You Need Gems in this Shopping Bag!

2021 Chicago
Responsible Jewelry

Join us for two days of listening, sharing, and cooperative problem-solving as world government representatives, civil society, and the jewelry industry assemble to create more equitable, transparent jewelry supply chains.

Listen Deeply. Act Collaboratively.

Conference Details


  • November 12-13, 2021

  • All Access Tickets: $350

  • Student Tickets: $50/day

Sponsorships and Scholarships Available

All conference tickets include access to the
Virtual Gem Boutique on Wednesday, November 11.

Need a Price Break on Your All Access Ticket?

We're offering a pay-what-you-can ticket again this year. If you need a price break, please feel free to use this option!


2021 Conference Schedule

Working Schedule, check back often for updates


Friday, November 12
  • 8:00 AM CST
    Conference Opening

    A session by Andrea Hill, CEO, Hill Management Group|Werx Brands; and Susan Wheeler, Founder | Responsible Jewelry Transformative

  • 8:30 am CST
    Keynote: Voices of the Amazon are Calling to Talk to You about your Gold

    A short video produced by friend of the Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference, Chief Lucas Tukano Duarte.

  • 9:00 am CST

    A session by Hans Merket, Researcher | International Peace Information Service (IPIS); Raphael Tshimanga, Hydrology and Water Resources Scientist | Congo River Basin; and Moderated by Susan Crow, Owner & Creative Director | Susan Crow Studio

  • 10:15 am CST
    How laws around sourcing and responsibility, and current cases in the US Supreme Court, affect jewelers

    A session with Wyatt Gjullin, Staff Attorney | EarthRights International; Jennifer Fendrick, Sr. Intl. Relations Officer, Office Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking | U.S. Dept. of Labor’s Bureau of Intl. Labor Affairs; Juliane Kippenberg, Associate Director | Children's Rights Division, Human Rights Watch; and Moderated by Andrea Hill

  • 11:30 am CST
    How Jewelry Industry Funds Flow: the problem with Government Control of Gold in Venezuela, Military Control of Gemstones in Myanmar, Oligarchs’s Control of Mozambique Rubies, and Government Control in Zimbabwe’s Marange diamond fields

    A session with Dr. Joseph Hanlon, Visiting Senior Fellow, Dept. of International Development | London Schools of Economics and Political Science and Visiting Senior Research Fellow Open University | Development Policy & Practice Group; Sara Yood, Deputy General Counsel | Jewelers Vigilance Committee; Louis Marechal, Sector Lead, Minerals & Extractives | OECD Centre for Responsible Business Conduct; Dewa Mavhinga, Southern Africa Director | Human Rights Watch; and Moderated by Annabel Davidson, Editor | Vanity Fair on Jewellery

  • 1:45 pm CST
    Sex trafficking and gender based violence in mines and mining communities

    A session with Dr. Jocelyn Kelly, Director | Harvard Humanitarian Initiative; Grace Njapau Efrati, President | Association of Zambian Women in Mining; Gladys Balance, Gender Studies Lecturer and Researcher; and Moderated by Susan Wheeler

  • 3:00 pm CST
    Be aware of the vulnerabilities in our gold, diamond, and gemstone supply chains through the work of the US Department of Labor

    A session with Caleb Owen, Senior International Relations Specialist | U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking


Saturday, November 13
  • 8:00 AM CST
    Introducing the Ethical Metalsmiths SO Fresh + So Clean 2021 winner and a video presentation on safe studio practices

    With Khajornsak Nakpan and Julia Giangrande, Presented by Andrea Hill

  • 8:30 AM CST
    The Marange Women's Alliance, an Initiative Supported by the Responsible Jewelry Transformative: Stepping Out and Stepping Up

    A session by Billy Matambo, Chairperson | Marange Women's Alliance (MWA), and Senior Officer | Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Workers Union; Abigail Sibanda, Gender Focal Person | Marange Women's Alliance (MWA); Susan Wheeler; and Moderated by Monica Stephenson, ANZA Gems

  • 9:45 AM CST
    CRAFT Code, An Artisanal Mining Assessment: Growing, Modifying, and Morphing

    A session with Patience Singo, Virtu Gem | Technical Advisor on CRAFT Code; Pauline Mundia, Manager | Farmer Communication Outreach Project; Charles Douglas-Hamilton, Consultant | World Bank Energy & Extractives Global Practice; Patricia Ndagano, Consultant | World Bank Energy & Extractives Global Practice; and Moderated by Monica Gichuhi, Extractives Industry Consultant | Virtu Gem and AGEC

  • 11:00 AM CST
    How to elevate a nation's gemstone trade through a single gemcut design

