Youth Environmental Summit 2020

The 2019 Conservation Leadership Institute class, made up of students from Florida colleges, at Paynes Prairie State Park outside Gainesville, Fla. Photo: Luke Franke/Audubon

Youth Environmental Summit 2020

Presented by the National Audubon Society and American Conservation Coalition Campus

August 1-2, 2020 

Our inaugural virtual summit will inspire young environmental leaders to take action on environmental issues and send a strong message to local/national political leaders that addressing climate change is a key issue ahead of the 2020 election, regardless of political identity. The event will bring together a wide array of bipartisan/nonpartisan speakers and prove environmental protection is a unifying cause that breaks through political barriers and party lines. Student leaders from across the country will receive training and tools to mobilize advocates on campuses, in their communities, and virtually in the fallin the midst of a consequential election for our planet.

Youth Environmental Summit 2020 Highlights

  • Shape the future of the climate conversation in the US
  • More than 200 students from all political backgrounds
  • Intensive training designed to turn activists into influencers
  • Networking opportunities with highly-regarded organizations and influencers
  • Interactive learning setting with trainings led by experts in their fields
  • Equip activists with skills to make a positive impact on the environment and in their communities

 

Sign up for:

Event Agenda

*ITALICS denotes livestreamed for public viewing.

Saturday, August 1

12:00 – 12:30 pm ET                           Summit Kick-Off Panel with YES Student Leaders: ​ 

Join David Yarnold, president & CEO of the National Audubon Society, and student leaders from Audubon on Campus and American Conservation Coalition Campus as we kick off the first virtual Youth Environmental Summit. Hear from the student organizers who helped make this event a reality as they discuss why they are climate advocates as well as how they are making an impact and shaping the climate conversation on their campuses and communities. This student leadership will inspire you throughout the summit!

12:30 – 12:40 pm ET                           Break

12:40 – 1:00 pm ET                             Introduction and the Basics

Hear from Diana Braithwaite, Audubon on Campus program manager, for an overview of the schedule, goals and expectations of summit sessions and trainings. This intro will also cover the code of conduct and community standards as well as the requirements to receive your Completion of Student Advocacy Training Certificate.

1:00 – 1:45 pm ET                               Climate Science, Conservation, and Environmental Justice: A Panel Discussion 

Leading climatologist, geophysicist, and Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at Penn State University Dr. Michael Mann and marine biologist, policy expert and climate activist Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson join Audubon’s senior climate scientist and lead author of Survival by Degrees: 389 Bird Species on the Brink Dr. Brooke Bateman for a panel discussion on climate science and how to effectively use this research to drive conservation and environmental justice forward. Moderated by Joanna Wu, avian biologist and program manager at Audubon.

1:45 – 2:00 pm ET                               Break

2:00 – 2:45 pm ET                               Training Session: Sharing Your Story: Story of Self, Us, and Now

Learn how to craft a compelling story for yourself and your organization to recruit leaders, persuade others, and build meaningful relationships with coalition partners. Presenters include Marisa Vertrees, campaigns manager at Audubon and Tess Kellogg, graphic designer from ACC.

2:00 – 2:45 pm ET                               Advocacy 101: Introduction to Advocacy and Campaigns Session

(This session is livestreamed on Faceboook for public viewing)
This session provides an overview of campaigns at Audubon and ACC Campus, why we care about climate change, and how we build a durable and truly national movement to slow global warming. Presenters include Claire Douglass, national campaigns senior director at Audubon; Benji Backer, president & founder of ACC; and Diana Braithwaite, Audubon on Campus program manager.

2:45 – 3:00 pm ET                                Break

3:00 – 3:45 pm ET                               Conversation with Congressional Climate Leaders

(This session is livestreamed on Facebook for public viewing)
YES 2020 is grounded in the theme that climate is nonpartisan. Student participants will hear from both sides of the political aisle with a bipartisan group of elected officials, including leaders in the first bipartisan Senate Climate Caucus Senator Mike Braun (R-IN), Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). Student participants will learn how elected officials are coming together to move our country forward on climate change as well as have the opportunity to ask how they can advocate for bipartisan climate solutions.

3:45 – 4:00 pm ET                               Break

4:00 – 5:00 pm ET                               Networking Roulette 

Develop and grow your professional network during a Networking Roulette. This networking opportunity offers small group meetings (approximately 5-10 students) with speakers, panelists and top conservation leaders from the summit as well as new special guests like Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM) and Rep. John Curtis (R-UT). In the virtual nature of the summit, the roulette will “spin the wheel” and place participants in a room where you will meet other environmentalists, make new connections and enjoy the conversation. Participants will engage in three separate 20-minute conversations with a new randomly selected group.

 

Sunday, August 2

12:00 – 12:15 pm ET                          Welcome Back: Day Two Kick Off

Diana Braithwaite, Audubon on Campus program manager, and Kaleigh Cunningham, deputy national field director of ACC Campus, kick off Day Two with the Student Planning Committee of the Youth Environmental Summit. Meet more of the student leaders helping to steer the summit as they go over the agenda for the day.

