Posts tagged ‘inspire speaker series’

May 1, 2014

Inspire Speaker Series, May 15 – Sustainability: An American Grand Strategy for the 21st Century

by Melissa Harding

inspire-speaker-series-peduto-mykleby
Presented by Green Building Alliance and Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, the second year of this lecture circuit will continue to plant the seeds of inspiration throughout our community.  

Sustainability: An American Grand Strategy for the 21st Century

In July 2009, Admiral Mullen, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, asked Captain Wayne Porter (U.S. Navy) and Colonel Mark Mykleby (U.S. Marine Corps) to develop some ideas pertaining to a grand strategy for the nation in the 21st century.  By August 2009, the men wrote “A National Strategic Narrative,” a concept paper that offered sustainability as the organizing logic for an American grand strategy.

Such a central idea would establish the framework for converging and expanding U.S. domestic and foreign policy toward emerging opportunities, rather than exclusively on perceived threats and risks.  Now at New America Foundation, Mark is working to create the strategic construct to implement the concept of sustainability as the American grand strategic imperative for the 21st century.  Audience members at May’s Inspire Speakers Series will gain insight into an intriguing and sometimes overlooked perspective on sustainability and how it relates to the future of our country’s security.

More About Colonel Mark “Puck” Mykleby

  • Senior Fellow at New America Foundation
  • Graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, 1987
  • Masters of Military Studies and Masters of Strategic Studies
  • Read more about Mark here

Local Speaker: Bill Peduto

Who better to make the local connection to this topic than Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto?  Mayor Peduto has served Pittsburgh’s East End neighborhoods for over a decade and been integral in shifting the city’s economy toward education and medical technology.  He has been a champion of protecting and enhancing Pittsburgh’s recent reputation as a green initiative leader and helped create the city’s comprehensive Climate Action Plan.  Mayor Peduto is the ideal local voice to help celebrate the finale of this season’s Inspire Speakers Series.

PLUS: Since October 2012, the Founding Class of the Green & Healthy Schools Academy has been undergoing advanced professional development for how to integrate sustainability into the school buildings, curriculum, and culture.  Each school of this founding class will give a brief presentation on how they have applied their knowledge and work to a defining keystone project that emulates their school’s values and vision.

Come grab dinner and enjoy an opportunity for networking in Phipps Cafe starting at 5:00 p.m.  Inspire Speakers presentations will follow at 6:00 p.m.  Register here to join the speakers for dinner after their talks.

Check out the rest of this year’s Inspire Speakers presenters here!  GBA Members save $51 by purchasing the entire series!

March 27, 2014

Inspire Speaker Series, April 10: Spreading the Message of Sustainability Through Silence and Action

by Melissa Harding

inspire-speaker-dr-john-walker

Presented by Green Building Alliance and Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, the second year of this lecture circuit will continue to plant the seeds of inspiration throughout our community.  

Planetwalker: Spreading a Message of Sustainability Through Silence and Action

In this edition of the Inspire Speakers Series, audience members will feel fortunate to have the opportunity to hear ONE WORD from Dr. John Francis, not to mention an entire lecture!  That’s because he once went 17 years without speaking.  That’s right – 17 years!  When John was 26-years-old, he witnessed an oil tanker collision on San Francisco Bay.  He felt so disturbed (and partially responsible for his use of oil), that he decided to give up motorized vehicles – a decision which spurred so many arguments with friends and family members that he decided to stop talking.  This was the beginning of a 17-year journey that led him to be known as the Planetwalker.  During the nearly two decades that followed, John received a Master’s degree, a PhD, and founded the Planetwalk Foundation (a nonprofit environmental awareness organization) – all while spreading a silent message of sustainable living.

Ending his silence in 1990, Dr. Francis has spent his subsequent years carrying that same message across the country.  Trust us – you’ll be glad that John decided to start talking again – and that you have the chance to listen!

