"TURNING THE TIDE" FOR THE ENVIRONMENT: Institute at the Golden Gate Brings Together Diverse Cross Sector Leaders to Address Key Environmental Issues

February 26, 2009


Institute at the Golden Gate Brings Together Diverse Cross Sector Leaders to Address Key Environmental Issues

SAN FRANCISCO, CA—An extraordinary gathering of environmentalists, Nobel Laureates, CEOs, philanthropists, venture capitalists, scientists, social entrepreneurs, youth activists and other leaders in their fields will come together at the gateway to the Pacific Rim April 2-3, 2009. Their focus: to “turn the tide” toward environmental action by working with other high impact individuals to develop creative solutions to today’s most immediate environmental problems.

Turning the Tide marks the first signature program of the Institute at the Golden Gate. The Institute is a program of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, in partnership with the National Park Service, dedicated to advancing environmental preservation and global sustainability. Although the Institute at the Golden Gate has been hosting, co-sponsoring, and assisting with lectures, conferences, and other environmental events since it began operation in mid 2008, Turning the Tide is the first program that fully expresses its fundamental mission to “Connect, Collaborate, Inspire and Act” on behalf of the environment.

“A new era of commitment to the environment has begun,” noted Greg Moore, executive director of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. “President Barack Obama has called on risk takers, innovators and doers to work collectively to ‘roll back the specter of a warming planet.’ The Institute’s mission is to bring together some of the most creative leaders in their fields to share ideas and work together to meet our environmental challenges head on. Our national park setting speaks to the environmental values and action we hope to advance.”

The Turning the Tide schedule will include panels, interviews, lectures and roundtable discussions focused on sustainability, business, technology, philanthropy, media, education, diversity and the arts. To date, confirmed participants include Goldman Prize Winner Julia Bonds; Google.org Executive Director Larry Brilliant; writer and adventurer Jon Bowermaster; Sun Microsystems Co-founder Bill Joy; Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David Kennedy; Fortune Magazine Senior Editor David Kirkpatrick; Nobel Laureate Climate Scientist Stephen Schneider; and many others.

The Turning the Tide program is organized around the concept of “guilds” — groups of people from different backgrounds and disciplines with a shared interest in a common environmental topic and outcome. Participants will come together to brainstorm the possibilities inherent in the question “What can we do together that none of us can do alone?” The six environmental guilds launched at the event will each consist of 10 to 15 invited members and 40 pre-registered participants from the general public. The Institute hopes participants’ contacts and interactions will help them take ideas to the next level, break through a dilemma, or develop fresh approaches to age-old problems. While nothing is prescriptive, outcomes from Turning the Tide could include identifying creative ways to use new technology to mobilize “citizen scientists” on behalf of environmental research; or a commitment from business leaders in attendance to support a public education campaign advancing the “triple bottom line” model of economic, environmental and societal success.

The guilds take advantage of the rich talent pool of the Bay Area that will continue their work following the event,” commented Moore. “Program participants and speakers are known for their track record of environmental action, and Turning the Tide will help leverage their important work by connecting them with their peers in a cross-sector setting.”

Turning the Tide is being held at Cavallo Point—the Lodge at the Golden Gate at Fort Baker, the National Park Service’s newest national park lodge. “The setting of Fort Baker within the Golden Gate National Parks and an UNESCO biosphere reserve is the perfect location for these important discussions on environmental preservation and global sustainability,” commented Brian O’Neill, superintendent of the Golden Gate National Parks. “Fort Baker’s transformation from a former U.S. Army base to one of America’s most spectacular national parks is a sustainability success story and indicative of the positive change that can come when people are inspired to act in the best interest of the environment.”

“Taking the concept of ‘think tank’ to the next level, the Institute at the Golden Gate is envisioned as an ‘action tank’ that forges dialogue and collaboration, encourages new partnerships, and promotes action,” added Cleveland Justis, director of programs and strategic initiatives for the Parks Conservancy. “Turning the Tide sets the stage for future Institute programs and events.”

For Turning the Tide ticketing and scheduling information, the general public may visit www.instituteatgoldengate.org , call (415) 561 3560, or email info@instituteatgoldengate.org.