The show, as they say, must go on. That’s the case with EarthX, the Dallas-based nonprofit that convenes the world’s largest environmental expo, conference, and film festival. Earthx2020 will this year be held virtually from April 23-25 and into May, in light of the developing news of COVID-19.
EarthX2020 will mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day this year. And while the physical event has been canceled, EarthX and partner National Geographic Society will present the Earth Day celebration and most conferences as a virtual experience.
Tony Keane, CEO of EarthX, wants people to know that EarthX will continue to move its mission forward to connect, collaborate and celebrate.
This global situation is an example of just how relevant the EarthX mission is, Keane noted in a statement. “This global situation is a great example of how interconnected we are to each other and the planet,” he said.
While EarthX programs make a difference 365 days a year, the biggest impact culminates in a four-pronged environmental experience—a film festival, conference, expo, and education—held at Fair Park to raise environmental education and awareness around Earth Day in April.
Last year, the event drew more than 177,000 attendees, 2,000 environmental business leaders, 700 exhibitors, 450 speakers, 63 films, and 49 eco-virtual reality experiences.
From the EarthxConference (a five-day series that deals with every major issue facing our environment today) to EarthxFilm (a 10-day festival that uses the power media to raise awareness of environmental and social issues) to EarthxExpo (a three-day public festival that celebrates innovation and hope with interactive programming and subject matter experts, along with live music, art, and food) to EarthxEDU (an initiative that provides teachers and students with the resources needed to improve sustainability), the event is likely the largest of its kind in the world.
But this year, in light of the CDC’s guidelines and City of Dallas requirements, EarthX has decided to host its Earthx2020 conferences and film festival virtually and cancel its Expo, which is usually the anchor of it all.
The 50th Earth Day Celebration will be live-streamed on April 22. The virtual experience will be layered within EarthxFilm programming of select showings.
Fall conferences and a world premiere planned
But, EarthxEnergy’s Responsible Energy Acquisition conference and the EarthxLaw conference will still be held live in the fall. The film festival, EarthxGlobalGala, and the world premiere of The Way of the Rain – Hope For Earth (directed by Sibylle Szaggars Redford with a special narration by Robert Redford) will also be in the fall.
In January, EarthX announced a collaboration with the National Geographic Society for Earthx2020. National Geographic planned to host a space for attendees to learn about the growing problems concerning single-use plastic, as well as interact with Nat Geo explorers and staff. The two both said they were looking forward to celebrating Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary.
That partnership will continue, despite the shift to virtual-only.
“Collaboration and connectedness are critical as we seek to further the National Geographic Society’s mission to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world,” said Michael L. Ulica, president and CEO of the National Geographic Society, in a statement. The National Geographic Society sees EarthX as a way to reach new audiences through its virtual experience, he noted.
Trammell S. Crow founded EarthX, formerly Earth Day Texas, in 2011 as a way to showcase environmental innovations and initiatives to help the public become catalysts for change. Crow’s ultimate goal is to draw attention to the challenges that our planet faces, as well as those individuals and groups rising up to meet them. Ultimately, inspiring action.
“EarthX remains unwavering in its commitment to shed light on the environmental challenges facing our planet, and this recent crisis has been a testament to our strength in collectively spreading awareness and seeking solutions in the face of adversity,” Crow said of the recent announcement.
“We are all in this together.”
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