Fall 2017 Event Series

Check out our exciting Fall 2017 Event Series, with a special focus on putting the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into action. 
This series celebrates our new Greater Atlanta United Nations University Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development (RCE).

Student Survey Open House

Tuesday, September 5th and Thursday, September 7th; 11am - 12pm; SLS Office (Clough 205)

Enrolled in an SLS Affiliated Course?  Stop by the SLS Office and complete a Beginning of Semester Student Survey, grab an Insomnia Cookie, and pick up some SLS swag!

Climate Change: Engineering's Grand Challenge/Georgia Tech's Role

Featuring GT President Emeritus, Dr. Wayne Clough

Wednesday, September 13th; 3pm - 4:30pm; Engineered Biosystems Building (EBB) 1005

Climate change has long been considered a “science problem,” and scientists are most closely associated with the issue in the mind of the public. When it comes to developing solutions, engineers have to get involved, but they are like the proverbial blind men describing an elephant – everybody understands only a small part of the problem. Because the true solutions to climate change are inherently interdisciplinary, we need engineers who are more broadly educated and able to communicate with the public.

Students – Interested in a deeper discussion with Dr. Clough about engineering’s role in Climate Action?  SLS is planning to host a breakfast session for a small group of students.  RSVP below to indicate your interest in attending and we will contact you when the plans are finalized.

Part of the SLS U.N. SDG Series: Putting the Sustainable Development Goals Into Action (SDG #13- Climate Action)

SLS Teaching Toolkit Launch: A Faculty Workshop

Tuesday, September 26th; 11am - 12pm; Clough Lounge 205

Please join us for this faculty workshop as we launch our SLS Teaching Toolkit! The Toolkit provides resources for instructors who want to integrate sustainability, service learning and community engagement into their courses. Whether you’re interested in designing an entire project around sustainability, utilizing a simple in-class activity, or learning more about the practicalities of working with off-campus partners, our toolkit has something for you! The workshop will provide a high-level overview of the toolkit, discuss five simple ways to use the toolkit in your classroom, and include interactive demonstrations on specific tools. It’s is open to everyone who teaches courses or hopes to in the future.

New Faculty Site Visit of Atlanta's Westside

Tuesday, September 26th; 4pm - 7pm; Clough Lounge 205 (reception)
(Tour will take place from 4pm - 6pm, followed by a light reception in the SLS Office from 6pm - 7pm)

Join us to explore sustainable community building on Atlanta's Westside! The bus ride will be narrated by community and non-profit storytellers, and will provide opportunities for faculty to understand the dynamics of the neighborhoods abutting Georgia Tech while exploring the importance of taking an asset- and community-based approach towards restoring Proctor Creek as a key community amenity. We will also focus on the impact of new development in the area. Serve-Learn-Sustain staff will be on hand during the tour, and we invite you to join us for a reception afterwards in the Clough Lounge for further discussion about integrating sustainable communities content and engagement into your courses and research.

(Tour will depart from the ground floor entrance of the Clough Building)

Office of International Education Study Abroad Fair

Tuesday, October 3rd; 10am - 2pm; Student Center Ballroom

Join Georgia Tech's Office of International Education at the Annual Study Abroad Fair.  Come learn about nearly 150 international education possibilities offered at Tech, including Serve-Learn- Sustain affiliated study abroad programs, and the SLS Global Student Ambassadors Program, which was launched this past summer.  The SLS Global Student Ambassadors Program provides 1 - 2 students from each of the SLS affiliated Study Abroad programs the opportunity to meet each other and learn cross-cultural perspectives on sustainable communities and share their experiences with other students, while they’re abroad through social media and when they return.

Sustainability in Cross-Cultural Perspective: Students Share Experiences from SLS' Affiliated Study Abroad Programs

Thursday, October 5; 11am - 12pm; Clough Lounge (Clough 205)

Interested in Study Abroad?  Want to connect that to your interest in creating sustainable communities?  Join students and faculty directors from SLS’ affiliated study abroad programs - in France, Germany, Spain, Eastern Europe, Ghana, Japan, and the Netherlands – as they reflect on what they learned about sustainability and community and how this can help us think in new ways about the U.S. The session will include time for audience Q&A, about the topic and about the programs themselves. Learn more about SLS’ affiliated programs here.

