September 29, 2016

Conference aims to ‘demystify sustainability’

Webster University will host its fifth annual conference on sustainability in October, focus- ing on the theme “Demystifying Sustainability: The Impact of the Individual.”

The conference brings to- gether “local food providers, environmental professionals, urban ecology experts, student activists and other local sustain- ability champions” to discuss is- sues related to sustainability and the environment,” according to webster.edu/sustainability.

Featured speakers include Catherine Werner, the Director of Sustainability for the City of St. Louis and Kevin Coval, a Chicago poet and activist.

Kelsey Wingo, Webster’s sustainability coordinator, said Coval was chosen as a keynote speaker because he brings an ar- tistic perspective to the issue of sustainability.

“That’s something that a lot of folks on this campus and in this area connect with,” Wingo said.

Wingo said the theme of the conference will focus on an individual’s ability to help create a more sustainable world and the different meanings that sustain- ability can have in various in- dustries and communities, specifically in St. Louis.

The conference will take place on Saturday, October 8 in the East Academic Building. Registration is free for Webster students, faculty and staff and costs $20 for other participants.

Wingo said her goal for the conference is to bring together diverse perspectives and she hoped it would achieve high attendance.

“Conversations about issues like sustainability don’t work unless as many voices are in the room as possible,” she said.

In addition to the conference, Webster’s sustainability office is working on several new projects this year.

The Gorloks Going Green, or G3, peer educator program will offer workshops led by students about sustainable living on campus.

The office is also working towards initiating a bikesharing program using bikes that have been abandoned on campus by former students.

Wingo said she hopes more students will be inspired to get involved in sustainability issues.

“It’s something that benefits everyone, that affects everyone,” she said.

Registration for the conference is available online at web- ster.edu/sustainability/conference.register.html.

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