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  • Join us the first Thursday of the month at 3:30 PM

    Next Presentation will be December 3, 2015 - Results of Nebraska's Recycling Study by Mark Dekraai and Carrie Hakenkamp

Sustainability Leadership Presentation Series (SLPS)

Empowering leaders for a sustainable future 

The Sustainability Leadership Presentation Series (SLPS) is a collaborative live broadcast of highly qualified and credible speakers, presenting on regional topics of sustainability and global and local environmental issues.  The SLPS stimulates needed discussion and provides examples for action, planning and problem-solving for leadership in environmental sustainability. 

  • SLPS Header

    sustainability slps graphic      joslyn_isc   MCC logo - M   UNL Logo   wastecap logo with tagline

  • The SLPS is brought to you byCentral Community College(CCC), Joslyn Institute for Sustainable Communities (JISC), Metropolitan Community College (MCC), University of Nebraska-Lincoln Environmental Studies (UNL), and WasteCap Nebraska (WCN), and is free and open to the public. Together we are committed to leading and fostering a sustainable environment.

    •   Mark DeKraai
      View Mark's Bio

        Carrie Hakenkamp
      View Carrie's Bio

      Mark Dekraai and Carrie Hakenkamp
      Presenting live from Metropolitan Community College


      Results of Nebraska's Recycling Study

      Date & Time:

      December 3, 2015, 3:30-5:00pm CDT


      Live from Metropolitan Community College at the Fort Omaha Campus, Building 10 room 110.


      Recent findings of a statewide recycling study will be shared by Mark DeKraai, Senior Research Director at University of Nebraska Public Policy Center. The Study highlights regional gaps in recycling access across Nebraska, compares Nebraska's recycling and diversion rates to surrounding states, and provides recommendations to improve recycling and waste diversion in Nebraska.  Carrie Hakenkamp with WasteCap Nebraska will discuss ways in which diversion can be improved using zero waste concepts and will discuss the economic viability of recycling.

      Event is free and open to the public.

    • Live Link for November 5 Presentation

      To view remotely, follow the "Live Link" above, and enter the event number (809 428 133) if prompted, and the password: SLPS

      After logging in, you must connect to the audio to hear the event. 

      Use the WebEx chat tool or Twitter (#SLPSThursday) to ask questions.

      Your internet connection must be able to stream audio and high-quality video. 


      CCC-Columbus: West Ed. 205 
      CCC-Grand Island: 101 
      CCC-Hastings: Please live-stream from your location
      CCC Holdrege Center 
      CCC Kearney Center 
      CCC Lexington Center 
      CCC Ord Learning Center 

      See  Joslyn Institute for Sustainable CommunitiesMetropolitan Community College, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Environmental Studies, and WasteCap Nebraska for other live-stream viewing locations 

    • SLPS 2015-2016 Topic Themes

      • October:  CCC, Building Systems
      • November:  MCC, Business, Entrepreneurship and Enterprise
      • December:  MCC, Policy
      • February:  JISC, Agriculture and Food Systems
      • March:  CCC, Personal and Community Health
      • April:  UNL, Natural Science and Systems


      Full speaker list and presentation descriptions will be released soon.

  • SLPS Archive

    Did you miss a previous SLPS?

    Watch the videos below (click the thumbnails for descriptions).
    Scroll down to view the complete archive.

  • Kathleen Smith
    View Kathleen's Bio

    Liljequist B
    View Brad's Bio

    October 1, 2015 | Live from Seattle, Washington

    Kathleen Smith and Brad Liljequist - Living Buildings: Socially Just, Culturally Rich& Ecologically Restorative

    The Living Building Challenge is the built environment's most rigorous performance standard. It calls for the creation of building projects that operate as cleanly, beautifully and efficiently as nature's architecture. To be certified under the Challenge, projects must meet a series of ambitious performance requirements, including Net Positive Energy, Waste and Water, over a minimum of 12 months of continuous occupancy. In this presentation, participants will gain a basic understanding of the Living Building Challenge - a philosophy, advocacy tool and certification program that addresses development of the built environment at all scales. This presentation is for anyone engaged with the built environment as a designer, builder, owner, developer, manager, or occupant.  So it is for everyone. It will challenge all of us to think deeply about place and how we can work together to create communities that are socially just, culturally rich and ecologically restorative.

