Aspen Ideas: Climate Showcase
Miami Beach, Florida
March 6-9, 2023
During the week of March 6-9th, 2023, The International SeaKeepers Society attended the Aspen Ideas: Climate showcase in Miami Beach, FL. Aspen Ideas: Climate is designed to offer the public a chance to interact, learn, and collaborate with thinkers and do-ers whose actions are critical to addressing our collective future around the realities of a changing climate. The week was packed full of speakers, art installments, and technology aimed at addressing various secondary environmental and public health issues that have or will arise from climate change. Some of our favorite parts of the week were:
Monday, March 6th was the kickoff plenary for the week, where speakers highlighted the need and space for various areas of the community to be involved in climate advocacy. Education was one aspect emphasized, particularly for underrepresented communities like rural women and girls, etc. Athletes and businessmen also took part in the conversation on climate adaptation and the roles we have to lobby for and financially support. To close out the day, the Mayor of Miami Beach spoke about the city’s plans to combat the impacts of climate change and sea level rise.
Tuesday, March 7th was a full day of breakout sessions and plenary talks, some of the most notable being a panel with global environmental and housing justice activists and scientists discussing managed retreats from coastlines. Especially here in South Florida and along the US Gulf Coast, the panel mentioned the complexities of managed retreat when social, racial, and housing equity concerns are brought into the conversation around sea level rise. Other breakout topics included food insecurity and building resistance coastlines through restoration projects and intelligent infrastructure.
Wednesday, March 8th was another full day of events, with highlights including a panel on Charging Forward: Transportation, Electrification, and Resilience panel mostly focused on solutions to electrify our world using green energy and finding ways to store it effectively. The next panel focused on “Schooling the Climate Crisis” where young girls were very inspiring and talked about their school experiences relating to the climate crises and how we can empower the next generation to take action and develop the skills needed to thrive in an increasingly changing planet. In the third panel of the day, speakers went in depth about how they communicate the climate crisis to the world using different mediums like journalism, photography, television, and social media. The final panel of the day included Vice President Kamala Harris, Colombian ex-president Ivan Duque and several executives from Bank of America and Goldman Sachs. The panel focused on the path forward and included interesting conversations on the conservation of the Amazon, the obstacles in the path to net zero, and what a clean transition means for our future.
Thursday, March 9th was the final morning of the showcase and focused largely on products and methodologies that were created to combat different challenges arising from climate change, including energy usage and transportation. The morning was used largely as an opportunity to summarize important topics from the week and provide action items for individuals or organizations to purchase or use to combat the impacts of climate change in their everyday lives or work.
The Aspen Ideas: Climate showcase was a unique and interesting event where SeaKeepers was able to hear from other scientists, non-profits, and even politicians about the future of combating climate change and what progress still needs to be made to ensure a survivable future. We look forward to seeing what other green ideas and technologies are created in the future to help SeaKeepers with our mission to create a more sustainable and productive future for the yachting industry.