The third annual Global Climate Action Symposium will bring together a wide range of experts to showcase climate change solutions informed by local and global scientists, engineers, business and policy experts, student leaders, and artists. Jointly sponsored by Georgia Tech and six European consulates during European Climate Diplomacy Week, the event will be held in a fully online, virtual format.

At a Glance




Live events will take place on September 27, 28, and 29 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. EDT. Recordings will be made available after the Symposium.

The 2021 Symposium is free and open to all. The Symposium will take place in a virtual, online format.

  • September 27 | Sustainable Food
  • September 28 | Climate and Health
  • September 29 | UN Ocean’s Decade

Recorded Events

Sustainable Food | September 27

Climate & Health | September 28

UN Ocean’s Decade | September 29

Art Contest Winners

First Place, Graduate

Science goes beyond numbers. In Agricultural Sciences, a lot of disciplines and dimensions are involved. In the interface of all these disciplines, such as natural sciences, social sciences, economic or politics, one must truly engage in the interpersonal dimension to really understand the diversity that our food system has to offer. The process to collect data often depends on the collaboration between different stakeholders, from farmers to traders and policy makers. With this work we want to provide a platform and show a glimpse of the human dimension in food system research. It is the story of tomato farmers in Morocco and Ghana, tef farmers in Ethiopia, cocoa farmers in Ghana and three researchers reflecting on their field experience.

Second Place, Graduate

Glacial Place: Elizabeth Warren

As a kid with a disposable camera, my Dad taught me that the most interesting photos are often taken from a unique perspective. As I crouched down to take this one, I got soaked with glacial meltwater. Although it is the largest glacier in France, Mer de Glace is receding rapidly. I traveled to see it while researching in Paris through CEE’s Gateways to France program. Hiking down to the glacier, I passed markers on the mountainside demarcating its decades-long sinking. If I’d visited in 2000, the climb would have been about 80m (262 ft) less than it was in 2019. While seasonal changes are normal, the pace of retreat reflects the extreme nature of anthropogenic climate change. Mer de Glace is the first glacier I’ve ever visited – since watching it melt in real time, I’ve wondered if future generations will have the chance to visit, too.

Third Place, Graduate

Lost to Fire: Renée Elizabeth Grundling

I love painting watercolour landscapes. There’s something primal about translating what you see around you to paper using pigment and the most natural thing – water. My whole life revolves around water – my art, my studies, my research. You can’t really work with wetlands if there’s no water to create them in the first place. Instead, I photographed this. It was the only way to capture this dismal scene. Three scientists usually wearing gumboots to keep their feet dry, now knee deep in smouldering peat ash. Their peat augers serving as temperature gauges, smoke rising in the distance. This once pristine, open water, estuarine mire is called Verlorenvlei, Afrikaans for Lost Wetland. Ironic, isn’t it? Climate change, water abstraction and development caused this Eden to be lost to peat fire. I’ll put my watercolour paints away, pick up a charred piece of reed, and draw in charcoal.

First Place, Undergraduate

Music can inspire people to act for the climate, speak the truth in an emotional way, and reveal what our land means to us. The hope of my music is to contribute to the building of community and specifically to bring people together to work on climate change and resilience, one of the toughest issues that we will face in our lifetime. As a multi-instrumentalist, I write my own music with some songs focused on environmental activism. After recently working with the Partnership for Southern Equity as a youth ambassador, I compiled a set list of my original tunes with a focus on environmental justice. “Nothing Else Matters” is one of four songs in a collection called “Notes of Equity.” The video is a live performance done in our home studio which we recorded during COVID-19. In this rendition, my dad is backing me up on guitar.

Second Place, Undergraduate

The Saviors and the Looters: Preksha Jain

The desire for resources continues to grow exponentially while the resources themselves become delicacies. The delusion of finite resources being treated as endless supplies has already begun to take its toll on society. The balance of nature is drowning and corporations hide behind a shield of money to dodge environmental responsibilities. Ultimately, the only savior is nature itself. Juxtaposition and transformation is relied on to symbolize the purpose behind each object in this surrealist piece.

Third Place, Undergraduate

Hoover Dam: Pallavi Natarajan

This photograph is of the Hoover Dam, on the Colorado River between Nevada and Arizona. Lake Mead, the body of water behind the dam, has been providing water to the surrounding communities for years, and it is often a lifeline for people living near there. In recent times, because of the severe droughts in the United States West, the water from Lake Mead is being used but not replenished. This leads to the formation of a “bathtub ring”, the layer of white visible just over the lake. This ring appears white because it contains minerals deposited there when the rock was submerged. The “bathtub ring” will only continue to grow as climate change warms the American West; eventually, the lake and the water it provides will disappear entirely.

Honorable Mentions

Moses Ojo, Phoebe Siew Lin Tan, Sabrina Johnson, Lavanya Hariharan, Michelle Ramirez, and Nikhita Kunthu Balakumar

Selected Key Events

September 27: Sustainable Food Systems

September 28: Climate and Health

September 29: UN Ocean’s Decade

Call for Student Submissions

Additional Opportunities

Building a Better World: Women and Climate Justice​

Agnes Scott College’s second annual Women’s Global Leadership Conference will convene internationally recognized scholars, private sector experts, political leaders, and community activists to engage in intentional conversations, form innovative partnerships for addressing climate injustice, and develop creative strategies for building more resilient communities. Learn more

Details: Sept. 23- 25, 2021 | Agnes Scott College

Climate Crisis and Contemporary Culture: Beethoven – Pastoral and Tropic Ice

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience renowned German photographer and visual artist Barbara Dombrowski’s “Tropic Ice” photographs as a digital photo exhibition set to the music of Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony, his 6th symphony known as an “expression of nature.” This in-person event will take place in the Atlanta area in a socially distanced outdoor setting, and is free to attend. Learn more

Details: Sept. 25, 2021 | Palmetta, Georgia

A Blue Sky Hero Citizen Science Webinar: How Georgia Tech Is Tackling Urban Heat Islands

Tune in for a Science Is Cool (ScIC)-inspired session with experts from PocketLab, Georgia Tech, and Spelman College. We’ll be chatting about:

. Learn more

Details: Sept. 23, 2021 | Online

Press Kit

A complete press kit is available here, including original social media graphics and suggested language. Thanks for supporting the Global Climate Action Symposium!