Second Nature 2017 Presidential Climate Leadership Summit

Second Nature 2017 Presidential Climate Leadership Summit l February 13-15, 2017, Tempe, AZ

The 2017 Presidential Climate Leadership Summit is a significant moment and turning point for Second Nature and the Climate Leadership Network. Second Nature will reflect on 10 years of bold climate leadership by higher education institutions, and anticipate the future of the Network and the sustainability movement. The 2017 Summit is designed for campus sustainability teams, including specialized content for presidents, faculty, and staff.

Due to the high caliber of both speakers and attendees — sustainability professionals at the forefront of their fields — peer-to-peer learning experiences will be emphasized through workshops, forums, and facilitated networking. No more than 6 concurrent breakout sessions are planned, to maximize audience to speaker ratios yet allow for breadth of topics for discussion. To view a draft agenda, click here.

Session formats include:

  1. One Big Idea: 10-minute TED-style talk, given by a campus, community or business leader sharing a breakthrough, achievement, insight or other “big idea” that is inspiring, informative, and entertaining.
  2. Presidential Insights: Led by campus presidents, these sessions offer leadership perspectives on current and emerging issues of importance to the campus sustainability movement.
  3. Featured Panel: A main stage panel discussion with a group of national experts offering diverse viewpoints around a particular topic, led by a skilled moderator, followed by audience Q&A.
  4. Dialogue and Discussion: Hour-long breakout session that focuses on tangible knowledge and skills for sustainability leaders and teams.
  5. Partner Showcase: Presented by a higher education institution, together with a business or community partner, these sessions feature challenges, opportunities, and solutions for campus projects. Priority will be given to current Second Nature Corporate Partners and GreenBiz 2017 participants. See the Partnership Opportunities and Benefits Guide to learn more.
  6. Workshops: Three-hour sessions that focus on tangible knowledge and skills. The expanded time frame allows participants the opportunity to dive deeper into a particular topic of interest. Note that workshops will be held on Wednesday afternoon, immediately following the final speaker and before the closing reception, and require registration.
  7. Networking Session: These sessions provide an opportunity for affinity groups or networks to meet and discuss relevant issues.
  8. Tours: In-depth walkthrough highlighting sustainable research, facilities, student-centered work, or other impactful highlights at campuses, municipalities or businesses.

Themes include:

  • Our Impact: Examining the on-campus impact of the Climate Leadership Commitments, and how we institutionalize sustainability, overcome carbon reduction challenges, strengthen the student experience and learning outcomes, capitalize on financing opportunities, and more.
  • Our Reach: Beyond the boundaries of the campus, how can the Commitments impact engagement with communities, guide our approach to resilience, shape partnerships for effective action, and build a more positive and just society?
  • Our Collective Future: Looking ahead to a changed world, how can higher education anticipate and prosper in the face of policy, demographic, climate and technology changes?
  • Our Network: How can the Climate Leadership Network become more generative, influential and effective in our shared mission while emboldening presidential voices and enabling Implementation Liaison action?


"Transforming Investing for a Climate Safe Future" Panel

On this panel, speakers discussed the investment risks and opportunities posed by climate change, what the higher education sector can do in this area, and trends in business and the finance industry related to climate. 

Panel Speakers: 

  • Wim Wiewel, President, Portland State University
  • Bob Litterman, Chairman of the Risk Committee, Kepos Capital; Board Chair, Commonfund; Board Member, WWF
  • Geeta Aiyer, President, Boston Common Asset Management
  • Seren Pendleton-Knoll, Program Director, UC Berkeley Haas School of Business Center for Responsible Business 




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