Scripps Institution of Oceanography at SXSW Online 2021

Scientists from Scripps leading two panels at virtual conference

Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego will have a presence at the 2021 South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference, typically held in Austin, Texas, though held online this year. The annual conference explores what’s next in the worlds of technology, film, culture, and music, with the goal of providing opportunities for discovery, learning, and creativity. 

SXSW Online 2021 will take place March 16-20, 2021 with more than 230 curated panels available on demand to attendees. 

New this year, SXSW has added a programming theme focused on A New Urgency. Given that 2020 amplified issues like racial injustice, poverty, nationalism, and the climate crisis amidst a global pandemic, this programming track will discuss advancements needed to create immediate lasting progress, and the ways business, nonprofit, government, science, and technology communities can work together. 

Panels organized by Scripps Oceanography delve into the topics of climate change and religion and the threats and opportunities posed by sea-level rise. Each panel features a range of speakers including Scripps scientists, esteemed researchers from collaborating institutions, political leaders, and representatives of advocacy organizations.

Details for each panel are below. Both panels will be viewable on demand to conference attendees. 


In 2015, Pope Francis released Laudato Si, an encyclical on climate change, which called for developed nations to take immediate action on reducing greenhouse gases. The encyclical was rooted in the argument that the world’s poorest three billion people are going to suffer the worst consequences of climate change. Now as sea-level rise, extreme heat waves, and historic flooding of farmlands become the new normal, this panel will discuss how religious leaders across faiths are embracing stewardship of the planet, framing climate action as a moral issue, and helping the world embrace solutions. Hear from leading climate scientists, ministers and young evangelicals working to appeal to faith-based hearts and minds.



Sea-level rise is already impacting coastlines around the world, from island nations preparing for potential relocation to low-lying communities experiencing damaging coastal flooding that is threatening infrastructure. Scientists are working to predict storm surge events and understand future sea-level rise scenarios, while cities and leaders face difficult and costly decisions about adaptation, retreat, and armoring the coastline. This panel will discuss the challenges communities are facing, adaptation strategies, and how science can inform action. 

Information on how to register for SXSW 2021 can be found here:

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