During March 6–9, 2023, the Aspen Institute partnered with the City of Miami Beach to hold Aspen Ideas: Climate to bring together diverse leaders from across the globe to talk about how we can all work to advance climate solutions.

This Is Planet Ed joined to highlight the importance of empowering children and youth through education to lead a sustainable future.

Check out some of the conversations below:

Educating for Climate Action

In a mainstage conversation, This Is Planet Ed Co-Chair, former US Education Secretary, and Chancellor of SUNY John King joined Aspen Institute President Dan Porterfield to discuss the opportunity for higher education to take action on climate change and to announce the launch of the Higher Education Climate Action Task Force.

"I think higher education has a responsibility to help society grapple with their biggest challenges and this-climate change-is the greatest threat." -Chancellor John B. King, Jr.

Schooling the Climate Crisis

Naina Agrawal-Hardin, Maya Green, and Kiera O’Brien shared about their experiences in school where climate change was largely absent from the conversation despite the increasing impacts they were witnessing in their own communities. They highlighted how educators can create safe spaces for students to process their own experiences.
“Honesty in education is the only way to empower students." -Kiera O'Brien
“Silence isn’t an option. There’s this idea that the mental health of students will be strained by adults broaching this conversation. But it’s also not good for students for the conversation not to be raised at all. The mere existence of climate change is damaging.” -Maya Green
“There’s ‘this is too scary for you don’t worry your pretty little head about it’ And then there’s ‘the youth are going to save us, it’s all on you, we messed it up so bad’. We need some middle ground that acknowledges children and young people as rational actors." - Naina Agrawal-Hardin

Climate Solutions in Stories

Climate Media for Kids advisor Gary Knell (formerly National Geographic) joined a breakout session to discuss climate storytelling and how kid’s media can incorporate positive, solutions-based climate messages to help build scientifically-grounded knowledge and awareness for kids and families.
"Storytelling is what drives change. It drives collective change, it drives individual change, it's all about narratives throughout human history. It's how human civilizations come together." -Gary Knell

    Bonus: Vice President Kamala Harris discussed the importance of electric school buses!