Aside from staying busy with business development, networking and exploring new project ideas, most of our time has been dedicated to the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. It’s been going very well, with over 312 presidents so far pledging their institutions to a path towards climate neutrality.
We had a very successful public launch of the initiative in
But in my opinion the presidents stole the show – Michael Crow (Arizona State), Tim White (U of Idaho), Kathy Schatzberg (Cape Cod Community College), David Hales (College of the Atlantic), David Shi (Furman), and many others – are all doing amazing things. A quick Google search will bring up some good info on them if you’re interested – especially Crow and ASU, they are shifting the paradigm in a big way, and as a result are going to be well positioned to meet the coming demands from applicants, employers, funding bodies, etc.
I also got a chance to facilitate a dialogue session amongst the presidents about implementing the commitment, sharing a definition of leadership I heard recently, which says leadership is stepping into that which you have not yet mastered. It’s safe to say that no one has yet mastered a long-term shift to climate neutrality on a large scale, so in that sense, and in many others, making this commitment is a tremendous show of leadership by these presidents and their institutions.
Our fantastic partners at ecoAmerica wrote up a summary for their blog, if you’re interested in more details (they also have some links to the excellent press coverage the event received). And we finally got to meet the rest of the team in person, after months of emails and conference calls - a great group to work with:
All in all, it’s been an interesting to see the reactions to this initiative as we go through this amazing time when the
Finally, and most importantly, a common reason for resistance is not seeing the larger picture, which is that ACUPCC is not just about reducing GHG emissions from campus operations, but much more about (1) educating our next generation of leaders so they’re prepared to solve this problem, by being able to deal with the complexity and communicate with each other across disciplines and (2) promoting research to develop the solutions we will need – both the physical and social technologies we are lacking. As ASU’s Crow said at the