The 5th MIT Sustainability Summit to “Empower Action” with Keynote Speech by Photographer James Balog

The 5th MIT Sustainability Summit to “Empower Action” with Keynote Speech by Photographer James Balog


This year’s MIT Sustainability Summit has the theme “Empowering Action,” reflecting both the imminent need for action in light of potentially catastrophic environmental problems as well as MIT’s motto of Mens et Manus (Mind and Hand). The goal of the Summit is to bring people together to learn about new progress being made to move towards sustainability (Mens/Mind), and to get experience solving problems in new ways and domains of action (Manus/Hand). This year’s Summit will be held over two days and will feature three keynote speeches and ten breakout panels loosely organized into thematic clusters of “sustainable consumption,” “innovations in urban planning,” and “environmentally and socially responsible decision-making.”  Breakout sessions will include case studies on topics such as Energy Retrofits: Improving Energy Performance of Existing Building Stock, where the City of Lowell and Ameresco, Inc. partnered to complete a multi-phase energy services project. Saturday evening includes a reception with acclaimed photographer James Balog, who will speak on the topic of “Capturing the Earth in Motion: The Art and Science of Environmental Photography.” To reveal the impact of climate change, James founded the Extreme Ice Survey (EIS), the most wide-ranging, ground-based, photographic study of glaciers ever conducted, and is featured in the highly acclaimed documentary, Chasing Ice, which won the award for Excellence in Cinematography at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and was on the 2013 Academy Award shortlist for documentaries. For further information visit:


Speakers include:

  • James Balog, Photographer and Founder of the Extreme Ice Survey
  • John Sterman, Director, MIT System Dynamics Group
  • Rick Ridgeway, Vice President of Environmental Affairs, Patagonia
  • Katherine Gajewski, Director of Sustainability, City of Philadelphia
  • Joseph P. DeManche, Executive Vice President, Ameresco, Inc.


Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 8:00 a.m.
Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 9:30 a.m.


MIT Media Lab (E14)
75 Amherst Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

Media Contacts:
Taylor Connolly, 617-391-9665;


Ameresco: CarolAnn Hibbard, 508-661-2264,