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Keynotes & Plenaries

Hope in Darkening Times: Pathways and Outcomes Worth Creating Together

Keynote:Dr. Susanne Moser, Director and Principal Researcher of Susanne Moser Research & Consulting, in Santa Cruz, CA and Social Science Research Fellow at Stanford’s Woods Institute for the Environment

Hope is somewhere in the mix of reasons, maybe even a central one for, why most of us will be getting together at Local Solutions 2018. Hope – that we can find pathways together to keep climate change to the manageable; hope – that we can identify feasible ways to manage the climate disruptions that we can no longer avoid. Hope – that we find in ourselves and in each other reasonable, cooperative partners to work through protracted difficulties. Hope – that we humans can indeed be wiser in making choices about our present and our future than we seem to muster most days. Hope – for [fill in the blank… your greatest need for things to turn out better than they seem right now]. In this opening keynote, Susi will help us understand what hope is – a strangely misunderstood bird of a feeling – and how we can foster hope in ourselves and in others. Join us for the opening keynote to be inspired to dig deep so we can meet the challenges before us and do what needs to be done, together!

Dr. Susanne Moser is Director and Principal Researcher of Susanne Moser Research & Consulting, in Santa Cruz, CA and a Social Science Research Fellow at Stanford’s Woods Institute for the Environment. As a nationally and internationally recognized expert in climate change communication, the psychological dimension of human responses to climate change, adaptation and science-policy interactions, she works with governmental and non-governmental organizations, researchers and community groups in the US, Europe, Australia and Canada. Dr. Moser is a geographer by training (Ph.D. 1997, Clark University) with broad interdisciplinary expertise, and previously held positions at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, the Heinz Center in Washington, DC, and the Union of Concerned Scientists in Cambridge, MA. She has served on scientific and advisory boards for Future Earth, the International Social Science Council, the International Human Dimensions Program, the National Research Council, and numerous other agencies and organizations. She contributed to the Fourth and Fifth Assessment Reports of the IPCC, served as a Review Editor for the IPCC Special Report on Extreme Events, Disaster Risk Management and Adaptation, and helped scope the IPCC’s Special Report on 1.5 Degrees of Global Warming. She also was a member of the federal advisory committee on the Third US National Climate Assessment, and has lead, co-lead or contributed to regional assessments around the country. She is a fellow of the Aldo Leopold Leadership, Kavli Frontiers of Science, Donella Meadows Leadership, Google Science Communication, and Walton Sustainability Solutions Programs. For more information see:


Designing for Resilience: “Blue and Green” Landscape Infrastructure

Keynote: Nina-Marie Lister; Founder & Director of Ecological Design Lab, Graduate Program Director and Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at Ryerson University in Toronto

Long-term sustainability necessitates an inherent and essential capacity for resilience—the ability to recover from disturbance, to accommodate change, and to function in a state of health. In this sense, sustainability typically means the dynamic balance between social-cultural, economic, and ecological domains of human behavior necessary for humankind’s long-term surviving and thriving. As such, long-term sustainability sits squarely in the domain of human intention and activity—and, thus, design. This should not be confused with managing “the environment” as an object separate from human action, which is ultimately impossible. Instead, the challenge of sustainability is very much one for design, and specifically one of design for resilience.

Be inspired to hear how planners and designers are working collaboratively to provide safe water, food, and shelter; reduce runoff into city streets; accommodate areas prone to flooding and storm surges; rethink parking lots in commercial developments; provide citizens of the world’s cities with more than a sliver of grass in the seam of a sidewalk; restore and heal worn and contaminated sites; and provide joy and economic vitality through green design and infrastructure while achieving transformative resilience.


Nina-Marie Lister is Graduate Program Director and Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at Ryerson University in Toronto where she founded and directs the Ecological Design Lab. From 2009-2014, she was Visiting Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. A Registered Professional Planner (MCIP, RPP) with post-graduate training in landscape ecology and urban planning, she is the founding principal of a creative studio practice exploring the relationship between landscape, ecology, and urbanism. Lister’s research, teaching and practice focus on the confluence of culture and nature: her work centres on landscape infrastructure and ecological processes within contemporary metropolitan regions, and engages systems approaches to develop new methods for urban resilience and adaptive transformation. She is co-editor of Projective Ecologies (with Chris Reed, ACTAR Press, 2014) and The Ecosystem Approach: Complexity, Uncertainty, and Managing for Sustainability (with David Waltner-Toews and the late James Kay, Columbia University Press, 2008), and author of more than 40 professional practice and scholarly publications. Her work has been featured in many planning and design exhibitions including the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montréal, the Chicago Architecture Foundation, the Toronto Design Exchange, and the Van Alen Institute in New York, and most recently as a collaborator in the Canadian exhibit, EXTRACTION at the 2017 Venice Architectural Biennale (curated by Pierre Bélanger). In recognition of her international leadership in ecological design, Lister was awarded Honourary Membership in the American Society of Landscape Architects.