    Watch the Oct. Presentation



    November 5, 2015 | Live from Metropolitan Community College

    William R. Blackburn - Sustainability – A Business Imperative

    Bill Blackburn

    William Blackburn is a global sustainability expert with hands-on experience building sustainability programs within major companies.  He will discuss the recent consensus on the scope and practical meaning of sustainability that has emerged from large, global multi-stakeholder forums and from corporate usage – it is considerably more than just recycling, climate change and energy conservation.  He will also share his proven approach for infusing sustainability into the essence of company operations – a process he calls a “sustainability operating system” (SOS). The SOS will include tips on selecting and marketing “green products.”

    View Full Bio

    February 5, 2015 | Live from Alaska

    Jim Powell - The Alaska Bellwether:Perception, Response, and Adaptation in a Time of Climate Change

    Jim PowellGlobal climate change is causing rapid ecosystem change in Alaska. How local communities respond to this challenge now and in the future will have great bearing on whether these communities can continue to thrive in an era of climate change. Join us for a presentation by Alaska expert Jim Powell as he unpacks the tangle of on the ground ecosystem conditions, local perceptions of the issue, and climate change mitigation strategies and adaptation plans being developed. Together we will consider the implications of a changing planet and the significance of the Alaska experience as related to our unique conditions in Nebraska.

    Watch the Feb. Presentation    View Full Bio


    March 5, 2015

    Adam Hammes - Sustainability Advocacy: Leverage Your Emotions, Avoid Burnout, and Influence for Good

    Adam HammesAdam will share how his experience of life, work, and family shifted profoundly as he learned to connect with people less-passionate about environmental sustainability, communicating his beliefs in ways that moved others to action.  Learn how you can do the same by understanding emotional intelligence and psychology.  Adam’s story is profoundly unique, spanning his rural, conservative upbringing… to time spent as an environmental educator… a community organizer and non-profit founder… an award-winning corporate sustainability professional… an adjunct university business professor… a successful sustainability consultant… and director of a state sustainable business association.   Join us to learn from Adam about emotional stages and myths of advocacy, stages of influence, and other topics that can help you be a sustainability leader.

    Watch the March Presentation    View Full Bio


    April 2, 2015 | Live from MCC

    William Powers - Sustainable Farming and Foods in Nebraska

    William Powers

    From water conservation to knowing where your food comes from, principles of sustainability are becoming more and more of the narrative in our daily lives. Sustainable agriculture and sustainable foods grow hand-in-hand and are at the forefront of the sustainability movement. This talk will look at sustainable agriculture and foods in Nebraska over the last 40 years. What programs and progress has been made, what is happening today and how you can be a part of changing the landscape of food and farming in Nebraska and the Midwest.

    Watch the April Presentation     View Full Bio




    View Daniel's Bio

      Lily Livingston

    View Lily's Bio

    May 7, 2015 | Live from MCC

    Daniel Lawse & Lily Livingston - Learn to Thrive: Lessons from Nature

    What would our world look like if we rediscovered the lessons of nature? What if the places we live and work engaged our senses in a healthy way and celebrated culture with nature, encouraging human delight? How can a leaf inspire a solar cell? Or organizations learn from a tree or a coral reef? Biomimicry is an innovation method that seeks new ways of living sustainably—from new products and processes to policies—by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies. Janine Benyus, the founder of written works on biomimicry, “introduces an era based not on what we can extract from organisms and their ecosystems, but on what we can learn from them.” Instead of technology working separately from nature, imagine a world where technology is in relationship with nature. Biophilic design articulates the relationships between nature, human biology and the design of the built environment so we experience the natural environment more in our daily world. Academics, researchers and others have codified valuable design research for improving health and well-being in our built environment into patterns of biophilic design, patterns ‘that nurture the innate human attraction to natural systems and processes’ (Janine Benyus). Come learn how to bring nature back into our buildings, neighborhoods and lives.

