Night of Ideas

Joining alongside non-profit organizations across the nation, we are proud to be hosting Night of Ideas in partnership with Villa Albertine, le Consulat de France en Louisiane, the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (CRCL), the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), the Louisiana University Marine Consortium (LUMCON), the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe, and Télé-Louisiane.

Free for members and nonmembers

About the Event:

Taking place in more than 20 cities across the US from February 25 through March 4, 2023, Night of Ideas invites thought leaders, activists, performers, authors, and academics to engage the public in discussion around a central question that addresses major, contemporary global issues.

Night of Ideas 2023 focuses on the theme More?, with each event approaching the challenge of building a more sustainable and equitable society from the vantage point of local issues, debates, and opportunities. From how to reach a point of more justice in Atlanta; to what ‘more’ really means in a growth-driven society in San Francisco; to looking at our uncertain future through young peoples’ eyes in New York; to climate change in Pasadena and Phoenix; to exploring the limits of our universe through astronomy in Kansas City, Night of Ideas, taking place in more than 20 U.S. cities this year, asks attendees to consider how our world has been challenged by excess in all areas, and how ideas and collaboration could light the way to a more stable and peaceful tomorrow.

Here in New Orleans, we are highlighting coastal land loss in Louisiana. Guest moderator Alex Kolker (LUMCON) and speakers Mike Biros (CRCL), Krista Jankowski (CPRA), and Christine Verdin (Point-aux-Chien Tribe) will discuss this topic referencing projects in both the public and private sectors. Night of Ideas is an evening which will explore the various private and public sector initiatives to combat coastal erosion which destroys the environment (scarcity of species, salinization of bayous water, disappearance of land) and weakens the most exposed communities, among which are fishermen and the Francophone Pointe-au-Chien tribe. In Louisiana, the fight against the effects of climate change and in favor of biodiversity is directly linked to the protection of cultural diversity. Can humans and science reclaim land from climate change?

This singular event, held at night, aims to stimulate public interest in major debates of our contemporary world while also offering a range of artistic performances. AFNO's Nuit des Idées will include an exclusive glimpse into the ongoing project "Pointe-au-Chien is Not Dead," by Wayan Barre. Born in France, Barre moved to New Orleans in July 2022. As a freelance photographer, his work has been exhibited and published in French newspapers and magazines. Particularly sensitive to social and environmental issues, he has started to work with various communities in South Louisiana to raise awareness on then many challenges the region and its people are facing.

About the panelists

Alex Kolker is an Associate Professor at the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) and is a coastal geologist who has worked in systems around the world including the Mississippi River Delta, the Florida Everglades, the Northeastern United States, and North Africa. Dr. Kolker is interested in how coastal change impacts people who live along the coast and has served on numerous panels providing scientific input to decision makers and planners including the Science Advisory Group for Louisiana's Governor's Climate Initiative Task Force.

Mike Biros is a landscape architect who has over 10 years of experience working across coastal Louisiana on projects including adaptation planning, storm water management and natural resource damage assessments. He holds a master’s degree in landscape architecture from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Dickinson College.  

Krista Jankowski, Ph.D., PG is a licensed professional geoscientist with expertise in environmental change and impacts to coastal and deltaic systems, particularly in coastal Louisiana. She has 10+ years’ experience with data-driven decision-making, resilience planning, and community engagement efforts and currently manages the development of the 2023 Coastal Master Plan. In this role she applies her technical expertise to the multi-million dollar predictive modeling and project planning effort while working to connect community members to accurate and accessible scientific information to increase understanding and support informed decision-making.

Christine Verdin is a member of the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe, one of many coastal Louisiana indigenous tribes on the front lines of Louisiana’s land loss. She sits on the council and several other tribal committees. She is a retired educator, but currently works part time at Montegut Elementary School. This past summer, after a lot of hard work, the Louisiana state legislature allocated funds to help the Point-au-Chien tribe open a French Immersion school in Pointe-au-Chien, where Christine plans to be the administrator upon the school’s opening in August 2023.

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Alliance Française
de La Nouvelle-Orléans

1519 Jackson Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70130

Monday-Thursday: 10am-6pm
Friday: 10am-4pm


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