03/28/2024 | by

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) National Capital Region hosted the Women in Green event on March 26, with the theme of bringing "Fresh Perspectives" in 2024. The event was hosted at the Daikin Sustainability & Innovation Center in Washington, D.C.

The event included a keynote from Sweta Chakraborty, U.S. CEO of We Don't Have Time, a tech startup that leverages the power of social media to communicate and educate the public on climate change. Chakraborty, a social behavioral scientist, says, “There is a science to communicating about science.” She emphasized the need to raise public awareness to bolster the political will for climate action and how information is communicated is as important as what is communicated.

She went on to explain the behavioral science behind why her organization uses celebrity allies to connect with the public on climate issues. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) “Don’t Choose Extinction” campaign film has been viewed by more than 2.2 billion people across the world and gained more than 4,000 media mentions across the globe. The UNDP's latest effort to get the word out on climate, Weather Kids , features children meteorologists forecasting the 2050 weather.

Her presentation also offered insights into how the human brain does not accurately perceive risk, leading to the misallocation of resources to address risk. She also cites the societal stereotypes that are contributing to the gender gap in STEM careers and the need to demonstrate to the next generation the opportunities for women to lead climate action.

The event featured two panels of female sustainability leaders who discussed the evolution of technology and the need to layer the digital on top of the physical in today’s fast-changing world. The panelists, which included private sector and NGO perspectives, noted the interconnectivity between climate challenges and other sustainability issues and the importance of focusing on educating financial decision-makers on the impact of climate change on financial market stability.

Panelists encouraged the audience to look at climate issues through environmental justice principles and involve the community from the onset of a project or policy agenda. The panelists noted that while there are moments of frustration in efforts to make progress on environmental and social issues, being at the table allows for opportunities to make meaningful change.

The USGBC’s Women in Green platform is in its 13th year and is a way for women and allies to gather and learn from others across fields, disciplines, generations, and job titles. The local event held in Washington, D.C. is part of a series of local events taking place across the country and was sponsored by Howard Hughes Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HHH). In the next month, USGBC will host Women in Green: Fresh Perspective events in Colorado, Florida, Nebraska, and Detroit.

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