Climate Education and Opportunities Collective Impact Summit


September 5 – 8, 2017 

Redford Conference Center, Sundance Mountain Resort, Sundance, Utah


The purpose of the Climate Education and Opportunities Collective Impact Summit was to help cities and counties reach the net zero emissions by 2050 needed to achieve the Paris Agreement’s aspiration for a 1.5 degree world. With effective climate change education, civic engagement, and workforce development, communities can reach their climate goals. The Summit supported municipal leaders for the coming decades by connecting them with national climate change education professionals who can help them seize the opportunities of a post-carbon and climate resilient future.

Among the many issues to discuss are the ways in which effective climate change education, engagement, and workforce development can support community climate actions;

  • Few issues facing our society are more urgent than reducing our vulnerability to climate impacts and preparing for the staggering transitions to a low-carbon economy.
  • Making the case for climate action is one of the leading challenges that cities face in undertaking ambitious urban climate action.
  • Our city and state schools, higher education, and free choice learning institutions can become better prepared or focused on this critical issue.
  • Extensive federal climate change education and related philanthropic investments can support state and local climate actions.
  • Through the activation of American communities’ extensive education systems, we have the opportunity to showcase the adaptability of our cities, embrace a low-carbon future, and inspire our future leaders to create a healthy and prosperous America.


The issues discussed at this Summit are not raised in isolation, but in the context of social realities, including limited funds, political interests, and competing values of educational investments. Cities, county councils, and states are now leading the American response to a changing climate, incubating social innovation and generating new experiments so that they can prevail in the face of unprecedented change. To support these ambitious climate change goals over the coming decades, investments in both making the case for climate action and creating inspirational and pedagogically sound climate education learning opportunities are a moral imperative and a great investment in our future.

Steering Committee

Frank Niepold, CLEAN Network
John Fraser, New Knowledge Organization Ltd.
Carey Stanton, National Wildlife Federation
Gail Scowcroft, University of Rhode Island


Briefing Materials

Summit Logistics
Summit Agenda (printed copy will be available at Summit)
Participant List
Sundance Mountain Resort Map (printed copy will be available at Summit)
Effective Practices Toolkit
Effective Practices: Contributors, References, and Further Reading
Climate Education and Opportunities: Key Informant Interviews