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Climate Resilience Academy symposium

Monday April 25th, 2022, from 1:00-4:00pm
Welcome to the first Climate Resilience Academy symposium on Monday April 25th, 2022, from 1:00-4:00pm at the Lakeside Village Expo Hall on the Coral Gables Campus. Featuring keynote speaker Jane Gilbert, chief heat officer for Miami-Dade County, the symposium will include posters and interactive presentations that showcase the interdisciplinary climate resilience research taking place across all campuses at the University of Miami. Join us to engage with a broad community of scholars and celebrate their transformational work to mitigate the effects of climate change on human health, the economy, and the environment—both natural and built. Light refreshments will be provided. Learn more

Grate-Ful with UM DIning

Wednesday, April 27th from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
UM Dining at the University of Miami will join 300 other colleges and universities on April 27, 2022 to participate in “Grate-Ful,” an event designed to celebrate gratitude for Earth, fight food waste, and advance sustainability on college campuses. The event will take place simultaneously across all Chartwells’ campuses on Stop Food Waste Day, encouraging students and staff to make pledges to fight food waste, enjoy a plant-based menu at multiple stations, participate in trivia questions about food waste and sustainability for prizes, and pack 300 bags to be donated to a local Boys and Girls club in Miami to fight food insecurity! Join us on April 27th from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm at the Mahoney-Pearson Dining Hall 

Sustainable Finance for Climate and Conservation Action

Thursday, April 28th at 6 pm

Join us on Zoom on April 28th at 6pm EST for an engaging panel discussion on challenges and innovative solutions for sustainable finance, including ESG investing and carbon credit markets. Panelists:  Jude Abel (Deloitte LLP); Rafael Benke (PROACTIVA); Claudio Rizzi  (University of Miami Herbert Business School); Julia Spinasse (Suzano); Alex Merola (IHS Markit). For our esteemed speakers' full bios, click here.


The Changing Climate & Your Health

Friday, April 29 - 1 pm
Clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food and secure shelter have all been negatively impacted by climate change. These social and environmental conditions strongly influence our health status on an individual and collective level. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that some time between 2030 and 2050, climate change will cause approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year, from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea, and heat stress. Speaker: Catherine Toms, M.D., M.P.H., Senior Advisor for Climate and Health, Healthcare Without Harm | Practice Greenhealth.

Panelists and Presenters

Jude (Wu) Abel

Jude is an Independent Consultant focused on climate finance for nature-based solutions. She has held senior strategy and management roles in the international conservation and environmental services arenas in the U.S. and Hong Kong for Conservation International and in New Zealand for Nelmac Ltd. Before transitioning to the sustainability arena, she worked in strategy/IT management consulting, legal services and the dot-com startup sectors. Jude holds a B.A. In Politics from Princeton University and a Master in Environmental Management from the Yale School of the Environment

Rafael Benke

CEO & Founder of PROACTIVA – South-American Consultancy specialized in ESG risk management, Business & Human Rights, and Sustainable Finance. Rafael is an executive with more than two decades of international experience, having lived in 8 countries and worked in all continents. He worked at senior positions with Vale (top global mining company), where he had an international career, including as Vice President of Vale Inco (based in Toronto), Senior Sustainability Executive (Switzerland) and Director-Global Head of Corporate Affairs (Rio de Janeiro). He has held relevant positions including in Brazil’s Ministry of Development, Organization of American States,World Trade Organization. He was the Chairman of Brazil’s Council on Foreign Relations (CEBRI), member of Royal Dutch Shell’s Sustainability Committee, member of the Global Advisory Council on Business and Peace with Oslo Peace Research Institute and Stellenbosch University, member of the Foreign Trade Board of FIESP. Attorney, Master in International Law (PUC-SP), LLM in International Economic Law (Warwick/Chevening, UK), visiting scholar at Georgetown University (Washington), trained in business management (IMD, Switzerland) and FGV/ISAE , Sustainable Finance (Rotterdam), Finance (Chicago Booth), International Environmental Law (HEID/Graduate Institute, Switzerland), Board Member Specialization (IBGC).

Claudio Rizzi

Claudio Rizzi is a Ph.D. candidate in Finance at the University of Miami Herbert Business School. He holds an MS and a BS in Finance from Florida State University. His research focuses on the interdisciplinary connection between environmental sustainability, climate change, and finance. Specifically, he seeks to understand the role of nature for firms and local economies. He strives to contribute to the fight against global warming by advancing the research in finance and providing policymakers with insights related to the climate emergency.

Julia Spinasse

Corporate Sustainability Manager at Suzano, has worked for 15 years on the incorporation of sustainability best practices in several business activities, including: strategic planning, risk management, supply chain, products and services, majorly within the financial sector. Graduated in Environmental Management, with master’s in Environmental Technology and postgraduate in Sustainable Business from Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.

Alex Merola

Executive Director of Commercial Strategies, ESG & Private Markets. Alex Merola serves as executive director of commercial strategies for Private Markets at IHS Markit. Mr. Merola is responsible for product development, system integrations and client engagement for the Private Markets. He joined IHS Markit through the acquisition of Ipreo in 2018, where he held the position of Global Head of Solutions Engineering for the Private Markets. As an accomplished leader with more than 10+ years in the software and financial technology space, Alex has a proven track record of optimizing client experiences through innovative products and technology solutions and brings a wealth of subject matter expertise to the Private Markets. He previously worked for AvePoint Inc. as a senior member of the Financial Services Division. Alex holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from Villanova University. https://ihsmarkit.com/experts/merola-alex.html