Program At-A-Glance

Crowds & Climate brings together leaders from businesses, non-profit organizations, governments and communities around the world to advance an online global problem-solving effort to more effectively tackle climate change.

As a key part of the event, we celebrated the innovative proposals that emerged from the 2015 Climate CoLab contests.  These winners presented how their work tackled specific climate change challenges and engaged with leaders in the field to help accelerate their ideas.  Presentations were followed by a highly interactive workshop, where there was the opportunity to meet and contribute to these winners, as well as engage in conversations with other attendees about how the world's experts and citizens can work together to solve the complex, complicated problem of climate change.

These sessions were followed by Solve's roundtable panel on fuel, where world-class thought leaders discussed the future of energy, food and water.

Attendees also joined the Solve opening session on Monday afternoon (see below), as well as the other events that were a part of HUBweek, a week-long city-wide festival celebrating ideas and innovation in the Boston area hosted by MIT, Harvard University, The Boston Globe, and Mass General Hospital.


Solve Opening Convocation & Reception
Monday, October 5, 2015

Those attending Crowds & Climate on Tuesday were invited to join Solve's opening sessions the day before. 

Monday's sessions took place in Kresge Auditorium.

10:00 am

Registration Opens

1:00 pm

L. Rafael Reif, President, MIT
Jason Pontin, Editor-in-Chief/Publisher, MIT Technology Review @jason_pontin

1:30 pm

Keynote: Setting our Sights on Solving the World?s Hardest Problems
Jeffrey Sachs, Director, Earth Institute, Columbia University @JeffDSachs

2:30 pm

Solve Roundtable: Cure
Introduction by Dr. Phillip A. Sharp, Institute Professor, MIT; Nobel Laureate
How do we leverage innovations in health-care delivery and medical research to make care affordable and universally available?

Challenges for the Future of Healthcare
Dr. Susan Hockfield (moderator), President Emerita, MIT
Anthony Fauci, M.D., Director, NIAID, National Institutes of Health
Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chairman & Managing Director, Biocon Ltd @kiranshaw
Mark McClellan, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
David Meeker, CEO, Genzyme 

How Will We Solve Big Problems?
A conversation with Tenley Albright, Director of Collaborative Initiatives, MIT; with Chris Shipley, Executive Producer, Solve @cshipley


4:00 pm


Solve Roundtable: Make
Introduction by Dr. Rodney Brooks, Professor Emeritus, MIT; Founder and Chairman, Rethink Robotics @rodneyabrooks
How do we provide the infrastructure and economic opportunity to support a world population of nearly 10 billion by 2050?

Solve Roundtable: Internet Access for All: A Civic Responsibility or a Corporate Opportunity
Introduced by Nicholas Negroponte, Professor, MIT @nnegroponte
David Kirkpatrick (moderator), Founder, Techonomy @DavidKirkpatric
Internet Access for All: A Civic Responsibility or a Corporate Opportunity
Part 1: Looking at Connectivity for Everybody
Larry Robert, Founder & Architect, ARPANET
Josette Sheeran, President & CEO, The Asia Society; formerly Director, World Food Program @JosetteSheeran
Marcelo Claure, CEO, Sprint @marceloclaure

Part 2: Technologies
Mark Dankberg, Chairman & CEO, ViaSat
Rich DeVaul, Director of Rapid Evaluation, Google @rdevaul
Yael Maguire, Director, Facebook Connectivity
Will Marshall, Co-founder & CEO, Planet Labs @wsm1


5:30 pm


Inaugural Reception in Kresge Foyer
Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres provided

 For details on these and other Solve sessions, please visit Solve's HUBweek website.


Crowds & Climate
Tuesday, October 6, 2015

All sessions will take place in the MIT Stratton Student Center.

