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Confirmed Speakers

22 April 2017

Generation 1.5°C : A unique intergenerational climate workshop


  • Cameron Hepburn, (Australia-at-Large & Magdalen 2000)

    Cameron Hepburn, (Australia-at-Large & Magdalen 2000)

    Director, Economics of Sustainability, the Institute for New Economic Thinking, Oxford Martin School

    Cameron Hepburn is the Director of the Economics for Sustainability Programme at the Oxford Martin School’s Institute for New Economic Thinking. Professor Hepburn is an expert in environmental, resource and energy economics and is a Professor of Environmental Economics at the Smith School and at the Institute for New Economic Thinking. He is also Professorial Research Fellow at the Grantham Research Institute at the London School of Economics and a Fellow at New College, Oxford. He is involved in policy formation, including as a member of the DECC Secretary of State’s Economics Advisory Group. He has also had an entrepreneurial career, co-founding two successful businesses and investing in several other start-ups. Professor Hepburn holds a D.Phil (Ph.D) in economics from the University of Oxford.

Key Note Speakers

  • Zach Sims

    Zach Sims

    CEO, Codeacademy

    Zach is the cofounder and CEO of Codecademy, the leading online education company closing the skills gap by teaching programming.


  • Myles Allen

    Myles Allen

    Professor of Geosystem Science, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford

    Myles Allen is Professor of Geosystem Science in the School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, and Head of the Climate Dynamics Group in the University's Department of Physics. His research focuses on how human and natural influences on climate contribute to observed climate change and risks of extreme weather and in quantifying their implications for long-range climate forecasts. Professor Allen has served on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as Lead Author on Detection of Climate Change and Attribution of Causes for the 3rd Assessment in 2001 and as Review Editor on Global Climate Projections for the 4th Assessment in 2007. He proposed the use of Probabilistic Event Attribution to quantify the contribution of human and other external influences on climate to specific individual weather events.

  • Alice Chautard

    Alice Chautard

    Events and Engagement Officer, Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford

    Alice is the Events and Engagement Officer at the University of Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute. She holds a BSc in Environmental Sciences from McGill University and an MSc in Water Science, Policy and Management from the University of Oxford. She worked for Global Water Intelligence and the Earthwatch Institute before returning to the Environmental Change Institute in 2016. She was part of the organising team of the 1.5˚C Conference, which took place on 20-22 September last year and where she led the rapporteur team. She will present to you the key messages and conclusions from the 1.5˚C Conference and in particular their relevance to the Special Report the IPCC has been invited to produce in 2018.

  • Dan Esty (Massachusetts & Balliol 1981)

    Dan Esty (Massachusetts & Balliol 1981)

    Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law and Policy, Director of Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy, Yale

    Dan Esty is the Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law and Policy at Yale University with primary appointments in Yale’s Environment and Law Schools and a secondary appointment at the Yale School of Management. He serves as Director of the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and on the Advisory Board of the Yale Center for Business and Environment, which he founded in 2006. Professor Esty is the author or editor of ten books and dozens of articles on environmental protection, energy, and sustainability – and their connections to policy, corporate strategy, competitiveness, trade, performance measurement, and economic success. His prizewinning volume, Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage, has recently been named the top-selling “green business” book of the past decade.

  • Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty

    Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty

    U.S. Representative for the 5th Congressional District of Connecticut

    Elizabeth Esty is the U.S. Representative for the 5th Congressional District of Connecticut. Elizabeth was elected to Congress on November 6, 2012. She’s committed to reinvigorating her district’s manufacturing tradition through investments in infrastructure, research and development, and job training. She is also a strong proponent of helping small businesses and promoting the green jobs of the future in the 5th District. Congresswoman Esty graduated from Harvard University in 1981 and earned her law degree from Yale Law School in 1985. After clerking for U.S. District Judge Robert Keeton of Massachusetts, she joined the firm of Sidley Austin and served as a member of the Supreme Court bar. She later taught as an adjunct professor at American University and worked in healthcare and Medicare policy as a Senior Research scholar at Yale.

  • Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner

    Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner

    Marshallese educator and prominent climate poet / activist

    Kathy is a Marshall Islander poet and spoken word artist. She received international acclaim through her inspirational poetry performance at the opening of the United Nations Climate Summit in New York in 2014. Her writing and performances have been featured by CNN, Democracy Now, Mother Jones, the Huffington Post, NBC News, National Geographic, Vogue Magazine, Nobel Women’s Initiative, and more. In February 2017, the University of Arizona Press will publish her first collection of poetry, Iep Jāltok: Poems from a Marshallese Daughter. Ms Jetñil-Kijiner also co-founded the youth climate change non-profit Jo-Jikum dedicated to empowering Marshallese youth to seek solutions to climate change and other environmental impacts threatening their home island. She has been selected as one of 13 Climate Warriors by Vogue in 2015 and the Impact Hero of the Year by Earth Company in 2016. She received her Master’s in Pacific Island Studies from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