More About John Francis

  • Author of Planetwalker: 22 Years of Walking. 17 Years of Silence.
  • Author of The Ragged Edge of Silence: Finding Peace in a Noisy World
  • Read an article about John here
  • See John’s TED Talk here

Come grab dinner and enjoy an opportunity for networking in Phipps Cafe starting at 5:00 p.m.  Inspire Speakers presentations will follow at 6:00 p.m.  Register here to join the speakers for dinner after their talks.

Check out the rest of this year’s Inspire Speakers presenters here!  GBA Members save $51 by purchasing the entire series!

January 6, 2014

David Sobel, the Father of Place-based Education, is Coming to Phipps!

by Melissa Harding

“What’s important is that children have an opportunity to bond with the natural world, to learn to love it, before being asked to heal its wounds.”
– David Sobel, Beyond Ecophobia: Reclaiming the Heart in Nature Education

You may not know the name David Sobel, but you are probably familiar with his work. The author of Place-Based Education and Beyond Ecophobia: Reclaiming the Heart in Nature Education, among other notable works, Sobel writes about the importance of outdoor learning, developmentally-appropriate environmental curriculum and place-based education. Long before Richard Louv wrote Last Child in the Woods and coined the phrase “nature deficit disorder”, David Sobel was writing and speaking about the importance of helping children connect to and love the natural world. He is often called “the father of place-based education” and his work has inspired countless other writers and educators over the last several decades to “reclaim the heart of nature education”.

As part of the Inspire Speaker Series, co-hosted by Green Building Alliance (GBA) and Phipps, David Sobel will be speaking at Phipps Conservatory the evening of January 16th at 5:30 pm on How Schools and Community Institutions Can Utilize the Surrounding Community to Enhance Education and Engage Our Youth. He will then be teaching the following day alongside GBA and Phipps staff in a workshop for school administrators on integrating these principles at their own schools, as part of the Green Ribbon Schools program.

All that aside, you may wondering what he means by “place-based education” or “developmentally-appropriate curriculum”. These two ideas are connected and form the base of Sobel’s writing. Sobel believes that we should be helping children to engage in the plants, animals and character of their own neighborhoods and regions. He defines place-based education as “the process of using the local community and environment as a starting point to teach concepts in language arts, mathematics, social studies, science and other subjects across the curriculum”. Rather than using a tropical plant to teach about flowers, why not using a native plant? Why not learn about landforms using local topography instead of pictures from a text book? Sobel writes that getting education back to a hands-on, real-world learning experience that uses examples from students’ own lives is the key to helping them develop stronger ties to the community and the environment. By getting kids out in the their neighborhoods and bringing the neighborhood and its leaders into the classroom, we can create a new generation of active and engaged citizens.

In relation to the idea of place-based education, Sobel also writes about teaching children topics that are appropriate to their age and development. In environmental education, there is a tendency to teach young children about great tragedies like rainforest destruction and global warming rather than about animals and plants they can see around their school. This doom and gloom approach to environmental education often creates a fear so great that it can turn into dissociation; children would rather be totally disconnected from the world than face its complex and frightening problems. In order to create engaged citizens who will eventually solve these problems, we need to start on a more basic level.

Creating an attitude of love and wonder towards the natural world in young children and encouraging exploration in middle years creates older children who are capable of taking action against problems rather than retreating from them. Sobel recommends three separate phases of education based on development and age; in early years, activities should center on enhancing the development of empathy with the natural world; in middle childhood, focus on exploration; in early adolescence, social action should take precedence. In this way, children build a foundation to care for the earth as well as learn about its problems in a way that does not overwhelm them.

These two connected ideas, teaching children in a developmentally appropriate way about their local, and eventually global, environments is a model for success. Sobel’s ideas and teachings have been widely implemented in both formal and non-formal education settings, creating a clear and real change in how children learn about the environment.

Read our recent post about Sobel’s latest article in Orion Magazine, Look, Don’t Touch: The Problem with Environmental Education. (And our Director of Science Education and Research, Molly Steinwald’s, photography was featured in the print edition–as well as the cover of his most recent edition of Beyond Ecophobia!)

