Just as the New Year is a time for personal reflection and fresh resolve, so it is for the profession of sustainability. On Wednesday, April 13, 2016, the Institute for Sustainable Practice and Lipscomb University will host a mini-summit entitled: The State of Sustainability: The Future of Earth Care Professions.  Registration details, prominent speakers, and local leaders participating will be announced next month.

In the last two years, two new professional societies have emerged in our state. The International Society of Sustainability Professionals formed a new chapter serving Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi with regional meetings held in Memphis. The National Association of Environmental Professionals formed a new state chapter to serve the needs of consulting environmental compliance professionals and now meet quarterly here in Nashville. Just like the launch of our innovative degree programs eight years ago, the entry of these new associations is another signal of the evolving design of Earth care professions in the Southeast. Our mutual intention is to mature and progress forward as leaders and value providers. And, as many of you have read in the sustainability treatise Cradle to Cradle: “Design is the first signal of human intention” (McDonough and Braungart, 2008).

The professions of Earth care, whether they be focused on sustainability, environmental compliance, engineering, law, energy, conservation, geology, wildlife biology, preservation, stewardship, outdoor recreation, nature education or faith based creation care, all share the mission to provide a better future for our children. We want to pass on the blessings of natural beauty, normal weather cycles, abundance, prosperity, and peace. Our mini-summit will examine how far we’ve come, where we are now, how big we should dream, and how to realize it.

“The State of Sustainability” mini-summit will begin with a reception and registration at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, April 13. At noon, we’ll begin our discussion with a plenary luncheon, noted speaker, and panel discussion to inform and inspire us for the future we want to create.  We’ll have a second plenary session to discuss next steps and afternoon breakouts for each professional sector represented. In the evening, we’ll enjoy some fellowship and perhaps another speaker as well. Please reserve 11 AM to 9 PM, Wednesday, April 13th at Lipscomb University on your calendar.

If you want to sponsor the event for your business, firm, agency or professional association; host a plenary luncheon table; or support a professionally themed breakout session; or just spread the word, please contact us at 615-966-1771 or email Dodd.Galbreath@lipscomb.edu. I hope to see you at Lipscomb in April.


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