Former White House CTO Aneesh Chopra to Join Top Public and Private Leaders in Sustainability Innovation at GW

Press Release from GW External Relations

GW Moving the Planet Forward Conference to Highlight Solutions

WASHINGTON—Top thought-leaders from government, academia and industry will participate in “GW Moving the Planet Forward,” a symposium that will find and highlight solutions to the challenges of a changing planet by showcasing examples of innovation turned into action. Hosted by Frank Sesno, founder of Planet Forward and director of GW’s School of Media and Public Affairs, the event aims to build a community – and a conversation – to emphasize advances in the areas of climate, energy and sustainability.

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As part of a campus-wide sustainability initiative, this half-day conference on Tuesday, April 17, will also highlight “Innovation Challenges” offered by selected conference participants to demonstrate their commitment to improving the planet. The event is a co-production of the GW Office of Sustainability and GW’s Planet Forward project, both of which are components of the GW initiative that includes a recently announced undergraduate minor in sustainability.
"GW's vision for sustainability is to create resources systems that are healthy and thriving for all,” said Meghan Chapple-Brown, director of the GW Office of Sustainability. “Through efforts underway in outreach programs, the university is committed to being a model of sustainability.”

Throughout the afternoon, conference participants will draw on current experiences as they look to the future to discuss a range of important topics such as the next frontier for data management, clean technology, the strength of green jobs and renewable energy. Mayors from Washington D.C., Huntsville, Ala., and Cincinnati, Ohio, will also discuss American cities as clean tech incubators.

Convening in-person conversations among high-level participants is part of Planet Forward’s mission, which also includes online idea sharing on and broadcast television video distribution. Drawing on more than a thousand ideas submitted by concerned citizens around the world, videos from Planet Forward’s online network will be featured at the event to spark conversations and help conference participants find new innovations for their own challenges.
"This conference is an opportunity to hear the best experts talk about the best ideas," said Fuzz Hogan, executive producer of Planet Forward. "It's what Planet Forward is all about, and we're proud to say that GW has been a tremendous incubator for our project. This event is planned as an annual destination for thought leaders in the fields of climate, energy and sustainability."

The GW Office of Sustainability opened in January 2009, and provides a strategic home for sustainability initiatives on the George Washington University campus. It works in partnership with many stakeholders on campus to advance its work. Sustainability is a top priority and this spring GW launched a university-wide sustainability initiative to establish itself as the premier university in policy and governance for sustainable systems through practice, teaching, research and outreach.

GW’s Planet Forward is an online social network where creative and innovative ideas addressing global challenges are featured, discussed and evaluated. Showcasing original video, blog entries and commentary, this social network invites participation and opinion from citizens and policy-makers, students and experts, advocates and practitioners. Contributors with the most promising and original ideas will be featured on a national television show. Those contributors with the top ideas will be selected as “Planet Forward Innovators” and get a shot at implementing their idea on an ambitious scale—seeing if they can truly affect change regionally or nationally. Planet Forward is a project of the Center for Innovative Media at the George Washington University.

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