Climate Idea Exchange

The Climate Idea Exchange presents public programs designed to inform Brooklynites and inspire them to take action.

Our main project has been a series of panel discussions called "Climate Wednesdays: Solutions for a Cooler Brooklyn," launched in Fall 2019 in collaboration with Brooklyn Public Library. We’ve gathered experts and activists to explore a wide range of climate issues and creative solutions, including climate-friendly heating and cooling, green jobs, transportation, climate and health, and parenting in the age of climate change. These events, originally live at the library, went online during 2020 and 2021. With Zoom attendance trending down, we piloted a new format— a live "Climate Chat" for a small group, held in an art gallery—and are exploring possibilities for outdoor events.

We’ve also launched a series of podcasts called "Climate Check: Stories and Solutions."

Our work includes researching potential topics, identifying and recruiting speakers, publicizing events, and developing and publicizing the podcast series.  To get involved, please email us at

Climate Wednesdays

Climate Wednesdays: Solutions for a Cooler Brooklyn is a collaboration between 350Brooklyn and Brooklyn Public Library to present a series of discussions with experts on the energy, economic, policy, agricultural, social and psychological dimensions of climate change, bringing them together with the community to explore the challenges of the global climate crisis and to discuss local solutions.

Spring 2022 Series

Wed, May 25 2022 7:00-8:15pm
How Climate Friendly is Your Home? A Free Energy Auditing Program

While collective action is crucial to solving the climate crisis, many of us would also like to reduce our own reliance on fossil fuels. Measuring your home’s energy efficiency is a great first step toward lowering energy consumption. But energy audits can be costly, and it’s not easy to find a qualified auditor. Now there’s a solution: New York State is teaming up with NEEP (Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships) to offer a free, remote energy auditing service to homeowners. NEEP’s app collects data from your home and uses it to produce an energy model showing how much you might save from different energy upgrades. At this event, NEEP experts will explain how the system works and get you started on your own audit.

John Balfe, Buildings and Community Solutions Team, Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP)
Carolyn Sarno Goldthwaite, Vice President Customer Engagement, ClearlyEnergy
Emme Luck, Market Consultant, DNV

Watch on YouTube

Fall 2021 Series

December 1st 2021 7-8pm
Brooklyn’s Battery Breakthrough: How Four Branch Libraries are Charging Ahead

Take a virtual tour of NYC’s first-ever solar plus energy storage systems, housed at four Brooklyn Public Library branches that were hit hard by Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Even when extreme weather knocks out the electrical grid, Brooklynites will be able to charge phones and other devices at these four branches. This event is a collaboration of 350Brooklyn, Brooklyn Public Library, and Solar One, a non-profit education, training and technical assistance organization, which is installing the solar plus battery systems. Learn about the challenges and progress as New York City and Brooklyn Public Library expand energy efficiency, renewable, and energy storage in their facilities.

Angelica Ramdhari, Director of Resilient Solar at Solar One
Dillon Buchberg, Energy Manager for Brooklyn Public Library
Hamid Lekic, Deputy Director for Clean Energy at the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services Division of Energy Management
Ning Gao, Researcher, renewable energy technologies at Idaho National Laboratory and CUNY

Watch on YouTube

November 17th 2021 7-8pm
Solar + Storage Snags: Challenges to NYC’s Climate Goals

New York City has ambitious goals for renewable energy, but city and state regulations and red tape pose tough challenges. What must change so we can quickly bring solar energy and battery storage to our neighborhoods and slash greenhouse gas emissions throughout the city and state? Our speakers will identify the major hurdles, offer solutions for removing them and explain how we can all get involved. This event is a collaboration of 350Brooklyn, Brooklyn Public Library, and Solar One, a non-profit education, training and technical assistance organization.

Angelica Ramdhari, Director of Resilient Solar at Solar One
Claudia Villar-Leeman, Energy Policy Advisor at the NYC Mayor’s Offices of Climate, Sustainability and Resiliency
Robert Carroll, Assemblymember, 44th District, New York State Assembly
Stephan Roundtree, Assemblymember, Northeast Director for Vote Solar

Chloe Holden, energy storage research analyst, Wood Mackenzie

Watch on YouTube
Resources | [Download PDF]

October 27th 2021 6:30-8:30pm
Active Hope: Emotional Resilience in the Face of the Climate Crisis

This workshop will offer tools for nurturing our spirits as we acknowledge and confront climate anxiety. We’ll follow practices from Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone’s Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in Without Going Crazy: telling stories, exploring new sources of personal and collective power, and sharing ideas for turning our hopes into action.

