October 16, 23, 

1-3 pm ET

October 30

12:30-2:30 pm ET



Climate change is the story of our generation, and what defines that story is how we tell it — and the action we take because of it.
All around the world, new voices — emerging as powerful changemakers — are running against the clock to prevent irreversible shifts to our global climate.


These are the new activists, innovators, policymakers and others who inspire audiences to take action in their local communities. But, how do they drive their audiences to this critical point?

At the 2020 Planet Forward Virtual Summit, our focus is on environmental equity, inclusion, institutional change — and the narratives around them. Learn how the best environmental change agents use storytelling to transform their audiences from passive listeners to engaged doers.

Join us October 16 and 23, 1-3 pm ET; and October 30, 12:30-2:30 pm ET.


Zoom links will be sent prior to each week's event for both the main

conversation and breakouts.

We have amazing keynoters we'll engage in conversation

each week: 

  • October 16: The Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., president and founder of the Hip Hop Caucus and its Think 100% climate communications and activism platform, will talk about environmental equity and changing the culture through music and story.

  • October 23: Shirley Collado, president of Ithaca College, will tell her story of leading deep institutional change and advocating for environmental justice.

  • October 30: Susan Jin Davis, Chief Sustainability Officer, Comcast NBCUniversal, will discuss corporate commitment and efforts to broaden sustainability awareness and action. Then, joining Susan for Q&A is Al Rokerweather & feature anchor, and 3rd hour co-host of TODAY!

President Collado.jpg


October 30

All times ET; Zoom links will be sent in advance of the event

12:30-12:45 pm


  • Frank Sesno, Founder and Host, Planet Forward

  • Students TBA

12:45 pm


12:50-1:02 pm


Interview with Susan Jin Davis, chief sustainability officer for Comcast NBCUniversal, on corporate efforts to broaden sustainability action, investment, and reducing environmental impact.

1:02-1:30 pm


Live Q&A with Susan Jin Davis and TODAY Show's Al Roker about sustainability, media, and impact. 

1:30-2:30 pm


Transforming Chaos to Action: Systems, Storytelling, and Creating Change

Join Britt Basel from Ecothropic and Curt Gervich from SUNY/Middlebury for an interactive workshop moving from chaos and complexity to action. 


Together, we’ll tackle how to make real change by unravelling complex systems, finding leverage points, and harnessing storytelling. We'll explore case studies from the South Pacific and Mexico and how you can apply these techniques to the issues that drive your passion and purpose. 

Sustainability Careers: How You Can Help Corporations Take Urgent Action on Climate Change

How are the world’s largest and most influential corporations tackling the climate crisis? There is a growing web of companies working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for business clients and their communities. During this interactive session, you’ll have a chance to explore how consultants and marketing professionals use storytelling techniques to influence companies to minimize their use of Earth’s finite resources. First, you’ll put yourself in the shoes of a climate consultant creating a carbon portfolio for a client, and then you’ll hear about career opportunities across this rapidly growing industry. The session will be led by representatives from renewable energy, transportation decarbonization, and climate solutions provider, 3Degrees.

Giving the Green Light to Green Energy

Where we get our energy from makes a world of difference. Literally. While more families are opting for greener energy to power their lives, organizations are stepping up to the plate, too. Emissions? Let’s cut them. Fossil fuel dependence? Time to end it.


In this session, we’re talking about what lights up our world, how it’s time for it to change for the better, and what organizations are doing about it. From utility companies to universities, the call to green energy is loud and clear. Students will have the opportunity to learn from and network with some of the biggest players in green energy — and learn how they can launch into a career in green energy, too.

  • Meghan Chapple, Director, GW Office of Sustainability (moderator)

  • Anushree Kedia, CustomerFirst Renewables

  • Mackenzie Mathews, D.C.'s Department of Energy & Environment

Communicating Climate Change in the 21st Century: Challenges & Opportunities

The George Washington University Debate & Literary Society is proud to present the 2020 Communicating Climate Change Speech Competition in partnership with Planet Forward. 

Last semester, GW undergraduate students were asked to submit speeches on the theme of “Communicating Climate Change in the 21st Century: Challenges & Opportunities.”


GW Debate finalists Josh Kutner and Emma Murphy will discuss two distinct issues regarding communicating climate change. We will listen to the two presentations, ask questions, and Director of GW Debate Paul Hayes will explain important communication and framing techniques when discussing pressing issues to broad and diverse audiences.



Learn why inspirational stories are the most motivational - and effective - to drive action.


Learn the very best in communication techniques that you can apply immediately to your environmental stories.


Learn how you can create a movement for the planet on your campus and in your community.


Connect with leading journalists, policymakers, innovators and more and apply for exclusive internship and job opportunities.





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