Climate Solutions Track

Field Trips (pre conference, Tuesday, March 13th, 12:00 - 4:00 PM)

1) Clean Energy Bike Tour


Organized with California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF)

Danny Kennedy will lead a group exploration of Oakland to visit the convergence of mobility and electricity services globally, which are being disrupted by low cost renewables and new business models. Featuring a ride on Go Bikes, the tour will include stops at the CALCEF Offices, Powerhouse, and Get in And Go Car Share, concluding with a reception at Mosaic to hear CEO Billy Parish share his views on the next phase of renewable energy innovation. The group will stop at Blue Bottle coffee in Jack London Square to refuel along the way.


  • Danny Kennedy, Managing Director, California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF)
  • Emily Kirsch, Founder & CEO, Powerhouse
  • Billy Parish, CEO, Mosaic
  • The GIG Car, GIG Car Share 

2) East Bay Tech Innovation Tour

Organized with DBL Partners, California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF), and Ecosystem Integrity Fund


Join us to explore cleantech growth and innovation in the East Bay.  Participants will head up the hill to Lawrence Berkeley National Labs (LBNL) to see the latest thinking and research in cleantech, including a look at LBNL’s FlexLab, the first facility in the world that can evaluate the energy efficiency of major building systems under real-world conditions. We will then take a trip to Richmond, a burgeoning innovation hub, for a reception at SunPower, featuring a tour of their historic building on the waterfront, an anchor of the Richmond innovation community.


  • Geoffrey Eisenberg, Principal, The Ecosystem Integrity Fund
  • Lisa Hagerman, Director of Programs, DBL Partners
  • Tom Starrs, Vice President, Market Strategy and Policy, SunPower
  • Alicia Yeh, Executive Director for Biosciences, Berkeley Lab Foundation, Berkeley National Labs 


1) Climate Risk 101 (Pre Conference, Tuesday, March 13th, 10:00 - 11:00 AM)

Organized with Mercer and Perella Weinberg Partners

Investing in the rapidly advancing clean energy economy is not always as simple as it sounds. Growing numbers of investors are taking capital out of fossil fuels and carbon intensive assets and are looking for opportunities to invest in climate solutions. Along the way some foundations and family offices have found themselves stuck and unable to move forward. Others have made progress and wish to do more. This session will seek to empower those at the beginning of their climate investing journey to understand climate risk, learn the tools to engage their peers and investment partners, and craft a strategy to break through barriers and accelerate investment.


  • Jameela Pedicini, Executive Director, Asset Management, Perella Weinberg Partners and OCIO to The Rockefeller Brothers Fund (moderator)
  • Alex Bernhardt, US Responsible Investment (RI) Leader, Mercer
  • Mark Campanale, Founder & Executive Director, Carbon Tracker Initiative
  • John Goldstein, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs

2) Investing in Disaster Recovery (Wednesday, March 14th, 1:30 - 2:45 PM)

Organized with Cambridge Associates and Community Capital Management

Recent fires in California, nearly 9,000 in 2017 alone, destroyed 1.2 million acres of land. The following rains in Southern California caused mudslides that have claimed at least 21 lives. In other parts of the world, hurricanes and drought have exposed how fragile our infrastructure is to withstanding catastrophic weather events that are becoming all too common in a changing climate. In the context of growing need and frequency, it is important for impact investors to understand how they can deploy capital for immediate impact.  Join us to explore actionable ways that you can mobilize your institution to invest in a more resilient system.


