PCC’s Sylvania Campus to host GPSEN sustainability symposium

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As the greater Portland region continues to grow and create more sustainable practices, regional leaders will gather at Portland Community College’s Sylvania Campus (ST 100 and Performing Arts Center) to participate in the Greater Portland Sustainability Education Network’s (GPSEN) first annual Sustainability Symposium from 1-9 p.m., Friday, Jan. 27.

Co-sponsored by PCC and the Port of Portland, GPSEN’s symposium will highlight academic and community research on sustainability issues in the Portland region through presentations, workshops, displays, awards and networking opportunities.

The keynote speaker is Hatch Innovation founder and Executive Director Amy Pearl.

The keynote speaker is Hatch Innovation founder and Executive Director Amy Pearl.

“The Sustainability Symposium will focus on cutting-edge research and curriculum, and how to discover hope and inspiration in a changing world,” said PCC sociology instructor and GPSEN coordinator Kim Smith. “Guests will learn about the power of collaboration and ways to network and engage for a sustainable future, especially here in the Portland metro area.”

The event will attract a variety of sustainability professionals including business leaders, educators, non-profits, government officials, students, and community members who are interested in the future of Portland’s sustainability efforts.

The keynote speaker is Hatch Innovation founder and Executive Director Amy Pearl, who was named the Portland Business Journal’s 2015 Women of Influence award winner. She founded the non-profit more than 10 years ago to enable people to launch enterprises that improve communities, addressing local and global challenges.

Recently, she authored the law that has become Oregon’s new crowd-funding exemption to invest in local businesses.

The afternoon features presentations, workshops and panel discussions. Following a networking reception from 5:30-7 p.m., the evening will commence with PCC President Mark Mitsui and Sylvania Campus President Lisa Avery welcoming the audience and highlighting college sustainability efforts. Pearls’ keynote will be followed by a recognition ceremony with awards presented to community leaders: Charity Fain and Sherrie Pelsma, representing the Community Energy Project; PCC economics instructor Joel Magnuson; youth advocate Ibrahim Ibrahim, with the Muslim Education Trust; and Christian Ettinger, owner of Hopworks Urban Brewery.

General admission tickets are $10 and student tickets can be purchased for $5. Tickets for the event and the complete program can be found at www.gpsen.org.

GPSEN is a multi-sector network of educators, students, non-profits, political and industry leaders, organizations, and community members collaborating to promote sustainability education in the Portland Metro region, including Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington Counties, in Oregon, and Clark County in Washington.

Acknowledged as a Regional Center of Expertise (RCE) on education for sustainable development (ESD) by United Nations University in 2013, GPSEN is part of a coalition of 149 RCEs around the world, including four in the United States.

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