GPSEN Think Tank

Thursday, November 9
11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Community Energy Project
2900 SE Stark St – Suite #A, Portland

Join the GPSEN Think Tank members in a discussion of current sustainability issues. The Think Tank provides a forum for innovative discussions, allowing researchers, visionaries, and all who are interested in asking deeper cultural and policy questions to talk about how to use concepts and theories to help create a more sustainable future. Everyone’s ideas are welcome!


Mid-October Newsletter

Congratulations to Portland Community College, which just won the 2017 Second Nature Climate Leadership Award for two-year colleges! The national honor recognizes innovative and advanced leadership in sustainability, climate mitigation, and resilience at signatory campuses of the Presidents’ Climate Leadership CommitmentsSecond Nature and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced that Loyola University Chicago (a four-year college) and PCC are the only recipients of this highly competitive national award. GPSEN Board member Briar Schoon, PCC’s Sustainability Manager, will be heading to the national Greenbuild Conference next month to accept the award on PCC’s behalf. Read more about this prestigious honor.

This month we celebrate UN Day, October 24, which commemorates the day the United Nations was officially born in 1945 out of the ashes of World War II. We invite you to celebrate this historic event with us on Sunday, October 22 at Global Goals, Local Leaders, a free event GPSEN that is co-sponsored with the UN Association PortlandHosteling International, and GlobalPDX. See details below.

We pause here to reflect on the announcement last week that the United States is withdrawing from UNESCO – the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. Please take a moment to listen to the UNESCO Director’s powerful statement about why she regrets the US withdrawal and why UNESCO is important to the American people. UNESCO’s website also offers a wealth of information about its programs and about education for sustainable development.

GPSEN is proud to be a part of UN University’s worldwide RCE network, which serves a valuable educational function as part of an effort to carry out UNESCO’s Global Action Program to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The SDGs were unanimously approved by UN Members, including the US, in 2015. We will continue to carry on this work, because we are all engaged in learning and teaching ways to create a healthier, more peaceful, just, equitable, and sustainable world. That begins at home and in our communities, not in the distant marble halls of politics. We look forward to the day when all of the nations of the world are working together to achieve a better future for all of the people and creatures that share our planet. We invite you to join GPSEN as a volunteerpartner, or sponsor in this important work.

For more information, view our mid-October Newsletter.

Lin Harmon-Walker
GPSEN Executive Director


November News

Congratulations to GPSEN partner Trash for Peace, which won an EPA grant for its Sustainability Education Program. Trash for Peace will be partnering with Home ForwardPeople-Places-ThingsConfluence Environmental CenterLeaven Community, and the City of Gresham. The work will foster environmental sustainability and stewardship through solid waste disposal education for youth at various affordable housing properties in areas that have high rates of poverty and lack options for proper trash disposal and recycling. We are proud to have Trash for Peace president, Laura Kutner on GPSEN’s board of directors.

Congratulations are also in order to Portland Community College for winning the 2017 Climate Leadership Award. PCC is a founding member of GPSEN and is committed to working on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. You can learn more about PCC’s commitment to sustainability practices and sustainability education in this video by PCC president, Mark Mitsui.

We want to thank everyone who came to the “Global Goals, Local Leaders” celebration of UN Day at the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) in October. It was a remarkable event, with excellent food for thought provided by our inspiring speakers, Djimet Dogo from Africa House and Jordie Hannum from the Better World Campaign (pictured below). We also thank the volunteers from GPSEN, the United Nations Association-Portland and Hosteling International USA-Portland Hawthorne Hostel who helped make it happen.

View our November newsletter

Lin Harmon-Walker
GPSEN Executive Director


Resource: Higher Education Paving the Way to Sustainable Development

The International Association of Universities (IAU) has launched a report of its 2016 global survey on Higher Education and Research for Sustainable Development (HESD). They surveyed 120 higher education institutions worldwide with a goal of understanding the key role higher education plays in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The results underline that universities are involved in sustainable development and integrate it in their strategic development plans. However, there is still room for progress. In this publication you will find inspiring sustainability initiatives undertaken by IAU Members worldwide, so get inspired and commit to the SDGs!


Resource: Teaching Teens About Climate Change

Green Teacher’s newest book, which will be published later this month, brings together 12 articles and activities to aid educators working with high school-aged students with the intention of taking teens from despair to empowerment, helping them appreciate the difference between cap and trade and carbon taxes, exploring the environmental impacts of the tar sands, providing options for sustainable transportation, among other topics.

For more information click here.


Resource: United 4 Smart Sustainable Cities

The United for Smart Sustainable Cities (U4SSC) collaborative initiative has published a new publication on “Connecting cities and communities with the Sustainable Development Goals.” Sixteen United Nations bodies contributed to the development of reports focusing on how cities can use information and communication technologies to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

For a free copy, click here.


Resource: Crafting the Future

The Fall 2017 edition of the Green Schools Catalyst Quarterly paints a picture of what the future holds for green, healthy, sustainable schools. Feature articles cover topics ranging from citizenship in the classroom, healthy school food, and zero energy design to current trends driving the green schools movement.

For the full issue, click here.