Planet Forward Summit 2023 Program

A list of speakers and events from the 2023 Planet Forward Summit in Washington, D.C on April 20, 2023.

Planet Forward Summit 2023 Program


Thursday, April 20


GW School of Media & Public Affairs (SMPA), Jack Morton Auditorium (JMA) 805 21st St. NW, Washington, DC 20052

8 am

Networking & Breakfast, 2nd floor of SMPA

​9 am 


Troi Newman (GW, M.P.S. ’21), Planet Forward Indigenous Correspondent, University of Arizona


Frank Sesno, Planet Forward Founding Director

Provost Christopher Bracey, George Washington University

PRESENTATION – Know Your Audience, Grow Your Audience

Ed Maibach, Director of Center for Climate Change Communication, George Mason University

Q&A – Making It Relevant: Water Stories

Planet Forward Student Storytellers:

Sachi Mulkey, University of California-Berkeley

Beverly Ndifoin, Mandela Washington Fellow

Katie Perkins, Texas Tech University

Carter Weinhofer, Eckerd College

PRESENTATION – Bringing It Home: Stories from Drawdown’s Neighborhood

Matt Scott, Director of Storytelling and Engagement, Project Drawdown

PANEL – Advocating Your Story 

Gabrielle Gurley, The American Prospect

Ashley Walker, Climate Reality Project

Maria Zaharatos, Middlebury Institute 

Moderator: Joanna Huxster, Eckerd College

10:15 am

Networking & Coffee, 2nd floor of SMPA

10:40 am


University Student Center, 800 21s St. NW

12 – 1:30 pm 

LUNCH – Grand Ballroom, University Student Center


Artealia Gilliard, Environmental Leadership & Sustainability, Ford Motor Company


Jack Morton Auditorium, 805 21st St NW

1:45 pm

INTERVIEW – Seeing the Planet Through Sound

Sadie Babits, Supervising Climate Editor, NPR; Past President, Society of Environmental Journalists interviewed by Eric Forbes, Colorado State University

CONVERSATION – Investing in Inclusion, Seeking Sustainability

Kristin Jarrett, Equity and Impact Lead, Spotify with Adriana Martinez-Smiley, Northwestern University

PANEL – Ilíiaitchik: Indigenous Correspondents Program: Native Knowledge and Narratives

Our Indigenous Student Correspondents

Moderator: Valerie Vande Panne, Indigenous Correspondents Program Adviser

CONVERSATION – Bridging the Divide 

Bob Inglis, Executive Director, with Vidya Muthupillai, George Washington University

KEYNOTE – Pictures from the Frontlines of Climate Change

Katie Orlinsky, National Geographic Contributing Photographer

3:35 pm

Networking & Coffee, 2nd floor of SMPA

4 – 5 pm

CONVERSATION – A Filmmaker’s Eye: Capturing the Narrative

John Sutter, Ted Turner Professor of Environmental Media, George Washington University 

PANEL – On Location with Planet Forward 

Jake Meyers, University of Arizona ‘20

 Eva Sideris, SUNY-ESF ‘23

Jennifer Vilcarino, George Washington University ‘22

Moderator: Lisa Palmer, George Washington University and Planet Forward

CONVERSATION – Off to Iceland: A Sustainable Success Story

Bergdís Ellertsdóttir, Ambassador of Iceland to the United States


Amy Berquist, Lindblad Expeditions

Friday, April 21

University Student Center, 800 21st St. NW

8:30 – 9:15 am

Room 301 – Grab & Go Breakfast & Coffee

9:15 – 10:30 am

Workshops, Session A 

10:45 am – 12 pm

Workshops, Session B

12 pm

Grab & Go Lunch