    A session with Dr. Adriano Mol, Professor & Specialist in Gem and Jewelry Design; Jessica Hudson, Owner and Designer | VIPĀKA Jewelry and Founder | The Nomad Jeweler; Lameck Thole, Head, Skills Training & Production | GPLTC; Carol Muchira, Country Coordinator for Virtu Gem in Kenya; Chikomeni Manda, Virtu Gem | Gemstone Miner, Dealer, ASM Advocate and Trainer; and Moderated by Robert Weldon, Director | RTL Gemological Library & Information Center, GIA

  • 1:00 PM CST
    Jewelry Designer Panel: Jewelry designers and retailers committed to clean supply chains and partnerships for change

    A session with Andrea Jose, Creative Director | Peruvian Fine Jewellery, and Founder | Casa Collab; Rachel Sweeney, Cox & Power Jewellery; Kyle Abram, Brand Catalyst | Reflective Jewelry; and Moderated by Kerry Bannigan, Executive Director | Fashion Impact Fund

  • 2:15 PM CST
    Deep sea mining, tailing ponds and mercury in the Amazon: ramifications of mining gold, diamonds, and gems on our worlds water

    A session with Bronwen Currie, Independent Marine Biologist; Marcelo Oliveira, Senior Programme Officer | WWF - Brasil; Daniel Franks, Program Lead, Development Minerals, Deputy Director (Research) | University of Queensland's Sustainable Minerals Institute; and Moderated by Andrea Hill

  • 3:30 PM CST
    Diamond Certification with SCS Global

    A session with Brandee Dallow, Vice President of Sustainability | SCS Global Services

2021 Conference Speakers

Working Speaker List

Andrea Hill

CEO Hill Management Group | Werx Brands

Susan Wheeler

Founder | Responsible Jewelry Transformative

Kyle Abram

Brand Catalyst | Reflective Jewelry

Gladys Balance

Gender Studies Lecturer and Researcher | Midlands State Univeristy

Kerry Bannigan

Executive Director | Fashion Impact Fund

Susan Crow

Owner & Creative Director | Susan Crow Studio

Brandee Dallow

Vice President of Sustainability | SCS Global Services

Annabel Davidson

Editor, Vanity Fair on Jewellery

Jennifer Fendrick

Sr. Intl. Relations Officer | Office Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking | U.S. Dept. of Labor’s Bureau of Intl. Labor Affairs

Daniel Franks

Program Lead | Development Minerals | Deputy Director (Research), University of Queensland's Sustainable Minerals Institute

Julia Giangrande

Ethical Metalsmith Student

Monica Gichuhi

Extractives Industry Consultant | Virtu Gem, AGEC

Wyatt Gjullin

Staff Attorney | EarthRights International

Dr. Joseph Hanlon

Visiting Senior Fellow | Department of International Development, London Schools of Economics and Political Science; Visiting Senior Research Fellow | Development Policy & Practice Group

Jessica Hudson

Owner and Designer | VIPĀKA Jewelry; Founder | The Nomad Jeweler

Andrea Jose

Creative Director | Peruvian Fine Jewellery

Dr. Jocelyn Kelly

Director | Harvard Humanitarian Initiative

Juliane Kippenberg

Associate Director | Children's Rights Division | Human Rights Watch

Louis Maréchal

Sector Lead, Minerals & Extractives | OECD Centre for Responsible Business Conduct

Billian Matambo

Chairperson | Marange Women's Alliance (MWA); Senior Officer | Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Workers Union

Dewa Mavhinga

Southern Africa Director | Human Rights Watch

Hans Merket

Researcher | International Peace Information Service (IPIS)

Dr. Adriano Mol

Professor & Specialist in Gem and Jewelry Design

Caroline Muchira A.J.P. G.G. (GIA)

Gemologist and Gem Cutter | Director at Mkuki Gems & Jewelry Ltd. | Country Coordinator for Virtu Gem in Kenya

Khajornsak Nakpan, PhD

Ethical Metalsmith Student

Grace Njapau Efrati

President |Association of Zambian Women in Mining (AZWIM)

Marcelo Oliveira

Senior Programme Officer | WWF - Brasil

Caleb Owen

Senior International Relations Specialist | U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking

Abigail Sibanda

Gender Focal Person | Marange Women's Alliance (MWA)

Patience Singo

Virtu Gem | Technical Advisor on CRAFT Code

Rachel Sweeney

Cox & Power Jewellery

Raphael Tshimanga

Hydrology and Water Resources Scientist | Congo River Basin

Sara Yood

Deputy General Counsel | Jewelers Vigilance Committee

Bronwen Currie

Independent Marine Biologist

Pauline Mundia

Manager | Farmer Communication Outreach Project

Lameck Thole

Head, Skills Training & Production | GPLTC

Robert Weldon

Director of the RTL Gemological Library & Information Center | GIA