Perry World House Global Shifts Colloquium: March 21-22, 2023 Living with Extreme Heat: Our Shared Future

Extreme heat is a climate driven crisis. Around the world, heatwaves threaten public health at a time when the compounding factors of homelessness, drug abuse, obesity, and poverty are on the rise. They endanger global food security, reducing the productivity of crops and livestock, and risking the health and safety of the labor that tends them. They also pose an acute threat to cities, where the built environment amplifies temperatures, creating islands of heat stress. Believed to be the deadliest of all natural disasters, heatwaves demand concerted, creative, and complex policy responses.  

To arm decision-makers with the information they need to protect lives and livelihoods from extreme heat, Perry World House convened its 2023 Global Shifts Colloquium, “Living with Extreme Heat: Our Shared Future.” The meeting brought together a multidisciplinary cohort of experts - medical doctors, urban planners, veterinarians, sitting and former mayors, engineers, and architects, among them - to investigate this challenge and advance measures to address it.  

The colloquium report—accompanied by thought pieces written by the experts in attendance—offers a mosaic of ideas that policymakers can use to prepare for and cope with the heatwaves of today and tomorrow.


Click here to read the report.

Thought Pieces

Alongside the report, we've published a series of thought pieces from colloquium participants.

Cities and Heat

Living with Extreme Heat: The Role of Data, Technology and Community by Russell Composto and Kristin L. Field

Towards a More Resilient Phoenix: How One Desert City is Tackling Extreme Heat Challenges by Kate Gallego (published by IISD SDG Knowledge Hub)

Food Security and Heat

Considering Dairy Cattle Susceptibilities to Extreme Heat and Assessment of Plausible Adaptive Strategies for Resilient Dairy Operations in a Warmer Planet by Guillermo Ortiz-Colón

Achieving Climate Resilient Farming Systems Through Regenerative Organic Agriculture by Andrew Smith

Addressing Destabilizing Impacts of Extreme Heat on Global Food Security by Kathryn Milliken

Heat and Healthcare

Growing Up in a Warming World: Heightened Temperatures Pose Significant Risk to Child Health by Harleen Marwah

Extreme Heat and Health: Understanding the Scope of the Problem by Sameed Khatana

Toward a Systemic Adaptation to Heat by Mathilde Pascal (published by IISD SDG Knowledge Hub)

Heat and Livelihoods

Impact of Heat Stress on Labor Productivity and Decent Work by Sévane Ananian

Agricultural Workers are Among the Most Vulnerable Populations to Extreme Heat in the United States by Joan D. Flocks (forthcoming)

Integrated Research and Action for Development by Rohit Magotra (forthcoming)