Future Leaders Climate Summit to Convene Young People from Around the World Committed to Climate Action

March 7, 2024

In Miami Beach from March 9-11, over 100 Aspen Institute Future Leader Climate Fellows will build networks and receive the tools to address climate change in their communities and across the globe. 

Thursday, March 7, Miami Beach, FL –An international cohort of over 100 Future Leader Climate Fellows will gather on March 9-11 for the Future Leaders Climate Summit, hosted by the Aspen Institute in partnership with the City of Miami Beach. During the summit, a diverse group of fellows aged 22-30 will participate in interactive workshops, training activities, and plenaries centered around the four pillars of the Future Leaders Climate Initiative: climate policy and innovative solutions, storytelling and communications, career development, and strategic leadership.  

The summit serves as a catalyst for the year-long fellowship, which offers robust programming and professional development opportunities dedicated to empowering and uplifting young climate leaders. For a list of the 2024 Future Leader Climate Fellows, visit: https://www.futureleaders.aspeninstitute.org/2024-climate-fellows

During the summit, attendees will have the opportunity to hear from industry leaders across a range of topics and specializations, with many of this year’s speakers including previous cohort members. 

Keynote speakers include: 

  • Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, Chief Scientist at the Nature Conservancy
  • Wawa Gatheru, Founder and Executive Director of Black Girl Environmentalist (‘23 Future Leader) 
  • Adam Met, Founder and Executive Director of Planet Reimagined and member of AJR
  • Pooja Tilvawala, Founder and Executive Director of the Youth Climate Collaborative (‘20 Future Leader) 

A major through-line of the summit is to inspire hope beyond climate doom and pessimism while translating ideas into action. During this year’s closing plenary, fellows will also have the opportunity to join Leia Lowery, Executive Director of The Climate Initiative, and Ariel Maldonado, Youth Engagement Manager at The Climate Initiative, for an interactive workshop focused on developing local climate action plans for the most pressing climate and environment issues of our time. 

Fellows will also have the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of Environmental Justice impacts local communities with Tonyisah Harris, Associate Director of Youth Media Partnerships at Action for Climate Emergency, and Destini Smith, 2022 Future and Leader and Director of Popular Education & Grassroots Leadership at Catalyst Miami.

In climate communications and storytelling sessions, participants will participate in workshops such as “Mis and Disinformation” with researcher Abbie Richards of Media Matters, “Imagining Better Climate Futures” with Tory Stephens and Lisa Jurras-Buchanan of Grist, “Changing Narratives through Coalition Building” with ‘20 Future Leader Orion Camero of the Narrative Initiative, and “Hacking the Media” with journalists Yessenia Funes of Atmos Magazine and Alex Harris of the Miami Herald, in partnership with Redwood Climate Communications. 

In strategic leadership sessions, fellows will gain a greater understanding of driving climate action through local governance in partnership with Citizens Climate Lobby, how religion, climate, and worldviews shape our global future with ‘23 Future Leader Julian Cauzae and Matt Harley of OneJax, how Venture Capital and non-traditional funding empower climate organizations with Atlas Berry of Mission One Capital, Daniel Barker of Halycon House, and Jacquelyn Omosunbo Omotalade from Dream.org, and how crafting personal stories can accelerate your mission with Back Pocket Media. 

Through sessions on policy and innovative sessions, fellows will gain specialized knowledge on climate mobility and migration, building infrastructure in the clean energy transition, place-based knowledge in ocean conservation, historic preservation through the lens of climate, and the grand challenges of climate change – which will address society’s overarching causes of greenhouse gas emissions and emerging solutions for how we can mitigate them. 

This year’s summit will feature immersive excursions for fellows, including a Walking Tour of the Underline, a kayaking Mangrove Clean-up hosted in partnership with Miami WaterKeepers, and a Historic Preservation Art Deco Walking Tour in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Immediately following the summit, Future Leaders will also gain the opportunity to attend Aspen Ideas: Climate, where they will convene and co-collaborate with experts in spaces that have historically excluded the voices of young people. 

For media: Reporters interested in engaging with the Future Leaders Climate Summit or speaking to Fellows from previous years should contact Jon Purves: Jon.Purves@aspeninstitute.org. Aspen Ideas: Climate is accepting applications for press credentials here.

About Aspen Ideas: Climate  

In collaboration with the City of Miami Beach and a diverse group of partner institutions in and beyond South Florida, the Aspen Institute is enlisting global and local policymakers, scientific experts, corporate leaders, inventors and innovators, artists, young leaders, influencers, and engaged members of the public to participate in Aspen Ideas: Climate is a multi-day event that is designed to offer the public a chance to interact, learn, and collaborate with thinkers and doers whose actions are critical to addressing our collective future around the realities of a changing climate. For more information, visit www.aspenideasclimate.org.

About the Aspen Institute

The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization whose purpose is to ignite human potential to build understanding and create new possibilities for a better world. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve society’s greatest challenges. It is headquartered in Washington, DC and has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, as well as an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org.


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