Steve Hallett is keynote speaker at the eco-summit.

Steve Hallett is keynote speaker at the eco-summit.

On March 30, students, faculty, and community members from around Indiana will convene on the IUPUI campus for a day of eco-minded discussion. This inaugural Indiana Eco Student Summit, hosted by Indiana Living Green and the IUPUI Environmental Law Society, is the first of its kind as an avenue for meaningful idea-sharing and networking. High school students, college students, faculty and concerned citizens of all ages are invited to attend. The event is free for students, faculty, and staff, $8 for advance tickets for community members or $10 at the door.

Says Mike Blackwell, President of the Environmental Law Society, “The concept of the Eco Student Summit was developed in the after hours of IU McKinney Environmental Law Society meetings at Bourbon Street Distillery in downtown Indy, in conversations not unlike those that took place in Salon gatherings of the French Revolution.”

The summit will include two keynote speakers, Gabe Filippelli and Steve Hallett. Filippelli is the Director of IUPUI Center for Urban Health. Steve Hallett is an Associate Professor at PurdueUniversity and the author of “Life Without Oil.”

The day will begin with welcomes, introductions, the opening keynote by Filippelli, and a light breakfast. Morning break-out groups will follow, starting with groups of people from similar institutions and followed by mixed groups of representatives from large and small college campuses as well as high schools. These discussions will focus on conservation efforts and environmental issues on the participants’ respective campuses. The mixed groups offer comparative analysis so participants can gain insight on unique organizational efforts.

Lunch will follow, accompanied by presentations from Indianapolis community organizations.

The afternoon panel discussion entitled “Balancing Economic Interests and Environmental Protection” will feature Jesse Kharbanda of the Hoosier Environmental Council, Eric Dannenmaier the Director of the Environmental and Natural Resource Law Program at IU McKinney School of Law, Curtis Wesley, a Professor in the Kelley School of Business, and Brent Hershman, Indiana State Senator.

After the panel discussion, students will choose two 30-minute workshops of the four available. “Indiana Food Issues” will be led by Kim Ferraro, the Water and Agriculture Policy Director of the Hoosier Environmental Council. “Urban Planning and Community Development” will be led by Lauren Day, an Indianapolis Urban Planner. The workshop on recycling will be led by Carrie Hamilton, the Executive Director of the Indiana Recycling Coalition. “An International Perspective on Environmental Justice” will be led by three environmental lawyers, Gabriela Castilhos, Yi-Shen Liu, and Victor Gbodo Yisa, of Brazil, Taiwan, and Nigeria respectively.

The closing keynote by Steve Hallett, as well as closing comments, will conclude the Summit.

“This Indiana Eco Student Summit aims to inspire an statewide environmental spirit among Indiana’s college and high school students. Efforts to build a community around these issues is essential to the health and longevity of the Indiana environment, economy and culture,” says Blackwell of the event’s impact. “So much of the world community embraces these environmentalist ideas as essential practices of a healthy society, and this is a step toward keeping Indiana moving in the right direction. This Summit will be a chance for eco-minded youth to convene and collaborate annually to share ideas and make lasting connections.”

The Summit will take place on March 30 from 10 am – 4 pm at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis, located at 530 W. New York Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202. Tickets for students and community members may be purchased/reserved online. RSVP to the Facebook event in order to connect with other attendees and invite friends.


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