A panel of experts

A panel of experts discussed environmental issues at last year’s forum.

The annual Sun Valley Institute Forum on Resilience will return this weekend for its fifth consecutive year. The four-day event will span Tuesday, July 23, through Friday, July 26, at the Argyros Performing Arts Center in Ketchum.

Business leaders, philanthropists, intellectuals, artists, scientists, government officials and others from around the world will convene in Ketchum to discuss the future of energy, politics, urbanization and the environment, sharing their diverse experiences and perspectives to develop strategies for progress.

Issues of climate change form the primary focus of this year’s forum.

“Accelerating environmental harm is a threat multiplier to our economically interdependent world and calls for urgent, proactive leadership to build resilience,” said Aimée Christensen, founder of both the Sun Valley Institute and the forum. “Our task is informed by the World Economic Forum’s 2019 Global Risks report … which named the top two risks facing humanity—extreme weather events and the failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation.”

Through lectures and workshop sessions in the Innovation Laboratory, forum participants will tackle those global conundrums and progress toward solutions.

The “Political Climate” podcast—presented by the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and the USC Schwarzenegger Institute—will return to the forum, recording live. The podcast dissects the tense and turbulent relationship between politics and environmental activism, and how to move forward bridging those gaps.

Recent guests on the podcast, hosted by Julia Pyper, include Greta Thunberg, Arnold Schwarzenegger and United Nations Secretary General António Guterres.

Among the many distinguished speakers at this year’s forum are Mitch Anderson, founder and executive director of Amazon Frontlines; Jeff Goodell, contributing editor of Rolling Stone magazine; Mark Prain, founding director of New Zealand’s Hillary Institute; Olaf Sleijpen, director of insurance supervision at De Nederlandsche Bank, the central bank of the Netherlands; and Sherri Goodman, secretary general of the International Military Council on Climate and Security.

Those are just a few of the speakers on the forum’s extensive docket. Together, they represent a wide variety of backgrounds, agendas and organizations. Pooling a diverse host of ideas and perspectives is part of the event’s core defining principles.

“Each year, the forum sparks new cross-sector collaborations, mobilizes capital towards promising ideas and inspires uncommon thinking,” Christensen said.

As the forum unfolds, the Sun Valley Institute will premiere a parallel program for high school students to rally together and tackle the same issues.

The inaugural Youth Forum is organized by and for young leaders from all over the United States, as well as a few international students. Titled “Claiming Our Future: Youth Action for a Resilient World,” this congress seeks to groom the next generation of global leaders and innovative thinkers.

Speaking of the newly assembled Youth Council, Christensen said, “We are pleased to announce that the 2019 Sun Valley Forum will welcome these visionary national leaders.”

Kelsey Juliana, 23, Vic Barrett, 20, and Jamie Margolin, 17, have all been tapped to speak at both the main forum and the youth program. Those three young activists have spearheaded initiatives to fight climate change and have even faced down government policies in court.

The two forums will proceed alongside one another for three days next week. The fourth and final day, Friday, has been designated as an Adventure Day.

One of the benefits of hosting such a series in the Sun Valley area is the unparalleled mountain scenery. Since the crux of the forum will be dedicated to discussing the environment, the Adventure Day provides attendees with an opportunity to experience their natural world firsthand and see just what it is they are fighting to preserve.

Some tickets are still available for the proceedings, both the main forum and the youth edition.

Visit sunvalleyforum.com for tickets and event details.

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