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In partnership with Central Community College, the Joslyn Institute for Sustainable Communities, the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, and WasteCap Nebraska, MCC is excited to announce the third year of monthly presentation series on topics related to sustainability, energy, the environment, and how they apply to you. We are committed to leading and fostering a sustainable environment for our community.

All presentations will be streamed live to FOC Building 10, Room 116A. You may also watch online via the livestream (password SLPS). Presentations will be followed by a Q&A session. You can participate in the live Q & A during the presentation by tweeting your question using the hashtag #SLPSThursday.

All events are free and open to the public!


Schedule of Events

Each event takes place the first Thursday of the month, from 3:30 - 5:00 pm.

Fort Omaha Campus - Building 10, Room 116A

November 5, 2015


Sustainability – A Business Imperative

Speaker: William Blackburn


William Blackburn is a global sustainability expert with hands-on experience building sustainability programs within major companies.  He will discuss the recent consensus on the scope and practical meaning of sustainability that has emerged from large, global multi-stakeholder forums and from corporate usage.  (It’s considerably more than just recycling, climate change and energy conservation.)  He will also share his proven approach for infusing sustainability into the life-blood of company operations-- a process he calls a “sustainability operating system (SOS).” This will include tips on selecting and marketing “green products.”




October 1, 2015



Living Buildings: Socially Just, Culturally Rich

and Ecologically Restorative


Featured Speakers:

Kathleen Smith, International Living Future Institute

Brad Liljequist,


The Living Building Challenge is the built environment's most rigorous performance standard. It calls for the creation of building projects that operate as cleanly, beautifully and efficiently as nature's architecture. To be certified under the Challenge, projects must meet a series of ambitious performance requirements, including Net Positive Energy, Waste and Water, over a minimum of 12 months of continuous occupancy. In this presentation, participants will gain a basic understanding of the Living Building Challenge - a philosophy, advocacy tool and certification program that addresses development of the built environment at all scales. This presentation is for anyone engaged with the built environment as a designer, builder, owner, developer, manager, or occupant.  So it is for everyone. It will challenge all of us to think deeply about place and how we can work together to create communities that are socially just, culturally rich and ecologically restorative.

June 4, 2015



Conservation and the Quest for

Quality Nebraska Places

Speaker: W. Cecil Steward

What do construction waste, global population migration, food processing and distribution, the Ogallala Aquifer, Omaha and O’Neill, climate change, and economic development have to do with one another? A new video by the Joslyn Institute for Sustainable Communities shows how interconnected and interdependent all of these factors are, and how addressing the nexus of global and local changes and pressures on our critical resources will ensure a strong and healthy future for our citizens. W. Cecil Steward, founder and President of the Joslyn Institute, will show an excerpt from the video and talk about how these imperatives might be addressed.

            Nebraska Nexus: Resources, Conservation, Development and Change explores five critical resources—food, water, energy, land and materials, and how we must consider both conservation and development of those resources to respond effectively to global pressures and to ensure they remain sustainable for future generations and the high standard of living we now enjoy. The culmination of four years of highly interactive workshops and conferences with civic leaders, ranchers, farmers, elected and appointed officials, students and concerned citizens across Nebraska, the video was produced with the support of Humanities Nebraska and the Nebraska Environmental Trust, with the administrative support of Nebraska Academy of Sciences.

May 7, 2015 - LIVE FROM MCC



Learn to Thrive: Lessons From Nature

Featured Speakers:

Lily Livingston, HDR Sustainable Design Services

Daniel Lawse, Verdis Group

What would our world look like if we rediscovered the lessons of nature? What if the places we live and work engaged our senses in a healthy way and celebrated culture with nature, encouraging human delight? How can a leaf inspire a solar cell? Or organizations learn from a tree or a coral reef? Biomimicry is an innovation method that seeks new ways of living sustainably—from new products and processes to policies—by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies. Janine Benyus, the founder of biomimicry, introduces an era based not on what we can extract from organisms and their ecosystems, but on what we can learn from them. Instead of technology working separately from nature, imagine a world where technology is in relationship with nature. Biophilic design articulates the relationships between nature, human biology and the design of the built environment so we experience the natural environment more in our daily world. Academics, researchers and others have codified valuable design research for improving health and well-being in our built environment into patterns of biophilic design; Patterns ‘that nurture the innate human attraction to natural systems and processes.’ Come learn how to bring nature back into our buildings, neighborhoods and lives.


April 2, 2015 - LIVE FROM MCC




Sustainable Farming and Foods in Nebraska

Speaker: William Powers

From water conservation to knowing where your food comes from, principles of sustainability are becoming more and more of the narrative in our daily lives. Sustainable agriculture and sustainable foods grow hand-in-hand and are at the forefront of the sustainability movement. This talk will look at sustainable agriculture and foods in Nebraska over the last 40 years. What programs and progress has been made, what is happening today and how you can be a part of changing the landscape of food and farming in Nebraska and the Midwest.

William Powers is the executive director for the Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society. Along with his wife Crystal and sons Aiden and Liam, they have a small diversified farm in the saline wetlands of Saunders County near Ceresco, Nebraska, that features Guernsey dairy cows and heritage breed poultry. Darby Springs Farm is grass-based and focused on sustainable agriculture and holistic management principles. Powers currently serves as president of Slow Food Nebraska and on the board of directors for the Nebraska Cooperative Development Center and the National Young Farmers Coalition where he is a past president. He also serves on the Slow Food USA Policy Task Force.

