If you’re interested in any aspect of sustainability—from environmental justice to green energy to human ecology—there’s a conference for you. With these major sustainability conferences, you can learn, network and deepen your understanding of sustainability in a whole new way. Conferences are ideal for discovering the latest developments, meeting other sustainability professionals and finding new resources in sustainability. Mark your calendars for these can’t-miss sustainability conferences:
Sustainability in Higher Education
Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) annual conference
- This year’s conference: October 26-29, 2014, in Portland, Oregon
- More information: http://www.aashe.org/events/conferences
- Background: Over 2,000 sustainability professionals attend AASHE’s annual conference, making it the largest conference of higher education sustainability professionals and students in North America. Through sessions, keynote speakers, hands-on workshops and student summits, participants “network and share new innovations, activities, frameworks, learning outcomes, tools, strategies, research, theory and leadership initiatives that are changing the face of sustainability on their campus and surrounding communities.” If you’re interested in campus sustainability, this is the conference to attend.
- Other related conference to attend: International Sustainability Campus Network, Smart and Sustainable Campuses Conference
United Nations Climate Summit
- This year’s conference: September 23, 2014, in New York, New York
- More information: http://www.un.org/climatechange/summit/
- Background: The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are the intergovernmental scientific and policy groups leading the charge to address climate change. The September 2014 Climate Summit will bring together business, finance, government and other civil and community leaders to make progress before the next round of UNFCCC global climate agreement negotiations in 2015.
- Other related conference to attend: The National Council for Science and the Environment’s 15th National Conference and Global Forum on Science, Policy and the Environment
Green Power Conferences
- This year’s conference: Conferences are held on key topics around the world throughout the year. Check the event listing page on the Green Power Conferences website.
- More information: http://www.greenpowerconferences.com
- Background: According to Green Power Conferences, “Since 2003, over 27,500 delegates from over 161 countries have attended over 200 conferences, exhibitions, workshops and training courses providing strategic business intelligence to the renewable energy and sustainability industries.” Green Power Conferences cover a full range of green energy topics, including solar power, geothermal energy, wind power, ocean and hydro energy, biomass power, biofuels and biochemicals and more.
- Other related conference to attend: Renewable Energy World Conference & Expo
Biodiversity and Ecology
Ecological Society of America
- This year’s conference: August 10-15, 2014, in Sacramento, California
- More information: http://www.esa.org/esa/?page_id=127
- Background: The largest professional ecologist organization in the world, the Ecological Society of America (ESA) has over 10,000 members who teach, research and work on issues like natural resource management, ecological restoration, species extinction and loss of biological diversity, habitat alternation and destruction, biotechnology and more. The ESA is hosting its 99th annual meeting this year, with the theme “From Oceans to Mountains: It’s All Ecology.”
- Other related conference to attend: World Conference on Marine Biodiversity (held every three years)
Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre
- This year’s conference: October 23-27, 2014, in Turin, Italy
- More information: http://www.salonedelgusto.com/
- Background: Run by Slow Food International, Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre is the global food event to attend. It’s more than just a conference with presentations and networking opportunities. Participants can also sign up for cooking schools and workshops, dinner dates and slow wine events. This year’s conference also focuses on the United Nation’s International Year of Family Farming.
- Other related conferences to attend: Sustainable Foods Summit (focused on the food industry and clean label development); Yale Food System Symposium
American Water Works Association Conference
- This year’s conference: March 15-18, 2015, in Portland, Oregon
- More information: http://www.awwa.org/conferences-education/conferences/annual-conference.aspx
- Background: If you want to talk all things water—from conservation to infrastructure, and urban planning to stormwater—this is the conference to attend. This annual event even includes fun competitions including Pipe Tapping, a “high-energy contest where top utility teams from section-level contests race to tap a cement-lined, ductile iron pipe,” and Meter Madness, in which contestants compete to put together a water meter from scratch as quickly as possible.
- Other related conference to attend: American Water Resources Association conferences
Culture and Sustainability
On Sustainability’s Eleventh International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic & Social Sustainability
- This year’s conference: January 21-23, 2015, in Copenhagen, Denmark
- More information: http://onsustainability.com/the-conference
- Background: Yes, the On Sustainability conferences focus on environmental issues. But, it also puts a strong emphasis on the economic and cultural questions of sustainability, making it uniquely broad. It also focuses on related themes including sustainable heritage development, belonging and identity, consumption, indigenous peoples and knowledge, values and ethics, free and fair trade, well-being and quality of life and poverty.
- Other related conference to attend: University of Massachusetts Amherst Heritage and Healthy Societies Conference
National Environmental Justice Conference and Training Program
- This year’s conference: March 11-13, 2015, in Washington, DC
- More information: http://thenejc.org/?conference=national-environmental-justice-conference-and-training-program
- Background: More than a conference, the National Environmental Justice Conference and Training Program provides participants with hands-on skills and approaches they can use in their environmental justice work at federal and state agencies, local governments, tribes, community groups, businesses, public interest groups, colleges and universities, faith-based organizations and elsewhere. It’s about bringing people together to share best practices and lessons learned.
- Other related conference to attend: Just for Sustainability: Hope for the Commons at Seattle University
International Environmental Communication Association Conference
- This year’s conference: June 11-14, 2015, in Boulder, Colorado
- More information: http://theieca.org/conference/2015-conference-communication-and-environment-boulder
- Background: Researchers, writers, elected officials, nonprofit leaders, performers and students gather at the International Environmental Communication Association conference to discuss the challenges and opportunities of communicating environmental issues in a variety of formats, from the written word to performances. All sustainability issues need to be communicated in some fashion, and this conference allows participants to collaborate, learn and network for success.
- Other related conference to attend: Society of Environmental Journalists conference