2017 Presidential Climate Leadership Summit

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Event Details

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Date: February 13-15, 2017
Address: Tempe Mission Palms, 60 East Fifth Street, Tempe, AZ 85281

The 2017 Presidential Climate Leadership Summit is a significant moment and turning point for Second Nature and the Climate Leadership Network. We’ll reflect on 10 years of bold climate leadership by higher education institutions, and anticipate the future of the Network and the sustainability movement. The 2017 Summit is designed for campus sustainability teams, including specialized content for presidents, faculty, and staff.


Due to the high caliber of both speakers and attendees — sustainability professionals at the forefront of their fields — we emphasize peer-to-peer learning experiences, through workshops, forums, and facilitated networking. No more than 6 concurrent breakout sessions are planned, to maximize audience to speaker ratios yet allow for breadth of topics for discussion.

View the Draft Agenda

Session formats include:

  1. One Big Idea: 10-minute TED-style talk, given by a campus, community or business leader sharing a breakthrough, achievement, insight or other “big idea” that is inspiring, informative, and entertaining.
  2. Presidential Insights: Led by campus presidents, these sessions offer leadership perspectives on current and emerging issues of importance to the campus sustainability movement.
  3. Featured Panel: A main stage panel discussion with a group of national experts offering diverse viewpoints around a particular topic, led by a skilled moderator, followed by audience Q&A.
  4. Dialogue and Discussion: Hour-long breakout session that focuses on tangible knowledge and skills for sustainability leaders and teams.
  5. Partner Showcase: Presented by a higher education institution, together with a business or community partner, these sessions feature challenges, opportunities, and solutions for campus projects. Priority will be given to current Second Nature Corporate Partners and GreenBiz 2017 participants. See the Partnership Opportunities and Benefits Guide to learn more.
  6. Workshops: Three-hour sessions that focus on tangible knowledge and skills. The expanded time frame allows participants the opportunity to dive deeper into a particular topic of interest. Note that workshops will be held on Wednesday afternoon, immediately following the final speaker and before the closing reception, and require registration.
  7. Networking Session: These sessions provide an opportunity for affinity groups or networks to meet and discuss relevant issues.
  8. Tours: In-depth walkthrough highlighting sustainable research, facilities, student-centered work, or other impactful highlights at campuses, municipalities or businesses.


  • Our Impact: Examining the on-campus impact of the Climate Leadership Commitments, and how we institutionalize sustainability, overcome carbon reduction challenges, strengthen the student experience and learning outcomes, capitalize on financing opportunities, and more.
  • Our Reach: Beyond the boundaries of the campus, how can the Commitments impact engagement with communities, guide our approach to resilience, shape partnerships for effective action, and build a more positive and just society?
  • Our Collective Future: Looking ahead to a changed world, how can higher education anticipate and prosper in the face of policy, demographic, climate and technology changes?
  • Our Network: How can the Climate Leadership Network become more generative, influential and effective in our shared mission while emboldening presidential voices and enabling Implementation Liaison action?


Deadline for Early Bird Rates Extended to December 9th!

Join your Climate Leadership Network peers for the largest national gathering of higher education presidents and chancellors committed to bold climate action. Our tenth anniversary Summit will feature keynote speaker Michael Crow– one of the original founding signatories of the Commitments– as well as tours of Arizona State University and the University of Arizona, campus team programming, and shared events with GreenBiz.

Early Bird Registration ends December 9, 2016. We encourage you to take advantage of these low rates by registering yourself and your team early. For more information on times and sessions, view our draft agenda.



Colleges and Universities from across the country will be gathering in Tempe for the 20017 Summit. Check out our list of registrants to see who you will be able to connect with when you attend.


Make your discounted reservations now at our host hotel, the Tempe Mission Palms, where the majority of Summit programming will be taking place. The Palms is within walking distance of Arizona State University (ASU), steps away from the downtown Metro Light Rail, and located in the heart of Tempe’s restaurant and local scene. Discounted rates are offered 3 days pre- and post-event for those wanting to enjoy an extended stay in Tempe.


Create lasting partnerships with higher education decision makers at the 2017 Summit. Your support of this highly visible leadership event will demonstrate to colleges and universities the benefits of your relationship to the sector. Nearly 400 attendees are expected for this year’s event, including: presidents, chancellors, senior leadership teams, key sustainability and facilities professionals, and faculty.

Join Second Nature and the Climate Leadership Network in shaping the rapidly expanding higher education sustainability market while demonstrating the necessity and opportunities of sustainability-driven initiatives across the higher education sector.

For more information on specific sponsorship opportunities, download our Sponsorship Brochure. For more information, contact Michele Madia.

Partner Organizations

American Association for State Colleges and Universities

American Meteorological Society (AMS)

Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)

Intentional Endowments Network

Institute for Sustainable Communities

Sustainable Endowments Institute