Tom Roderick, Founding Executive Director, Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
Marieke van Woerkom, educator, facilitator, curriculum developer, writer

Resources | [Download PDF]
Speaker Bios

October 20th 2021 7-8pm
Bringing Solar Home: A Town Hall for New Yorkers

We can go solar even if we rent our homes or we don’t have much cash to invest. Learn about community solar for renters, affordable solar programs for low- and middle-income homeowners, and how battery storage can change the future of solar energy in New York City. This event is a collaboration with Solar One, a non-profit education, training and technical assistance organization that is a part of the Barrio Solar campaign to bring affordable solar power to working families in Brooklyn.

Michelle Chung, Resilient Solar Associate, Solar One
Bruno Estrada, Resilient Solar Associate, Solar One.

Watch on YouTube
Resources | [Download PDF]
Presentation slides from Solar One [PDF]

Spring 2021 Series

Climate Wednesdays Spring 2021

May 19th 2021
Financing a Fossil Fuel-Free Future

Fires, floods, droughts, storms, all fueled by a warming climate, are devastating communities around the globe. How can we get the corporate world to face up to this emergency and adopt climate-friendly strategies? How can we get business to finally leave fossil fuels behind and redirect its immense financial might toward solving the climate crisis?

Nina Chen, director of sustainability and climate initiatives, New York State Department of Financial Services
Alexis Goldstein, senior policy analyst, Americans for Financial Reform
Tom Sanzillo, director of financial analysis, IEEFA (Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis)

Katy Lederer has written about climate change and energy for a range of publications, including The New Yorker online, The New York Times Sunday Business section, and n+1.

Watch on YouTube
Speaker Bios | [Download PDF]
Resources | [Download PDF]
Presentation slides from Alexis Goldstein | [Download PDF]
Presentation slides from Tom Sanzillo [PDF]

April 21st 2021
(Em)powering Our Neighborhoods: Bringing Green Energy Home

Most New Yorkers can’t install their own rooftop solar, so community-based renewable energy is an essential climate solution for our city. Who’s building these projects, and what policies would help? Where do social justice and energy innovation intersect? Join Summer Sandoval of UPROSE, Carlos Garcia of NYC-Environmental Justice Alliance, Gabriel Jamison of the Brownsville Residents Green Committee, and Max Joel of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority for a discussion of community-based green energy initiatives that slash pollution and cut energy bills while delivering good green jobs.

Moderated by: Daphany Rose Sanchez, Executive Director, Kinetic Communities
Carlos Garcia, Energy Planner, NYC-Environmental Justice Alliance
Gabriel Jamison, Organizer, Brownsville Residents Green Committee
Max Joel, NY-Sun Initiative Program Manager, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)
Summer Sandoval, Energy Democracy Coordinator, UPROSE

Watch on YouTube
Speaker Bios | [Download PDF]
Resources | [Download PDF]

March 24th 2021
Covering Climate: What is the media missing?

Media outlets are starting to put more resources into covering the worsening climate crisis. But what’s taking so long? Where aren’t there more full-time climate reporters, and why aren’t there more stories connecting “everyday issues” to climate change? What’s the toll from the decline of local journalism, and how does it affect coverage of environmental justice?

Moderated By: Jessica McKenzie
Panelists: Andrew Revkin, Genevieve Guenther, Dharna Noor, Rachel Ramirez

Watch on YouTube
Speaker Bios [PDF]
Covering Climate: Resources [PDF]

Summer 2020 Series

July 22, 2020
Where to Next?  Fossil-Free Transportation in a Pandemic and Beyond

Transportation is the number two source of greenhouses gas emissions in New York City. How do we convince more New Yorkers to get out of their cars—especially during a pandemic? How can we get our troubled public transit system back on track and get where we need to go in an equitable, climate-friendly way?

