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Sustainability Symposium


UNC-Chapel Hill Global Sustainability Symposium

Water and Energy in the Crosshairs

February 6 – 8, 2013

Contact: Erica Edwards

“Water and Energy in the Crosshairs”  is the third in a four-part series on global sustainability bringing together local and global experts to explore key issues related to water and energy in an inter-disciplinary and community gathering. The symposium gathers a diverse audience comprised of faculty, students, business and civic leaders, and citizens of the tri-county region near UNC, with the goal of increasing understanding of issues important to human and ecological peace, health, and well-being. Beyond education, the symposium aims to present possible solutions with examples of best practices, to stimulate a productive discussion, and to enrich the network of those interested and informed about issues like climate change and water.

No registration fees. Free to all. Online registration ends Feb. 6.

“Water and Energy in the Crosshairs” is a cross-disciplinary collaboration among the Kenan-Flagler Business School’s Center for Sustainable Enterprise and Center for International Business Education and Research and UNC Global’s Center for European StudiesCenter for Slavic, Eurasian & East European StudiesAfrican Studies Center, and the UNC Institute for the Environment. Supported with funding from the U.S. Department of Education and the European Union. Special thanks to Bull’s Head Bookstore for help with the Christian Parenti book signing.





Documentary film screening and panel discussion: Switch

Location: The Varsity Theater, 123 East Franklin Street, Chapel Hill

Time: 6:30 pm

Every energy resource — fossil, nuclear and renewable — is undergoing profound changes. And overall, we’re gradually shifting from coal and oil to the energies of tomorrow. This sweeping transition is the subject of Switch. But rather than advocate for how it should happen, Switch travels the world to discover how it most likely will happen. Switch is also about a changing energy conversation. Today, it’s polarized and unproductive. Switch focuses on practical realities and encourages a balanced understanding. Finally, Switch is about changing the way we use energy, to realize the many economic and environmental benefits of efficiency. No charge.

After the film, please join us for a panel discussion that will explore energy in the Carolinas and engage the local community in a dialogue about sustainability.

Moderator: Natalie Birdwell – President of the UNC Energy Club


  • Hans Hartenstein – President, STEAG Energy Services, Kings Mountain, NC
  • Miriam Makhyoun – Clean Energy Data Analyst, NC Sustainable Energy Association, Raleigh
  • Jonas Monast – Director, Climate and Energy Program; Lecturing Fellow, Duke University School of Law; Adjunct Assistant Professor, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University




Location: Nelson Mandela Auditorium, FedEx Global Education Center, UNC-Chapel Hill DIRECTIONS

Opening Keynote: Christian Parenti, author of Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence

Time: 5:30-6:30 pm

Climate change is unleashing cascades of extreme weather which directly and indirectly fuel unrest and violence across ever-larger parts of the Global South. Drawing on his recently published Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence, Prof. Christian Parenti will show how environmental crisis is already converging with and exacerbating the socially destabilizing legacies of cold war militarism and neoliberal economics. At the same time, many governments and militaries in the Global North are preparing for the political effects of climate disruption, domestically with greater surveillance and police power, and internationally with programs of permanent open-ended counterinsurgency.

Thank you to all those in attendance. If you missed the event, please enjoy the video below.

Reception & Christian Parenti Book Signing

Time: 6:30 – 7:30 pm

Christian Parenti will sign copies of his books Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence; Lockdown America: Police and Prisons in the Age of Crisis; The Soft Cage: Surveillance in America from Slavery to the War on Terror; and The Freedom: Shadows and Hallucinations and Occupied Iraq. The book signing is sponsored by the Bull’s Head Bookshop and will be held in the FedEx Peacock Atrium.

Thursday photos (21) by Carol Perry



Location: Kenan Center, Kenan-Flagler Business School, UNC-Chapel Hill DIRECTIONS

Welcome: Carol Seagle, Assistant Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship & Director of Research at the Center for Sustainable Enterprise, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Time: 8:30 – 8:45 am


Panel Discussion: The Supply Side of the Water-Energy Nexus

Time: 8:45 – 10:00 am

The speakers will discuss the social, political, and economic consequences of demand for water and energy, which often exacerbate each other.

Moderator: Greg Characklis – Prof. at the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at UNC-CH


  • Christian Burgsmueller – Head of the Energy, Transportation and Environment Section of the EU Delegation in the US
  • Vikram Rao – Executive Director, Research Triangle Energy Consortium
  • Jennifer Turner – Director, China Environment Forum at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars


Panel Discussion: Corporate Perspectives on Energy and Water Consumption

Time: 10:15 –11:30 am

Business leaders from energy- and water-intensive industries will speak about their companies’ water and energy sustainability efforts.

Moderator: Carol Seagle – Director of Research for the Center for Sustainable Enterprise at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School


  • Matt Kopac – Social & Environmental Responsibility Manager, Burt’s Bees
  • Kim Marotta – Chief Sustainability Officer, MillerCoors
  • James Salo – Senior Vice President, Trucost



Student Leadership Summit

Time: 11:30 am – 1:00 pm

Leaders from UNC student groups across campus addressing sustainability will gather to discuss collaboration opportunities.


Networking Lunch

Time: 11:45 am – 1:00 pm


Friday photos (17) by Carol Perry


Panel Discussion: Learning from Germany’s Renewable Energy Policy

Time: 1:00 – 2:15 pm

Moderator: Philip Berke – Deputy Director of the Institute for the Environment (IE), Director of the IE Center for Sustainable Community Design, and Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning, UNC-CH


  • Dale Medearis – Senior Environmental Planner, Northern Virginia Regional Commission
  • Michael Mehling – President, Ecologic Institute

The speakers will give a joint presentation on Germany’s renewable energy policies and their applicability to the US. Germany is a leader in renewable energy, which can largely be attributed to prudent government policies and the response of localities to implement solutions in their city and regional planning. Mehling will provide an overview of the keys to success in Germany’s energy policy and provide commentary on valuable lessons for others to learn from Germany’s experience. Medearis will describe his efforts to apply these lessons to curb climate change in northern Virginia and will speak to what North Carolina can learn from this experience.



Closing Keynote: Ted Howes, Chair of The World Economic Forum’s Agenda Council on Sustainable Consumption

Time: 2:30 – 3:45 pm

Ted Howes’ keynote, “Beyond Sustainability,” will shift the focus from government and business to the individual level. Sustainability rapidly evolved from an intention to a buzzword to an increasingly incremental approach that is fundamentally insufficient to address global resource constraints and population growth. It’s time to reframe the sustainability conversation and get to sustainable consumption, in which the supply chain, consumer behavior change and the rules of the game are all addressed.  In this inspirational keynote, Howes will talk about how we will get there through specific examples of emergent efforts around sustainable consumption.


Closing Remarks: Erica Edwards, Executive Director, Center for European Studies, UNC-CH

Time: 3:45  – 4:00 pm


Photo by Kim Hansen. Postprocessing by Richard Bartz and Kim Hansen. Design by UNC Center for European Studies.