The MIT Sustainability Summit is an annual event that has grown to include more than 350 attendees ranging from professionals, academics, and students. The past Summits have featured discussions with thought leaders and expert practitioners like Jeremy Grantham (GMO), Jim Hanna (Starbucks), Mindy Lubber (Ceres), Nancy Gillis (GSA), Jeffrey Hollender (Seventh Generation), Scot Horst (USGBC), James Balog (Chasing Ice), Rick Ridgeway (VP Patagonia) and many more.
As one of the world’s preeminent research universities, MIT and its five schools — science, engineering, architecture and planning, humanities and social science, and management — are in a unique position to bring business and societal leaders together with academic researchers and students to address challenges in sustainability.
The 6th MIT Sustainability Summit has the theme of “Coastal Cities – Sustainable Future”. Coastal cities are caught at the nexus of three forces that dominate the 21st century: rapid urbanization, climate change and destabilization, and continued integration of the global economy. These cities exhibit confounding duality. They grew at the boundary of sea and land and are shaped by the tension this geography brings. They are simultaneously threatened by the capriciousness of climate change and integral to networks of global trade. If coastal cities can navigate a transition towards sustainability and resilience, it may offer a path forward for the rest of the planet. This conference challenges traditional notions of urban development to ask how coastal cities can be the key to global sustainability.
Our objective with the 2014 Sustainability Summit is to engage the audience with the coastal city sustainability challenge by bringing experienced and knowledgeable speakers, using interactive workshops, providing the opportunity to brainstorm on real sustainability problems from cities and companies, and bringing together a diverse audience with expertise and interest in sustainable solutions for coastal cities futures. Our event is a legacy of sustainability focused initiatives within MIT community in cooperation with our sponsors, participants, and community.
We invite you to join us at the 2014 MIT Sustainability Summit and be part of the sustainable future of your city.
This year's Summit will be held over two days and we will explore the challenges of achieving sustainability in Coastal Cities that must balance their role as a home to hundreds of millions of people with their role as major throughways for goods and knowledge in an interconnected world.
We will hear from leaders in infrastructure, finance, government, fisheries, climate change, and technology about successes and failures of cities seeking this balance. The event will bring keynote speakers with experience in driving sustainability in coastal cities, such as NYC. We are also bringing speakers from the private industry to provide the perspective of business, technology, and innovation that contribute to a sustainable future in coastal urban environments. MIT is also a leader in Climate Change evaluation tools as well as developing cutting-edge technologies and tools to lead sustainable efforts and design. We will integrate these innovative tools as workshop sessions that will display and show these interactive and latest developments from the academic perspective.
In line with our desire to engage the audience as well as MIT's motto of Mens et Manus (mind and hand), the event will feature a set of workshops that offer Summit participants hands-on learning. Throughout the event participants will have the opportunity to learn and experience the complexities of decision making in these coastal urban contexts by participating in sessions with real problems faced by cities, role playing interactions, and computer-based simulations that are being developed at MIT.