The University of Guam Conference on Island Sustainability April 12-15 will return to Hyatt Regency Guam to showcase island innovations and strategies that will collectively lead Guam towards a sustainable future, according to a university press release.
Pre-conference events for the 14th Annual Conference, including the Guam Energy Transition Symposium and the Submerged Lands Partnership, begin April 10. Conference co-chairs UOG President Thomas W. Crisis and Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero will discuss the theme “Rediscover the Depths of Our Island Wealth.”
This year’s keynote speakers are Hawaii- and New York-based entrepreneur Henk Rogers and international human rights lawyer Julian Aguon.
Rogers is known for his environmental work and his success in achieving Hawaii’s 100% renewable energy mandate by 2045. As the founder of the Blue Planet Alliance, Rogers inspires the rest of the world to do the same.
Courtesy of the University of Guam
The renewable energy visionary is also known for bringing the game of Tetris to a wider audience.
Tetris, a thriller recently released on Apple TV+, stars Taron Egerton portraying Rogers as he attempts to secure the rights to the game in the former Soviet Union. Rogers uses this heightened global awareness to drive action on climate change and create a sustainable global future.
Aguon is now the founder of Blue Ocean Law, a progressive law firm working at the intersection of indigenous rights and environmental justice.
He serves as the senior counsel for the Republic of Vanuatu, which is leading the global campaign to seek an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on climate change. He is the author of “No Country for Eight-Spot Butterflies” and was a finalist for the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary.
Other selected speakers are:
dr Nicole Yamase, the first Micronesian and Pacific Islander to descend to Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench; Kate Brown, executive director of the Global Island Partnership; Christine Landmeier, director of environmental sustainability at United Airlines; Omar Degan, director of DO Architecture Group, specializing in sustainability and emergency architecture; Basil Ottley, Director of Policy at the Home Office for Insular Affairs; Landisang Kotaro, Chief of Staff to the President of Palau.
Director Austin Shelton of the UOG Center for Island Sustainability and Sea Grant Programs hopes this year’s conference will provide new perspectives.
“Islands are often mistaken for being isolated, limited or vulnerable. This year we swim beyond the scarcity of the shallows, dive deeper and rediscover the abundance. We will see examples in food production, natural resource discovery and management, and the shift to a circular economy,” said Shelton.
Conference attendees will have the opportunity to participate in discussions, exchange ideas and learn from experts and thought leaders in their respective fields.
Keynote and breakout sessions will emphasize the importance of building multi-sectoral partnerships and effective and innovative solutions for sustainable development, green economy, food security, energy transition, climate change, humane society, youth empowerment and other relevant issues.
The main conference begins on April 12 with the Guam Green Growth Biannual Meeting. The community is invited to the opening.
This year’s conference also includes sustainability talks as part of the CIS SEED Talks: Ideas Worth Cultivating series. Similar to TED Talks, CIS SEED Talks are short, powerful presentations of 15 minutes or less designed to generate ideas on a variety of topics.
Registration is open for participants from April 13th to 15th. Special rates are available for residents, students and teachers of Guam and Micronesia.
For more information about in-person or online/virtual sessions, see uog.edu/cis2023/registration.