As North Carolina’s first climate services conference this spring draws near, the host community’s reputation as Beer City is facing a friendly threat from the researchers and entrepreneurs determined to remake Asheville as Climate City.
ClimateCon 2018 and its centerpiece event, The Business of Climate Forum, will give attendees from across the country and abroad the chance to explore the business challenges and opportunities posed by the world’s changing climate.
The agenda is filling rapidly. Topics range from “Climate Change’s Impact on Business Continuity” and “Business Case for Sustainability: Climate Take Back,” featuring nationally recognized executives Gregory Lowe, Aon’s global head of adaptation and resilience, and Erin Meezan, Interface’s chief sustainability officer, respectively, to panel discussions on “Market Solutions for Community Resilience: What Can Business Learn from Cities?” and “Climate Change and Business Opportunity.”
Beer aficionados needn’t worry, though. Asheville’s breweries have embraced the challenge with events and activities designed for both conference attendees and the general public. On tap, these include:
- Friday, March 16: Highland Brewing Company hosts a toast to Climate City, open to the public, with the release of a special small-batch beer specially created to commemorate ClimateCon.
- Monday, March 19: The Business of Climate Forum kicks off with an evening reception sponsored by Twin Leaf Brewery, featuring keynote speaker John Frey, information technology efficiency and sustainability at Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
- Tuesday, March 20: Highland Brewing is the location for The Climate Solutions Showcase, where entrepreneurs will demonstrate their climate products and services available for commercial application. The evening also features a presentation by Auden Schendler, vice president of sustainability at Aspen Skiing Company, speaking on “The Case for Meaningful Action on Climate Change.” Free to business forum attendees, the general public can also attend the event with paid admission.
- Wednesday, March 21: The Business of Climate Forum will end with “Cheers to ClimateCon: A Conference Finale,” featuring, of course, local craft beer.
A project of The Collider, a nonprofit innovation center in Asheville focused on catalyzing the development of climate solutions, ClimateCon 2018 also features a one-day summit for undergraduates and young professionals and a series of supplemental community-based events taking place throughout the 10-day period of March 16-25. The Climate City Experience includes, for example, climate-related art exhibits and lectures open to the public as well as conference attendees.
“We’ve been so pleased by the Asheville community’s willingness to share our enthusiasm for our growing climate services community,” said Megan Robinson, executive director of The Collider. “The city is known across the country for its innovative craft beer, but there’s no reason we can’t also be recognized for the same entrepreneurial approach to solving the world’s climate-related challenges.”
The Collider encourages other Asheville businesses, restaurants, breweries, galleries, attractions, merchants, and others to participate in ClimateCon by hosting or developing a climate, sustainability, or other related product, activity or event and be included in The Climate City Experience. Contact [email protected] or use this form to register.