Kicking off Heritage Week 2012, La Salle University will host its second annual Sustainability Symposium on Saturday, March 17, 2012. The free symposium, “Is There a Win-Win Approach to Sustainability in the Greater Philadelphia Region?” is part of the University’s Explorer Connection initiative and brings to the forefront unique and innovative cross-sector approaches to sustainability in Philadelphia, while also creating an opportunity to examine sustainability issues facing urban communities from a grassroots, industry, and government perspective.
“Many people solely equate sustainability with environmentalism, often overlooking other major components of sustainable development,” said Julianna Gwiszcz, Director of La Salle’s Explorer Connection and Symposium Coordinator. “With each Symposium, we challenge participants to examine how sustainability impacts all of us—locally, nationally, and globally—in our personal, academic, and professional lives, regardless of discipline or sector.”
The Symposium will consist of three breakout sessions, each featuring a facilitator representing the grassroots, industry, or government perspective on sustainability. Each breakout session will be offered during two time frames, allowing attendees to participate in two separate sessions.
From a grassroots perspective, Alyssa Moles, Regional Farm to School Coordinator for The Food Trust in Philadelphia, will lead a session on “Planting Seeds and Digging in: Farm to School Programming in Both Policy and Practice.”
Offering an industry perspective on sustainability, “Eagles ‘Go Green’: an Industry Lever for Community Change” will be facilitated by Leonard J. Bonacci, Director of Event Operations for the Philadelphia Eagles.
“Opportunities for Citizen Participation in Planning Philadelphia’s Sustainable Future,” a session featuring a government perspective, will be led by Sarah Wu, Policy and Outreach Manager for the City of Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of Sustainability.
Following the breakout sessions, there will be an interactive panel discussion, “A Cross-Sector Discussion of the Challenges and Successes of Urban Sustainability: How Do We Move Forward?” featuring Moles, Bonacci, and Wu as panelists. Victor Donnay, Ph.D., Professor of Mathematics at Bryn Mawr College, will serve as moderator.
“The Symposium allows participants to engage in an exchange of ideas that cross disciplines and sectors, bringing to light the complexities of urban sustainability,” said Gwiszcz. “I hope the Symposium sets in motion a process of critical investigation of the challenges and successes of urban sustainability in our communities.”
The Symposium is part of The Explorer Connection’s Sustainability Development Initiative, which increases awareness of sustainability issues such as poverty, energy conservation, community capacity building, and government corruption.
“Sustainability is increasingly important across all disciplines—both socially and academically. As more and more corporations and organizations adopt sustainability mindsets, our students are able to see how sustainable development can impact their future careers. Whether they are a business, science, nursing, or communication major, each has a role to play,” said Gwiszcz. “Part of La Salle’s mission is to prepare students for informed service and progressive leadership in their communities, which is why the Symposium is such a perfect fit to kick off Heritage Week.”
The La Salle University Sustainability Symposium is free and open to the public. Check-in and a continental breakfast begins at 8:45 a.m. The day’s program, which includes lunch, will run from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The deadline to register is March 15. To register, click here.