| Madeline Bachner

Another Great Collaboration with Johnson and Wales Environmental Leadership Summit

reflect Johnson and Wales University (JWU) worked with the Cottonwood Institute for the third year in a row to offer another great Environmental Leadership Summit.  Eyes were opened, ideas were hatched and questions raised as the day got underway with excellent speakers and hands on activities.  By the end of the day, 21 students had participated in the summit and everyone had something to take-away and apply to their own lives and career paths.

The day started and ended at Fluid Coffee Bar.  Owner Jeff Aitkens presented their environmentally conscious model for running a business and introduced the group to the “triple bottom line” of sustainable business practices.  Ford Church shared the story of the Cottonwood Institute, the Action Project Steps, and the Cycle of Hope and Cynicism.  Adam Brock, Director of Operations at the Grow Haus in Denver spoke about urban farming, education, local food sources and the many nativeninja alternatives to common cuisine here in Colorado.  After a rousing game of Ninja and some time for reflecting, the group headed to Pizza Fusion to partake of another locally owned and socially and environmentally conscious business. One of the highlights of the day was the Sustainability Scavenger hunt which sent participants through the Uptown neighborhood of Denver finding sustainable businesses, bike racks, and bus stops, picking up trash, and answering questions about local shopping opportunities.  Back at Fluid the group engaged with Jessie Fischer from Alliance for Climate Education (A.C.E.) and her fantastic presentation on climate change and it’s causes and possible solutions.

jwulogo3The group ended the day thinking about steps they can take to make a difference in their communities and lives.  Each student shared a goal they could work on over their next semester at JWU to support a more locally fueled sustainable future for us all.  From environmental action clubs, to burgeoning business plans and simple actions to take on an individual level, everyone had something truly unique and beneficial to add to the work we are all doing in creating community-led sustainability initiatives.  After the summit, one student had this to say: “Innovative ways to be sustainable are constantly popping up, but we rarely notice them; being educated is only the first step and these community leaders have made it so easy that everyone can take part. It is truly an honor to take part and experience the rush of knowlege again.”

Many thanks to all of our speakers and partners for a fantastic day!

Categories: Cottonwood Institute News, Design Your Own Course, Environmental Sustainability, How to Change the World

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