    Watch the May Presentation



    June 4, 2015 | Live from Omaha, Ne

    Cecil Steward - Conservation and the Quest for Quality Nebraska Places

    Cecil StewardWhat do construction waste, global population migration, food processing and distribution, the Ogallala Aquifer, Omaha and O’Neill, climate change, and economic development have to do with one another? A new video by the Joslyn Institute for Sustainable Communities shows how interconnected and interdependent all of these factors are, and how addressing the nexus of global and local changes and pressures on our critical resources will ensure a strong and healthy future for our citizens. W. Cecil Steward, founder and President of the Joslyn Institute, will show an excerpt from the video and talk about how these imperatives might be addressed.

    The video, Nebraska Nexus: Resources, Conservation, Development and Change explores five critical resources—food, water, energy, land and materials, and how we must consider both conservation and development of those resources to respond effectively to global pressures and to ensure they remain sustainable for future generations and the high standard of living we now enjoy.  The culmination of four years of highly interactive workshops and conferences with civic leaders, ranchers, farmers, elected and appointed officials, students and concerned citizens across Nebraska, the video was produced with the support of Humanities Nebraska and the Nebraska Environmental Trust, with the administrative support of Nebraska Academy of Sciences.

    Watch the June Presentation     View Full Bio

    September 4, 2014 | Live from CCC - Grand Island

    Dan McGuire - Wind and Renewable Energy: Nebraska's Growth Opportunity

    dan_mcguireWe are excited to welcome Dan McGuire, Co-Chair of the Nebraska Wind & Solar Conference, to launch our Sustainability Leadership Presentation Series for the 2014-2015 year! Dan will present on all topics "wind." With a Nebraska farm background and a UNL degree in journalism, he has spent his career leading agricultural organizations, and developing and advocating for state and national renewable energy policy and programs for the benefit of rural America. As a Nebraska leader in developing wind energy programs, outreach and public education projects, Dan will discuss his experience and present information on a variety of wind energy topics. Topics will range from the economic impacts and environmental benefits of wind energy to educational programs and career development opportunities from the K-12 to college level. Dan will also focus on Nebraska's wind energy growth potential.  Please join us in welcoming Dan McGuire, and come learn with us about this important topic for Nebraska.

    Watch the Sept. Presentation     View Full Bio

    October 2, 2014 | Live from MCC

    Panel by Bill Moore, Jim Stark, Dr. Scott Williams; moderated by Chris Swanson - Renewable & Clean Fuel Technologies: The Future of Transportation, Today

    Fueled transportation is an everyday need for most Americans. There are exciting technologies that allow us to get around without the fossil fuels that destroy our air quality and climate. Three leading experts will present diverse options for fueling and powering personal and commercial vehicles, and answer your questions – about technology, what currently exists, and what the future will hold. The speakers will cover biofuels, including biodiesel, corn ethanol, and advanced biofuels from next-generation sources such as cellulosic biomass and algae. They will also cover electric vehicles and discuss which technologies and fuels currently offer the best potential for a sustainable future. Our presentation panel will describe the benefits and limitations of each, and how these technologies are shaping the future of transportation. We hope you join us to learn and grow in our understanding of sustainable transportation.

    Watch the Oct. Presentation      View Full Bio

    November, 6 2014 | Live from the United Kingdom

    Julia Hailes - Green Matters: How You Can Make a Difference

    Julia HailesPresenting live from the United Kingdom, we are excited to welcome Julia Hailes as our November Sustainability Leadership Presentation Series speaker. Julia has authored and co-authored nine books, including the best-selling, The Green Consumer Guide. As a writer, consultant, green entrepreneur and speaker, Julia will bring unique content and learning to our monthly series. From information on greening your home, sustainable food consumption, to electronic waste, Julia will share stories of her travels and research. Hear what sparked her interest in environmental sustainability and inspired her career in environmental communications. We hope you join us to learn from Julia, in our journey in building and educating for a sustainable future!

