2018 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit


Second Nature and the Intentional Endowments Network are pleased to host the 2018 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit. Join your peers from February 4-6, 2018 in Tempe, Arizona for the largest national gathering of higher education presidents, chancellors, trustees, and other senior leaders committed to accelerating climate solutions.

Working together with business, state and local leaders, the higher education sector can and will shape the future of America’s global climate leadership. After the US Administration’s announcement to withdraw from the international Paris Climate Agreement, Second Nature, the Climate Leadership Network, and other sector partners stepped in to fill the void through the We Are Still In (WASI) coalition.

To achieve the Paris goals, approximately $1 Trillion per year in climate solutions investments are needed. Members of the Intentional Endowments Network are leading the conversation to support endowments in contributing to that goal, in ways that protect and enhance long-term financial performance. As investors, endowments have another powerful, but often under-utilized, voice in driving climate solutions, setting an important example, and offering exciting educational opportunities for students.

The Summit will turn the WASI cross-sector alignment into performance and action. It will relate big ideas to tangible actions with senior leadership teams leaving the event well prepared to tackle some of the biggest climate challenges -- individually, collectively with other campuses, and across sectors.


See the full agenda here:

Location: DoubleTree Hotel, 2100 South Priest Drive, Tempe, AZ 85282


What will happen?

  • Attendees will share an understanding of the top priorities and opportunities for climate action in 2018 on individual campuses, collectively as a sector, and in alignment with other sectors
  • Senior leaders and senior leadership teams from the Intentional Endowments Network and Second Nature's Climate Leadership Network will be inspired by and have greater perspective in the power of collective action to advance globally-relevant climate goals in alignment with the mission and strengths of higher education
  • Cross-sectoral leaders will recognize the important role higher education can play in leading and convening local collectives as a result of national goal-setting
  • Attendees will have a greater appreciation for new tools and skills that they can bring to help solve the grand challenges identified at the Summit


  • Presidents and Chancellors
  • Trustees
  • Chief Business Officers
  • Senior Sustainability Directors
  • Chief Investment Officers
  • Investment advisors and managers
  • Business Leaders
  • Philanthropy leaders 
  • Local government representatives
  • Representatives from "We Are Still In" [the Paris Climate Agreement] organizing coalition


Why Second Nature and IEN?

Both Second Nature and the Intentional Endowments Network are built on the belief that networks support, facilitate, generate and encourage higher education’s leadership on climate action. Our organizations are built on the strength of collaborative action and learning, fostering innovation, affecting policy and building capacity. SN and IEN understand that mobilizing capital internally and through investments are critical for campuses to achieve their climate goals and that engagement of the private sector is crucial to mobilizing the capital needed to create a low carbon economy.


About Second Nature

Second Nature is committed to accelerating climate action in, and through, higher education. We do this by mobilizing a diverse array of higher education institutions to act on bold climate commitments, to scale campus climate initiatives, and to create innovative climate solutions. We align, amplify, and bridge the sector’s efforts with other global leaders to advance urgent climate priorities. The Presidents’ Climate Leadership Commitments, a signature program of Second Nature, is based on the premise that bold commitments to climate action and resilience by higher education leaders yield positive changes at their institutions, and beyond.



About the Intentional Endowments Network

The Intentional Endowments Network is a non-profit, peer-learning network advancing intentionally designed endowments – those that seek to enhance financial performance by aligning with institutional mission, values, and sustainability goals.  Working closely with leading organizations the network engages leaders and key stakeholders from higher education, foundations, business, and non-profits. It provides opportunities for learning and education, peer networking, convening, thought leadership and information exchange around a variety of strategies (e.g., ESG integration, impact investing, and shareholder engagement).




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