Leading Together 2019 Conference - Climate Impact & Vulnerabilities

Climate Impact & Vulnerabilities Concurrent Sessions

Throughout history, from the Green Revolution to the proliferation of renewable energy at local levels today, foundations have catalyzed action that helps communities adapt to changing ecosystems. Today, major environmental grantmakers are calling for increased investment in climate initiatives, since less than 2 percent of philanthropic dollars fund climate-related initiatives. How are foundations helping to create more resilient communities in the US and around the world? Learn how foundations of all types are responding to climate’s complex challenges, from work on energy systems to strengthening infrastructure and funding technological innovation.

Fire & Water: Foundations on the Front Lines of Climate (No Matter What We Call It)

Tuesday, April 30 — 10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Place-based funders tackle a range of geographic, social and political challenges. This session provides a case study of how two Foundations in seemingly polar environments are gaining ground. From Redding, California to Miami, Florida we explored: How are private sector, nonprofit organizations and government collaborating to address risks to the economy and our most vulnerable communities? What is the role of the philanthropic sector to support an investment in the human and physical infrastructure needed to protect our future?

Speakers: Alex Carter, Director of Land Management, the McConnell Foundation; Yana Garcia, Assistant Secretary for Environmental Justice and Tribal Affairs, California Environmental Protection Agency; Rachel Hatch, Program Officer for Community Vitality, The McConnell Foundation; Kabir Kumar, Senior Director, Community, Walmart Foundation; Dawn Shirreffs, Director of Public Affairs, The Miami Foundation
Moderator: Nadege Green, Journalist, WLRN News

Building Inclusive Conversations Around Climate Action

Tuesday, April 30 — 3:15 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.

Addressing climate change is not going to be achieved by any single constituency. Securing substantive and lasting policy solutions to expanding clean energy requires broader political acceptance and a diverse coalition of stakeholders with different objectives. In this session, hear from a conservative who views clean energy solutions through a national security and economic development lens, a former Obama Administration official who’s building community power projects in big cities and the rural South, and an Atlanta native working to engage low-income, communities of color in an equitable transition to clean energy.

Speakers: James Dozier, President, Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions; Michelle Moore, Chief Executive Officer, Groundswell; Nathaniel Smith, Founder/ Chief Equity Officer, Partnership for Southern Equity
Moderator: Mijo Vodopic, Senior Program Officer, Climate Solutions, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

In the Wake of the Storm: Philanthropy as a Tool for Resiliency and Community Development

Tuesday, April 30 — 3:15 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.

We live in an increasingly unstable and volatile climate causing wider spread damage across the United States. A spotlight was briefly placed on the challenges facing America’s isolated Territories in the US Caribbean following the devastation of two Category 5 Hurricanes in September 2017.   In the wake of those storms, progressive new models of philanthropy that support under-served and vulnerable communities emerged that go beyond grantmaking and nurtures an innate resiliency and holistic community approach. Hear why community philanthropy plays a critical role in responding to disasters.  Explore the type of matrix required to manage the variables in disaster recovery.  Understand the need for philanthropy to be aligned with a public-private partnership for resiliency. 

Speakers: Yoca Arditi-Rocha, Executive Director, The CLEO Institute; Dee Baecher-Brown, President, Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands; Deanna James, Executive Director, St. Croix Foundation for Community Development
Moderator: Lindsey Linzer, Senior Director of Programs and Grants Administration, The Miami Foundation

Scaling Up Climate Resilience Around the World

Wednesday, May 1 — 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Increasing temperatures and extreme weather events will have profound effects on the economies and health of the world’s most vulnerable communities. In this session, participants learn how foundations are working to build resilience to climate change by investing in innovative local actions that can be scaled up and replicated nationally, regionally, and globally. Highlighted cases include examples from a range of geographies and explore the role that partnerships play in working with governments, civil society, and the private sector to build climate resilience globally.

Speakers: Hernán Blanco, Program Director, Fundación Avina; Lindley Mease, Climate Leaders in Movement Action (CLIMA) Fund Coordinator, Thousand Currents; Suzanne E. Siskel, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, The Asia Foundation 


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