  • Bill McKibben

    Bill McKibben

    Author, activist and founder of

    Bill McKibben is an author and environmentalist who in 2014 was awarded the Right Livelihood Prize, sometimes called the ‘alternative Nobel.’ His 1989 book The End of Nature is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change and has appeared in 24 languages; he’s gone on to write a dozen more books. He is a founder of, the first planet-wide, grassroots climate change movement, which has organized twenty thousand rallies around the world in every country save North Korea, spearheaded the resistance to the Keystone Pipeline, and launched the fast-growing fossil fuel divestment movement. The Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he was the 2013 winner of the Gandhi Prize and the Thomas Merton Prize, and holds honorary degrees from 18 colleges and universities.

  • His Excellency Mohamed Nasheed

    His Excellency Mohamed Nasheed

    Former President of the Maldives and UN Champion of the Earth

    Often dubbed the ‘Mandela of the Maldives’ Mohamed Nasheed was the Maldives’ first democratically elected president. He remains a figurehead for the promotion of human rights and democracy in Islamic countries, and an international icon for action against climate change. During his time in office and thereafter, Nasheed has played a prominent global role advocating for action to curb greenhouse gas emissions that threaten his nation. In 2009, to highlight the Maldives’ vulnerability to rising sea levels, Nasheed famously held a meeting of his cabinet underwater. Nasheed also implemented policies to turn the Maldives into the world’s first carbon neutral country by 2020. President Nasheed has won numerous awards for his work, including being named as a UN ‘Champion of the Earth,’ included on Newsweek’s 2010 list of ‘World’s Ten Best Leaders,’ and called a ‘Hero of the Environment’ by Time Magazine in 2009.

  • Clare Shakya

    Clare Shakya

    Director of Climate Change at the International Institute for Environment and Development

    Clare Shakya is the Director of IIED’s Climate Change Group. She has over 25 years of experience in development, in climate, energy and natural resources. She spent 15 years with DFID where she led Asia and then Africa Division’s climate change response, integrating climate change thinking and finance into DFID's development interventions. She is interested in politically astute, agile processes that learn iteratively about what climate action works and how to support a just transformation to a climate positive future. Clare is responsible for the oversight of the propositional research of IIED’s climate change group and their strategy to deliver the SDGs in a 1.5oC world. She supports LDC climate negotiators develop an initiative to build their capability to leapfrog to a modern distributed smart grid. She works with the group on getting climate finance to the local level, to support poor people’s priorities for climate positive action. And on building southern capabilities so as to end fly in fly out technical assistance. She is also a strategic adviser on transformational change to the Infrastructure, Cities and Economic Development programme, providing advice and challenge across the programme as well as technical support on energy, water and effective communication of learning.

  • Varun Sivaram (California & St John’s 2011)

    Varun Sivaram (California & St John’s 2011)

    Philip D. Reed Fellow for Science and Technology at the Council on Foreign Relations

    Varun Sivaram is the Philip D. Reed Fellow for Science and Technology at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is also an adjunct Professor at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, a nonresident fellow at the Columbia University Center for Global Energy Policy, and a member of the advisory boards for the Stanford University Woods Institute for the Environment and Precourt Institute for Energy. Forbes named him one of the 30 under 30 in Law and Policy, Grist selected him as one of the top 50 leaders in sustainability, and Klout ranked him as one of the top 5 global thought leaders on solar energy. He is the author of the book, Taming the Sun: Innovations to Harness Solar Energy and Power the Planet (MIT University Press, March 2018). Dr Sivaram also serves as strategic advisor to the office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Reforming the Energy Vision, and he was formerly a consultant at McKinsey & Company, where he counseled Fortune 500 companies on adapting to the modern competitive landscape in energy. Prior to this role, he served as senior advisor for energy and water policy to the mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, and oversaw the city’s Department of Water and Power. A Truman and a Rhodes scholar, he holds degrees from Stanford University in engineering physics and international relations, with honours in international security. Dr Sivaram holds a PhD in condensed matter physics from St. John’s College, Oxford University, where he developed third-generation solar photovoltaic coatings for building-integrated applications.

  • Achim Steiner

    Achim Steiner

    Director, Oxford Martin School and former Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme

    Achim Steiner was appointed Director of the Oxford Martin School on 1st September 2016. Prior to joining the University of Oxford he served as United Nations Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (2006-2016). During his tenure at the United Nations, Mr Steiner helped to position UNEP as a central global player on issues such as climate change, technology innovation, ecosystems management and the role of markets and the private sector in sustainable development. Mr Steiner graduated in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (MA) from the University of Oxford, holds an MA from the University of London/School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), and completed his post-graduate studies at the German Development Institute as well as the Harvard Business School Executive Programme. He has been awarded a doctorate honoris causa by the International University in Geneva and is an Honorary Professor at Tongji University, Shanghai.