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2024 SIDGE Morning Panel - Technology and Climate Impacts

Jan 12, 2024 | 10:00 am
The Commonwealth Club, 110 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94105

This Event Has Already Occurred


This enlightening conversation addresses the importance of inclusive climate action planning and community-driven design that creates the climate movement we need.

This expert panel convenes leading voices from diverse fields in the climate justice movement, ethics, technology, and policy to engage in insightful discourse. It is a thoughtful call to action aimed at inspiring attendees to address the ethical considerations in climate action planning and community-driven design, ensuring that innovation aligns with human values and respects the rights and dignity of all individuals.

The panelists include:

Amali Tower, founder & executive director, Climate Refugees. Amali (she/her) has extensive global experience in refugee protection, resettlement, forced migration and displacement contexts, having worked for NGOs, the UN Refugee Agency and the US Refugee Admissions Program. Years of interviewing refugees fleeing conflict allowed her the chance to hear their stories of also fleeing climate change. Through this, Climate Refugees was born. She has conducted research in climate displacement contexts, including in urban and camp settings. Her case study on climate, conflict and displacement in Africa’s Lake Chad Basin was presented as evidence of loss and damage at COP26. She is a member of the World Economic Forum Expert Network in Migration, Human Rights & Humanitarian Response and the UC Berkeley climate refugees working group. She sits on the advisory board of The Center for Climate and Security in Washington D.C. (courtesy Climate Refugees)

Afua Bruce, is a leading public interest technologist who works at the intersection of technology, policy, and society. Bruce began her career as a software engineer at IBM. She then joined the FBI where she served in various strategy and program management roles. In 2015, she was appointed to the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House as the Executive Director of the National Science and Technology Council where she led over 100 different Federal inter-agency working groups across topics that included: environment, and sustainability, homeland and national security, science, technology, and STEM education. Bruce then became the first Director of Engineering and a Fellow in the newly formed Public Interest Technology program at New America. In this program, Bruce oversaw the Public Interest Technology University Network, and worked with technologists working with state and local government, and NGOs, to develop technology and policy. In February 2020, it was announced that Bruce would be the new Chief Program Officer at DataKind. Bruce also holds a faculty position at Carnegie Mellon University. Bruce was among 29 people named to Joseph R. Biden, Jr.'s agency review team for the Department of Justice in November 2020. Bruce is the co-author of the 2022 book, The Tech That Comes Next, a non-fiction analysis of how technology can play a role in an equitable world. (courtesy Wikipedia)

Carlton Waterhouse is an international expert on environmental law and environmental justice, as well as reparations and redress for historic injustices. In 2021, he was appointed by President Joe Biden in the role of Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Land and Emergency Management at the Environmental Protection Agency and nominated to the United States Senate to serve as the Assistant Administrator for the office. He is a Fulbright research scholar and is a board member of the Environmental Law Institute and the National Academy of Sciences Climate Crossroads Advisory Committee. He actively participates in national and local organizations protecting civil rights and advancing environmental protection and justice. Using an interdisciplinary approach, Professor Waterhouse examines critical social issues facing the country and the world in his scholarship. His forthcoming book with Cambridge University Press explores the historic and contemporary role of the United States Supreme Court in maintaining and dismantling racial dominance. Carlton is a Professor of Law and the founding director of the Environmental and Climate Justice Center at the Howard University School of Law School.

Dr. Theodora Dryer is a computing and technology scholar and critical policy analyst. Her work centers on the political functions of algorithms and artificial intelligence in water and natural resource management. She is Director of the Water Justice and Technology Studio, cofounder of the Critical Carbon Computing Collective, and teaches on technology and environmental justice at New York University. Dr. Dryer holds awards from the Charles Babbage Institute in Information Technology and the IEEE in History of Electrical and Computing Technology. Her work has appeared in Oxford University Press, Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences, Osiris, SSIR, and elsewhere.

Maria João Sousa is a PiTech Startup Postdoc at Cornell Tech and Executive Director at Climate Change AI, which is a global non-profit that catalyzes impactful work at the intersection of climate change and machine learning. She received her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa. Her doctoral thesis focused on cooperative aerial robotics and artificial intelligence for wildfire detection and monitoring systems and was developed as a research fellow at both IDMEC in the Center of Intelligent Systems and at ADAI in the Forest Fire Research Center. Her research interests are in the areas of computational intelligence, robotics, and networked systems. She was nominated for the UN Environment Young Champions of the Earth 2018 Prize for her project on decentralized intelligent sensor networks for fire detection and monitoring.

This is a free event requiring a ticket for entry. Find the link in the Registration section. Limited seating.




Jan 12, 2024 | 10:00 am

The Commonwealth Club, 110 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94105

free ticket required

registration required

All are welcome


This event will be livestreamed. Register for your livestream link today.