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2021 Sustainability Change Leaders Retreat

June 21 @ 3:00 pm - June 24 @ 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 Thursday, May 6, 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 Angel Acosta

   Day 3 – Wednesday June 23rd, 3:00pm – 5:30pm EDT
        The Great Transformation Exercise with Matt Lynch
        Systems thinking and biomimicry for leading Organizational Change with Leith Sharp

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

Facilitators and Program Designers

Aurora Winslade, Director of Sustainability, Swarthmore College
Aurora Winslade

Aurora 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 is Principal of Consilience LLC, a national consultancy with a mission to foster environmentally, socially and economically sustainable communities. He was a pioneer and a central figure in the global green building movement, and his skilled facilitation has given birth to sustainability plans for municipalities and institutions, institutional impact investment plans, regional public policy initiatives and sustainable local economic development plans. Sandy also serves as Chief Learning Officer for Future Tide Partners, with a mission to equip individuals and institutions to shift culture, policy and capital in a rapidly changing world of work towards an inclusive, flourishing future economy. Sandy was Chair of BALLE (bealocalist.org) through a decade of transformation and growth. He is a Past Chair of the U.S. Green Building Council (usgbc.org), Founding Chair of the Green Business Certification Institute (gbci.org) and a co-author of LEED for Neighborhood Development. Read more about Sandy’s experience with other organizations.

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, as well as Chairperson of the Board of Directors for Kahumana Organic Farm – a social enterprise working at the nexus of transitional housing, mental health and regenerative farming to build healthy communities on O’ahu.

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. 

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 @ 3:00 pm EDT
June 24 @ 5:00 pm EDT
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