Press Release California Strategic Growth Council to Host Inaugural Catalyst Conference Focused on Accelerating Justice 40, Equitable Climate Investment in CA


Conference, Hosted in Partnership with Milken Institute, will take Place February 2023

SACRAMENTO, CA – On the heels of the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act federally and California’s passage of an ambitious climate and clean energy legislation, the California Strategic Growth Council (SGC) announced today it will convene leaders from the community, government, academia and private and philanthropic sectors for the inaugural Catalyst Conference February 1-2, 2023 in Sacramento. The conference’s theme is building a pipeline of equitable climate projects and will focus on proven equity and place-based strategies to deploy funding in under-resourced communities and public-private investment models to catalyze low-carbon infrastructure projects. The conference is hosted in partnership with the Milken Institute, a California-based policy think tank.

“This year, California made the most aggressive push on climate this state has ever seen because later is too late to take action on this crisis that is already taking a toll on our communities and way of life,” said Lauren Sanchez, Senior Climate Advisor to Governor Gavin Newsom “With our unprecedented climate commitment comes a responsibility to deliver equitable outcomes in our frontline and under-resourced communities. The Catalyst Conference will be a platform to lift up the tools, resources, and partnerships needed to make sure we’re not just investing, but centering and supporting these communities at every step.”

“SGC’s mission is to support thriving, healthy, and resilient communities for all in California and for over a decade, we’ve piloted innovative housing, climate, and transportation grant programs in partnership with the state’s under-resourced communities.” said Lynn von Koch-Liebert, Executive Director of the Strategic Growth Council. “Alongside our community partners, we’re thrilled to share the lessons and proven models we’ve learned and catalyze momentum during this once-in-a-generation opportunity.”

Day one of the Catalyst Conference will feature panels, peer to peer conversations, and workshops covering “Getting to Project Readiness”, highlighting proven models including place-based, bottom-up planning and investment, capacity building, community-research partnerships, and stakeholder engagement, as well as feature a Strategic Foresight session facilitated by California 100. The theme of day two is “Catalyzing Implementation Through Public-Private Finance” and will explore topics including innovative financing approaches and the roles and responsibilities of community, funders, and government in building a pipeline of equitable climate projects.

“As historic levels of public funding in California and the federal level are becoming available, the Milken Institute is thrilled to partner with the Strategic Growth Council to catalyze infrastructure investment,” said Matt Horton, Milken Institute, “the conference will convene diverse leaders to consider how to get communities ready for available investment and how to deepen place-based investment through public-private partnerships.”

“California 100 is excited to be on the steering committee for this catalytic conference that will shape the next wave of innovative policy implementation in California,” said Karthick Ramakrishnan, executive director of the California 100 initiative. “We are eager to infuse strategic foresight into the promising work of public-private partnerships, extending California’s lead in implementing transformational, cross-sector investments that address climate change and deliver on the promises of inclusion and equity across the state."

For more information, including how to register, visit

To read more about SGC’s place-based, community-led investments, visit

Media Contact

Agustin Arreola

About the California Strategic Growth Council

Working in partnership with government, communities, and partners, the California Strategic Growth Council’s mission is to support healthy, thriving, and resilient communities for all in California. SGC grant programs are funded through California Climate Investments - a statewide initiative that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars – and focus improving housing, transportation, climate, and racial and health equity outcomes in California’s disadvantaged and unincorporated communities. To date, SGC has invested over $2 billion in projects that strengthen the economy, ensure racial and social equity, and advance California’s climate goals.

About the Milken Institute

The Milken Institute (MI) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank catalyzing practical, scalable solutions to global challenges by connecting human, financial, and educational resources to those who need them. MI leverages the expertise and insight gained through research and the convening of top experts, innovators, and influencers from different backgrounds and competing viewpoints to construct programs and policy initiatives with the goal to help people build meaningful lives in which they can experience health and well-being, pursue effective education and gainful employment, and access the resources required to create ever expanding opportunities for themselves and their broader communities.