Gina LaMotte is a social entrepreneur who is passionate about unlocking the power and potential of youth as bold leaders, innovators and visionaries. Gina founded EcoRise in 2008, bootstrapping the organization with no funding, yet dozens of community volunteers. Over the last 10 years, EcoRise has grown enormously in its impact, bringing the topics of sustainability, social entrepreneurship, biomimicry, design thinking, and green building into hundreds of classrooms around the world.
Leading up to EcoRise, Gina spent 10 years working with innovative educational programs serving youth in Brazil, India, Nepal and Guatemala, as well as in Harlem, New York, and Taos, New Mexico. In 2004, Gina moved to Austin, Texas, and pioneered a robust summer and after-school program at a Title One middle school. She also built and led a youth cultural exchange program to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and served as a facilitator and counselor at the Global Youth Peace Summit. While in graduate school at the University of Texas at Austin, Gina studied sustainable development and social entrepreneurship and earned a certificate in Non-Profit Studies at the LBJ School for Public Affairs.
Gina currently serves on the SXSWedu Advisory Board and is a former co-chair of Austin ISD’s Environmental Stewardship Advisory Committee. Gina has presented extensively at local, regional, and national conferences around the topics of green schools, design thinking, and sustainability education.