2023 Texan by Nature Conservation Summit Recap

The Texan by Nature Conservation Summit is an annual opportunity for leaders in business and conservation to convene and catalyze conservation in the state of Texas. Through panel presentations and Q&A sessions with the audience, the summit drives dialogue and highlights emerging sustainability solutions.

The 2023 summit took place on November 7 in Dallas. The Texan by Nature team was happy to welcome 300 in-person attendees at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas. To engage with partners far and wide, a virtual attendance option was available, and 600 leaders and advocates joined us virtually through video stream. In the post-summit attendee survey, an impressive 99% of respondents reported learning something new and left with an average of 5 new connections made.

The overarching theme of the day was ‘The Future of Conservation.” The future of conservation, just like Texas’s beautiful landscape and leadership role in industry, is ever-evolving. The Summit explored human dimensions, ecosystem-level thinking, and best-in-class collaborations with the goal of inspiring new partnerships and driving conservation innovation and impact. 

Texan by Nature CEO Joni Carswell’s opening remarks called on the audience to take an active role in shaping Texas’ conservation future: “Our goals today with the discussion, our hope for the next year is that we leave here today and work together, that we seek, we understand, and we apply best practices” Watch the opening remarks, full panel presentation recordings, and closing remarks from former First Lady and TxN founder Mrs. Laura Bush below.

2023 Texan by Nature Conservation Summit Agenda

Conservation Engagement: Education and Application
Humans process more and more data each year, with one study showing current exposure at 74 gigabytes daily. With this much information in the ‘discovered’ realm and immeasurable more in undiscovered areas, how do we reach future leaders with best practices and conservation opportunities? What education methodologies cut through information overload to drive action? What sources are trusted when decisions need to be made and we’re ready to move to application and implementation? Whether we’re seeking to engage youth, community members, the workforce, or c-suite leaders, education and ultimately application of key practices and decision factors are critical to conservation progress.

Panelists included:
Justin Dreibelbis, Texas Wildlife Association
Dawn Davies, Hill Country Alliance
Leticia Mendoza, Texas Disposal Systems

Conservation Communication: Measurement and Reporting
Science-based, standard measurement is the cornerstone of accounting and trade. It’s also a unifying foundation at the intersection of conservation and industry. Rising interest in ecosystem service valuation and crediting, use of local conservation efforts to achieve global sustainability strategies, and exploration of new partnerships rely on clear communication of goals, conservation practices, and impacts to create new opportunities. With the myriad of frameworks and data available, which communication strategies and what measurement and reporting standards best align conservation and industry to address these future opportunities.

Panelists included:
Laura-Ashley Overdyke, Caddo Lake Institute
Dr. Daniel Willard, Ørsted
Jesse Hereford, North American Development Bank

Case Study: Collaborative Cleanup
Texas is home to 13 major river basins, all of them flowing to the Gulf of Mexico. These waterways provide drinking water and recreation for people, habitat for diverse wildlife, and ingredients for our thriving industries. With unprecedented population and industry growth, Texas waterways have been negatively impacted by litter at both the sourcepoint and downstream. To stop this trend, collaborative conservation programs in Texas are using education, application, measurement, and reporting to restore our waterways for today and future generations.

Panelists included:
Maia Corbitt, Texans for Clean Water
Liz Virgl, SPLASh
Liz Donohue, Ozarka

Case Study: Ecosystem Collaboration

Conservation and industry leaders often think and speak of ecosystems in similar yet very different ways. Conservationists most often refer to natural systems while industry leaders may refer to their supply chain or internal processes. Few entities look at the entire ecosystem and the interaction between industry and nature. New models of collaboration bridge this communication and action gap, bringing conservation, community, and industry together to achieve long term, ecosystem results.

Panelists included:
Kevin Hartke, Ducks Unlimited
Dr. Gabriella Farnham, Phillips 66
Taylor Keys, Texan by Nature

If you’re interested in sponsoring our 2024 Summit – learn more here!

Contact info@texanbynature.org for questions.