  • Margot Brandenburg, Founder, My Strong Home (moderator)
  • Elizabeth Brown, President and CEO, Community Foundation Sonoma County
  • Zach Knight, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Blue Forest Conservation
  • David Sand, Chief Investment Strategist, Community Capital Management

3) Solarcoaster (Thursday, March 15th, 11:30AM - 12:45 PM)

Organized with Energy Foundation and Surdna Foundation

Renewable energy as an asset class has seen a significant influx of capital from banks in senior debt positions and from a variety of investors in equity-based solar and wind projects.  This results in a challenging environment for investors who are seeking yield.  This session will explore mezzanine debt and other forms of innovative financing for renewable energy projects that provide investors with an attractive risk/reward proposition. We will also explore other bankable low carbon technologies while still providing compelling returns.  Metrics and approaches to monitor and evaluate investments will also be discussed. 


  • Megan Crocker, Consultant, Energy Foundation(moderator)
  • Adam Browning, Executive Director, Vote Solar Initiative
  • Dipender Saluja, Partner & Managing Director, Capricorn Investment Group
  • Shuaib Siddiqui, Director, Impact Investing, Surdna Foundation

4) Special Luncheon: Impact Investing in Sustainable Land Use (Thursday, March 15th, 12:45 AM - 2:00 PM)

A Luncheon Organized by The MacArthur Foundation

Climate change is one of the greatest and most time-urgent threats facing humanity in the 21st century, and natural climate solutions are one of humanity’s key tools for limiting and stabilizing global warming. Conventional mitigation will not be enough, and negative emissions – where carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere as it is with forests – are absolutely necessary. Responsible management of forests and agricultural land, currently the second largest contributor to GHG emissions, is essential for delivering on global climate goals. This luncheon will share how impact investors can play a role in addressing this urgent need, including how open-ended holding company structures are uniquely suited to tackling the challenge of sustainable land use, the nature and scope of the opportunity, and how philanthropic leaders are connecting impact investing and programmatic priorities to focus on this need at scale.  


  • Shilpa Patel, Director of Mission Investing, ClimateWorks Foundation (moderator)
  • Dr. Serena Guarnaschelli, Partner, KOIS Invest
  • Belinda Morris, Program Officer in Conservation and Science, David and Lucile Packard Foundation
  • Susan Phinney Silver, Director of Mission Investing, David and Lucile Packard Foundation


1) Climate Solutions Collaborative Leadership Breakfast (Thursday, March 15th, 7:30 - 8:30 AM) 

C2C Steering Committee Members and invited guests are encouraged to join us for a working group report and strategic discussion for the year ahead.

  • Mark Allegrini, Climate Solutions Collaborative Program Manager, Confluence Philanthropy
  • Dana Lanza, CEO, Confluence Philanthropy

2) Climate Solutions Collaborative Meeting (Thursday, March 15th, 3:00 - 5:00 PM)

Organized by Confluence Philanthropy, CREO Syndicate and Biodiversity Funders Group

While the economics clearly point to gathering momentum for the clean energy transition, barriers remain achieving the scale and pace needed to solve climate change.  Philanthropic and family office investors must figure out how to overcome institutional hurdles, political barriers and poorly understood risks to achieve maximum environmental and financial impact. Join members of the Climate Solutions Collaborative (C2C) working group to explore next-level strategies for advancing climate solutions through your investment activities.  We will hear insights about the latest policy developments in the climate space and explore ways for investors to engage.  The group will have deep discussion about how to mobilize and scale investments in climate solutions.  Participants are encouraged to share their successes and challenges with the group to facilitate better transparency and collaboration.

  • Aimée Christensen, Manager, Christensen Family Office and Climate Solutions Collaborative Steering Committee Member (moderator)
  • Jason Anderson, Director, International Engagement, Strategic Communications, the Non-CO2 Portfolio, ClimateWorks Foundation
  • Aimee Barnes, Senior Advisor to the Governor, Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.
  • Paige Brown, Program Director, Climate and Energy Funders Group
  • Matan Friedman, Chief Investment Officer & Co-Founder, Generate Capital
  • David Hochschild, Environmental Commissioner, CA Energy Commission
  • Dana Lanza, CEO, Confluence Philanthropy
  • Joseph Sciortino, Executive Director, Schmidt Family Foundation