POCATELLO, ID – Idaho State University’s Economics Club will host the Northwestern Environmental Unconference, A NEU TIDE, on April 15 and 16 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Pocatello Ramada Inn.
The event will bring together dreamers, students, creators, educators, innovators, business owners, leaders and policy makers from all across the Northwest in a weekend dedicated to environmental sustainability and innovative business, said Sydney Axtell, president of the Economics Club and event organizer.
“The purpose of the unconference is to facilitate environmental education through community collaboration,” Axtell said.
She and her committee are working hard to make this “unconference” a large success, hoping to attract more than 100 participants and it will feature two keynote speakers. Through diversity and creativity, teams will collaborate in finding solutions for pressing issues including climate change, alternative fuel, water harvesting, wildlife and land conservation, sustainable building, nutrition and more. The event is all-inclusive as far as attendees; in fact, diverse fields of interest are encouraged in order to maintain creativity and maximize innovative ideas among teams. The top three teams will be awarded prizes.
“This is not just for academics or people in an environmental field of study. A diverse group of people are needed in order to create whole solutions to environmental and sustainable issues,” Axtell said.
There will be 20 tables set up for the unconference and participants choose to sit at a table based on the environmental or sustainable issue that is assigned to each table. Each table formulates a team and will collaborate for the next two days to innovate a sustainable solution.
Keynote speakers will be presented at 10:15 a.m. each day of the conference.
Keynote speaker Lauren Singer runs a blog titled “Trash is for Tossers,” based out of New York City. Singer is the founder of The Simply Co, a business that produces toxin-free, sustainable cleaning products. Singer said she can fit all of her trash accumulated in one year in a small mason jar. She avoids accumulating waste by composting, recycling, shopping secondhand for clothing and repurposing. Singer will explain how a zero-waste lifestyle can be for everyone. She encourages people to evaluate their reasons for decreasing their impact and transition into a more sustainable lifestyle in her two-step process to zero waste. Visit her blog at http://www.trashisfortossers.com/ for creative ways to live a sustainable lifestyle.
The second keynote speaker, Scott “Skip” Schoonover, is an award-winning landscape architect and land planner with more than 25 years of experience. Based out of the Greater Salt Lake area, the guest speaker specializes in the creation of innovative and sustainable solutions with an emphasis on ecological and cultural responsibility. Schoonover currently serves as the principle landscape architect for the McNeil Group and has valuable and inspirational ideas on the topic of sustainability.
Inspiration for this ISU event began when members of the Economics Club attended a similar conference hosted by a non-profit called 1 to 1 Movement, an organization dedicated to educating and engaging people in topics that promote environmental sustainability. The conference, “A Place at the Table” was hosted in the fall of 2015 at San Diego State University.
Much like the event that will be hosted in Pocatello in April, the San Diego event featured diversified teams of innovators who came together to create unique and useful business solutions. Out of nearly 200 participants at 1 to 1 Movement, ISU’s Economics Club was very successful as three members of the club enjoyed being a part of the top-three, award-winning teams.
For more information or to register, visit http://www.aneutide.com/#home. The $20.16 registration fee includes participation in the event and lunch supplied by local sources both Friday and Saturday. Lunch options will be available for most dietary restrictions.