West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum and partners will host the West Michigan Climate Resiliency Conference on Monday, October 6 at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in downtown Grand Rapids. The capstone of the West Michigan Climate Resiliency Framework Initiative, the full-day event will introduce participants to national and local thought leaders on climate resiliency in the public and private sectors, a line-up of experts in climate change adaptation, emergency preparedness, stormwater management, organizational vulnerability and energy innovation.
The conference will also serve as the pilot for a Toolbox for philosophical intervention to communication issues inherent in climate change adaptation and related topics, designed for the National Science Foundation’s Research Network for Sustainable Climate Risk Management and developed through a series of meetings with West Michigan stakeholders hosted by WMSBF earlier this year. This part of the summit will help define shared opportunities for local organizations to respond to the key issues associated with climate change.
Keynote speaker is David Titley, Director of the Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk at Penn State University. The center helps organizations and citizens prosper and succeed in today’s and tomorrow’s weather and climate environment by taking advantage of all the skill in weather and climate forecasts. Dr. Titley is a nationally known expert in the field of climate, the Arctic, and National Security. He served as a naval officer for 32 years and rose to the rank of Rear Admiral. While serving in the Pentagon, Dr. Titley initiated and led the US Navy’s Task Force on Climate Change.
After retiring from the Navy, Dr. Titley served as the Deputy Undersecretary of Commerce for Operations, the Chief Operating Officer position at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Dr. Titley has spoken across the country and throughout the world on the importance of climate change as it relates to National Security.
Selected other plenary speakers include: Larissa Larsen, University of Michigan Associate Professor and co-author of the U.S. Green Building Council climate resiliency study; Dan Scripps, president of Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council; Michael O’Rourke, Michigan State University Professor, Director of the NSF-Sponsored Toolbox Project; Chuck Lippstreu, Michigan Agri-Business Association; Haris Alibasic, Director of the City of Grand Rapids Office of Energy & Sustainability; Jim Patchett, Founder and President of Conservation Design Forum; Aaron Ferguson, Project Manager & Health Educator, Climate & Health Adaptation Program, Michigan Dept. Community Health; and Dale Sands, Senior Vice President & Global Practice Director, AECOM.
The conference is presented in partnership between West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum, Penn State University’s Rock Ethics Institute, Michigan State University, Amway, Grand Rapids Community Sustainability Partnership, U.S. Green Building Council West Michigan and Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council.
Registration includes all program materials, continental breakfast, lunch and one complimentary drink during post-conference reception. Cost is $35 if paid online, $45 via invoice and at the door. Half day options available.