7:00 am

Registration Opens

8:00 am

Thomas Malone, Director, MIT Center for Collective Intelligence @twmalone

8:10 am

Keynote Panel Discussion
Breakthroughs and Barriers - the State of Play in Climate Innovation

John Sterman, Director, MIT System Dynamics Group, MIT Sloan School of Management 
Bina Venkataraman, Carnegie Fellow, New America; Lecturer, MIT's Department of Science, Technology & Society; Former Senior Advisor for Climate Change Innovation, Obama Administration
Leslie Dewan, Co-founder & CEO, Transatomic Power; Member, MIT Corporation
Chris Knittel, Director, MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research
Jason Jay, Senior Lecturer & Director, MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative (moderator)

8:45 am

Recognizing Contest Winners
Congratulating the 2015 Climate CoLab winners.

9:00 am- 11:50 am

Breakout Sessions:  Winners' Presentations and Expert Panels
This year's contest winners presented their high-impact proposals on how to tackle specific climate change challenges and engage with leaders in the field to help accelerate the development and adoption of the ideas.   The topics that were discussed included reducing emissions from transportation, how communities can adapt to climate change, how the United States can implement a price on carbon emissions, and many more.  See the 2015 contest themes.

9:00 am- 9:50 am 

10:00 am- 10:50 am

11:00 am- 11:50 am

12:00 pm

Community Lunch
Mingle with Climate CoLab winners and other experts and attendees over lunch.  Tables will feature topics so that people with similar interests can sit together.

1:00 pm

Interactive Workshop
Meet and work with the Climate CoLab winners, build teams for future Climate CoLab proposals, and engage in deeper conversations with other attendees about how the world's experts and citizens can work together to solve the complicated problem of climate change.

Attendees will be given the opportunity to move freely between discussion topics as well as generate their own.  Topics could include, but are not limited to:

  • Sector-specific challenges and opportunities, such as financing the global response to climate change, scaling renewable energy technologies in developing countries, and carbon pricing
  • Forming teams to build global climate action plans for the 2015 contest
  • Research, projects, businesses and/or other Climate CoLab contest ideas
  • The role of the crowd in tackling climate change
  • Leveraging crowds to address other complex societal issues, such as the remaining three Solve pillars: education, healthcare, and infrastructure/economic opportunity

Facilitated by Bob Halperin, president of Alumni Forum Services and Research Affiliate at the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence.


Break with snacks & refreshments

4:55 pm

Solve Roundtable: Fuel 
(This closed-door session will be livestreamed to the conference location.)
See the livestream here

Angela Belcher, W.M. Keck Professor of Energy; Professor, Department of Biological Engineering and Department of Material Science and Engineering, MIT
Robert Armstrong, Director, MIT Energy Initiative; Chevron Professor of Chemical Engineering, MIT

Energy for the Developing World
A conversation with Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata Trust, and Robert Stoner, Deputy Director for Science & Technology, MIT Energy Initiative

6:15 pm

Announcing the 2015 Grand Prize Winner
The Climate CoLab 2015 Grand Prize winner will be announced and awarded a $10,000 cash prize at the Solve Roundtable, and then congratulated back at the Crowds & Climate conference.

6:30 pm ?
7:15 pm 
Turning Inspiration into Action
In this closing session, we will identify and accumulate the key takeaways from the day and recap the connections, insights and new actions you and others will take to help advance the global response to climate change.


Special agenda for Climate CoLab Winners

Climate CoLab winners did receive a special invitation to join an exclusive Winners' Workshop on Monday, October 5th, followed by free admission to the MIT SOLVE conference's opening plenary session that afternoon and dinner.  As special guests at Crowds & Climate, they presented their proposals before conference attendees and key constituents in breakout sessions the next day.  A few select winners interacted directly with distinguished SOLVE attendees -- including many of the world's leading technologists, philanthropists, business leaders, policy makers, and social change agents -- in another problem-solving session on Tuesday afternoon, and gain VIP seating at the SOLVE roundtable panel on the future of energy, food and water.