Values, Democracy and Solutions for a Changing Planet

by Arturo Herrera on December 10, 2018

Ed Saltzberg, Executive Director of the Security and Sustainability Forum in a one-hour conversation with Citizen Climate Lobby’s Executive Director, Mark Reynolds. CCL is a non-profit, nonpartisan, grassroots advocacy organization focused on national policies to address climate change.

SSF and CCL are aligned in our view of the importance of local action and bipartisan political activism to move governmental bodies toward rational climate mitigation policy and the incorporation of resilience planning into decision making.

Mark Reynolds Executive Director — Citizen’s Climate Lobby 

During his tenure, CCL has been marked by exceptionally rapid growth, with the organization doubling or tripling in size every year. Mark is an expert on helping disparate interests find common ground on energy, public policy, and the environment.

Edward Saltzberg
Managing Director — Security and Sustainability Forum
Ed is a founder of SSF, which convenes global experts to address impacts to society from natural and man made disruptions. Ed has been a senior officer in energy and environmental firms and a sustainability consultant to government agencies.

 Download the slides.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Utility Response

Americans are facing tremendous challenges due to the pandemic, that calls for immediate action within the electric utilities sector to better understand customer and workforce behaviors, attitudes, and perceptions. From social justice to socioeconomics—the appropriate planning, sensitivity, and response strategies need to happen now. Utilities such as ComEd are extending moratorium on residential disconnections due to pandemic until March 31.

Join MaryAnne Brelinsky, EDF Energy President, Dr. Massoud Amin University of Minnesota Professor, Phil Nevels Exelon Utilities Director of Innovation and Partnerships, with host Zpryme’s Chris Moyer for the flagship panel—Utility Response.

Our guests will discuss recent headlines that cross the following areas:

  • Inclusion: Mirror the communities you serve. If utilities are working to build the next-gen workforce–one with diverse, highly skilled, and qualified State of New York energy-family capable of delivering on the responsibility to meet customers’ evolving needs. What customer initiatives—including metrics—will utilities implement to better educate and engage its community on: diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging?
  • Community: Inspiring confidence, utilities have essentially been forced to take a growing interest in not only customer experience, but more importantly the ability to keep the lights on for those that cannot pay their bill. What are utilities goodwill efforts? How are customers less fortunate being educated? Is there a grassroots contingency plan? Environmental justice initiatives and stance?
  • Resiliency: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Department of Energy, North American Electric Reliability Corporation and the North American Transmission Forum issued an Epidemic/Pandemic Response Plan Resource (“Resource”) several months ago, providing guidance to plan for and respond to an epidemic or pandemic event. Including natural disasters (eg storms), many customers are concerned about the health and safety of themselves and their loved ones—including utility staff—how is this being addressed?




Wed, Oct 28, 2020 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM EDT
As AI becomes more pervasive, so too has the concern over how we can trust that it reflects human values. Misconceptions about what AI can and cannot do abound, eroding trust in the abilities they do possess. And, perhaps most significantly, a lack of clarity over which jobs AI might impact breeds an additional level of distrust in the technology. AI thought leaders universally agree that it is mission-critical to educate people about where disruptions might occur and to teach the skills that will be needed to perform new jobs AI will create in the future. Developing and deploying the technology in a responsible manner requires an effort of equal proportion, which means one or even a handful of organizations working toward that end is not enough. A significant collaboration within and across academia, industry, and government is required to meet the challenge and ultimately build trust among consumers and stakeholders that their best interests are truly at heart. Join Microsoft and ASU thought leaders exploring the technology – human interface and how to get the most out of that ecosystem.


Andrew Maynard
Prof. Andrew Maynard is Director of the ASU Risk Innovation Lab, and an Associate Dean in the College of Global Futures. Andrew explores novel ways of understanding, thinking about and acting on risk from an entrepreneurial and innovation perspective. His recent book, Films from the Future: The Technology and Morality of Sci-Fi Movies, explores ethical and socially responsible innovation through the lens of twelve science fiction movies, while his forthcoming book Future Rising examines humanity’s relationship to the future, and its responsibility to it.


Ben Goertzel
Ben Goertzel is the CEO and founder of SingularityNET, a project combining artificial intelligence and blockchain to democratize access to artificial intelligence. Previously, Ben was the Chief Scientist of Hanson Robotics, the company that created Sophia the Robot.



David Arconchik
David Arconchik is Head of Open Source Machine Learning Strategy at Microsoft. Previously, he led product management for Kubernetes on behalf of Google, launched Google Kubernetes Engine, and co-founded the Kubeflow project. He has also worked at Microsoft, Amazon and Chef and co-founded three startups.


Suchi Gopal is the CEO of ESGAnalytics.Ai, which applies a spatial ESG-enriched & AI-powered analysis solution for investment asset outlook and risk assessment Suchi is also a professor at Boston University where she applies spatial analysis to environmental science, public health and business solutions.


Wed, Oct 14, 2020 1:15 PM – 2:45 PM EDT

The challenge of climate resilience is mostly local. But local governments don’t have all of the capacities, including financial wherewithal, to cope alone during the next decades. States have the ability and responsibility to make a difference in building local climate resilience. They reap the rewards of improved quality of life, reduced disaster impacts, and increased economic stability for their constituents. In this interactive session, state and local leaders from around the country and resilience finance experts will share their insights. 

  • What financial strategies can state governments use to help local governments invest in climate resilience?
  • What resources do states have to fund and finance resilience?
  • How can states expand federal pre-disaster funding?
  • What can states do to enable local governments to raise local funds for resilience projects?
  • How can private investment in local resilience be increased?

