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Global Climate Action Symposium

The Global Climate Action Symposium will bring together a wide range of experts to showcase climate change engagement by local student activists, scientists and engineers, business and policy experts, and artists. Jointly sponsored by Georgia Tech and six European consulates during European Climate Diplomacy Week, the event will be held in the brand new Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design, where guests can learn about how the building will produce more energy than it uses, collect and recycle water for its operations, and promote a just and equitable world.

Schedule of Events

Part 1 – Science, Technology, and Policies

9:30 AM - 10:00 AM : Opening remarks

  • Shan Arora, Director, The Kendeda Building
  • Kim Cobb, Director, Global Change Program
  • President Cabrera, President of Georgia Tech
  • Emmanouil Androulakis, Consul of Greece, on behalf European Consul

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM :Science & Engineering Panel Discussion

  • Moderator: Beril Toktay, Professor of Operations Management, Brady Family Chair, ADVANCE Professor, Faculty Director, Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business, Scheller College of Business
  • Chloé Arson, Associate Professor, Geosystems Engineering Sustainable Communities School of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Science
  • Eri Saikawa, Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Environmental Sciences, Emory College of Arts and Sciences
  • Zachary Lancaster, PhD student, City & Regional Planning, Georgia Tech

11:00 AM - 11:20 AM : Break

11:20 AM - 12:30 PM : Business & Policy Panel Discussion

  • Moderator: Michael Oxman, Managing Director, Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business; Professor of the Practice, Sustainable Business, Scheller College of Business
  • John McIntyre, Professor, Executive Director, GT CIBER, Scheller College of Business, Georgia Institute of Technology, author of CSR and Climate Change Implications for Multinational Enterprises
  • Dagmara Koska, Counsellor on Climate and Energy, EU Delegation to the USA
  • Jairo Garcia, Chief Executive Officer, Urban Climate Nexus
  • Strata Solar representative
  • Kingspan Insulation representative

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM : Lunch

Part 2 – Student Engagement, "Fridays for Future"

1:45 PM - 2:00 PM : Introducing "Fridays for Future"

Pierre Gourjon will introduce video interviews of students from Belgium, Germany, France, Greece, Ireland, and other countries.

2:00 PM - 2:30 PM : "Fridays for Future" Discussion

  • Moderator: Ruthie Yow, Center for Serve-Learn-Sustain

2:30 PM - 3:05 PM

Keynote: Destiny Loyd, Citizen's Climate Lobby

Introductory remarks by Kim Cobb, Georgia Power Chair and ADVANCE Professor, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

3:05 PM - 3:20 PM: Break

Part 3 – Art & Climate Future

"Urban Wilderness + Man-Mad Nature", a collaborative exhibition by documentary and fine art photographer Virginie Drugjon-Kippelen and conceptual photographer Shannon Davis, creative director and adjunct professor at Savannah College of Art and Design, will be featured throughout the day.

3:45 PM - 4:15 PM: Carte Blanche Visual Artists

  • Guy Gabon, eco-artist, designer and filmmaker, whose work explores the interrelationship between the natural and urban environment and has been exhibited in Canada, Mozambique, Madagascar, France notably.
  • Gwenola Wagon, artist and assistant professor, Department of Visual Art, University of Paris 8, has produced numerous installations in France and abroad, and Pierre Cassou-Noguès, philosopher and professor, Department of Philosophy of the University Paris 8, author of several books as Les rêves cybernétiques de Norbert Wiener (Seuil, 2014) or Technofictions (Cerf, 2019).
  • Erin Jane Nelson, artist, whose work has recently been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and at Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich.

4:15 PM - 5:00 PM: Conversation with Artists

  • Moderator: Anna Westerstahl Stenport, Chair and Professor, School of Modern Languages; Founding co-Director, the Atlanta Global Studies Center, Georgia Institute of Technology\

5:00 PM - 6:00 PM : Reception



Presentation of artists

Guy Gabon is an eco-artist, designer, and filmmaker whose work explores the interrelationship between the natural and urban environment. Her documentary film and mixed media experiments draw attention to the imbalances created by consumer society. Her public commissions, including the project From Waste to (Re)Design, involve transforming urban waste into aesthetic forms.  In 2013, she founded La Ressourcerie des Arts to increase awareness about environmental and sociopolitical issues. She has participated in artist residencies in Canada, France, the United States, and various African countries including Madagascar, Mozambique, and South Africa. Currently, she is the artist-in-residence at Clark Atlanta University Art Museum. 

