HomeNewsThe 2020 Sustainability Education Summit

The 2020 Sustainability Education Summit

The third annual Sustainability Education Summit was held on Friday, Feb. 28 and was accessible to participants in person and online. Not only were folks tuning in across all five U of M campuses, but also all across Minnesota and the world!

This year, we heard from seven presenters in total: 

  1. Beth Mercer-Taylor – Twin Cities, Sustainability Education Co-director
  2. Scott Spicer – Twin Cities, Libraries | Media & pedagogy in sustainability
  3. Dominic Travis – Twin Cities, Veterinary Medicine | Ecosystem Health
  4. Mindy Granley – Duluth, Office of Sustainability | Student engagement
  5. Thomas Beery – Kristianstad University, Environmental Education | Sustainable Development Goals
  6. Clement Loo – Morris, Environmental Studies | Equity, Diversity, and Intercultural Programs
  7. David Wilsey – Twin Cities, Public Affairs | International Sustainability

These presenters came from Duluth, Morris, Twin Cities and even Kristianstad, Sweden! We also heard from students Ankur Karmacharya, Meghna Subba, and Maya Sarkar. Assistant Professor at Stanislaus State, Cueponcaxochitl D. Moreno Sandoval, also shared on indigenous sustainability. During the 10 minute break, great music from local artists Humbird and Clif Nesseth was playing softly in the background.As far as those attending, each campus held their own unique gathering to watch the Summit together. But, there were also plenty of folks who turned in to the live stream all on their own and participated remotely.

In addition to learning about each Educator’s background, we also got to learn about the very real challenges that both educators and students alike face in the realm of sustainability. If anything, it became evident that the path to teaching sustainability is not linear nor is it perfect, but it is full of hope and is for everyone in every discipline. It is also important to note that there was quite a lot of discussion regarding indigenous perspectives and how their ways of knowing need to be better incorporated and honored in today’s conversations about sustainability. See Assistant Professor Cueponcaxochitl D. Moreno Sandoval talk about Indigenous sustainability here (2:41:40)

That is also what attendees learned from this year’s Summit- that students are learning from these efforts and have passion to continue to grow what they’re learning outside of the classroom. Many of the IonE educators shared their own students’ projects and shared some helpful tools with those watching.

In addition to hearing from presenters, attendees were also able to hear from each other. This year, Slido.com was introduced into the Summit. Here, folks are able to send in their questions live during presentations and other attendees are able to respond to the questions or up-vote which questions they wanted to see addressed during the live panels.

The Summit had two separate panels to allow for a chance for all presenters to share their voice and react to the questions coming in through Slido. Panelists answered questions ranging from: “As an emerging environmental professional, how do you get started and find a job?” to “What role does sustainability play in climate action and justice?”

Overall, this year’s Sustainability Education was a success even with all of the technical hoops to jump through. If even a few educators (present or future) walked away feeling better equipped and inspired to go and do the hard work that is teaching sustainability, then all is well.

This event would not have come together if it were not for the hard work of Peter Levin, Educators Graduate Research Assistant. Here’s what he had to say about the 2020 Summit: “The Sustainability Education Summit was a product of collective creativity from a cohort of driven educators. We strove to design it so that everyone, no matter where they are or what they do, felt they were part of the conversation. Sustainability is more than individual action, it is a collective tale for societal change. We hope participants walk forward with more understanding of our common story of sustainability and tools to teach it. ”

Thank you Peter, Educators, Faculty & Staff, and to all who made this event possible!

Didn’t have a chance to watch the Summit? No problem, the live stream is still available to watch!

If you attended or watched online, we’d love to hear your feedback! Consider taking 5 minutes to fill out this feedback form.

Since one of the main goals of the Summit is to share tools and tips for teaching sustainability- here is an extensive list of resources that were mentioned either by presenters or by others:

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