    Watch the Nov. Presentation      View Full Bio

    December 4, 2014 | Live from Greensburg, Kansas

    Mayor Dixson - Sustainable rebuilding post-disaster: The story of Greensburg Kansas

    mayor_dixsonTo conclude the Sustainability Leadership Presentation Series for this calendar year, we are excited to welcome Mayor Bob Dixson of Greensburg, Kansas. Mayor Dixson will talk about the rebuilding of Greensburg, Kansas after a tornado leveled the community in 2007. From sustainable buildings to municipal infrastructure, the City of Greensburg considered costs, the environment, and the impact on its residents as they rebuilt strategically for the future. Mayor Dixson will discuss Greensburg’s story, renewable energy, the heritage of sustainability in the Heartland, and how he believes we can make the world a better place for future generations. We hope you join us on our journey to learn more about environmental sustainability.

    Watch the Dec. Presentation      View Full Bio

    February 6, 2014 | Live from CCC - Columbus

    Dr. Rowe - The Good Life: Opportunities and Resources for You and Nebraska

    Dr Deb RoweDr. Rowe will be discussing how to create healthier economies and more vibrant communities, including information about careers and improving quality of life. Dr. Rowe is a national speaker who has helped organizations and institutions across the Midwest integrate sustainability for success. She will specifically include examples that can be used right here in Nebraska. Please join us to learn and welcome Dr. Rowe.

    Watch the Feb. Presentation     View Full Bio

    March 6, 2014 | Live from CCC - Grand Island

    Dr. Ring - Nebraska on the Edge: How Climate Change Threatens Public Health

    WendyRingPhotoIn this notable presentation, CCC & MCC welcome Dr. Wendy Ring, a family physician and educator in human health and climate change. In the first part of the presentation Dr. Ring will present case studies, maps, and straightforward explanations of research findings to illustrate the many ways that climate change affects human health in the United States. She will also discuss what this means for Nebraska, present and future. The second segment explores win-win solutions which lower greenhouse gas emissions and improve public health. Dr. Ring has presented this presentation across the country, including at UNL and UNK, as well as Chadron State College. Please join us to welcome Dr. Ring back to Nebraska, and to learn together about this important issue.

    Watch the March Presentation     View Full Bio

    April 3, 2014 | Live from MCC

    MCC Faculty & Staff - MCC Accomplishments & Lessons Learned: Sustainability in the Classroom, Campus and Community

    Hear from Metropolitan Community College’s staff and faculty as they discuss new projects and on-going initiatives. MCC has made changes to its physical campus and academic programs to demonstrate its leadership in sustainability in the Omaha region. In both large projects and small shifts in behavior, MCC is continuing to make efforts toward ‘greening’ our operations and academics. In academics, MCC has new programs including Urban Farming, Weatherization Training, and Solar Technology – to help spur the local green economy. On campus, MCC strives to reduce energy use in buildings to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions while saving on utility costs. Learn how MCC’s approach to organizational change has worked, and where their efforts continue. 

    Watch the April Presentation

    May 1, 2014 | Live from MCC

    Steven Rodie - Sustainable Water Use and Management in Urban and Rural Landscapes: Applications for Homeowners, Institutions and Communities

    rodieLandscape water use and management is important when rain is plentiful as well as in drought. Stormwater (rainwater that runs off any surfaces - roofs, roads, parking lots) can be managed in your home or business to mitigate flooding, enhance water quality and protect water resources - while also benefiting your landscapes. Effective stormwater management using landscape plants and soils - including "green" infrastructure and other sustainable strategies - can be applied in the home, institution or community level. In this presentation, you will also learn about water-wise plant types, planting design, and other strategies to help your yard survive and stay beautiful even when rain is slim. It is planting with conservation in mind.