Business Continuity

Moderator: Bob PerciasepePresident, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES)


Patrick Crowl, Chairman of Fun, Woodstock Farmers’ Market

The impacts of climate change—rising sea level, more frequent and intense heat waves, flooding and drought, and other extreme weather events—are imposing significant costs on companies and communities alike. While companies continue to navigate changing business environments, today they also face changing physical environments. Climate change is affecting business facilities and operations, critical supply and distribution chains, as well as access to power and water. These physical impacts also have a human impact on companies’ employees and customers. Climate resilience is not a far-in-the-future possibility, but a right-now reality. All of us—individuals, communities, governments, planners, and businesses—need to work together to figure out how to embrace climate resilience.

Bob Perciasepe is President of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), which is widely recognized in the United States and internationally as a leading, independent voice for practical policy and action to address our energy and climate challenges.

Mr. Perciasepe has been an environmental policy leader in and outside government for more than 40 years, most recently as Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). He is a respected expert on environmental stewardship, natural resource management, and public policy, and has built a reputation for bringing stakeholders together to solve issues. While Mr. Perciasepe served as Deputy Administrator from 2009 to 2014, EPA set stricter auto emissions and mileage standards, increased protections for the nation’s streams and rivers, and developed carbon emissions standards for power plants. Mr. Perciasepe was previously assistant administrator for both the agency’s water and clean air programs, leading efforts to improve the safety of America’s drinking water and development of a new infrastructure revolving fund for drinking water. He also led efforts to lower sulfur levels in gasoline and diesel fuel to reduce smog. In 2002, Mr. Perciasepe joined the National Audubon Society, one of the nation’s oldest conservation organizations, as its senior vice president for public policy. He served as the group’s chief operating officer from 2004 to 2009, and worked to protect wetlands and expand environmental education, especially in urban areas. He has also held top positions in state and municipal government — as Secretary of the Environment for the state of Maryland from 1990 to 1993 and as a senior planning official for the city of Baltimore, where he managed the city’s capital budget. Mr. Perciasepe is a member of the Bank of America National Community Advisory Council, the National Academy of Science Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology, and the National Petroleum Council. He serves on the boards of the Keystone Policy Center and the Environmental Law Institute. He has received American University’s William K. Reilly Award for Environmental Leadership, the Chesapeake Water Environment Association’s Able Wolman Award, the American Lung Association’s Distinguished Service award and the Walter G. Wells Conservation Award. Mr. Perciasepe holds a master’s degree in planning and public administration from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University and a Bachelor of Science degree in natural resources from Cornell University.


Show Me the Money — Financing Strategies for Adaptation


Jessica Grannis, JD, LLM, Adaptation Program Director, Georgetown Climate Center


George Hawkins, Esq. | Chief Executive Officer and General Manager | District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority

States and local governments are developing innovative plans for responding to the threats posed by climate change, but they struggle to implement those plans because they lack the money to make the investments that are needed. In this session financing experts will provide an introduction to different funding and financing mechanisms for supporting adaptation.  And practitioners will explore case study examples of the innovative public and private financing models they have used to implement projects to enhance community resilience, including green infrastructure, clean energy, and multi-benefit public infrastructure projects. The moderator will engage the participants in a discussion of opportunities and challenges for leveraging private financing to support climate adaptation projects.


Jessica Grannis is the Adaptation Program Manager for the Georgetown Climate Center (GCC) and a staff attorney and adjunct professor at the Harrison Institute, at Georgetown University Law Center.  She supervises students and staff and works directly with state and local government officials on projects to help them adapt to climate change. Her recent publications include a book chapter on Coastal Retreat in the Law of Adaptation to Climate Change: U.S. and International Aspects (2012, with Peter Byrne) and an Adaptation Tool Kit for Sea Level Rise (2012). Prior to joining the Climate Center, she was staff counsel for the California State Coastal Conservancy and the Ocean Protection Council.

Upcoming Events


2018 Local Solutions: Eastern Climate Preparedness Conference

Antioch University New England is hosting the 2018 Local Solutions: Eastern Climate Preparedness Conference on April 30, May 1 and May 2nd 2018 at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester, NH.
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