The fight against climate change needs to be tackled at the federal level, but change can start at state and community levels. Individual communities have the power to set a positive example and create a roadmap for other towns, cities and states to follow suit.
With this in mind, on Friday February 3, 2017, we hosted the POW Action Summit at The BLK MKT in Aspen, Colorado. Aspen has already made impressive strides in combatting climate change and more than 200 citizen activists showed up to the event to learn how they could do more.
Much of the Aspen community is fired up and committed to rebranding Aspen as a town renowned for its leadership on environmental action and ethics. The event kicked off with a panel discussion featuring POW team members, including Jake Black (POW Riders Alliance Athlete and Hot Planet/Cool Athletes Program Coordinator), Barbara Weber (Senior Brand Manager), Lindsay Bourgoine (Manager, Advocacy and Campaigns), Gretchen Bleiler (POW Board Member, POW Riders Alliance Athlete and Co-founder, ALEX Bottle) and was moderated by Auden Schendler (POW Board Chair and VP of Sustainability at Aspen Skiing Company). Following the panel, POW facilitated productive breakout sessions and climate roundtable discussions among local community members and leaders.
“This event was inspired by our uncertain political times.” commented Gretchen Bleiler, “Climate change is the biggest issue facing humanity and a lot of us want to act now more than ever before. POW has empowered me to engage and use my voice in areas where I might not have before, and so it was an honor to be able to help create more awareness around all of the different aspects of [the organization] within the Roaring Fork Valley.”
Representatives from CORE, ACES, Rocky Mountain Institute, Aspen Skiing Company, and POW Board Members Pete McBride, Chris Davenport and Penn Newhard were in attendance. Aspen Mayor Steve Skadron, also attended the event and was enthusiastic about driving change and helping to host more Hot Planet/Cool Athletes assemblies.
“The POW Action Summit was a great start for the community to build a foundation upon which we can all work together,” commented Jake Black, “[solidifying] our visions and goals towards a sustainable future and forging new partnerships between local organizations.”
While sipping Finlandia cocktails, conversations were sparked around climate solutions and future projects. After the panel and breakout sessions, the community enjoyed live music, featuring Leah Song and David Brown of Rising Appalachia as well as a raffle drawing with 100% of the Proceeds going directly to POW.
As communities, we have the power to come together, generate solutions, and spark change. We are so grateful to all of you who made it out, and we look forward to hosting more of these meaningful events across the country.
Thanks to Gravity Productions and Reuben Sadowsky, Nicole Lindstrom, Gretchen Bleiler, Joey Stokes, Finlandia, ALEX Bottle, Guayaki Yerba Mate and Aspen Brewing Company for making this all possible, as well as to all of you who came and helped us to further our climate activism and advocacy efforts.