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Sun Valley Forum to Feature Antarctica Explorer, Youth Climate Activists and Carole King
Aimee Christensen, who founded the Sun Valley Forum, engaged U.S. Sen. Cory Booker in conversation at the 2015 Sun Valley Forum.
Monday, May 30, 2022


The Sun Valley Forum was introduced in the wake of the 2013 Beaver Creek Fire—part of an effort to build resilience in the Sun Valley community that had been shaken by an abrupt end to the tourist season because of the fire.

As the in-person conference resumes June 6-8 in Ketchum after two years of going virtual due to the pandemic, the nation and world faces its biggest challenges in years: Among them: the war in Ukraine and nuclear instability, climate change that is getting little attention despite devasting wildfires, droughts, hurricanes and floods; daily mass shootings; economic instability and food and housing shortages; the unwillingness of political leaders to work together to better society and the rise of white nationalism.

“We gather when the devastating war on Ukraine, the pandemic and the already visible harms from climate change have surfaced the dangerous consequences of our unsustainable, inequitable and insecure world. We are called to take action,” said curator and founder Aimée Christensen. “The Sun Valley Forum has a record of catalyzing and accelerating impact, powered by an ambitious, courageous and compassionate community of participants.”

The seventh annual Forum is titled “Shaping the World We Need,” and its mission is to gather together global leaders and innovators to accelerate action for what Christensen says is a “decisive decade” ahead.

 “Two key areas of focus are transformation of our food and agriculture systems and of our energy system, as well as how we must value and invest in nature, which is critical to our well-being,” she added.

The Forum will take place Monday through Wednesday, June 6-8, at The Argyros Performing Arts Center in Ketchum. Registration is available at, and the event will be broadcast live free of charge to those who wish to watch virtually.

It will feature lectures, panel discussions, workshops and three films—two of which will be screened free for the public.

Explorer Robert Swan—the first in history to walk to both the North and South Poles, will open the Forum with a keynote address titled “Fragile Beauty” that will feature a call to action.

“As an explorer of our polar regions, I see firsthand the urgency of action. In Antarctica this past March we experienced a day that was 69.3 degrees above normal—the largest overage ever recorded anywhere,” said Swan, who has appeared at two previous forums.

Other program highlights include a dinner conversation at 6 p.m. Monday, June 6, about environmental activism featuring singer-songwriter Carole King and youth climate leaders and Juliana v. United States plaintiffs Kelsey Juliana and Vic Barrett.

There also will be working sessions by global food innovators who are transforming food and agriculture, from cultivated meat company Aleph Farms to oceans campaign Fed by Blue to the Sun Valley Institute for Resilience, which will highlight its new Impact Idaho Fund, which is providing capital for food and agricultural entrepreneurs.

Energy leaders from the U.S. Department of Energy, the Idaho National Laboratory, Ameresco and Spring Free EV will discuss efforts to build a clean, resilient energy future.

Panel discussions on protecting nature and engaging people to build the future we need will include a session on storytelling with Peter Horton of “New Amsterdam,” “Grey’s Anatomy and “thirtysomething” and award-winning filmmaker Holly Morris, who screened her movies “Exposure” and “The Babushkas of Chernobyl” at the Sun Valley Film Festival.

There also will be three film screenings open to the public:

  • “Youth vs. Gov” is an award-winning feature length documentary about the groundbreaking climate lawsuit Juliana v. United States which will be followed by a Q&A with the director, producer and youth plaintiffs. 5 p.m. Sunday, June 5, at Limelight Hotel. FREE.
  • “Roots So Deep” offers a sneak peek at Episode 1 of a new series on regenerative agriculture that features farmers and ranchers restoring soils. The hour-long show will be followed by a Q&A with the award-winning director of “Carbon Nation” and “Carbon Cowboys” Peter Byck. 8 p.m. Monday, June 6, at the Limelight Hotel. FREE.
  • “Exposure” is the award-winning feature-length documentary of an all-women expedition to the melting North Pole—an expedition that could be the last such expedition, given climate change. Will be followed by Q&A with its director Holly Morris. 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 8, Argyros Performing Arts Center. $10.

Speakers include:

    • Jean Oelwang, the CEO of Sir Richard Branson’s philanthropy arm, Virgin Unite, on the power of collaboration to drive global change
    • Award-winning architect and designer, Suchi Reddy of Reddymade, on designing the future we need
    • Global risk expert Dr. Ron Dembo of Riskthinking.AI on climate risk and what it means for investors, asset owners and all of us
    • Gillian Caldwell, Chief Climate Officer, U.S. Agency for International Development, on how the public and private sectors can mobilize capital to address climate change and its impacts on the most vulnerable
    • Mark Campanale, Founder & Executive Chairman, Carbon Tracker on the financing of petrostates and planetary destruction and how we can decarbonize for peace and prosperity

To learn more or to register, visit

The first forum, founded by Aimee Christensen and her Sun Valley Institute for Resilience featured keynote speaker U.S. Sen. Cory A. Booker. Since, the Forum has helped inspire, inform and catalyze major projects and investments accelerating resilience from Sun Valley to Fiji.

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