CSU, Chico News

This Way to Sustainability III Conference Features Five Keynote Speakers and Chico’s First-Ever Greenie Awards

Date: 10-25-2007

Kathleen McPartland
Public Affairs
Teri Randolph
Conference Coordinator

This Way to Sustainability III, the largest sustainability conference of its kind in the United States, will be held in the Bell Memorial Union at California State University, Chico Nov. 1 through Nov. 4. The conference will be hosted by CSU, Chico; Butte Community College; the Associated Students of CSU, Chico; and the Associated Students of Butte Community College.

An addition to the conference this year is the presentation of Chico’s first “Greenies” at the annual conference banquet Friday evening. Awards will be given to the local individual, the local nonprofit and the local business organization that did the most for sustainable development in 2007. CSU, Chico President Paul Zingg and Butte College President Diana Van Der Ploeg will present the “Greenies.”

Also at the Friday evening banquet, Professor Jeff Price will be honored. Price is one of the lead authors on the UN Climate Control Panel’s Intergovernmental Panel Climate Change Report that received the 2007 Nobel Prize, shared with Al Gore.

There will be five keynote speakers at the conference: A.G. Kawmura, Secretary of California’s Department of Agriculture; Ann Cooper, chef, educator, author and consultant for the Berkeley Unified School District; David Orr, professor of environmental studies from Oberlin College; John Bellamy Foster, professor of sociology from the University of Oregon; and Werner Fornos, president of Global Population Education, Inc. All keynote presentations are free and open to the public.

This year’s conference is structured around eight themes: population, the built environment, images of the natural world, sustainable agriculture, green business, sustainability in the curriculum, the “greening” of religion, and student and community action. More than 100 speakers and 80 sessions will address these themes.

Other events during the conference include the annual organic lunch buffet and the Real Food Dinner. These meals and Friday’s banquet require advance tickets. On Saturday, Nov. 3, there will be a celebration for registered conference participants that will include food from various multicultural groups, world music and dance.

“This conference is unique in that it is a collective effort of the community and our students,” said Scott McNall, executive director of the Institute for Sustainable Development. “It is a community-wide effort to create common ground and a common language to address issues that matter. The conference seeks to connect diverse conversations about the future of our community, as well as the planet.”

Consistent with the content of the conference, CSU, Chico has offset building use carbon emissions during the four days of the conference. With the help of TerraPass (an organization that helps balance the environmental impact of their driving, flying and home energy use by purchasing carbon offsets), conference planners are making the conference operations as sustainable as possible. The planners have asked that participants do their part by offsetting their travel to and from the conference. Conference participants can visit the TerraPass Web site to learn how to balance their impact.

More than 1,000 people have preregistered for the conference. Interested people can still register on-site for the sessions that may be still open. The keynote speakers have been scheduled in venues that accommodate large groups.

For more information on the conference schedule, please visit the web site or call Terri Randolph, conference coordinator, 530-898-3333.