Rebecca Van Bergen

Founder & Exec Dir
Nest

"Rebecca van Bergen is the founder and Executive Director of Nest, a New York City non-pro t organization that is working side-by-side with the world’s most promising artisans, to sustainably develop their small busi- nesses while simultaneously promoting peace, prosperity, and female empowerment.
Following a long-time dream of making a positive impact on the world throughout he power of capitalist forces, Rebecca van Bergen graduated with her Masters Degree in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri in 2006, with a rm idea for Nest already planted.
Recognizing craft as a cornerstone of emerging economies around the world, Rebecca saw an opportunity to transform craft into a tool for positive social and economic change. By empowering artisans with the modern tools, training and market access necessary to revive their crafts, Rebecca was determined to create a place of prestige for ancient artisanship within world of modern high-end retail and designer fashion; she founded Nest just two weeks follower her graduation at the young age of 24.
As a pioneering woman, wife and mother, Rebecca has made female empowerment a focal point of Nest’s social goals, identifying artisan business partners that promote female employment; as well as building female safety, job security and leadership into every Nest development project. In her personal and professional life, Rebecca is vocal about encouraging women leaders to embrace“the feminine business mind,” which uniquely integrates compassion into all business endeavors.
As a result of her groundbreaking, three-pillared approach to global development, social enterprise and female empowerment, Rebecca was named one of the St. Louis Business Journal’s “30 under 30,” which recognizes the achievements of young entrepreneurs and executives.
She appears regularly in media including PBS’s Agents of Change, and was identi ed as a CNN “Young Person Who Rocks.” Among Nest’s accolades, the organization was a featured charity at the Sundance Film Festival and has been recognized by the Clinton Global Initiative."

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Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.