There are three time slots with parallel workshops on Monday, September 9th. You can register for one workshop per slot. Workshops conclude prior to the opening plenary lunch and keynote event. Workshop cost: $60 each.

Slot A 8:30 - 10:00 am

Slot  B 10:00 - 11:30am

Slot  C 11:30 - 1:00pm

A1 Thriving at the Intersection: How to be a Multidisciplinary Sustainability Practitioner (Debbie Namugayi

Working as a sustainability practitioner for large institutions or companies requires professionals to be skilled as “expert generalists” who bridge traditional disciplinary boundaries to drive solutions. This session equips aspiring and current sustainability practitioners with the skills and knowledge to navigate the multidisciplinary landscape. We'll explore:

 Target Audience:

 Learning Outcomes: Participants will gain:

Facilitator: Debbie Namugayi,, is a sustainability practitioner with over a decade of experience across industries. Her expertise covers sustainability strategy and implementation, ESG reporting, DEI, and data analysis across various sectors including corporate, campus, and sustainable buildings. Debbie is a LEED AP (BD+C), received her Master’s in Sustainability from the Arizona State University School of Sustainability and her Bachelor's in Environmental Science and Policy from the University of Maryland.  

A2 Closing the Implementation Gap: From Awareness to Action (Jennifer Tabanico) 

Sustainability professionals are often tasked with developing and implementing programs and outreach campaigns to promote environmentally responsible behaviors. In many cases, these programs are required to address an adopted policy or mandate. Our most pressing environmental problems are often the result of human behavior. Consequently, achieving change in a sustainability outcome (e.g., waste or emissions reduction) requires behavior change on the part of individuals. Typically, outreach campaigns aim to promote behavior change by raising awareness about the importance of the environmental problem and educating the community about the steps they can take to address it. Although these information-intensive campaigns can positively increase knowledge and attitudes about a specific behavior or problem, they are largely ineffective at creating lasting changes in behavior. In this workshop, we will introduce and explore a methodology that has helped sustainability professionals across the globe build effective behavior change programs.

Over the last few decades, community-based social marketing (CBSM) has emerged as an effective approach for developing, implementing, and revitalizing environmental programs. Unlike traditional information-based campaigns, CBSM is an evidence-based process that leverages established psychological principles to remove barriers, increase motivation, and ultimately change behavior. 

 This workshop will provide an overview of the community-based social marketing framework through a combination of lectures, hands-on exercises, and case studies demonstrating its efficacy in fostering behavior change. Additionally, attendees will participate in activities designed to enhance their understanding of how to use data to select impactful behaviors and how to use audience research insights to build and pilot-test strategies that leverage relevant behavior change tools. Attendees will be provided with handouts as well as links to additional resources and information. 

 Workshop participants will: 

The workshop will leverage a case study approach in which participants will work in small groups of 3-5 individuals to develop solutions for high-priority sustainability issues. Groups will be assigned to work on topics such as food waste, composting, conservation, and energy consumption. Following a brief lecture, participants will be provided with foundational information, such as problem statements and audience research findings to inform the development of behavior change strategies. 

Facilitators: Jennifer Tabanico, Action Research,, and Amy Cabaniss, PhD, University of Connecticut,

Jennifer Tabanico ( is the President and owner of Action Research, a firm that specializes in changing behavior for good by applying behavioral and social science research to outreach programs that promote safe, healthy, and sustainable communities. Jennifer has a Master of Arts in Experimental Psychology and more than 20 years of experience developing behavior change programs for public and private agencies. She is recognized internationally as an expert in community-based social marketing.

Amy Cabaniss teaches in the Online Masters of Energy and Environmental Management (MEEM) program offered by the University of Connecticut, Department of Natural Resources and the Environment. Amy has a PhD in Environmental Studies with applied research in conservation psychology, an MBA in Management and Organization, and a BS in Environmental Conservation, along with a certificate in graphic arts. In addition to being in academia for ten years, Amy has an established 20-year career in environmental education and communication. 