If you are interested in learning more about how to apply Sobel’s ideas to your own life and work, join us at Phipps on January 16th, 5:30-8:30pm for our Inspire Speaker Series. Learn more and register online at Green Building Alliance. Refreshments will be provided.

The top image was provided by the Green Building Alliance and bottom image by Molly Steinwald.

December 5, 2013

December Inspire Speaker Series Welcomes Jim Hartzfield and Bill Strickland!

by Melissa Harding

GBA  Dec 2013

Presented by Green Building Alliance and Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, the second year of this lecture circuit will continue to plant the seeds of inspiration throughout our community.  

The Power of People Uncovering the Human Potential in Achieving True Sustainability “Some people are so wrapped up in the what, that they forget about the why.”  At December’s Inspire Speakers Series lecture, Jim Hartzfeld will help audience members identify their big WHY.  Why do we care about sustainability?  Why do green spaces matter?  Why are human equity, environment, and economy connected?

A pioneer in developing cultures of sustainability, Jim spent nearly 20 years working at Interface with the legendary Ray Anderson.  During his time with Interface and since then, he has developed proactive strategies for companies, schools, and communities to integrate cultures of sustainability into their practices.  Finding his place at the intersection of head and heart, technology and purpose, Jim has championed sustainable enterprise as the right and smart thing to do.

Taking a humanistic approach to sustainability, Jim has come to learn that no matter how green a building or company is, it’s the people who truly sustain its sustainability.

How does this topic relate to Western Pennsylvania?  December’s Inspire Speakers Series will feature the following local speaker who will share details about how the topic is being addressed here.

Local Speaker: Bill Strickland In a very special edition of the Inspire Speakers Series, our main speaker will be joined by a local speaker who is a national icon in his own right: Pittsburgh native Bill Strickland.  Bill is president & CEO of Manchester Bidwell Corporation and its subsidiaries, Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild (MCG) and Bidwell Training Center (BTC).  The corporation, which is being replicated throughout the country, has become a national example of culture, education, and hope.

While Bill is a sought-after speaker across the nation, he rarely makes local appearances – so this is a special and much-anticipated chance for community members to hear him speak about how they can make their community – and his – healthier and more equitable. (For a better sense of Bill, watch his TED Talk, “Rebuilding a Neighborhood with Beauty, Dignity, Hope”.)

Come grab dinner and enjoy an opportunity for networking in Phipps Cafe starting at 5:00 p.m.  Inspire Speakers presentations will follow at 6:00 p.m.  Register here to join the speakers for dinner after their talks.

Check out the rest of this year’s Inspire Speakers presenters here!  GBA Members save $51 by purchasing the entire series!

March 14, 2013

March Inspire Speaker Series: Food for Big Thoughts

by Melissa Harding

iss_march_ritz

FOOD FOR BIG THOUGHTS: EAT & LIVE HEALTHY

“The physical and emotional health of an entire generation and the economic health and security of our nation is at stake.”
– First Lady Michelle Obama at the Let’s Move! launch, February, 2010

“Students shouldn’t have to leave their community to live, learn and earn in a better one.” Stephen Ritz

We have long anticipated this edition of our Inspire Speakers Series. It’s all about FOOD! That is, it’s about healthy food and healthy living in our homes, schools, businesses, and communities. Everyone – including parents, elected officials at all levels of government, schools, health care professionals, nonprofit and community-based organizations, and businesses – has a role to play in creating healthy and sustainable places by supporting access to affordable and nutritious food.

Access to healthy, affordable food in our schools: 95% of children attend school every day. Many children consume at least half of their daily calories at school. Food served at school may be the only food that many children eat regularly. More than 31 million children participate in the National School Lunch Program, and more than 12 million children participate in the School Breakfast Program. Serving healthy, nutritious food is more important than ever!

Access to healthy, affordable food in our communities: More than 23 million Americans, including 6.5 million children, live in low-income urban and rural neighborhoods that are considered “food deserts” – communities that are more than a mile away from a supermarket with limited access to affordable, nutritious food. A recent 2008 study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture showed that an estimated 49.1 million people, including 16.7 million children, lived in households that experienced food insecurity multiple times throughout the year.

