Jenita | 09/11/10 @ 10:00am
The City of Cleveland will host a sustainability summit Sept 22 and 23 from 8am-5pm at Public Auditorium in the Cleveland Convention Center as part of the ongoing activities for Sustainable Cleveland 2019 (SC2019).SC2019 is an economic development initiative that began in 2009 with a three-day summit that successfully engaged nearly 700 stakeholders in the region to launch a community-wide, 10 year initiative to build a sustainable economy. SC2019's mission is to build an economic engine to empower a green city on a blue lake by the year 2019-the 50th anniversary of the infamous Cuyahoga River fire.Mayor Frank G. Jackson will convene community stakeholders during Summit 2010: The Glocal Engine to build resilience, activate local resources, take action and accelerate momentum of SC2019 initiatives. Glocal is a hybrid term of the words global and local and refers to strengthening Greater Cleveland's economy in ways that help both global and local businesses grow and profit by investing locally to increase the global marketability of Cleveland.Dr. Ronald Fry from Case Western Reserve University's Fowler Center for Sustainable Behavior will help to design and facilitate the summit. The summit will incorporate the use the Appreciative Inquiry (AI) method. AI is a collaborative, interactive, and action-oriented process for creating change. To effectively use AI, the summit will be comprised of stakeholders from all sectors of the community including corporate executives, blue collar workers, civic leaders, artists, neighborhood residents, students, retirees, elected officials and regional stakeholders.
Andrew Watterson, Chief of Sustainability at the City of Cleveland's Mayor's office of Sustainability said "The participations at the summit bring specific knowledge that we are seeking to accelerate the momentum of Sustainable Cleveland 2019. We are looking to hone in a focus on the actionable items that have emerged from our strategic plan and from last year's summit."The 2009 summit resulted in the formation of more than 20 working groups made up of community volunteers who have been working for the past year on a variety of sustainability projects, advocacy, research and pilots.
Retiree Eugene Stromberg participated in last year's summit and helped to form the Vacant Land Use and Green Space working group that has been working with many community partners on Reimagining Cleveland 2.0. Prior to his volunteerism with SC2019, Stromberg was in the computer business. Now he is considering launching a sustainability consulting company."I think that the best thing that came out of the summit last year is the joining together a lot people who generated a lot of great ideas," Stromberg said.
Gwen Forte works in the public sector and is a member of the Local Food working group. She met a lot of people who shared her vision for local food opportunities at last year's summit. "The summit was a catalyst for me to dive in to the local food arena and work on projects related to local food," Forte said.Two local projects that emerged from last year's summit are Growhio, a nonprofit branding and marketing organization for local foods in the region and a community kitchen incubator project to help start local value-added food businesses.
Forte is looking forward to reconvening at Summit 2010 to understand progress made and to move forward.
The City of Cleveland will be issuing invitations to a variety of stakeholders in July and August, but anyone is welcome to apply for a Summit appointment. Because of the unique nature of the AI process, participants must commit to both days of this summit. The general public is invited to listen to the speakers scheduled from 8am-noon on the first day of the summit, September 22nd.A $35 registration fee covers a portion of the food provided at the summit and scholarships are available. Seats at the summit are limited and will be filled as applications are approved. Applications are available online. Advanced Energy ExpoThe 2-day summit culminates in the Advanced Energy Technology & Energy Efficiency Expo at Tower City Center. Hosted by Cleveland Public Power, the City of Cleveland with support from Forest City, the Advanced Energy Expo will provide an opportunity for advanced energy and energy efficiency companies to exhibit their technologies to the public and other industry professionals. For more information or to register for the expo, go here.Reprinted from EcoWatch Journal.