My most recent slideshow experience was nothing short of amazing, but that’s taking into account the entire day as a continuum of experiences.
I had, some weeks ago, been invited to be on a panel at IUPUI regarding careers in sustainability, courtesy of the SPEA department. Sure, I replied, then realized I could pair this visit with a presentation of the slideshow, and got with Kyle McCool, Director of Undergraduate Programs and Student Services, who invited me to the university’s campus apartments to do the slideshow.
See, when you’re me, and you’re either (usually) on a bicycle or (every once in a while) in a car, you try and pair things up, make the most use of a trip.
I decided to go further and get to IUPUI early, and have lunch, inviting my friends at the university who are engaged in sustainability efforts. That’s a half-day agenda!
You know what else, though? You still have to get there, and it’s a 30 minute ride from my office to IUPUI, so I left early, allowing myself some wiggle room.
Boy am I glad I did. First thing that happened was I spotted a bunch of people working on Fall Creek — yes, I mean literally, on the creek, not the road — dressed in red t-shirts. Ah-ha! Lilly Day of Service! The day when scads of Lilly employees team up with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful and fan out across the city to clean up parks, alleys, etc., and in this particular case aid in the Reconnecting to our Waterways efforts to makeover one of our main tributaries from eyesore to eyesooth.
When I stopped to talk to the folks there, I was informed there was another group, upstream, clearing out invasive growth. This group was putting in benches where folks could stop and eye the creek. At the moment, the benches gave one a great view of some crappy invasive growth, i.e. blocking the view of Fall Creek — but we can assume it will be removed as the project takes shape.
Back on the bike, I then scooted over to nearby Barton Park where artist Matt Bua was working with Big Car’s Anne Laker, on a series of pieces of art that would adorn the bridge above Fall Creek. After a brief exchange, I continued my journey downtown, excited about the Fall Creek clean-up.
My lunch gathering was great, and included SPEA faculty member Saba Sidikki, Environmental Law Society president Mike Blackwell, Office of Sustainability director Colleen McCormick and Rich Strong, Director of Environmental Health and Safety. I had also invited Eric Dannenmeier, whom I had recently written about here, but he was traveling and could not make it.
I don’t have as much to say about sustainability as do my panel-mates, Colleen McCormick and Megan Anderson from the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign. And Sidikki, who moderated, specializes in sustainability, with a focus on organic farming, among other areas. But I held my own, taking my role of comic relief quite seriously.
Though I did emphasize a time or two that sustainability is not a career so much as it is a life commitment, something I hope didn’t sound too woo-woo for the audience. So what, if so? I did make a point that that renewables are going great guns, so to speak, throughout the world, and that you can’t take it at face value when someone tells you wind or solar suck.
I related the story about receiving just such a press release a few days prior about how renewables come up short, and then tracking the press release to a Koch-brother funded foundation. You can read about that here.
Only a half dozen students attended my slideshow, held at the campus apartments, but it was a good session, where I started to feel more confident about my presentation, about when to read the slides, and when to not (Climate Reality Chronicles#3).
All in all, it was a fantastic day at a campus whose interest in sustainability grows every day. But my day was not done! I stopped by the grand opening for LISC (Local Initiative Support Corporation), which sparks and fuels all sorts of projects throughout the city, many of which have a thread of sustainability and, in some cases, an absolute focus.
There I ran into numerous friends and ate great food and drank local, always a good thing: a Sun King brew and a shot of Harrison Bourbon.
By the time I rode home, it was dark; I’d experienced over eight hours of being downtown, celebrating this great town, and all the people in it.