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The Business Of Climate Comes To Asheville

Executives, entrepreneurs, climate scientists, and students from across the country are converging on Asheville to tackle the business of Climate Change.  BPR’s Helen Chickering has details.

As part of its ongoing effort to secure the moniker Climate City for Asheville, the nonprofit innovation center The Collider is hosting its second annual climate conference.  The Collider’s CEO Josh Dorfman says the ten day event will be packed with climate themed programs and public events.  “We’ll have tracks around eats and the arts.  We’ll have a faith based track with religious leaders and we’ll have a track we call “next generation” for students who are interested in climate resilience.   We’ll  also run a hackathon with a partner out of Europe.”

At the core is a three day business conference where entrepreneurs and corporate executives from companies like Amazon and AccuWeather along with  local NOAA climate scientists and  climate data experts will network and brainstorm. 

“This is not a conference to say what is happening around climate change, “says Dorfman, “this is a conference that takes as a given the climate is changing, now what is the role of data  in understanding how we can gain insight into this changing climate so we can gain insight into what we can do about it.  And then beyond data, what is role of investors, what’s the role of insurance.  What’s the role of corporations in understanding  how they think about employees and organizations, and ensuring folks are safe and they can get to work and where do those factories for the future need to be and how do you make buildings more resilient?”

One of the new themes this year says Dorfman and coming in the midst of the debate over the Green New Deal   - is equity and inclusion.

“Even in the context of a business conference, you can’t talk about climate change without talking about equity and inclusion and corporations are increasingly aware of that too,” says Dorfman,” so we can talk about data but we also want to keep in mind this lens of equity and social justice and the fact that who is  really on the front lines is going to be impacted first and the hardest and as decision makers and leaders, how do we take that into account in our overall calculus about our goals and plans about dealing with climate change.”

The conference begins Friday March 29 and runs through Sunday April 7th.  You can find out more information here.