The Sustainability Summit invites students from all across Alberta to engage in sustainability topics through keynote speakers, panel discussions and small group talks. The theme of this year was "Power & Prosperity: The relationship between energy systems and communities". This topic is especially critical in Alberta where we live and breathe oil (my dad and I often laugh about how his work on well-sites is paying my way through a conservation/tree-hugging degree). Working in the Office of Sustainability at the University of Calgary, I've really come to value these conferences and summits and see them as a critical opportunity for myself to witness how other people see sustainability and to learn different or innovative ways of approaching the problems that Calgary and our institution faces when tackling
Despite being only a day-and-a-half conference, my notebook looks like I've spent weeks there! I don't think that I have ever learnt more in my entire life, and I was so moved by how many people participated and the quality of discussions. I was particularly impressed by the calibre of the speakers that the U of A Office of Sustainability/Sustain SU brought in and the diversity of perspectives. Each and every one was engaging and clearly an expert in their own field; all the sessions I went to were clear with their facts and expressed their own opinions freely while still delivering data and presenting the opinions of the opposing side without defaulting to a Straw Man.
As far as conferences go, i think that this was one of the most well-organized ones that I have ever been to. I am currently in the process of developing a presentation along with my co-workers who attended on what we have learned and what we still can learn from the University of Alberta. We will be expanding on the specific presentations and especially focusing on the incredible keynote speakers. I look forward to sharing that presentation with you soon!