NSS National Conference

Innovation, Implementation, and Workforce Development for Sustainability

Seattle 2024

Creative Commons Image, University of Washington, https://german.washington.edu/news/2020/05/12/achtung-freshmen-grant-mellon-foundation-your-first-year-experience

September 9 - 11, 2024

University of Washington (Seattle, WA)


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The NSS will host a national conference to bring together academics, students, and practitioners within the field of sustainability to build consensus on the key principles, competencies, capacities, frameworks, and substance of sustainability as both a scholarly realm and as a rapidly expanding field of practice across the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. The NSS focuses on the dialog and community building to support professional and scholarly activities needed to support sustainability transformations across sectors.

This first national conference will showcase work that advances sustainability innovation, closes the implementation gap, and supports workforce development at all levels.  

Conference Themes

The conference focuses on sustainability scholarship and practice around 3 themes and 12 topical areas: Supply chains; Food; Climate and Carbon; Energy; Water; Land; Mobility; Markets and Governance; Technology; Biodiversity; Environmental Justice;  and Human Health and Wellbeing

Keynote Speakers

Julian Agyeman

Professor in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University (Bio)

Jonathan Foley

Executive Director of Project Drawdown (Bio)

Amy Luers

Global Director, Sustainability Science & Innovation, Microsoft (Bio)

This event launches the National Sustainability Society as a community for everyone in the field of sustainability: researchers, students, policy-makers, and practitioners alike.  

Join us! 

Conference FAQs

How do I become a member of the National Sustainability Society?

Inaugural conference participants will automatically receive a one-year membership (through December 2025!) to the National Sustainability Society. If you aren't able to attend the conference, you can become a member here.

Can I attend this conference online?

As the National Sustainability Society is a new organization, we want to maximize in person exchange. As such, this year's conference will be entirely in person. The NSS hosts free webinars throughout the year, and other online opportunities may be developed.

Will you offer discounted registration?

To maximize the opportunity for student participation, discounted rates will be offered to current undergraduate and graduate students.  Registration prices are listed in the Registration section of this conference webpage.

Are papers required to present at the conference?

Papers are not required with contributions, although your online conference profile (set up at Registration in the Whova platform) will allow you to share materials related to your work if you wish. 

Are international participants allowed to attend?

The National Sustainability Society welcomes participants from all over the world.  If you need an invitation letter for visa purposes, please email us at natsustsociety@gmail.com and a letter can be provided. 

NSS Conference Advisory Group

Kate Brandt


William Clark

Harvard University

Howard Frumkin

Trust for Public Land and University of Washington

Stephen Hammer

New York Climate Exchange

Lolita Jackson

Perry World House, University of Pennsylvania, and  Sustainable Development Capital LLP

Mark Lee

ERM Sustainability Institute

Pamela Matson

Stanford University

Liz Maw

Presidio Graduate School and Goldman Environmental Prize

Auden Schendler

Aspen Skiing Company

Dave Stangis

Apollo Group

Conference Planning Committee

Arun Agrawal, University of Michigan

Ben Packard, University of Washington

Christopher Boone, Arizona State University

Cristy Watkins, University of Michigan 

Dan Brown, University of Washington

Karen Seto, Yale University

Krista Hiser, Global Council on Science and the Environment 

Mark Hartman, City of Phoenix

Nicole Ardoin, Stanford University

Maya Tolstoy, University of Washington

Local Host Committee

Kevin Wilhelm, former CEO Sustainable Business, Inc.

Rob Johnson, SVP Sustainability and Transportation for the Seattle Kraken and the Climate Pledge Arena (former member of Seattle City Council)

Chas Jones, Climate Resilience Program Director, Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians

Lisa Dulude, Director of Sustainability, University of Washington

Gwen Migita, Executive Director of Emergent Strategies, Point B