The Southern Data Science Conference is ecstatic to have two Orlando locals presenting our keynotes on October, 18th. Chris Castro and Shawnna Hoffman are two of the most influential people in our region and they are paving the way In their respective endeavors. Take a look into the career and life of Chris Castro in our first keynote highlight.
Chris is currently the Senior Advisor to Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Director of Sustainability, and Co-chair of Smart Cities for the City of Orlando. He works daily to develop partnerships, policies, and programs that support the sustainability, clean energy, & climate resilience goals of Mayor Dyer's Green Works Orlando initiative.
In 2008, Chris co-founded IDEAS For Us, an international 501c3 nonprofit & UN-accredited NGO, working to incubate global environmental solutions and fund local action that advances the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In 2013, he helped co-create "Fleet Farming", a renowned urban farming program that is redefining local food systems by building distributed organic farms on homeowner lawns through neighborhoods and communities in the U.S.
Chris has held sustainability & energy-related positions with University of Central Florida, Orange County Government, and the U.S. Department of Energy. In 2012, Chris also co-founded a clean energy consulting firm, Citizen Energy, that provides custom energy efficiency & renewable energy solutions as a service for commercial buildings in the Washington DC Metro area.
In addition, Chris has been recognized for his effort as an environmental leader; including being named a ‘Champions of Change' by the U.S. White House & Obama Administration, the 'Guru of Green' by the Orlando Business Journal, the Grist 50 Fixer Award, Top 30 Under 30 sustainability professionals by GreenBiz, and formal recognition from President Bill Clinton, President Jimmy Carter, and Vice President Al Gore.
As a thought leader, Chris has spoken at more than 100+ conferences and events, including the United Nations Rio+20 Summit, Smart Cities Week DC, SEPA Grid Evolution Summit, NASA Kennedy Space Center Innovation Expo, Sustainatopia, TEDx Orlando, and more.
As a sustainability and clean energy professional, eco-entrepreneur, urban farmer, and community organizer working to accelerate the transition to smart, resilient, and sustainable cities, Chris is a one of a kind talent in our region. He will speak to the evolution of Orlando and his commitment to these pursuits that move forward with building a data driven infrastructure that will support safer, cleaner and more efficient travel and an improved quality of life for our community.