Nov 15, 2023


MAD’s annual Forum, The Power of Design, dedicated this year to “Designing Climate Futures,” is an opportunity to discover design responses to the current climate and ecological crisis.

Our aim is to show how design addresses the climate emergency by helping to produce new ecological, spatial, and social conditions rather than mere technical fixes. The Forum brings together a group of designers who are proposing diverse and highly transformative approaches to the climate crisis, spanning from the local to the planetary scale, and offers a platform to know their work and learn, through workshops, with them.

This event was webcasted, and a replay of the Forum is available at the top of this page.


Alphabetically ordered

  • Benjamin Bratton is the director of the Antikythera Program at the Berggruen Institute and former director of the Terra-Forming program at Strelka Institute. Bratton’s current work focuses on the potential of planetary computation to tackle planetary-scale problems.

  • Paula J. Ehrlich is the President & CEO of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation. She is the co-founder of the Half-Earth Project and has led the development of the Half-Earth Project Map.

  • Janelle Knox-Hayes is Professor of Economic Geography and Planning in the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning. Her research focuses on the ways in which social and environmental systems are governed under changing temporal and spatial scales as a consequence of globalization.

  • Ayr Muir is the founder of Clover Food Lab, a vegetarian restaurant chain that works with local providers to reduce the CO2 footprint of the food industry.

Céline Semaan was previously announced as a speaker, but is unable to participate in the event.

Format & Schedule

Workshops + Dialogue + Reception

Concurrent workshops
Venue: MIT iHQ 4th and 5th floors

PRESERVING — Half-Earth map design challenge, using digital mapping tools to protect nature and people, with Dennis Liu, VP of Education, E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation.

ENGAGING — Facilitating action against climate change and engaging communities in the process, with Harvard GSD Loeb Fellow Kannan Thiruvengadam.

PRODUCING — How to develop entrepreneurial endeavors to combat climate change, with Ayr Muir, Benjamin Bratton, and MITdesignX.


Venue: MIT Welcome Center auditorium

Presentations by the speakers, conversation, and Q&A.



The event offers three concurrent workshops, a forum including presentations and a dialogue between our design guests, and a reception.

Participants may join any individual part of the event (such as a workshop or the forum), or all.

Advance registration is strongly recommended. It will be available online until November 12, after which you will have to register onsite for in-person attendance, or directly on the webcast page available on for online participation.

Please register through this link.

If you wish to attend a workshop, we ask you to register for your preferred sessions. Please note that we may have to reassign participants to a different workshop based on capacity. You may indicate a second choice as part of registration.


Our events are enriched by your presence and we are committed to making them accessible.

Please email us at [email protected] to request accommodations.


November 15, 2023 3:30pm — Workshops 5pm — Forum 7pm — Reception

MIT Welcome Center
292 Main Street
Cambridge, MA