Meet our featured guests... 

Melissa, Camilla, Jim & Laura

May 4

Melissa Berton

& Ruby Schiff


Melissa Berton (below left) is an Academy Award-winning producer for Best Documentary Short (2019) for PERIOD. END OF SENTENCE. 

A LA-based teacher and writer, Melissa is the Founder & Executive Director of The Pad Project, a non- profit organization dedicated to the principle that “a period should end a sentence, not a girl’s education.”


In recognition of her human rights work to promote menstrual equity, Berton received the 2019 Eleanor Roosevelt Global Women’s Rights Award.  The film we will be experiencing screened across the U.S. at film festivals in 2018, premiered on Netflix in February 2019... and won the 2019 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short. 


Ruby Schiff (above right) is an Executive Producer of this film and one of the Co-Founders of The Pad Project.  She now serves as an advisor for The Pad Project's first ever Ambassador Program. A graduating senior at Kenyon College (Psychology & Women and Gender Studies), she will be attending USC (University of Southern California) in Fall to pursue her Masters in Marriage & Family Therapy (MFT).

Ruby’s work in gender equality started in ninth grade.  As a member of the Girls Learn International Club, she and four other students were selected as delegates for the United Nations on the Commission on the Status of Women.  Accompanied by their English teacher, Melissa Berton, they discovered the significant drop-out rate of adolescent girls around the world, primarily due to the stigma and lack of resources surrounding menstruation.


With Melissa’s continued mentorship, she and five other students formed The Pad Project as a non-profit to combat this issue. A Kickstarter campaign followed to fund a low-cost, sanitary pad machine in Hapur, India and the Academy Award winning documentary, Period. End of Sentence

A New Chapter... Book Due Out in May:  

Inspired by the documentary and written by New York Times bestselling author of The Red Tent, Anita Diamant is her newest book, Period. End of Sentence.: A New Chapter in the Fight for Menstrual Justice. Melissa wrote the foreword for this a collection of essays about periods that explore the cultural roots of menstrual injustice and celebrate a new generation of activists and innovators working to end period poverty and stigma through advertising, art, comedy, and other mediums. 

The Pad Project


May 18

Laura Turner Seydel

Laura is an international environmental advocate and eco-living expert who is dedicated to creating a healthy and sustainable future for our children.  

As the Chair of Captain Planet Foundation and a Director of Turner Foundation and far beyond, Laura works with and supports organizations that address urgent challenges affecting the health, functionality and vitality of our life support system: our air, water, land, food, biodiversity and climate.


Her leadership and involvement is far-reaching and includes her roles as:

  • The Chair of the Captain Planet Foundation, whose mission is to empower and engage youth to become environmental stewards through hands-on projects, 

  • A passionate board member of the Children & Nature Network, which helps children grow up realizing the many benefits of exposure to nature,

  • The Co-founder and Chair of Mothers and Others for Clean Air, which fights for the health of our children, through improved air quality for at-risk populations,

  • The board member of Project Drawdown, which focuses on measuring the top scalable solutions to address global warming,

  • A Patron of Nature with the International Union for Conservation of Nature, which addresses the extinction crisis,   

  • The Co-Founder of Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, which protects the drinking water of more than 5 million Georgians, 

  • A Board Trustee of the Waterkeeper Alliance, an international consortium of over 300 waterkeeper groups, which works to achieve the same safe-water mission worldwide.

  • The Vice Chair of the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, which leverages and protects important environmental policies that protect the air, water, land and especially climate.


Additional organizations she serves include the Turner Foundation, United Nations Foundation, Nuclear Threat Initiative, JST Foundation and the Turner Endangered Species Fund. 

Laura lives with her husband, Rutherford, in Atlanta in the first LEED-certified gold residence in the United States.


May 11

Camilla Becket & Jim Becket





Jim and Camilla Becket launched Becket Films in 2005 with a mission to focus on international environmental issues, social justice, and health. The Seeds of Vandana Shiva embodies the notion of The Power of One.  The date of the premiere has not been set but it is imminent.

Jim brings to his filmmaking additional experiences as a human rights lawyer, journalist and author. As Director of Public Information for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva, he made several films about refugee problems around the world. Moving to LA, he worked as a screenwriter, producer and director of TV and narrative films. More recently he has co-produced several documentaries on contemporary environmental issues, including The Green Patriarch, The Amazon: The End of Infinity, The Arctic: The Consequences of Human Folly and El Misterio del Capital de los Indigenas Amazonicos. Jim’s awards include festival Best Film awards, two Humanitas awards, and a George Foster Peabody award.


Camilla grew up in apartheid South Africa and was an activist in the anti-apartheid movement. She managed outreach for independent publishers who originated works by anti-apartheid thinkers and artists, including Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. She has co-produced several Becket Films projects, including films for the Religion, Science, and Environment series about besieged water bodies around the world and what can be done to restore them.

The Seeds of Vandana Shiva

SSR at a Glance


Stone Soup Ripple brings people together for connection that moves us forward, personally and professionally.  This is what Founder Christine Leuthold refers to as ‘the ripple"... those planned and unplanned forces that transform initial encounters into much more. 

Here are a few ways we do this:

  • We create unique opportunities that blend compelling content with Featured Guests and meaningful group interaction,

  • We provide a way for participants to Add a Ripple via voluntary contributions, of which 100% go to support the vision and work of Featured Guests,

  • We offer single-session Pop-Up Gatherings for a taste of our community,

  •  For deeper dive into content and each other, we offer programming in a series format.

  • In our Private Discussion Groups where participants in a specific series or pop-up can connect as a group

  • On our Members page, where we can follow and connect one-on-one with each other.  At individual pop-up gatherings which offer a taste of our community.

  •  The SSR Blog is an open forum for all who visit and invites contributors.