Gina LaMotte is a social entrepreneur who is most passionate about unlocking the power and potential of youth as leaders, innovators and visionaries. She is a creative-thinker, a community connector and a tenacious dreamer who thrives when left with a design challenge, a pile of colorful markers and a blank white board.
Gina founded EcoRise Youth Innovations in 2008, with the intent of providing a transformative educational program integrating sustainability, leadership and innovation into the traditional K-12 classroom. Fueled by stubborn idealism, Gina bootstrapped the organization, winning many public awards, attracting hundreds of community partners, and securing millions of earned income and charitable contributions. Within seven years, EcoRise has grown to deliver world-class curricula, training and support to over 700 schools and 1,000 teachers in 26 countries.
Leading up to EcoRise, Gina spent ten years working with innovative educational programs serving youth in Brazil, India, Nepal and Guatemala, as well as Harlem, New York, and Taos, New Mexico. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Education from Global College with an emphasis on experiential education and identity politics.
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 is a former co-chair of Austin ISD’s Environmental Stewardship Advisory Committee and has presented extensively at local, regional and national conferences around the topics of green schools, design thinking and sustainability education.