Theme: Panel Sessions

Saturday, December 5th

In the words of the great climate scientist James Hansen “We can’t fix the climate until we fix our democracy.” That does not mean, however, a return to some mythical past, but taking a large step toward democratizing society and organizing governance according to the “original instructions” drawn from the best practices of earlier systems and of our own most compelling visions of the future. The Haudenosaunee (Six Nation Iroquois Confederacy) is one example of effective democratic governance. Franklin Roosevelt’s proposal for a “Second Bill of Rights” (1944) is another, one adapted to industrial democracy. We do not lack for powerful ideas and practical examples, but fulfilling the promise of democracy in our time will require systemic changes that: (a) serve the public good, not the interests of the powerful and wealthy; (b) render the economy subservient to society, not its master; and (c) extend unalienable rights and due process of law to future generations and nature. Hosted by Monika Bauerlein, Co-Editor of Mother Jones. With:  David Orr, founder of the State of American Democracy Project; Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper of the Onandaga nation, Haudenosaunee; Maine State Senator Chloe Maxmin.

December 5th | 12:30 pm to 1:45 pm

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Panelists


David Orr
Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics (Emeritus)
Oberlin College
Monika Bauerlein
CEO
Mother Jones
Oren Lyons
Faithkeeper
Onandaga Nation, Haudenosaunee
Chloe Maxmin
State Senator
Maine

What if women actually did lead the world for the next several years? Likely every metric would improve significantly. Countries with women leaders from Germany to New Zealand, Finland and Taiwan have handled the coronavirus pandemic far better than those led by men. It should not come as a surprise: Rigorous data reveal that social and ecological systems become healthier, more equitable, more democratic and more resilient as a society increases its gender equity and educational opportunities for girls and women, boosts the status and decision-making power of women, and nurtures their leadership. In this dynamic, eye-opening conversation, we’ll hear from an array of skillful grassroots movement leaders and organizers who’ll draw upon their lived experiences to illuminate how women’s leadership is foundational to shifting the course of our species’ future – and how it is doing that now right before our eyes. Hosted by Sahana Darmapuri, Director of Our Secure Future. With: Jensine Larsen, CEO of World Pulse; Vanessa Daniel, CEO of Groundswell Fund; Tia Oros Peters, CEO of Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples.

December 5th | 12:30 pm to 1:45 pm

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Panelists


Sahana Dharmapuri
Director
Our Secure Future
Jensine Larsen
Founder
World Pulse
Vanessa Daniel
Executive Director
Groundswell Fund
Tia Oros Peters
CEO
Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples

The vast biodiversity of our planet is the underlying fabric supporting all life on Earth, but the prognosis is grim: biodiversity rates are continuing to plummet as extinctions of species accelerate. Fortunately, the evidence suggests that there are in fact viable pathways for successful action at a global scale, but only if we mobilize and act decisively and rapidly. In this session, we will learn how we can protect and restore 50% of global landscapes while staying below 1.5°C temperature rise in the next few decades. Projects such as the newly launched Global Safety Net provide a roadmap: a bioregional approach combining world-class science, a clear focus on Indigenous rights and stewardship, support for grassroots action, and a vision for transformative philanthropy. Hosted by Justin Winters, Co-Founder and Executive Director of One Earth, with: Carly Vynne, Strategic Partner at RESOLVE; Oscar Soria, Campaign Director at AVAAZ; Karl Burkart, Managing Director of One Earth; Angela Amanakwa Kaxuyana, part of the senior leadership of the Brazilian Coordination of Indigenous peoples in the Amazon (COIAB).

