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SATURDAY, JUNE 8 - TUESDAY, JUNE 11

  • Explorer Engagement & Trainings

    Private

    Practical training sessions, workshops, interdisciplinary collaboration, and networking opportunities for National Geographic Explorers.

     

MONDAY, JUNE 10

  • Welcome Home Dinner

    6:30 PM - 9:30 PM | Private

    Explorers are the heart of the National Geographic Society. National Geographic’s senior leadership and staff will gather with Explorers—at our D.C. basecamp—for a special dinner celebrating the work around the world.

TUESDAY, JUNE 11

  • Explorers Symposium

    1 PM - 5 PM | Invite Only | Watch via Live Stream

    National Geographic Explorers will join global changemakers on stage to share discoveries, stories, and solutions for driving us toward a planet in balance. We will kick off the Explorers Symposium with a look at the innovative technology and people who are at the forefront of a new era of exploration. Watch the Explorers Symposium via live stream. 

    SCHEDULE:

    1 PM
    WELCOME

    • Jean Case, Chairman of the Board, National Geographic Society

    1:15 PM
    THE VIEW FROM SPACE 
    The planet is ours to protect, and seeing Earth from space reinforces that there has never been a more critical time to act on its behalf. 

    • Nicole Stott, Director, Constellation
    • Anousheh Ansari, Director, Constellation
    • Ron Garan, Chairman, Constellation

    1:30 PM
    THE NEW ERA OF DISCOVERY
    Technology is revolutionizing our ability to explore the unseen depths of our ocean and Earth’s most remote, inhospitable and unexamined lands.  By leveraging new technology, we can travel further, discover more, and continue to explore in this new era of discovery.

    • Heather Lynch, Quantitative Ecologist & National Geographic Explorer 
    • Jonatha Giddens, Ocean Conservation Ecologist & National Geographic Fellow 
    • Whitney Goodell, Marine Ecologist & National Geographic Fellow 
    • Holger Klinck, Director, Bioacoustics Research Program, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, & National Geographic Explorer 
    • Moderated by Jean Case, Chairman of the Board, National Geographic Society

    2:10 PM
    PUTTING A SPECIES ON THE MAP 
    Our planet is home to millions of species, but it’s the most well-known, popular ones that tend to attract conservation efforts. Discover a few of the lesser-known animals from around the globe, and meet the adventurous scientists working to understand and protect them. 

    • Olivier Nsengimana, Founder & Executive Director of Rwanda Wildlife Conservation Association, National Geographic Explorer & Rolex Laureate 
    • Patricia Medici, Conservationist & National Geographic Explorer 
    • Rodrigo Medellin, Biologist & National Geographic Explorer-at-Large & Rolex Laureate 

    2:35 PM
    MEET THE SUMATRAN RHINO  
    The Sumatran Rhino is at risk of becoming the largest mammal extinction of our century. From cutting edge technology to a consortium of NGO partners coming together with a common goal, this unique approach to saving a threatened species strives to bring this beautiful animal back from the brink. 

    • Colby Bishop, Director, Wildlife Programs, National Geographic Society 
    • Corey Jaskolski, Conservationist & National Geographic Fellow 
    • Kira Mileham, Director, Strategic Partnerships, IUCN Species Survival Commission 
    • CeCe Sieffert , Deputy Director, International Rhino Foundation
    • Moderated by Catherine Workman, Senior Director, Wildlife, National Geographic Society

    3:15 PM
    UPDATE FROM THE FIELD

    • Lee Berger, Paleoanthropologist & National Geographic Explorer-at-Large

    3:25 PM
    BREAK

    3:45 PM
    CLIMATE CHANGE: AN ORIGIN STORY
    Presentation by Isaiah Nengo, Paleontologist, Director, Turkana Basin Institute, Kenya & National Geographic Explorer

    4 PM
    WILDLIFE WATCH: STORIES SPURRING SOLUTIONS
    Wildlife trafficking and wildlife tourism are an assault on biodiversity and the world’s most threatened species. The powerful stories emerging from this conflict are exposing complex challenges, fueling solutions, and inspiring people to take action.

    • Brent Stirton, Photographer & National Geographic Fellow 
    • Natasha Daly, Editor, National Geographic Magazine
    • Kirsten Luce, Photojournalist  
    • In conversation with Rachael Bale, Senior Editor, Animals, National Geographic Partners 

    4:30 PM
    JOINING FORCES: SCIENCE AND EDUCATION
    A conversation with Vicki Phillips, Executive Vice President & Chief Education Officer, National Geographic Society  and Jonathan Baillie, Chief Scientist, Executive Vice President &Chief Scientist, National Geographic Society.

    4:35 PM
    NEXT GEN PLANETARY LEADERS
    In order to scale efforts to protect the planet, we need to empower the next generation of planetary stewards to be catalysts for change. Hear from dynamic young voices who are leading and inspiring youth around the globe.

    • Sahar Mohammadzadeh, Co-Founder, Prichard Committee Student Voice Team
    • Melati Wijsen, Co-founder, Bye Bye Plastic Bags  
    • Felix Finkbeiner, Founder, Plant-for-the-Planet 

    5:10 PM
    CLOSING REMARKS

    • Vicki Phillips, Chief Education Officer, National Geographic Society

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 12

  • Explorers Symposium

    9 AM - 4 PM | Invite Only | Watch via Live Stream

    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. 

