February 2, 2024

Duke Community, External Partners to Explore Climate Collaborations Via Symposia

Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

Save the dates!

Plan to join us for the first two Duke Climate Collaboration Symposia:

The Duke Climate Collaboration Symposia, a new event series launching in mid-February, will help identify opportunities for Duke University to make the most of its interdisciplinary expertise and convening power for meaningful impact on climate challenges.

The series is funded by a gift from The Duke Endowment in support of the Duke Climate Commitment, which unites the university’s education, research, operations, and public service missions to address the climate crisis.

Each symposium is designed by Duke faculty and will include events open to Duke faculty, staff, and students, and the public. Talks and panel discussions will highlight Duke and external experts’ insights on key questions, challenges, and opportunities related to a particular climate issue.  

Public events at each symposium will help prime dialogue at private workshops for Duke faculty, research staff, and invited guests from outside the university. Workshop participants will explore how Duke can work with potential partners and funders to accelerate novel climate solutions.

“The public sessions of the symposia offer opportunities for the entire university community, alumni and others from the region to learn more about these timely topics, and also set the table for ideation and dialogue for the associated research session,” noted Lydia Olander, a program director at the Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability who is spearheading the series and other university-wide external engagement efforts of the Duke Climate Commitment. “The research sessions provide opportunities for Duke researchers to explore and engage in new Duke-led collaborations that are being developed to scale up the university’s impact on climate issues.”  

The series will launch on February 15-16 with a symposium focused on Risk Science for Climate Resilience, an exploration of the essential roles that the insurance and finance sectors can play in addressing future climate risks. The Duke community and the public are invited to attend a keynote address, panel discussion, and networking reception on February 15. Frank Nutter (Reinsurance Association of America) will deliver the keynote address, and Olander will moderate a panel including Francis Bouchard (Duke University and Marsh McLennan); Roger Grenier (Verisk); and Mahmoud Raya (Boston Consulting Group). The public event on Feb. 15 is sold out, but anyone can still sign up for the waitlist. Duke faculty and staff can still register here for the private workshop on Feb. 16.

The convening will serve as the debut of RESILE, a new university-wide climate research initiative based in Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering. RESILE faculty affiliates span the Duke Law School, Fuqua School of Business, Nicholas Institute, Nicholas School of the Environment, Pratt School of Engineering, Sanford School of Public Policy, and Trinity College of Arts and Sciences. RESILE was recently awarded a planning grant from the National Science Foundation that will allow it to compete for selection as a federally funded Industry-University Cooperative Research Center focused on climate modeling and risk assessment.

“This symposium will kick off a process of identifying the ways in which Duke can, in collaboration with the private sector, leverage its interdisciplinary scholarship to develop innovative and actionable strategies for advancing climate resilience across all segments of society,” said symposium organizer Mark Borsuk, James L. and Elizabeth M. Vincent Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the faculty director of RESILE.

The Nicholas Institute is also an organizing partner for the symposium.

Contact Philip Hollingsworth for more information.