Practical training sessions, workshops, interdisciplinary collaboration, and networking opportunities for National Geographic Explorers.
6:30 PM - 9:30 PM | Private
Explorers are the heart of the National Geographic Society. National Geographic’s senior leadership and staff will gather with Explorers—at our D.C. basecamp—for a special dinner celebrating the work around the world.
1 PM - 5 PM | Invite Only | Watch via Live Stream
National Geographic Explorers will join global changemakers on stage to share discoveries, stories, and solutions for driving us toward a planet in balance. We will kick off the Explorers Symposium with a look at the innovative technology and people who are at the forefront of a new era of exploration. Watch the Explorers Symposium via live stream.
THE VIEW FROM SPACE
The planet is ours to protect, and seeing Earth from space reinforces that there has never been a more critical time to act on its behalf.
THE NEW ERA OF DISCOVERY
Technology is revolutionizing our ability to explore the unseen depths of our ocean and Earth’s most remote, inhospitable and unexamined lands. By leveraging new technology, we can travel further, discover more, and continue to explore in this new era of discovery.
PUTTING A SPECIES ON THE MAP
Our planet is home to millions of species, but it’s the most well-known, popular ones that tend to attract conservation efforts. Discover a few of the lesser-known animals from around the globe, and meet the adventurous scientists working to understand and protect them.
MEET THE SUMATRAN RHINO
The Sumatran Rhino is at risk of becoming the largest mammal extinction of our century. From cutting edge technology to a consortium of NGO partners coming together with a common goal, this unique approach to saving a threatened species strives to bring this beautiful animal back from the brink.
UPDATE FROM THE FIELD
CLIMATE CHANGE: AN ORIGIN STORY
Presentation by Isaiah Nengo, Paleontologist, Director, Turkana Basin Institute, Kenya & National Geographic Explorer
WILDLIFE WATCH: STORIES SPURRING SOLUTIONS
Wildlife trafficking and wildlife tourism are an assault on biodiversity and the world’s most threatened species. The powerful stories emerging from this conflict are exposing complex challenges, fueling solutions, and inspiring people to take action.
JOINING FORCES: SCIENCE AND EDUCATION
A conversation with Vicki Phillips, Executive Vice President & Chief Education Officer, National Geographic Society and Jonathan Baillie, Chief Scientist, Executive Vice President &Chief Scientist, National Geographic Society.
NEXT GEN PLANETARY LEADERS
In order to scale efforts to protect the planet, we need to empower the next generation of planetary stewards to be catalysts for change. Hear from dynamic young voices who are leading and inspiring youth around the globe.
9 AM - 4 PM | Invite Only | Watch via Live Stream
Throughout the day, we will highlight new models for conservation, discover ways to live smarter on our planet, and dive into why it’s critical to preserve our last wild places. Watch the Explorers Symposium via live stream.
OPENING REMARKS & PRESENTATION OF THE PHILANTHROPIST OF THE YEAR AWARD
National Geographic is proud to present Hansjörg Wyss, the founder and chairman of the Wyss Foundation, with our inaugural Philanthropist of the Year Award. Through the Wyss Campaign for Nature, Mr. Wyss has committed $1 billion to help communities, indigenous peoples, and nations protect 30 percent of the planet by 2030. We are honored to recognize his instrumental leadership and celebrate his deep commitment toward realizing a planet in balance.
WHY 30 BY 30?
Science shows that protecting 30 percent of the planet by 2030 is a critical milestone in preventing the mass extinction of wildlife and plant species. Experts in ocean, land conservation and biodiversity will outline the threats facing our planet and explain why they are committed to the goal of 30 by 30.
LIVE FROM THE FIELD: TRACKING PLASTICS SEA TO SOURCE
Plastic pollution is one of the greatest threats to our planet. Our all-female Plastics Expedition team is joining us live from India, where the team tracking the garbage from sea to source via the river systems.
DEFINING REALITY AND GIVING HOPE
Presentations by National Geographic Fellows Pete Muller, Photographer & Multimedia Reporter and Rue Mapp, CEO, Outdoor Afro.
