Climate Education Specialists and City Leaders Come Together to Collaborate

September 14, 2017

Current Bates College student, Haley Crim, worked with us this summer as an intern in an essential role. Her primary duties were related the organization and planning of the Climate Education and Opportunities Collective Impact Summit, hosted at the Sundance Mountain Resort in Utah. After the completion of the Summit, Haley shared about the event:

Last week NewKnowledge joined representatives from climate education organizations and delegations from 7 cities. NewKnowledge, the National Wildlife Federation, NOAA, and the University of Rhode Island convened the meeting to coordinate citywide environmental education campaigns around climate change issues and solutions. The summit was designed to help cities meet their sustainability goals and stay on track with the Paris Agreement, after national leaders rescinded the United States’ commitment to the agreement. NewKnowledge’s John Fraser and Haley Crim took part in the planning process and also attended the summit.

Invited climate education professionals used a pre-summit day to create a planning strategy encompassing formal and informal education, Indigenous communities, youth and civic engagement, businesses, workforce development, and even less receptive audiences. When city delegations from San Diego, Boston, Honolulu, Detroit, Vail, CO, Broward County, FL, Minneapolis/Saint Paul, and Somerville, MA, arrived, the full summit kicked off with a keynote by Nicole Rom of Climate Generation. She explained how her organization has found success in Minnesota’s twin cities, showcasing ways to expand climate education and engagement in cities across the US. The next day was packed with informational sessions on community engagement by the Climate Education Partners, discussions about education’s importance for economic development, and collaborative action planning.

On the final day Summit attendees created and committed to concrete goals to further climate action and education. We hope that the relationships and action plans formed at the Summit will lead to productive partnerships and climate education strategies across the country. The group plans to continue collaborating and use their collective strengths and resources to make the case for effective, sustained climate education, civic engagement, and workforce development at future meetings of city leaders and environmental professionals.

NewKnowledge has been thrilled to be a part of the Climate Education and Opportunities Collective Impact Summit. We believe this initiative will be critical to our nation’s resilience and ability to thrive in the coming decades.

The highlight for me was watching how all of the leaders from cities and climate education organizations interacted. Even though they all came from very different circumstances, everyone was so excited to meet each other and work together. They quickly figured out how to play to everyone’s strengths and create really interesting action plans. It was inspiring to see how everyone was so devoted to sustainability and climate education.

For more on contributors,references, and a reading list, see this link: Further Readings