2020 Program - Call for Proposals, Speakers and Sessions Now Open

The Washington & Oregon Higher Education Sustainability Conference (WOHESC) is an opportunity for collective direction and solidarity in higher education for our region. As political, social and environmental issues become more complex, WOHESC convenes and empowers stakeholders who are driving leadership and generating solutions for a more sustainable, just and equitable future. Our aim is to both enliven the role of higher education in the future of Washington and Oregon and the role students play in a future world.

WOHESC works to advance equity, diversity and inclusion through thematic elements, speakers and attendees. We aim to examine systemic change and generate dialogue that guides and inspires action.

Design Challenge | Sunday, March 1st 2020
During this event, experts will introduce participants to the human centered design process with the goal to rapidly develop a preliminary program or business idea focused on the theme of Reduce/Reuse. These solutions can be targeted for implementation on campus, online, or in the local community. Participants will work in small teams of at least two but not more than five people, from their own institutions (ideal team size is 3-4). Each group will use a human centered design process to workshop their idea and create a preliminary pitch deck they can use to present their work.

Teams are encouraged to:
- Think big, e.g., What-impacts-would-you-have-if-you-had-$100 million big.
- Come with a preliminary idea that could be implemented and/or sustained on your campus or community.
- Consider social justice as a foundational component of any solution.

By participating in this session you will gain:
- General knowledge of the human centered design process;
- Preliminary experience using a human centered design process to vision a programmatic or business solution to a real world problem;
- Collaboration and teamwork skills;
- Networking with like-minded peers.

Cost to attend? - $15 per person, register here.

Interested in sponsoring the Design Challenge? View our 2020 Sponsor Overview or contact Savannah Mallo at savannah@wohesc.org or call 503-226-2377.
Pre-Conference Workshop | Monday, March 2nd 2020
Many sustainability managers are entering a new phase of their career. They've been in their positions for seven years or more. They understand their campuses well. They are well connected to their peers both regionally and nationally. They have unsurpassed collective knowledge as to maximizing the effectiveness of campus sustainability initiatives. Yet in some cases, their organizational positions are flat, and their impact depends on who they report to, the goals of the President and the Board of Trustees, and the openness of the faculty. They are wondering how they can utilize their experience to expand their influence and to help shape a range of strategic objectives. This challenge is simultaneously a question of career development and the future of the sustainability field. How can sustainability managers continue to grow, help their campuses respond to (and anticipate) a new set of challenges, and build deeper community partnerships? The purpose of this workshop is to provide experienced sustainability managers an opportunity to assess these issues. We'll start with a career projection activity. Participants will assess their accomplishment to date and then consider what's on the horizon. What are the most pressing issues facing the sustainability community and what's the role of the experienced sustainability leader? For example, many campuses understand that sustainability initiatives are intricately connected with issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. What's the role of the sustainability manager in helping to promote these initiatives? And many campuses are striving to find service learning opportunities that contribute to community well-being. What role do sustainability managers have in that outreach? There are many other issues that will impact campuses in the next five years. This workshop will ask the participants to identify those issues for their campuses, explore the extent to which they are common to campuses throughout the region, discuss what leadership roles are necessary, including how to mobilize the student body, and then finally consider how these challenges revitalize and support their career development.

Registration Cost: $100
Mitchell Thomashow | Author, Ecological Identity, Bringing the Biosphere Home, and The Nine Elements of a Sustainable Campus
Opening Night | Monday, March 2nd 2020
Opening Night Reception
The University of Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History

Click here to view the 2019 Program