MEET THE ROLEX AWARDS FOR ENTERPRISE FINALISTS
For four decades, through the Rolex Awards for Enterprise, Rolex has supported exceptional individuals who have the courage and conviction to take on major challenges; men and women who have a spirit of enterprise, initiating extraordinary projects that make the world a better place. Be among the first to hear from this year’s inspiring finalists who were selected by an international jury of experts -- and vote in the Festival app, for your favorites to help choose five 2019 Laureates who will be supported by Rolex.
VIRTUAL REALITY IN THE OKAVANGO DELTA
Watch elephants come within inches of your face and glide in a traditional canoe through the wetlands of Botswana. National Geographic’s new 360-degree, virtual reality experience transports you to the heart of one of Africa’s most vast, biodiverse regions, and highlights why everyone should want to protect this beautiful landscape.
WHAT’S WORKING: COMPELLING MODELS FOR CONSERVATION
In a rapidly changing world, community-based efforts are critical — engaging the people often best able to protect natural resources and wildlife in the world’s last wild places. Explore how the latest, most successful, and creative methods can be scaled to create a planet in balance.
BRINGING THE NATURAL WORLD TO LIFE
National Geographic is recognized worldwide for its unparalleled commitment to natural history storytelling and cinematic craft, partnering with trailblazing filmmakers to reveal the mysteries of our dynamic Earth and the diverse species that call it home. With epic programming that traverses the heights and depths of all seven continents and contemplates life beyond our universe, National Geographic harnesses the power of narrative to bring the planet’s complex drama to life.
WHAT’S WORKING: REWILDING
As a million species worldwide are being pushed toward extinction, transformative change is crucial to protecting and restoring the resources that support life on Earth. Rewilding is a progressive solution to the biodiversity crisis, reversing the destruction of the natural world and allowing nature to heal itself. Hear how conservationists are rewilding nature by restoring landscapes and reintroducing wildlife in a race against time.
A STORY OF COMMUNITY AND CLIMATE
Presentation by Arati Kumar-Rao, Environmental Photographer & National Geographic Explorer
Data is the new driver in conservation, enabling us to intervene with precision and directly measure results. Tech tools can help monitor and enforce protected areas and shape new approaches to combating critical threats. Discover what this paradigm shift means for addressing the environment’s most pressing problems.
5 REASONS TO HOPE
While the threats facing the natural world are vast, there are incredible people developing creative and innovative solutions that inspire hope and prompt action towards a planet in balance.
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM | Invite Only
Join the biggest names in exploration for an inspirational evening as National Geographic presents its most prestigious awards. This extraordinary show, featuring National Geographic luminaries, world-class musicians, and more, will honor the trailblazing conservationists, scientists, educators, and storytellers who are leading the push to protect our planet for future generations.
The National Geographic Awards will be hosted by Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actress, Camryn Manheim, and feature performances by Jordan Fisher, Jordan Hill and Elle King. Learn more about our awardees.
9 AM - 12 PM | Invite Only | Watch via Live Stream
Our final day will showcase how we catalyze action on behalf of the planet by collecting data, telling stories that inspire and drive change, and empowering future leaders. Watch the Explorers Symposium via live stream.
FUELING EARTH’S ENGINES
Mountains, rainforests and the ocean’s depths power the planet’s essential natural systems that support life on
Earth. We’ll hear from explorers just back from National Geographic’s expedition to Earth’s highest peak, Mount Everest in Nepal, about the critical role of mountains in sustaining water supplies for billions of people around the world how mountains can inform scientific approaches to protecting our world. Expedition supported by Rolex.
UPDATE FROM THE FIELD
Travel the world through the eyes of National Geographic Explorers who are pushing boundaries and taking action to protect the planet.
WOMEN AT THE FOREFRONT OF CONSERVATION
By taking a look at the work of women rangers, guides, scientists, community health workers and educators across the globe, discover how gender equality in conservation elevates the effectiveness of caring for our natural resources.
A NEW NARRATIVE FOR NATURE
National Geographic is committed to connecting humans with our natural world, but a new narrative is needed to increase empathy and help people realize the value of nature. With large groups of people living in urban areas, access to nature can be limited, and building champions for nature through science, storytelling, and even video games, is crucial for protecting it.
5 PM - 9 PM | Invite Only
Show your support for our commitment to protecting 30% of the planet by 2030 during this evening takeover of National Geographic’s campus. This year’s closing party will feature signature cocktails, food and beverages available for purchase, live music, and an opportunity to connect with fellow attendees.
photo credit Randall Scott