2007 - 23rd YLC - Houston, USA

The Twin Challenges of Energy and the Environment: What Can We Do? Should We Do? Will We Do?

Forty-three participants met in Houston, TX October 4-6, 2007 to discuss "The Twin Challenges of Energy and the Environment: What Can We Do? Should We Do? Will We Do?". Participants came from the US, Italy, other countries (namely Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Latvia, Mexico, Poland, United Kingdom and Venezuela). Participants were hosted at the Doubletree Suites by the Galleria.
The conference, which was held in cooperation with the Italian Consulate General in Houston and the Office of the Mayor of Houston, began Thursday, October 4, with a reception and dinner at the residence of the Italian Consul General Cristiano Maggipinto, and was co-hosted also by Luciano Topi, President Italy-America Chamber of Commerce of Texas. A welcome speech was given by Peter Brown, Councilman of the Houston City Council.
On Friday, October 5 sessions were generously hosted at the Greater Houston Partnership, where Ken Cohen (Vice President, Public Affairs, Exxon Mobil Corporation) and Ron Sass (Harry C. and Olga Keith Wiess Professor of Natural Sciences, Emeritus, Rice University) briefed the participants on energy and environmental issues.
In the opening plenary session pre-selected participants introduced the conference themes:
 - Energy Issues
 - Environment Issues
 - Policy Options
That was followed by sessions at which participants were divided into three regionally-balanced working groups to discuss, in turn, each of the conference themes.
On Friday after lunch the group had the chance to have a VIP tour to the NASA Johnson Space Center.
Friday's dinner was held at The Menil Collection, an internationally-renowned private art collection housed in the first building in the United States designed by Renzo Piano. James Howard Gibbons (Editor-Opinion Pages, Houston Chronicle) was the guest speaker and gave a picture of social and political developments locally, regionally and nationally.
On Saturday, October 6, sessions were held at the Doubletree Suites. The closing sessions were plenary discussions based on the reports from each of the nine break-out groups. The conference concluded at the end of the afternoon.
During the meeting the group also heard presentations by the Greater Houston Partnership (Adam Gibson) and the Texas Medical Center (John Kajander).
The cost of the conference were underwritten in part by generous grants from the German Marshall Fund of the United States and the Roy A. Hunt Foundation, both of which are long-time supporters of the Young Leaders Conferences, and from the American and Italian branches of the Council.