5th Annual Sustainable Cleveland 2019 Summit: Day 1

The first day of Sustainable Cleveland 2019’s annual Sustainability Summit has concluded. The event began with an introduction from Mayor Frank G. Jackson and a status update on the progress made by Sustainable Cleveland from Chief of Sustainability, Jenita McGowan. Over 400 local business leaders, government officials, non-profit leaders, students and educators were present and ready to use their vast knowledge and imagination to create an action plan for building a green economy for Cleveland’s future.

The highlights of the day included keynote speaker, John Montgomery author of Great from the Start. Mr. Montgomery’s keynote address focused on transforming public and private corporations for success in the new economy of the future. In this economy, corporations not only optimize profits for shareholders but also provide a material positive impact on society and the environment.

Later in the day, the Program Director for the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, Matthew Gray, rolled out the City’s new Climate Action Plan. The Climate Action Plan is a long-term plan containing 33 actions designed to make Cleveland more resilient in the face of global climate change. The overarching goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050 (with 2010 emissions levels as the baseline).

Throughout the Summit, participants were encouraged to think of and share creative new ways that the City, private business, non-profits, and individuals could implement this year’s theme: Advanced and Renewable energy. The Summit utilizes the concept of Appreciative Inquiry (AI). AI is a collaborative, interactive, and action oriented process for creating change by doing more than just having conversations – rather it involves planning how to solidify Cleveland’s sustainable future.

The Summit continues tomorrow at 8:00 am with another keynote speaker, Mr. Chuck Kutscher. Mr. Kutscher is a Principal Engineer and Group Manager of the Thermal Systems Group in the Center for Electricity, Resources, and Building Systems Integration. His projects have included the design and construction of a solar cooling test laboratory; production of NREL’s solar industrial process heat design handbook; modeling of advanced power cycles and cooling systems for geothermal power plants; and development of transpired solar air collectors.