Aspen Ideas: Climate Announces New Speakers, Latest Plans for Climate Solutions Event in Miami Beach

January 18, 2023

Confirmed speakers include science educator Bill Nye; former Colombian President Iván Duque Márquez; climate justice activist Catherine Coleman Flowers; former U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp; Congressman John Curtis; former Education Secretary John B. King, Jr; and Bezos Earth Fund President & CEO Andrew Steer.

Contact: Jon Purves
The Aspen Institute

Veronica Coley
City of Miami Beach

Miami Beach, FL, January 18, 2023 – The Aspen Institute and the City of Miami Beach today announced more speakers participating in the second Aspen Ideas: Climate, as well as plans for excursions to locations across Miami-Dade, and new details on programming. Policymakers, scientists, business leaders, technologists, artists, educators, and journalists will gather to address one of the world’s greatest challenges. Tickets to attend are on sale now, while members of the media are invited to apply for press credentials.

Aspen Ideas: Climate event is set to take place from March 6-9, 2023, with hundreds of leaders and climate innovators engaging with the public to focus on climate solutions. Through high-profile discussions with leaders on the main stage, private roundtables, field trips, musical performances, and a climate tech exposition, experts and leaders of all backgrounds will tackle the climate crisis through a solutions-oriented lens. 250 people ages 18-30 will also travel to Miami to participate in the Future Leaders Climate Summit, taking place ahead of Aspen Ideas: Climate from March 3- 6, 2023. 

Among the speakers now confirmed:

  • Benji Backer, President and Founder, American Conservation Coalition
  • Imani Black, Founder and President, Minorities in Aquaculture
  • Tommy Caldwell, Professional Climber; Writer
  • Gerardo Ceballos, Ecologist & Conservationist
  • Catherine Coleman Flowers, Founder of the Center for Rural Enterprise and Environmental Justice and Vice Chair of the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council
  • John Curtis, U.S. Representative of Utah’s 3rd District and lead of the Conservative Climate Caucus
  • John Englander, Oceanographer and sea level rise expert
  • Cheryl Holder, President of the Florida State Medical Association and co-chair of Florida Clinicians for Climate Action
  • Iván Duque Márquez, former President of Colombia (2018 -2022)
  • Rodolphe el-Khoury, Dean of the School of Architecture at University of Miami
  • Jean Flemma, Director of the Ocean Defense Initiative
  • Heidi Heitkamp, Heidi Heitkamp, Former US Senator (D), North Dakota; Director of the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago
  • John B. King, Jr, SUNY Chancellor, Former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education
  • Eleni Myrivili,  Chief Heat Officer for Athens, Greece; Global Chief Heat Officer to UN Habitat
  • Sandeep Nijhawan, CEO, Electra
  • Bill Nye, Science Educator, Engineer, Television Host, Author
  • Kate Orff, Founder and Principal of the landscape architecture firm SCAPE and director of the Urban Design Program at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture
  • Colette Pichon Battle, Partner of Vision & Initiatives at Taproot Earth
  • Andrew Steer, President & CEO of the Bezos Earth Fund
  • Bret Stephens, New York Times columnist
  • Shalini Vajjhala, Founder & CEO, Re:Focus Partners

The full speaker list is available here. Many more speakers and programming details will be announced in the coming weeks.

Programming at the event will address key themes critical to solving the climate crisis, including the future of energy, community-led solutions, building a climate-smart economy, the resilience of our planet, and designing the future today. New for 2023, the Climate Innovation and Technology Expo will provide an exclusive stage for startups, public and private companies to pitch climate action solutions, while the Climate Energy and Career Fair will provide an opportunity for companies to recruit students and professionals across multiple disciplines. Details of an arts program will be announced in the coming weeks, showcasing the role that culture plays in advancing climate solutions.

Excursions and participatory experiences will also take place during  Aspen Ideas: Climate, offering event participants the opportunity to explore sustainable initiatives in the Miami-Dade region and access facilities normally inaccessible to the public. Among the planned trips and experiences:

  • Scuba Cleanup hosted by the nonprofit Debris Free Oceans.
  • City of Miami Beach Resilience Tour discussing the climate challenges Miami Beach faces every day and highlighting the mitigation and adaptation efforts facilitated by intergovernmental and community collaborations.
  • Clean Miami Beach Cleanup hosted by nonprofit Clean Miami Beach.
  • University of Miami SUSTAIN Laboratory Wind-Wave tank exclusive guided tour of the Alfred C. Gassell, Jr. SUSTAIN Laboratory wind-wave tank which can generate Category 5 hurricane force winds. SUSTAIN provides scientists and engineers access to critical observations within a realistic but controlled environment to study the impacts of hurricane and storm surge events on coastal communities. 
  • FIU Microgrid Tour led by Florida International University faculty and students of the newly-launched FIU microgrid and control room to help advance research on renewable energy and increase communities’ resilience to extreme weather and power grid events. 
  • Oleta National Park Kayaking Tour in Florida’s largest urban park.
  • Biscayne Bay Boat Trip exploring the breathtaking views of Biscayne Bay by water.

As part of organizers’ commitment to sustainable programming, Aspen Ideas: Climate has partnered with Carbon Fund to offset the event’s carbon emissions, funding improved forestry management in Florida with a tree planted for each registration. 

Aspen Ideas: Climate is supported by title sponsors John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, RelatedPhilanthropic Foundation and the Jorge M. Pérez Family Foundation. Additional sponsors include Amazon, American Airlines, Bank of America, Deloitte, Delta, General Motors, Ami & Jack Glottman, GMCVB, Alex Kleyner & Diana Ullis, Lennar Corporation, LSN Partners, Major Food Group, Morgan Stanley, Rutamaya Coffee, Thoma Bravo, Valor Equity Partners, Verizon, Wells Fargo, and Witkoff Group.

For media: Journalists interested in attending Aspen Ideas: Climate as covering reporters are invited to apply for press credentials here.


The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado and an international network of partners. For more information, visit

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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