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APRIL 9 | 12-4 PM ET

Thank you for joining us!
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2020 brought so much change to our lives. But the planet is again a priority. Policymakers, businesses, and advocates are channeling the urgency of the moment, addressing climate change, environmental equity, and inclusion


Empowered voices are making change and amplifying new narratives as we run against the clock to prevent catastrophic shifts to our global climate.


How do policymakers, activists, innovators and others who want to inspire action drive people to this critical point?

At the 2021 Planet Forward Virtual Summit, our focus is on the urgency of the climate crisis, environmental equity, inclusion — and the narratives that propel them. Learn how these environmental change agents use storytelling to transform their audiences from passive listeners to engaged doers.

Please make plans to join us on April 9!

 Hope is back. 


 For our people. 

 For our environment. 

 For our world.

A New Narrative for our Planet:

Urgency, Action, and Inclusion


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.




Get a tutorial on how this new platform will work for our event. Then, network with attendees and speakers and visit tables to check out student opportunities — all on our virtual platform.


12:30p — KEYNOTE: Climate Change Beyond a Human Lifetime

There's a problem inherent in the way we're processing the climate crisis: We don't live long enough to truly feel it. National Geographic Explorer and documentary filmmaker John Sutter has launched an unprecedented project to chronicle the future. He’s working with children around the world to tell an entirely new story about the climate crisis — one that lasts longer than we do. Q&A to follow. 


1:00p — KEYNOTE CONVERSATION: Talking Climate and Weather with One of the Most Trusted Voices in America

Legendary broadcaster Al Roker is one of the most recognized figures in American life. On NBC’s Today Show he communicates important weather information to a wide and diverse audience. As a storyteller on NBC’s Climate Unit, he dives into the story of climate change, extreme weather, and solutions for our planet. In this conversation, learn more about compelling climate communication and reaching your audience.




1:30p — CONVERSATION: Meet the Mayor of America’s Hottest City

In 2020, Phoenix, Arizona, experienced 145 days of 100-degree weather. The mayor of Phoenix, Kate Gallego, describes new urban technologies that the city is implementing to battle the dangers of extreme heat.


Then join Planet Forward student contributors Adora Shortridge and William Walker from Arizona State University, and GW's National Geographic Visiting Professor of Science Communication and author of "Hot, Hungry Planet," Lisa Palmerfor a live Q&A about their work looking into feasible and equitable heat-preparedness strategies for some of our most vulnerable citizens. 


Last year we missed the opportunity to connect with you personally at our conference. This year, we’ve created a networking room where you can join a virtual table and connect with sustainability professionals, expert storytellers, and your peers. Learn about careers and communication in sustainability. Each table will have a designated host and is limited to eight participants to encourage personal conversations and connections. We will have two rounds during this session so you can switch tables and meet more people. Don’t worry — we’ll announce our table hosts and share a map of the event, prior to the event so you can plan your networking ahead of time!

3:00p — INSTITUTIONAL IMPACT: Moving Away from Single-Use Plastics

George Washington University recently announced it will phase out single-use plastics on campus. GW President Thomas LeBlanc explains why, how, and what it means.


3:05p — GAME TIME! Let's Talk Storyfest

You’ve published your stories on all year — now we put your stories front and center with a panel of science and media experts. ASU Global Futures Laboratory Steven Beschloss, PBS (WNET) Executive Producer Eugenia Harvey, Project Drawdown’s Matt Scott, and GW Professor Dr. Tara Scully join us to showcase some of the exceptional Storyfest entries for 2021.  


3:20p — ANNOUNCEMENT: The Storyfest Winners

Frank Sesno will reveal the six grand prize winners, each of whom will receive $500 and have 50 trees planted in their names in a National Forest courtesy of our friends at One Tree Planted.

3:30p — KEYNOTE CONVERSATION: Meet the new EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan

This year's Summit is focused on urgency, action, and inclusion. There's no better person to talk to about this than the new EPA Administrator Michael Regan. He is the former secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, where under his tenure he established the state's first Environmental Justice and Equity Advisory Board. Regan received his MPA from George Washington University's Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration in 2004, and he is an alumnus of North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University. He is the first Black man and the first graduate of a historically Black college and university to run the EPA in its
50-year history. 

John Sutter
Al Roker
Kate Gallego
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Steven Beschloss
Eugenia Harvey
Matt Scott
Dr. Tara Scully
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Details from our fall 2020 Planet Forward Summit
We had amazing keynoters join us at our first virtual Summit last fall. Here's what they had to say:
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  • The Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., president and founder of the Hip Hop Caucus and its Think 100% climate communications and activism platform, talked about environmental equity and changing the culture through music and story.

  • Shirley Collado, president of Ithaca College, shared her story of leading deep institutional change and advocating for environmental justice.

  • Susan Jin Davis, Chief Sustainability Officer, Comcast NBCUniversal, discussed corporate commitment and efforts to broaden sustainability awareness and action.

Miss the 2020 Summit, or just want to revisit part of the event? Watch the full program.