See the slides here

SSF.State Resilience .FINALdeck.rev 10.13.20

How State Governments Can Help Communities Invest in Climate Resilience from Security & Sustainability Forum on Vimeo.

Also here is a link to the series of reports Innovation Network for Communities (INC) is doing with Boston University’s Institute for Sustainable Energy on the COVID/city climate. John Cleveland references this project in the webinar.


Financing Resilience Instructor - Joyce Coffee Joyce Coffee
Joyce Coffee, LEED AP, is the founder and President of Climate Resilience Consulting, a social enterprise that works with clients to create practical strategies that enhance markets and communities through adaptation to climate change.
Coffee has 25 years of leadership experience in government, private, nonprofit, philanthropic and academic sectors. She has worked with over 200 institutions to create and implement climate-related resilience strategies. Specific areas of emphasis include resilience strategy, resilience finance, resilience measurement and social equity. She is an appointed director or chair of over ten nonprofit boards and initiatives.


John Cleveland

John Cleveland is President and a co-founder of the Innovation Network for Communities (INC), a national non-profit organization focused on social innovation and large-scale change, especially in the ways that communities are responding to climate change –reducing GHG emissions and strengthening resilience. 
John is also the Executive Director for the Boston Green Ribbon Commission (, a network of business and civic leaders supporting the implementation of the City of Boston Climate Action Plan.

Nuin-Tara Key  is Deputy Director for Climate Resilience at OPR and Chair of the Technical Advisory Council for the Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program. Prior to joining OPR, Nuin-Tara co-founded an international initiative on community-based climate action.



Shaun O’Rourke Shaun O’Rourke is Director of Stormwater and Resiliency at Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank and is Governor Gina Raimondo’s Chief Resilience Officer (CRO) for the State of Rhode Island. As CRO, Shaun led the development of the state’s first climate resilience action strategy, Resilient Rhody, and leads implementation efforts.


Tom Jacobs
Tom Jacobs has led environmental policy and planning efforts for the Mid-America Regional Council, Kansas City’s regional and metropolitan planning organization, since 2001. Tom is currently helping to lead the development of a regional climate action plan.



Research supported by the Summit Foundation.



Thu, Oct 22, 2020 1:15 PM – 2:15 PM EDT


The next webinar in the SSF series with ecological economist and futurist Hazel Henderson will address how the UN SDGs can and should replace GDP as the basis for valuing society leading to an economy based on planet protection and human wellbeing.

GDP accounts for all the public expenditures as “debt” while ignoring the value of the assets they created. If GDP were to be corrected by including the missing asset account, these debt-to-GDP ratios would be cut by up to 50% — with a few keystrokes! Learn why money isn’t what you think it is and why that matters to life on Earth in the next two webinar with Hazel and guests. Claudine Schneider is the October 22nd guest. She is a former Republican U.S. representative from Rhode Island. She was the first, and to date only, woman elected to Congress from Rhode Island. She is founder of Republicans for Integrity, which describes itself as a network of “Republican former Members of Congress who feel compelled to remind Republican voters about the fundamentals of our party and to provide the facts about incumbents’ voting records.”


Steering Societies Beyond GDP to the SDGs with Hazel Henderson and Vicki Robin

September 14, 2020

Thu, Oct 8, 2020 1:15 PM – 2:15 PM EDT The next two webinars in the SSF series with ecological economist and futurist Hazel Henderson will address how the UN SDGs can and should replace GDP as the basis for valuing society leading to an economy based on planet protection and human wellbeing. GDP accounts […]

Read the full article →

Army Installation Resilience Challenges and Opportunities to Advance Mission Readiness

September 9, 2020

Friday October 2, 2020  – 1:15 to 2:45 PM EDT Slides are here -> Army Resilience Slides Army Installation Resilience – On base and with the utility and community from Security & Sustainability Forum on Vimeo. Secure and reliable access to energy and water on Army installations is essential to its ability to deploy, […]

Read the full article →

Sixty Minutes with Reinhardt Bütikofer of the German Alliance 90/The Greens

August 30, 2020

Friday, September 11 – 1:15 to 2:15 PM EDT Join George Washington University and the Security and Sustainability Forum for the third webinar in the Leadership in Our Time webinar series. Reinhard Bütikofer will be interviewed by diplomat András Simonyi. Mr. Bütikofer has been a Member of the European Parliament (Greens/EFA) since 2009. He was Co-Chair […]

Read the full article →

WEBINAR – Right of Way: How Racial and Class Disparities Created a Silent Epidemic of Pedestrian Deaths in America

August 17, 2020

Thursday – September 24th, 2020 – 1:15 to 2:45 PM EDT In the last ten years, there has been a 50 percent increase in pedestrian deaths. In 2018 alone more than 6,000 people were killed while walking in America. Yet, despite the increase in deaths, the tragedy of traffic violence has barely registered with the […]

Read the full article →

Environmental Justice Communities: Best Practices to Deal With Natural Disasters

August 7, 2020

Tue, Sep 15, 2020 1:15 PM – 2:45 PM EDT Vulnerable, overburdened, and undeserved communities have been disproportionately impacted by natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, major floods, wildfires, earthquakes, and other disasters. And, now from COVID 19. The webinar will convene some of the leaders in developing best practices and time-sensitive solutions for these […]

Read the full article →

A New Deal for Planetary Health

August 3, 2020

Wed, Sep 9, 2020 4:15 PM – 5:45 PM EDT In spite of lingering global public health problems, human well-being has never been better. In the past 65 years through scientific advancement, for example, the proportion of the world’s people living in extreme poverty has dropped from 63% to 10% in spite of a tripling […]

Read the full article →