March 5, 2015



Adam Hammes

Sustainability Advocacy: Leverage Your Emotions, Avoid Burnout, and Influence for Good

Speaker: Adam Hammes

Adam will share how his experience of life, work, and family shifted profoundly as he learned to connect with people less-passionate about environmental sustainability, communicating his beliefs in ways that moved others to action.  Learn how you can do the same by understanding emotional intelligence and psychology. Adam’s story is profoundly unique, spanning his rural, conservative upbringing… to time spent as an environmental educator… a community organizer and non-profit founder… an award-winning corporate sustainability professional… an adjunct university business professor… a successful sustainability consultant… and director of a state sustainable business association.  

Join us to learn from Adam about emotional stages and myths of advocacy, stages of influence, and other topics that can help you be a sustainability leader.

February 5, 2015



Jim Powell

The Alaska Bellwether: Perception, Response,

and Adaptation in a Time of Climate Change

Speaker: Jim Powell

Global climate change is causing rapid ecosystem change in Alaska. How local communities respond to this challenge now and in the future will have great bearing on whether these communities can continue to thrive in an era of climate change. 

Join us for a presentation by Alaska expert Jim Powell as he unpacks the tangle of on the ground ecosystem conditions, local perceptions of the issue, and climate change mitigation strategies and adaptation plans being developed. Together we will consider the implications of a changing planet and the significance of the Alaska experience as related to our unique conditions in Nebraska.

December 4, 2014




Sustainable Rebuilding Post-Disaster:

The Story of Greensburg, Kansas

Speaker: Mayor Bob Dixson

Mayor Bob Dixson of Greensburg, Kansas will talk about the rebuilding of the town after a tornado leveled the community in 2007. From sustainable buildings to municipal infrastructure, the City of Greensburg considered costs, the environment, and the impact on its residents as they rebuilt strategically for the future. Mayor Dixson will discuss Greensburg's story, renewable energy, the heritage of sustainability in the Heartland, and how he believes we can make a better place for future generations.

November 6, 2014




Julia Hailes

Green Matters - How You Can Make a Difference

Speaker: Julia Hailes

Presenting live from the United Kingdom, we are excited to welcome Julia Hailes as our November SLPS speaker.  Julia has authored and co-authored nine books, including the best-selling, The Green Consumer Guide. Julia co-founded an African charity, Haller, which is launching a new app on sustainable farming in Kenya, this November.  In 1987, she co-founded SustainAbility, an environmental consultancy focused on providing sustainable solutions to businesses.  Julia was the recipient of the UN Global 500 Award in 1992 for outstanding environmental achievement; and in 1999 received an MBE, which is an award presented by the Queen for serving as an outstanding example and for service to one’s country.

As a writer, consultant, green entrepreneur and speaker, Julia will bring unique content and learning to our monthly series.  From information on greening your home, sustainable food consumption, to electronic waste, Julia will share stories of her travels and research.  Hear what sparked her interest in environmental sustainability and inspired her career in environmental communications.  We hope you join us to learn from Julia, in our journey in building and educating for a sustainable future!

October 2, 2014 - LIVE FROM MCC

Renewable & Clean Fuel Technologies:

The Future of Transportation, Today

Featured Speakers:

Jim Stark, Green Plains Renewable Energy

Scott Williams, PhD, Omaha Biofuels Coop

Bill Moore, EV World

Fueled transportation is an everyday need for most Americans.  There are exciting technologies that allow us to get around without the fossil fuels that destroy our air quality and climate. Three leading experts will present diverse options for fueling and powering personal and commercial vehicles, and answer your questions – about technology, what currently exists, and what the future will hold. The speakers will cover biofuels, including biodiesel, corn ethanol, and advanced biofuels from next-generation sources such as cellulosic biomass and algae. They will also cover electric vehicles and discuss which technologies and fuels currently offer the best potential for a sustainable future. Our presentation panel will describe the benefits and limitations of each, and how these technologies are shaping the future of transportation. We hope you join us to learn and grow in our understanding of sustainable transportation.

September 4, 2014




Wind and Renewable Energy:

Nebraska's Growth Opportunity

Speaker: Dan McGuire

Dan McGuire, co-chair of the Nebraska Wind and Solar Conference, presents on all topics "wind". With a Nebraska farm background and a degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska– Lincoln, he has spent his career leading agricultural organizations and developing and advocating for state and national renewable energy policy and programs for the benefit of rural America.

As a Nebraska leader in developing wind energy programs, outreach and public education projects, McGuire discusses his experience and presents information on a variety of wind energy topics, ranging from economic impacts and environmental benefits to career development and educational programs from K-12 to college. He will also focus on Nebraska's wind energy growth potential.


Please view 13-14 Sustainability Leadership Presentation Series here.

Metropolitan Community College is happy to partner with Central Community College, Joslyn Insitute for Sustainable Communities, and WasteCap Nebraska again this year and excited to welcome new partners, University of Nebraska - Lincoln to this series!

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