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2021 Sustainability Change Leaders Retreat

June 21, 2021 @ 3:00 pm - June 24, 2021 @ 5:00 pm EDT


This has been a year of challenges and change. It is more important than ever for the AASHE community of change leaders to have a chance to recharge, connect, and be re-inspired so that we can stay motivated and continue to do the urgent work that we do through these uncertain and challenging times. The 2021 Sustainability Change Leaders Retreat will:

  • Deepen your network through connection and inspiration –  Recharge by connecting deeply with one another; rekindle your motivation through shared community; build and strengthen relationships and commitment to the work of creating a thriving world that works for everyone.
  • Build your online collaboration skills Use innovative tools for collaborating in the online environment. This virtual world calls on us to be creative in convening our communities in ways that foster interactive connection. 
  • Enable you to unleash collective intelligenceAdvance your capacities in systems thinking, organizational design, leading change, cultivating social intelligence, and relationship-building skills to unleash the collective intelligence of your organization.

Key Details

Retreat DatesThe retreat will happen over 3 days between June 21-24, 2021. See tentative schedule below for times.
LocationThe retreat will take place online via Zoom.
Registration Fee: $250 (AASHE members), $325 (AASHE non-members)
Registration Policies:

  • Registration deadline is Monday, June 21, 12:00 p.m. EDT.
  • Payment is accepted in the form of Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover cards, ACH transfers or checks.
  • Cancellation Policy: A 20% processing fee applies to any cancellation prior to June 11, 2021. No refunds will be given after June 11, 2021.
  • No substitutions are allowed.
  • Review all Terms & Conditions.

Who Attends?

This event is intended for change leaders both new and experienced who are charged with playing a facilitative role in their organizations to catalyze change. If you are in a role where you are working relentlessly to engage your community in transformation, and you want to connect with others who are in similar roles, this event is for you. If you are unafraid to listen and share about your experiences and would like to deepen your skills to connect in meaningful ways, and help others to do the same, despite and even using the tools of the virtual environment we are working within, this event is for you. 

Program Design & Tentative Schedule

The program will be comprised of the following elements:

  • The Council on the Uncertain Human Future 
  • Connecting Activities that foster meaningful connections with peers 
  • Presentations on cutting edge sustainability leadership topics
  • Interactive and immersive online collaboration tools to share ideas
  • Breathing and grounding exercises to deepening our sense of purpose
  • Exploration of Indigenous interconnections with higher education sustainability

Tentative schedule:
   Day 1 – Monday June 21st, 3:00pm – 5:00pm EDT
        Welcome & Orientation
Strategic focus: How to focus on what matters most in your work
Connecting Activity

   Day 2 – Tuesday June 22nd, 12:30pm – 2:45pm EDT; 3:45 – 5:15pm EDT
        Council in this time of Reckoning – Developed as part of the Council on the Uncertain Human Future, this dialog-based learning practice arose in response to the intersections of racism, ecocide, pandemic and rising authoritarianism made undeniable by the murder of George Floyd in June.
        Grounding and healing as a community around the issues raised in the Council using breathwork as a modality with Sandy Wiggins and Alfa Demmellash

   Day 3 – Wednesday June 23rd, 3:00pm – 5:30pm EDT
        Climate Futures Activity: The Great Transition – Leith Sharp & Matt Lynch
       Deep time: A place for connecting to insight, pattern and flow – Leith Sharp & Matt Lynch

   Day 4 – Thursday June 24th, 2:30pm – 5:00pm EDT
        Indigenous Interconnections with Kamuela Enos
        Envisioning your path forward
        Closing / Reflection / Integration