A3 Navigating Conflict and Dysfunction in Conversations (Kari McLeod) 

Your ability to work with others and navigate interpersonal dynamics, conflict, and toxic behaviors is key to your success in creating and promoting effective sustainability initiatives. Much of your work is accomplished (or is derailed) by speaking and working with other people, either as individuals, in groups, or in teams. This interactive workshop is designed to give you a framework for looking at and solving common behavioral challenges in conversations. Along the way, you will learn how your own communication style may unintentionally contribute to conflicts and dysfunction. The framework is based on one of the models of David Kantor’s theory of communication, Structural Dynamics, and you will learn to facilitate better conversations that prompt positive changes. 

Through whole group and small groups exercises, you will learn to apply this model to identify common stuck patterns of group dynamics and to shift dysfunctional conversations to conversations that: 

This workshop will support sustainability practitioners and educators to promote collaborative, innovative, and dynamic conversations where great ideas emerge from hearing multiple viewpoints and resolving differences by working with positive conflict, not dysfunctional conflict. 


Kari McLeod is passionate about building leadership communities in organizations through cohorts, group dialogue, and experiential learning. She is an executive and leadership coach, leadership team coach, and facilitator. Kari has been a TeamCatapult coach and faculty member for four years, supported agility and agilists for seven years, and served as the team coach for the Sustainability Incubator Project Cohorts for the past year and a half. She has a PhD in History from Yale University.

A4 The Key Competencies in Sustainability Framework (Krista Hiser) 

Sustainability Education includes academic degrees as well as training, retraining, and upskilling in many contexts: professional development in the workplace; technical training programs; academic credentialing; community development; activist groups; high schools; home schools; independent learning. Even within higher education settings, sustainability education occurs across multiple institutional types (community colleges, public and private universities including Minority Serving Institutions and tribal colleges; levels (associates, bachelors, and graduate) and domains including general education, Sustainability across the Curriculum, Discipline-focused Sustainability-Related, and Sustainability Education. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) 2020 report, "Strengthening Sustainability Programs and Curricula at the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels," emphasized the need for a consolidated set of key competencies in sustainability to facilitated program design and evaluation – as well as learning outcomes in these multiple contexts.

The Key Competencies in Sustainability Framework (KCSF) is an interconnected set of eight clusters of competencies in systems-thinking, futures-thinking, values-thinking, strategic-thinking, intrapersonal and interpersonal competency, implementation, and integrated problem-solving competency. Justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion are integrated throughout the framework as values-thinking plays a leading role. The KCSF framework has been developed over two decades, with contributions from many academic scholars (Arnim Wiek, Aaron Redman, Marco Rieckmann, Katja Brundiers and Jordan King, among others. In 2022-2023 the Global Council for Science and the Environment assessed convergence across academic practitioners and researchers, and developed a Convergence Statement and professional resources for the KCSF including a FREE learning module, “Thinking through Sustainability Challenges with Key Competencies in Sustainability.”

In this workshop, learners, educators, and practitioners will gain an overview of the KCFS as well as how the framework is being used by educators and practitioners at different levels, contexts, and dimensions of education. While primarily oriented to higher education, the workshop would be relevant to anyone engaged in Sustainability Education. Participants will gain an overview of the Key Competencies in Sustainability Framework, its historical development and current applications. Participants will also preview the learning module and workbook, with opportunities to discuss how they teach, learn, and assess Key Competencies in their own work. All participants will gain early access to the beta test of the learning module for use in Fall 2024.

Facilitator Expertise: This workshop is facilitated by Dr. Krista Hiser, Program Director for the Pathways towards Accreditation initiative at the National Sustainability Society. Dr. Meghann Jarchow, a co-author in the Delphi study on Key Competencies in Sustainability, will co-facilitate and provide a case study perspective. 

Note: this workshop pairs well with the workshop that will follow it: Best Practices for Sustainability and Sustainability-Related Degree Programs in Higher Education, Workshop B5

A5 Sustainability Leadership: Training Tools for collaboration (Margaret Krebs)  

Context of Global Sustainability Challenges and the Need for Transdisciplinary Scholarship

Global sustainability challenges, such as those associated with climate change, human migration, and food insecurity, are staggering worldwide. Scientists, professional societies, non-governmental organizations, and civic leaders recognize the critical need for all of the sciences to contribute to the creation of culturally and ecologically appropriate, socially acceptable, economically feasible solutions. These contributions require a shift towards collaborative team-based science that engages with a wide range of societal partners and disciplinary experts to help find solutions to complex problems. We use the term “transdisciplinary” (TD) to describe this practice.