December 5th | 12:30 pm to 1:45 pm

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Panelists


Justin Winters
Co-Founder and Executive Director
One Earth
Carly Vynne
Strategic Partner
RESOLVE
Oscar Soria
Campaign Director
Avaaz
Karl Burkart
Managing Director
One Earth
Angela Amanakwa Kaxuyana

Brazilian Coordination of Indigenous peoples in the Amazon (COIAB)

How does the country move forward with a meaningful racial justice agenda beyond the Trump years that pushed back against democratic institutions in general and racial justice in particular? How do we address setbacks posed to racial justice over the last four years as well as institutional racism that persists and has never been addressed in the nation’s history? This panel brings together thought leaders in the areas of voting rights, technological futures and immigrants’ rights to discuss where we should focus racial justice efforts for the Biden administration, and how everyday Americans can re-imagine ways of healing the fractured soul of our nation. Hosted by Bakari Kitwana, Executive Director of Rap Sessions, Fellow at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard. With: LaTosha Brown (Black Voters Matter), who considers our urgent need for a Department of Democracy that would protect voters, the cornerstone of our democracy; Mutale Nkonde (AI for the People), who thinks out loud about the ways technology works against Black and Brown Americas via protests, political engagement, social media and criminal justice; and Greisa Martinez Rosas (United We Dream), who challenges us to think broadly about the ways that reinstating DACA is the floor and not the ceiling for bringing justice to the 11 million undocumented immigrants who call this country home.

December 5th | 12:30 pm to 1:00 pm

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Panelists


Bakari Kitwana
Executive Director
Rap Sessions
LaTosha Brown
Co-Founder
Black Voters Matter Fund
Mutale Nkonde
CEO
AI For the People
Greisa Martinez Rosas
Executive Director
United We Dream

The regulatory landscape and social attitudes surrounding visionary plants and psychedelic compounds are in rapid and dramatic flux. A great deal of new scientific research has been revealing exciting potential medical uses for these substances, while dynamic, ever growing subcultures explore their use. But with this explosion in new interest come challenges. Will profit-focused investors seek to corner the legal use of psychedelics and monopolize the resulting profits, further marginalizing the Indigenous cultures who discovered these plants millennia ago and developed powerful healing methodologies with them? Will the underground subcultures that explored their use starting in the mid 20th Century also be thrown under the bus by people in suits? Does this marketing and medicalization risk the “de-souling” of the use of sacred substances? Three longtime leading experts on sacred plant use will wrestle with these and other questions. With: Paul Stamets, one of the world’s leading mycologists and the foremost expert on psilocybin mushrooms; Katsi Cook, a groundbreaking figure in the revitalization of Indigenous midwifery and a longtime participant in peyote ceremonies; Françoise Bourzat, a leading expert on psychedelics as healing agents who did 35+ years’ field work with the Mazatec in Mexico. Moderated by J.P. Harpignies, Bioneers Senior Producer.

December 5th | 12:30 pm to 1:45 pm

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Panelists


Paul Stamets
Mycologist and Author
Katsi Cook
Director
The Spirit Aligned Leadership Program
Francoise Bourzat
Professor
California Institute of Integral Studies
J.P. Harpignies
Senior Producer
Bioneers

Sunday, December 6th

Since the founding of the U.S., a core battle has raged between two irreconcilable forces—democracy and plutocracy. Wealth in the U.S. today is over “two times as concentrated as in imperial Rome, which was a slave-and-farmer society.” If billionaires were a nation, they’d be the world’s 3rd largest economy. Today, mammoth monopolies have once again captured the government and rewritten the law to amass the greatest concentrations of wealth and power in American history, but strong anti-trust movements are rising to break up monopolies, change the law, democratize the economy, and institute democratic governance. Along with efforts afoot in Congress, some of the most important and successful initiatives are now happening at local and state levels. Come learn about the deeper history of this clash that has led us to today’s plutocracy and about the movements and political strategies now gaining momentum to reclaim democracy and distribute power and wealth building. With: Thom Hartmann, author, broadcaster and scholar; Stacy Mitchell, Co-Director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, author, and formidable campaigner to break up Amazon; Maurice BP-Weeks, Co-Executive Director of ACRE (Action Center for Race and the Economy) who works with community organizations and labor unions to create equitable communities by dismantling systems of wealth extraction that target Black and Brown communities. Hosted by Kenny Ausubel, Bioneers CEO and co-founder.