Emory WaterHub and the Greater Atlanta U.N. RCE: Putting the SDGs Into Action

Tuesday, October 10; 12:30pm - 4:30pm; Emory University

Emory University is home to the first decentralized ecological water reclamation system in the US: the Emory WaterHub. The WaterHub is capable of recycling over 100 million gallons annually. It is the result of a collaboration between Emory as an anchor institution and the surrounding community, which began as an effort to develop a solution to localized flooding and wastewater contamination. The WaterHub project provides an example of the types of collaboration that we hope will become even more common as Emory works with Georgia Tech, Spelman, and other stakeholders around the region to establish a new regional sustainability network affiliated with the United Nations called a Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development (RCE). This session will include a tour of the WaterHub followed by a facilitated conversation with RCE stakeholders from Georgia Tech, Emory, CARE International, Atlanta Food & Farm, and Spelman. It will conclude with small group discussions exploring the types of issues and projects particularly suited to regional networks with university participation.

Registration required for this session (free of charge): complete the RSVP form below to reserve your space. More information on location and parking will be sent a few days before the session. Interested in attending the whole conference? Email serve-learn-sustain@gatech.edu for information on special rates.

Part of the SLS U.N. SDG Series: Putting the Sustainable Development Goals Into Action (SDG #6- Clean Water and Sanitation; SDG #17- Partnerships for the Goals)

Office of Campus Sustainability Day of Service

Saturday, October 14; 9:00am - 4:00pm; Atlanta Community Food Bank

This all day service activity hosted by the Office of Campus Sustainability will entail two projects for the day. The first is a work day that will take place at a nearby community garden, hosted by the food bank and the garden staff. This will be from 9-12 with a group of 30 volunteers. The second project from 1-4 will then take place inside the ACFB center. Anybody can volunteer for either project, although we ask that you only choose one, so that more people have an opportunity to work.

Part of the SLS U.N. SDG Series: Putting the Sustainable Development Goals Into Action (SDG #2- Zero Hunger)

SLS BUZZ Course: 3-Day Skills Workshop - Universal Design for Sustainable Communities

Wednesday, October 18, 3:30pm - 6:00pm (Intro Lecture), CATEA (Center for Assistive Tech & Environmental Access, 512 Means Street)
Between Thursday, October 19 and Saturday, October 28, in teams (Field Work & Concept Design in small teams)
Sunday, October 29, 10:00am - 3:00pm (Design Studio), CATEA

Universal design is a key component of sustainable and inclusive communities, particularly among older adults in urban settings.  From housing to facilitate aging-in-place; to neighborhood infrastructure and the location of community-related activities and services to support mobility, social connectedness and healthy lifestyles; to the usability and inclusivity of community facilities; design impacts every aspect of community life. 

Universal Design for Sustainable Communities is a project-based workshop focusing on farmers’ markets as a case study of design for sustainable and inclusive communities. Applying the Principles of Universal Design, students will work in interdisciplinary teams with market managers and other staff affiliated with the Georgia Farmers’ Market Association and their partner organizations to use physical and digital modalities to create designs that facilitate inclusive experiences for seniors at 5 Atlanta farmers’ markets. The workshop will include field trips to local markets to gain understanding of user needs.

Participants who complete ALL parts of the workshop will receive a "Certificate of Completion of Georgia Tech SLS Short Course in Universal Design for Sustainable Communities."

Presented by Serve-Learn-Sustain, in collaboration with CATEA-Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access, Economics, Industrial Design, Campus Sustainability, and the Georgia Farmers Market Association.


Part of the Planting the Seeds initiative celebrating Equity, Sustainability, and the Launch of the Living Building at Georgia Tech.

Doing the Work and Telling Your Story: Network Weaving, Social Media & Marketing Sustainability

Friday, October 20; 12:20pm - 1:10pm; Scheller College of Business, Room 223

Sustainability has become a broad, almost vaporous term, that can mean many different things to many people.  Marketing of sustainability inherits this challeneg and often requires extra substance in order to overcome the risk of vagueness.  During its six years in operation as a lean start up social enterprise, Atlanta Food & Farm PBC (AF2) has explored and tested various methods of market penetration of its business model which specializes in local food system planning and urban agriculture development (sub-sectors of the general sustainability industry).  AF2's Founder and Lead Principal, Kwabena Nkromo will share insights learned on this journey and what's next as the consulting firm expands nationally.

