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Program

In its fourth year, Crowds & Climate explored the potential for new, crowd-based technologies -- such as crowdsourcing, virtual collaboration, and online communities -- to help the world employ all its best resources and ingenuity to combat the challenge of climate change.

The one-and-a-half-day program weaved together a traditional conference style (keynote addresses and breakout sessions) with a strong online and crowd-focused approach (workshops, virtual engagement, and Open Space "unconference" session).

This year’s conference included exclusive Climate CoLab programming, as well as a joint closing session with Solve, an MIT-initiated program with a goal to reduce the time between the invention and deployment of solutions to the world’s largest challenges.  Crowds & Climate was also a featured event of HUBweek, a week-long city-wide festival celebrating ideas and innovation in the Boston area hosted by MIT, Harvard University, The Boston Globe, and Mass General Hospital.

 

Keynote Speaker
 

Janos Pasztor
Senior Advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General on Climate Change
Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs

For the last 35 years, Mr. Pasztor has worked for various United Nations and non-governmental organizations, and recently served as the UN’s Assistant Secretary-General on Climate Change in the lead-up to the UN climate change conference (COP21) in Paris, France in December 2015. He is currently the Director of the Carnegie Council’s Climate Geoengineering Governance project and a Senior Advisor to the UN Secretary General on Climate Change.  Mr. Pasztor is a Hungarian and a Swiss citizen, and received his MS and BS degrees at MIT. Read more.


 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

All sessions took place in the MIT Samberg Center except the Fuel challenge presentations, closing keynote & reception, which were held in the MIT Media Lab.

 This session was webcast

 

8:00 AM

Doors Opened

Registration opened and morning coffee and tea were served.
 


 

9:00 AM

Welcome & Opening Address  

Thomas Malone, Director, MIT Center for Collective Intelligence @twmalone
 


 

9:45 AM

Recognizing Contest Winners  

In 2016, Climate CoLab sourced 579 proposals on how to tackle 17 unique aspects of the climate change challenge, including how to reduce emissions from the aviation industry, how to inspire the public to take climate action, how to adapt to climate change, and many more.  See the 2016 contest themes.  

From these, 27 top proposals from over 10 countries were selected for their novelty, feasibility, presentation, desirability, and impact on climate change.  Join us in congratulating the 2016 Climate CoLab winners!
 


 

10:00 AM

Breakout Sessions:  Winners' Presentations and Workshops  

We heard from and interacted directly with the winning teams as they presented their work to a live and global audience. Presentations were followed by a highly interactive workshop, where participants met and contributed to these innovative teams.

Attendees selected which of the following concurrent breakout sessions to join each hour:

10:00 am - 11:00 am 


15 minute break

11:15 am - 12:30 PM


 

12:30 PM

Community Lunch

Attendees mingled with Climate CoLab winners and other experts over lunch.  Tables featured topics so that people with similar interests could sit together.
 


 

1:30 PM

Breakout Sessions:  Winners' Presentations and Workshops  

We heard from and interacted directly with the winning teams as they presented their work to a live and global audience. Presentations were followed by a highly interactive workshop, where participants met and contributed to these innovative teams.

Attendees selected which of the following concurrent breakout sessions to join each hour:

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM 


15 minute break

2:45 pm - 3:45 PM

15 minute travel time
 


 

4:00 PM

Keynote Address & Grand Prize Award 
MIT Media Lab

The CoLab Methodology
Jason Pontin, Editor in Chief, MIT Technology Review, @jason_pontin
Thomas Malone, Director, MIT Center for Collective Intelligence, @twmalone

Keynote Address
Janos Pasztor, Senior Advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General on Climate Change and Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, @jpasztor

Audience Q&A, moderated by Thomas Malone

Grand Prize Winner Announcement
Thomas Malone awarded the $10,000 Climate CoLab Grand Prize recipient, chosen from among all the 2016 Climate CoLab contest winners.

The Future of Solving
Alex Amouyel, Incoming Exective Director, Solve, @alexamouyel


 

5:30 PM - 6:30 PM

Evening Reception
MIT Media Lab

Informal networking and hors d'oeuvres served, open to all conference attendees.

 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

9:00 AM - 1:00 PM (Doors opened at 8:00 AM)

All sessions took place in the MIT Samberg Center

In this highly interactive morning session, attendees met and built connections with other climate innovators.  Through a facilitated "unconference", participants could host or join short breakout sessions to delve deeper into topics that are of greatest relevance, interest and importance. In these sessions, participants:

  • Networked with other attendees in a meaningful way
  • Explored more deeply the themes introduced at the conference
  • Brought up new topics or issues that were not addressed
  • Shared research, projects, businesses and/or Climate CoLab proposal ideas with others, get feedback, and explored how to make them happen


Attendees were given the opportunity to move freely between discussion topics as well as generate their own.  Topics could included, but were not limited to:

  • Sector-specific challenges and opportunities, such as financing the global response to climate change, scaling renewable energy technologies in developing countries, and carbon pricing
  • The role of the crowd in tackling climate change
  • Leveraging crowds to address other complex societal issues, such as the remaining three Solve pillars: education, healthcare, and infrastructure/economic opportunity


Facilitated by Bob Halperin, president of Alumni Forum Services and Research Affiliate at the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence.

 

Other HUBweek events

Monday, September 25 - Saturday, October 1
 

Climate CoLab was a featured event of HUBweek, a week-long city-wide festival celebrating ideas and innovation in the Boston area hosted by MIT, Harvard University, the Boston Globe, and Mass General Hospital.  Events that may be of interest to the Climate CoLab community included:

 

And many others.