Building on the success of two previous conferences, the 2013 Central Coast Sustainability Summit at UC Santa Barbara will bring together representatives from local governments, nonprofit and volunteer organizations, business leaders and private companies to discuss the development of community choice aggregation and joint renewable energy projects.
Hosted by UCSB in partnership with the cities of Goleta, Santa Barbara and Carpinteria, the County of Santa Barbara and the Community Environmental Council, the conference will take place from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 23 in the campus' Corwin Pavilion.
This year's summit will focus four areas: economic development, product stewardship and extended producer responsibility, renewable energy and cross-agency volunteer management. Three keynote speakers and two concurrent panel sessions — one in the morning and one in the afternoon — will provide opportunities for summit participants to share best practices and build collaborations to address these four areas.
"This year we have a clear vision, so we're coming in with targeted speakers that have been successful in the areas where we want to move forward," said conference organizer Katie Maynard, who also is the sustainability coordinator for UCSB. "We are offering a spectacular lineup of speakers this year, including several people who are trail blazers, creating the best practices we are now looking to as models."
Following opening remarks by Pam Lombardo, UCSB's acting associate vice chancellor, administrative services, and business leader Michael Holliday at 8:20 a.m., Jamie Tuckey, communications director for the Marin Energy Authority, will be the first keynote speaker. She will talk about starting California's first — and only — community choice aggregation program and how this tool can be used to create additional opportunities for local communities to secure renewable energy.
"This is the first year that we've fully integrated business leaders into the conference," Maynard said. "We are excited to learn from the experience and knowledge of industry representatives and the new opportunities that are available now that industry representatives are joining the dialogue."
Attendees will then have the opportunity to choose from three concurrent morning panel sessions. They are "Community Choice Aggregation — A Silver Bullet to a Clean Energy Future on the Central Coast," "Driving Job Growth Through Businesses and Government Purchases" and "New Strategies in Volunteer Management."
Monica Diaz, project manager in the Community Action Commission's Youth Corps, will give the lunchtime keynote speech, discussing best practices in youth job training. Her presentation will be followed by the second concurrent session, which also has three panels. They include "Achieving Wide-Scale Adoption of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy" followed by "Creating Futures: Career Training for Our Community."
The afternoon's final panel, "Environmentally Preferable Purchasing," will set the tone for the third keynote speaker, Scott Cassel. Cassel is the executive director of the Product Stewardship Institute, a national nonprofit focused on developing post-consumer product waste management solutions with an emphasis on extended producer responsibility. He will be introduced by California state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, who will speak briefly about Senate Bill SB-727, which would establish a pharmaceutical collection program to address issues related to the storage and disposal of home-generated pharmaceuticals.
"Last year's summit introduced the idea of extended purchaser responsibility, and we want to build on that this year, so we've added product stewardship to the mix," Maynard said. "We would like this year's presentations to act as a catalyst to get individuals and institutions thinking about what and where they buy — and to view the purchasing process as a way to vote with their dollars."
The Central Coast Sustainability Summit is open to the public. Registration is required, and fees range from $29 for students to $39 for all others. Discounts are available for those who register by 11:59 p.m. this Friday. Click here for details or to register online.