Facilitators and Program Designers

Aurora Winslade, Director of Sustainability, Swarthmore College
Aurora WinsladeAurora has nearly twenty years of experience in higher education and private sector sustainability and energy efficiency work. She is committed to supporting professional development for sustainability leaders, focusing on intentional group process design and facilitation tools to engage people in systems transformation efforts. She co-created AASHE’s first sustainability officers retreat in 2011 and has led statewide and national workshops in California, Hawaii, New York, and Taiwan. Aurora has served as the Director of Sustainability for Swarthmore College since 2015, where she has co-led the development of the Roadmap to Zero, an energy infrastructure plan that will eliminate 98% of Swarthmore’s Scope 1 & 2 greenhouse gases by 2035, co-founded and teaches in the President’s Sustainability Research Fellowship program, and strives to ground the Office of Sustainability’s work in understanding the intersections of equity, justice, and ecological sustainability. She is a faculty member in Bard College’s Sustainable MBA program, where she teaches Leading Change in Organizations. Aurora previously founded new sustainability programs at the University of California Santa Cruz and the University of Hawaii. She also worked for Leidos Engineering as the Market Transformation Manager for Hawaii Energy, the state’s energy efficiency program, and worked with MA’O Organic Farms and the University of Hawaii West O`ahu to launch a B.A. program in Sustainable Community Food Systems. 

Sandy Wiggins, Principal, Consilience LLC

Sandy Wiggins began his adult life in a monastery. He is a lifelong student of Eastern and Western spiritual traditions and is dedicated to supporting transformational development as the pathway to an equitable, sustainable, and abundant future. He is certified as an Integrative Breathwork Practitioner and Psycho-Spirtual Facilitator by the Global Professional Breathwork Alliance and is a member of the International Breathwork Foundation. Sandy has also trained in Holotropic Breathwork, Therapeutic Breathwork, and Coherent Breathing. He is a mindfulness and mediation teacher and has studied and practiced numerous meditation and transformational techniques over 45 years.

Following a two-decade career as a real estate and construction executive and an epiphany regarding the destructive impacts of that industry, Sandy became a central figure in the nation’s green building movement. In 2004, he launched Consilience LLC, a national consultancy with a mission to foster environmentally, socially and economically sustainable communities. Sandy currently serves as Chief Learning Officer for Future Tide Partners, a field building collaborative focused on equipping individuals and institutions to shift consciousness, culture, policy and capital toward an inclusive and flourishing future economy. He is a co-creator of and principal educator for The Choosing Earth Project, whose mission is to catalyze personal and societal awakening to the critical challenges to humanity’s future and to foster a relational consciousness grounded in our connection with a living universe.

Sandy previously served as Sr. Advisor to RSF Social Finance where he focused on RSF’s field building activity in emergent systems. He also launched RSF’s Conscious Finance initiative, which focuses on the power of inner transformation as the means to alter the way that money works in the world. Sandy served for a decade as Chair of BALLE (now Common Future). He is also Past Chair of the U.S. Green Building Council, Founding Chair of Green Business Certification Inc., and Founding Chair of the Philadelphia based Green Building United.

Leith Sharp, Director of Executive Education for Sustainability, Harvard University’s Center for Health and the Global Environment
Leith SharpA dynamic change leader who is currently advancing a transformational leadership model through collaborative partners, including Harvard University’s Center for Health and the Global Environment, AASHE, the U.S. Green Building Council and others. She teaches change leadership at Harvard University and is best known for her role as the founding Director of Harvard’s Office for Sustainability where over a period of 9 years she worked to create the world’s largest green campus organization using a self-funding business model. She has over 20 years of experience in fostering organizational change to drive sustainability into the core mission of organizations and has been the founder of 4 successful sustainability programs in Australia, the USA and Europe. She is an international expert in change leadership for sustainability and has received numerous awards internationally including Young Australian of the Year, NSW Environment Category and a Churchill Fellowship. Ms. Sharp has an environmental engineering degree (UNSW) and a master of education in human development and psychology (Harvard).

Matthew Kamakani Lynch, System Sustainability Director, University of Hawaiʻi
Matt LynchMatt is the founding Director of Sustainability Initiatives for the ten campuses of the University of Hawaiʻi, which include 7 community colleges, two regional 4-year institutions an land, sea and space grant R-1 campus.  He currently serves as teaching faculty on Harvard’s Executive Education for Sustainability Leadership program.