While sustainability science promotes exactly this kind of focus, engagement and orientation, relevant approaches to doing so are often lacking or not used. Doing so necessitates a new set of tools, structures, and practices that many academic communities around the world lack.

The Transdisciplinary (TD) Training Collaboratory

With funding from the US National Science Foundation, a global consortium of leading TD scholars/thought leaders and practitioners, including trainers from five continents was formed to identify key elements of what researchers need to know, do and be in the context of transdisciplinary research and to create training curriculum, guidelines, and frameworks to disseminate widely. The TD Collaboratory has developed a “Design Guide” which aims to lead TD scholars interested in training others through the process of designing audience-tailored trainings and identifying relevant and appropriate teaching modules and materials. This Design Guide is in a “beta” stage at this time, being tested in a range of settings so as to ensure it is appropriate for and sufficiently helpful to be used in a wide variety of contexts.

During the workshop participants will be introduced to the “Design Guide” by facilitating two interactive tools from the guide. The benefits and outcomes for participants will be: 

Facilitators: Margaret Krebs, Project Director, Transdisciplinary Training Collaboratory, ; Susanne Moser, Lead Facilitator, Transdisciplinary Training Collaboratory,; Pam Matson, Principal Investigator (initial)] Matson, Pam, Stanford University,

B1 Life Cycle Assessment of Bio-based Materials and Systems (Indroneil Ganguly) 

Life cycle assessment (LCA) is an internationally recognized method for assessing the environmental impact of products and processes throughout their life cycle. This workshop combines theoretical knowledge and applications of LCA to bio-based products and systems.

The specific topics to be covered in this workshop include:

Facilitators: Prof. Indroneil Ganguly, University of Washington and Dr. Francesca Pierobon, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory 

B2 nCount: Technology Platform for Sustainability Action (Ashwini Chhatre) 

The advancement of knowledge in natural, physical, and social systems relies heavily on precise measurement and analysis of their components. However, the absence of extensive, long-term, and frequent measurement data poses a significant obstacle to actionable understanding. Such data is crucial for deriving insights and implementing evidence-based interventions. The digital revolution, along with innovations in sensor technology, has become instrumental in social-ecological research, utilizing tools like satellite data and citizen science initiatives. Citizen science endeavors, often involving volunteers from diverse backgrounds, contribute substantially to data collection efforts, enabling the identification of trends and patterns over vast geographic areas and time spans. Despite the benefits of citizen science, insights generated are often confined within academic publications, hindering their utility for local communities. Addressing this gap, the nCount platform represents a user-friendly digital ecosystem empowering citizens to contribute data on their surroundings. Designed to be accessible to non-technical users, nCount aims to compile verified information in real-time, providing actionable information and insights for multiple stakeholders – local communities, civil society organizations, public agencies, and researchers. Leveraging recent technological advancements – AI/ML engines, AR-powered gaming environments, satellite data fusion, IoT and UAVs – nCount facilitates a range of applications, from biodiversity monitoring to sustainable value chain governance, promising to bridge the gap between data collection and effective sustainability action.

 In this session using nCount platform (, participants will learn methods for capturing longitudinal, large-scale, and high frequency data. We will discuss the transformative role of technology in converting data pipelines into actionable information. Through hands-on training, interactive exercises, and real-world case studies, participants will learn about the new data capture and action pipelines aimed at driving sustainability impact at scale. Throughout the workshop, we will deploy selected use cases on boundary mapping, tree species inventory, and estimation of above ground woody biomass, ensuring that participants acquire a comprehensive understanding of nCount's versatility. By delving into various scenarios, we aim to illuminate the breadth of potential applications and the diverse array of products that can be forged through nCount’s application pipeline. 


 1. Explore the capabilities of nCount for data capture, visualization, analysis, and generation of actionable information and insights.

