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Key tracks of the sustainability summit© Goethe-Institut

Sustainability Summit 2019

From May 24 through 26, 2019, 300 students and teachers from across the US gathered at Loyola University Chicago for the Sustainability Summit to learn about sustainability and find solutions for climate change and other environmental topics.
Students and teachers developed projects they can implement at their school, like planting urban gardens or starting composting initiatives. They joined experts from Germany and the US at panel discussions to talk about mobility and the climate crisis, and they collaborated in future labs to develop realistic sustainable solutions for their communities.


Recap and additional material

FURTHER MATERIALS

Here you will find free teaching materials from our experts. We are adding more materials in the summer of 2019.

Teaching Materials Icon © Flaticon/Goethe-Institut

  • Cotton and cork drawstring bags with the slogan "Eat. Sleep. Reuse. Reduce. Recycle. Repeat" © Goethe-Institut
    Cotton and cork drawstring bags with the slogan "Eat. Sleep. Reuse. Reduce. Recycle. Repeat"
  • Students planting vegetables in an upcycled container © Goethe-Institut
    Students planting vegetables in an upcycled container
  • Students presenting their ideas after the workshop "Sustainable consumption" © Goethe-Institut
    Students presenting their ideas after the workshop "Sustainable consumption"
  • A teacher with his #WunderbarTogether water bottle and sustainable drawstring bag © Goethe-Institut
    A teacher with his #WunderbarTogether water bottle and sustainable drawstring bag

Our Experts

Jamie P. Cloud © Jamie P. Cloud Jaimie P. Cloud has written several book chapters and articles, teaches extensively, and writes and facilitates the collaborative development of numerous instructional units and programs that are designed to teach across disciplines through the lens of sustainability. The Cloud Institute is dedicated to the vital role of education in creating awareness, fostering commitment, and guiding actions toward a healthy, secure and sustainable future.

Fish Game and Keynote
Jaimie will begin by engaging participants in an interactive, replicable, interdisciplinary simulation/game that combines systems thinking tools, science, and economics for a deeper understanding of our role in moving toward a more sustainable future.  This experience will be followed by a Keynote address and a discussion of mindsets, and the critical contribution education can make to the shift toward a sustainable future. 
 
Mini Design Studio: Educating for Sustainability by Design
 

Facilitated by Jaimie Cloud, this mini EfS Design Studio demonstrates how to transform existing units of study into units that educate for sustainability. To educate for sustainability, we start by looking for opportunities to innovate existing curriculum units in their current time frames.  The highest and best use of the term “sustain-ability” is as an aspiration for the purpose of a good education.  Using a “backwards design” approach we will choose and embed EfS enduring understandings, standards and performance indicators into participants’ existing core units of study. We recommend you bring a laptop with a memory stick, and a unit you want to “sustainablize”.   We will provide you with the tools, materials, and resources that you will use during the EfS Studio.
 
GOALS:
FAMILIARIZE - Become familiar with EfS Enduring Understandings, EfS Standards and Performance Indicators
DESIGN – Learn how to use backwards design to create EfS curricula, protocols and/or plans
ASSESS - Learn how to develop EfS assessments that produce and measure learning 
QUESTIONS WE WILL ADDRESS:
How can we design elegant units of study that educate for sustainability? 
How can Understanding by Design or a “backwards design” approach contribute to the design of EfS curricula?
How can we align EfS Core Standards/Outcomes with the ones our school/ State require? 

Facilitated by Jaimie Cloud, this mini EfS Design Studio demonstrates how to transform existing units of study into units that educate for sustainability. Using a “backwards design” approach we will choose and embed EfS enduring understandings, standards and performance indicators into participants’ existing core units of study.

 
Scott Smith © Scott Smith Scott Smith, Ph.D. Assistant Director, DePaul University Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development will host a Panel Discussion and Experimental Workshop:

The workshop and panel discussion explore the evolution of urban transportation and mobility in the United States, which has dramatically changed in recent years, in part because of new investments in active transportation and the explosive growth of shared-use modes (SUM) of travel such as ride sourcing, bike sharing, car sharing and, more recently, electric (e-) scooter-sharing.

Students are introduced to a variety of approaches to evaluate the sustainability of transportation systems and are challenged with developing strategies of their own to foster shifts from routine automobile travel to modes that enhance public health, economic activity and environmental quality.
 
