Workshops and Breakout Sessions
Awakening the Dreamer
Facilitator: Lucy Slinger, FSPA, Ph.D., Sustainability Degree Coordinator at Viterbo University, Ecological Advocate of Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. For more information see the CNN iReport at http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-883891?hpt=us_bn3 or go to the Ecological Advocate page of www.fspa.org
This session will be an introduction to “Awakening the Dreamer” symposium developed by the Pachemama Alliance to bring forth an environmentally sustainable, socially just and spiritually fulfilling world. The key technique for discovering where your personal gifts, passion and interests meet the needs of the world will be shared. A key goal of the program is to follow the Achuar people’s request to “change the dream of the modern world” by learning to live from the heart and work for sustainable changes in every day life right where you live. This will be a multimedia experience that equips you to help co-create a just, thriving and sustainable world wherever you are.
Land Ethic Leaders
Facilitator: Carson Main is an Education Associate and has worked with the Aldo Leopold Foundation since 2010. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA. Aligning with the mission of ALF, the most rewarding part of his work is connecting people to each other and to land.
Aldo Leopold’s most enduring idea is his articulation of a “land ethic,” a moral responsibility of humans to the natural world. “Nothing so important as an ethic is ever ‘written,’” Leopold noted, indicating that instead it should evolve “in the minds of a thinking community.” In this sense, Leopold’s Land Ethic merely gives us a starting point to reconsider the value of the natural world and our relationships with it. The Aldo Leopold Foundation designed the Land Ethic Leaders program around exactly this idea: enabling community leaders across the country to create opportunities for rich and productive dialogue about humanity’s relationships to land, making room to meet people where they stand and building upon our common ground in conversation rather than in argument. Participants learn to use observation, participation, and reflection as a systematic method to explore and deepen their own land ethic in relationship to others’. Join us for a two hour introduction to the full program that will include a detailed overview and model reflective discussion.
Developing Leaders through NWEI
Discussion Course Programs
Facilitator: Wes Weinhold is the President of the Great Lakes Earth Institute and a long-time activist in the anti-war, socialist and environmental movements. He and his wife are developing a permaculture farm in Southeast Wisconsin. He works as an electrician and solar installer.
Looking around your community, you may see that many and most of the organizers and leaders of active environmental and social groups in your community were just a few years ago taking Voluntary Simplicity and Choices for Sustainable Living courses, discussing Deep Ecology and considering Menu for the Future. Why and how has this happened? Have you seen it in your community? Can we make it happen more broadly, in new communities?
Climate Urban System Partnership
– Lauren Allen
Lauren Allen is a La Crosse, WI native, and currently a graduate student in Learning Sciences and Education Policy at the University of Pittsburgh. Lauren’s research focuses on learning in out-of-school environments, in particular museums and the other learning experiences that museum professionals work to create.
The Climate Urban Systems Partnership (CUSP) is a collaboration between four science museums, a learning science research group and a climate science research group. The goal of CUSP is to develop four intersecting community education platforms that focus on the intersection of urban systems and climate change. Capitalizing on the passions of urban citizens and the adaptation and mitigation challenges cities are facing, CUSP education platforms will do more than spread knowledge about climate science; they will engage urban citizens around the issues and challenges specific to our environments, passions, and concerns. This presentation will focus on the current state of research on climate change education, communication, and change; making the argument that climate change is a challenge that humans must think about and address at the level of our social groups—communities, neighborhoods, cities, etc.
Inspiring Change through EcoChallenge
– Rob Nathan
Rob Nathan is the Director of Outreach and Technology with Northwest Earth Institute and leads the organization in utilizing technology to enhance its mission. Rob has a Masters in Leadership for Sustainability Education from Portland State University and his research background is in leveraging social capital in place based pedagogy.
EcoChallenge is an online annual event hosted by Northwest Earth Institute that started in 2009. Since its creation, it has gained participation from over a thousand participants across North America. EcoChallenge gives people the opportunity to change their life for good by taking on a challenge and sticking with it for two weeks. This session is designed to give organizers and leaders the opportunity to learn how EcoChallenge can be used as an engagement tool in their communities.
The Natural Step -
Rob is a professor of Biology at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse, where he has been employed since 1978. His professional expertise is in conservation biology and he teaches courses in general biology, ornithology and ecology. He is a member of Coulee Partners for Sustainability and serves on the Sustainable La Crosse Commission, which includes members of the La Crosse County Board, the City of La Crosse Common Council and several local citizens.
In 2007 Rob was one of approximately 40 local residents who were introduced to the Natural Step, which is a conceptual framework initially developed in Sweden used to advance sustainability initiatives in communities and organizations. This framework is being used in a number of Wisconsin municipalities and Rob will discuss how the Natural Step is helping to guide sustainability planning in La Crosse City and County government operations.
The Pedagogy of Sustainability:
Applying Transformative Learning Theory –
As the Director of Curriculum and Community Engagement at Northwest Earth Institute (NWEI), Lacy oversees the development of NWEI’s discussion course books and educational materials. Before joining NWEI in 2011, Lacy worked for seven years in higher education administration, teaching and research, at Greenville College and at Portland State University. She holds a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Policy with a focus on Leadership in Sustainability Education from Portland State University. She has been a director at the Zahniser Institute since 2010.