Liam's Legacy Symposium: Creating, Implementing, & Measuring the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals

Thursday, October 26; 4:00pm - 5:30pm (speaker), 5:30pm - 6:30pm (reception); Clary Theater, Bill Moore Student Success Center

The 7th annual Liam's Legacy Symposium features Jessica Espey, Senior Advisor to the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). In 2015, after a 4-year negotiation process, 193 United Nations member countries agreed upon a new global framework for development that included 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The “SDGs” span nearly every developmental issue facing the world, from climate change to poverty to sustainable production and consumption. They are as relevant in the United States as they are in places like Somalia. The ambition of this universal agenda is to shepherd the whole world towards a more sustainable, equitable and prosperous future, where no one is left behind. Jessica Espey, who was a lead negotiator in the SDG process, will reflect on the negotiation process and shares insights into SDG implementation in diverse locations around the world. (For more details, see bio below.) Her talk will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Bruce Stiftel, chair of the School of City and Regional Planning, and featuring GT faculty and partners from our newly forming Greater Atlanta U.N. University Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development (RCE): Danny Boston (GT International Affairs), Shatakshee Dhongde (GT Economics), Serena Newhall (CIFAL Atlanta at Kennesaw State), and Fatemeh Shafiei (Spelman Political Science).  See Jessica Espey’s full bio here.

Co-sponsored by Global Development Minor and School of City and Regional Planning

About Liam Rattray & Liam's Legacy:

The Liam's Legacy Symposium honors the memory of Liam Rattray, an outstanding and socially-committed Georgia Tech Honors Program student who was tragically killed by a drunk driver just a few weeks after his graduation, in 2011.  We mourn his death, but we also celebrate his life in this annual event that carries his name and draws upon his legacy of engagement and activism.

Part of the SLS U.N. SDG Series: Putting the Sustainable Development Goals Into Action (SDG #17- Partnerships for the Goals)

More Opportunities to Talk with Jessica Espey


Student Conversation with Jessica Espey about Smart Cities and the SDGs
Friday, October 27: 10:10-11:00 AM, Instructional Center 115
Part of the course, ICT & Policy (INTA 4050/6753) - Open to All GT Students (Undergrads & Grads)

Join us for a guest lecture by Jessica Espey, focusing on the topic of "What does a smart city look like?" and discussing how applicable the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals are to the US versus the rest of the world (particularly the developing world).  This guest lecture is open to all GT students.


Graduate Student Conversation with Jessica Espey about Measuring the SDGs
Friday, October 27: 2:00pm - 3:15pm; 214 ARCH (East Wing)
Open to All Graduate Students
Sponsored by the School of City and Regional Planning

Jessica Espey will visit with graduate students and respond to questions which might range across UN sustainability work, global climate policies, and careers in diplomacy and international environmental policy.  Ms. Espey’s work is focused on data, monitoring and accountability of the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals.  She is also liaison for the Scientific Steering Committee of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) conference on Cities and Climate Change.  Espey holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Oxford University and an M.S. in political economy from University of London.   She has worked in Liberia, Kenya, Rwanda, the UK, and the US.  

See Jessica Espey’s full bio here.


Part of the SLS U.N. SDG Series: Putting the Sustainable Development Goals Into Action (SDG #17- Partnerships for the Goals)

Ever The Land Film Screening (Project One)

Wednesday, November 1; 6:00pm - 8:30pm; Clough 152

Ever the Land explores the sublime bond between people and their land through a landmark architectural undertaking by one of New Zealand's most passionately independent Maori tribes, Ngai Tuhoe.  The film screening will be followed by a discussion led by SLS Director, Dr. Jennifer Hirsch, and architect Juan Archila, Assistant Director of Facilities, College of Sciences.  

This film screening is part of Project One, a campus-wide project that seeks to connect first year Georgia Tech students to faculty, mentors, and organizations for a shared learning experience.  This year's Project One theme is "What is Happiness?"

Planning as if People Eat: Creating Equitable and Healthy Communities

Friday, November 3; 2:00pm - 3:15pm; 222 College of Business
Featuring Samina Raja, Associate Professor of Urban Planning and Director, Food Systems Planning and Healthy Communities Lab, SUNY-Buffalo

Dr. Samina Raja will present a talk entitled "Planning As If People Eat: Creating Equitable and Healthy Communities."  This lecture-discussion will pertain to leveraging community food systems for creating equitable and healthy communities. Dr. Raja’s research focuses on planning and design for sustainable food systems and healthy communities, and her research program focuses on understanding the role of planning and policy in building sustainable food systems and healthy communities. She is the Principal Investigator of the Food Systems Planning and Healthy Communities Lab (the “Food Lab”) where much of her research unfolds with the engagement and collaboration of an outstanding research team. In partnership with collaborators nationwide, Dr. Raja is currently directing Growing Food Connections, a comprehensive five-year initiative funded by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to build capacity of local governments to strengthen food systems.  Her additional research interests include the role of planning in communities experiencing conflict (she is especially interested in the region of Kashmir in South Asia), and the fiscal dimensions of urban and regional planning.  Dr. Raja’s research is published in leading planning and health journals. She is the lead author of the Planners Guide to Community and Regional Food Planning: Transforming Food Environments, Building Healthy Communities, one of the earliest guidance monographs on food systems planning published by the national American Planning Association.

