Ben Klasky is a nonprofit CEO, public speaker, and social entrepreneur. He directs IslandWood, an outdoor education organization headquartered near Seattle, which is consistently recognized as one of the Best Places to Work by Outside Magazine, and has won numerous awards for its programs. IslandWood's core work is creating meaningful learning experiences for urban children in nature.
Ben speaks and writes regularly about the benefits of getting kids exploring and learning outside. He is a regular blogger at Huffington Post and has given a TEDx Talk. Ben has spoken publicly at conferences and venues throughout the world - and has taken the stage at Town Hall, 5th Avenue Theatre, and Benaroya Hall in his hometown. His speaking topics include:
- Overcoming Parental Fear of Letting Kids Play Outside
- Technology and Nature
- Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Time Spent Outside
- Nature Deficit Disorder
- Environmental Education and Recreation
- Experiential Education in the Outdoors
- Getting Diverse Audiences Outdoors
- Nonprofit Leadership
Please contact Ben if you'd like him to keynote, moderate, or speak at your event.
Ben teaches a graduate course on Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Washington, and seminars in Nonprofit Management through Seattle Pacific University. He has been appointed by two different Governors as an advisor to boost Washington's education system, environment, and economy. And, he has served on seven different boards in the corporate, government and nonprofit space - having held officer roles at many of them. Ben is the co-founder of Camp Galileo innovation camps for kids, which has grown into the largest set of day camps in the San Francisco Bay Area. He taught elementary school in Louisiana with Teach For America in its founding years and subsequently worked on its staff. While earning his MBA, he also created the first-ever Board Fellows program (now "Board Governance Lab"), which has been replicated at over 80 business schools around the world.