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  • Future Leaders Climate Summit

Aspen Institute Announces 2024 Future Leader Climate Fellows Set to Attend Miami Beach Summit & Aspen Ideas: Climate

Young climate leaders from around the world will convene in Miami Beach this March, launching a year-long fellowship in which they will build networks, collaborate, and drive change.


Contact: Jon Purves

Media Relations Director

The Aspen Institute


Washington, DC & Miami Beach, FL, Wednesday, January 31 – The Future Leaders Climate Initiative at the Aspen Institute, in partnership with the City of Miami Beach, is excited to announce the 2024 cohort of fellows attending this year’s Future Leaders Climate Summit. The 2024 cohort, comprising 110 dynamic and diverse young leaders aged 22-30 from across the globe as well as South Florida, is dedicated to combating climate change and championing sustainability. 28 Future Leader Climate Fellows originate from the South Florida community, 61 represent states across the U.S., and 21 come from international locations, including Albania, Algeria, Canada, Congo, Denmark, El Salvador, Kenya, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Trinidad & Tobago, UAE, and Uganda. 


Fellows are united by their collective commitment to effecting positive change in both global and local contexts. Fellows’ subject matter expertise spans a wide array of disciplines and industries, including Energy, Healthcare, Government, Communications, Non-Profit, and Academia. This intersectionality promises a rich and collaborative experience, fostering innovative solutions to the complex challenges of our time.


For a complete list of the 2024 Future Leader Climate Fellows, visit: https://www.futureleaders.aspeninstitute.org/2024-climate-fellows


”I hope to gain a deeper understanding of the issues affecting Future Leader Climate Fellows and exchange stories on how they’ve experienced growing up in a climate crisis, as well as ideas on tackling that crisis through many different cultural perspectives,” said Marcelo Ballardares, a 2024 Future Leader Climate Fellow. “Having opportunities like this means so much to me as a member of the generation that has had to fight just to be included in the conversation.


The Future Leaders Climate Summit will be held in Miami Beach, Florida, from March 9-11, 2024, and will gather our fellows to discuss climate policy, communications, advocacy, and individual action. Building on previous summits, this convening acts as a launching pad for our year-long fellowship. Participants will have the opportunity to network, learn, collaborate with some of the biggest voices in climate, and have access to spaces that have historically excluded the voices of young people.


During the summit, Future Leader Climate Fellows will work with experts and each other to develop ideas and recommendations for climate issues facing their communities today, from mitigating climate change, to adapting to extreme weather impacts, to preparing for a rapidly changing world, political unrest, forced migration, and security issues. Future Leaders will develop local action plans and make pledges to return to their communities and engage with local elected officials, educate their community, and drive action.


“The Future Leaders Climate Summit reignited my eco-optimism for environmental stewardship through creative problem-solving. This opportunity is exclusive to young people dedicated to addressing interdisciplinary challenges in the climate sector and propelled me from the academic to professional world, ”said Maya Bhalla-Ladd, a 2023 Future Leader. “I am a coral conservation marine biologist living in Miami, and I specialize in tropical marine ecosystem management and focus on the intersection of the social and natural world. As the global environment shifts, we are all being challenged by increasingly severe and enmeshed risks.”


The 2024 Future Leaders Climate Summit will include:

  • Workshops, panel conversations, and breakout discussions on climate solutions, including climate policy, new technologies, the green economy, climate communications, sustainable agriculture, healthy oceans, environmental justice, infrastructure adaptation, and community resilience in the face of climate change.

  • An opportunity to create a personal action plan to enact in their respective communities

  • Networking opportunities for careers in the green economy.

  • Field trips to local and historic resilience points of interest.

  • Mental health activations.


Following the summit, the Future Leader Climate Fellows are invited to stay in Miami Beach and continue the conversation at Aspen Ideas: Climate from March 11-13, 2024, presented by the Aspen Institute and the City of Miami Beach. Entering its third year, this inclusive multi-day event will focus on global and local solutions to the climate crisis, bringing together policymakers, scientific experts, business leaders, innovators, artists, young leaders and the public.


Following last year’s events, many Future Leaders landed funding for their projects and ideas; started new projects including educational platforms, civic engagement organizations, podcasts, and initiatives to address climate issues in their communities; and others had their work featured in media outlets such as Forbes, Teen Vogue, the Miami Herald, CBS, Grist, the Hollywood Reporter, and more. Previous Future Leaders have since gone on to:


  • Serve on the EPA’s Youth Advisory Council; 

  • Be chosen for the prestigious 776 Fellowship;

  • Receive grant funding and support for their work through organizations such as Riley’s Way Foundation and the Tom’s of Maine Incubator;

  • Present their work or speak at events such as the Bloomberg CityLab, COP28, YOUNGO’s Local Conference of Youth, the Aspen Institute’s This is Planet Ed Higher Ed Listening Sessions, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s PastForward Conference;

  • And secure positions working for the White House, the EPA, and other federal government agencies.


These outcomes were made possible through connections our fellows made by attending the Future Leaders Climate Summit and Aspen Ideas: Climate.


“When we first launched the Future Leaders Climate Initiative with our inaugural climate summit in 2020, a lot was happening in the world; there was a lot of uncertainty. Today, the 2024 summit and the overarching initiative has ignited a groundswell of enthusiasm,” said Nikki DeVignes, Director of the Future Leaders Climate Initiative. “I am captivated by the collective momentum and its potential to garner unprecedented support for the impactful work championed by our Future Leaders. I look forward to the contributions the 2024 Fellows will undoubtedly bring to the forefront in the coming months.”


“Attending the Future Leaders Climate Summit and Aspen Ideas: Climate has been a pivotal experience for me. Not only did I gain profound insights into pressing climate challenges and potential solutions, but I also connected with a diverse network of passionate individuals committed to driving positive change,” said Angela Zhong, a 2023 Future Leader. “Being recognized has undoubtedly opened doors, granting me access to resources, mentorship, and platforms to further advocate for climate action.” 


Members of the public will have a number of options to experience Aspen Ideas: Climate, including multi-day passes and tickets for individual events. Details about programming, speakers and access are available at www.aspenideasclimate.org.


The Future Leaders Climate Initiative was launched by the Aspen Institute Energy and Environment Program in 2020, and is aimed at empowering and harnessing the young voices that will shape climate conversations going forward. The inaugural Future Leaders Climate Summit took place virtually in August 2020, and this will be its third in-person convening hosted by the City of Miami Beach.


For media: Reporters interested in engaging with the Future Leaders Climate Summit or speaking to Fellows from previous years should contact Jon Purves: Jon.Purves@aspeninstitute.org. Aspen Ideas: Climate is accepting applications for press credentials here.


About Aspen Ideas: Climate  

In collaboration with the City of Miami Beach and a diverse group of partner institutions in and beyond South Florida, the Aspen Institute is enlisting global and local policymakers, scientific experts, corporate leaders, inventors and innovators, artists, young leaders, influencers, and engaged members of the public to participate in Aspen Ideas: Climate is a multi-day event that is designed to offer the public a chance to interact, learn, and collaborate with thinkers and doers whose actions are critical to addressing our collective future around the realities of a changing climate. For more information, visit www.aspenideasclimate.org.


The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization whose purpose is to ignite human potential to build understanding and create new possibilities for a better world. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve society’s greatest challenges. It is headquartered in Washington, DC and has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, as well as an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org

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