Participate in the new GSC Peer Cohort learning experience next spring

Published on: 
Thursday, October 27, 2022
Phoebe Beierle

Government and nonprofit champions, green building professionals, educators, and school district education and facilities leaders working to advance green and sustainable schools will gather Feb. 27–March 1, 2023, in New Orleans, Louisiana, for the annual Green Schools Conference (GSC).

Every year, GSC attendees voice the value of convening a diverse group of professionals representing a variety of roles and a keen desire for dedicated time with peers to share challenges, brainstorm solutions and swap resources. Building on the success of past stakeholder group trainings, attendees of the 2023 GSC will experience a new, immersive conference format designed to facilitate meaningful peer-to-peer conversations that lead into a full day of consequential interdisciplinary content.

New program design: Peer Cohorts

From Feb. 27 to 28, attendees will participate in one of four self-selected Peer Cohort tracks, based on stakeholder professional roles. The peer-to-peer focused content is expertly curated, allowing focused time to make relevant connections and fully leverage the collective knowledge of this community, exchanging insightful ideas and strategies. Explore the cohort program below.

Educators and school leaders

Program and agenda designed and facilitated by Green Schools National Network.

Formal educators, school and district leaders, and school district staff interested in strategic planning for whole school/district sustainability will gather for hands-on exploration of what a healthy, equitable and sustainable school entails. Participants will learn about the four impact systems identified in the GreenPrint—Leadership, Culture and Climate, Facilities and Operations, and Curriculum and Instruction—and then visit a local school to analyze the framework. Participants will consider how their own school or district is doing related to the four impact systems and draft a plan for systemic, lasting change.

School district capital and facilities staff

Program and agenda designed and facilitated by the Center for Green Schools.

District-level staff dedicated to sustainability, environmental health and green school buildings will dive deep into challenges and hot topics facing their industry. Participants will begin with a leadership training focused on mapping and assessing current partnerships that support sustainability programs. From there, participants will experience a series of peer-to-peer presentations, followed by group discussion on topics including indoor air quality, leveraging federal funding, zero waste, sustainability and climate action planning, decarbonization, equity, and more. Attendees will leave the conference with valuable resources for taking next steps on various sustainability topics in their own school districts.

Green building professionals interested in school design and construction

Program and agenda designed and facilitated by the Center for Green Schools.

Those involved in the design, construction, engineering and manufacturing of green schools will gather to learn about new trends, technologies and strategies, as well as engage in dialogue about the future of the green building industry with their peers. Leaning on collective experience and expert insights, participants will hear presentations from industry experts on the following topics: impacts of COVID-19; balancing safety, security and student wellness; decarbonization; the future of green building; and the design community’s role in leading change for greener schools. Participants will have plenty of time to connect, share and develop plans for achieving more equitable, efficient and resilient schools.

Green school advocates and government and community partners

Program and agenda designed and facilitated by EcoRise.

Supporting national and local nonprofit, government and other green school leaders, this track will feature deep dialogue and activities aimed at strengthening the green schools movement with a focus on equity, climate resilience and systems change. Participants will explore the state of green schools and environmental education and will examine a variety of issues, including social vulnerability, environmental pollutants, climate risk, health, workforce development and green infrastructure. With data and tools built through the Gen:Thrive initiative, attendees will investigate program trends across the U.S., identify barriers and gaps in services, and explore opportunities for alliance-building and transformative action.

At the close of this two-day peer-cohort program, we have an amazing New Orleans culinary experience planned. Don’t miss our Peer Cohort Dine Arounds to connect with like-minded professionals and share takeaways over dinner! Explore the GSC program.

The final day of the conference, March 1, offers a full day of interdisciplinary content on a variety of topics, ranging from green workforce development to food forests to indoor air quality successes. Attendees will select sessions of their choice throughout the day and gather as a full group for mainstage moments like a keynote presentation from Charles Eisenstein, the Green Schools Awards Luncheon, and networking opportunities like the Closing Reception.

Learn more about GSC