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Creative Genius Unleashed at Sustainability Summit

By Barb Scavezze

The Alliance for Community Transition - South Sound (ACT-SS) held a Sustainability Summit: Unleashing Our Creative Genius on Saturday, April 14, 2012, at South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC), which was hosted by BRICK, a SPSCC student organization. The Alliance is a network of organizations and individuals working to cultivate community action in response to a changing climate, diminishing resources, and economic uncertainty.

The goal of the Summit was to bring our community together to raise public awareness about these problems, celebrate local action that address them, and begin developing an action plan to transition our local community from a petroleum dependent lifestyle to a more sustainable, resilient and joyful way of living. Attendees "unleashed their creative genius" and identified multiple ways to key into new or already formed projects and groups during the breakout sessions.

A panel of local experts shared their perspectives on Water (Nadine Romero, Thurston County hydrogeologist), Transportation and Land Use (Thera Black, Thurston Regional Planning Council), Materials Management and Product Stewardship (Terri Thomas, Thurston County Solid Waste), Energy (Kirk Haffner, South Sound Solar), Local Economy (John MacLean, Energy Efficiency Finance Corp.), and Food Security and Land Use (Kim Gaffi, GRuB), followed by an update of the Local Food Movement (TJ Johnson, Sustainable South Sound).

During the lunch hour, a fantastic array of community and governmental groups and businesses shared their missions with participants through information booths. The Artesian Rumble Arkestra and the Aztec Dance troop Grupo Quetzalcoatl provided lively and uplifting entertainment.

Keynote speaker David Korten inspired the audience with his message of action and resilience. Korten is the co-founder of Yes! Magazine and author of The Great Turning, Agenda for a New Economy, The Post-Corporate World, and When Corporations Rule the World.

The Summit kicked off our transition to a resilient, sustainable and more hopeful future that is dependent upon human resourcefulness, renewable energy, and a healthy natural environment. Workgroups are forming around some of the creative ideas generated at the event, to develop an action plan that may ultimately contribute ideas to enhance City comprehensive plans and the Thurston Regional Planning Council's sustainability grant. Those who were unable to attend are encouraged to find a way to connect in spirit and future action through perusing highlights of the Summit, available at www.TransitionOlympia.org.


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