2013 Annual Meeting

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ND-GAIN's 2013 Annual Meeting was the premier gathering of domestic and international thought leaders on adaptation. The event was held at the non-partisan Wilson Center, and was attended by leaders from major multinational corporations, NGOs and government agencies who are developing pragmatic solutions to adapt to urbanization, population growth and the changing climate. The 2013 Annual Meeting sessions focused on risk and opportunity in corporate value chains. The meeting included the release of the 2013 ND-GAIN Index rankings and the awarding of the ND-GAIN Corporate Award to leading climate adaptation actors.

Watch the video message from Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary for the the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). View all of the videos from the 2013 Annual Meeting on our YouTube page

Meeting Agenda


11 a.m. – 12 p.m.  Registration (6th Floor)

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.   Networking Lunch (Dining Room)

12:30 – 1 p.m.   Welcome (Auditorium)

1 – 2 p.m.   Panel Session: Managing National Security Risks in a Changing Climate (Auditorium)

  • Roger-Mark De Souza Director of Population, Environmental Change and Security, The Wilson Center
  • Stephen Cheney Brigadier General, USMC (RET); CEO, American Security Project
  • Marcus King Associate Professor, The Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University
  • Patrick Regan Professor of Political Science and Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame
  • Moderator: Michael Hirsh Chief Correspondent, National Journal

2-2:15 p.m. Transition to Concurrent Panel

2:15 – 3:15 p.m.  Concurrent Panel: Infrastructure Service Delivery Innovations for Future Resilience (5th Floor Meeting Room)

  • M.G. Abutaleb President and CEO, UltiSat
  • Gary Lawrence Chief Sustainability Officer, AECOM
  • Raj Rajan RD&E Vice President and Global Sustainability Tech Leader, Ecolab Inc.
  • Joannes Westerink Professor and Department Chair, Civil & Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences, University of Notre Dame
  • Moderator: Heather Loebner Sustainability, Conservation, and Philanthropic Leadership

2:15 – 3:15 p.m. Concurrent Panel: Innovations in Food Security in the Face of Fire, Drought, Flooding and Population Shifts (Auditorium)

3:15 – 3:45 p.m.   Networking Break (6th Floor Board Room)

3:45 – 4:45 p.m.   Panel Session: Big Data and Climate Adaptation Technologies(Auditorium)

  • Cynthia Figge COO & CoFounder CSR Hub, Partner & CoFounder, EKOS International
  • Rayid Ghani Research Director, Computation Institute, University of Chicago
  • Amy Luers Climate Change Director, Skoll Global Threat
  • Moderator: Nitesh Chawla Director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Network Science and Applications (iCeNSA), University of Notre Dame, ND-GAIN Index Director

4:45 – 6 p.m.   Panel Session: Tools for Climate Adaptation Decision Making: Future Trends(Auditorium)

  • Video Message: Christiana Figueres Executive Secretary, UNFCCC
  • Stephen Donofrio Vice President, Partnerships & Innovation, CDP North America
  • Ian Noble Chief Scientific Advisor, ND-GAIN
  • Elizabeth Selig Conservation Scientist, Conservation International Ocean Health Index
  • Moderator: Jessica Hellmann Climate Change Adaptation Lead, Notre Dame Environmental Change Initiative, ND-GAIN Research Director

6 – 8 p.m.   Reception and Keynote AddressBrandon Owens, Ecomagination Strategy Manager, GE Corporate (Dining Room)

Thursday, December 12

8-  9 a.m. Registration (6th Floor)

8:30 – 9:30 a.m.   Breakfast Buffet (Dining Room)

9:30 – 10:15 a.m.   Keynote AddressAmbassador Thomas R. Pickering, Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations  (Auditorium)

10:15 – 11 a.m.   

ND-GAIN Press Event and ND-GAIN Corporate Adaptation Awards (Auditorium)

11 – 11:15 a.m.  Kenneth A. Hersh CEO, NGP Capital Management, Advisory Board Member ND-GAIN  (Auditorium)

11:15-11:45 a.m.  Networking Break

11:45 – 12:45 p.m. Concurrent Panel: Supply Chain Costs and Opportunities in a Changing Climate (Auditorium)

  • Robert Edwards Managing Director, NGP Energy Capital Management
  • Nancy Gillis Senior Manager of Climate Change and Sustainability Services, Ernst & Young
  • Peter Rawlings Partner, Environmental Resources Management
  • Kathrin Winkler Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer, EMC Corporation
  • Moderator: Marc Gunther Editor at Large, Guardian Sustainable Business

11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. Concurrent Panel: Money for Resiliency: The Promise of Adaptation Funding (5th Floor Meeting Room)

12:45 – 2 p.m.   Lunch (Dining Room)


Media Coverage

“Ready for Change: Notre Dame Launches the Global Adaptation Initiative” New Security Beat, The Wilson Center, January 27, 2014

“Poorer Countries Play Catch-Up on Climate Adjustments” The Wall Street Journal, December 13, 2013

“WEMA Project Partners Honored with ND-GAIN Corporate Adaptation Award”Monsanto Company, December 13, 2013

“2013 Global Adaptation Initiative Released Today” Development Seed, December 12, 2013

“Climate Change Adaptation Investments are Good for Business” Triple Pundit, December 17, 2013

“Lucha contra cambio climático tardaría 100 años en países pobres” El Salvador, December 14, 2014

“Poorest countries lag 100 years behind richest in preparing for climate change” Science Blog, December 17, 2013

“World’s poorest nations 100 years behind richest on climate change” Sustainable Industries, December 11. 2013

“2013 ND-GAIN data show world’s poorest countries lag 100 years behind richest in preparing for climate change”, December 13, 2013