National guest Stephen Ritz and his students have had a huge impact on their local community of the South Bronx, including:

  • Growing enough healthy, local produce to feed 450 South Bronx students
  • Funding and creating over 2,200 youth jobs with a living wage
  • Increasing school attendance for his students from 40% to 93%
  • Rooting the school’s green initiatives in literacy and common core standards in order to help all students graduate high school and be fully prepared to enter college and pursue post-secondary training

Stephen and his students will share their adventures and explain how we can make changes in the places where we live, work, learn and play. Check out his TED Talk to see what’s in store. And check out some photos of the Green Bronx Machine in action here. Learn more about Let’s Move! Pittsburgh, a collaborative of organizations, parents, and caregivers in southwestern Pennsylvania committed to leading children in our region toward a healthier future. Inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign to curb childhood obesity through raised awareness about the benefits of healthy foods, decreased screen time and increased physical activity for children, the collaboration led by Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens aims to put solutions to this national problem locally.

Learn more about the speakers at www.go-gba.org/inspirespeakersseries

WHEN: Thursday, March 14th from 5:30 – 8 p.m.

WHERE: Special Events Hall, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, One Schenley Park, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Registration Information:

  • GBA Member Fee: $25.00
  • Member of Partner Organization Fee (Phipps Conservatory or Tri-State Area School Study Council): $25.00
  • Non-member Fee: $45.00
  • Student Fee: $25.00

CLICK TO LEARN MORE AND REGISTER.

For group rates and scholarship information, please contact Jenna Cramer.

February 25, 2013

March Inspire Speaker Series: Food for Big Thoughts

by Melissa Harding

iss_march_ritz

FOOD FOR BIG THOUGHTS: EAT & LIVE HEALTHY

“The physical and emotional health of an entire generation and the economic health and security of our nation is at stake.”
– First Lady Michelle Obama at the Let’s Move! launch, February, 2010

“Students shouldn’t have to leave their community to live, learn and earn in a better one.” Stephen Ritz

We have long anticipated this edition of our Inspire Speakers Series. It’s all about FOOD! That is, it’s about healthy food and healthy living in our homes, schools, businesses, and communities. Everyone – including parents, elected officials at all levels of government, schools, health care professionals, nonprofit and community-based organizations, and businesses – has a role to play in creating healthy and sustainable places by supporting access to affordable and nutritious food.

Access to healthy, affordable food in our schools: 95% of children attend school every day. Many children consume at least half of their daily calories at school. Food served at school may be the only food that many children eat regularly. More than 31 million children participate in the National School Lunch Program, and more than 12 million children participate in the School Breakfast Program. Serving healthy, nutritious food is more important than ever!

Access to healthy, affordable food in our communities: More than 23 million Americans, including 6.5 million children, live in low-income urban and rural neighborhoods that are considered “food deserts” – communities that are more than a mile away from a supermarket with limited access to affordable, nutritious food. A recent 2008 study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture showed that an estimated 49.1 million people, including 16.7 million children, lived in households that experienced food insecurity multiple times throughout the year.

National guest Stephen Ritz and his students have had a huge impact on their local community of the South Bronx, including:

  • Growing enough healthy, local produce to feed 450 South Bronx students
  • Funding and creating over 2,200 youth jobs with a living wage
  • Increasing school attendance for his students from 40% to 93%
  • Rooting the school’s green initiatives in literacy and common core standards in order to help all students graduate high school and be fully prepared to enter college and pursue post-secondary training

Stephen and his students will share their adventures and explain how we can make changes in the places where we live, work, learn and play. Check out his TED Talk to see what’s in store. And check out some photos of the Green Bronx Machine in action here. Learn more about Let’s Move! Pittsburgh, a collaborative of organizations, parents, and caregivers in southwestern Pennsylvania committed to leading children in our region toward a healthier future. Inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign to curb childhood obesity through raised awareness about the benefits of healthy foods, decreased screen time and increased physical activity for children, the collaboration led by Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens aims to put solutions to this national problem locally.

