Our program tracks, or event themes, guide conversations among global and local policymakers, scientific experts, corporate leaders, inventors and innovators, artists, young leaders, influencers, and engaged members of the public.
Aspen Ideas: Climate takes place in Miami Beach, Florida, May 9–12, 2022.
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Long before climate scientists sounded alarms about physical threats to cities' capacities to withstand extreme weather, fire, water rise and more, communities were already building resiliency. But now the effects of climate shifts are felt on our doorsteps. It's more important than ever to ensure the mainstays of a strong community—good schools and hospitals, safe housing, desirable jobs, and green spaces—are protected and enhanced. Building resilience into communities requires multi-faceted strategies. Fresh approaches to architecture, design, urban planning, and infrastructure investment are critical. Equally important is strengthening the resilience of all people and the places they live and work. How do we address equity in this space? How are small towns and big cities alike driving change by empowering activists, storytellers, and teachers to share ideas? And for communities destroyed by disaster, can we imagine a framework for relocating citizens with dignity and respect? As we work to adapt to new, frequently calamitous realities of a changing climate, this track spans the kinds of design innovations and stories of resilience that inspire everyone towards real change.
While government policies and funding are crucial to scaling climate solutions, the private sector has a critical role to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, building a climate-smart economy, and helping our communities adapt to climate change. From new sustainable business models, green investing, and billionaire philanthropic bets to individual charitable acts, this track will examine what’s working and what’s not. What are the best ideas for enabling a just and inclusive transition to a net-zero economy? How can corporate leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, philanthropists, and average citizens contribute to climate solutions?
Clean Power, Bright Future
Our coffee makers, phone chargers, washing machines—our lives—are powered by the humble flip of a switch, click of a plug, or press of a button. Convenience is so ubiquitous, it’s easy to lose sight of where the energy that powers it comes from. Fossil fuel combustion for energy, predominantly through transportation and electric power sectors, accounts for roughly 74 percent of total annual U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.. As the principal instigator of the climate crisis, how can society transform the way in which we power our world to work with—not against—Mother Nature? Is electrifying our economy and powering it with clean energy within our reach? What policies, technologies, and innovations do humans need to deploy to achieve clean energy solutions? Who will help us get there and how do we ensure no one is left behind?
Earth on Offense
Climate change represents a clear and immense danger to our terrestrial and ocean ecosystems. And with growing threats from ocean acidification and deforestation, both land and sea are victims of our rapidly warming planet. Hope lies, however, in repositioning our earth as the offensive player it can be in halting climate change and uplifting the innovative solutions that lie within our ecosystems. The discussions in this track will provide a framework to view agriculture and food systems, forests, and the ocean as key tools in what will need to be a rapidly expanding toolbox. Can we challenge the common adaptive approaches that unnaturally bifurcate land and sea, and instead frame solutions through a broader systems approach? Sometimes the best defense is a good offense, and our earth’s ecosystems together offer the solutions necessary to beat the climate crisis.