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This Way to Sustainability Conference

This Way to Sustainability Conference: Resiliency in a Changing World

Our core team

We just completed our 15th year of the This Way to Sustainability (TWTS) Conference on March 26-27, 2020. TWTS is a nationally recognized, student-run conference focusing on challenges, ideas, solutions, and resiliency in planning our sustainable future. The conference hosts 1,400 participants each year with a variety of respected professionals speaking on the many aspects of sustainability. The goal of the conference is to educate students, staff and faculty, and community members; providing attendees an opportunity to network, discuss, and become more aware of pertinent environmental and social issues we all face.

Speaker and Panel Recordings 2020

Recordings of the Opening and Closing Statements, Keynote Presentations, Poster Presentations, and Fire Plenary are all available below. Links to recordings of the Break-out sessions have been sent to registered attendees. If you’d like full access to the breakout sessions as well, use our "Donate" button (or click here(opens in new window)) to donate $50 and send an email to TWTS@csuchico.edu(opens in new window) for the link.

Opening Statements
Rebecca EisenOpening statements and updates about sustainability in the Cal State University system and Chico State campus by Debra Larson (Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, CSU Chico), Rebecca Eisen (Board of Trustees, California State University), and Mike Guzzi (Associate Vice President, Facilities & Capital Projects, CSU Chico)
Nikki Silvestri, Joy & Impact, Opening Keynote, 2020 TWTS Conference
Nikki SilvestriNikki Silvestri is the CEO of Soil and Shadow, a consulting firm for social and environmental entrepreneurs, guiding thousands of leaders and organizations into conversations at the intersection of ecology, economy, and social equity. In this video she talks about how we create systemic and institutional resilience that has a lasting impact, while also creating inner resilience as our homes and communities shift so dramatically in our changing climate. Learn what soil fertility teaches us about "social fertility," and how that leads to thriving leadership and thriving communities.
Kelsey Juliana, Our Children's Trust, Keynote, 2020 TWTS Conference
Kelsey JulianaKelsey Juliana of Eugene, Oregon, has engaged in climate activism since age 10. When she was 15 she co-filed a lawsuit, with the support of nonprofit Our Children's Trust, against the Oregon State Governor, asking for a climate emissions reduction plan and to protect the atmosphere under the public trust doctrine. By 16, Kelsey was a trainer and organizer for the Sierra Student Coalition’s organizing camp. At age 18 Kelsey participated in the Great March for Climate Action, marching 1,600 miles from Nebraska to Washington, D.C. urging climate action from world leaders. In 2015, at 19, she submitted a Constitutional Climate Change lawsuit alongside 20 other youth against the United States Government. In this presentation she talks about the joys and challenges of this work as part of the Our Children’s Trust organization and gives advice for other young activists wanting to take action and still enjoy their lives.
Erin Meezan: Moving Towards A Regenerative Climate Approach, TWTS 2020
Erin MeezanErin Meezan was one of the keynote speakers at the 2020 This Way to Sustainability Conference. As VP and Chief Sustainability Officer at Interface (a sustainable carpet and flooring manufacturer), her role is to lead a global team to carry forward the company's mission Climate Take Back, tackling the single biggest threat facing humanity: global climate change. This mission is focused on creating a path for Interface and others to reverse global warming, not just reduce carbon emissions. Her goal is to address sustainability at all levels in the business—from operations and management, to employees and customers, and in policy forums. Erin and her team also develop industry‐leading approaches to measurement, driving transparency and innovation in the field of sustainability, while also capturing successes as the company nears its Mission Zero targets in 2020. In this talk she detailed what this has meant for Interface and how they hope to influence standards and practices throughout the industry.
Poster Symposium 1
After a brief introduction by Dr. Pablo Cornejo-Warner, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering, short 3-5 minute presentations were given: 1) Dr. Jeffery Davids: “Young researchers, citizen scientists, smartphones, and a pinch of MacGyver: innovative water monitoring in Nepal and beyond;" 2) Julie Shahan: “Climate Benefits of Restored Tidal Wetlands in the San Francisco Bay Area;” 3) Mary Muchowski: “Birds and Climate Change;” 4) Peter Hansen: “Rebuilding the Ridge: The Spatial Distribution of Residential Rebuilding Permits, Costs, Considerations and Compromises.”
Poster Symposium 2
Brief introduction by Dr. Pablo Cornejo-Warner, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering followed by short 3-5 minute presentations:
1) Daniel Rojas-Comacho, Dylan Hall: “Wastewater Treatment Decision Support Tool for Socially, Environmentally, and Economical Treatment Options;” 2) Mackenzie Deeter: “Implementing Sustainable Practices in Your Office;” 3) Breanne Lencioni: “Eco-labeling of Food: Helpful, Harmful, or Confusing?”; 4) Richard Roth: “3 Essential Elements towards a BioRegenerative Singularity”
Poster Symposium 3
Brief introduction by Dr. Pablo Cornejo-Warner, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering followed by short 3-5 minute presentations: 1) Michael Mayfield, Feng Teter, Kyle Zoldoske, Marissa Acosta, Nicole Lucha, Jason Vang: “Student-Led Sustainability Efforts at Fresno State;” 2) Richard “Dick” McDonald: “Sustainable Agriculture with Aquaponics, Rotational Grazing, and Composting;” 3) Aldair Vazquez: “Sample Generation, SEM Characterization, Metal Filtration and Recycling of Autobody Repair Waste;” 4) Minjhing Hsieh: “Trash to Treasure, Recycling to Resilience”
Our Future with Fire: A Case Study From the Ridge, Fire Plenary
firetruck at the Camp FireModerator: Megan Kurtz, Camp Fire University and Community Liaison. Our plenary speakers talk about climate resilience and adaptation using the Camp Fire and Ridge Community recovery as a case study.  
Amanda Ree, Deputy Director of Recovery for Red Cross California; Don Hankins, Professor in Geography and Planning | Chico State; Jim Broshears, Emergency Operation Center Coordinator | City of Paradise; Garrett Sjolund, Cal Fire Butte Unit Division Chief, Special Operations; Matt Reddam, Butte County Office of Education | Community Wellness Advisor
Closing Statements
Gayle HutchinsonClosing comments by CSU Chico president Gayle Hutchinson.
Breakout Sessions

TWTS Road Sign LogoIf you were not able to attend, we have recorded all breakout sessions & have them available for a donation of $50. Our 7 tracks include: 1) Environment, Land Planning & Natural Systems, 2) Built Environments, Engineering & Waste Management, 3) Health, Wellness, Diet & Nutrition, 4) Sustainable Food Systems & Regenerative Agriculture, 5) Entrepreneurship, Marketing & Supply Chain Management, 6) Social Justice & Public Policy, 7) Arts, Humanities & Creative Expression.

Visit the program page(opens in new window) for more information about the conference program.

Click “Donate Now” below to donate & email twts@csuchico.edu(opens in new window) for access.

View Past Conference Content

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This conference would not be possible without the support of our many volunteers and our amazing sponsors.  Check out our many sponsorship opportunities (PDF) and donate now if you are able. 

Thank you!