Learn more about the speakers at www.go-gba.org/inspirespeakersseries

WHEN: Thursday, March 14th from 5:30 – 8 p.m.

WHERE: Special Events Hall, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, One Schenley Park, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Registration Information:

  • GBA Member Fee: $25.00
  • Member of Partner Organization Fee (Phipps Conservatory or Tri-State Area School Study Council): $25.00
  • Non-member Fee: $45.00
  • Student Fee: $25.00

CLICK TO LEARN MORE AND REGISTER.

For group rates and scholarship information, please contact Jenna Cramer.

February 6, 2013

February Inspire Speaker Series: Healthy Places and Indoor Air Quality

by Melissa Harding

inspire feb

GBA and Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens are excited to present the fifth session of the INSPIRE Speakers Series with national expert, Steve Ashkin, and local experts, Vivian Loftness and Erica Cochran!  

WHERE students learn matters. School buildings can enhance a student’s ability to learn by keeping them healthy, attentive and present. By improving indoor air quality, healthy and high performing schools can improve the health of students, faculty and staff.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, students in America miss approximately 14 million school days per year because of asthma. More than 65 percent of asthma cases among elementary school-age students could be prevented by controlling exposure to indoor environmental factors (according to the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine). Improved attendance affects a school’s financial bottom line due to federal funding that is linked to average daily attendance. According to the Department of Education, more than 20 percent of public schools report having unsatisfactory indoor air quality.  Carnegie Mellon University studies have shown that improved indoor air quality can have an average overall health improvement rate of 41 percent.

Join us on Valentine’s Day to talk about loving healthy learning spaces! The indoor environments in schools impact student and teacher health and productivity, as well as finances. The lecture will address:

  • The effects of building design, operations, and maintenance on student and teacher health and productivity
  • The business case for healthy indoor environments in schools
  • Easy low to no-cost steps schools can take to improve indoor air quality
  • New innovations in the fields of green cleaning and maintenance

We have an excellent lineup of national and local experts who will discuss how to create healthy indoor environments:

  • Vivian Loftness, FAIA, LEED AP, is a University Professor and former Head of the School of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon University. She is an internationally renowned researcher, author and educator with over thirty years of focus on environmental design and sustainability, advanced building integration, climate and regionalism in architecture, and design for performance in the workplace of the future.
  • Steve Ashkin, known as the “father of green cleaning,” has been working in the cleaning industry since 1981 where he has held key technical and management positions for leading commercial and consumer products companies, and has worked on the issue of “green cleaning” since 1990.
  • Erica Cochran, Assoc. AIA, NOMA, LEED AP, is an Adjunct Assistant Professor and PhD Candidate at Carnegie Mellon University and an Architectural Designer. Erica’s doctoral research investigates the impact of school building and neighborhood physical and environmental characteristics on student and teacher health and performance.

 Learn more about the speakers at www.go-gba.org/inspirespeakersseries

 For the February lecture only, attendees can bring a guest or date for only $10 (GBA and Partner Organization Members) or $15 (Non-members).  We will also give away a few gift certificates to local eateries so you have a chance to enjoy Valentine’s Day dinner on us!

 WHEN: Thursday, February 14th from 5:30 – 8 p.m.

WHERE: Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, One Schenley Park, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

The event will be held in the new Center for Sustainable Landscapes building (learn more about one of the greenest buildings in the world!)

 Registration Information:

  • GBA Member Fee: $25.00
  • Member of Partner Organization Fee (Phipps Conservatory or Tri-State Area School Study Council): $25.00
  • Non-member Fee: $45.00
  • Student Fee: $25.00
  • Bring a Date or Guest! Select “Group Registration”:
    • Member of GBA or Partner Organizations: $35 for 2 Attendees
    • Non-members: $60 for 2 Attendees

 CLICK TO LEARN MORE AND REGISTER.

 For group rates and scholarship information, please contact Jenna Cramer.

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