 2. Develop strategies for sharing information and collaborating with stakeholders for local impact. 

 3. Learn about features of nCount architecture designed to protect privacy and ensure Free, Prior, and Informed Consent.

 Target Audience:  This workshop is open to anyone interested in leveraging technology to create data pipelines for generating actionable information for sustainability action at scale. No prior technical training or experience is required.

 Outcome:   Participants will leave the workshop equipped with skills to actively create collaborations for data pipelines and contribute to sustainability interventions in local contexts.

Facilitators: Ashwini Chhatre, Indian School of Business, and Abhijeet Parmar, Indian School of Business,

B3 Participatory Modeling for Climate Justice (Moira Zellner)

Participatory modeling (PM) is a collaborative approach to formalize shared representations of a problem and design and test solutions through a joint modeling process. PM is well-suited for addressing complex social and environmental problems (e.g., climate change, social and economic injustice, sustainable resource management), where interaction effects among multiple actors and factors make the causes and consequences of the problem unclear, and where a diversity of values and perspectives may lead to conflict about concrete pathways forward. Engaging in participatory modeling with different modeling techniques helps elicit diverse stakeholder knowledge (formal/informal, explicit/tacit, scientific/experiential) and harnesses this diversity to move from conflict to solutions as the collaboration strengthens relationship-building, empathy, trust, systems thinking, and collective agency for decision-making. 

This workshop will introduce and test an initial version of, a new PM platform developed at Northeastern University. The platform is an intuitive digital environment that enables diverse stakeholder groups to collaboratively interact with embedded simulation models to understand real world socio-environmental problems and create novel and impactful solutions. Stakeholders interact with this digital representation and with each other, iteratively creating, revising and testing solutions until diverse needs are addressed. provides quick results for data-driven proof of concepts that are ready to be presented, designed, and implemented in the real world, giving everyone in a team the power to share their unique perspective and build the world they want to live in together.

In this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to use an early version of’s interactive game-board to collectively build green infrastructure solutions to flooding in a neighborhood in Chelsea, Massachusetts. The virtual environment allows for both in-person and online participation in a facilitated process in which users will: 1) input their individual priorities, 2) collaboratively run simulations to understand flooding issues in the neighborhood, 3) co-design green infrastructure scenarios to address these problems, 4) see how their changes affect the simulation, and 5) deliberate on the tradeoffs that arise from each solution due to competing priorities. Participants will, with facilitator assistance, engage in multiple iterations of the process of prioritization, solution-building, and reflection on results. This process will allow them to refine their proposed solutions towards a design they would jointly support for implementation, with an understanding of its benefits and drawbacks. 

Note: Participants will need to bring in their own laptops or mobile tablets to the workshop.

Facilitator: Moira Zellner, Northeastern University

B4 Best Practices for Sustainability Degree Programs (Krista Hiser) 

The rapid evolution of academic sustainability degree programs, both in the U.S. and internationally, and at undergraduate and graduate levels, raises important questions for administrators, faculty, current and prospective students, and employers across all sectors. How can students find the best programs for their goals? How do employers know the value of sustainability degrees? How do sustainability degree programs differ from related fields of environmental studies and sciences, or emerging programs such as resilience or energy education? A 2020 report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), entitled Strengthening Sustainability Programs and Curricula at the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels, articulated the necessity for defining a field:  "Academic institutions of higher education should embrace sustainability education as a vital field that requires specifically tailored educational experiences and the development of core sustainability-focused competencies and capacities delivered through courses, majors, minors, certifications, research, and graduate degrees in sustainability." (p. 5). In response to critiques of academic sustainability degree program preparation, a program-level accreditation is being designed by and for stakeholders in Sustainability Education. Through discussions, workshops, and roundtables with employers, students and recent alumni, higher education experts, administrators, faculty, and program directors, a synthesized set of Best Practices in eight grounded areas of program practice have been developed. The grounded areas include core areas of Unit Organization, Curriculum, Pedagogy, Assessment, and support areas of Leadership, Campus & Community, Faculty Support and Student Support.

