ICR24: Inspiring Climate Change Solutions for the Next Generation

Photo: headshots of Anthony Leiserowitz, Ashley Nguyen and Wes Hall

The third annual Battelle Innovations in Climate Resilience Conference (ICR24) will convene experts from government, private industry and academia, and it will bring together generations to create a brighter, more climate resilient future.

Join us in Washington, D.C., April 22-24. Those in attendance will have the opportunity to hear from keynote speakers such as Anthony Leiserowitz, the director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and a Senior Research Scientist at the Yale School of the Environment.  

Drawing on more than a decade of national survey studies, Dr. Leiserowitz will explain recent trends in Americans' climate change knowledge, attitudes, policy support, and behavior and discuss strategies to build public and political will for climate action. He will delve into the reasons why some Americans are very worried about climate change, while others remain indifferent or even hostile. “One of the first rules of effective communication, is know your audience,” he said. “We’ll explore several key audiences in the U.S. and how to best engage them in climate science and solutions."

Leiserowitz also shared some early insights, highlighting the growing interest in climate change among the younger generation. “I see many more kids eager to learn about climate change, particularly what the solutions are,” he said. “Interest is high among the Gen Z generation.”

Also this year, the second Battelle Climate Challenge (partnering with Future Engineers) gave students from 9-12th grade in the United States the opportunity to research past and future impacts of climate-related hazards in their communities and develop a proposed action to help build resilience. In our inaugural year, the Climate Challenge drew 178 entries. This year, that number rose to 316. The grand prize winner will present their poster at ICR24.  

Ashley Nguyen is the inaugural winner of the Climate Challenge and a freshman at the University of California at Berkley. She developed a proposal advocating a sea mud ball conservation solution that addresses her community’s concern about coastal erosion and eelgrass population decline. “Prefacing the issue of climate change to our current generation is crucial in sustaining the state of our Earth and for our future generations,” she said. “Empowering youths to explore sustainability practices and environmental concerns that are within their community could help build their confidence further on. Issues such as coastal erosion, sea-level rise and many other long-term concerns cannot be fixed with an immediate solution. It requires thought-out regulations and methodologies that the community could contribute to.”

As a reward for her innovative solution, Nguyen earned a $5,000 STEM grant for her school and an internship at Battelle. “I’m very excited to work in the Battelle business sector since it is a field beyond my current expertise in science and technology,” she said. “I hope to hone more focus on my writing and communication skills, which will align well with my current technical skills.”

Wes Hall is Battelle’s Senior Vice President of Philanthropy and Education. “The creativity of kids is so unbridled—they have solutions that adults may not have imagined,” he said. “We need everyone to be thinking about this massive problem. The Climate Challenge really ignites curiosity and sets students on a course to leverage their critical thinking skills to make an impact in one of the most pressing areas of concern. And the innovations they come up with can be useful to others. I’ve seen some of the submissions this year and they’re really creative. We want to bring these ideas and innovations to life.” 

Join us at ICR24 in Washington, DC to share and learn more about solutions to meet climate change.

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Posted
March 13, 2024
Author
Battelle Insider
Estimated Read Time
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