Moderated by: Emily Nonko
Panelists: Vanessa Barrios, Dulcie Canton, Allison Considine

Press Release
Speaker Bios
Handout: Resources & Action Items

August 26, 2020
Natural Allies: Working with Nature to Combat Climate Change

Brooklynites love urban nature. And not only do parks, waterways, and shady streets create healthier neighborhoods and a better quality of life—they can also help us confront the climate crisis.  City trees cool sweltering  “heat islands,” clean the air, and absorb carbon dioxide. Healthy coastal wetlands protect our shorelines from storm surges.  Green roofs and composting can play a pivotal role in the climate fight. How can we enlist natural forces to promote a livable climate? And how can we share nature’s benefits equitably in our city?

Moderated by: Eugenia Naro-Maciel
Panelists: Alan Burchell, Jalisa Gilmore, Ceci Pineda, Nikita Scott

Press Release
Speaker Bios
Handout: Resources & Action Items

September 16, 2020
Green Collar Jobs: Making a Living, Forging a Better World

With over a million New Yorkers out of work and a steadily warming climate, our communities need green jobs now more than ever. And as the fossil fuel industry loses ground, we’ll need more and more people with the skills to build our green future. A “green recovery” can create the jobs people need while revitalizing our neighborhoods, transforming our energy infrastructure and healing our ecosystems. Where are the climate-friendly jobs now, where will they be in the coming years, and how can New York create more of them in a way that promotes social and environmental justice?

Moderated by: Elizabeth Broad
Panelists: Ross Gould, Max Levitzke, Aram Marcelle

Press Release
Speaker Bios
Handout: Resources & Action Items

Spring 2020 Series

February 12, 2020
Our Bodies, Our Planet: Public Health and the Climate Crisis

What is the impact of the climate crisis on our bodies? Fossil fuels already affect the health of New Yorkers, with some communities suffering far greater harm than others. As we fight warming temperatures, pollution and natural disasters, can we use this moment to create a healthier city for all?

Moderated by: Denise Patel
Panelists: Dora Alejandra Acevedo, Lilia Marquez, Katy McFadden

Speaker Bios
Handout: Resources & Action Items

Fall 2019 Series

Series press release

September 18, 2019
The Big Green Picture: Local Strategies for a Livable World.

The climate crisis may be the biggest challenge New Yorkers have ever faced. Our city and state are setting the pace with new laws aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from buildings, cars, and industry. But the fossil fuel industry keeps rolling out new pipelines. And some communities bear a much heavier burden than others. What’s been achieved, and where do we go from here?

Moderated by Sara Gronim
Panelists: Dr. Lisa DiCaprio, Yessenia Funes, Kim Fraczek.

Handout: Resources & Action Items 

October 16, 2019
Climate Smart Energy:  Heating, Cooling and Turning the Lights On.

Whether for heating, cooking, or generating electricity, the so-called ‘natural gas’ New Yorkers use is essentially methane, a fossil fuel and an extremely potent greenhouse gas. On top of that, it’s produced by fracking—a process banned in our own state for health reasons. It’s time for a transition to renewable electricity sources and the adoption of heat pumps and other modern, clean and efficient technologies for heating and cooling. What state and city policies can accelerate this switch on a large scale, and what benefits could we see?

Moderated by: Charlotte Binns
Panelists: Donnel Baird, Elizabeth Broad, Patrick Robbins

Handout: Resources & Action Items

November 20, 2019
Parenting in the Age of Climate Change

How do we talk to our children about climate change? How do we incorporate climate activism into the busy routine of parenting? How can we process our emotions in order to effectively respond to this threat? “Parenting in the Age of Climate Change” will bring together leaders in the climate movement who are tackling these sorts of questions for an important and engaging discussion. The evening will also provide concrete ideas and resources that parents can use immediately to help build a greener future.

Moderated by: Tom Roderick
Panelists: Liat Olenick, Nikki Crook, Geraldine Anne Patrick Encina

Handout: Resources & Action Items

December 11, 2019
Green New Meal:  The Food-Climate Connection 

How does our current food system affect the climate, and how does climate change affect the quality and availability of food? What methods and policies can protect both the climate and the food supply? And who’s farming in Brooklyn?

Moderated by: Bhavani Jaroff
Panelists: Onika Abraham and Nancy Romer, with a presentation from Elizabeth Henderson

Speaker Bios and Handout

Email for more information or to get involved. Check our newsletter for information about upcoming Climate Wednesdays events and podcasts.