S Joey Feinstein © Joey Feinstein ince 2009, Joey FineRhyme has educated over 70,000 students on sustainability. He energizes green education through a unique STEAM based approach that includes “Raptivism”: original rap music with educational content that inspires action. Joey will facilitate a Future Lab called "Facing Future". This lab is inspired by the idea that, in the words of the renowned German statistician and economist E.F. Schumacher, “our species is far too clever to survive without wisdom.” Whether it’s building better bombs or more sustainable buildings, STEAM’s ends have critical implications. By understanding the statistical trends and impacts of pollutants like plastic and CO2, we can inquire: how do we engineer our society to address these challenges?
Joey will close out the 2019 Sustainability Summit with a (W)Rap Up.
 
Anja Schmitt © Goethe-Institut Anja Schmitt works in education - as faculty in teacher training and in the training of students (subject didactics). In the field of Education for Sustainable Development, she has many years of experience in planning and implementing interdisciplinary projects and in implementing sustainability issues in teaching.

Sustainable Consumption - How does it work?
Clothing, food, electrical goods, cars, furniture, electricity, etc. Our society consumes twenty-four-seven. However, production requires a lot of resources, i.e. raw materials and labor. In addition, there are transport routes, packaging made of plastic and other materials and the problem of disposal with increasing mountains of trash and increasing environmental pollution.

But are all these items really necessary? How and from what are they produced? What happens when they are no longer needed? What does sustainable consumption mean and how does it work? These and other questions about consumption are the focus of Anja Schmitt's Future Lab.

We will use individual products and take a close look at their production chains and conditions and the effects on the environment, answering questions like: Why is palm oil production a problem for orangutans? How are jeans made? Under which conditions are rare earths extracted for mobile phone production?
The participants critically question their own consumption behavior and that of our society: How much, what and why is something consumed? How long is the "life" of a product? What are the consequences of my/our consumption? Afterwards, participants are encouraged to work creatively and on a visionary level - according to the motto "Anything is possible!” Here they can give free rein to their ideas and jointly outline visions of what sustainable consumption could look like. After a joint "reality check" of all concepts, the last step is to develop innovative ideas and practicable suggestions for sustainable consumption that participants can take with them to implement in their school community. 
Susan Ask © Susan Ask Susan Ask is the founder and director of animalia project, a non-profit that inspires people to create a better world for all of us. For more than 30 years, Susan has been working on sustainability — as a scientist, teacher, and steward. Susan has developed climate education and action programs with communities in Chicago, conducted field research throughout the US, co-created one of the first college campus sustainability programs, and led a green office initiative at the United Nations. She has a master’s degree from Yale University in Ecosystem Science and Management and a bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Kansas.
 
Climate action, big and small: Scaling up to make a difference in your life, your community and the world

The news and research about climate change can be discouraging, but in this Future Lab we will focus on solutions – and how to carry hope and strategies back to our homes and communities. The Lab will include a combination of expert presentations, small group discussions and online tools, with much of our time spent on guided exercises to develop climate plans. You’ll learn how to define a problem and explore solutions that match the scale of the issue. You’ll leave the workshop with a realistic plan for climate action that you can use at home and in your larger community—and a sense of hope that we will make a difference.



 
Paradigm-shift: From an apparently inexhaustible resource to the blue gold

The ancient Greek saying “Panta Rhei” means everything flows, everything is subject to eternal creation and change. It was mainly used in connection with water. Water has always played the most important role in cultures around the world. In some, water even had a divine status. This changed in modern times, especially in regions where water has never been scarce. For example in Middle Europe, water was taken as an inexhaustible resource. From today’s perspective, this view is a clear misjudgment. Clean drinking water has become a precious resource.

The workshop is aiming to develop a better understanding of the comprehensive issue “sustainability and water use”. To reach this goal, three subject areas will be addressed:

1. Why is water such a special substance?
- Chemical and physical characteristics of water
- How did water develop on earth?
- The water cycle and the distribution of water resources

2. Water use:
- Blue-green-gray water: The concept of virtual water
- Where is most of the water being used and who is using most of the water?
- Drinking water and hidden water

3. How can we improve the handling of a
diminishing resource?
- Water use efficiencies and the UN sustainable development goals
- Some numbers: Calculating the own water footprint
- What can be done by individuals?

The workshop setting alternates between short blocks of information, formulation of problems in group work and discussions. The desired aims of the workshop are that the participants will improve their understanding of the complex relationships, learn to improve their own acting in case of water use, but also learn to assess policy objectives and to develop their own guiding principles for a sustainable water use.

Roswitha Stolz © Roswitha Stolz „I am teaching physical geography at the University of Munich.  My research is focused on hydrology, water resources and sustainability. Personally I prefer water in its solid form”.
 
