The 7th Annual Sustainable Cleveland 2019 Summit is Sept. 16 – Sept. 17 at Cleveland Public Auditorium in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. Participants will recognize the accomplishments and challenges, gauge the progress and chart the course for the next four years to continue its progress toward a Green City on a Blue Lake.
This year, the summit will highlight the current celebration year of Clean Water, with a look ahead to 2016, the Year of Sustainable Transportation. Jenita McGowan, chief of Sustainability for the City of Cleveland will discuss the key accomplishments in sustainability during opening remarks.
In August 2009 nearly 700 people from across Greater Cleveland gathered at Public Auditorium for a three-day summit focused on “Building an Economic Engine to Empower a Green City on a Blue Lake.” The event focused on supporting business growth, protecting the environment and creating opportunities for individuals to prosper.
Conceived by Mayor Frank G. Jackson as a key initiative to position Cleveland for the future, the first summit was a watershed moment in Cleveland history as a diverse group–from CEOs to high school students–shared their dreams of a sustainable city. Through a process known as Appreciative Inquiry (AI) the participants focused on 20 areas including food, water, land and transportation to work on prototypes of that brighter future. The summit was facilitated by Case Western Reserve University, Fowler Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit faculty David Cooperrider and Ron Fry, who pioneered AI, and the city of Cleveland’s Office of Sustainability.
At the first summit, Mayor Jackson committed to hosting an annual sustainability summit every year until 2019, the 50th year anniversary of the infamous Cuyahoga River Fire. 2019 is a deadline, an inspiration and a year during which Cleveland will be in the national spotlight and able to tell a story of dramatic transformation.
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Sustainable Cleveland, a 10-year initiative, is a community of people from every walk of life working together to reshape Cleveland into a vibrant livable city with thriving businesses and a flourishing natural environment. The initiative provides resources that offer information and actionable tools so Clevelanders can make smart, sustainable choices at home, work and in their community.