After surviving a 10-year career in mortgage banking & real estate finance, Matt has worked to replenish his karmic bank accounts by participating in a broad range of community-based sustainable development projects in the Asia-Pacific region.

Matt’s core work is focused upon 1) creating conditions to catalyze institutional transformation; 2) developing new business models which restore ecological systems and planetary life support systems that our existing business models have so badly damaged; and 3) creating authentic human connections and beauty in the face of accelerating environmental degradation, technological advances and social unrest. 

Alfa Demmellash, CEO & Co-Founder, Rising Tide Capital and Co-Founder, Future Tide Partners
Alfa DemmellashBorn and raised in Ethiopia, Alfa lives in New Jersey with her husband and two boys. She is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Rising Tide Capital, a non-profit organization that provides underserved entrepreneurs with the resources they need to launch and grow successful businesses. Since 2005 the organization has operated the Community Business Academy, a 12-week course that provides intensive business management training coupled with year-round coaching and mentorship, now serving a network of more than 3,000 entrepreneurs in New Jersey as well as Illinois, South Carolina and North Carolina, with more in planning stages. Corporate, foundation, and government funders underwrite the cost of tuition and services for all participants; 70% are women of color. By building successful businesses, entrepreneurs meet their families’ basic needs, create opportunities for social mobility, and help transform their local communities into thriving economies.

Alfa is also the Co-Founder of Future Tide Partners, which equips cross-sector leaders to shift capital, policy and culture in a rapidly changing world of work towards an inclusive, flourishing future economy. She was named a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader in 2015 and has appeared in leading media outlets including CNN, O the Oprah Magazine, Essence Magazine, Bloomberg, Inc. Magazine, the Suze Orman show, BusinessWeek and Entrepreneur Magazine. She has been recognized by President Barack Obama; received the prestigious 25th Heinz Award in the Technology, the Economy and Employment category; and was named a CNN Hero and one of the Most Powerful Women Changing the World in Forbes. She currently serves as a Commissioner on the New Jersey Future of Work Task Force and is a board member of the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund.

Kamuela Enos, Director for the Office of Indigenous Innovation for the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation, University of Hawaii System

Kamuela Enos

Kamuela Enos was born and raised in Waianae, Hawaii. He is the Director for the newly created Office of Indigenous Innovation for the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation for the University of Hawaii System. Prior to this role, Kamuela was the Director of Social Enterprise at MAʻO Organic Farms, the largest organic farm on Oʻahu, which is run by youth age 17-24 from the Waianae community. He is a former commissioner on President Obama’s White House Initiative on Asians and Pacific Islanders, he serves on the Board of the Purple Mai`a Prize, a nonprofit that works to inspire and educate the next generation of culturally grounded, community serving technology makers and problem solvers. He received his BA in Hawaiian Studies and his MA in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of  Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

Testimonials from past participants

“I loved addressing the deeper levels of our work. While also providing options for other professionals to take different content. I liked seeing others (especially our older white men) being challenged to step into a more feminine, listening role.”

“I loved the deep well of knowledge and experience that the facilitators brought to the discussion. Your willingness to share lessons from your experiences really added a lot of depth to the retreat for me. “

“This retreat honestly turned me around from the brink of quitting and burning out to a feeling of renewed purpose, energy, excitement, and solidarity. I’m committed to making this an annual tradition for myself to attend. The benefits cannot be overstated.”

“I experienced significant personal and professional growth. Fun and emotional, great ways to come to terms with our climate situation.”

“ Not what I was expecting (not really sure what I was expecting) but, loved it! This was actually the best thing for me at this time. Thanks!”

Any questions about the workshop?
Please contact Daita Serghi, education@aashe.org


June 21, 2021 @ 3:00 pm EDT
June 24, 2021 @ 5:00 pm EDT
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