Sponsored by the School of City and Regional Planning (SCaRP).

Part of the SLS U.N. SDG Series: Putting the Sustainable Development Goals Into Action (SDG #2- Partnerships for the Goals; SDG #3- Good Health and Well-Being)

Climate Changes Health: Ensuring Environmental Justice Underlies Public Health's Climate Change Work

Saturday, November 4; 9:00am - 5:00pm; Spelman College

River Rendezvous: Water Sampling on Proctor Creek with West Atlanta Watershed and Chattahoochee River Keeper

Saturday, November 11; 9:30am - 12:30pm, Grove Park Recreation Center, 750 Franics Pl, N.W.

Community members, as well as GT faculty, staff, and students, will collect water samples throughout the watershed to take a one-day "snapshot" of water quality in Proctor Creek.  Training and refreshments will be provided.  Registration required.  Carpool options are available to and from the Georgia Tech campus - please contact us at serve-learn-sustain@gatech.edu for ride information.  Organized by: West Atlanta Watershed Alliance and Chattahoochee River Keeper.

Part of the SLS U.N. SDG Series: Putting the Sustainable Development Goals Into Action (SDG #6- Clean Water and Sanitation)

UN Sustainable Development Goals Design Jam

November 15; 4:30pm - 7:30pm; Design Bloc, 266 4th Street, N.W.

Students will come together in teams to address the UN's 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, taking a design thinking approach to ideating and proposing an idea in the assigned 3 hours.  Design thinking experts (from the College of Design) will lead the students through the design process for these 3 hours.  Prizes will be awarded at the end of the event.  There will also be opportunities for teams to consider continuing working on their projects (with expert guidance) through Spring for (two) other competitions in April.  All majors/fields welcome.  Pizza provided!

Teams should consider using their ideas as a starting point for entry into the Community Impact Challenge, hosted by Kennesaw State University, April 18, 2018.

Sponsored by Global Development Minor

Part of the SLS U.N. SDG Series: Putting the Sustainable Development Goals Into Action 

SLS Teaching Toolkit Workshop: Community Engaged Learning

Tuesday, November 28th; 11am - 12pm; Clough Lounge 205

Please join Dr. Chris Le Dantec, Dr. Carl DiSalvo, and Serve-Learn-Sustain for a faculty workshop on community-engaged learning. The Serve-Learn-Sustain teaching toolkit is up and running, and it offers a range of resources and tools for faculty interested in teaching their students about service learning and working with communities. Dr. DiSalvo will be discussing an interactive tool that teaches students about smart cities, while Dr. Le Dantec will introduce you to the Community Engaged Playbook, a field guide for working effectively with communities outside the classroom. 

SLS Student Showcase

November 28; 4:00pm - 6:00pm; Klaus Atrium

The SLS Student Showcase will feature projects that engage:

We seek a diversity of projects (posters, videos, prototypes, etc.), and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes will be awarded in the form of gift cards.  We will also present SLS Excellence in Teaching- Student Choice Awards at the Showcase. Faculty award winners will be selected from nominees submitted by students. Students can nominate faculty via the application portal above.

Planning In and For Cities in the Global South  

December 8; 2:00pm - 3:15pm; 222 College of Business
Featuring Dr. Vanessa Watson, Professor of Architecture, Planning, and Geomatics; and Deputy Dean, Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Dr. Watson will present a talk entitled "Planning In and For Cities of the Global South."  This lecture-discussion will pertain to urbanization and how planning has, or has not, served cities in the global context effectively and how we might do so in the future.  Dr. Watson currently  teaches in the City and Regional Planning post-graduate program in the School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics, and is a founder and executive member of the African Centre for Cities at University at Cape Town.  She publishes and is on the editorial boards of several international journals in the field of city planning, and is the Global South Editor of Urban Studies. Her field of research is planning theory, and she is PI on a research project funded by ESRC/Dfid called Consuming Urban Poverty, operating under the auspices of the African Centre for Cities.    View Vanessa Wilson's full bio here.

Sponsored by the School of City and Regional Planning (SCaRP). 

Part of the SLS U.N. SDG Series: Putting the Sustainable Development Goals Into Action (SDG #11- Sustainable Cities and Communities)