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Scroll down the timeline below to see ESI’s past events
September 7, 2022
This three-day conference brought together social and natural scientists, policymakers, industry stakeholders, and environmental organizations from six continents to examine the social and environmental impacts of expanded mining for clean energy materials.
December 2, 2021
A screening, hosted with the MIT List Visual Arts Center, of James Rutenbeck’s documentary, with a Q&A with the filmmaker and the film’s coproducer/subject Kafi Dixon.
November 29, 2021
Electronic musician Tony McGuinness and aerospace engineer and MIT Media Lab director Dava Newman were among the panelists in this discussion of the music industry’s opportunities to make a difference on climate change.
November 4, 2021
ESI’s five inaugural journalism fellows joined author and sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild to share their experiences reporting local climate stories in regions of the U.S. where many are still skeptical of climate science and solutions.
September 29, 2021
ESI hosted a discussion of sustainability curricula in higher ed and cross-university collaborations for teaching sustainability, with speakers from MIT, Stanford, Arizona State University and Carnegie Mellon.
May 26, 2021
Nine speakers from five continents came together to address the emerging field of urban policy and design for biodiversity conservation.
April 22, 2021
A broadcast of a few favorite episodes of our TILclimate podcast, with live listener Q&A with the production team and the experts featured on the show.
October 14, 2020
Luis Gilberto Murillo, Mabel Torres, and Carlos Nobre discuss the loss of the Amazon rainforest and local economic opportunities in conserving it.
September 30, 2020
ESI partnered with MIT undergrad Jacob Fine to host a virtual panel on the revitalization of green spaces in cities, and what this could do for communities and to protect urban residents from the impacts of climate change.
June 25, 2020
Dan Sullivan is a Republican U.S. Senator from Alaska and sponsor of the Save Our Seas and Save Our Seas 2.0 Acts. Alex Padilla is the Democratic Secretary of State for California and author of that state’s plastic bag ban.
June 18, 2020
This two-day virtual workshop joined scientists with policy makers, advocates and corporate partners to explore the strongest, most scientifically informed policy avenues for eliminating plastic waste from the environment.
December 12, 2019
ESI co-sponsored a student-moderated panel of Boston-area climate activists and organizers to discuss their theories of influence on climate action.
December 5, 2019
“Mining the Deep Sea” is an original documentary from MIT exploring the new practice of extracting materials from the sea floor, featuring ESI seed grant recipient Prof. Tom Peacock as he seeks to understand the ecological consequences of deep-sea mining before it becomes big business. This world premiere screening was sponsored by ESI, the MIT Policy Lab, and the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
November 6, 2019
This ESI Plastics and the Environment Program workshop convened researchers and corporate and nonprofit representatives to discuss the challenges of predicting the behavior of microplastics in the ocean, and opportunities to gain a clearer picture of the world’s plastic pollution problem.
September 3, 2019
In this interactive game hosted by ESI and Prof. John Sterman, incoming MIT students had a chance to dig under the hood of a real state-of-the-art climate model as they negotiated policies to keep global warming under 1.5 degrees C by 2100.
April 23, 2019
A week packed with environment and sustainability events on campus, including the inaugural MIT Climate Night.
November 30, 2018
Ed Markey represents Massachusetts in the United States Senate, where he is one of the most active U.S. Senators on climate issues and serves on the Committee on Environment and Public Works and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
November 5, 2018
Veronica Coptis is the Executive Director of the Center for Coalfield Justice in Pennsylvania. CCJ pushes for economic and environmental justice with coalfield communities through advocacy, education, and organizing.
October 18, 2018
September 19, 2018
September 6, 2018
ESI’s 3rd annual welcome party, featuring Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and games.
June 5, 2018
This full-day symposium highlighted needs for new SENSE technologies, showcased research and innovations, and presented the impact of these technologies in Water, Environment and Agriculture systems.
May 17, 2018
Bioavailable inorganic nitrogen limits the fertility of many environmental systems, from local lakes and rivers to coastal bays to much of the global ocean. Denitrification is a multi-step microbial pathway by which environmental bacteria naturally consume inorganic nitrogen. Thank you to Andrew for a great seminar and to all of the attendees!
May 12, 2018
The One Sustainable World lounge featured environment and sustainability-related work at MIT curated by the ESI.
April 21, 2018
April 13, 2018
ESI’s first ever Twitter scavenger hunt, #CPWHunt featuring sustainability-related spots on campus.
April 12, 2018
Leslie Norford, Architecture; David Hsu, DUSP; Christoph Reinhart, Architecture MIT’s redevelopment of the Volpe Center demands a vision for energy infrastructure and systems commensurate with the intellectual and social benefits the revitalized center will bring to the Institute and to Cambridge. This close-to-home project will focus attention and discussion within the MIT community about our efforts towards climate change, and how we can better exemplify efforts in the broader city and academic community.