12:15 – 1:00 pm ET                             Virtual Field Trip: Migration of the Blackpoll Warbler & Climate Threats

Recent advances in our ability to track an individual species during migration have illuminated the various threats they face as they migrate across entire continents and oceans. From its wintering ground in Colombia to its breeding ground in Alaska, Audubon scientists will take you on a virtual journey that highlights the impacts of climate change throughout the life cycle of a Blackpoll Warbler. Scientists will also share how you can advocate for policies and practices that help protect this and other species – and the habitat they need – from climate change.

1:00 – 1:45 pm ET                                Training Session: Politics for Power

Any successful campaign, whether to create a greenhouse gas inventory at your campus or win a 100% renewable energy plan in your state needs a strategy: who makes the decisions, and how can you influence them? This session will give you the skills you need to identify decision makers and strategically build a powerful movement, and create change in your campus and community. Presented by Marisa Vertrees, campaigns manager at Audubon.

1:45 – 2:00 pm ET                                Break

2:00 – 2:45 pm ET                                Training Session: Effective Tactics & Movement Building

Any movement needs people to do the work. How do you set up an effective tabling event, work with other networks to find leaders, or otherwise bring people in to your event? And how do you do this when campus is closed? This session will share best practices on putting together successful recruitment events and building your chapter.

2:00 – 2:45 pm ET                               Introduction to Audubon on Campus & American Conservation Coalition Campus

(This session is livestreamed on Faceboook for public viewing)
Diana Braithwaite, Audubon on Campus program manager and Kaleigh Cunningham, deputy national field director of ACC Campus discuss how to get involved in each organization’s campus initiatives. Learn how to start a program on your campus and how efforts on each campus across the country impact federal and state climate strategies and goals nationwide.

2:45 – 3:00 pm ET                                Break

3:00 – 3:45 pm ET                                Young Climate Activists Panel Discussion

(This session is livestreamed on Facebook for public viewing)
Young climate activists on the front lines come together for a lively discussion on organizing and mobilizing their peers around a movement for meaningful climate solutions. Moderated by Tykee James (@Tykee_James), co-organizer of the first #BlackBirdersWeek and government affairs coordinator at Audubon, leading youth organizers in the climate space discuss their work bringing thousands of college-aged voices to the cause.

Join the discussion with Jamie Margolin (@Jamie_Margolin) of This is Zero Hour, Xiye Bastida (@xiyebastida) of The Re-Earth Initiative, Vic J. Barrett (@vict_barrett) of Earth Guardians and the Alliance for Climate Education, and Danielle Butcher (@DaniSButcher) of ACC.

3:45 – 4:00 pm ET                               Break

4:00 – 5:00 pm ET                               Networking Roulette

Round two! Develop and grow your professional network during a Networking Roulette. This networking opportunity offers small group meetings (approximately 5-10 students) with speakers, panelists and top conservation leaders from the summit as well as special guests like the voices from the Youth Climate Activist Panel Discussion. Just like Day One, the roulette will “spin the wheel” and place participants in a room where you will meet other environmentalists, make new connections and enjoy the conversation. Participants will engage in three separate 20-minute conversations with a new randomly selected group.

Program Participants & Special Guests

George Alderman

George Alderman

Student Leader, American Conservation Coalition Campus, Stetson University

Benji Backer

Benji Backer

President and Founder of the American Conservation Coalition

Xiye Bastida

Xiye Bastida

Climate Justice Activist & Coordinator of The Re-Earth Initiative

Vic J. Barrett

Vic J. Barrett

Climate Activist, Earth Guardians & the Alliance for Climate Education

Brooke Bateman

Brooke Bateman

Senior Scientist, Climate

Jennifer Bouchenot

Jennifer Bouchenot

Student Leader, Audubon on Campus, University of Central Florida

Mike Braun

Mike Braun

U.S. Senator (R-IN)

Danielle Butcher

Danielle Butcher

Executive Vice President of the American Conservation Coalition

Chris Coons

Chris Coons

U.S. Senator (D-DE)

John R. Curtis

John R. Curtis

U.S. Representative (R-UT)

Deb Haaland

Deb Haaland

U.S. Representative (D-NM)

Tykee James

Tykee James

Government Affairs Coordinator at Audubon & Co-organizer of the first #BlackBirdersWeek

Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson

Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson

Marine Biologist, Policy Expert, Founder Urban Ocean Lab, Founder and CEO of Ocean Collectiv

Dr. Michael Mann

Dr. Michael Mann

Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science and Director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University

Jamie Margolin

Jamie Margolin

Writer, organizer, activist, public speaker and founder of Zero Hour

Clay Robinson

Clay Robinson

Student Leader, American Conservation Coalition Campus, Arizona State University

Terry L. Root

Terry L. Root

Senior Fellow Emerita in Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

Former U.S. Representative (R-FL)

Matt Valiga

Matt Valiga

Student Leader, Audubon on Campus, Miami University

Sheldon Whitehouse

Sheldon Whitehouse

U.S. Senator (D-RI)

Joanna Wu

Joanna Wu

Project Manager, Avian Biologist & Important Bird Areas

David Yarnold

David Yarnold

President and CEO, National Audubon Society

Patron Level Supporter

Advocate Level Supporter

Defend Our Future

Bipartisan Policy Center