Climate Fast Forward is a statewide climate change action conference taking place in Madison, WI on Monday, October 17, 8am to 5pm. This conference takes a unique approach to solving the climate emergency. Participants will take part in a facilitated process designed to engage all conference attendees in the creation of a climate change action plan. 

The recent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) presents a unique opportunity to use this conference to convene changemakers from across Wisconsin around funds and programming opportunities presented by this legislation.

“Climate Fast Forward will solicit input and commitments from conference attendees on how our state will move forward on climate change action,” said Erika Monroe-Kane, Wisconsin Academy Executive Director. “The new funds available through the IRA can accelerate climate change solutions and help new strategies get traction.”

Climate Fast Forward organizers have reconfigured the conference’s opening plenary speaker panel to focus on the opportunities presented by these federal programs for Wisconsin, as well as how these opportunities can be leveraged for further action at the federal and state levels.
 Panel moderator:Maria Redmond, Director, Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy
Panel speakers:Rachel Bouressa, Board Member, Wisconsin Farmers Union
Joe Pater, Director, Office of Energy Innovation
Kevin Kane, Chief Economist, Green Homeowners United
Deneine Powell, FUSE Executive Fellow with the City of Milwaukee
Daniel Wiggins, Vice-Chairperson, Midwest Tribal Energy Resources Association

“It’s an extraordinary time to be working on climate and clean energy solutions,” said Maria Redmond. “I am excited to discuss with key leaders throughout Wisconsin how the additional support of funding and new federal programs can best lead to positive outcomes for Wisconsinites.”

Following the panel, conference participants will split into working sessions guided by subject matter experts and professional facilitators. Facilitated sessions at the conference are centered around five themes: Climate Justice & Community Resilience; Green Jobs & the New Economy; Natural & Working Landscapes; The Built Environment; and the Indigenous-led session Traditional Perspectives on the Environment.

“When you co-create ideas in community, an energy for action builds,” said Climate Fast Forward lead facilitator Darin Harris. Harris is the co-founder of the organizational and leadership development company Living Giving Enterprises.

“Climate Fast Forward is not a sit-and-get conference,” said Harris. “It’s about participants being immersed in creative conversations that end in specific actions. It’s about people participating in a creative and collaborative experience to make a difference on climate change.”

Climate Fast Forward will bring people from across Wisconsin together to organize around these new federal opportunities. The Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters has focused on environmental issues for over 20 years. A non-partisan convener, the Academy addresses topics that are priorities in Wisconsin and have the power to improve life in the state.

The Wisconsin Academy creates opportunities for people to connect, learn, and collaborate to improve life in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Academy showcases contemporary Wisconsin art at the James Watrous Gallery, examines science and culture in Wisconsin People & Ideas magazine, and explores pathways to a sustainable future through the Climate and Energy Initiative. Academy programs and public talks provide opportunities to learn and explore, while making connections with curious and creative people across Wisconsin. The Academy recognizes excellence through the annual Fiction & Poetry Awards and Fellows Awards for leadership in and across disciplines. We also support the Wisconsin Poet Laureate and many other endeavors that help the Academy create a better world by connecting Wisconsin people and ideas.

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