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  • Writer's pictureGWMP

2024 Keeling Curve Prize Ceremony to be held at the Sun Valley Forum


Contact: Aimée Christensen, Founder & CEO

Christensen Global & Host, Sun Valley Forum

Pamela Wellner, Strategic Communications Director, Christensen Global

Announcing the 2024 Sun Valley Forum

Restoring Harmony With Nature

Global Leaders and Innovators to Gather for the Ninth Sun Valley Forum

July 15-18, 2024


Keynote Speakers currently include:

● Dr. Sylvia Earle, renowned marine biologist, oceanographer, author, and National

Geographic Explorer

● Jenna Johnson, President of Patagonia, Inc

● Shannon Wheeler, Chairman of the Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee

KETCHUM, IDAHO, April 2, 2024 — The ninth annual Sun Valley Forum, “Restoring Harmony With

Nature,” will be held from July 15 to July 18, 2024 at the Argyros Performing Arts Center in

Ketchum, Idaho. The Forum is hosted by Ketchum-based global sustainability advisory firm

Christensen Global, with partners including the Forum’s founding host, Sun Valley Institute for

Resilience, which advances resilience in Idaho’s Wood River Valley.

Each year, the Sun Valley Forum advances transformative solutions to restore planetary health and

resilience in the face of unprecedented change by convening global leaders and innovators from

business, government, philanthropy, finance, Indigenous Peoples, entrepreneurs, and storytellers.

Participants have been informed and inspired by past speakers, including U.S. Senator Cory A.

Booker, Polar Explorer Robert Swan (OBE) and Jean Oelwang, CEO of Virgin Unite. Known as a

gathering where action is accelerated and new partnerships are sparked, the Forum has a legacy of


The 2024 keynote speakers include Dr. Sylvia Earle, President and Chairman of Mission Blue and a

National Geographic Society Explorer In Residence, and a celebrated oceanographer, explorer,

author, and lecturer. Jenna Johnson, President of Patagonia, Inc., and Shannon Wheeler, Chairman

of the Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee. Other featured speakers include Mary Nichols, former

Chair of the California Air Resources Board; Nathalie Kelley, actress and Re:Wild Ambassador; Amy

Mattias, Executive Director, Sun Valley Institute for Resilience; Stephen Markley, author of The

Deluge; and Henk Rogers, President of the Tetris Company and Founder of the Blue Planet Alliance,

The 2024 Forum will spotlight the climate solutions that protect and restore natural ecosystems.

conservation and restoration of natural ecosystems like forests, grasslands, wetlands, and oceans

could potentially remove at least ten gigatons of CO2, or the equivalent of emissions from 2,570

coal-fired power plants per year by 2050. Critically, our natural systems regulate our climate and

provide sustenance, shelter, medicines, inspiration, and protection from our changing climate.

“2023 was again the hottest year on record - by a staggering amount. To protect all life on our unique

planet, we must speed up the phase-out of coal, oil and gas production and transform our food

systems while rapidly ramping up resilience. It’s clear that one of the most effective climate

mitigation and resilience solutions is nature, and our stewardship of nature is best informed by

Indigenous Peoples who have for millennia stewarded nature to the benefit of us all,” said Aimée

Christensen, Sun Valley Forum founder and curator.

This year’s Forum will host the 2024 Keeling Curve Prize awards ceremony on July 15. An initiative of

the Global Warming Mitigation Project (GWMP), the annual Keeling Curve Prize recognizes ten

outstanding climate initiatives worldwide in categories such as carbon sinks, energy, finance, social

and cultural pathways, and transport and mobility. The ten winners are each awarded a $50,000

prize for their exceptional ability to reduce, remove, or replace greenhouse gas emissions. This year's

20 finalists will be announced at an exclusive event during San Francisco Climate Week on April 25th.

Winners and finalists gain access to GWMP’s interconnected programs for funding, capacity

building, and visibility support, helping global changemakers scale their science-based solutions to

decarbonize the planet. ”We’re thrilled to announce the winners at the Forum because of our shared

DNA of innovation and impact by elevating proven climate solutions across all sectors globally,” said

Jacquelyn Francis, Founder and Executive Director of the Global Warming Mitigation Project.

The 2024 Sun Valley Forum’s keynote speakers are known for their deep commitment to protecting

ecological systems and advancing social impact. Dr. Sylvia Earle, called “Her Deepness” by the New

Yorker and the New York Times, “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress, and “First Hero for the

Planet” by Time Magazine. Dr. Earle holds the record for the deepest untethered dive. She was the

first woman Chief Scientist of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

In 1970, Dr. Earle led the first all-female research expedition, Tektite II, living and studying marine

habitat fifty feet below the surface for two weeks. She is now the President and Chairman of

the Mission Blue/Sylvia Earle Alliance, an ocean advocacy group that has scientifically identified a

global network of “Hope Spots” critical to the health of the ocean.

