Community Climate Conversation brings together students, entrepreneurs, NGOs, investors

Organizations discuss climate change-related work and informally network with students

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The MIT Community Climate Conversations featured pitches from local environmental entrepreneurs and investors.
Sheila Baber–The Tech

The Priscilla King Gray Center, Office of Sustainability, and Radius held the MIT Community Climate Conversations event at the MIT Museum Feb. 7. With over 20 local organizations present, the event provided a space for environmentally-oriented students, faculty and staff, organizations, and investors to have discussions about climate change and network in an informal setting.

Placards such as “Policy & Advocacy,” “Sea Levels & Weather,” and “Energy & Technology” were placed around the room to facilitate conversations in those topics.

A key component of the event was a series of 90-second pitch presentations by local entrepreneurs and community organizations to promote their causes and advertise opportunities.

Among the presenters was Amber Houghstow ’11, one of the founders of Peace Rising, a nonprofit that seeks to identify risk areas for sociopolitical instability caused in part by climate change.

Houghstow said in an interview with The Tech that she had “wanted to maximize my personal impact in the world” and found that “breaking the cycle” between climate change and conflict captivated her. In addition to reaching out to potential interns, Houghstow hoped to create connections and collaborate with some of the organizations through the event.

For students such as Rachel Galowich ’18, the event provided an opportunity to connect with potential employers that aligned with their personal interests. “I am interested in infrastructure and climate adaptation,” Galowich said in an interview with The Tech. “It’s nice to have network sessions like this where companies are so approachable.”

Other featured organizations included Climigration, a group working to establish a hub for discussions on managed retreat from coastal areas impacted by climate change; ClimateX, an online community focused on climate action and learning, sponsored by the MIT Office of Open Learning and Office of Communication; and Boston Harbor Now, a local conservation group seeking to improve Boston’s waterfront and nearby islands.

A video of the pitches is available through the PKG’s Facebook Live event.