Twenty-four break-out sessions on topics from biking to fighting childhood obesity to Illinois' home-grown renewable energy industry. Eighty-three brilliant, sustainability speakers and panelists. One Swedish ambassador. Oh, and a tasty, post-event, micro-brew reception. Add them up and what do you get? The GreenTown Chicago conference, held May 21-22, where today's best and brightest ideas will inspire tomorrow's sustainable solutions to fight climate change, improve people's health and spur regional resilience. Green Community Connections members and other sustainability activists will find much to discover and learn at the conference, held at UIC Student Center East at 750 S. Halsted in Chicago. The location is easily accessible by bike, blue line, Metra or carpool.
Designed to be an intense, focused networking opportunity for government, business and community members interested in pushing the Chicago region toward a more sustainable future, GreenTown Chicago is organized by Oak Park-based Seven Generations Ahead and a5, a strategy and design firm in Chicago.
The main conference activities occur on Thursday, May 22. Attendees will learn about sustainable initiatives in the City of Chicago, understand what's going on in the surrounding metropolitan region and gain an international perspective from Sweden, one of the world's most forward-thinking countries in the sustainability arena. Some highlights include:
- Discover how the region is undergoing a paradigm shift from “waste management” to “materials recovery."
- The trees we live among are under threat, but also give us enormous ecological benefits. Edith Makra, Director of Environmental Initiatives, Metropolitan Mayors Caucus will give a tour of Chicago's urban forest.
- Panelists will discuss how the Institute of Cultural Affair’s (ICA) Accelerate 77 project is engaging leaders from across Chicago’s neighborhoods in learning about and acting on sustainability.
- Find out how Sweden's cities are becoming more energy efficient, healthy and resilient.
- Learn how the Climate Adaptation Guidebook for Municipalities in the Chicago Region can help communities interested in adapting their planning and investment decisions to a changing climate.
The conference's first day, Wednesday, May 21, will hold two high-level sessions on food scrap composting in Illinois and the role of colleges and universities in leading the push toward sustainability.
Click here to view the full GreenTown Chicago agenda as well as registration and parking information. GreenTown is sponsored by the city of Chicago, the Institute of Cultural Affairs, and Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning.