TED wants to bring Detroit to the world and the world to Detroit. As the city at the heart of the automotive industry grappling with building a sustainable future, Detroit was a deliberate choice for this year’s Countdown Summit.
This invite-only gathering will take place from July 11-14 in Michigan Central, the Fillmore Detroit and other locations around the city. Countdown is TED‘s only single-topic conference — and that topic is climate change. David Biello, science curator for TED Talks and lead curator of the Countdown Summit, sat down with Great Lakes Now to tell us more.
“I don’t think there’s any question that the Great Lakes region is going to have a huge role to play in the coming decades of the climate crisis as we adapt,” Biello said. “But what we’re really hoping for coming out of this Countdown Summit is to amplify some of the solutions that are that are already here.”
The event features an impressive lineup of speakers.
Local leaders foregrounding Detroit-centric solutions will take the stage — like city visionary Anika Goss, to talk better urban design for our climate challenged future, and sustainability executive Cynthia Williams, who will be speaking on the electric vehicle transformation that Ford Motor Company is undertaking.
“But it’s also about looking abroad to find what solutions are on offer in other parts of the world to the problems that are being faced in Detroit and everywhere else,” Biello said.
This includes the work of international leaders like Simon Stiell, head of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the major organization putting together the world’s climate change plan.
“It’s important to know what he’s thinking and what he’s doing,” Biello said, “so we’re bringing him to Detroit to share that with us all.”
Biello said the stories and solutions being shared at the TED Countdown Summit are all in service to accelerating climate action, and if we choose to take action, the name behind the event can finally come true.
“That’s where the name ‘Countdown’ comes from,” Biello said. “We’re meant to be counting down emissions. We’re not there yet, but the hope is we can get there sooner and faster by amplifying some of these solutions.”
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Featured image: The city of Detroit. (Photo Credit: Great Lakes Now)