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Sustainability Speaker Series

Attend a Sustainability Speaker Series event and learn what you can do to fight climate change. The series brings renowned experts in sustainability research and policy development to share their ideas and innovations with our community.

This year's theme is Community Solutions, in keeping with the City Council's 2017 Policy Priority of "Accelerating Climate Action."

The Speaker Series is brought to you by the City’s Sustainability Commission.

Upcoming Speakers

California's Rise to Water Resilience: What Will It Take?

Join Felicia Marcus, former Chair of the California State Water Resources Control Board, to discuss how we can improve water resiliency in the years to come. She will discuss California's challenging water context, how it's being addressed, and what else is needed in the face of climate change.

When: Jan. 29, 2020, 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Register for California's Rise to Water Resiliency: What Will It Take?

Less Traffic, Better Places: How Do We Get There?

Tired of worsening traffic? Join Patrick Siegman, founder of Siegman & Associates, as he explains how shifting away from a car-centric society can improve the environment, local economies, equity and more.

When: March 11, 2020, 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Register for Less Traffic, Better Places: How Do We Get There?

Past Speakers

2019-2020 Series Highlights

Climate, Energy & Food: A Recipe for Action – Dr. Eugene Cordero, May 22, 2019

Watch a video of Climate, Energy & Food: A Recipe for Action

Eugene Cordero, Professor and Climate Scientist at San José State University, explained how adults and youth can be inspired to act to curb climate change through education. Local students Grace Muresan, Peri Plantenberg and Anushka Sanyal also presented ways that youth can make a difference in the climate movement.

Electric Cars Demystified – Nov. 9, 2019

Listen to Electric Cars Demystified

Attendees browsed a variety of electric vehicles (EVs) and took test rides at our EV expo and ride event. A panel discussion followed about switching to electric vehicles, featuring Marc Geller (Plug In America), Jim Barbera (ChargePoint), and Jane Rosten (Stanford University).

2018 Series Highlights

Drawdown: 100 Substantive Solutions to Global Warming - Chad Frischmann, Jan. 31, 2018

Watch a video of Drawdown: 100 Substantive Solutions to Global Warming

Chad Frischmann, Vice President and Research Director of Project Drawdown, highlighted some of the top 100 solutions to mitigate climate change by 2050.

Hidden in Plain Bite - Katie Cantrell, May 16, 2018

Watch a video of Hidden in Plain Bite

Katie Cantrell, Founder and Executive Director of the Factory Farming Awareness Coalition, discussed the ecological impacts of food production. She described why leading figures like Bill Gates and Leonardo DiCaprio are taking interest in the food system’s impacts, and introduced powerful individual and institutional solutions.

The Power of Stuff by Annie Leonard - Sept. 26. 2018

Annie Leonard, Executive Director of Greenpeace USA, discussed how overconsumption of "stuff" leads to depletion of natural resources, habitat loss, adverse impacts on human health and higher carbon footprint. She provided advice on how we can spend money in alignment with our values to prevent negative impacts on the natural world.

Home Energy: Taking Charge! Panel Discussion - Oct. 25, 2018

Watch a video of Home Energy - Taking Charge!

Our panel of home energy efficiency experts shared their expertise on how to make our homes comfortable and enjoyable living spaces that rely on cleaner energy.

Featuring: Marianna Grossman, Minerva Ventures (moderator); Dave Edwards, Earth Bound Homes; Tom Kabat, SunWork; Steve Schmidt, Home Energy Analytics; and Doug Kunz, Sunnyvale-based all-electric homeowner.

2017 Series Highlights

Electrifying! Beyond Fossil Fuels in Homes and Businesses - Pierre Delforge, May 31, 2017

Watch a video of Electrifying! Beyond Fossil Fuels in Homes and Businesses

Pierre Delforge of the Natural Resources Defense Council discussed how converting to electric heat pumps for water and space heating in your home or business could save money and help protect the climate.

Electrifying Our Transportation System - Rod Diridon, Sr., Aug. 2, 2017

Watch a video of Electrifying Our Transportation System

Rod Diridon, Sr., the Emeritus Executive Director of the Mineta Transportation Institute, talked about how emerging transportation alternatives can transform our commutes, including the electrification of Caltrain, California high speed rail, and electric cars and buses.

Zero Waste Home - Bea Johnson, Aug. 30, 2017

Watch a video of Zero Waste Home

Bea Johnson, author and zero waste lifestyle expert, shared how the five R’s – Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot – can help you save money, eat healthier, and simplify your life.

Last Updated: Dec 2, 2019
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