 
Future Lab: Food Waste and Organic Materials

This lab will explore the scope and causes of food and other organic wastes, and brainstorm solutions to reduce the amount of these materials that go to landfill. Different sectors of society will be examined, and participants will have a chance to act as both producers and recipients of “waste” materials. Real-world examples, policy and case studies will be considered, and participants will be encouraged to dream big dreams on how to “solve” the problem of food waste in innovative ways!
 
April Mahajan © April Mahajan April Mahajan is a dedicated urban resident who is ever intrigued and engaged by the boundless opportunities to make cities more equitable, sustainable and prosperous. Recovering resources - including food waste - has become a pillar in her work with events, facilities and communities who look to enhance operations in responsible manners.
 
Amy DeLorenzo © Amy DeLorenzo Amy DeLorenzo is a food waste scholar whose interest in the subject is grounded in social justice and redistribution of food to those in need. She has a master’s degree from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. When she’s not shaming her friends into composting, she can be found eating her way through the many delicious neighborhoods of Chicago.
 
Future Lab: Renewable Energy and Community

Evolving renewable energy technologies and resources are more accessible to consumers. This future lab will explore prospective renewable energy projects and procurement opportunities for communities to increase their renewable energy capacity. Students will examine tools to help them understand the State and local energy landscapes in order to be creative in identifying community-based renewable energy solutions.

Mindy Agnew © Mindy Agnew Mindy Agnew is co-founder of a sustainability advisory group and also serves as the Sustainability Coordinator for the Village of Oak Park in Illinois. Her duties include overseeing the community choice electricity aggregation program, identifying project funding opportunities, executing strategies that help achieve sustainability objectives and working with citizen volunteers on the energy and environment commission. Mindy has a background in business finance, sustainable community development, government operations, environmental science and conservation, and was part of an initial group that procured grant funding for resource reduction in Oak Park District 97 schools.

 
Experimental Workshop "Garden in a Box": Food, Water and Energy

How can urban spaces become abundant places for food production? How can we use what we have on hand to create gardens where there were none before? In this STEM-focused workshop,we will utilize the design process to define the problem of food deserts, design solutions with found materials, and work to create a “garden in a box” to bring home with your school team.

Carly Wyman © Carly Wyman Carly Wyman has been an agriculture and environmental educator for students pk- high school on Hawai'i Island since 2015. She is a co-founder and head of communications for the Center for Getting Things Started, a Hawai'i- based non- profit organization working to address the pressing issue of climate change through carbon negative events and education.
 
 
Experimental Game: Macroinvertebrate Mayhem is a Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) activity that illustrates how some macroinvertebrates are biological indicators for aquatic health due to their tolerance of water quality conditions. Students play a game of tag to simulate the effects of environmental stressors on macroinvertebrate populations.

Kristi Morris © Kristi Morris Kristi Morris is the Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. She is responsible for several annual programs and has attended hundreds of educational events where she actively engages students in a fun and energetic way. She also is a member of the Environmental Education Association of Illinois.
 
The Climate Reality presentation will cover the basics of climate change and how it affects every human and ecological system, from temperature to economics and social justice, along with the solutions at hand. The Climate Reality presentation reminds the audience that human-caused climate change and its consequences is not something that will happen in the future; it is very real and happening right now. This presentation will ask, with all of the news about electric vehicles, solar panels, and climate impacts, have you ever thought about what a 100% clean energy future would look like? What could that transition look like in Chicago and your community? And what can you do to step up and take action on climate at lead the way to a sustainable future and reverse this existential crisis? Presentation followed by a panel discussion with climate advocates and stakeholders from around Chicago.

Lucia Whalen © Lucia Whalen Lucia Whalen attended the Climate Reality Project Leadership Corps Conference in Miami, Florida in 2015 where she was trained to present the Climate Reality slideshow by former Vice President Al Gore. Since then, she has presented Climate Reality presentations to classrooms and organizations throughout Chicago. She returned to the Houston 2016 conference as a mentor for new trainees as well as Denver in 2017, where she shared the stage with Al Gore on a panel discussing her climate activism.
Lucia is a founding member of the Chicago Chapter of the Climate Reality Project and serves on the leadership board. The Chapter is part of a coalition, along with Sierra Club, working on committing Chicago to transition to 100% renewable energy. In 2017, Lucia started Forest Park's first environmental group, Go Green Forest Park, and is currently a Masters of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy candidate at the University of Illinois at Chicago.   
 
Mark has been with Friends of the Chicago River since September 2007. He has managed the Chicago River Schools Network since that time, and has recently begun training volunteers to repair gullies, monitor wildlife habitat and conduct plant surveys along the river in support of restoration projects.

Mark Hauser ©Mark Hauser He attended Ohio State University, where he received an M.S. in Natural Resources with a focus on environmental education. He has written environmental curricula for the Chicago Park District and the new Chicago Riverwalk and regularly teaches ecology classes for NEIU, UIC, Loyola University, DePaul University, and Roosevelt University.
 

