Knight Foundation & Related Group and Jorge M. Pérez Family Foundations Announced as Title Sponsors of Inaugural Aspen Ideas: Climate

February 16, 2022

Organizations will sponsor Aspen Ideas: Climate over three years; additional details & initial speakers announced for event set to take place May 9-12 in Miami Beach

Contact: Jon Purves
Associate Director, Media Relations
The Aspen Institute 

Miami Beach, FL, February 15, 2022 – The Aspen Institute and City of Miami Beach today announced that the joint title sponsors of Aspen Ideas: Climate will be the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (Knight Foundation) and RelatedPhilanthropic Foundation (Related Foundation) and the Jorge M. Pérez Family Foundation (Pérez Family Foundation). Together, these organizations will support Aspen Ideas: Climate in a three-year commitment to what will become an essential annual climate solutions event in Miami Beach. The inaugural Aspen Ideas: Climate is set to take place May 9-12, 2022, as a multi-day gathering focused on global and local solutions to the climate crisis. Passes to attend are available now.

Aligned with its mission to foster democracy through informed, engaged, and equitable communities,  Knight Foundation’s support for Aspen Ideas: Climate will be directed towards broadening the accessibility and digital reach of the program.  Knight’s sponsorship will support a new effort to bring conversations from Aspen Ideas: Climate to diverse audiences from around the world through the creation of engaging and innovative digital content and experiences.

A resilient community working toward climate change is necessarily an engaged community, and effective engagement begins with understanding issues and options. Knight’s support of Aspen Ideas: Climate seeks to ensure that people can meaningfully address climate change in their communities,” said Alberto Ibargüen, president and CEO of Knight Foundation. “In the world we live in, that means full utilization of digital technology.”

The Related Group and Jorge M. Pérez Family Foundations together aim to shape a South Florida that is thriving, engaged and serves as a model community for major cities around the globe. Their philanthropic leadership has been critical to filling gaps and empowering diverse programs across South Florida, primarily those that involve arts and culture, health and well-being, education, the environment and economic development.  Aspen Ideas: Climate will act as an international showcase for the region’s innovation and resilience, helping to further enhance South Florida’s reputation as being at the forefront of solutions to the climate crisis.

“Our collaboration with Aspen Institute’s latest program brings us one step closer to fulfilling our long-term vision of building a resilient and prosperous South Florida,” said Jon Paul Pérez, President of Related Group and eldest son of renowned philanthropist Jorge M. Pérez.  “Through our three-year commitment to the organization, we are uniquely positioned to help inspire progress towards sustainable practices, especially across the real estate development industry, and have an outsized impact on how the region addresses the climate crisis as a whole.”

A first group of speakers participating in Aspen Ideas: Climate was also announced today. Speakers include: Colombian President Iván Duque Márquez; New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell; Kleiner Perkins Chairman John Doerr; architect and OMA Partner Shohei Shigematsu; Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks Superintendent Pedro Ramos; Sustainable Oceans Alliance founder Daniela Fernandez; Center for Rural Enterprise and Environmental Justice founder Catherine Flowers; and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. Miami-area Mayors Daniella Levine-Cava, Dan Gelber, and Francis Suarez will feature throughout the event. Interviews will be conducted by distinguished journalists including Financial Times Editorial Board Chair Gillian Tett; and Telemundo Senior Correspondent Vanessa Hauc. A full list of speakers shared today is available here, which will be updated weekly with new announcements.

Organizers also shared updates about some of the opportunities attendees will have to engage with environmental and cultural points of interest across Miami-Dade. They include Resilience Tours led by the City of Miami Beach to showcase mitigation and adaptation efforts in Miami Beach; exclusive access to the SUSTAIN Tank at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, which can simulate up to category-5 hurricane force winds; a snorkel cleanup hosted by Debris Free Oceans to clean up the coral reefs offshore of Miami and Key Largo.

The public will also have free access to a number of Aspen Ideas: Climate cultural activations, including Abraham Cruzvillegas’ Agua Dulce sculptural installation at the Bass Museum, featuring 23 different species and more than 1,000 plants to create a plant environment in front of the museum. The Lowe Art Museum will feature Norwood Viviano’s Cities Underwater exhibit as well as Coral City Camera: A Hybridization of Art, Technology, and Science, a multimedia work and research tool by artist-scientist duo Coral Morphologic and presented by Bas Fisher Invitational (BFI) and Bridge Initiative. The full list of trips and tours is available to view here.

These organizations have long histories in seeking to elevate the discussion of these important issues,” said Mayor Dan Gelber. “Aspen Ideas: Climate will be an incredible annual opportunity to make progress on the climate crisis facing our planet thanks to their generous support.”

“We are grateful to our partners at Knight Foundation and Related Group and Jorge M. Pérez Family Foundations for their three-year title sponsorship of Aspen Ideas: Climate,” said Dan Porterfield, President and CEO of the Aspen Institute. “Their sustained support further establishes Aspen Ideas: Climate as a critical convening designed to drive change on perhaps our world’s most pressing challenge: the climate crisis. This investment will enable the Aspen Institute and our partners to expand the event’s reach in and beyond South Florida and make even deeper impacts as a result.”

Aspen Ideas: Climate will bring together policymakers, scientific experts, business and technology leaders, innovators, designers, conservationists, artists, young leaders and the public. The event will be held in locations across Miami Beach, including the New World Center, the Miami Beach Convention Center, and The Bass Museum of Art. 

The agenda, which is subject to change, includes morning mainstage sessions, afternoon breakout sessions, and evening sessions. In the evenings, programming will be “Wallcast” onto the side of the New World Center, with the public invited to watch Aspen Ideas: Climate for free from SoundScape Park. Receptions across the city, ancillary events and excursions will take place throughout.

Editor’s Note: Members of the media intending to cover “Aspen Ideas: Climate” can register interest 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, DC, 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.

As social investors, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation supports democracy in America by funding free expression and journalism, arts and culture in community, research in areas of media and democracy, and in the success of American cities and towns where the Knight brothers once published newspapers. Join us for the 15th Annual Knight Media Forum, to be held virtually Feb. 22-24. Register for free at and follow @knightfdn on social media.

The Jorge M. Pérez Family Foundation at The Miami Foundation fulfills the philanthropic vision of Jorge M. Pérez, chairman and CEO of The Related Group, his wife Darlene, and his family to shape a South Florida that is thriving, engaged and serves as a model community for major cities around the globe. The foundation was launched in 2015 to build on Jorge and Darlene’s deep commitment to charitable giving and establish a permanent legacy their children can carry forward. Since then, the Pérez family continues to build on their willingness to give—most recently they donated their family home to the Foundation, making it the largest, and most unique gift ever received to date.

Related Philanthropic Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Related Group, Florida’s leading developer of sophisticated metropolitan living and one of the country’s largest real estate conglomerates. The Foundation was created to help fulfill the company’s vision of building vibrant cities through the transformation of urban life at the intersection of art, culture, education and community development. Related Group allocates 2% of its profits to the Foundation, which provides financial support to be able to address economic and social issues that affect the communities where they build and live. Related Group’s staff also play an active role in supporting the Foundation’s mission, as many of them are members of South Florida charities that positively impact the community, including YoungArts, United Way, Florida International University (FIU), Miami Film Festival, Adrienne Arsht Center Foundation, among others.

View Comments