As we shelter in place to fight the spread of COVID-19, opportunities to connect virtually have sprouted like crabgrass in May. For those interested in sustainability, design and green building, there are quite a few opportunities in the coming weeks to consider, and some of them are free. Here are seven of them:
- April 30-May 1: The US Green Building Council’s Mountain Region presents “Rocky Mountain Green,” which includes a half-day workshop on embodied carbon, and sessions on regenerative community design, mass timber and indoor air quality.
- April 30 (and again on May 6):, The Museum of Design Atlanta hosts “Drink in Design” meetups with “Atlanta’s most creative people.” Each meetup will include an interview with an artist in her/his maker space. Ongoing, MODA is also hosting the “Biomimicry Design Challenge,” if you are looking for ways to keep your young people (aged 8-18) busy.
- May 1: The Sustainable Atlanta Roundtable will be focused on “Development without Displacement.” Hear from some of Atlanta’s top commentators about how to avoid dislocating vibrant communities as neighborhoods develop.
- May 7-8: The International Living Future Institute brings its iconic “unconference,” Living Future, online. With dozens of interactive sessions, including one with Dennis Creech of the Kendeda Fund, this event is always full of provocative presentations. When the organizers chose “Sustaining Hope Within Crisis” a year ago, they meant the climate crisis. Whether prescient or serendipitous, the gathering promises to offer big ideas for the path ahead. “All Access” attendees also get to participate in six additional online “Summits,” which will be held May 19-June 25.
- May 14: The U.S. Green Building Council hosts a “Virtual Town Hall” with its CEO, Mahesh Ramanujam. After he offers his vision for the future of USGBC, Mahesh will take questions from the virtual audience.
- June 10-13: The Congress for the New Urbanism will present CNU28. A Virtual Gathering. With more than 50 sessions, the event will include live discussions with presenters, social gatherings, art rooms, plenaries and other gatherings.
- June 27-July 1: The ASHRAE Annual Conference will include eight technical tracks focusing on such broad subject areas as “Resilient Buildings and Communities,” ” Zero Energy Buildings and Communities,” and “Grid-Interactive Efficient Built Environment.”
Of course, the virtual gatherings above are just the tip of the iceberg. So if you are looking to engage with peers, learn something new or just find ways to pass the days of social distancing, check out some of these events and share them with your friends.
Brad Kahn is a communications consultant focused on green building, forests and climate change. He works with organizations that include the International Living Future Institute, Forest Stewardship Council, Bullitt Foundation and Kendeda Fund. He has a master’s degree in natural resource economics and policy from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and lives in Seattle.