Although it is widely agreed that sustainability education should encompass much more than mere knowledge acquisition, educators often lack the time, energy, and expertise needed to more holistically integrate sustainability into their courses or programs. Faculty looking to integrate sustainability into their classrooms and sustainability officers aiming to foster awareness tend to focus on content integration rather than pedagogical adaptation. To move beyond knowledge acquisition to application, skill development, critical analysis and other important outcomes, both content integration and pedagogical adaptation are necessary. This interactive one-hour workshop will explain why sustainability pedagogy is important and will offer suggestions for ways to effectively teach sustainability, using NWEI's process as a model. The session will model sustainability education as transformative learning and emphasize the need for innovation in sustainability education. Workshop participants will participate in a 20 minute discussion activity, and then brainstorm real-world application of the pedagogical technique in their own contexts.
Wilderness Writing: Regaining Wholeness
– Jan Wellik
Jan Wellik is the Founder and Director of Eco Expressions, a nature writing program for youth. She is the author of the Nature Writing Field Guide for Teachers and teaches at Viterbo University and University of Wisconsin – La Crosse. www.EcoExpressions.org
As we look around the globe, we see youth aching to connect with their natural environments. Their misdirected anger is expressed everywhere – slashing tires, guns in school, violence, drug use, suicide. We need to listen to them. They are speaking. They are crying out for our help, and the environment needs their help. By guiding young people to develop relationships with the wilds, even in their own neighborhoods, they regain wholeness, a connection to life and their own community.
Experience a reconnection to the natural world in this interactive writing session. Learn about the Eco Expressions nature writing program and how you can help empower youth with the task of preservation through writing, by documenting their observations of the world around them.
Organizing the Converted and Converting
the Organized: A Fresh Look at NWEI’s Evolving Partnership Model
– Mike Mercer
Mike Mercer serves as the Executive Director of the Northwest Earth Institute (NWEI). NWEI has engaged more than 140,000 people in taking responsibility for Earth through small group self- facilitated discussion and action. Prior to joining NWEI Mike spent 15 years with the YMCA, most recently as the Vice President for Financial Development and Communications. During his Y tenure, he worked with the Rotary Club of Portland to build the first LEED platinum camping village in North America.
A plethora of green products, new technologies for energy efficiency and an emerging shift in our agricultural practices…. These are all good news, yet they also contain a danger. These shifts can create an illusion, appearing to be the solution. All that is left for citizens to do is select green, efficient products and a thriving, sustainable future will result.
The same is true with NWEI’s new Change for Good web based program platform. It is easy for us to believe that it alone will help achieve the growth in participation and impact outcomes we all aspire to. Join NWEI Executive Director, Mike Mercer in an exploration of synergies between the Change for Good platform and NWEI’s partnership model of the future. We have some great ideas and look forward to a dialog with current and potential partner representatives to build on these ideas and move toward implementation.
Cool Congregations: How Faith
Communities Help Members Reduce Their Carbon Footprint
– Peter Bakken
Peter Bakken, Executive Director of Wisconsin Interfaith Power and Light, received his PhD in theology from the University of Chicago. In addition to being Executive Director of Wisconsin Interfaith Power and Light, he is Coordinator for Public Policy for the Wisconsin Council of Churches, promoting faith-based advocacy on issues from climate change to hunger and health care reform. For 14 years he was Coordinator of Outreach for the Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies, a Christian environmental education organization.
Learn about WIPL’s new Cool Congregations program, a user-friendly process and tool for households to save money on their energy bills and help prevent climate change pollution by practicing energy efficiency and investing in renewable energy. Participants in Cool Congregations programs meet regularly in small groups over a two-year period to measure their carbon footprint, learn about ways to reduce their energy consumption, and pledge to take specific actions to reduce their carbon emissions. The congregation provides a supportive, faith-based context for sharing challenges, celebrating successes, and building community. See: http://iowaipl.org/cc_welcome.html
Contemplative Leadership and Sustainability Program at SCU
- Bill Mains
Bill Mains is the Leadership Lecturer in the Undergraduate Business Programs Office at Santa Clara University. He is responsible for teaching courses in the undergraduate leadership competency curriculum and designing/facilitating co-curricular leadership development and sustainability programs. Previously, Bill was an Assistant Director in SCU's Center for Student Leadership where he taught sections of the Center's Emerging Leaders and Outdoor Leadership Expedition courses and led the Center's annual Magis Leadership Retreat.
The Contemplative Leadership and Sustainability Program (CLASP) seeks to from values-oriented leaders committed to creating prosperity through a more just, humane, and sustainable world. It does this by providing opportunities for Santa Clara University (SCU) business and engineering students to learn and rehearse contemplative leadership practices and explore the relationship between business and sustainable development. Since its founding four years ago, CLASP has become an established program and a 14-day Alaska immersion trip has developed as its next extension. Alaska provides a unique opportunity to examine and explore the tension that exists within the concept of sustainable development. SCU has partnered with Hero Projects and the City of Galena to give undergraduate students an opportunity to work with villagers in Alaska and assist them in bringing renewable energy solutions to rural communities.