Oct 1, 2008

Program Focus Area - Community Connections

Sustainable Seattle is a convener...

Community Connections is one of Sustainable Seattle's three focus areas. The goal of this focus area is to build a network of sustainability practitioners to address challenges and opportunities, as well as share successes. Our strategy to accomplish this goal is to connect and convene diverse practitioners, provide networking and support opportunities, and inspire practitioners to lead change.

Below you will find more information on the programs in this focus area.

Celebrate Local. Spearheaded by S2, Celebrate Local is a collaborative initiative in the Seattle and Puget Sound area to promote local communities and economies during major holidays and community events. The goals of the initiative are to build social capital, invest in the local economy, learn about global cultures, reduce environmental impacts, and help those in need. Individuals, businesses, nonprofits, agencies, and community groups from around the Puget Sound are invited to share their actions and stories in the 'Celebrate Local' discussions on our Synergy blog. To become a partner in the campaign, contact Megan, Action Agenda Coordinator for Communities Count, megan@sustainableseattle.org. You can find more on specific campaigns here: 2008 Celebrate Local Campaign. >> Read more here...

Legacy Awards. S2 has a long tradition of recognizing the sustainability achievements of organizations, individuals, businesses, and government agencies in Seattle and the Puget Sound region. We offer our awards annually and are pleased to say that are more and more efforts worthy of recognition each year. Keep an eye on our "News & Events" area on our homepage for the next awards event. From 2001 to 2004 we presented our awards as the 'Sustainable Community Outstanding Leadership Awards (SCOLA). You can learn more about these awards here.

Peer Alliance for Leadership in Sustainability (PALS). PALS is a networking model developed by one of our early fiscal sponsees, the Sustainable Syle Foundation. PALS is a network of professionals that are actively integrating sustainability into their work and/or companies/organizations. Organized by neighborhood, city, or industry. PALS participants meet twice a year (Spring and Fall) for a half- or one-day, informal meeting/retreat hosted by a member of PALS and facilitated by S2. PALS will provide participants the opportunity to:
  • learn about current and future sustainability efforts underway among their peers
  • stay up-to-date on current and future sustainability issues and trends that affect their industry
  • exchange best-practices

  • Sustainable Cities. More and more cities and communities around the world are working towards sustainability goals. But there are still few venues where they can come together to share ideas, challenges, and successes. We have several projects that will start to address this issue.
  • Our Sustainable Sister Cities project that will utilize the strong relationships between sister cities to advance sustainability in both cities
  • Our SCAN blog will offer the latest news and information from sustainable cities around the world and create a community of international leaders in urban sustainability
  • We will partner with Sustainable Communities All Over Puget Sound (SCALLOPS) to help drive big, fast regional change

  • Sustainability in Arts & Culture. The more we work in sustainability, the more we realize that its not just about gathering people to discuss and create change. We have to celebrate successes, stay inspired, and have some fun along the way too. One of the ways we do this is by connecting with the many dynamic arts and cultural resources and events in the Seattle and Puget Sound region. From museums going green and performances of 'Sustainability Night Live' to cultural festivals and equitable access to the arts, S2 will work to both bring arts & culture to the sustainability world and bring sustainability to the arts & culture world.

    Sustainability Summits. An integral part of S2 and our new B-Sustainable website is bringing community constituents together to define meaningful indicators and collaborate on acting on those indicators. To do this, S2 will organize ‘sustainability summits’ by key subjects such as food systems, transportation, salmon conservation, etc. and by neighborhoods to do just that. By bringing all the constituents to the table around one topic, we can truly implement systemic sustainable solutions. We will also offer targeted workshops and courses in association with the summits to educate and better align participants. Sustainable Summits will make the most out of S2’s unique position in the community to convene individuals, agencies, companies and organizations around a common goal.

    New Website. As part of being a convener and clearinghouse of information, we are launching new website that will allow S2 to easily communicate to the community, as well as foster a more interactive discussion on sustainability. We will develop ‘blog campaigns’ that will engage and inspire users through topical discussions, polls, community questions, guest bloggers, etc. The blog will also allow us to further demonstrate our focus on systems thinking and planning by using the dynamic features of blogging technology.

    Sustainable Partnership And Resource Center (SPARC). Its been on our 'To Do' list for many years but starting in 2008 S2 began working with other Seattle and regional sustainability nonprofits on a long-term vision to create a ‘sustainability center’ facility to house nonprofit offices, exhibits, conferences, restaurants, retail spaces, etc. If you've been to our offices located at the Vance Building lately, you've actually experience the first phase of this effort that we're calling 'Mini SPARC'. Just in our current office we have multiple nonprofits, a gallery, a library, and will soon have a classroom.

    Past Projects
    Sustainable Urban Neighborhoods Initiative. The Sustainable Urban Neighborhoods Initiative (SUNI) worked with local communities and city government from 2004 to 2006 to build understanding about neighborhood concerns and strengths, collect data on neighborhood health (both assets and deficits) and promote actions to improve Seattle neighborhoods. You can learn more abotu othe SUNI project here.