Four days of talks, collaboration and commitments to action. Learn more about the astonishing group of speakers who will share bold ideas, tough truths and the Breakthrough Sessions where we’ll dive deeper into the key questions and the solutions.
Show times local to:
Session 1: A pathway opens
Hosted by Chris Anderson, Lindsay Levin and Bruno Giussani
Politician, environmental advocate
Lord Zac Goldsmith is the UK Minister for the Pacific, environment and climate, and a keen advocate for sustainability.
UN Deputy Secretary-General
Amina J. Mohammed is the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and Chair of the UN Sustainable Development Group. Previously she served as Minister in the Nigerian government.
Youth climate activist
Born and raised in Majuro, the capital atoll of the Marshall Islands, Selina Neirok Leem was the youngest delegate at the COP21 conference that adopted the Paris Agreement.
Climate impact scholar
A co-developer of the planetary boundaries framework, Johan Rockström works to understand Earth’s resilience.
Climate tech investor
A scientist, entrepreneur and founder of Prelude Ventures, Gabriel Kra invests in solar energy, hydrogen, plant-based food, storage and other climate technologies.
Dutch twin sisters Norah and Yarah along with younger sister Rosa share a passion for vibrant dance that led to the formation of Let It Happen.
UN High Level Climate Action Champion, COP26
Nigel Topping is the UN's High-Level Climate Action Champion. His aim is to amp up climate action ahead of COP26, the 2021 UN climate conference taking place in Glasgow.
Chairman, Maersk and Siemens
Jim Hagemann Snabe is the chairman of the world’s largest maritime shipping company, A.P. Møller - Mærsk, and of industrial giant Siemens.
Monica Araya works with leaders in government, business, philanthropy and activism to accelerate the shift toward emissions-free transportation.
Activist and social entrepreneur
Since the age of 12, in her island of Bali and around the world, Melati Wijsen has been a leading voice for change.
Breakthrough Session 1
Dive deeper into the key questions and solutions shared by speakers, join a master class on a specific area of interest and work with peers in small-group sessions. Options for this time block include:
• Systems transformation: How do we make it happen?
• The Arctic and the Antarctic: Our interwoven fates
• Next generation innovators: Agriculture and fuels
• Fashion: How do we get creative about climate?
• The power of presence: Transformational speaking and listening
• Virtual visit to rural India: Meet frontline leaders driving action at scale
• The missing “S” in ESG: Integrating social justice with climate finance
• The Ministry for the Future: Imagining a new reality
• Can green hydrogen become an equitable fuel?
• Field trip to Salisbury Crags with paleontologist Ken Lacovara
• Storytelling: How to ignite a movement
Session 2: Imagining
Hosted by Christiana Figueres and Bruno Giussani / Facilitation by Jayma Pau and Carolina Moeller
Solomon Goldstein-Rose authored the book "The 100% Solution" on what must physically be achieved to reverse global warming. He served in the Massachusetts legislature.
Tzeporah Berman is the Chair of the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative and the international program director of Stand.Earth.
Dan Jørgensen is the Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities of Denmark, tasked with reducing the country’s emissions by 70 percent by 2030 and closing down its oil industry.
CEO, Dalmia Cement
Mahendra Singhi is the managing director and CEO of Dalmia Cement, a prominent cement manufacturing group in India targeting to become carbon-negative by 2040.
Climate imagination fellow
An author of speculative fiction, professor of physics and interdisciplinary researcher, Vandana Singh is one of the four inaugural Climate Imagination Fellows.
Enric Sala is a former university professor who saw himself writing the obituary of ocean life and quit academia to become a full-time conservationist as a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence.
Ecosystem ecology professor
In collaboration with vast networks of ecologists around the world, Thomas Crowther works to address the global threats of biodiversity loss and climate change.
UN Under-Secretary General
Vera Songwe is an economist, the UN Under-Secretary General and the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa.
Breakthrough Session 2
An opportunity for you to choose your own session from an array of group conversations designed to help you take action. Options for this time block include:
• Speed and scale: Using OKRs to solve the crisis
• The power we need for the future we want
• Scaling a just transition to regenerative agriculture
• How to stay well while caring for the planet
• The true cost of everything: How we account for carbon
• Climate and racial justice: Learning from US social movements
• Minimizing the impact of plastic: Reduce, reuse, replace, recycle
• Reflect and co-create with artist Oliver Jeffers
• Emergency medicine for climate: The geoengineering debate
• Panic to preparedness: How to self-organize in an emergency!
