Minnesota to host SCI conference this year

The Sustainable Cities Initiative (SCI) will hold a three-day conference April 12-14 for university representatives, city officials, and organizational partners who are interested in adopting and adapting the Sustainable City Year Program (SCYP) model to their home institutions and community contexts.

SCI logoAfter three years of hosting the conference at the University of Oregon, this year's event will take place at the University of Minnesota’s Minneapolis campus and be hosted by UMN's Resilient Communities Project (RCP). RCP launched their program after attending the first SCYP conference in 2012.

The conference is designed to meet the needs of both established programs patterned on the Sustainable City Year (SCY) model originally developed by the University of Oregon, as well as entities interested in adopting and adapting the model.

The conference is intended to be highly engaging, interactive, and participatory and will help attendees move from the big idea to implementation techniques. Special capacity building and peer-to-peer learning sessions will be included.

The conference will feature workshops facilitated by the founders of the original UO program, now in its fifth year of building successful sustainability-focused partnerships with local communities. This “replication” training will build capacity and confidence among those intending to implement the Sustainable Cities Year model.

Sessions will include:
• An introduction to the SCY model, as well as benefits for students, faculty, and community partners who participate
• The nuts and bolts of operating an SCY program
• A view from previous cities that have participated in an SCY partnership
• Launching a pilot-year program
• Evaluating programmatic and year-to-year progress—and laying the foundations for measuring longer-term success and impact
• Communicating about SCY programs and projects to key audiences
• Innovations and adaptations to the basic SCY model
• Building sustainability and resiliency for SCY programs to weather changes in staff, shifting institutional priorities, state politics, funding, and other growing pains
• Working successfully with faculty, community partners, and project stakeholders.

Register at the conference website. Cost is $495 through March 1; $595 after then (group discounts are available).  The conference schedule is available online; additional information is at the SCI website.

The conference is sponsored by the Resilient Communities Project, the University of Minnesota, the Sustainable Cities Initiative, and the University of Oregon.

February 23, 2015