    SCHEDULE:

    9 AM 
    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 

    9:40 AM
    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 

    10:05 AM
    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 

    10:20 AM
    DEFINING REALITY AND GIVING HOPE
    Presentations by National Geographic Fellows Pete Muller, Photographer & Multimedia Reporter and Rue Mapp, CEO, Outdoor Afro. 

    10:35 AM
    BREAK

    10:50 AM
    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

    12 PM
    LUNCH BREAK

    1 PM
    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 

    1:35 PM
    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 

    2:05 PM  
    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

    2:45 PM  
    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

    3:15 PM
    BREAK

    3:25 PM
    A STORY OF COMMUNITY AND CLIMATE
    Presentation by Arati Kumar-Rao, Environmental Photographer & National Geographic Explorer

    3:35 PM
    DATA-DRIVEN CONSERVATION
    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

    4:05 PM 
    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 

    4:25 PM
    CLOSING REMARKS

  • National Geographic Awards

    7:30 PM - 9:30 PM | Invite Only

    Join the biggest names in exploration for an inspirational evening as National Geographic presents its most prestigious awards. This extraordinary show, featuring National Geographic luminaries, world-class musicians, and more, will honor the trailblazing conservationists, scientists, educators, and storytellers who are leading the push to protect our planet for future generations.

    The National Geographic Awards will be hosted by Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actress, Camryn Manheim, and feature performances by Jordan Fisher, Jordan Hill and Elle King. Learn more about our awardees.

THURSDAY, JUNE 13

  • Explorers Symposium

    9 AM - 12 PM | Invite Only | Watch via Live Stream

    Our final day will showcase how we catalyze action on behalf of the planet by collecting data, telling stories that inspire and drive change, and empowering future leaders. Watch the Explorers Symposium via live stream. 

    SCHEDULE:

    9 AM
    OPENING REMARKS 

    • Gary Knell, Chairman, National Geographic Partners

    9:05 AM
    FUELING EARTH’S ENGINES 
    Mountains, rainforests and the ocean’s depths power the planet’s essential natural systems that support life on
    Earth. We’ll hear from explorers just back from National Geographic’s expedition to Earth’s highest peak, Mount Everest in Nepal, about the critical role of mountains in sustaining water supplies for billions of people around the world how mountains can inform scientific approaches to protecting our world. Expedition supported by Rolex. 

    • Ananta Gujarel, Geology Department Head, Tri-Chandra Multiple Campus of Tribhuvan University, Nepal & National Geographic Everest Expedition Team Member
    • Tracie Seimon, Director, Molecular Laboratory, Wildlife Conservation Society & National Geographic Everest Expedition Team Member 
    • Paul Mayewski, Glaciologist, Climate Scientist & Lead Scientist for the National Geographic Everest Expedition
    • Tom Matthews, Climate Scientist & National Geographic Everest Expedition Team Member 
    • Baker Perry, Professor, Appalachian State University & National Geographic Everest Expedition Team Member
    • Tyler Dinley, National Geographic Society Producer and Everest Expedition Team Member
    • Moderated by Aurora Elmore, Senior Program Manager, National Geographic Society

    9:45 AM 
    UPDATE FROM THE FIELD
    Travel the world through the eyes of National Geographic Explorers who are pushing boundaries and taking action to protect the planet. 

    • Guillermo de Anda, Underwater Archaeologist & National Geographic Explorer 
    • Archana Anand, Conservation Biologist & National Geographic Explorer 
    • Brian Skerry, Photographer & National Geographic Fellow
    • Asha de Vos, Marine Biologist & National Geographic Explorer 
    • Paula Kahumbu, Ecologist, Conservationist, National Geographic Explorer & Rolex Laureate

    10 AM
    WOMEN AT THE FOREFRONT OF CONSERVATION 
    By taking a look at the work of women rangers, guides, scientists, community health workers and educators across the globe, discover how gender equality in conservation elevates the effectiveness of caring for our natural resources.

    • Liliana Gutierrez, Marine Conservationist & National Geographic Explorer 
    • Rebecca Kochulem, Barigo County Conservancies Director, Northern Rangelands Trust
    • Intan Suci-Nurhati, Paleoclimate Scientist, Oceanographer & National Geographic Explorer 
    • Erika Cuellar, Wildlife Conservationist, National Geographic Explorer & Rolex Laureate
    • Moderated by Kaitlin Yarnall, Chief Storytelling Officer, National Geographic Society 

    10:50 AM
    A NEW NARRATIVE FOR NATURE 
    National Geographic is committed to connecting humans with our natural world, but a new narrative is needed to increase empathy and help people realize the value of nature. With large groups of people living in urban areas, access to nature can be limited, and building champions for nature through science, storytelling, and even video games, is crucial for protecting it. 

    • Gautam Shah, Wildlife Storyteller & National Geographic Explorer
    • Anand Varma, Photographer & National Geographic Fellow
    • Chris Golden, Professor of Planetary Health & Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health & National Geographic Explorer
    • Moderated by Gael Almeida, Senior Director, Latin America, National Geographic Society  

    11:25 AM
    CLOSING REMARKS

  • Party for the Planet

    5 PM - 9 PM | Invite Only

    Show your support for our commitment to protecting 30% of the planet by 2030 during this evening takeover of National Geographic’s campus. This year’s closing party will feature signature cocktails, food and beverages available for purchase, live music, and an opportunity to connect with fellow attendees.


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photo credit Randall Scott