Inspiring a Better World through Collaboration

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By Bharat Venkatesh

From a lovable eco-conscious rabbit to one of the largest business sustainability conferences in the state, learn how the ASU Sustainability Solutions Festival is inspiring collaboration.

Illustration Contest for Arizona’s Largest Sustainability Literacy Collaboration

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This February, the call for entries for the illustration contest opens for the next edition of Jeremy Jackrabbit, a free adventure book for kindergartners by Sasha and Rodney Glassman.

With over 200,000 free books distributed to kindergartners across Arizona, the new book “Jeremy Jackrabbit Hops on Board” is a multi-modal adventure where Jeremy learns from his desert creature friends about the values and benefits associated with “living green” and utilizing light-rail, buses, and bikes. The book will be distributed to every kindergartner in Maricopa County in Spring 2018.

“Valley Metro is thrilled to work with Arizona State University, the City of Phoenix, City of Tempe, and over 42 elementary school districts in Maricopa County as lead partner in what has become Arizona’s largest literacy collaboration,” said CEO of Valley Metro, Scott Smith, about the project. “There are few things more exciting – or more important – than putting a book in the hands of a child.”

The book is 100 percent illustrated by student artists (grades K-8). Little ones can help Jeremy tell his story by participating in the illustration contest sponsored by Valley Metro by visiting valleymetro.org/jeremy. The deadline for entries is 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 28.

How to get involved:

  • Find the story and contest materials at valleymetro.org/jeremy.
  • Young artists are invited to draw illustrations matching a part of the story.
  • Artists in grades K-8 may enter.
  • Illustrations can be in any medium: crayon, marker, colored pencil, watercolor, etc.
  • Pencil-only illustrations are not recommended.
  • Colored backgrounds are highly recommended.
  • Artwork should be horizontal orientation, no larger than 17” (w) X 11” (h).
  • No lined or color paper.
  • Artwork must be accompanied by an entry and release form and can be dropped off at any location listed at valleymetro.org/jeremy.
  • Entries may also be mailed to: Valley Metro-Jeremy Jackrabbit Art Contest, 101 N. 1st Ave., Suite 1300, Phoenix, AZ 85003

As part of the ASU Sustainability Solutions Festival, Jeremy Jackrabbit will be having a book signing during Family Day on Monday, February 20, at the Arizona Science Center for the release of the fifth book, “Jeremy Jackrabbit Builds a House.” Student artists will be on hand to sign their individually illustrated pages after a morning book reading by Phoenix Vice Mayor Kate Gallego.

ASU Sustainability Solutions Festival

Phoenix City Councilwoman Kate Gallego presents a Mayoral Proclamation to Melani Walton as part of the 2016 Sustainability Solutions Festival. From left: John Trujillo, Executive Director of City of Phoenix Public Works; Patricia Reiter, Executive Director of ASU Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives; Phoenix Councilwoman Kate Gallego; Melani Walton; Chevy Humphrey, President and CEO of Arizona Science Center; and Gary Dirks, Executive Director of ASU Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability. Photo by Tim Trumble, courtesy of ASU Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives.
Phoenix City Councilwoman Kate Gallego presents a Mayoral Proclamation to Melani Walton as part of the 2016 Sustainability Solutions Festival. From left: John Trujillo, Executive Director of City of Phoenix Public Works; Patricia Reiter, Executive Director of ASU Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives; Phoenix Councilwoman Kate Gallego; Melani Walton; Chevy Humphrey, President and CEO of Arizona Science Center; and Gary Dirks, Executive Director of ASU Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability. Photo by Tim Trumble, courtesy of ASU Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives.

With every year that passes, our lifespans increase and global populations steadily rise. But the Earth’s finite resources correspondingly dwindle. To address such challenges as climate change, increasing waste, and access to clean water, integrating sustainability in our daily interactions is crucial. We need to understand the situations around the world, innovate in an eco-friendly manner, and influence others to do the same. Considering this, the fourth annual Sustainability Solutions Festival, organized by ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability as part of the Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives, is the perfect place for those who want to know how they can do better.

Held February 2-25, the Festival convenes the top global sustainability organizations and events to educate and engage the public on how to reimagine our world and consider our future. It has engaged more than 38,000 people from across the world over the past three years, and it intends to double that number this year.

“The goal of the Sustainability Solutions Festival is to have people gain a greater understanding of what it means to be an agent of change, celebrate those who are already leaders in this effort, and to provide those just learning about sustainability with easy yet impactful solutions,” said Jason Franz, senior manager of Strategic Marketing and Communications for the Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives.

The Festival provides a platform for community groups, such as the events’ sponsors, to showcase their sustainability initiatives. There are a number of community organizations, museums, educators, cultural institutions and corporations acting as hosts of events to accelerate the development and discussion of sustainability initiatives.

While cornerstone events from the previous festivals such as the ASU Night of the Open Door events, the Sustainability Solutions Family Day, the GreenBiz 17 conference and GreenBiz University are returning, this year also includes new global partners. Second Nature will be hosting their 2017 Presidential Climate Leadership Summit; the World Business Council for Sustainable Development will be holding a special Redefining Corporate Value conference as a pre-event for the GreenBiz17 conference; the Global Reporting Initiative will be conducting a special Reporters’ Summit; and more.

GreenBiz

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GreenBiz, one of the Festival’s key partners, is adapting to the changing political climate and growing its online content, conference offerings, research reports and the membership-based peer-to-peer network of sustainability executives. Among the business executives featured on stage are the chief financial officer and the chief sustainability officer of Levi Strauss & Co. to discuss how sustainability blends with finance. Peter Seligmann, the founder and chairman of Conservation International, and his daughter Leah Seligmann, director of the Net-Zero Initiative, will also be there for an intergenerational conversation.

“This is a really interesting time, politically and otherwise,” said Joel Makower, the chairman and executive editor of GreenBiz. “Our core audience – sustainability executives from large companies – are trying to understand the new landscape in terms of how the new political reality in the United States affects their work and how it aligns with the reality in the rest of the world. At the same time, they are leaning in on their missions to reduce the environmental footprint of their products, services and operations, while reducing risk, improving resiliency, and tapping into the vast business opportunities in creating a low-carbon economy.”


For more on Jeremy Jackrabbit, the ASU Sustainability Solutions Festival, GreenBiz, and all the other exciting events taking place this month, visit sustainability.asu.edu/sustainabilitysolutions.

Top photo shows Scott Smith, CEO of Valley Metro; Don Cassano, Ombudsman at Arizona Department of Transportation; Jeremy Jackrabbit; and Joseph Bower, Deputy Director of the Facilities and Oversight division at Phoenix Public Transit Department. This photo and Jeremy Jackrabbit photo by Emily Gauci.

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