December 6th | 12:30 pm to 12:50 pm

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Panelists


Thom Hartmann
Progressive Talk Show Host
Kenny Ausubel
CEO and Founder
Bioneers
Maurice BP-Weeks
Co-Executive Director
ACRE (Action Center on Race and the Economy)
Stacy Mitchell
Co-Director
Institute for Local Self-Reliance

Movements for transformative justice and abolition have much to teach us about how to heal from harm and violence and rebuild communities grounded in liberation, justice, care and accountability. These movements have long-held visions of a world where each person and community have the basic rights of health, dignity, safety and belonging, without relying on oppressive state systems and punitive justice. They invite us to imagine what is possible when people can self-determine what justice feels like in their own communities, and practice how to build care, accountability, healing and repair on the individual, interpersonal and collective level. In our current moment, people of all ages are lifting up these movements as we all continue to reckon with some of the broken and violent systems of our society. The work to heal these wounds is not new. There is a rich and deep-rooted social ecosystem upon which new life is growing and iterating.      

How can the emerging visions and lessons learned support intergenerational collaborations and young movement leaders in their work today? How can the dreams and lived practices of these movements orient all of us towards more agency and healing in our own lives and the work that we do? What insights can these movements offer us in meeting the current moment of reckoning and rebuilding as well as guide us through uncertain futures? Hosted by Liz Kennedy, Communications Director and Research Fellow at Lead to Life. With: Cory Greene, Co-Founder and Healing Justice Coordinator for How Our Lives Link Altogether (H.O.L.L.A.); Jadyn Fauconier-Herry, a recent graduate of New York University, where she earned her BA in Social and Cultural Analysis; Olka Baldeh, Communications Manager for the Essie Justice Group.

December 6th | 12:30 pm to 1:45 pm

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Panelists


Cory Greene
Co-Founder and Healing Justice Organizer
How Our Lives link Altogether (H.O.L.L.A.)
Olka Baldeh
Communications Manager
Essie Justice Group
Liz Kennedy
Communications Director and Research Fellow
Lead to Life

In this moment of unraveling, a new generation of Black, Indigenous, Latinx and other people of color leaders are generating creative strategic innovations and interventions to combat extractive economic systems and usher in a Just Transition to a new civilization. Join key figures from some of the most dynamic frontline organizations at the forefront of this movement-Climate Justice Alliance, Movement Generation, and New Economy Coalition-as they share stories and practices. They will discuss how they are working to: cultivate local, loving, living, linked communities; democratize the economy (#WealthBack); restore sovereignty (#LandBack); localize control of wealth (#Reinvest); and restore social and ecological well-being ( #JustTransition). Hosted by Natalia Linares, New Economy Coalition. With: Michelle Mascarenhas-Swan, Movement Generation; Doria Robinson, Cooperation Richmond & Urban Tilth; Najari Smith, Cooperation Richmond & Rich City Rides.

December 6th | 12:30 pm to 1:45 pm

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Panelists


Doria Robinson
Executive Director
Urban Tilth
Najari Smith
Executive Director
Rich City Rides
Natalia Linares
Communications Organizer
New Economy Coalition

The current pandemic has starkly revealed what the most thoughtful experts from a wide range of fields, from public health to environmental justice to ecology, have been telling us for decades: human health is completely interconnected with the health of ecosystems and with social equity. If we continue the intense degradation of wildlife habitats, the perennial emergence of virulent zoonotic diseases is all but inevitable. If we don’t rethink our current food system, we’ll continue to confront problems ranging from deforestation to obesity. If we don’t decarbonize our economy, we’ll confront ever-worsening health and environmental degradation. If we don’t address gross social and environmental injustices and structural racism, pollution-induced illnesses and epidemics will be impossible to contain. How do we rise to the challenge and radically restructure our entire approach to health? With: William B. Karesh, Ph.D., Executive Vice President for Health and Policy at EcoHealth Alliance, President of the World Animal Health Organization (OIE) Working Group on Wildlife Diseases and chair of the IUCN Wildlife Health Specialist Group; Howard Frumkin, Professor Emeritus, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Washington School of Public Health, co-editor of the new groundbreaking collection Planetary Health: Protecting Nature to Protect Ourselves (Island Press). Moderated by J.P. Harpignies, Bioneers Senior Producer.

