Douglas Woodring WG'95
Co-Founder and Director
Project Kaisei
San Francisco and Hong Kong

Wharton Speaker >> Biography

Mr. Woodring has worked in Asia for the past 15 years in a number of industries which have been at the forefront of technology within their sectors.   He is a consultant for a number of environmental technologies, including Verte Asia, which specializes in living vertical green walls which can have significant energy efficiency improvements with urban design.   He has also consulted for new renewable energy technologies, including wave, wind and conversion of human power at gyms. The wave energy technology includes the production of desalinized water, as well as hydrogen.

Mr. Woodring has recently co-founded a global project that will raise awareness and offer a solution to the “Plastic Vortex” in the Pacific Ocean.  This is a floating mass of plastic that some say is twice the size of Texas, or four times the size of Japan.   They successfully led an expedition to the North Pacific Gyre in the summer of 2009, on two research vessels (one with Scripps Institution of Oceanography, one of the leading ocean institutes in the world), with 50 people.  They will now analyze the data found from the samples, and work towards solutions to capturing and then remediating the debris once it is caught at sea.  The Project is working with some of the leading technologies for plastic processing/recycling, as well as undertaking studies on toxicity and plastics in our food chain.

As a result of his work with Project Kaisei, he is now on the advisory board of the XPrize in the US, which will launch two new ocean prizes in the coming year, each with an award of over US$10m.  He is also on the board of the Environment Panel for the Global Dialogue Foundation, based in Australia.

Mr. Woodring is active in the environmental community as well, and is currently the Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce’s Environmental Committee.   He has spoken at a two regional ADB meetings on air pollution and energy strategy issues, and has recently written an article on improving the transparency and credibility of carbon credit trading in the post 2012 Kyoto Era. 

Prior to working with technology startups, while at Merrill Lynch Asset Management Hong Kong in 1998, he proposed the company’s first global environmental technology fund which was later launched in 2001, and was the best performing global “green” fund in 2005.

Born in California, Mr. Woodring has a dual masters degree from The Wharton School (MBA) and Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) where he studied Environmental Economics.  He has an undergraduate degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley.