In partnership with New Republic and Business Forward, Kettering University hosted a range of federal, state and local leaders on December 2 for a policy forum on climate change.
The forum was part of New Republic’s ongoing ‘Next Frontier of Climate Change,’ a traveling series of events that explores climate change on the local level and the global stage. The Kettering forum focused on solutions for climate change at the state and local level as well as examined the future of sustainable manufacturing by bringing together a unique cross-section of climate change thinkers and leaders from government, industry, academia and the non-profit sector.
“Kettering and Flint are the perfect settings for this discussion,” said Kettering University President Dr. Robert K. McMahan, who spoke at the beginning of the forum. “It’s appropriate that a discussion about solving the global challenge of climate change is occurring here with many of our students and faculty in attendance. We have a long history of students, alumni and faculty being undaunted by grand global challenges like climate change, and we’re thrilled we were able to host this discussion on our campus.”
Bob Simon, Principal Advisor to the Director for Energy, Transportation, and Resources in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, headlined the event.
“The politics of energy in the United States are actually local,” Simon said. “The economy of Michigan is so tied to the global economy that the impact of climate change anywhere in the world can also have a disruptive impact here.”
The event was moderated by Jamil Smith, senior editor for New Republic.
Additional speakers were: Jeff Andresen, Michigan State Climatologist, Co-director of GLISA, NOAA Great Lakes RISA Program; James Clift, Policy Advisor, Michigan Environmental Council; Andrew Hoffman, Holcim Professor of Sustainable Enterprise, University of Michigan; Danielle Lewinski, Director of Michigan Alternatives, Center for Community Progress; Kevin Schronce, Lead Planner, City of Flint; William Stough, CEO, Sustainable Research Group.
Schronce noted the importance of public-private partnerships in the ability of municipalities to create sustainable solutions to challenges, and in particular highlighted Kettering University’s efforts in the city of Flint.
"Kettering is a model that should be duplicated nationally in terms of being a community partner and anchor,” Schronce said. "(Kettering’s engagement) opens up opportunities for student and faculty collaboration in the future which the city of Flint hopes to take advantage of.”