Sunday, November 17, 2013

Event - Beyond the Echo Chamber: Challenges & Innovations in Climate Communications

This event will take place on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 from 8:00 PM to 9:00 PM (EST) in Room 517 of Hamilton Hall of Columbia University, New York, NY. (The building is located on campus, near the corner of 116th St and Amsterdam. Take the 1 train to 116th Street Columbia University stop, enter through the main gates, and follow the arrows to find Hamilton Hall. Detailed driving directions along with alternate transportation options and parking can be found on the Columbia University website).

Beyond the Echo Chamber: Challenges &  Innovations in Climate Communications is presented by Sustainability Media Lab. The event asks the question, "How can we communicate climate change better and more broadly?"

Columbia's Sustainability Media Lab is excited to present a panel discussion on the current state of climate communications. Often, news and information about climate change get stuck in the "echo chamber", only reaching an audience already interested & informed about the topic. A panel of climate communicators from a diverse range of organizations will share their insights on how to push this critical issue into the mainstream.

Media has a profoundly powerful effect on shaping public opinion, which in turn can move sustainable policies and business practices forward. Topics of discussion will include targeting strategies for different audiences, recent examples of climate campaigns, innovative use of design/technology, trends in climate media coverage, and ways to define & measure success. The panel discussion will be followed by an audience Q&A. Join the online conversation at #smlClimate!


James Gerken, Green Editor, The Huffington Post

As Editor of HuffPost Green, James Gerken is at the forefront of environmental news and policy. His interests include energy and climate policy, urban infrastructure, and transit. He is a graduate of Colgate University and lives in New York City. He developed a love for the outdoors at an early age while growing up in rural northern Ohio.

Clara Vondrich, Account Director for Climate & Energy, Fenton

Clara Vondrich leads client efforts on a range of climate-related campaigns, including the divestment & reinvestment movement, the anti-fracking campaign, defending and promoting climate science, and the clean energy transition from fossil fuels to carbon-free power. Before joining FENTON in June 2013, Clara was Director of Leadership Initiatives at the ClimateWorks Foundation. An attorney by training, Clara has served as Counsel to the President’s Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, and worked for three years at the Washington DC office of Arnold & Porter, where she focused on international arbitration and energy policy.

Duncan Meisel, Digital Campaigns Manager,

Duncan Meisel leads 350's online work to stop the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline and for the past nearly 2 years has been coordinating's global social media properties. In addition he is an action planner and occasional writer on movement theory, the intersections of climate change and the economic crisis as well as communication strategy. He's online at @DuncanWrites

Nora Vogel, Science Content Manager, Climate Nexus

Nora helps design media responses and strategies on climate science topics, including monitoring and rebutting climate denier communities, promoting noteworthy new research, and connecting reporters with scientists. She also researches and writes background materials on emerging climate topics to help reporters, advocates, and other communicators portray climate issues more accurately and effectively.

Jessica Brunacini, Project Manager, PoLAR Partnership

Jessica Brunacini is an environmental educator specializing in climate change communication. As the project manager of the Polar Learning and Responding (PoLAR) Partnership at the Columbia Climate Center, she oversees the development of games, interactive tools, and other novel approaches to climate change education and communication. Prior to joining the PoLAR Partnership, Jessica worked as an education consultant with Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, Solar One, and Population Action International.

Moderated by

Brian Kahn, Web Editor, Climate Central

Brian Kahn previously worked at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society and partnered with to produce multimedia stories, manage social media campaigns and develop version 2.0 of His writing has also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Grist, the Daily Kos, Justmeans and the Yale Forum on Climate Change in the Media.

This event is free and open to the public; RSVP is encouraged! There will be FREE DUNKIN' DONUTS! Please direct any questions to

The Sustainability Media Lab is a student initiative at Columbia working to make sustainable development more accessible, relevant, and compelling across all media. This event is cosponsored by Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development and Students for Environmental and Economic Justice.

Have questions about Beyond the Echo Chamber: Challenges & Innovations in Climate Communications? Contact Sustainability Media Lab

To register click here.

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