Keynote Speakers

Julian Agyeman is a Professor in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University. He is the originator of the increasingly influential concept of just sustainabilities, which explores the increasingly intersecting goals of social justice and environmental sustainability. He identifies himself as a critical urban planning and environmental social science scholar. With over 175 publications, his books include: Sacred Civics: Building Seven Generation Cities (Routledge, 2022); Introducing Just Sustainabilities: Policy, Planning and Practice (Zed Books/Bloomsbury Publishing, 2013); Sustainable Communities and the Challenge of Environmental Justice (NYU Press, 2005). He believes that what our cities can become (sustainable, smart, sharing and resilient) and who is allowed to belong in them (recognition of difference, diversity, and a right to the city) are fundamentally and inextricably interlinked. We must therefore act on both belonging and becoming, together, using just sustainabilities as the anchor, or face deepening spatial and social inequities and inequalities. In November 2021, he was invited by then Boston Mayor-Elect Michelle Wu to be a Transition Advisor on her Transition Committee. In November 2023, he was awarded the title Hedersdoktorer (Honorary Doctor) at KTH Royal institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.

Jonathan Foley is a renowned climate & environmental scientist, writer, and speaker. He is also executive director of Project Drawdown — the world’s leading resource for climate solutions. His work focuses on finding solutions to sustain the climate, ecosystems, and natural resources we all depend on. Foley’s work has led him to become a trusted advisor to governments, foundations, non-profits, and business leaders around the world. He and his colleagues have made contributions to our understanding of climate change, the global food system, and the sustainability of the world’s resources. He has published over 140 scientific articles, including many highly cited works in Nature and Science. He earned his Ph.D. from the Department of Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences at the University of Wisconsin, and is among the top 1 percent most-cited scientists in the world. A noted science communicator, his presentations have been featured at hundreds of venues, including the Aspen Institute, the World Bank, the National Geographic Society, the Chautauqua Institution, the Commonwealth Club, the National Science March, and TED. He has also written many popular pieces in National Geographic, the New York Times, the Guardian, and Scientific American.  Foley has won numerous awards and honors, including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, awarded by President Clinton; the J.S. McDonnell Foundation’s 21st Century Science Award; an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellowship; the Sustainability Science Award from the Ecological Society of America; and the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development Award. He was also named as the winner of the prestigious Heinz Award for the Environment.

Amy Luers has over 25 years of experience working at the intersection of science, technology and policy. A former assistant director on climate resilience and information in the Obama White House and senior environment manager at Google, she is a member of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations and has served on committees of the U.S. Global Change Research Program and the National Academies of Sciences. Dr. Luers started her career working in rural water development in Latin America as co-founder and the first executive director of Agua Para La Vida (Water for Life). She spent a number of years directing the water and climate security work at the Skoll Global Threats Fund. She sits on several advisory boards including the Carnegie Climate Governance Initiative, STS Forum Regional Climate Action, the IEEE Committee on Ethically Designed AI for a Sustainable Planet, the International Observatory on the Societal Impacts of AI and Digital Technologies, and the US National Council for Science and the Environment. Amy Luers holds a Ph.D. in environmental science and an M.A. in international policy studies, from Stanford University; a B.S. and M.S. in environmental systems engineering from Humboldt State University; and a B.A. in philosophy from Middlebury College. She has published in both peer-reviewed and popular media on big data and the digital age, science communication, climate policy and vulnerability and resilience of human-environmental systems. has over two decades of experience working on climate and sustainability. She has published widely on topics including societal vulnerability and resilience, climate impact and policy, science communication, and digitalization and sustainability.