8:30 AM – 9:20 AM
Check-in; Coffee and
9:20 AM – 9:30 AM
9:30 AM – 10:30 AM
Our Fragile Moment: How Lessons from Earth’s Past Can Help Us Survive the Climate Crisis
Michael Mann, Keynote Speaker, World-Renowned Author, Climate Scientist & Communicator
For the vast majority of its 4.54 billion years, Earth has proven it can manage just fine without human beings. Then came the first proto-humans. What was it that made this benevolent moment possible? Climate. But the conditions that allow humans to live on this earth are fragile, incredibly so. There’s a relatively narrow envelope of climate variability within which human civilization remains viable. And our survival depends on conditions remaining within that range. Dr Michael E. Mann, science communicator, book author, and Presidential Distinguished Professor of Earth & Environmental Science at the University of Pennsylvania, will arm conference attendees with the knowledge necessary to appreciate the gravity of the unfolding wicked problem of the climate crisis, while emboldening them to act before it’s too late.
10:30 AM – 10:55 AM
From Conflicting Views to Collective Action – A Call for Collaboration
Dealing with the problem of a changing climate in the 21st century and beyond is plagued by the wicked characteristic that stakeholders have radically different world views and frameworks for understanding the problem. Yet, a highly interdisciplinary approach is required. How do we bridge differences in thought and perspective and come together? This session deals with aspects of constructing a new narrative and paradigm for how we approach climate impacts.
10:55 AM – 11:30 AM
Morning Session Introduction
11:00 AM – 11:30 AM
The Climate-Health Nexus: A Call to Action for a Sustainable Future
Rose Jones, Medical Anthropologist, Research & Strategic Lead in Urban Green Health, Texas Trees
Dive into the intricate relationship between human health and climate change, examining the profound impacts of a changing climate on our well-being and the need for collective action to safeguard our planet and our own health.
11:30AM – 12:00 PM
The Mindful Lens: The Role of Environmental Philosophy in Education and Climate Discourse
Rob Dussler, Chief Education Officer, The Meadows
Center for Water and the Environment.
Being mindful – it is a cornerstone for forming a connection with nature, a key facet of environmental philosophy, and an often-overlooked avenue to further the dialogue on climate.
12:00 PM – 12:30 PM
Breaking the Mold: Transforming Higher Education to Match the Acceleration of Our World
David Ruth, Director, STEM Center, UATX.
We live in a time of acceleration that demands we rethink traditional university tertiary education, and UATX has a vision to empower university students to be prepared to address “wicked problems.”
12:30 AM – 1:20 AM
Afternoon I Session:
Thinking Twice, Potential Unintended Consequences, and How We Approach Climate Resilience
Climate change has been recognized as a super wicked problem because there is no true central authority overseeing adaptation efforts. Some seeking “a solution” are also causing the problem, and some policies might even make things worse. This session will provide a prismatic view of conversations required to inform resource use policy and prevent unintended consequences of under-informed policy.
1:20 PM – 1:35 PM
Mike McCoy, Vice President of Climate Impact, Meadows Foundation of Texas.
Non-profit organizations (NGOs) have an important role to play in helping to tackle climate issues. A leader in the sector examines how NGOs are driving positive change.
1:40 PM – 2:10 PM
Sustainable Energy and Urban Infrastructures of the Future
Ryan McManamey, Associate Prof. of
Environmental Science, Baylor University.
Explore how sustainability goals related to energy and urban infrastructures clash with goals for protecting natural land and biodiversity, and learn about integrated solutions to navigate these complex interdependencies.
2:10 PM – 2:40 PM
Adaptation to Climate Change, Water, and Ecological Winners and Losers
Kirk Winemiller, University Distinguished
Professor, Texas A&M University.
Find out how climate change has and is likely to continue to impact ecological systems, with some struggling to keep up, and find out which display remarkable adaptive potential.
2:40 PM – 3:10 PM
Getting Honest About the Human Predicament
Arthur Berman, Director and Geological
Consultant, Labyrinth Consulting Services.
Evidence—view it and use it to challenge a common belief that renewable energy holds the key to solving climate change—then dare to demand a comprehensive approach to energy policy, beyond energy substitution, that also takes account of our biophysical reality.
3:10 PM – 3:30 PM
Afternoon II Session:
Beyond Greenwashing — Shifting Conversations Towards Authentic Climate Interventions
Can we work toward having an authentic dialogue on climate change? How can we shift conversations to focus on genuine management strategies for climate adaptation and resilience, rather than superficial “greenwashed” approaches? What is happening inspirationally, in Texas, relevant to Texas, now?
3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Panel: Time to Grab the Bull by the Horns: Challenges and Opportunities for a Sustainable Lone Star State
- Andrew Sansom, Founder, Meadows Center for Water and the Environment
- Robert Mace, Executive Director, Meadows Center for Water and the Environment
- Enrique Valdivia, Edwards Aquifer Authority, Board Chair and Director, District 7
- Suzanne Scott, Texas State Director, The Nature Conservancy
Though wicked problems have no solution per se, this multidisciplinary panel of experts will debate which strategies and policies are more likely to be productive and why.
4:30 PM – 5:00 PM
In This Together
Trammell S. Crow, Founder, Earth X.
The conventional and dominant, politically charged, environmental narrative serves no one well; it is time to replace it with radical collaboration to ameliorate ecological disaster.
5:10 PM – 7:00 PM
“I can’t drive I-35”
You’ve had an exciting and eventful climate science day. Whether your next destination is the open road or a nearby airport, I-35 is bumper-to-bumper. What’s a climate conference attendee to do? Wait it out at our open bar social event! Relax, meet new friends, and make new contacts. I-35 will still be there, although in somewhat better driving condition, after you do.
Meet and mingle, open bar.