Jenna Johnson is the president of Patagonia, Inc., where she oversees product and storytelling. The

company is a pioneer in responsible business, the first California company to sign up for B Corp

certification (in 2012), and in 2022, it adopted a novel business structure that locks in the company’s

values and commits all money not reinvested in the company in protecting our planet. Grounded in

sport and business, Jenna and Patagonia have been instrumental in broadening the coalition of

advocates necessary to protect wild places worldwide.

Chairman Shannon Wheeler has served on the Nez Perce (Nimiipuu) Tribal Executive Committee,

the Tribe's governing body, since 2016. Under his leadership, the Tribe has made land purchases in

Idaho, Washington, and Oregon—areas within the original territory of the Nez Perce people. He is

firmly committed to safeguarding natural resources and has championed various initiatives to

sustain and protect these vital lifelines. In support of Nez Perce traditional livelihoods and cultural

heritage, Chairman Wheeler is dedicated to reviving the Snake River ecosystem and the thriving

populations of salmon and steelhead, a story beautifully told in the film Covenant of the Salmon

People, for which he served as an executive producer.

“We’re incredibly honored and excited to learn from leaders like Sylvia, Jenna and Shannon, who are

forging systemic solutions for long-term results. We look forward to working together to accelerate,

scale, and sustain deep greenhouse gas reductions and restoration of nature with guidance from

Indigenous leaders to build resilience in the face of our changing climate,” said Aimée Christensen.


Dr. Sylvia Earle, President and Chairman of Mission Blue

"We must embrace the profound wisdom of nature and Indigenous Peoples and its boundless

potential to restore our planet's health. Together, at the Sun Valley Forum, we have an opportunity to

chart a course towards harmony with the ocean, land, and all living beings," said Dr. Sylvia Earle.

Jenna Johnson, President of Patagonia, Inc

“I’m looking forward to being part of the Sun Valley Forum and collaborating with other leaders to

navigate our path to a better future where profitability and purpose converge, ensuring a legacy of

environmental stewardship and social impact for a thriving future for all," said Jenna Johnson,

President of Patagonia Inc.

Shannon Wheeler, Chairman, Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee

“As we face climate change's ecological repercussions, we must accelerate and prioritize deeply

rooted Indigenous-led, nature-based solutions. Our stewardship offers critical insights into

safeguarding our ecosystems for the benefit of all. The Sun Valley Forum provides an opportunity to

work together to advance Indigenous rights and knowledge that can restore harmony with nature

and help secure a sustainable future for generations to come,” said Shannon Wheeler, Chairman of

the Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee


Sun Valley Forum partners are climate solutions leaders who make the event possible with their

financial support and collaborate with the Forum on program strategy. The 2024 Forum partners to

date are Blue Planet, Nia Capital, Equilibrium Capital, Resilient Earth Capital, Stand.Earth, Global

Warming Mitigation Project, Woodwell Climate Research Center & Forum host, Christensen Global.

Sun Valley Forum details and registration (for in-person paid attendance or the free live broadcast)

are available at Media registration is also available;



In the wake of fires, drought, power outages and snowfall changes, in 2015 Aimée Christensen founded the Sun Valley Institute for Resilience to build community resilience locally and globally. The Institute hosted the first Sun Valley Forum on Resilience that same year with keynote speaker U.S. Senator Cory A. Booker and gathering global leaders across industry and innovation, finance and government, advocacy and the arts, to share strategies and spark connections to accelerate resilience. Since its first year, the Forum has inspired, informed, and catalyzed multiple major projects and investments accelerating resilience, including right in our home community, next door in Washington state, and as far away as Fiji!


Christensen Global is a sustainability advisory firm developing, accelerating, and scaling solutions for impact. At this time of urgency and opportunity due to our changing climate, our mission is to achieve collective well-being by building a just, resilient, and thriving world inspired by a vision and grounded by values built from grounded expertise, inspired by nature, leveraging the strength of the story, building community and expanding empowerment. Christensen Global clients have included sustainability leaders and innovators, including Duke Energy, the Global Ocean Commission, Microsoft, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, United Nations Development Program, United Nations Foundation, and the Virgin Group.


The Keeling Curve Prize awards $500,000 annually to projects that display proven carbon uptake, drawdown, or sequestration efforts. The prize is a program of the Global Warming Mitigation Project, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that is identifying, activating, and accelerating projects and programs worldwide that are reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing carbon uptake. This includes direct funding of vetted organizations, enhancing networking and promotional efforts, identifying ways to unleash funding opportunities for climate solutions, and supporting climate justice.


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