Colloquium Program Global Shifts Colloquium: September 14-16, 2020

Our 2020 Global Shifts Colloquium, Seeking Refuge in the Climate Emergency, is taking place from September 14 to 16, 2020. This page has everything you need to know about our public events and our keynote speakers. We'll update it with key moments and incisive insights throughout the Colloquium.

We are bringing leaders from across the world together in an online conversation to discuss some of the most pressing issues of the climate change emergency.

How prepared is the world for individuals, communities, and even entire countries seeking refuge from the effects of climate change? How will climate change and climate-induced migration will revise how we think about national security? And how is the international community already responding to this climate-induced human displacement?  

Please note that our event with Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary, UN Climate Change, has been rescheduled. Click the link below to register.

Wednesday, September 23: Keynote Conversation with Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary, UN Climate Change

Upcoming Event

Rescheduled for Wednesday, September 23, 2020 | 9:30am-10:45am EDT

Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, looks at the global effort to combat and mitigate climate change with The New York Times' Lisa Friedman

Patricia Espinosa headshotPatricia Espinosa is the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Ambassador of Mexico to Germany since 2012 and from 2001 to 2002, Ms. Espinosa was Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mexico from 2006 to 2012, bringing over 30 years of experience at highest levels in international relations. As Chair of the Third Committee of the UNGA (1996), she played a key role in the adoption of the Beijing Platform for Action.

She has also served as Ambassador of Mexico to Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia, and the UN in Vienna (2002-2006); Chief of Staff to the Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs (1989-1991); and was responsible for economic issues at the Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva (1982-1988).

Lisa Friedman headshotLisa Friedman is a reporter on the climate desk at The New York Times, focusing on climate and environmental policy in Washington. She has covered nine international climate talks and chased climate-related stories from the bottom of a Chinese coal mine to the top of snow-capped Himalaya Mountains.

She previously worked for Climatewire where she led a team of 12 reporters focused on the business and politics of the changing climate. Before Climatewire, she was the Washington bureau chief for The Oakland Tribune and later The Los Angeles Daily News.

Past Events

Tuesday, September 15, 2020, 4:00pm-5:15pm EDT

The Honorable Chuck Hagel, former U.S. Secretary of Defense, discusses climate change and national security with CNN's Samantha Vinograd 

Chuck Hagel headshotChuck Hagel was the twenty-fourth Secretary of Defense, serving from February 2013 to February 2015. He is the only Vietnam veteran and the first enlisted combat veteran to serve as Secretary of Defense. Prior to his leadership at the Pentagon, Hagel served two terms in the United States Senate (1997-2009) representing the state of Nebraska.

Some of his current commitments include service on the Board of Trustees of RAND; Senior Advisor to GALLUP; Centennial Scholar, Georgetown Walsh School of Foreign Service; and Distinguished Scholar, University of Nebraska at Omaha. Hagel is the author of the book, America: Our Next Chapter, and a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Samantha Vinograd headshotSamantha Vinograd is a CNN National Security Analyst, a Senior Advisor at the Biden Institute and the co-founder of Global Opportunity Advisors. She began her career under President Bush as the Deputy U.S. Treasury Attaché to Iraq and subsequently served on President Obama’s National Security Council as Director for Iraq, Director for International Economics, and Senior Advisor to the National Security Advisor.

Ms. Vinograd writes a weekly column on and has published in several outlets including the New York Times, Washington PostDaily BeastUSA Today, Harper’s Bazaar, Politico, and Marie Claire. She received her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and her M.A. from Georgetown University.

Monday, September 14, 2020, 4:00pm-5:15pm EDT

Anote Tong, former President of the Republic of Kiribati, discusses climate change and human displacement with Slate's Joshua Keating

Anote Tong headshotAnote Tong is a world-renowned leader in the battles against climate change and for ocean conservation. Throughout his three terms as President of the Republic of Kiribati he was forced to confront a bleak, all-but-unthinkable future: Unless radical adaptation measures are undertaken, many will be displaced from Kiribati due to climate change. His country may need to resettle its people—not as climate change refugees but as citizens who migrate with dignity. 

Since leaving office, he has continued to speak about the realities of climate change; the urgency of the issues; the complexity of the causes and possible solutions; and the stark simplicity of the consequences should we fail to act. Wherever he speaks and whomever he speaks to, his message is consistent: the fate of Kiribati is the fate of the world. Tong received his B.Sc. from Canterbury University and Master’s in Economics from the London School of Economics.

Joshua Keating headshotJoshua Keating is a senior editor at Slate focusing on international news, U.S. foreign policy, and the intersection of politics and social science. His first book, Invisible Countries, an exploration of border changes, the creation of new countries, and the future of the world map, was published by Yale University Press in 2018.

Before coming to Slate, he was an editor and writer for six years at Foreign Policy. A native of New York City and a graduate of Oberlin College, he now lives in Washington, D.C.

Watch this conversation here