Three Mayors, Three CEOs, One Great Event

On Tuesday, April 17, 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.

Register and see speakers, location info and discussion descriptions at

Can't make it? Register for the live stream here:


Steven Knapp

Kick-off Conversation
Aneesh Chopra, Fmr. White House Chief Technology Officer
Frank Sesno, Creator and Host, Planet Forward

120p – 2p
There’s an App for that – Can IT Save the Planet?

·      Aneesh Chopra, Fmr. WH Chief Technology Officer
·      Mayo Shattuck,  Executive Chairman, Exelon
·      Alex Laskey, Co-Founder, Opower
·      Moderator:  - Megan Hughes, Bloomberg TV

2 p - 2:10
Innovation Challenge

2:10 p -2:30 p
Keynote conversation - Innovating the Sustainable Economy  - How Business Can Lead the Way
·      Mark Vachon, VP, GE ecomagination
·      Frank Sesno, Creator and Host, Planet Forward

2:30p - 2:50p
Where are the Jobs?
·      Deborah Wince Smith, President, Council on Competitiveness
·      Debra Rowe, President, U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development
·      Moderator: Doug Guthrie, Dean GWU School of Business

Innovation Challenge

3p - 3:20p
Networking Break

3:20p - 4:20p
Shining Cities:  Sustainability Starts at Home
·      Vincent Gray, Mayor, Washington, D.C.
·      Mark Mallory, Mayor, Cincinnati, Ohio
·      Tommy Battle, Mayor, Huntsville, Ala.
·      Steven Knapp, President, The George Washington Univ.
·      Melissa Keeley, Asst., Prof of Geography, The George Washington Univ.
Moderator: Frank Sesno

4:20p – 4:30p
Innovation Challenges

Renewables:  Boom or Bust?
·      VIce Adm. Dennis McGinn (Ret.), President, American Council on Renewable Energy
·      Reed Hundt, CEO, Coalition for Green Capital
·       Robert Hefner,  Founder and CEO, The GHK Companies
·       Moderator: Andrew Revkin, Blogger, New York Times

5:15 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Moving the Planet Forward - The Next Generation

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.

Michelle Sherrard – 202-994-1423 –
Jill Sankey – 202-994-6466 –

How do you move the Planet Forward? Tweet us @planet_forward or contribute to the conversation with your own story.