    Watch the May Presentation     View Full Bio

    June 5, 2014 | Live from MCC

    Dr. Ferdig - The Art of Sustainability Leadership: Communication, Complexity and Change

    Dr FerdigWhat do we mean by sustainability, leadership, complexity and change? How do our experiences inform what we see, think and do? Are we each ready to take responsibility for (1) challenging our hardwired assumptions, beliefs and behaviors, and (2), rediscovering connection and meaning through communication and action? These are serious questions for all of us – the “sustainability choir” as well as the rest of society. Dr. Mary Ferdig presents a framework for leadership communication, action and change that can be adapted to all sorts of situations encountered by Sustainability Leaders of every shape and size!

    Watch the June Presentation:

    Part 1   Part 2

    View Full Bio


    September 5, 2013 | Live from CCC - Hastings @Ram Roundup!

    Dr. Thomashow - A Few Stories: Five Topics, Five Sessions about Sustainability

    dr thomas howDr. Thomashow is back in Nebraska and at CCC! Engaging, relevant, applicable – it’s about social, economic and environmental issues of today and tomorrow. Come, hear him for the first time, or hear him speak again. Five topics, five sessions on sustainability. 

    Join us for one; join us for all! (times are approximate
    3:30 pm: Why Sustainability Matters
    3:45 pm: Building a Healthy Community
    4:00 pm: Green Jobs, Careers, and Your Education 
    4:15 pm: Why the Environment Matters 
    4:30 pm: How Sustainability Leadership Contributes to a Thriving Community

    Watch the Sept. Presentation   View Full Bio

    October 3, 2013 | Live from CCC - Columbus

    Jordan Garfinkle - Moving Forward: Personal Transportation and the Environment

    JordanGWe love to be mobile. As Americans, we're accustomed to traveling when and where we want, and cars afford us the freedom to do just that. More than just a means of transportation, cars have become a symbol of the American Dream. However, the way we fuel our mobility is unsustainable, threatening our planet and our communities. Fortunately, a number of alternatives are gaining traction across the country and around the world, including electric cars, plug-in vehicles, high-speed rail and other technologies. Amid endless information, the facts are clouded regarding these alternatives. How can our choices, planning, and long-term vision regarding transportation help foster a sustainable future for Nebraska? Understanding the challenges and opportunities are critical as we pursue a future with clean, safe, reliable and affordable transportation. Jordan Garfinkle will discuss personal transportation and the environment; we hope you join us to explore these issues.

    Watch the Oct. Presentation   View Full Bio

    November 7, 2013 | Live from MCC

    Daniel Lawse - The Efficiency-Choice Conundrum: Choose Your Future

    DLawseEfficient use of our energy and resources alone will not make you or your community thrive. Efficiency is part of the answer, the other part of the answer is you. Your daily choices shape the future of your world. Your home, family, work, and community thrive when your choices reflect the triple-bottom line of people, planet, and prosperity.

    Watch the Nov. Presentation   View Full Bio

    December 5, 2013 | Live from CCC - Grand Island

    CCC's 2013 AASHE conference representatives - What We Learned: Understanding Sustainability from Different Employee Positions at Central Community College

    AASHECentral Community College employees, Michelle Lubken, Deb Thompson, Jerry Ryan, Ward Hooker, Dr. Robin Buckallew and Dr. Deborah Brennan share their experiences from their participation in the annual AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education) conference. From central Nebraska to Nashville, Tennessee, and with a week of learning and networking, the participants are back to tell you about their experiences. With a diverse set of perspectives and job responsibilities, the participants will cover sustainability topics from many different angles, offering something for all those interested in hearing what they learned.

    Watch the Dec. Presentation    

  • Contact:

    Minetta Khan
    Environmental Sustainability Director
    (308) 398 7393