December 6th | 12:30 pm to 1:45 pm

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Panelists


Howard Frumkin
Professor
University of Washington
William B. Karesh
Executive Vice President for Health and Policy
EcoHealth Alliance
J.P. Harpignies
Senior Producer
Bioneers

Within most Indigenous communities of the Americas (and of the world) the cultural and societal responsibilities of womxn play a crucially important role in maintaining the wellbeing of the community—including the ecosystem. Their intimate relationship to Mother Earth ranges from the exchange of water in the birthing process to the role of decision-making within families and clans to ensure a healthy future for subsequent generations. In these especially challenging times, the coming together of Indigenous womxn in leadership is more critical than ever for all people and all cultures to re-evaluate their responsibilities to respect and protect the sacredness of Mother Earth. Join us to hear from three inspiring Indigenous women who come together to discuss how matriarchy, the sacred feminine, and Indigenous ways play an important part in their leadership. Hosted by Cara Romero, Bioneers Indigeneity Program Director. With: Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca), Crystal Echo Hawk (Pawnee), and Naelyn Pike (Chiricahua Apache).

December 6th | 12:30 pm to 1:45 pm

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Panelists


Casey Camp-Horinek
Environmental Ambassador
Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma
Crystal Echo Hawk
Founder and Executive Director
IllumiNative
Cara Romero
Program Director of the Bioneers Indigenous Knowledge Program
Bioneers

Saturday, December 12th

Co-sponsored by the Guayaki Yerba Mate‘s “Come To Life” initiative

Every great movement starts with the individual, expands into communities, and then blossoms into the collective. As Ghandi once said “Be The Change” you want to see in the world. At Guayaki our mantra is “Come To Life.” In the spirit of that vitality we’ve gathered a diverse and dynamic group of creative individuals who have birthed their own movements across genres, gender, and ethnicities. Join us for a digital round table discussion where we explore the unique backgrounds of some of music’s most inspiring innovators while they share their visions for a brighter world, and the pragmatic and passionate steps we can take to make those visions a reality. Hosted by Dustin Thomas, Artist and Creative Strategist for Come to Life. With: Alfred Howard, a prolific spoken-word artist, writer, and co-founder of The Redwoods Music; Leah Song of the renowned group, Rising Appalachia; Raury, hip-hop artist, founder of “The Woods” movement; Luke Wallace, Canadian activist and singer-songwriter. 

December 12th | 12:30 pm to 1:45 pm

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Panelists


Alfred Howard
Co-Founder
The Redwoods Music
Raury
Singer/Songwriter

Many Americans sense that fundamental change is occurring in our country. At one level, the Trump era has undeniably brought intense divisions and trauma, but at a very different, deeper level, in communities nationwide there has been a steady but explosive growth of practical new, transformative and reparative economic, ecological and institution-building initiatives. This outline of a “next political-economic system” is quietly building just below the radar of everyday media awareness, just as what became the New Deal was, in fact, built upon new thinking and experiments developed in state and local “laboratories of democracy” in the decades before Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency. This panel with 4 leaders of The Democracy Collaborative, an R&D laboratory for the democratic economy, will present an overview report from the frontlines of this dynamic movement, which promises to usher in a new era of radical, system-altering change. Hosted by Gar Alperovitz, co-founder. With: Isaiah Poole, Vice President of Communications for The Democracy Collaborative; Johanna Bozuwa, Co-Manager of the Climate & Energy Program; Thomas Hanna, Director of Research and specialist in public ownership.

December 12th | 12:30 pm to 1:45 pm

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Panelists


Gar Alperovitz
Co-Founder
Democracy Collaborative
Isaiah Poole
Vice President of Communications
The Democracy Collaborative
Johanna Bozuwa
Co-Manager of the Climate and Energy Program
The Democracy Collaborative
Thomas Hanna
Research Director
The Democracy Collaborative

Although the New Deal of the 1930s rescued many from poverty and laid the foundation for a social safety net, it was also deeply flawed in that it excluded Black Americans and people of color from many of its programs. As the vision for a Green New Deal to tackle the climate emergency and restructure our economy has evolved, it is imperative we avoid the errors of the past. The rising calls for a Red New Deal inclusive of Native America and a Blue New Deal for our threatened oceans and coastal communities have arisen. In this truly original and dynamic session, we will learn about these emergent, interweaving movements with some of their thought leaders. Moderated by Vien Truong, CEO of Truong & Associates. With: Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, founder of Ocean Collectiv and Urban Ocean Lab; Julian Brave NoiseCat, Vice-President of Policy and Strategy at Data for Progress; Sikowis (aka Christine Nobiss), a member of the Plains Cree/Saulteaux of the George Gordon First Nation in Canada, founder of the Great Plains Action Society.

