Legendary Weather Anchor Al Roker Joins Aspen Ideas: Climate 2024; Additional Speakers and Programming Announced

January 18, 2024

Hundreds of inspiring climate leaders and innovators will gather in Miami Beach from March 11-13 to explore climate solutions; tickets are on sale now and press are invited to register here.

Miami Beach, FL, January 18, 2024The Aspen Institute and the City of Miami Beach today announced that NBC Today Show Weather Anchor Al Roker will participate in Aspen Ideas: Climate 2024, appearing in conversation with Katharine Hayhoe, Chief Scientist of The Nature Conservancy. Additional speakers announced today include NOAA Chief Scientist Sarah Kapnick, Wildlife Conservation Society President & CEO Monica Medina, and best-selling author, award-winning journalist, and viral speaker Mariana Atencio.

Aspen Ideas: Climate 2024, taking place from March 11-13, 2024, will feature a dynamic combination of main stage events, breakouts, roundtables, excursions, and arts programming focused on mitigating and adapting to climate change. Now in its third year, the event is known for bringing together ambitious problem solvers from all backgrounds and ages from the fields of science, technology, business, politics, the arts, education, media, and more, to share ideas spanning areas of expertise and identify paths forward for addressing a changing climate.

Additional speakers confirmed include:

  • Newsha Ajami, Chief Strategy and Development Officer for Research, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • Kojo Ako-Asare, Managing Director of Blackrock, Decarbonization Partners
  • Donnel Baird, CEO, BlocPower
  • Jake Barton, Founder, Local Projects
  • Gaurab Basu, Director of Education & Policy, Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment Department of Environmental Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  • Mayor Justin Bibb, City of Cleveland, Ohio
  • Lily Brooks-Dalton, Author, The Light Pirate
  • Kim Carnahan, Founder & CEO, Neoteric Energy & Climate
  • Danielle Decatur, Director of Environmental Justice, Microsoft 
  • Kerry Duggan, Founder & CEO, SustainabilID
  • Catherine Coleman Flowers, CEO, Center for Rural Enterprise and Environmental Justice
  • Hilton Kelley, Founder, Community In-Power and Development Association Inc.
  • Thilmeeza Hussain, Co-Founder, Voice of Women; Former Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations, Maldives
  • Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, Miami-Dade County, Florida
  • Pete Malinowski, Executive Director, Billion Oyster Project
  • Gina McCarthy, Former White House National Climate Advisor and EPA Administrator
  • Marissa McGowan, Chief Sustainability Officer, L’Oreal Groupe North America
  • Adam Met, Executive Director, Planet Reimagined
  • Mayor Jon Mitchell, New Bedford, Massachusetts
  • Nathan Ohle, President & CEO, International Economic Development Council
  • Henk Ovink, Executive Director, Global Commission on the Economics of Water
  • Harold Pettigrew, CEO, Opportunity Finance Network
  • Michael Polsky, Founder and CEO, Invenergy
  • Brad Ringeisen, Executive Director, Innovative Genomics Institute
  • Shara Ticku, CEO and Co-Founder, C16 Bio Sciences
  • Dragan Tutic, CEO and Co-Founder, Oneka Technologies
  • Carla Walker-Miller, Founder and CEO, Walker-Miller Energy Services
  • Aimee Witteman, Head of Investment, Rewiring America
  • C Pam Zhang, Author, Land of Milk and Honey

A full confirmed speaker list is available here, with new speakers added every week. Speakers will be interviewed by some of the nation’s leading climate journalists, including TIME’s Justin Worland and Alejandro de la Garza; Cipher Executive Editor Amy Harder; Miami Herald Lead Climate and Environment Reporter Alex Harris; and Atmos Magazine Editor at Large Yessenia Funes.

Programming will explore five key themes: cutting edge climate technologies; innovative design; strategies and tools to finance a sustainable future; elevating grassroot strategies created by communities directly touched by the climate crisis; and narratives of change: captivating stories that inspire change from some of the most unanticipated sources. Among the range of topics attendees will explore:

  • What role does fiction play in conveying the reality of climate change? Celebrated authors C. Pam Zhang, Lily Brooks-Dalton, Jenny Offill, and Téa Obreht speak with Mitzi Rapkin, host of the podcast First Draft: A Dialogue on Writing.
  • Ending plastic pollution: hear from Panama’s Former Minister of the Environment, Mirei Endara de Heras, CEO of Kadeya, Manuela Zoninsein, Chief Sustainability Officer at L’Oreal Groupe North America, Marissa McGowan, and Acting Assistant Secretary Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, Jennifer R. Littlejohn.
  • How can we share the wealth of the energy transition? BlocPower CEO Donnel Baird, Director of Environmental Justice at Microsoft, Danielle Decatur, and Opportunity Finance Network CEO Harold Pettigrew discuss innovative new finance models with the Aspen Institute’s Ida Rademacher.
  • It was an expensive year for clean energy projects and financing at all stages was a challenge, but there’s an upshot, and it is the growing response of private capital to address this challenge. ClearPath CEO Richard Powell, Managing Director of Blackrock, Decarbonization Partners, Kojo Ako-Asare, and other speakers to be announced will explore how private capital can best respond in this new era of climate financing and costly infrastructure.
  • What might the urban coastline of the future look like? Charleston Chief Resilience Officer, Dale Morris, Billion Oyster Project Executive Director Pete Malonowski, and Curtis and Rogers Design Studio Director of Resilience Design Mariana Boldu, share their insights with the Miami Herald’s Alex Harris.

Tickets to the third Aspen Ideas: Climate are on sale now, and press registration is open here. The Future Leaders Climate Summit takes place from March 9-11, bringing together hundreds of the next generation of climate leaders to discuss policy, communications, advocacy, and individual action with climate and energy experts. 

As part of organizers’ commitment to sustainable programming, Aspen Ideas: Climate has partnered with ClimeCo to offset the event’s carbon emissions, funding greenhouse gas abatement projects in Florida. Aspen Ideas: Climate is supported by title sponsors John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Related Group, and the Jorge M. Pérez Family Foundation. Additional sponsors include Howard and Caroline Draft, Ami and Jack Glottman, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, Lennar Foundation, LSN Partners,AstraZeneca, Wells Fargo, Miami-Dade County, and the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority.


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

World-famous Miami Beach welcomes millions of visitors each year to its white, sandy beaches, turquoise waters and vibrant cultural scene. Known for its colorful art deco and MiMo architecture, the 7.2-square-mile island offers some of the finest dining and hotel experiences anywhere along with a beautiful oceanfront promenade that connects South Beach to North Beach. Steps away from the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay, Miami Beach is also at the forefront of identifying workable solutions to meet the challenge of sea level rise.

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