As an artist and activist, I focus on the imbalances caused by globalization and the political, social, and ecological issues faced by nations. I use the experimental and innovative languages of contemporary art to express the radical climate change at work in the world in a way that engages audiences at an emotional level. I feel that I have the responsibility to witness, capture, and describe those changes and to create images that express the complexities of the situation. I specifically implement multidisciplinary and protean artistic and environmental experiments in public spaces.” Guy Gabon


Gwenola Wagon and Pierre Cassou-Noguès

Pierre Cassou-Noguès, philosopher and professor at the University of Paris 8, is the author of several books which combine philosophy and fiction, such as Les Rêves Cybernétiques de Norbert Wiener (Seuil, 2014) and Métaphysique d'un bord de mer. His last book Technofictions (Cerf, 2019), investigates through eight short stories the various ways in wich technology presently transforms our forms of life;


Gwenola Wagon, artist and assistant professor at the University of Paris 8, has produced numerous sounds and moving image installations in France and abroad including Globodrome, Cyborgs dans la brume and World Brain co-directed with Stéphane Degoutin.

Fiction is a means of speculation, a way of exploring possibilities and orientating the future. This is why even the concept of "Anthropocene" (when the human being has become a geological factor, whose actions modify our planet) and the reality of global warming, need to be explored through fictions, fictions that give flesh to these ideas and enable to investigate various futures. Global warming needs to be referred to local narratives : a seaside resort in the Landes in France, the disappearance of fireflies in Taiwan, a network of cycling routes among dismantled factories...


Erin Jane Nelson, (b. 1989 lives in Atlanta, GA) received her BFA from the Cooper Union School of Art in 2011. Her work has recently been exhibited in “Between the Waters” at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and “Photography Today: Public Private Relations” at Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich. She has had solo shows at Document Gallery, Chicago (2015, 2017) and Hester, New York (2015) and was included in ATLBNL: The Atlanta Biennial at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center (2016) among numerous group exhibitions at Downs & Ross, New York (2017), Honor Fraser, Los Angeles (2016), Galerie Division, Montreal (2016), and Ellis King, Dublin (2015). She has contributed to publications including BURNAWAY, The Creative Independent, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, and Art Papers, and has curated exhibitions at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta Contemporary, and elsewhere.

Atlanta-based Erin Jane Nelson has been traveling around the American Southeast to barrier islands and coastal wetlands that are rapidly eroding and disappearing. The five Gulf States account for one-third of the nation’s oil production, 40 percent of our seafood, and 10 of America’s 15 largest shipping ports. The coastline of the American South is our countries’ provider. Our gold rush. And yet, scientists say the world’s ocean level will rise from one to three feet over the next century, a change that has
already and will continue to disproportionately affect the American and Global South.



Virginie Drujon-Kippelen is a documentary and fine art photographer based in Atlanta, Georgia. She has worked as an associate producer at CNN.com and freelanced for the New York Times in Atlanta and the southeast region. Her personal photography work explores the contemporary landscape in the widest sense, investigating themes which includes the sense of place, the new forms of urbanism and the future of our environment. www.virginiekphotography.com

Shannon Davis is a conceptual photographer, creative director and adjunct professor at Savannah College of Art and Design. With an instinctive pull toward the common man, the forgotten and the overlooked, all of her photographic series explore a sense of identity and place. www.visual64.com


Urban Wilderness + Man-Made Nature is a collaborative photography project by Shannon Davis and Virginie Drujon-Kippelen. The series is a visual exploration of the relationship between Atlanta’s urban development and the preservation of its natural fabric. It aims at stimulating a reflection on the changing landscape of this city while stressing the ecological and cultural importance of its natural attributes. 

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