Feb 3, 2010

Notes from the Diversity and Sustainability Pre-Summit hosted by Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

35 people, including representatives from Western Washington University, Pacific Lutheran University, Seattle Aquarium, City of Seattle Dept. of Neighborhoods, Yes Magazine, Environmental Education in Washington, Facing the Future, SAM Sculpture Park, Washington State University, Seattle Public Utilities, E3 and Environmental Education in Washington and Sustainable Seattle!
The purpose of the meeting was to take the next steps from our first meeting, held in October, addressing diversity and sustainability in education. These first steps were to identify where we needed to go: We need to allow students to define sustainability for themselves. We need to get the students involved. We need to have a summit, We need to take action. We need to prepare students to be global citizens.
We broke out into sessions to address two issues: what the puposes of summit and logistics for a summit. Notes are below:
Purposes of a summit:
  • Empower youth today and in the future
  • Expose and Explore big ideas as a way to go forward, Learn about ideas and actions
  • Provide and create tools for making a difference in the world, Open career options
  • Become a better person, Become stewards of the earth: Why is the earth important to me?
  • Ensure focus on Diversity and Sustainability
  • Foster and sustain connections to home, provide service learning, build a sense of community, Building connections – cross grades and cross schools
  • We have “outnumbered and outdone” the kids . What does a youth led summit look like? Youth provide are powerful, diverse voices to bring diverse interest and cultures within the youth to the summit
  • Create a space where everyone is equal, Living democracy, sharing ideas, youth involved in decision-making
  • Inclusion of multiple generations, horizontal expertise – many fields and perspectives
  • Let’s identify why are we here? What is driving us to create change? How can schools and education change to better serve students, teach them environmentalism and social justice. What is an educated citizen? Make connections for youth in isolated
  • How and why do we name things. Be more aware of each other.
  • Shift our value, How do we get people to trust each other
Logistics: What does a Summit Look Like?
  • Half day summit focused on ideas and half day of actions
  • Half day teach-ins, un-conference/open source Modeled after Bioneers with satellites reaching out into the community, from organizations to webinars and podcasts.
  • Have Charter and sign up for “days of commitment” for four days a year (potential charter: “We recognize humanity is dependent upon human diversity and biodiversity and commit to social justice, human equity and environmental sustainability.”)
  • Student lead and student based. Let students experience this.
  • Reach out to the West and East side – create and sustain access. Several summits like E3 did, what youth are involved, cultural relevancy
  • Include an entrepreneurial piece
  • Many organizations doing cool things How do we ensure we do not re-invent the wheel & leverage local resources. We need to rely on the planning to be done on a realistic level, support their efforts and let them identify what needs to be addressed and put on. Dovetailing with other events that speak to various populations. :OSPI Sustainable Design – statewide project (30 teachers in K-12). Statewide service learning conference. Earth day. Environment day
  • Be a safe place where people can trust each other.
  • Schools are communities. Each school could hold its own summit with the students asking what they envision for their own community and then design their own plans and actions.

We finished with sessions to design a logo and determining next steps: Continue conversation on NING, determine the next step with the Summit.
Thank you!

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