Keynote Speakers

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Keynote speakers

Will Steger
“Eyewitness to Global Warming”
Will Allen, Growing Power
"Growing Food and Community in the City"

“Eyewitness to Global Warming” is Steger’s vivid account of the changes that he’s witnessed firsthand, caused by global warming pollutants, in Arctic regions over four decades of polar exploration.  Steger shares stunning photographs from his expeditions along with compelling data and satellite imagery to document the deterioration in the polar ice caps.  While the issue is critical, and the presentation is dramatic, Steger’s message is one of hope and empowerment.  An understanding of our role in the causes and effects of global warming make this personal.  But as Steger explains, solutions are readily available and by making economically and environmentally smart choices people can make a difference.

Steger has been an eyewitness to the ongoing catastrophic consequences of global warming. A formidable voice calling for understanding and the preservation of the Arctic and the Earth, Will Steger is best known for his legendary polar explorations. 

He joins Amelia Earhart, Robert Peary and Roald Amundsen in receiving the National Geographic Society's prestigious John Oliver La Gorce Medal (formerly the Gold Metal) for “Accomplishments in Geographic Exploration in the Sciences, and Public Service to Advance International Understanding” in 1995. In 1996, he became the National Geographic Society's first Explorer-in-Residence and received the Explorers Club’s Finn Ronne Memorial Award in 1997. In 2006 Steger joined Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Dr. Thor Heyerdahl and Neil Armstrong in receiving the Lindbergh Award. Recently, Steger formed the Will Steger Foundation, with a personal and professional commitment to foster leadership and international cooperation through environmental education and policy.

Steger is also the author of four books: Over the Top of the World, Crossing Antarctica, North to the Pole and Saving the Earth.

 WILL ALLEN, son of a sharecropper, former professional basketball player, ex-corporate sales leader and now farmer, has become recognized as among the preeminent thinkers of our time on agriculture and food policy. The founder and CEO of Growing Power Inc., a farm and community food center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Will is widely considered the leading authority in the expanding field of urban agriculture. At Growing Power and in community food projects across the nation and around the world, Will promotes the belief that all people, regardless of their economic circumstances, should have access to fresh, safe, affordable and nutritious foods at all times. Using methods he has developed over a lifetime, Will trains community members to become community farmers, assuring them a secure source of good food without regard to political or economic forces. In 2008, Will was named a John D. and Katherine T. McArthur Foundation Fellow and was awarded a prestigious foundation “genius grant” for his work – only the second farmer ever to be so honored. He is also a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, and in February 2010, he was invited to the White House to join First Lady Michelle Obama in launching “Let’s Move!” her signature leadership program to reverse the epidemic of childhood obesity in America. In May 2010, Time magazine named Will to the Time 100 World’s Most Influential People.