Session 3: Transforming
Hosted by Lindsay Levin and Chris Anderson
Björn Otto Sverdrup is the new Chair of the Executive Committee of the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, whose industry members account for almost 30 percent of global production.
Consultant, innovator, avid traveler
As the director of BCG Innovations at the Boston Consulting Group, Ryah Whalen incubates new businesses and ventures and is an expert on the international aviation sector.
Clean air advocate
Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah is a World Health Organization advocate for health and air quality and cofounder of the Ella Roberta Family Foundation.
Climate and health campaigner
From her base in India, Shweta Narayan works on accelerating the role of health professionals in climate action as the international campaigner for Health Care Without Harm.
Journalist and policy expert
Hongqiao Liu is a Chinese journalist who has been covering climate change since 2010. She now writes for Carbon Brief where she decodes China’s climate and energy policies.
Sustainable development diplomat and activist
Rachel Kyte works to identify the path to clean systems and, as the dean of the Fletcher School at Tufts University, focuses on preparing tomorrow’s leaders for a decarbonizing world.
A conservationist and former diplomat, Susan Ruffo is the senior advisor for Ocean and Climate at United Nations Foundation.
First Minister of Scotland
As the first woman to hold the office of First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon is an important progressive and feminist voice in the governance of the United Kingdom.
Breakthrough Session 3
Explore intriguing ideas with leaders who aim to improve humanity’s shared future. Options for this time block include:
• Scope 3 emissions: What they are and how we solve them
• From ‘Limits to Growth’ to growth within limits
• Our awesome ocean: The nexus with climate
• Virtual visit to Beijing: Greening the Belt & Road Initiative
• Inspiring climate leadership across your organization
• Health and climate: The interdependencies
• The future of food
• Decarbonizing aviation: What are the pathways?
• The power of presence: Transformational speaking and listening
• Field trip to Origen Power at Heriot-Watt University
Session 4: Reducing
Hosted by Lindsay Levin and Tom Rivett-Carnac / Facilitation by Carolina Moeller
John Doerr is an engineer, acclaimed venture capitalist, chairman of Kleiner Perkins and the author of "Speed and Scale" and "Measure What Matters."
Ryan Panchadsaram is an engineer and investor focused on solving systemic societal challenges. He was previously Deputy CTO of the United States, championing innovation and open data.
A senior scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund, Ilissa Ocko works on climate impacts and mitigation with a particular focus on ways to immediately curb climate change.
Biologist Ermias Kebreab feeds seaweed to dairy cows to find out if it will reduce the methane emissions from livestock.
Climate policy advocate
Nat Keohane is president of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. He works on market-based policies and high-integrity markets for tropical forest carbon.
Writer, carbon removal thinker
The founder of Valence Solutions, Gabrielle Walker wants to catalyze faster change in hard-to-abate sectors and focuses on negative emissions and carbon removals.
CEO, Royal Dutch Shell
Ben van Beurden is the CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, the largest Europe-based oil and gas company. In 2020, it released a plan to cut emissions to net-zero by 2050.
Entrepreneur and investor
Chris James cofounded Engine No. 1, an activist fund that successfully installed three new directors on the board of the US’ largest oil firm, ExxonMobil.
Christiana Figueres is an internationally recognized leader on climate action and steered the global diplomatic effort that culminated in the 2015 Paris Agreement.
Breakthrough Session 4
Hear more about the latest in climate from leading authorities, ask all your questions and discuss your thoughts. Options for this time block include:
• Climate finance: Ensuring a just transition for the Global South
• Unlocking the circular economy: Cities as a leverage point
• Next generation innovators: Hard-to-abate sectors
• Funding and stewarding the protection of nature
• Getting positive about carbon negative: How can we get removals right?
• Virtual visit to Mexico City: Coping with water scarcity
• Methane: The invisible giant
• Cultural transformation: Art for accelerating climate solutions
• Explore pathways to the future with En-ROADS climate simulator
• How to be a good ancestor
Session 5: Rethinking
Hosted by Chris Anderson and Tom Rivett-Carnac
Nobel Laureate Al Gore focused the world's attention on the global climate crisis.
High-tech environmental activist
Gavin McCormick is a cofounder of the Climate Trace coalition, which combines satellites and artificial intelligence to detect human-caused greenhouse gases from all major sources.
Climate inclusion activist
Chibeze Ezekiel successfully led the campaign against the establishment of Ghana's first coal-fired plant and advocates for local communities and young people to be at the heart of climate solutions.
Financial responsibility campaigner
The founder of Reclaim Finance, Lucie Pinson works on turning off the tap of financing for coal and negotiating with banks and insurers on coal exit policies.
