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Climate Risk Reduction and Technology

April 20, 2022 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm


Climate change is an existential threat. The U.S. will face more frequent and extreme disasters in the coming years due to climate change. How can we harness the power of technology and indigenous knowledge to reduce risks to save lives and property, especially for the most vulnerable communities? This Design@Large session will discuss wildfires, one of California’s biggest climate threats, how to optimize the state for a transition to clean energy, and how we can be good stewards of our natural resources.

Join us on the 2 nd floor of the Design and Innovation Building from 4-5pm on April 20 for a discussion with Laurie Johnson, Chief Catastrophe Response and Resilience Officer at the California Earthquake Authority, Professor Ikay Altinatas De Callafon, Chief Data Science Officer at the San Diego Supercomputer Center, Danny Kennedy, Chief Energy Officer at New Energy Nexus, and Geneva Wiki, Senior Program Manager at The California Endowment. Stay afterwards to view designs from student teams that were challenged with educating the public about wildfires through our design-a-thon on “Mindsets on Megafires” from 5-6pm.

Featured Panelists

Denny Kennedy is the CEO of New Energy Nexus, connecting entrepreneurs everywhere to capital to build an abundant clean energy economy that benefits all. New Energy Nexus is a global platform organization for funds and incubators, with chapters in the USA, China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Uganda, Nigeria and India. He oversees the of $35m for very early-stage companies driving innovation and building equity in the California economy plus the $12m CalTestBed initiative with the University of California, Office of the President. He is an adviser to Young Greentech Entrepreneurs in China with the Asia Society and is Chair of the Board of Third Derivative, a joint-venture with RMI building the world’s largest climatetech accelerator.

Michael Pozmantier is a Program Director in the NSF Convergence Accelerator, where he leads two Cohort Tracks on AI Innovation and Trust and Authenticity in Communications Systems. He has spent his career working between the private sector and government, including leading the Transition to Practice Program, focused on the commercialization of federally funded cybersecurity research, at the Department of Homeland Security – Science and Technology Directorate. Drawing on his expertise assisting researchers seeking to move their work from lab to market, his role at NSF focuses on turning research into impactful solutions to some of our Nation’s most pressing problems.

Ikay Altintas is the Chief Data Science Officer of the San Diego Supercomputer Center as well as a Founding Fellow of the Halıcıoğlu Data Science Institute. She is the Founding Director of the Workflows for Data Science (WorDS) Center of Excellence and the WIFIRE Lab. Since joining SDSC in 2001, she has been a principal investigator and a technical leader in a wide range of cross-disciplinary projects. With a specialty in scientific workflows, she leads collaborative teams to deliver impactful results through making computational data science work more reusable, programmable, scalable, and reproducible. Her work has been applied to many scientific and societal domains including bioinformatics, geoinformatics, high-energy physics, multi-scale biomedical science, smart cities, and smart manufacturing.

Laurie Johnson is an internationally-recognized urban planner specializing in disaster recovery and catastrophe risk management. Over 30 years, she has combined her unique blend of professional practice and research in earth science, urban planning and public policy to help communities address the complex urban challenges posed by natural hazards and disasters. Much of her post-disaster recovery work is captured in her recent book, After Great Disasters: An In-Depth Analysis of How Six Countries Managed Community Recovery (2017). In June 2020, she assumed a new role of Chief Catastrophe Response and Resiliency Officer for the California Earthquake Authority and the newly-established California Wildfire Fund.

About Design@Large

Design@Large is a speaker series hosted by The Design Lab at UC San Diego, where each quarter we examine a topic in society and the relevance and implications through the lens of human centered design.

For the first time in the nearly 10-year history of the Design@Large speaker series the UC San Diego Design Lab is partnering with a state-wide organization, California 100, to present an expanded hybrid experience to not only expand the audience of our series, but to deepen the means of engagement. California 100 is an initiative focused on identifying and uplifting transformative ideas, people, and projects through research and engagement that accelerate progress towards a shared vision of California’s future over the next century, the Design Lab will host six hybrid experiences between April 13 – May 25, 2022.

Taking place in the Design Lab’s state of the art new home, the Design and Innovation Building, a series of panels, talks, and participatory design sessions will be led by an extraordinary group of California thought leaders who reflect diversity by region and industry, and the perspectives of communities who have been historically marginalized or excluded. Attendees can plan to learn more about, and actively co-create, around the following topics:

  • Alternative Transportation Futures
  • Climate Risk Reduction and Technology
  • Housing Justice and Design
  • Transborder Regions and Immigrant Integration
  • Future Prospects in Health Equity and Tech Innovation
  • The Future of Work and Higher Education

This series is sponsored by the Burnham Center for Community Advancement, San Diego Supercomputer Center, and Qualcomm Institute. Session are open and free to the public.

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April 20, 2022
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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