Green is the Coolest Color: A Debate on Urban Resilience, Climate Action, and Green Tech
For the first edition of our new speaker series "The 2406 Dialogues", the Consulate general of France in Louisiana is pleased to welcome three leading voices from the private, public, and academic sectors to discuss urban resilience in New Orleans
New Orleans is at the forefront of the "resilient cities" movement sweeping the globe, having confronted numerous economic, ecological, and environmental challenges in recent history.
In order to thrive for the next 300 years, the city must meet the needs of her community and adapt to the reality of her geography. This means investing in an equitable, safe, healthy, and better-served population while ensuring the community is equipped to prosper in a changing physical environment.
Just one week before the Climate Summit in Paris, come be a part of an interactive discussion at the Residence of France as we address these challenges and look towards our city’s future.
Jeff Hebert, Deputy Mayor and Chief Resilience Officer of the City of New Orleans
Jeff Hebert was appointed Deputy Mayor and Chief Administrative Officer on August 15, 2016, and continues to serve as the City of New Orleans’ first Chief Resilience Officer. In this capacity, he oversees the administration of City Hall. The Deputy Mayor also leads the Mayor’s efforts to improve city government performance and the Mayor’s charge to return the city to fiscal stability. Hebert is a city planner by profession, and has previously served as the Executive Director of the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA) Before joining the Landrieu Administration, Hebert led the state’s Regional Plan for Recovery and Growth following the devastation from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita as the Director of Community Planning for the Louisiana Recovery Authority. Over the past eight years, Jeff has advised government officials across the globe on disaster recovery planning and implementation. As Chief Resilience Officer, Hebert oversees the implementation of the nation’s first Comprehensive Resilience Strategy, development of the city’s climate action plan and sea level rise and climate adaptation strategies, and was recently appointed by Governor John Bel Edwards to the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Coastal Protection, Restoration, and Conservation.
Julie Hernandez, Geographer & Assistant Professor at Tulane University
Julie Hernandez is a geographer with technical expertise on geographic information systems, digital data collection, and use of ICT to support public health programs and research. Her current work focuses on access to sexual and reproductive health services in the Democratic Republic of Congo, with specific emphasis on community-based provision of family planning services, barriers to service delivery, contraceptive logistics and health information systems strengthening. Hernandez previously worked on evaluating vulnerable populations’ exposure to HIV/AIDS and strategies to increase program coverage in DRC and Côte d’Ivoire, as well as early warning systems for epidemic outbreaks. Her work in the U.S. included community-based development of user-friendly mapping tools to monitor post-Katrina recovery in New Orleans, and she is currently engaged in researching spatial patterns and strengthen access to naxolone (Narcan) using first responders data, in order to decrease mortality linked to opioid overdoses.
Hank Torbert, President of Alta Max, LLC & Founder of the Frontier Conference
Hank Torbert is a seasoned business leader functioning in the nexus of finance, strategy, innovation & operations within industrials and industry. Mr. Torbert has a special focus of how new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology, transmission technologies and synthetic biology, etc. are changing the industrial landscape and the implications on strategy and investment decisions. He is currently the President of Alta Max, LLC, a privately-held, New Orleans-based specialty packaging and security seals provider. Founded in 2002, the company provides products and services to the energy, defense, manufacturing, transportation, agriculture and several other sectors. Mr. Torbert is leading their efforts to adopt new technologies and expand the company’s operations and sales throughout the Gulf States.
He is Founder of The Frontier Conference, an event focused on bringing key industrial sector leaders together to discuss and collaborate around innovation and disruptive technologies. In addition, Mr. Torbert ran IdeaVillage’s ENERGYx Accelerator in New Orleans to support emerging technology companies focused on the energy sector. He has also been active in the transportation industry as an investor, operator, and advisor. He is currently focused on building a new marine transport company serving international mining and energy clients and headquartered in Louisiana. Furthermore, he serves an an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and New Orleans’ oldest start-up incubator, The IdeaVillage.
The Consulate general of France in Louisiana is launching a new debate series "The 2406 Dialogues". The name is inspired by the address of the Residence of France at 2406 Prytania Street, where each event will take place.
Our goal is to open our diplomatic and consular mission with the general public and foster a discussion on current events. More debates will take place in the coming months covering cultural, social and economic matters most relevant to Louisiana’s civil society. While we may raise more questions than answers, we are called to reflect on the actions that we can take surrounding the key issues that concern us all.