EarthX and The National Geographic Society Celebrate the 50thAnniversary of Earth Day with Earthx2020
Earthx2020 Addressed Today’s Most Pressing Environmental Challenges through Virtual Conferences, Film Festival and Youth Programs from April 16-27th.
DALLAS (May 5, 2020) –In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, Earthx2020 convened virtually as EarthX and The National Geographic Society partnered to shine a light on the critical issues facing our planet. The world’s largest environmental event, which was expecting over 200,000 visitors in Dallas this year, instead streamed live conferences, its film festival and youth programming online from April 16th-27th. Exploring sustainable solutions to today’s most pressing environmental challenges, Earthx2020 presented inspiring conversation, creative storytelling and interactive experiences that were livestreamed to over 550,000 viewers globally.
To mark the anniversary on April 22ndEarthX and National Geographic Society hosted a virtual Earth Day celebration with a special address by Tia Nelson, daughter of Gaylord Nelson, founder of Earth Day. Trammell S. Crow, Founder of EarthX, Tony Keane, EarthX CEO and Michael L. Ulica, president and COO of the National Geographic Society took the virtual stage along with some of National Geographic’s most renowned Explorers including Enric Sala and Sylvia Earle. The daylong event attracted over 200,000 viewers.
Conferences |The EarthX “Congress of Conferences” featured leading voices exploring the intersection of the environment and policy, cities, energy, technology, and business. Mayor Eric Garcetti, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Julie Packard and Nancy Pfund, Founder of DBL Partners and Trustee of the National Geographic Society, were among this year’s speakers.
Jane Fonda joined youth activist Xiye Bastida, Pat Mitchell and other transformative women in the environmental conversation at EarthX’s first intergenerational women’s summit, Women in the Environment. This year also marked the launch of March for Science Youth Summit, giving a platform for youth leaders from around the world who are champions of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
EarthxLaw,presented on Earth Day, included a briefing by Ken McQueen of the EPA of the progress we’ve made over the past 50 years and then focused on selected environmental issues of immediate concern – relating to the quality of our drinking water and the challenges of climate change – with a series of conversations that discussed innovative approaches for addressing environmental issues more broadly. EarthxCitiesexplored the role of cities at the forefront of climate resiliency, as urban residents collectively face the brunt of environmental hazards, and discussed solutions for cities to adapt and recover from the strain of such hazards, most notably, the current global pandemic.
EarthxEnergy: Renewablesjoined leading technology developers and energy policy experts in a series of panels featuring speakers including Sandra Kwak, founder and CEO of 10Power, which invests in renewable energy projects in Haiti, and Chad Frischmann, vice president of the non-profit, Project Drawdown. Global Thermostat announced its partnership with ExxonMobil, a collaboration that co-founders Graciela Chichilnisky and Peter Eisenberger said will help scale their technology for Direct Air Capture to soak up CO2 from the atmosphere and advance their goal of removing a gigaton of CO2 every year.
EarthxE-Capitalconvened private capital, financiers, 90 innovators and 90 investors, early to late-stage companies, industry thought leaders, key local and national policy-makers, incubators, accelerators and researchers to cultivate partnerships catalyzing investment into environmental solutions. The Climate Tech Prize was rewarded to rePurpose for their innovations in tacking plastic waste, receiving a grant of $10,000. Judges included Kevin Harrington, Harry Hamlin, Ashley Gross and Dawn Lippert.
Film Festival | With over 36 features and short films, the EarthxFilm Festival showcased pioneersin eco-storytelling through virtual screenings and live streamed conversations with filmmakers, youth leaders and environmental activists. Some of the highlight film screenings of the festival included Jane Goodall: The Hope, The Great Green Wall, The Story of Plastic, Mossville: When Great Trees Fall, The Love Bugs, and Public Trust executive produced by Robert Redford. The EarthxFilm and The Planet911 Youth Awards presented grants of $25,000 in two virtual ceremonies. Recipients included Pippa Ehrlich and James Reed’s My Octopus Teacher, which took home the EarthxFilm Best Feature Film Jury Prize, and Allison Otto and Maria Clinton’s The Love Bugs among others.
The festival also featured cutting edge XR panels and extended reality experiences, taking attendees around the world to intimately connect with the wonders of our planet without leaving their homes. From underwater dives in the Galapagos to walking with elephants in Africa, EarthXR presented immersive journeys in partnership with YouTube XR, Google Earth, Oculus, Samsung and HTC Vive.
Youth Program |From youth eco-art and film competitions to a virtual hackathon, this year’s program was designed to engage students with interactive events that expanded their understanding of the planet and their role in sustaining it. The program featured a series of talks and videos were also presented by young leaders and champions for change including Taegan Yardley, the First Place winner of the 2019 International Young Eco-Hero Award, and Shreya Ramachandran’s who started The Grey Water Project as they shared their powerful journeys about inspiring youth-led movements in their communities and around the world.
EarthxHack, the virtual hackathon held over three days, hosted over 1,300 youth participants to use their creativity, technical thinking, and knowledge to solve real issues affecting the world today. Submissions of creative solutions that can be implemented on a global scale are being reviewed over the week following and winners will be announced on a live streamed show on Saturday, May 2nd.
All Earthx2020 events are available for viewing online via EarthX. Moreover, EarthX will be providing an online forumfor continuing dialogue on these and other topics and will continue to stream its upcoming events throughout the year including EarthxOceanconference planned for June 9-10th.