniel Branden said, “The first step towards change is awareness.”
Bárbara Gomes Simões, a proud Portuguese communications specialist, began her Washingtion, D.C. career with a Communications Associate internship at Connect4Climate, where she now occupies a Communications Consultant position. Prior to this, Bárbara worked as a communications assistant with TAP Portugal and with the ActivoBank in Portugal. She received a degree in Social Communication, with a concentration in Journalism, Marketing and Public Relations. Bárbara is particularly committed to youth empowerment, and has worked on numerous youth-focused international efforts (AIESEC, European Voluntary Service, Erasmus +), organizing and promoting various projects in Russia, Slovenia, Turkey, Spain, and Luxembourg.
Inês Silva Araújo was born in Moledo do Minho, Portugal. She holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism and a master's in Strategic Communication. She lived for a time in Brazil, where she studied cinema and music, as well as in Ireland, where she worked at the Portuguese embassy in Dublin. Her most challenging experience was in India, where she participated in an international volunteer program to teach English in the slums of New Delhi. Inês is a woman passionate about the world who dedicates much of her free time to traveling and writing. She currently holds the title of Communications Consultant for Partnerships and Knowledge Management at Connect4Climate, where she keeps on trying to make a difference. She strives to make a positive impact in the world and catch 'l'instant decisif.'