Olivia Greenspan

Social Innovator, Brownfield Remediator, Urban Farmer, Co-Founder

20-year-old Olivia Greenspan is co-founder of TILL, a carbon-negative community-based development company. Olivia is also the 2017 Fairfield County, Connecticut, Farm Bureau Lyman Wells Scholar and the 2017-18 Real Estate Innovation Fellow at the Fordham Social Innovation Collaboratory in the Bronx. Olivia regularly presents on social innovation and entrepreneurship, including at the 2017 Ashoka U Conference in Miami, Florida, the largest network of social entrepreneurs globally. Olivia is a rising junior at Fordham University, NYC, majoring in Economics, with a focus on environmental sustainability and ecological psychology.

Olivia is currently focused on leveraging environmental and motivational psychology to build commitment to sustainability, especially at the local level. She is curious about the persistence of ingrained behaviors and attitudes, even amongst those who are informed and alarmed about climate change. Are economics and policy really the largest barriers to sustainable systemic transformation? Or are there other seemingly innocuous yet more insidious forces at play? Olivia uses case studies to consider how forces seemingly unrelated to climate change –– including identity politics, social capital, and cognitive capture –– can sometimes prove the largest barriers to change.