Plenary Sessions

Global to Local—Assessing and Addressing Changing Climates

Monday, July 11, 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. MDT

Mounting pressures from compound disasters are motivating leaders to reimagine how to equitably design and advance risk reduction measures. Scientific climate change assessments can inform actions to address these emerging disaster risks from global to local scales. This opening plenary session will describe the process and findings of international (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), national (U.S. National Climate Assessment), and state (California’s Climate Change Assessment) assessments, as well as regional and local engagement on climate change and health equity. Panelists will discuss how the findings of these assessments can be translated into state- and local-level action, with an emphasis on working to center equity. The panel will also highlight opportunities for engagement among researchers, emergency managers, and others in ongoing climate assessment and hazard mitigation activities.

Justice40—Confronting Climate Change and Racial Inequity

Tuesday, July 12, 8:30 to 10:00 a.m. MDT

In 2021, the Biden-Harris Administration identified racial inequity and the climate crisis as top priorities. Because these issues intersect, the Administration created the Justice40 Initiative, which aims to deliver at least 40 percent of federal investments in climate and clean energy to disadvantaged communities. The Administration has issued interim guidance on implementing the initiative, but processes for making and monitoring progress are still in early stages. This challenge is particularly acute for hazards management—including mitigation, response, and recovery—given that funding mechanisms are difficult to monitor and assistance is often granted based on qualifications other than financial need. This panel will bring together representatives from core federal agencies to discuss Justice40 and its current state of its practice.

On the Move—Climate Relocation and Social Justice

Tuesday, July 12, 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. MDT

Worsening social inequality and the effects of climate change are making the need for conversations about when, where, and how vulnerable people move from at-risk and disaster-affected areas more urgent. This plenary will focus on the environmental and social justice dimensions of climate relocation. Panelists will discuss and debate what concepts such as fairness and equity mean in a rapidly changing environment. Domestic and international case studies will offer a holistic approach to understanding how diverse communities are grappling with planned retreat strategies to adapt to the threats posed by climate change.

Public Communication of Science Lightning Talks

Wednesday, July 13, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. MDT

Please join us for this plenary session which promises to inspire and inform! Participants will hear seven lightning talks delivered by Bill Anderson Fund Fellows. The fellows will deliver five-minute TED-style talks that share key insights from their research. Time will be reserved at the end of the session for the audience to engage with these next-generation leaders in the hazards and disaster field.

Reimagining Caring, Just, and Equitable Futures in a Fiery World

Wednesday, July 13, 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. MDT

This plenary session explores how community-centered coalitions are reducing risk while also enhancing care–collaboration, accountability, responsiveness, and empowerment–in places increasingly affected by wildfire. Drawing on Wonder Labs’ Reimagining 2025: Living with Fire Design Challenge methodology, the session will feature fire practitioners who have learned with communities as they worked to promote resilience to wildfires and related hazards, such as drought, smoke, and debris flow. These partnerships have resulted in novel visioning practices that are helping to advance broader environmental and climate justice goals.

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