March 15, 2018
Lawrence Susskind and Gabriella Carolini, DUSP shared their research on achieving water affordability in America’s shrinking cities. “As steeply rising water rates have outpaced low-income customers’ ability to pay, especially in cities like Detroit and Baltimore, mass water disconnections and ‘pockets of water poverty’ are signaling the onset of a water affordability crisis in urban America…We propose to work with all the relevant stakeholders to invent alternatives to cutoffs.”
February 24, 2018
Chasing Coral is the winner of the 2017 US documentary audience award at Sundance. Coral reefs around the world are vanishing at an unprecedented rate. This screening was sponsored by ESI, UA Sustainability, and Fossil Free MIT.
February 15, 2018
From the Ashes invites audiences to learn more about an industry on the edge and what it means for their lives. This screening was sponsored by ESI, Sustainability Initiative, and Fossil Free MIT.
February 15, 2018
Julie Newman, DUSP & Director of MITOS, and Tim Gutowski, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, shared their new class for the semester, Solving for carbon neutrality (11.S938 / 2.S999). Their approach to the class involves 5 major themes, multidispinary speakers from different facets of the MIT Plan for Action on Climate Change, and a final project for students to create their own proposed solutions.
January 17, 2018
Researchers, industry leaders, and governmental representatives alike gathered for a workshop on microfibers and microplastics, an emerging field with a limited body of research. The featured speakers lectured on this finite knowledge and neighboring subjects. The workshop concluded with working groups to uncover current gaps in knowledge and potential solutions.
December 13, 2017
Professor Trancik is an Associate Professor at the MIT Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS). Her talk focused on evaluating the environmental costs and impacts of energy technologies.
November 20, 2017
November 16, 2017
Camrin Braun, PhD candidate in the MIT/WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography, gave an intriguing lecture on his dissertation research. His dissertation explores the relationship between movements of pelagic fishes, particularly sharks, and their ocean environment and how studying these interactions can directly improve fisheries management.
October 23, 2017
Newton Harrison, pioneer in the eco-art movement, spoke about his recent work, The Force Majeure, which encapsulates problems of climate change, sea level rise, drought, and over-consumption across the globe.
October 18, 2017
Prof. Tom Peacock of the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering spoke on his ESI funded Seed Grant research studying the environmental impacts of underwater plumes that may occur if deep sea mining becomes a reality.
September 21, 2017
Dr. Lily Pollans, MIT Alum and now Associate Professor at Hunter College, talked about how despite efforts to reduce, reuse, recycle, we are still diverting most of our municipal solid waste to landfills. However, many cities nationwide are ramping up their recycling and organics programs to reduce landfill waste.
September 19, 2017
Early on a Monday morning in September, scientists, engineers, and problem solvers from a diverse collection of backgrounds trickled into the Samberg Conference Center on MIT’s campus. In the following two days, numerous presentations were given that centered on conservation-oriented, and technology-focused projects.
September 19, 2017
September 7, 2017
April 25, 2017
April 22, 2017
April 20, 2017
ESI welcomed guests for presentation and discussion of interdisciplinary environment and sustainability research conducted by our 2015 Seed Grant Recipients. Topics included metals and mining, sustainable resource policy, healthy cities, and climate risk and mitigation. See the detailed program here.
April 15, 2017
Prof. Steven Barrett of the Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics spoke about his work as director of the Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment. The lab focuses on advancing aircraft technology to reduce its impacts on the environment as well as reshape regulatory and policy framework. Photo: MIT LAE
March 22, 2017
March 8, 2017
Prof. Janelle Knox-Hayes of the Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning shared her new book, The Cultures of Markets: The Political Economy of Climate Governance. The “book explores the establishment of emissions trading as a form of environmental, market-based governance.”
February 15, 2017
Prof. Antoine Allanore from the Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering spoke on his new center, Metals & Minerals for the Environment (MME), recently funded through ESI’s 2015 Seed Grant. MME works to link industry with academia to shape a more sustainable future for the metals and minerals industry.
January 27, 2017
October 18, 2016
September 20, 2016
September 8, 2016
June 23, 2016
April 22, 2016
January 29, 2016
The first annual ESI Hackathon for Climate Change was hosted to produce inventive ideas for solutions to pressing environmental issues.
ESI designs events with two parallel goals in mind; first, to expand and energize MIT’s environment and sustainability community, and second, to inspire and connect the community with thought leaders from civil society, business + industry, and innovative research + education.
Our “People, Prosperity and the Planet” series of invited lectures brings fresh and sometimes provocative points of view into contact with the MIT and Cambridge communities.
A monthly lunch seminar engages faculty, post-docs, and graduate students in lively conversations about current environmental research and education at MIT.
And campus wide events such as Hackathons for Climate and annual Earth Day celebrations provide opportunities to get involved, get active, and have fun.