DUBUQUE, Iowa – Whether you're a public official trying to develop a green local economy, a college or hospital administrator working to reduce your institution's carbon footprint, or a business owner just hoping to lower your monthly utility bill, it's almost certain you'll be more successful by joining with like-minded people to brainstorm ideas and develop solutions that benefit everyone.
Sustainability is a community affair.
Collaboration will be a common thread in the keynote addresses, workshops, tours and exhibits at the 7th annual Growing Sustainable Communities Conference, to be held at the Grand River Center in Dubuque on Oct. 7 and 8.
Registration for the conference is now open at http://gscdubuque.eventbrite.com. Presented by the City of Dubuque and Sustainable City Network, the conference is supported by Crescent Electric Supply Company and other corporate sponsors. Programming will include keynote addresses by two internationally-known thought leaders in sustainability and urban development, as well as 25 workshops, two mobile tours and dozens of vendor exhibits.
Storm Cunningham, CEO of ReCitizen, L3C, will present the luncheon keynote address on Tuesday, Oct. 7. Cunningham’s organization is a Washington, DC-based international network for citizen-led regeneration of communities and natural resources, providing tools for crowdsourcing, crowdmapping and crowdfunding. He also has written several books, with his third, “FIXERS: New Leaders for Broken Times,” due for publication in 2015. It documents the global rise of adaptive renewal in today's climate of uncertainty.
On Wednesday, Oct. 8, our breakfast plenary speaker will be Dr. Yogesh Shah, Associate Dean of Global Health at Des Moines University, who is an expertise in geriatrics and the health effects of climate. Dr. Shah has been instrumental in establishing the city of Des Moines as a member of the World Health Organization's network of age-friendly cities. He also led the creation of the Heartland Global Health Consortium and the Heartland Climate Health Consortium, a collaborative of Iowa educational institutions and leaders promoting the effects climate change has on nutrition and human health.
Gil Penalosa, executive director of the Canadian nonprofit 8-80 Cities, will deliver the keynote luncheon address on Wednesday. A former commissioner of Parks, Sport and Recreation for the City of Bogota, Colombia, Penalosa is passionate about building cities for everyone and using parks and streets as both public places and avenues of sustainable mobility for walking, cycling and public transit. He has worked on projects with more than 150 cities worldwide, and also is an urban expert on mobility and citizen engagement for the Danish firm, Gehl Architects.
The Growing Sustainable Communities Conference is an opportunity for leaders from local government, businesses, schools and non-profits to learn from experts and colleagues who will share the latest research and best practices for successfully implementing sustainability projects across a broad spectrum of community disciplines, including healthcare, energy, resource management, environmental services, and urban planning and design.
Workshop topics will include:
Two optional mobile tours will take a limited number of participants through Dubuque's historic Washington Neighborhood, which has been a major focus for reinvestment efforts by the City of Dubuque since 2005; and the city's new Water & Resource Recovery Center, a secondary wastewater treatment facility that uses anaerobic digestion to treat wastewater, generate energy and create a valuable soil amendment.
The conference is also an opportunity for colleagues to network and share ideas during a reception and two luncheons.
Connect with the conference on Twitter at #gscDubuque.
Presented by the City of Dubuque and Sustainable City Network, the Growing Sustainable Communities Conference is sponsored by Crescent Electric Supply Co. and other corporate sponsors.
Black Hills Energy
Crescent Electric Supply Co.
D.A. Davidson & Co.
DRAW Architecture + Urban Design
Eagle Point Solar
Greater Dubuque Development Corp|
Green Electronics Council
ICMA SunShot Solar
Iowa NSF EPSCoR
Jim Giese Roofing
Kestral Design Group|
Roof Top Sedums
True North Companies
University of Dubuque
University of Wisconsin-Platteville
Here's what some of the attendees said about last year's conference:
"I've attended sustainability-focused conferences from Los Angeles to Cincinnati, and this is one of the best. It is cost-effective, dynamic, and relevant to many different stakeholders, from city government and upper-level elected officials to partners in higher education and business owners."
"This was my first time attending this conference, and I was very impressed with the speakers and presentations. I felt it was highly relevant, inspiring, and a good use of my time."
"The conference provided great insight into many aspects of sustainability and the keynote speakers were exceptional."
"Often when attending conferences, I am pleased if I leave with at least one or two new ideas. I am so glad I took notes at this conference! I could never remember all the ideas gained otherwise. Great conference!"
"It was one of the most useful conferences I've ever attended - no smoke and mirrors, just practical advice and information."
"For me, the keynote speakers expanded the boundaries of the sustainability discussion by making it clear that the movement is about personal values driving community action."
"The conference provided a diverse set of topics on relevant issues all relating to sustainability. All the sessions were highly professional and informative."