This workshop is designed for anyone with an interest in strengthening Sustainability Education programs in higher education. Participants will gain an overview of the Best Practices as part of a unique and context-sensitive process for program evaluation and accreditation. After understanding the full process, participants will have an opportunity to provide input on the Best Practices, further iterating these Best Practices as guidelines for program-level accreditation for Sustainability in Higher Education.

Participants will:

Facilitators:  The workshop is facilitated by Dr. Krista Hiser, Program Director of the Pathways towards Accreditation initiative at the National Sustainability Society, and Dr. Teri Balser, co-chair of the Sustainability Education Community of Practice. 

Note: This workshop pairs well with the workshop that will precede it: The Key Competencies in Sustainability Framework: an educational framework for use in multiple dimensions and domains for teaching and learning. (Workshop A5)

 B5 How the Scientific Community Can Guide Corporate Biodiversity Reporting (Ben Miller) 

A changing regulatory environment and consumer culture is compelling companies today to account for their impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems. The Global Framework for Biodiversity (GBF) signed by 196 nations in December 2022 is a key fixture of this changing regulatory environment that explicitly acknowledges the outsized role that companies have in fostering a nature-positive world. One of the targets of the GBF is to for businesses to “assess, disclose, and reduce biodiversity-related risks and negative impacts.” Multiple nature-based accounting frameworks have emerged to help companies operationalize this target, such as the compulsory Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and voluntary Taskforce for Nature-related Financial Disclosures. Under the CSRD, alone, an estimated 50,000 companies inside and outside of the European Union (EU) will be required to measure multifaceted impacts on complex ecological systems over space and time. However, these new biodiversity reporting frameworks offer little guidance on how to do so. This lack of guidance represents both a challenge and an opportunity. Biodiversity and ecosystem measurements made across the world for corporate reporting will either produce rigorous, comparable data for nature-positive outcomes, or simply check a regulatory box. The scientific community is needed to assist in the selection of standard measurement metrics and methodologies that will simultaneously contribute to global conservation goals, fulfill emerging regulatory requirements, and result in an unprecedented geographic coverage and volume of high-quality data to answer outstanding scientific questions..

This workshop brings together sustainability practitioners and scientists to critically and constructively evaluate the metrics recommended by the CSRD, and build consensus around scalable measurement methodologies for these metrics. As representatives from two large technology companies, we are particularly interested in how satellite Earth observation and AI can and should be integrated to scale measurements of biodiversity and ecosystems. Against the backdrop of EU-mandated reporting this year, the scientific community has an opportunity to shape the ways in which large amounts of data are collected for the benefit of not just future reporting but also scientific research. 

Facilitators: Benjamin Miller, Microsoft,; Seamus Lombardo, Planet Labs,; Dan Brown, University of Washington, 

C1 Decarbonization Pathway Tools (Alan Jacobsen)

Workshop Summary: In this workshop, we will describe and demonstrate tools our team has developed to quickly evaluate different decarbonization options for packaging materials, building materials, drop-in fuels, and hydrogen. These tools provide an in-depth understanding of the impact of different decarbonization solutions for each of these sectors, which in turn, will help organizations prioritize investments towards the most impactful solutions. Each tool guides a user through options available to decarbonize products from each relevant sector.  The user selects the baseline product to decarbonize (e.g. corrugated box, ready-made concrete, renewable diesel, etc.), and then selects options from a list of different decarbonization solutions related to the production process, feedstock used, energy and fuel sources, and more. With each tool, a user can easily and quickly build and understand the potential impact of different decarbonization scenarios without having life cycle assessment (LCA) expertise or coding experience.

Content Details: The tools we have built are based on decarbonization pathway models that we developed for evaluating options to decarbonize different materials and fuels for the scale and scope needed for Amazon. The models assess the life cycle impacts to carbon emissions where multiple different decarbonization technologies or solutions could be developed and implemented. To build each of the sector models, we started by building a process flow model within a defined boundary and then collected the life cycle inventory (LCI) data for each process step (materials flows, energy flows, emissions).  Many different, unique technology options are represented in the models. The model output, displayed through the tool’s UI, is the estimated carbon intensity associated with the production and use of the selected commodity material (or fuel) based on the user selected decarbonization pathways and options.

