Driven by the imperative of climate justice, The Sunrise Project’s mission is to scale social movements to drive the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy as fast as possible.
About The Sunrise Project International Stichting
The Sunrise Project International Stichting (“Sunrise International” or “the Stichting”) was established in 2023 with a mission to protect the environment from the impacts of large-scale fossil fuel expansion and to hasten the transition to clean energy.
The objectives of Sunrise International are:
- to protect, preserve and enhance the natural environment, more specifically protecting the natural environment from pollution and over exploitation;
- to support and empower individuals, communities, governments and corporations to make changes required to prevent dangerous climate change and drive the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy;
- to advance climate justice;
- to organize and support a global network of Sunrise Project charities collaborating to these purposes
- receiving and granting funds for the achievement of the above purposes.
The Stichting works closely together with The Sunrise Project Australia Ltd (established in 2012) and The Sunrise Project Inc (established in 2022) to scale social movements to drive the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy as fast as possible. The three entities are legally independent organisations, and are bound together by a shared vision, mission and values.
You can review our Policy plan here:
About the Governance of Sunrise International
The Sunrise Project International Stichting has a two-tier governance, with a management board and a supervisory board. Whilst the management board is responsible for the day-to-day operations and is exclusively entitled to represent the foundation, the management board members may be dismissed and appointed by the Supervisory Board. The Supervisory Board also has important approval rights with a list of important decisions, including the amendment of this policy plan or major financial transactions.
The initial members of the supervisory and management boards represent a wealth of international experience in climate change campaigning and movement building.
The Sunrise Project International Stichting Supervisory Board
Claire is passionate about the Sunrise Project’s mission and purpose and brings strategic expertise, business acumen and leadership experience. Claire has a deep understanding of campaigning and the power of activism across international boundaries with over 30 years of senior leadership experience with environmental, human rights, disability and cancer research INGOs/NGO’s in Australia and around the world.
Claire was the National Director (CEO) of Amnesty International Australia (AIA) for twelve years and part of Amnesty International’s Global Leadership Team for a decade. Whilst National Director of AIA Claire oversaw the growth of AIA’s supporters by 400% and the delivery of significant human rights wins in Australia, Asia Pacific and globally. She built, led and developed key partnerships including business leaders, major funders, Indigenous communities and elders and civil society leaders and activist groups and was part of the Board team that developed and implemented major governance reform. Claire is an advisor, coach and mentor to CEO’s, senior executives and Boards and is a Member of AICD, Chief Executive Women, and Women on Boards.
Danny KennedyRead Danny's bio
Danny Kennedy is the Chief Energy Officer for New Energy Nexus, an international organization that supports clean energy entrepreneurs with funds, accelerators and networks that operates programs in China, India, Southeast Asia, and East Africa. He worked at California Clean Energy Fund, and is the President of CalCharge, a public– private partnership in California. Prior to being an entrepreneur, he worked at Greenpeace and other NGOs on climate and energy issues for 20+ years. Danny is based in the United States of America.
Sudha NandagopalRead Sudha's bio
Sudha Nandagopal is a highly regarded organizer, facilitator, strategist, and movement builder focused on democratizing systems of power. Her career includes leadership roles in strategic communications, international organizing, program design, policy creation, and political campaigns. Through this work and her leadership in social, environmental, climate and racial justice organizations, Sudha has developed expertise in multi-sector stakeholder engagement, networks, collaborative problem solving, and building power with communities of color, immigrants, and refugees in the United States.
As Chief Executive Officer of Social Venture Partners International (SVPI), Sudha cultivates and expands a philanthropic network to catalyze more resources to communities around the globe, demonstrate ways for philanthropy to share power and wealth, and build stronger relationships between philanthropists and communities. Under Sudha’s leadership in response to the systemic crises magnified by the COVID 19 pandemic and the renewed global reckoning on racial justice, SVPI launched Reimagine Giving, to inspire donors to become system change advocates. Prior to joining SVP International, Sudha co-founded, in partnership with community leaders, and led the City of Seattle’s Equity & Environment Initiative.
