Throughout the day, we will highlight new models for conservation, discover ways to live smarter on our planet, and dive into why it’s critical to preserve our last wild places. Watch the Explorers Symposium via live stream.
OPENING REMARKS & PRESENTATION OF THE PHILANTHROPIST OF THE YEAR AWARD
National Geographic is proud to present Hansjörg Wyss, the founder and chairman of the Wyss Foundation, with our inaugural Philanthropist of the Year Award. Through the Wyss Campaign for Nature, Mr. Wyss has committed $1 billion to help communities, indigenous peoples, and nations protect 30 percent of the planet by 2030. We are honored to recognize his instrumental leadership and celebrate his deep commitment toward realizing a planet in balance.
- Tracy Wolstencroft, President and CEO, National Geographic Society
- Hansjörg Wyss, Founder and Chairman, The Wyss Foundation
- Jonathan Baillie, Chief Scientist, National Geographic Society
WHY 30 BY 30?
Science shows that protecting 30 percent of the planet by 2030 is a critical milestone in preventing the mass extinction of wildlife and plant species. Experts in ocean, land conservation and biodiversity will outline the threats facing our planet and explain why they are committed to the goal of 30 by 30.
- Elizabeth Bennett, Vice President, Species Conservation, Wildlife Conservation Society
- Enric Sala, National Geographic Pristine Seas & National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence
- Steve Boyes, Conservation Biologist & National Geographic Fellow
LIVE FROM THE FIELD: TRACKING PLASTICS SEA TO SOURCE
Plastic pollution is one of the greatest threats to our planet. Our all-female Plastics Expedition team is joining us live from India, where the team tracking the garbage from sea to source via the river systems.
- Heather Koldewey, Marine Biologist & National Geographic Fellow
- Jenna Jambeck, Environmental Engineer & National Geographic Fellow
DEFINING REALITY AND GIVING HOPE
Presentations by National Geographic Fellows Pete Muller, Photographer & Multimedia Reporter and Rue Mapp, CEO, Outdoor Afro.
MEET THE ROLEX AWARDS FOR ENTERPRISE FINALISTS
For four decades, through the Rolex Awards for Enterprise, Rolex has supported exceptional individuals who have the courage and conviction to take on major challenges; men and women who have a spirit of enterprise, initiating extraordinary projects that make the world a better place. Be among the first to hear from this year’s inspiring finalists who were selected by an international jury of experts -- and vote in the Festival app, for your favorites to help choose five 2019 Laureates who will be supported by Rolex.
- Emma Camp, Marine Biologist & National Geographic Explorer
- João Campos-Silva, Fisheries Biologist
- Grégoire Courtine, Neuroscientist
- Pablo Garcia Borboroglu, Biologist, Conservationist & National Geographic Explorer
- Brian Gitta, IT Specialist
- Krithi Karanth, Conservation Scientist & National Geographic Explorer
- Yves Moussallam, Volcanologist & National Geographic Explorer
- Sara Saeed, Doctor & Public Health Specialist
- Miranda Wang, Molecular Biologist & Entrepreneur
- Topher White, Technologist & National Geographic Explorer
VIRTUAL REALITY IN THE OKAVANGO DELTA
Watch elephants come within inches of your face and glide in a traditional canoe through the wetlands of Botswana. National Geographic’s new 360-degree, virtual reality experience transports you to the heart of one of Africa’s most vast, biodiverse regions, and highlights why everyone should want to protect this beautiful landscape.
- Adjany Costa, Conservationist, Ichthyologist & National Geographic Explorer
WHAT’S WORKING: COMPELLING MODELS FOR CONSERVATION
In a rapidly changing world, community-based efforts are critical — engaging the people often best able to protect natural resources and wildlife in the world’s last wild places. Explore how the latest, most successful, and creative methods can be scaled to create a planet in balance.
- Dominique Goncalves, Ecologist & National Geographic Fellow
- Rae Wynn-Grant, Ecologist & National Geographic Fellow
- Alex Muñoz, Director, Latin America, National Geographic Pristine Seas Project
- Moderated by Laurel Chor, Journalist & National Geographic Explorer
BRINGING THE NATURAL WORLD TO LIFE
National Geographic is recognized worldwide for its unparalleled commitment to natural history storytelling and cinematic craft, partnering with trailblazing filmmakers to reveal the mysteries of our dynamic Earth and the diverse species that call it home. With epic programming that traverses the heights and depths of all seven continents and contemplates life beyond our universe, National Geographic harnesses the power of narrative to bring the planet’s complex drama to life.
- Vanessa Berlowitz, Company Director and Executive Producer for America and Queens for National Geographic
- Martha Holmes, Head of Natural History at Plimsoll Productions, Executive Producer of National Geographic’s Hostile Planet, Yellowstone Live and the upcoming Alaska Live
- Christopher Riley, Producer/Director, National Geographic’s One Strange Rock
- Moderated by Chris Albert, Executive Vice President, Global Communications and Talent Relations, National Geographic Partners
WHAT’S WORKING: REWILDING
As a million species worldwide are being pushed toward extinction, transformative change is crucial to protecting and restoring the resources that support life on Earth. Rewilding is a progressive solution to the biodiversity crisis, reversing the destruction of the natural world and allowing nature to heal itself. Hear how conservationists are rewilding nature by restoring landscapes and reintroducing wildlife in a race against time.
- Andrea Heydlauff, Chief Marketing Officer, African Parks
- Sean Gerrity, Founder & Managing Director, APR & National Geographic Explorer
- Barbara Promberger, Founder & Executive Director, Foundation Conservation Carpathia
A STORY OF COMMUNITY AND CLIMATE
Presentation by Arati Kumar-Rao, Environmental Photographer & National Geographic Explorer
Data is the new driver in conservation, enabling us to intervene with precision and directly measure results. Tech tools can help monitor and enforce protected areas and shape new approaches to combating critical threats. Discover what this paradigm shift means for addressing the environment’s most pressing problems.
- Naftali Honig, Wildlife Crime Investigator & National Geographic Fellow
- Bronwyn Agrios, Geographer & National Geographic Fellow
- Katy Croff Bell, Oceanographer & National Geographic Fellow
- Africa Flores-Anderson, Research Scientist, Earth System Science Center, University of Alabama & National Geographic Explorer
- Moderated by Steve Brumby, Senior Director, Geographic Visualization Lab, National Geographic Society
5 REASONS TO HOPE
While the threats facing the natural world are vast, there are incredible people developing creative and innovative solutions that inspire hope and prompt action towards a planet in balance.
- Carmen Chavez, Tropical Biologist & National Geographic Explorer
- Eric Schulze, Vice President of Product and Regulation, Memphis Meats
- Laly Lichtenfeld, Conservationist & National Geographic Explorer
- Caleb Harper, Director, Open Agriculture Initiative, MIT Media Lab & National Geographic Explorer
- Brian Wyrwas, Co-Founder & Chief Scientific Officer, Finless Foods