Experimental Workshop - Water
 
Sum of the Parts

(30-40 minutes)
 
Students demonstrate how everyone contributes to the pollution of a river as it flows through a watershed and recognize that everyone's "contribution" can be reduced.
 
Objectives:
Students will:
  • distinguish between point and nonpoint source pollution
  • recognize that everyone contributes to and is responsible for a river’s or lake's water quality
  • identify Best Management Practices (BMPs) to reduce pollution. 
Simulation of Environmental Decision Making
(45-55 minutes)
 
An activity to simulate real-world decisions individuals and communities make regarding land and water use, and how those decisions can affect others, either intentionally or unintentionally.
 
Objectives:
Students will
  • learn to read a map and distinguish spatial arrangements of resources
  • recognize a point of view that may differ from their own and support a decision through a debate process
  • participate in a community meeting and the process of compromise
  • determine consequences on other community groups of decisions made
How do we connect and build with community residents around sustainable practices and the environment on the Westside of Chicago? This workshop is aimed at finding new ways to create connections with everyday people to inform and take action that will help to transform the Westside block by block. We will experience the power of relationship building to find new ways of being to create transformation beyond what we see possible by empowering participants to be free, open, and present.

Vanessa Stokes, Artist and Community Organizer © Vanessa Stokes Vanessa Stokes is an artist, community organizer and a resident of the Westside of Chicago. For the last 12 years, Vanessa has been building community around art and sustainable practices by building strong bonds with community residents, businesses and organizations.
Also, Vanessa is the owner of VS Creative Consulting LLC an artist representative firm where her main client is Dorrell Creightney, Vanessa's Father.

Currently, Vanessa is planning the Winter 2019 Re-Awakening Vision exhibition at the Swedish American Museum of Chicago. Furthermore, she is collaborating with Chicago Park District's TRACE (Teens Re-imaging Art, Community & Environment) program at Austin Town Hall Park on the Westside, including The Hatchery Community Advisory Committee, Advisory Circle at the Oak Park River Forest Community Foundation and the Westside Cluster Lead for the One Earth Film Festival.
Building Resilience Through Wellness

The topic of sustainability is one that has become very popular over the last several years. There has been a ton of research on how to best design sustainable cities, how to implement sustainable manufacturing practices, and how to sustainably generate energy to meet our growing needs, but very little research has been done in terms of how to raise and build up sustainable human beings.  

In this workshop we will be focusing on the topic of health and wellness and the important role that it plays in the lives of children and young adults not only in their schools, but in their communities and in all of our futures. Together Bryan and Marney will be talking about how the Wellness Program at the Academy for Global Citizenship looks like, how sustainable practices are implemented all around, and how we are working to support our students and all the lives that they touch. 
 
We will be sharing stories, advice, tips, and resources on how participants can work on becoming stronger, more resilient human beings that are willing to lead the fight for positive change in our world. 

Bryan Soto © Bryan Soto
Bryan Soto is a Health and Wellness teacher for 3rd-8th graders at the Academy for Global Citizenship. Over the last 5 years he has taught students about healthy eating and physical activity, as well as lifestyle practices that will ultimately help make them more confident, resilient, sustainable (and happy!) human beings.   



Marney Coleman © Marney Coleman Marney Coleman is the Sustainability Coordinator at the Academy for Global Citizenship.She works to align AGC's school culture, curriculum, and operations to its mission and vision of sustainability. This includes working with teachers to integrate sustainability into the curriculum; collaborating with parents on family events; and working with our kitchen staff on our organic, scratch-made food program. 


 

More Highlights

Mit Deutsch weißt du mehr! © Goethe-Institut / Kids Interactive

Digital Kinderuniversity

This completely free, entirely online-based program allows students to learn German while watching fun videos about science experiments. Enjoy!

Berlin Step Into German

Award of Excellence

The Award of Excellence is an annual contest dating back to 1991. Every year a short video portrays some aspect of German life and students complete a quiz on the video. A fantastic prize awaits our lucky winners: An all-expenses paid, three-week chaperoned trip to Germany including flight, a German language course, meals and accommodations. 

Erfinderland © Goethe-Institut

“Erfinderland” - land of inventors Germany exhibit to tour the US!

Cars, computers, aspirin: Do you know about the many things you use in your daily life that were invented in Germany? Starting in October you will have the chance to learn more about all of these at the “land of inventors Germany”, a hands on exhibit travelling across the US. Things kick off in New York at the local Goethe-Institut. More info and complete tour schedule can be found here.


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