Sudha is a published author and an expert consultant for foundations, local governments, and national environmental organizations. Grist Magazine recognized Sudha as one of their inaugural Grist 50 visionaries who will “lead us to a more sustainable future.” Puget Sound Business Journal recently recognized Sudha as one of the region’s 40 under 40 for her leadership in philanthropy and the social change sector. Sudha holds a degree in Biology and Society from Cornell University which informs her systems thinking and interdisciplinary approach.
The Sunrise Project International Stichting Management Board
John HepburnRead John's bio
John is an activist and social entrepreneur with over twenty-five years experience running environmental campaigns. In 2017 he was an inaugural recipient of the Climate Breakthrough Award which was the catalyst for Sunrise scale its work globally. Prior to founding The Sunrise Project in 2012, John spent a decade leading campaigns with Greenpeace and previously worked on a wide variety of environmental campaigns at a grassroots level. He is the founder of several non-profit recycling businesses which led to him being awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2002. John holds degrees in Manufacturing Systems Engineering and Business Management and before becoming an activist, worked for several years as an engineer making components for the oil, gas and coal industries.
Sam La RoccaRead Sam's bio
Sam La Rocca
Sam is the Co-Director of Sunrise Project Australia. He brings over twenty-five years experience building people powered movements for a socially just and ecologically sane world. Sam holds a multidisciplinary degree in environmental science, and while completing his first class honours thesis on grassroots mobilisation, he co-founded activist education outfit The Change Agency to deliver social movement education, campaign strategy and organising training programs to community groups around Australia and internationally. He’s worked as a senior political advisor in federal parliament and led highly successful electoral campaigns. He has facilitated movement-wide processes for the Climate Action Network Australia and Friends of the Earth International’s Asia Pacific Region; and he has a strong interest in building powerful networks to catalyse system change.
Marijke van LiemtRead Marijke's bio
Marijke van Liemt
Marijke van Liemt joins the Sunrise project as the Chief of Operations for Europe. She brings a broad range of international experience: she started her career at ABN AMRO Bank in the Netherlands, in corporate finance. After leaving ABN AMRO, she worked for 13 years internationally as a coach and trainer in intercultural communications & leadership. She lived and worked in Brazil, the USA, Austria and Egypt, before moving back to the Netherlands in 2016. She worked as manager operations at KidsRights, an NGO advocating children’s rights before joining NLinBusiness as Manager Operations and Partners in October 2017, where she was responsible for setting up the operations.
Marijke holds a MA in Economics (Groningen University), and a MA in Intercultural Competencies (Donua University Austria). She is a certified leadership and organizational systems coach.
Shannon LawrenceRead Shannon's bio
Shannon has more than 20 years of experience addressing climate change and campaigning for environmental justice, living and working in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America. Previously, Shannon was a Managing Director at C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, where she led strategy development, program design and funder engagement for major urban climate action programs.
Prior to joining C40, Shannon spent over a decade campaigning on finance, energy and water issues with global NGO networks and community groups in Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia.
Shannon has a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, with concentrations in international environmental policy and development economics. She has a BA from Georgetown University. She lives with her family in London.
About the Governance of The Sunrise Project
The Sunrise Project is now a global network of independent organisations that share a common mission and common values. The Sunrise Project currently comprises:
- The Sunrise Project Australia Limited (Sunrise Australia), incorporated in Australia > read more here
- The Sunrise Project Inc. (Sunrise Inc.), incorporated in the United States > read more here
- The Sunrise Project International Stichting (Sunrise International), incorporated in the Netherlands in early 2023
Each organisation is a fully independent legal entity with its own board of experienced Directors, who bring deep expertise across climate change, social movements, law, finance, organisational leadership and governance.