Around the world, people have come to recognize the tremendous urgency of climate change.

We believe that schools, teachers, and students have vital roles to play in understanding of the climate crisis and its causes; and in designing solutions that address the crisis and its manifold environmental and human effects.

Started in September 2018, as the eyes of the world were on San Francisco for the Global Climate Action Summit(GCAS), the Global Climate Changemakers work began as an affiliate event of GCAS.

Next Steps

Stay tuned for more information about coming events on the West Coast (Spring 2019) and New York (Fall 2019). We are looking forward to kicking off some new action projects with our national and international partners, and welcoming some new organizations and partnerships.

Supporting the work

Global Climate Changemakers is a project of MakeKnowledge, a California 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.  Consider supporting our work engaging schools, students, and teachers in climate action by making a tax-deductible donation here.


The Impact of the Global Climate Changemaker Summit

The Global Climate Changemaker Project, and its gatherings and projects aims at a big impact for participants, in three broad areas:  awareness and inspiration; empowerment; and action. Here’s how we’re approaching each of these:

Awareness and Inspiration

  • Give educators and school leaders the opportunity to learn about climate change; its causes and global effects; and the work of global changemakers.
  • Provide policy makers, politicians, and storytellers opportunities to see the good work that students, teachers and schools are doing
  • Show interconnectedness among three damaged and interconnected ecosystems: the earth’s climate; the teaching profession, in far too many places; and a STEM ecosystem that still leaves too many people behind.


  • Connect students, schools, and educators to the latest climate science, and spread the work of the new global Office of Climate Education
  • Following the work of STEM++, help school leaders and policy makers understand how to build STEM ecosystems of opportunity for all students


  • Share open educational resources, including high quality, inquiry-based science curricula
  • Launch climate change design challenges with partner organizations in the US and globally
  • Shift from “learning about” to making change – including accepting personal challenges and changes


The Global Climate Changemaker conference  is an education-focused gathering that complements–and is an official affiliate event of–the Global Climate Action Summit (September 12-14, 2018).

Our plenary event will gather hundreds of school leaders, teachers, students, as well as nonprofits, government officials, and industry partners to deepen the connections between the education world and climate action.


Pierra Léna, Office of Climate Education
Created in 2018, the Paris-based Office for Climate Education (OCE) aims to organize a strong international scientific, educational, and operational partnership for Climate Change education. The OCE and its partners will offer primary and middle school teachers free, interdisciplinary educational resources, as well as professional development opportunities based on the latest IPCC reports and summaries. These teaching resources will be adapted to local needs in both the developing and developed world, translated in many languages, and will facilitate an active pedagogy. The Office for Climate Education works with a global network of local or regional partners in over 40 countries, including the InterAcademy Partnership for Science, a global federation of Science Academies.

Alan McConchie , Stamen
Stamen is a world-leading provider of visualization and analytics design and strategic data communication for private and public sector clients across various industries. Stamen operates across several professional market segments, including Science, Media, Medical, and Humanitarian Relief, where Stamen is the world’s leading developer of Open Source Mapping software and products.

Richard Kennedy, James Corner Field Operations
In its own words: “We are landscape architects and urban designers committed to the innovative design of public spaces.” Richard Kennedy is widely regarded as one of the field’s most creative and effective designers. With over 15 years of professional experience, Richard is currently leading the design of the New Presidio Parklands Project in San Francisco, a new 15- acre park that connects the Presidio to San Francisco’s Bayfront; Pier 70, a 28- acre mixed-use development and waterfront park in San Francisco; London’s Battersea Power Station Redevelopment “Rooftop Gardens;” Dubai’s Creek Harbor Development and Waterfront; and Morocco’s new Tangier Port and Harborfront.

The Honorable Libby Schaaf, Mayor of Oakland, California
Mayor Libby Schaaf was inaugurated into office in January 2015 and launched an agenda to elevate one of America’s most diverse and progressive cities into an equitable and resilient city.

Guido Tomás Savall, Scholas Occurentes
Scholas Occurrentes, started in 2001 in Buenos Aires and is now working throughout Latin America, the Carribean, Europe, and Africa. A major goal of Scholas is to implement the culture of “encounter” for peace through education. Scholas.Citizenship encourages high school students to strengthen citizen and peer engagement, starting with the issues that most concern them, generating transformations in themselves and their environment. Scholas works with students coming from schools from different neighborhoods, religions and pedagogical orientations. Scholas.Social is a virtual platform that facilitates the interaction of educators from 190 countries to generate projects that promote change and raise awareness about the importance of education.


8:30am Registration and Coffee
9:00- 12:00 Inspirational speakers and panels, TED-style presentations
Lunch break
12:45pm Announcements of three open challenge projects from partners
1:30pm Workshops (choice for participants)
 2:30pm Group design challenges:
      Rethinking School Transportation
      Climate Changemaker Toolkit
4:30pm Wrap up



The scientific evidence for climate change and its effects is clear, but not universally understood. Important new research continues to inform our understanding of the scope of the problem and urgency of our response. In September 2017, a group of 34 climate scientists and educators from developing and developed countries issued a call for cooperation among educators, climate scientists and NGOs, specifically to empower schools and teachers to understand and teach the most current climate science. Our gathering will support both a deeper understanding of the science, and the development of new tools for education.


How do we understand and communicate the magnitude of the challenge of climate change to diverse audiences? Imagination and metaphor are incredibly important in the landscape of climate action, not just for communication, but also for inspiration and the care of places and communities.


Changemaking is a foundational disposition needed to face and tackle complex issues like climate change. Every student can be a changemaker — in the words of Ashoka, “fully equipped and inclined to change the world for the better.” This sense of agency, this “bias to action,” brings learning to life for the good of communities and society. Teachers, too, must be seen and supported as changemakers. We also believe that the worlds of science and changemaking need to grow closer together.


If, for the sake of the earth and its climate, everyone needs to understand science,  then science needs everyone; but today many students are kicked off of STEM pathways. Tragically, those students who are underrepresented in STEM fields are more likely to be from communities disproportionally affected by climate change.   The STEM++ movement shows how improving the who of STEM is connected to improving the why and how of STEM education.


For any questions about participation or sponsorship, please email:

info @ makeknowledge.org

To nominate a changemaker to speak or attend, please use the nominations link.

Interested in volunteering before or during the event, please use this link.