2018 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit

Crossing Sectors – Driving Solutions


Please Note: If you are having trouble registering, please email Devin Smith.

Second Nature and the Intentional Endowments Network are pleased to host the 2018 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit. Join your peers from February 4-6 in Tempe, Arizona for the largest national gathering of higher education presidents, chancellors, trustees, and other senior leaders committed to accelerating climate solutions.

Working together with business, state and local leaders, the higher education sector can and will shape the future of America’s global climate leadership. After the US Administration’s announcement to withdraw from the international Paris Climate Agreement, Second Nature, the Climate Leadership Network, and other sector partners stepped in to fill the void through the We Are Still In (WASI) coalition.

To achieve the Paris goals, approximately $1 Trillion per year in climate solutions investments are needed. As investors, endowments have another powerful, but often under-utilized, voice in driving climate solutions, setting an important example, and offering exciting educational opportunities for students.

The Summit will turn the WASI cross-sector alignment into performance and action. It will relate big ideas to tangible actions with senior leadership teams leaving the event well prepared to tackle some of the biggest climate challenges — individually, collectively with other campuses, and across sectors.

The Summit will: 

  • Provide real examples of successful implementation of climate solutions on campus – with relevant details in different tracks for key audiences (e.g., presidents, trustees, CFOs, advancement officers, CIOs, sustainability officers)
  • Showcase examples of cross-sector collaboration on climate solutions between higher education, sub-national government, business, and local community
  • Demonstrate how integrating climate risk and climate solutions into the investment process ensures strong financial returns and fulfills fiduciary duty
  • Highlight the educational importance of integrating climate leadership with the mission of academic institutions
  • Provide attendees with an understanding of the top priorities and opportunities for climate action in 2018 on individual campuses, collectively as a sector, and in alignment with other sectors
  • Allow cross-sectoral leaders to recognize the important role higher education can play in leading and convening local collectives as a result of national goal-setting
  • Embolden attendees with new tools and skills that they can bring back to campus to help solve the grand challenges identified at the Summit

Keynote and Featured Speakers

Join Paul Hawken, and other distinguished speakers as we collaboratively drive solutions for the higher education sector.

Audience and Attendees

The Summit is the premiere gathering of higher education leaders dedicated to climate action on their campuses and in their communities and will include:

  • Presidents and Chancellors
  • Trustees
  • Chief Business Officers
  • Senior Sustainability Directors
  • Chief Investment Officers
  • Business Leaders
  • Local government representatives
  • Representatives from WASI organizing coalition

See the current list of attendees, which will be regularly updated.

Where will I stay?

The room block at the DoubleTree Hotel is sold out. We have room block reserved at the Fairfield Inn & Suites, adjacent to the event hotel. To book your room for the summit, visit the hotel site to receive the discounted rate of $164.00 for your stay at the hotel.


Partnership Opportunities

Second Nature and IEN bring together presidents, trustees, CFOs, and other senior leaders from higher education, philanthropy, business, and non-profits to provide opportunities for knowledge exchange, research and thought leadership, education and training, and peer networking.

The 2018 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit is the premiere opportunity to demonstrate your organization’s support and leadership for overcoming the climate crisis.

Learn more about sponsorship.


Why Second Nature and IEN?

Both Second Nature and the Intentional Endowments Network are built on the belief that networks support, facilitate, generate and encourage higher education’s leadership on climate action. Our organizations are built on the strength of collaborative action and learning, fostering innovation, affecting policy and building capacity. Second Nature and IEN understand that mobilizing capital internally and through investments are critical for campuses to achieve their climate goals and that engagement of the private sector is crucial to mobilizing the capital needed to create a low carbon economy.

A Design Committee, comprised of representatives from both organizations, will guide the development of the program. Participants include:

IEN Executive Committee:

  • Garrett Ashley, Vice Chancellor, University Relations and Advancement, The California State University
  • David Dinerman, Trustee, Hampshire College
  • Joe Biernat, Trustee, Gettysburg College
  • Alice DonnaSelva, Investment Consultant, Prime Buchholz & Associates
  • Lisa Hayles, Institutional Investment Services, Boston Common Asset Management
  • Keith Johnson, Chairman, Institutional Investor Legal Services, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c.
  • Tom Mitchell, Managing Director, Cambridge Associates
  • Carl Vance, CIO, Lewis & Clark College

Second Nature:

  • Dianne Harrison, President, California State University, Northridge
  • David Finegold, President, Chatham University
  • Mariko Silver, Vice-Chair, President, Bennington College
  • Matt St. Clair, Sustainability Director, University of California Office of the President
  • Mick Dalrymple, Director, University Sustainability Practices, Arizona State University
  • Meghan Chapple, Sustainability Director, George Washington University



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