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2nd Annual Sustainability Summit: Outcomes and Excitement for New Education Collaborations

ACSGCI
Honored Contributor
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By David A. Laviska, Ph.D., Portfolio Manager for Green Chemistry and Sustainability in Education, ACS Green Chemistry Institute

The Summit facilitated connections between academia and industry to catalyze the propagation of green chemistry and sustainability concepts throughout curricula for both students and professionals.

By David A. Laviska, Ph.D., Portfolio Manager for Green Chemistry and Sustainability in Education, ACS Green Chemistry Institute 

85 In-Person Thoughtleaders Engaged Actively Throughout the Day at the American Chemical Society in Washington, D.C.85 In-Person Thoughtleaders Engaged Actively Throughout the Day at the American Chemical Society in Washington, D.C.

 On December 7 and 8, 2023, the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute and Office of Sustainability hosted the Second Annual Sustainability Summit. The event focused on United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #4: Quality Education and convened 85 thought leaders from across the spectrum of stakeholders working to advance green chemistry and sustainability in education at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Programmatic themes focused on the necessity for reimagining the way(s) we teach and learn chemistry to better prepare students for tackling grand global sustainability challenges. 

Experts from academia, industry, government, NGOs, funding agencies, and non-profits representing both U.S. and international perspectives shared data and participated in guided discussions and Q&A with the audience. The formal Summit agenda was designed to facilitate connections between academia and industry to catalyze the propagation of green chemistry and sustainability concepts throughout curricula for both students and professionals. Based on evaluations submitted by Summit participants, the panel-discussion format was well-received with the overall effect resembling a multi-stakeholder brainstorming session.

Panel Session 2: "Looking to the Future" Featured Speakers Jane Wissinger, Areej Nitowski, Amy Cannon, Ann Lee-Jeffs, Jennifer MacKellar, and Lin He (Left to Right). Not pictured: Stephen MatlinPanel Session 2: "Looking to the Future" Featured Speakers Jane Wissinger, Areej Nitowski, Amy Cannon, Ann Lee-Jeffs, Jennifer MacKellar, and Lin He (Left to Right). Not pictured: Stephen Matlin

In order to effectively take stock of outcomes from the Summit and follow up appropriately, GCI staff are working on several initiatives, including:

  • Composing a Discovery Report that summarizes Summit goals, themes, and outcomes to be published by the ACS and issued in conjunction with C&EN,
  • Prioritizing content and facilitating the development of courses and related materials to enable a broad spectrum of professional development opportunities,
  • Planning for academia-industry collaboration as part of the Green Chemistry for Sustainability online platform we are developing with partners, and
  • Expanding the scope of the Green Chemistry Teaching Modules project by publishing additional modules as well as developing new materials in alignment with post-Summit feedback and discussions among collaborators.

For those unable to attend the Sustainability Summit in person or virtually, we will make selected recordings available for free viewing soon. In the meantime, if you want to join the conversation or contribute to one or more of our initiatives, please contact us at GCI@acs.org.