Objective and Agenda: The objective of this workshop is to provide the participants a brief overview of the science and models behind the tools and enable the users to easily extract useful insights from these tools.  We plan for an interactive session where we will begin by demonstrating how to use one of the tools, while also describing some of the details around how the models calculate the outputs displayed by the tool (20 minutes).  We will then have two collaborative sessions where the participants will use the models on their laptops to try to identify the pathway with the lowest estimated carbon intensity (20 minutes each + 5 minutes for rotation, 50 minutes total). The workshop will end with a discussion around the pathways that result in the lowest estimated carbon intensity (20 minutes).

Expected Outcomes: Students will gain practical experience with decarbonization tools, enabling hands-on learning without extensive LCA expertise. Faculty members will stay updated on the latest developments in decarbonization modeling, potentially inspiring further research and advancements in this field. Industry participants will explore the potential for adopting these tools to support their organization's decarbonization efforts, informing strategic decisions and investments towards a more sustainable future.

Facilitators: Vinod Konaganti, Amazon,, Ofei Mante, Amazon,, Mengya Tao, Amazon,, Alan Jacobsen, Amazon,

C2 Navigating Science-Policy Interface for Impact (Caitlin Grady)

This is an engaging workshop designed to bridge the gap between sustainability science and public policy. Aimed at a diverse audience including students, scholars, practitioners, and policy-makers, this session will demystify the process of integrating academic research and expertise into the policymaking world. Whether you're a seasoned researcher or a student just beginning to explore the realm of sustainability, this workshop will offer valuable insights into how your work can contribute to meaningful policy changes and societal impacts. The primary goal of this workshop is to equip participants with the tools and knowledge needed to effectively translate their research and expertise into actionable public policy.  Attendees will learn:

Participants will leave the workshop with a clear understanding of how to leverage their expertise for the greater good, ensuring their contributions to sustainability science have a lasting impact beyond the academic realm.

By the end of the workshop, participants will have:

This workshop promises a comprehensive toolkit for those looking to extend the impact of their sustainability science efforts into the public policy domain, fostering a future where research and expertise drive societal progress and equitable solutions.

Facilitator: Dr. Caitlin Grady has developed expertise at the intersection of science and policy over the course of 15 years having served in both academic and policy roles across the sustainability landscape. She will share real-world experiences from her roles with the U.S. House of Representatives, Department of Energy, Department of State, Penn State University, and her current institution, George Washington University. As a testament to her expertise, she has also founded a company which offers government relations advice to research and industry organizations. Finally, Dr. Grady is a trained and certified facilitator and mediator.

C3 How to Choose Decision-Support Tools for Climate Assessments (P.J. Tillmann) 

In this workshop, participants will learn how to choose between the many available decision-support tools and datasets when completing a climate vulnerability assessment or hazard-specific climate impact assessment. The number and diversity of decision-support tools, datasets, and metrics for climate action can be overwhelming. Tools, datasets, and metrics may focus on different geographies, specialize in certain ecosystems, sectors, or vulnerabilities, and range in their user-friendliness, spatial resolution, and other factors. All have pros and cons to consider before choosing the most appropriate options. Participants will learn from a few short case studies in how tools were selected to support vulnerability assessments, sea-level rise planning, extreme heat, and other adaptation needs. At a minimum, we plan to review NOAA and Washington Sea Level Rise Projections, FEMA Flood Zones, Tree Equity Score, the California Heat Assessment Tool, The Greenlining Institute’s equity guidebook for adaptation, and census data (including EJScreen). Participants will then spend the remaining time working in small groups to winnow down the wide range of potential tools, datasets, and metrics to those best-suited for a particular adaptation need. Participants can bring a project to troubleshoot or work through pre-prepared scenarios for a vulnerability assessment, sea-level rise planning, or planning for extreme heat.

