Why Sustainable Now
With scientists concerned with keeping the increase of global temperature below 1.5o C, the population projected to grow 38% by 2050, and human conflicts over access to natural resources continuing to rise. It is paramount that we identify thoughtful, actionable solutions that embed sustainability into the fabric of infrastructure development. We believe that it is critical that we bring the best and brightest minds together to discuss and develop solutions to the challenges confronting global sustainability and it is imperative that we quickly turn these thoughts into action in order to meet the urgency of the global challenge. This series examines challenges confronting sustainable development, works toward a comprehensive solution to address sustainability issues, and creates opportunities to accelerate action to make our world more “Sustainable Now.”
Sustainable Now is more than just a dialogue: it is a forum for fresh, new ideas and a catalyst for developing concrete steps that can accelerate the goals of combating climate change, increasing economic development and improving energy security. By bringing together leaders from industry, finance, utilities, nonprofits, government, policy and academia to participate in brainstorming, solution design, and networking sessions, we can accelerate collaborative action.
Each “Sustainable Now” forum consists of a small “By Invitation Only” gathering (50-60 participants). The goal is to provide an intimate environment suitable for robust, honest and interactive dialogue that leads to the confrontation of existing implementation barriers and exploration of new opportunities with the focus on identifying areas for immediate action. The forum utilizes a “funnel approach” that starts with a foundational framing discussion, which leads to a discussion of current market activity and culminates with an interactive discussion of targeted market opportunities. The funnel approach is designed to generate ideas, connect participants with potential collaborators and maximize forum interaction.
- Framing Conversation – The opening conversation features an interactive discussion with an industry thought leader and establishes a shared foundational knowledge for the forum topic by providing historical perspective, analysis of current activity and exploration of future opportunities.
- Panel Discussion – This diverse panel discussion focuses on the current market activity and examines existing barriers (regulatory, financial, technology and others) and potential solutions based on panelists experience and current areas of work.
- Targeted Opportunities – Selected presenters provide a short presentation (5 min) outlining a specific actionable opportunity or challenge that will be the basis for group discussion during the facilitated breakout sessions.
- Facilitated Breakout Sessions – The breakout sessions are the heartbeat of the “Sustainable Now” forums. These sessions allow all forum participants to take part in vigorous discourse to uncover immediate paths to accelerate opportunities or address challenges in the target opportunity areas. During the registration process, participants will be able to select the breakout session that they will attend and participate.
The “Sustainable Now” series will hold quarterly meetings focusing on 4 core areas, 1) Regional Priorities, 2) Energy and Water Security, 3) Built Environment, and 4) Sustainable Food.
In an ever-increasingly connected world, no single community, state, or country can alone – adequately address the challenges of climate change and optimize opportunities for sustainable development. Only by developing comprehensive and complimentary approaches can the scale be created to attract the capital (human, financial and technical) required to implement effective solutions. We examine opportunities to build scale for sustainable infrastructure development in communities including the Caribbean, Latin America, Southeast Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Appalachia (United States) to name a few.
Energy and Water Security
Access to clean, reliable low cost energy and water is essential to the continued growth of communities around the world from developed to developing and urban to rural. In addition to exploring topics including emerging cleantech opportunities, the changing role of utilities, democratization of infrastructure systems, domestic and international policy prescriptions and innovative delivery systems, we also tackle energy and water poverty, security and equity and its impacts on the poorest communities around the world.
As cities rapidly expand, an essential factor in minimizing environmental impacts is the intelligent structuring and managing of our built environment – existing and new. We examine a variety of infrastructure challenges and opportunities related to net-zero buildings, energy efficiency, transportation (mass transit, clean vehicles, charging infrastructure and fuel conversions), storm water management, smart technology and others with an eye to how the strategic development and implementation of an integrated system yields not only environmental but economic benefits.
The continued transformation of our food systems that focuses on sustainable harvesting, improved supply chains, and more efficient distribution of our food is critical to providing food resources to meet the needs of a growing planet and lessen the strain on precious natural resources. We explore various business models, technologies, and projects including urban farming, hydroponics, sustainable irrigation, waste reduction, sustainable crops and fisheries and others that are essential to the delivery of our food supply.
If you are interested in adding your voice to the conversation and putting your words into action to make the world more “Sustainable Now”, please join us by filling out the form below: