No Money No Travel No Problem: UNC Focus Forward 2010


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Summer 2008. The Sustainability Committee of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, decided to host a traditional one-day, drive-in conference focusing on some of the best sustainable practices being developed by the sixteen institutions that make up the University of North Carolina system. The Conference, UNC Focus Forward, was going to be the first organized attempt to bring together the “movers and shakers” on each campus to share their successes (and failures) in building a more sustainable campus. But on the way to implementing the conference, the economy collapsed, travel was frozen, and hosting a traditional conference in the spring of 2009 was dead. End of story? Flash forward to spring 2010 when the UNCG Sustainability Committee “virtually” hosts UNC Focus Forward, an online conference focusing on some of the best sustainable practices in the 16 campus UNC system schools. The conference had both in-person and virtual presenters who presented to a virtual audience from across the state. This presentation will provide a “behind the scenes” look at the process used to surmount the obstacles inherent to a traditional conference and highlight the benefits of presenting a sustainable event. In bringing together students, staff and faculty from various institutions to learn about best practices regarding sustainability, UNC Focus Forward provided a sustainable collaboration that not only is impervious to budgetary “hiccups, ” but also models sustainable practices. WARNING: This is not a technical “how to” presentation but one where technophobes will feel right at home.

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  • w/ jenny paige as leader… began the conference details….. contacted UNC systemwide sustain folks, news people on campuses, and various lists and other ways to get word out. Asked local sponsors ($100) who can be at the Expo during event. Arrange some presenters various areas/topics from various UNC schools to present on best practices in their areas. Send out hold the date notices.
  • Schedule: 1st Evening (allow people to travel here during day) arrival, registration, networking time, evening tour & possible reception at Proximity hotel (a silver leed hotel) or the weather art museum on campus.
    Possibly skype in a Keynote Speaker
    Dinner on your own (maps of green/local restaurants) – or have sign ups w local person to transport people to dinners

    2nd day (Friday) all day 4 sessions slots w/ 3 concurrent sessions at each time; lunch table topics; sustain expo all day
  • End of semester… what to do? Gather presentations, create a portal? – some presenters hadnt done presentations, no incentive to do one for “nothing”, who will encourage them, create portal and follow up. At this Jenny leaves! No leader, everyone struggling w/ budget issues, put on hold until fall.

    In fall… A group of us gathered to try and keep the sustain committee going during this time of crunch and lack of leadership (meanwhile hope is we will be able to create a sustainability coordinator position now moved under Facilities and not OWRR)….
  • Cut back and simplify.
    One day only.
    No concurrent sessions.
    Mainly local speakers (one presenter came to our campus; one came in virtually)
    Committee and speakers in one room (teaching center smart classroom w/ mic)
    Tech person on committee; set time to test room for participants; set time to test with virtual presenters & in person presenters ahead of time
    Video recording of Chancellor talks instead of live

  • Elluminate screen shot – anyone used elluminate?
    In room its projected on the wall for us to see
    But some of use are in virtually in ellumiante to 1) make sure sound is ok and 2) to manage questions/chat 3) for tech support
  • Academics & Culture Sustainability Across the Curriculum: 1)Ecomusicology 2) integrating envi literacy into core programs
    Energy & Water Climate Change Mitigation & Sustainable Energy Initiatives
    Green Building Master Planning for a Sustainable Campus
    Grounds Maintenance 1)Sustainable Practices in Facilities 2) Grounds & Housekeeping 3) waste reduction and recylcing
    Transportation & Campus Access Sustainable Transportation Practices
  • We have about 45 max, but people came and went so average about 25-30
  • What to do during breaks and lunch? Show out shorts!
    Sponsored by the UNCG sustain committee’s communications and outreach group (who runs monthly films!)

    The entries were screened as part of the UNCG Sustainability Film Series at the Weatherspoon Art Museum at 6:30 on the evening of March 25.  Judging was based upon criteria that included, concept, cinematography, acting, production quality, costuming, and writing. The amazing band Invisible played for the reception, in the surroundings of the amazing installation by Leonardo Drew in the atrium, and our local Zaytoons provided the delicious food!
  • We did a zoomerang survey of all participants w/ good feedback on conference! All “agree” or better. Only 1 person disagrees about method communication was effective. (of course less than half responded to the survey)

    Another university offered to host next year!

    We hope to get more support this year to really build a quality portal - which might come after the next Focus Forward.
  • No Money No Travel No Problem: UNC Focus Forward 2010

    1. 1. No Money, No Travel, No Problem! UNC Focus Forward 2010 AASHE 2010 Presentation by: Beth Filar Williams, UNCG (Guy Sanders, Sarah Dorsey, Anna Marshall Baker of UNCG)
    2. 2. Outline: •Committee’s background & history •Original UNC Focus Forward idea •Problems  New concept •Tweaking for virtual •Results & next steps •You can do this too!
    3. 3. Mission To shape a legacy of ecological stewardship, social equity, and prosperity for future generations. Charge To identify and recommend responsible and sustainable practices in all aspects of our institutional culture, including operational activities, academic programs and community relationships. UNC Sustainability Policy from The UNC Policy Manual 600.6.1 Adopted 10/09/09 Structure Consists of students, faculty and staff. Co-chairs of committee include one faculty and one staff person. Working groups (8-12) consist of members of committee, with one person serving on the Council of Representatives, to make decisions on the larger, broader structure and governance of the committee. UNCG University Committee on Sustainability
    4. 4. Thursday. April 2nd. 2009 Weatherspoon Art Museum or Proximity Hotel ? 2 - 5pm Registration Table 5pm Networking Reception 5:30 - 6:30pm Keynote Speaker - Matthew St. Clair, Sustainability Manager, University of California Office of the President ( virtual?) 6:30pm Dinner on your own - List of Local Eateries – arrange groups/local leader? Friday April 3rd 2009 UNCG Elliot Center 8am - 4pm Sustainability Expo in EUC auditorium lobby 8 - 10am Coffee Break in EUC auditorium lobby / Expo Space 9 - 9:30am Opening remarks & welcome by Chancellor Brady 9:45 - 11am Concurrent Sessions: A, B, C 11:15am - 12:30pm Concurrent Sessions: D, E, F 12:30 - 1:30pm LUNCH - Break-out sessions in Spencer's - Tables grouped by topics 1:45 - 3pm Concurrent Sessions: G, H, I 3:15 - 4:30pm Concurrent Sessions: J, K, L 4:30 - 5pm Closing remarks
    5. 5. The Great Budget Freeze of 2009
    6. 6. Portal?
    7. 7. Virtual?!?YES! a virtual conference!
    8. 8. UNC Focus Forward Best Practices in Sustainability April 7, 2010 9:00 am – 9:05am – Opening remarks & welcome by Chancellor Brady 9:05 am - 9:15 am - UNC 2050 Goals for Sustainability 9:15 am – 9:30 am – Conference Overview 9:30 am -10:30 am - Session #1 10:30 am -10:45 am -Sustainable Short 10:45 am – 11:45 pm – Session 2 11:45 am – 1:00 pm LUNCH & Sustainable Shorts 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm – Session 3 2:00 pm – 2:15 pm – Sustainable Short 2:15 pm – 3:15 pm – Session 4 3:15 pm – 3:30 pm - Sustainable Short 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm - Session 5 4:30pm – 5:00pm – Closing & Next Steps
    9. 9. Elluminate screen shot Elluminate Live! Screenshot
    10. 10.
    11. 11. In Person Conference • Cost of travel • Cost for venue • Cost for food • Cost for handouts Virtual Conference • NO travel • NO venue • NO (little) food • NO handouts
    12. 12. Be Green: Host Virtual Conferences @ your university •Existing software on campus? •Try free trials of software to test •Free Software: • • •
    13. 13. …maybe AASHE will offer a virtual track(or conference) soon to model their sustainability mission!
    14. 14. Beth Filar Williams