December 12th | 12:30 pm to 1:45 pm

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Panelists


Julian Brave NoiseCat
Vice President of Policy & Strategy
Data for Progress
Vien Truong
Directs the Climate Justice efforts
Tom Steyer PAC
Ayana Elizabeth Johnson
CEO and Founder
Ocean Collectiv
Sikowis (aka Christine Nobiss)
Founder
Great Plains Action Society

The climate change ship has left the harbor, and what confronts us is the urgent need to accomplish multiple goals simultaneously: reducing and then eliminating greenhouse gas pollution; rapidly scaling up drawdown efforts by returning carbon to the soil; and building the resilience and adaptive capacity in our societal systems to face the multi-pronged crises coming our way. And we must do it all with an equity lens at the center. It’s a tall order, but it’s non-optional. Luckily, there are people and projects all over the country and the world providing effective pathways forward for integrated climate action, using “whole problem” approaches. By leveraging collaboration across multiple sectors, these visionary leaders are outlining revolutionary blueprints for the next wave of essential work we need to do. Moderated by Kerry Fugett, Leadership Institute Manager of Daily Acts.  With:  Trathen Heckman, founder and Director of Daily Acts; Lil Milagro Henriquez, founder and Executive Director of Mycelium Youth Network; Brett KenCairn, Boulder, Colorado’s Senior Policy Advisor for Climate and Resilience and Director of the Urban Drawdown Initiative.

December 12th | 12:30 pm to 1:45 pm

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Panelists


Trathen Heckman
Founder and Director
Daily Acts Organization
Lil Milagro Henriquez
Founder and Executive Director
Mycelium Youth Network
Brett KenCairn
Senior Policy Advisor for Climate and Resilience
Boulder, Colorado
Kerry Fugett
Leadership Institute Manager
Daily Acts

In recent years, Indigenous writers have been claiming space in the literary world to great acclaim. They have also begun to gain access to traditionally white-dominated domains, including Hollywood, comics, and picture books. They are seeking to take control of their representation and to change non-Native narratives. In this Indigenous writers workshop, award-winning writers will tackle such topics as: what makes writing “Indigenous;” how they honed their craft; and ways that they try to make their writing speak truth to power. For allies, there is no better time to learn about the Native literary explosion and how important it is to support Indigenous artists. With: Manny Lieras (Diné, Comanche); Tommy Orange (Cheyenne and Arapaho); Traci Sorrell (Cherokee).

December 12th | 12:30 pm to 1:45 pm

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Panelists


Tommy Orange
Author
There There
Manny Lieras
Title VI Indian Education Coordinator
American Indian Child Resource Center

Sunday, December 13th

People of Color have been marginalized in regards to the production and consumption of, and access to, healthy foods and as a result have far higher rates of food insecurity and of negative health impacts that result from poor nutrition. Three community leaders discuss how they are working to break through the impacts of colonization to develop a community-owned food system that is equitable, profitable and built on respectful relationships. Hosted by Naima Penniman, Program Director at Soul Fire Farm. With farmer, author Leah Penniman; Mohawk seed keeper and farmer, Rowen White; and Rev. Heber Brown, founder of the Black Church Food Security Network.

December 13th | 12:30 pm to 1:45 pm

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Panelists


Heber Brown
Founding Director
Orita’s Cross Freedom School
Leah Penniman
Co-Executive Director
Soul Fire Farm
Rowen White
Founder/Director
Sierra Seeds
Naima Penniman
Program Director
Soul Fire Farm

Come join the conversation about groundbreaking new developments in the effort to recognize the legal rights of nature, including in Indigenous communities now drafting and adopting such laws. We will discuss why communities and countries around the globe are considering this bold step and why treating nature as a living entity with legal rights can revolutionize life on Earth in a system in which courts can be used to enforce rights of rivers, mountains, and forests. Come listen to stories from communities on the front lines, as they mobilize to build a new environmental law system that actually protects the planet. With: Mari Margil and Thomas Linzey of the Center for Democratic and Environmental Rights; Guy Reiter, Executive Director of Menikanaehkem – Community Rebuilders.

