I've been on the road a ton recently, including a recent jaunt from my home in Boston over to Long Beach, California for the California Adaptation Forum. There were some really impressive and engaging presentations, and you can access most of them here.
By far my favorite part of the event was the Tools Salon where a number of entities -- including yours truly, showing off our Sustainability Dashboard -- showcased the various tools and resources that are available to assist with adaptation planning.
You can download the Tools Salon flyer to get a solid overview of all the tools that were shared with Forum participants.
For those of us who have been working on climate adaptation and resilience issues for the last decade, what struck me about the event and the Tools Salon in particular was how far we've come on resourcing local communities' adaptation efforts. The strategies we are pursuing as we try to adapt to a changing climate aren't that different; but the ways in which we can design and implement those strategies have evolved by leaps and bounds.
As I walked around the Tools Salon and talked to the nonprofits, companies, agencies, universities and cities that have created these tools, I saw first-hand the proliferation of advanced tools that are available to local governments -- most of them for free. "Back in the day" I remember having to cobble together and translate data from NOAA so that policymakers could try to wrap their heads around the challenge and try to piece together next steps.
Now there are best practice databases, curated resource libraries, visualization tools, GIS and other mapping tools, the list goes on. They are interactive and provide a direct role in policy planning, community outreach and partner collaboration when it comes to adaptation.
Oh and did I mention that the Tools Salon at the California Adaptation Forum was fun, too? Thanks to everyone who snapped a shot at our photo booth where we were doing demos of our Sustainability Dashboard.