For the past 4 years, the Center for a Sustainable Future has held a series of 8-12 weeks of individual talks in the Sustainability & Innovation Series.
Throughout the 2020-2021 academic year, the Center will showcase local sustainability and innovation leaders to share how and why they are working to transform South Bend and the greater region into an innovative and sustainable place.
The theme of the talks is “Seeing Systems,” which invites speakers to make and share connections between social justice, sustainability, community building, peace building efforts, and more.
Join in on First Friday Innovation Conversations each first Friday from noon – 12:30pm EST.
Listen in and join the conversations every first Friday at noon from wherever you are that day!
First Fridays from 12:00-12:30pm EST
Live on the Center for a Sustainable Future’s YouTube channel
October 2 “Six Steps to Success in Tech” by Shabbir Quitbuddin, Director, IT Sector Partnership, Ivy Tech Community College
Based on workforce development, talent sourcing, and community engagement, this talk will focus on educating a community person about how to build a career in technology, starting from the basic foundation until the advance level. Learn how unique talent diversification and talent outreach efforts would help solve the problem of tech talent in the region. By helping community stakeholders with market intelligence, networking, branding, training, and talent, acquiring an alternate career, better pay, and growth are all possible. These efforts help in developing a sustainable economy by using data, information, interconnections, and marketing.
Watch a recording of Shabbir’s talk HERE
November 6 “Sustainability, Education, Peace, and Community Building with Solar” by Tyler Kanczuzewski, Vice President of Marketing and Sustainability, Inovateus Solar
Hear how the benefits and sustainability of solar farms and solar rooftops, zero-waste operations, energy efficiency, pollinator grass and end of life cycle planning for products and materials make solar the optimal renewable energy choice of the current era. By focusing on sustainability, education, peace and community building there is great opportunity for more jobs in this industry. more ways to bring together communities, and more ways to educate people about how to live more in balance with nature.
Watch the recording of Tyler’s talk HERE
December 4 “The Spring at Small Farms” by Kay Westhues, artist, folklorist, and IU South Bend Sustainability Fellow and Alva Muhammad, President, Gary Food Council, Inc.
The Spring at Small Farms is an artesian well located on the southwest side of Gary, Indiana. For over 50 years, this roadside spring has supplied drinking water to residents living in the nearby communities of Small Farms and Black Oak. Its story reveals what can happen when the delivery of safe drinking water is not guaranteed to all citizens. It illustrates how people of color and those with few economic resources are disproportionately burdened with the cost of pollution. The spring’s continued role as a public commons resource makes its protection a critical concern.
Watch a recording of Kay and Alva’s talk HERE
February 5 “Growing Sustainable Urban Landscapes” by Dr. Deb Marr, IU South Bend
The 2019 United Nations Biodiversity Report documented that more than 40% of biodiversity has been lost in large areas of the U.S. Midwest and Plains states compared to an intact ecosystem. This loss of species can be reduced by using plants in our landscapes that support biodiversity. However, we need to think carefully about the ecological role of plants – not just any plant species will do. Learn ways we can use urban landscapes to support biodiversity, as well as improve water and air quality.
March 5 “Healthy Soil, Healthy People, Healthy Communities” by Judith Rubleske, Kankakee Wetlands Organic Gardens (KWOG)
The foundation of all wellness is something you cannot see. Learn about how community wellness and resiliency are being grown through the power of food and soil. KWOG and is ingrained in community building and provides nutrient dense produce for people from different parts of South Bend. Growing stronger together through community gardening, people are able to cultivate their own justice and peace. Even when not engaging directly with the garden, community events featuring locally sourced produce promote community and peace building efforts.
April 2 “The Strength of Community” by Jacob Crawford, Mishawaka Parks
This talk will focus on the Mishawaka Education Foundation Community Greenhouse project run the Mishawaka Parks Department and Mishawaka High School Garden Club students. Learn how a strong and connected community can transform an unused greenspace into something wonderful like our new Greenhouse and Community Garden. The talk will highlight the involvement of local students, civic groups, and individuals that made the project possible.
May 7 “Growing Global Sustainability” by Avanti Lalwani, Briter Products, and IU South Bend Sustainability Fellow.
Small locally owned businesses have an important responsibility in global sustainability efforts. If the hypothesis were accepted that small business can work with nature through small and constant observations and efforts, there would be short, medium and long term impacts. This talk will highlight how Briter Products, Inc. in South Bend, Indiana efforts to amend the soil of the business’s property revealed previously unseen systems.
12:00pm Welcome and Introductions
12:05-12:15pm Speaker’s talk/presentation
12:15-12:28pm Q&A with Center Director and live audience