The UC Carbon Slam all-day event included talks by kickoff and keynote speakers, faculty climate champions, and top students from all 10 UC campuses working on understanding and communicating the impact of climate change and solutions to mitigate this impact.

Read about the successful event here. See the announcement of the winners here.

Watch UCSDTV videos of the event:

UCSDTV Logo These programs and other videos are available online on
UCTV's web site at:

Date and Venue

Monday, May 23, 2016
PARC, A Xerox Company
3333 Coyote Hill Road
Palo Alto, CA 94304

Featured Speakers


Keynote. Tom Steyer, NextGen Climate

Tom Steyer is a business leader and philanthropist who believes we have a moral responsibility to give back and help ensure that every family shares the benefits of economic opportunity, education, and a healthy climate. In 2010, Tom and his wife, Kat Taylor, pledged to contribute most of their wealth to charitable causes during their lifetimes. That same year, Tom worked to defeat Proposition 23, an attempt by the oil industry to roll back California’s historic plan to reduce pollution and address climate change. In 2012, Tom led a campaign to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in California schools annually by closing a corporate tax loophole. To date, Proposition 39 has put nearly a billion dollars into California schools and clean energy projects, saving millions of dollars in annual energy costs. Tom founded a successful California business, which he left to work full-time on non-profit and advocacy efforts. He now serves as President of NextGen Climate, an organization he founded in 2013 to prevent climate disaster and promote prosperity for all Americans. Tom also serves as co-chair of Save Lives California, the coalition to prevent teen smoking and fund cancer research. Tom’s dedication to public service is greatly inspired by his wife, Kat, the co-CEO of Beneficial State Bank in Oakland. They founded this nonprofit community bank in 2007 to provide loans to people and small businesses shut out by the traditional banking system. Unlike most banks, by statute Beneficial State Bank invests any profits back into the community.

Rachael NavaIntroduction to UC Carbon Neutrality Initiative. Rachael NavaUniversity of California Office of the President

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer since February 9, 2015, Rachael Nava oversees all aspects of operational management for the University of California system, which includes the ten UC campuses, five academic medical centers, and three national labs. Her responsibilities include systemwide human resources, information technology services, energy and sustainability, the UCPath Center, the Program Management Office, and all administrative services within the Office of the President. She is a third generation UC alumna and a graduate of UC Santa Cruz. Prior to joining UC, she worked for over 10 years at Central California Alliance for Health, a $1B public non-profit health plan delivering health care services to underserved populations. As their chief operating officer, she was responsible for ensuring that the managed care plan delivered innovative and high quality solutions in a complex delivery system. 

Scott Elrod 2 500x500Event Kickoff. Scott ElrodPARC, a Xerox Company

Scott Elrod is Vice President and Director of the Hardware Systems Laboratory research organization at PARC, a Xerox company. He also directs the Cleantech Innovation Program at PARC, which develops solutions for energy efficiency, clean water, renewable fuels, and more. One of the first results of this program is a novel, low-cost solar concentrator technology developed by startup venture SolFocus, Inc. that will significantly cut consumers' solar electricity costs. A PARC Principal Scientist who holds more than 70 patents, Elrod was responsible for much of an acoustic ink-printing patent portfolio (a novel inkjet technology based on focused ultrasonics), and several inventions for PARC spinout LiveWorks, Inc. (later acquired by SMART Technologies). His other technology contributions include novel input devices for large-area displays and a ubiquitous smart office environment.

Tom PetersonFaculty Climate Action Presenters MC. Tom PetersonUC Merced

Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor and professor, Dr. Peterson serves as a chief academic officer with principal responsibility for the planning, development, implementation, assessment and improvement of all academic programs, policies, and supporting infrastructure, including facilities and information technology. Prior to joining UC Merced, Dr. Peterson served for 32 years as an engineering faculty member, department head, and dean at the University of Arizona before assuming a position at the National Science Foundation, a $7 billion agency providing critical support to the nation’s engineering research and education capabilities, in January 2009. As assistant director of NSF’s Engineering Directorate, he led an organization that provides support for frontier research, enhances technological innovation, and integrates those activities with the education of young engineers. He was particularly interested in integrating research and education investments, and in recognizing and supporting interdisciplinary research contributing to the solution of grand challenge problems. He also served as NSF’s acting chief operating officer from June to October 2010.

Nathan BostromClimate Impact MC. Nathan BostromUniversity of California Office of the President

Nathan Brostrom was appointed Executive Vice President - Chief Financial Officer for the University of California in September 2014. As CFO, he oversees all aspects of financial management for the University of California system, which includes ten UC campuses, five academic medical centers and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.  His areas of responsibility include asset management, debt management, the systemwide operating budget, capital finance and planning, procurement and financial accounting.  The UC system educated nearly 240,000 students and has an annual budget of over $25 billion.

Prior to his CFO appointment and since September 2009, Nathan served as Executive Vice President – Business Operations for the UC system, with responsibility over systemwide budget, the budget and administration of the Office of the President, facility construction and maintenance, real estate management, human resource administration, and information technology support.

IlanClimate Solutions MC. Ilan GurCyclotron Road

Ilan Gur founded Cyclotron Road, a new incubation and seed-funding platform for breakthrough energy technologies, to bridge a gap he observed in energy technology innovation over the past decade. Before launching the program, he served as Program Director at the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), where he managed a $50 million portfolio of advanced R&D projects in the areas of energy storage, solar energy, and advanced materials. He was also a senior advisor and cofounder of ARPA-E's Technology-to-Market program, aimed at maximizing the commercial and societal impact of the agency's breakthrough R&D portfolio. Prior to ARPA-E, Ilan launched two venture-backed clean energy startups based on advanced materials and novel manufacturing approaches. He holds B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in materials science and engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

Ira Ehrenpreis 180x180Awards Ceremony Keynote. Ira Ehrenpreis, DBL Partners

Ira Ehrenpreis is Founder and Managing Partner of DBL Partners, a leading impact venture capital firm currently investing out of a $400M fund. Ira is a recognized leader in both the venture capital industry and the energy innovation sector. In 2007, Ira was named one of the "Top 50 Most Influential Men Under 45," and in 2014 was inducted into the International Green Industry Hall of Fame. For many years, Ira led Technology Partners' venture practice, investing in energy innovation opportunities. For many years, Ira led Technology Partners' venture practice investing in energy innovation opportunities.

Christine GulbransonWord from UCOP. Christine GulbransonUniversity of California Office of the President

In the newly created role of Senior Vice President for Research Innovation and Entrepreneurship with UCOP, Christine Gulbranson reports directly to President Janet Napolitano and leads a dynamic team whose mission is to increase the innovation and entrepreneurial capabilities of the UC system. She is also responsible for forging alliances in government and private and philanthropic sectors to create new opportunities for research and economic growth.


Presentations by Faculty Champions

Faculty Champions from all 10 UC campuses presented their work on climate change as inaugural UC Faculty Climate Action Champions or as Climate Leaders on their campus.  See more information on the Faculty Climate Champions here.

Pitch Competitions

A distinguished panel of judges evaluated Carbon Slam pitches and select 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in both Climate Impact and Climate Solutions, with prizes of $4000, $2000, and $1000 awarded respectively in each category of competition.

Poster Competition and Reception

During the afternoon poster-session reception, judges evaluated poster presentations by the runners-up from all campuses and select the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners, with prizes of $2000, $1000, and $600, $400 and $300 awarded for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th, respectively.

People's Choice!

Carbon Slam guests choose the people's choice awards for Climate Impact and Climate Solutions pitches and two best posters (in either competition category) by live text voting. Winners of the people's choice awards won $1000 in each of the pitch categories and $200 for the poster category.

Winners announced

Winners of the live pitch and poster competitions were announced toward the end of the poster reception.  See the selection of winners here.

Event Schedule

8:30 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast
9:00 Introduction to UC Climate Neutrality Initiative: Rachael Nava
9:10 Event Kickoff: Scott Elrod
9:25 Faculty Climate Champion Presenters: Tom Peterson
10:25 Coffee Break
10:50 Climate Impact MC: Nathan Bostrom
11:00 Climate Impact Finalists Present Pitches
12:00 p.m. Lunch Break and Networking
1:10 Faculty Climate Champion Presenters
2:05 Keynote: Tom Steyer
2:35 Coffee Break
3:00 Climate Solutions MC: Ilan Gur
3:10 Climate Solutions Finalists Present Pitches
4:00 Reception and Poster Judging
5:00 Awards Ceremony: Ira Ehrenpreis and Christine Gulbranson
6:00 Event Close


Attendance is by invitation only. Please email Sue Carter at to inquire about attending.

Transportation and parking

The event is hosted near both the San Francisco and San Jose airports, both of which have easy connections from most UC campuses. If you would like to share a cab or other transportation from the airport to the event with another attendee, please let us know and we will try to coordinate. Parking at PARC, a Xerox Company, for the event is free. A shuttle will be provided after the event to both SFO and SJC airports.


The University of California has reserved hotel room blocks at reduced rates on Sunday night, May 22, at the Courtyard at Marriott Palo Alto-Los Altos for Carbon Slam student participants and invited guests. If you are interested in booking one of these rooms at the reduced rate, please contact Sue Carter at Shuttle transportation for student participants from the Courtyard Marriott to PARC the morning of May 23 will be available. 

Sustainable Practices

We are making every effort to use sustainable practices and lower our carbon footprint for this event.  

Meals: Food will be mainly vegetarian with a few sustainably raised poultry and sustainably harvested fish options. When possible, drinks will be offered in sustainable containers, and not individual cans or bottles.  

Bring Your Own Reusable Beverage Container Offer: Participants who BYO beverage container will receive a UC Santa Cruz chocolate, and all other guests will be given a glass mug for their beverages throughout the day. Guests may take home their glass mug or leave with us for reuse at future events. We will limit the use of dishes, and any disposable dishes used will be made from recycled or waste products that are also fully compostable. Please place compostable ware in the compost bin when finished using!  

Recycling: Compost and paper recycling bins will be available at the event.  

Electronic and Sustainably Sourced Printed Media: Voting will be done using texting to eliminate paper ballots, and paper programs will be printed on paper from sustainable sources. 

Carbon Offset Purchases: We will purchase carbon offsets associated with the carbon emissions from the event's travel and operations. Attendees at the event will vote for the organization to receive our carbon-offset donation to offset our carbon emissions. Current choices include The Nature Conservancy, Native Energy, Climate Trust, and MyClimate. If you wish to add another option, please let us know at Your text vote at the event will decide who gets the donation, so please investigate these organizations and decide which ones you want to support.