Vision For Our Future

Climate luminaries and action leaders will converge at the virtual Sustainability Symposium 2024: Existential Solutions on April 17 & 18 to outline compelling reasons why we should be hopeful about the future.

Each year, I am convinced that the agenda for our annual Sustainability Symposium is better than the last, and this year’s program may be our most impactful yet. 

Green Builder Media’s 8th annual Sustainability Symposium 2024: Existential Solutions , held virtually on April 17 & 18 from 12:00-3:00 ET each day, will transcend climate rhetoric and dive deep into actionable solutions for our planet's most pressing challenges. 

While the Climate Emergency sets the stage, our focus is on the future—a future where resilience, innovation, and community activism pave the way for a sustainable world. Best of all: It’s free!

2024 Sustainablity Symposium

Massive System Change

Day 1 of the Symposium, April 17, will kick off with Jon Creyts, CEO of Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and Green Builder Media’s 2024 Sustainability Superhero. Jon will spotlight deep decarbonization solutions that catalyze market transformation, such as advanced technology, strong climate policy, low-carbon energy infrastructure, and sustainable finance mechanisms.  

John will discuss the concept of radical collaboration to drive massive system change, as well as shifting economics that are spurring the adoption of revolutionary climate solutions. His optimistic presentation will outline how we’re hitting negative tipping points in nature at the same time we’re hitting positive ones in markets, and that we’re well-poised to tackle the climate emergency.

Next up, author and futurist Michael Barnard will offer projection scenarios for a regenerative future. He’ll highlight breakthrough innovations that are leading us to a decarbonized economy, such as electrification technologies, mass hydrogen, distributed energy, demand-side management solutions, and embodied carbon standards. His stimulating session will feature real-world examples and replicable case studies of climate solutions that are working today.

Internationally esteemed economic and social theorist Jeremy Rifkin will close out the first day with a rousing discussion about how we’re shifting from the Age of Progress, which elevated humans to the dominant species on Earth while decimating other species and natural resources, to the Age of Resilience, which will fundamentally transform the way we live on a rewilding Earth.  

“We’re in an extinction event, and the bottom line is that all of the infrastructure on this planet—energy, communications, mobility, buildings, logistics—is a stranded asset,” Jeremy avows. “Buildings alone are worth $320 trillion, and they’re all stranded assets because they weren’t designed for a climate that is warming. We need to rethink everything.”  

In his session, Jeremy will not only explore bold solutions like additive manufacturing and 3-D printing, he’ll also outline why he is so enthusiastic about the future. 

“Accompanying this fundamental transformation of how we live on Earth is the rise of youth,” Jeremy insists. “Gen Zs are protesting on the streets—it’s the first time that an entire generation is calling for climate action. They see themselves as an endangered species and their fellow creatures as part of their evolutionary family. There has been a real transformation in consciousness.”

Climate Activism in Action

Day two, April 18, starts off with the captivating youth climate activist Xiya Bastida, founder of the Re-Earth Initiative and organizer of the largest climate strike in New York City with 300,000 participants. Xiye will discuss the intersectional youth climate action movement and its multi-pronged focus on litigation, climate justice, negotiations, and communication. Xiya will explain why the climate crisis is actually a communication crisis. 

“We think in language,” Xiye insists. “If we change our language, we change how we think. If we build a world from rage, we’re going to build an angry world,  If we build a world with optimism, hope, and joy, that world with manifest. It’s hard to love in a world that is broken, but we have to keep being that light.”

Next on April 18, Ashlee Piper will explore how we’ve reached historically low levels of consumer trust, with nearly 70% of younger consumers believing that companies greenwash very often. 

“It really boils down to the commodification of sustainability,” Ashless asserts. “Consumers are more educated about the climate crisis than ever before. Younger generations see the physical manifestations of climate change all around them, and they are deeply worried about their future. They’re scared—understandably.”  Ashlee will offer solutions for remedying confusion, apathy, and eco-anxiety, and she’ll discuss how authentic action and enhanced transparency help engender hope and build trust.  

Finally, yours truly will wrap up the day with a synopsis of the hottest sustainability trends that are revolutionizing the market, including the seismic demand for Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) strategies, game-changing climate disclosure regulations that are already transforming the business landscape, and the imperative quest for high-quality carbon offsets that will enable us to reach our climate goals. 

Believe me, this is an event you don’t want to miss.

Registration is free, so reserve your spot today!

A heartfelt thank you to Trane Technologies and Whirlpool Corporation for their continued support of our annual Sustainability Symposium, as well as their total commitment to corporate sustainability. 

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