This is the archived SXSW 2012 schedule. Please see the current schedule here.

Creative Energy: Renewing the Fight for Renewables

#sxsw #Renewables


Electronic musician, turntablist and author DJ Spooky (Paul D. Miller) joins Ed Morris (Canary Project), James Slezak ( and Tara DePorte (Human Impacts Institute) in an interactive session to explore how social entrepreneurs, artists and creative technologists are combining forces to reinvent the movement to evolve beyond fossil fuels.

20 years after the 1992 Rio Earth Summit and the first global pledge to stop climate change, major polluters in the United States can still emit unlimited quantities of carbon into our atmosphere at no cost. Meanwhile, a well-funded machine works 24/7 to convince Americans there's nothing bad happening - so oil, gas and coal companies continue business as usual. Clearly the green movement needs to take it up a notch. So what is being done to apply cutting-edge social organizing technology, smart branding, product design and the creative arts to solve this problem? How can this bottom-up work support the national and global challenge? What else do we need to do?


Edward Morris Founder The Canary Project

Edward Morris is an artist, investigator and sustainability advocate. In 2006 he co-founded The Canary Project, a collective that produces art and media that deepen public understanding of climate change. He has exhibited work at art and science museums internationally as part of Sayler/Morris, including the Nevada Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art / Denver and the ZKM Museum fur Neue Kunst. He is also a principal of Lynx Insights & Investigations, an investigations and consulting company that specializes in work for nonprofits, lawyers, and investors. In 2009 Morris was a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. He has taught at Rhode Island School of Design, Columbus State University and Indiana University. He currently teaches in the TransMedia department at Syracuse University. He is the author of Green Patriot Posters (Metropolis Books, 2010).

James Slezak Partner Purpose

James is a partner at Purpose, where he leads the Sustainability Practice, as well as business strategy. He is responsible for scaling the impact and reach of Purpose’s work, including the funding, corporate structure, and growth of the organization.

On sustainability, his work is motivated by the belief that for the movement to be successful, its ambition must go beyond regulating existing business activities—it must rebuild major sectors of the economy.

His engagement with the field goes back to school days, where instead of rock stars, his room was decorated with pictures of prototype electric cars. Since then, James has led major projects on sustainability, technology and economic development for McKinsey & Company, including developing green stimulus proposals for the Australian Prime Minister and former US Vice President Al Gore, developing strategy for the ONE Campaign against global poverty in Washington DC, and leading the Russian national carbon efficiency project in Moscow. He took part in the landmark 1997 Kyoto climate change conference, as well as the more recent UN climate talks in Copenhagen. During the 2004 US presidential elections, James directed online strategy for a campaign opposing Bush administration foreign policy that raised millions of dollars in small online donations.

An Australian native, James’s background is in the natural sciences. He attended the University of Sydney and holds a PhD in Physics (experimental) from Cornell University, where he discovered a new relationship between the geometry and quantum mechanics of high temperature superconductors. He also worked on development economics and game theory before realizing he’d rather spend more time outside of labs. He is a fellow at Australia’s Center for Policy Development and has hosted weekly shows on community radio stations in Sydney and New York City. His technical work has been published in the world’s leading peer-reviewed journals, including Science and Nature.

Paul D Miller (aka DJ Spooky) DJ/Musician/Artist/Designer DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid

Tara DePorte Founder & Exec Dir Human Impacts Institute

Born and raised in the Washington, DC area, Tara has lived in Brooklyn for many years and considers New York City as her “base” for exploration. She has also lived in Brazil, France, and the Netherlands, and traveled throughout the world.

With a BA in Human Impacts on Ecosystems from the University of Virginia and a MA in Climate and Society from Columbia University, Tara’s formal education has focused on issues of sustainable development, society, and the environment. Professionally, her international experience includes work throughout Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe, working with colleagues throughout the world on creative community development, environmental education, social justice, policy and networking.

Tara founded the Human Impacts Institute ( in 2010, seeing a need for creative approaches to sustainability and global coalition building. Before starting the Human Impacts institute, Tara worked for 9 years as Program Director for a NYC community-based organization developing opportunities for inner-city youth to learn about, and develop responsibility for, their local environment. She has also served as a global representative of The ClimateRealityProject since 2006, presenting to thousands of people about climate change.

Tara’s international accomplishments include the development of capacity building trainings for international women participating in United Nations-sanctioned environmental conferences, representing stakeholders to the United Nations and working with lead officials on international policy development.

Often Tara serves the role of “facilitator”, where she helps with creating and maintaining dialogues between different groups, such as scientists and politicians, or the general public. Tara is also an adjunct professor of Environmental Studies, Policy, Sustainable Development and Visual Arts the New School (NYC) and Webster University, Leiden (Leiden, Netherlands), and a guest lecturer at Columbia University (NYC).

Tara’s personal website can be found at http://

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