Throughout the session, we will explicitly consider frontline communities and accessibility. The presentation of case studies will include an evaluation of the strengths and limitations of the decision-support tools in considering the needs of frontline communities and those with disabilities or neurodivergent approaches related to visual processing. This includes, but is not limited to, the quality, completeness, and appropriateness of demographic information; the climate risks and vulnerabilities included; the overall geography and spatial resolution of results; the use of color, alt tags, and other supportive measures to improve accessibility; and the user-friendliness of the tool and its results. The small group exercise will ask participants to explicitly consider the needs, risks, and vulnerabilities of frontline communities in tool selection and to note any observations about the tool related to visual processing for those with disabilities or neurodivergent approaches. The full-group report-out and discussion will include specific attention for what to look for in a tool that effectively centers frontline communities and is accessible for those with disabilities or neurodivergence in visual processing.

Facilitators:  P.J.Tillmann, Cascadia Consulting Group,,  Alejandro Paredes, Cascadia Consulting Group

C4 Dismantling Structures and Patterns of Unsustainability (Adam Lerner)

If we acknowledge that structures shape behavior, how might we understand and interrupt our own patterns of (un)sustainability by contextualizing them within the context where they thrive? This workshop seeks to enhance the diffractive sensemaking skills of participants to see the cultural structures that undergird their organizations and the patterns that continue to perpetuate unsustainability. It will invite participants to reflect on their own context and patterns as a microcosm of the larger system they inhabit. The workshop will request participants to bring in photographs of specific types of institutional spaces to sense the invisible cultural elements at play within them. We will use these photographs to see the metaphoric ways these sites provide context for the institutions’ culture of (un)sustainability. After understanding these institutional patterns through roundtable and open dialogue, we will spatially orient them to the Three Horizons framework with an exercise to identify sustainability interruptions for what is ready to die through hospicing and interventions from what is ready to be amplified through catalyzing.

From this workshop the participants will learn:

The workshop is ideally suited to those working on the frontiers beyond sustainability-as-usual through the lenses of innovation and/or institutional reform, but is open and applicable to everyone ready to move beyond the current culture of sustainability. Together we will seek to see the structures through their constituent layers rather than their homogenous integrity. We will experiment with creating strategies to build healthier relationships between the parts to emerge into different possibilities for wholeness.

Facilitator: Adam Lerner ( is the Founder of Solvable where the team creates spaces to reform the fields of education and finance toward regenerative futures. Adam co-designed and co-facilitated the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)’s Accelerators which emerged seven competencies for societal impact leadership. Adam spent much of his career as a strategist in graphic and industrial design studios exploring design as innovation in worldmaking after a first career in arts and humanitarian philanthropy. He holds an MBA with specializations in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from the University of Texas, and an undergraduate degree in History from Colorado College. Born in Memphis where his environmental justice roots descended, Adam lives as a newcomer on the unceded and traditional lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations colonially known as Vancouver, Canada. He spends time on the land jogging, mountain biking, snowboarding, hiking, and sitting with good books. 

Hands-on How-to: Collaborate for Climate (Mila Rosenthal) PENDING

From droughts to floods, scientists are warning that climate-related disasters will continue to get worse, even if there are emissions cuts. Collaboration is essential to help combat the most devastating and destructive impacts of climate change. And to ultimately succeed and meet our climate goals, the climate movement needs people with completely different backgrounds and skills who can quickly break down national and disciplinary borders to problem solve. COVID-19 showed that individuals and institutions that don’t normally collaborate can work successfully together in emergencies. But collaboration needs to be practiced and constant, during both shorter-term emergencies such as mega wildfires, heatwaves, new pathogens – and the ongoing larger crisis of climate change.  It is possible to architect a new normal for collaboration, that will help accelerate both mitigation AND adaptation: reduce emissions to meet ambitious climate goals; and respond faster to climate-linked disasters, saving lives and protecting ecosystems.  

Led by an expert facilitator, participants from all disciplines are welcome in this hands-on workshop training. They will practice their collaborative problem-solving skills with a variety of realistic and engaging climate-related scenarios.  Participants will walk away with the confidence to reach across the aisle or discipline that they are in and build stronger networks to make their work more effective during crisis situations.

Facilitator: Dr. Rosenthal runs the  International Science Reserve, a network of over 10,000 scientists in 100 countries worldwide who are working together to prepare for and act on the next major crisis, including climate-related disasters.