BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana University and its Kelley School of Business are joining more than 20 leading Midwestern higher education institutions, non-profits and local governments convening to develop a Midwestern response to the climate crisis.
To accelerate climate action in the short term, the Midwest Climate Summit on Friday, Oct. 2 will present a series of virtual keynotes and workshops, which organizers hope will set the stage for ambitious activities with partner organizations in the spring.
Kelly Eskew, clinical professor of business law and ethics at Kelley, is on the steering committee, along with Janet McCabe, professor of practice at the IU McKinney School of Law and director of IU’s Environmental Resilience Institute; and IU student Izzy Diagostino, program coordinator for the Integrated Program in the Environment.
The Think Tank Kick-Off will take place from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (EDT) and will feature as keynote speaker Robert Bullard, an internationally-renowned, award-winning environmental researcher, scholar and author. He has been called “the Father of Environmental Justice” and is the former dean of the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University.
Other TED-style talks will feature:
- Isra Hirsi, co-founder of the U.S. Youth Climate Strike
- Chris Caldwell, President and Director of the Sustainable Development Institute, College of Menominee Nation
- Katherine Wilkinson, author, strategist, teacher, and editor-in-chief at Project Drawdown
- Heather McTeer Toney, National Field Director, Moms Clean Air Force
These sessions are free and open to the public, and will be followed by four workshop tracks focusing on climate action, science and research, teaching and education, and outreach and engagement. Additional sessions will take place Oct. 9, Oct. 23, Nov. 6 and Nov. 20, also will feature a keynote address and workshops.
Eskew also is serving as co-chair of the Teaching & Education and will moderate the Oct. 23 discussion. She is among a significant contingent from IU that also includes Gabriel Filippelli, a Chancellor’s Professor of earth sciences at IUPUI and director of the Center for Urban Health, who is co-chairing the Science & Research subcommittee. He will serve as a moderator for the Oct. 9 session. McCabe is leading the Outreach & Engagement subcommittee.
Ultimately, this group work will help cross-sector organizations to expand their partnerships and efforts in advance of the Spring 2021 Summit.
“The summit is an exciting opportunity for IU to participate in building a climate community of practice across Midwest institutions,” Eskew said. “I look forward to moderating a robust discussion on teaching climate throughout the curriculum, identifying shared learning goals and developing educational strategies.”
Students will have several opportunities to be actively engaged, including through a Nov. 6, conference, an art competition that allows them to tell the story of climate change in the Midwest and how it affects them personally, and a virtual job and networking fair on Nov. 13. The fair will provide undergraduate and graduate students with a platform to learn and connect with a broad array of organizations leading on climate, sustainability, and environmental issues.
Support for the Midwest Climate Summit comes from Bloomberg Philanthropies. Washington University of St. Louis is the home institution. IU Bloomington and IUPUI are among the summit partners.