Spertus Institute’s Annual Critical Conversations Panel Explores Solutions to Climate Change

Scientists and experts no longer debate whether or not our earth’s climate is changing. The questions now are: What can we do about it?What is keeping solutions from gaining traction?

“The most important driver of climate change is human action. We have our hands on those levers.”

David Wallace-Wells
New York Magazine climate columnist and bestselling author David Wallace-Wells.

Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership brings together an illustrious panel of climate experts and activists for the 2020 installment of its Critical Conversations series. Critical Conversations: Responses to Climate Change takes place at Spertus Institute on Tuesday, February 25, at 6:30 pm, with pre-event drinks and appetizers from 5:00 to 6:15 pm for all ticket holders.

New York Magazine climate columnist David Wallace-Wells, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Inhospitable Earth, will moderate the program.

The five panelists all work on the frontlines of this global issue. Kevin Green is head of the Center for Behavior & the Environment and Vice President of Rare, a global leader in using behavior change to achieve conservation results. Mirele B. Goldsmith isan environmental psychologist and activist who founded the Jewish Earth Alliance. Karenna Gore is the director and founder of the Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary. Bill McKibben is founder of the international environmental organization 350.org. His 1989 book The End of Nature is cited as the first book on global warming. Katherine Milkman is a behavioral economist at the Wharton School, working on behavior change as it relates to climate.

Critical Conversations is an annual Spertus Institute program inspired by Judaism’s embrace of civil discourse. A key event in Spertus’ schedule, it brings together high-profile speakers (often with considerably different points of view) to address the most critical issues of the day. The series is generously funded by the late Eric Joss.

About the program, Spertus Institute President and CEO Dr. Dean P. Bell says: “This year, our focus is on one of the most urgent questions of human history. What can we do to mitigate the consequences of human impact on the environment in order to protect vulnerable populations and future generations? This much-needed discussion asks us to examine the deepest parts of human nature, to understand what motivates people to change and take responsibility for themselves, for others, and for humanity.” Dr. Bell is a widely published historian whose latest research explores historical responses to climate crises.

Tickets for Critical Conversations: Responses to Climate Change are $36 with $20 tickets for students. VIP tickets for $100 include VIP seating and a post-program reception with the speakers. Tickets are on sale now, online by credit card only, at spertus.edu/conversations

Spertus Institute is located at 610 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago. Valet parking will be available for $20 (cash only).

Spertus Institute is grateful for the support of our Sponsors and Community Partners: Krueck + Sexton Architects; Levenfeld Pearlstein, LLC; AllianceBernstein L.P.; and Oppenheimer—The Gilchrist Group.

This is the third program in the Critical Conversations series. The 2019 program, moderated by news anchor Candy Crowley, featured former New Mexico GovernorBill Richardson, GOP strategist Ana Navarro, and CNN Senior Political Commentator Rick Santorum. The inaugural program in 2018 brought together former Governors Jennifer Granholm and Mike Huckabee, moderated by journalist Frank Sesno.

Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership offers dynamic learning opportunities rooted in Jewish wisdom and culture and open to all. Graduate programs and workshops train future leaders and engage individuals in exploration of Jewish life. Public programs—including films, exhibitions, speakers, seminars, workshops, and concerts—take place at the Institute’s Michigan Avenue facility, in the Chicago suburbs, and online. Information can be found at spertus.edu

Spertus Institute is a partner with the Jewish United Fund in serving our community.

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