December 13th | 12:30 pm to 1:45 pm

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Panelists


Thomas Linzey
Senior Legal Counsel
Center for Democratic and Environmental Rights
Mari Margil
Executive Director
Center for Democratic and Environmental Rights
Guy Reiter
Executive Director
Menikahnaehkem

Although humanity is rapidly degrading the biosphere, condemning countless plant and animal species to extinction, simultaneously there has been a great deal of remarkable new research into plants’ perceptual and cognitive abilities as well as an enormous renewal of interest in certain plants (e.g. ayahuasca, psilocybin mushrooms, cannabis) as potential physical and psycho-spiritual healing agents. This panel of botanical luminaries will share their perspectives on: the growing global fascination with certain plant species and what their embrace tells us about the current zeitgeist; what we can do to help support the land protection and human rights struggles of Indigenous peoples who are the custodians of the world’s greatest plant knowledge in biodiversity hot spots globally; and related topics. With host Mark Plotkin, renowned ethnobotanist and award winning eco-activist, co-founder of the Amazon Conservation Team and best-selling author of such texts as: Tales of a Shaman’s Apprentice and Medicine Quest: In Search of Nature’s Healing Secrets; Karyemaitre Aliffe, MD, physician-scientist, leading expert on the healing properties of cannabis, who has taught at Harvard and Stanford and has 35+ years’ experience in natural products research, including explorations in many remote regions globally; Kathleen Harrison, co-founder, President and Projects Director of the nonprofit, Botanical Dimensions, a revered ethnobotanist renowned for her unique explorations of often hidden aspects of plant-human relationships.

December 13th | 12:30 pm to 1:45 pm

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Panelists


Karyemaitre Aliffe
Executive Officer
Ethicannos
Mark Plotkin
Co-Founder and President
Amazon Conservation Team
Kathleen Harrison
President & Projects Director
Botanical Dimensions

Join an emergent conversation to explore some of the physical, ethical and spiritual ecosystems of our time and consider their interconnections. How might the connective tissue linking nature’s wisdom, quests for social equity and justice, and reverence for the numinous inspire us to co-creatively re-imagine our communities and landscapes, both human and wild? Come savor stories that illuminate such inquires, stories arising from the creative life paths that these women have woven to express their unique callings. Hosted by Bioneers co-founder Nina Simons. With: Terry Tempest Williams, author/activist/educator; Rachel Bagby, author/vocal artist/land steward; Alixa Garcia, poet/musician/artist/activist/educator.

December 13th | 12:30 pm to 1:45 pm

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Panelists


Nina Simons
Co-Founder
Bioneers

In 2018, leading scientists worldwide projected that we have until 2030 to cut global emissions in half, or risk hitting climate tipping points that may be impossible to stop. That same year, Exxon promised its shareholders that it aims to increase oil and gas sales by 25% by 2030. Obviously the Exxons of the world must fail if the world is to avoid catastrophic climate change. In this panel, we’ll learn about three astute strategies targeting the oil majors where it hurts— their bottom line and their social license to operate. The goal is an orderly wind-down of the fossil fuel industry within the next twenty years, while creating the political space for a clean energy economy’s rapid spinning-up. Hosted by Rick Reed, Philanthropic Advisor. With: Sarah Thomas, Senior Advisor to the Funder Collaborative on Oil and Gas; Rebekah Hinojosa, Sierra Club’s Gulf Coast Campaign Representative.

December 13th | 12:30 pm to 1:45 pm

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Panelists


Rick Reed
Founder/Principal
BeeLine Associates
Rebekah Hinojosa
Gulf Coast Campaign Representative
Sierra Club
Sarah Thomas
Co-Founder and Senior Advisor
Funder Collaborative on Oil and Gas