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Greenbuild 2015 Opening Plenary - What Will it Take to Get Meaningful Action on Climate Change?

 Climate change is the defining issue of our time. Green buildings, green communities and strong leaders on climate are the first, best offense.  Miss Greenbuild or just want to see it again? Watch the video now with opening remarks from Julián Castro, followed by a presentation by James Cameron and Opening Plenary Convener Mika Brzezinski as they tackle this much debated topic. Note: To request the password for the Opening Plenary, please email us at 

Julián Castro

Julián Castro was sworn in as the 16th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on July 28, 2014. In this role, Castro oversees 8,000 employees and a budget of $46 billion, using a performance-driven approach to achieve the Department's mission of expanding opportunity for all Americans.


"Julián is a proven leader, a champion for safe, affordable housing and strong, sustainable neighborhoods," said President Barack Obama after Castro's confirmation. "I know that together with the dedicated professionals at HUD, Julián will help build on the progress we've made battling back from the Great Recession - rebuilding our housing market, reducing homelessness among veterans, and connecting neighborhoods with good schools and good jobs that help our citizens succeed."

As Secretary, Castro's focus is ensuring that HUD is a transparent, efficient and effective champion for the people it serves. Utilizing an evidence-based management style, he has charged the Department with one goal: giving every person, regardless of their station in life, new opportunities to thrive.


Under Castro's leadership, the Federal Housing Administration lowered mortgage insurance premiums to make homeownership more affordable for responsible families. HUD also released its new Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule to fulfill the full promise of the Fair Housing Act - helping families' access strong neighborhoods with housing choice vouchers and empowering local leaders with new tools to invest in their communities.

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James Cameron

Born in Canada, James Cameron moved to California in 1971 at the age of 17. He studied physics at Fullerton Junior College while working as a machinist, and later a truck driver. Setting his sights on a career in film, Cameron quit his trucking job and went to work on low-budget science fiction films as a self-taught designer and visual effects artist.


In 1984, his first directed film, Terminator, became an unexpected breakout hit. Since then, Cameron has written, produced, and directed a number of award-winning films that have blazed new trails in visual effects and set numerous box office records, including Avatar and Titanic, which are the two highest grossing films in history.


Avatar, a 3-D science fiction epic set in the virgin ecosystem of a distant planet, required more than two years of development of new production technologies, including image-based facial performance capture, a real-time virtual camera for CG production, and the SIMULCAM system, for real-time tracking and compositing of CG characters into live-action scenes. These techniques are combined with stereoscopic photography to create a hybrid CG/live-action film. Avatar won Golden Globes for Best Director and Best Picture. It was nominated for nine Academy Awards and won three.


Two of Cameron’s passions – filmmaking and diving – blended in his work on the movies The Abyss...

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Mika Brzezinski

World affairs have been a constant presence in Mika Brzezinski's life. The daughter of former National Security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, she is the co-host of MSNBC's Morning Joe. As the Democrat to her partner Joe Scarborough's Republican, Brzezinski spends each weekday morning debating the headlines of the day with a roundtable of political insiders, journalists, and newsmakers. TIME magazine has called Morning Joe "revolutionary." The New York Times ranked it as the top news show in 2008, and a 2010 follow-up praised Brzezinski and Scarborough's natural repartee and off the cuff commentary. Her presentations give audiences a smart, savvy, and insightful perspective on the news of the day and an inside look behind the scenes of a hit morning show.


Mika Brzezinski is a best-selling author. Her fourth and most recent bestselling book, Grow Your Value: Living and Working to Your Full Potential, is a follow-up to her second, New York Times best-seller Knowing Your Value. Grow Your Value gives women the tools necessary to advocate for themselves and grow their financial futures – both professionally and personally. Knowing Your Value discusses perceptions of value and how successful women today have achieved their deserved recognition and financial worth in the workplace. Her third best-selling book, Obsessed: America's Food Addiction–and My Own, details her struggles with food and her role in the war against obesity. Her first book, All Things At Once, was also a New York Times best-seller. In it, she discusses the challenges of career, family, and the news business with the style and grace that have made her one of the rising stars of morning news.

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