Hannah Fisher and Sorren Maclean are prominent members of the Scottish indie/folk scene, both as individual artists and band members, and longtime marine conservation supporters.
Investment decarbonization expert
Nili Gilbert focuses on socially-aware portfolio decarbonization and bringing science into finance. She chairs the Investment committee of the David Rockefeller Fund and is a leader of Carbon Direct.
Geographic Information Systems pioneer
Jack Dangermond cofounded ESRI and believes that geospatial thinking will help us preserve the health of the Earth’s complex systems.
Cartographer and data scientist
The founder and executive director of GoodLands, Molly Burhans was the chief cartographer for the first global data-based maps of the Catholic Church’s landholdings.
Investment and community leader
Dawn Lippert is founder and CEO of Elemental Excelerator, a global climate technology investor, and director of innovation and community at Emerson Collective.
Session 6: Protecting
Hosted by Bruno Giussani and Christiana Figueres
Farwiza Farhan is a marine biologist and forest conservationist seeking to protect and restore the Leuser Ecosystem in Sumatra. She is a 2021 TED Fellow.
Climate change scientist
Jane Zelikova is an ecosystem scientist studying the impacts of climate change in natural and managed landscapes with a focus on engineered and natural carbon sequestration.
Regenerative food executive
The cofounder and head of Patagonia Provisions, Birgit Cameron seeks out farmers, fishers and food artisans committed to regenerative organic practices.
Co-president, Club of Rome
Sandrine Dixson-Declѐve is the co-president of the Club of Rome, which published the foundational "Limits to Growth" report 50 years ago, and a co-architect of the Earth4All initiative.
Sustainability solution seeker
Cofounder and chief solutionist of global agency Futerra, Solitaire Townsend argues that the creative industries can’t be neutral in the face of the climate crisis.
Chief Environmental Officer, Microsoft
Scientist Lucas Joppa leads Microsoft’s sustainability strategy across its worldwide business and founded the company’s AI for Earth program.
Eco-lawyer and author
James Thornton is an authority on the power of the law to create change and the founder of ClientEarth, a nonprofit law firm using advocacy and litigation to address the climate crisis.
Naima Penniman is a multidimensional artist devoted to planetary interdependence. She is the cofounder of Wildseed Healing Village and the program director of Soul Fire Farm.
Session 7: One planet
Hosted by Chris Anderson, Lindsay Levin and Bruno Giussani / Facilitation by Jayma Pau
Executive Secretary, UNFCCC
Patricia Espinosa is a politician and diplomat and the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
CEO, European Climate Foundation
A former French climate ambassador, Laurence Tubiana is the CEO of the European Climate Foundation, working to ensure that Europe plays a front-runner role on climate.
UN's High Level Climate Action Champion, COP25
Gonzalo Muñoz was nominated by the Chilean presidency and the United Nations as the High-Level Climate Champion for the 25th Conference of the Parties (COP25) to the United Nations Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC).
Architect and urbanist
Vishaan Chakrabarti believes that cities -- if they are designed to be sustainable, equitable and joyous -- are the best hope for humanity.
Green farming innovator
Sathya Raghu’s agricultural startup builds low-cost greenhouse systems helping Indian smallholder farmers confront the impacts of climate change. He is a 2021 TED Fellow.
Harry Yeff, also known as Reeps100, is a London-based artist and creative technologist, utilizing an almost inhuman vocal range to drive his performative and large-scale artworks and installations.
Nemonte Nenquimo is a mother and Indigenous leader of the Waorani people of Pastaza in Ecuador, fighting to protect the rainforest from oil extraction and logging.
Zen Buddhist nun
Sister True Dedication is a Zen Buddhist nun ordained by Thich Nhat Hanh, the editor of several of his books and a leading voice of a new generation of young monastics.
Climate knowledge translator
Sophia Kianni is the 19-year-old founder of Climate Cardinals, a nonprofit that aims to increase access to climate information among people who don't speak English.
RELEASED COUNTDOWN SUMMIT TALKS
Talks already released on TED.com in the lead-up to the Countdown Summit.
President-Designate of COP26
Alok Sharma is a British politician, Cabinet Minister and President-Designate of COP26, the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference.Watch talk
UN High Level Climate Action Champion, COP26
Nigel Topping is the UN's High-Level Climate Action Champion. His aim is to amp up climate action ahead of COP26, the 2021 UN climate conference taking place in Glasgow.Watch talk
Science Fiction Writer
Kim Stanley Robinson is the author of nearly twenty books, including the internationally acclaimed “The Ministry for the Future”.Watch talk