“It’s not just another conference on climate change. It’s about solutions.” The pitch to your boss for the resources to attend CCx: Business — the heart of our Climate City Expo (CCx) — doesn’t have to be more complicated than that.
Advance a Culture of Solutions-Oriented Thinking
Yes, Asheville, North Carolina, is home to the world’s largest repository of weather and climate data — and the people who manage all that information. And yes, that numerical treasure trove explains why the conference is set in a city known primarily for its craft beer and outdoor tourism. But CCx: Business isn’t about crunching numbers any more than it’s about IPAs or zip lines. It’s about building a new culture of entrepreneurial action and solutions-oriented thinking. And if a company wants to play a role in that emerging culture, representation at CCx is the best opportunity to.
Last year’s inaugural conference drew hundreds of executives, scientists, investors, and other thought leaders eager to bring the collective intelligence of the marketplace to bear on the challenges posed by a changing climate. The conference was hardly over before it was clear that making the event an annual occurrence was not only desirable but also essential.
Meet Like-Minded Thinkers and Innovators
Jeff Hicks, CEO of FernLeaf+NEMAC, one of the first data analytics firms to set up shop in our innovation ecosystem for climate entrepreneurship, calls The Collider “the center of gravity” for anyone working on solutions to the global problems posed by new weather patterns, rising sea levels, rising temperatures, and other threats to the status quo. And once a year, that gravity brings together like-minded thinkers with both the ideas that need funding and the money to put those ideas to work.
“Obviously we have the advantage, already being in Asheville, that it’s just a walk down the street for us to attend events like this,” says Scott Stevens, a researcher with the North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies, which is based just down the street from The Collider. But CCx: Business wouldn’t be such a draw if only locals showed up. Because of the global participation, “we’re able to attend a multitude of scientific events and meet a huge variety of people,” says Steven.
Among the attendees this year will be representatives of firms devoted to managing risk (Global Parametrics, Acclimatise) and predicting (AccuWeather), monetizing (Amazon), insuring (Aon), and reporting on (Axios, Bloomberg) climate change. On the agenda are panels on data, media trends, governance, innovation, finance, risk, and investment.
A Golden Opportunity You Can’t Pass Up
Perhaps the best justification for showing up comes from Greg Lowe of the London-based insurance broker Aon. Speaking at the opening sessions of last year’s Business of Climate Forum Lowe said that climate services are poised to play a critical role in global management of billions of dollars, yet too many companies are letting a golden opportunity pass them by. “Large businesses need to be partnering with some of the start-ups in this room,” he said.
So, no, not just another climate conference but a chance to get in on the ground floor of some of the biggest investment decisions in history.