Recap: Fall 2016 Regional Conferences

This fall, our chapters hosted two regional conferences in Illinois and California. These regional conferences are a great way for smaller groups of ESW chapters and students to get together and learn about regional sustainability topics. We have one more regional conference in Rhode Island in early 2017 - contact Matt Kozuch at to learn more about hosting or attending regional conferences in the future.

Midwest Regional Conference, Chicago, IL

The 2016 Midwestern Regional Conference, hosted by the Illinois Institute of Technology, brought nearly 30 students and professionals together on October 22. The day was centered around the theme of “Do It Yourself” - attendees learned how to build their own solar panels, design their own hydroponic systems, and reduce their environmental impact through their housing choices. The conference also featured several local sustainability professionals discussing how they got started in their careers and what they do now, from completing environmental impact studies with the EPA to creating a circular economy of food production in a repurposed meatpacking building. Thanks to the ESW-IIT team for planning and hosting the conference, and thanks to everyone who attended!

Left - touring a van adapted to be a functional home. Right -  designing a prototype in the hydroponics design challenge.

Western Pacific Regional Conference, Long Beach, CA

Thank you to all who attended the 2016 ESW Western Pacific Regional Conference at California State University, Long Beach on November 12, and a special thanks to ESW-CSULB for planning and hosting the conference! The event set an attendance record for ESW regional conferences, having about 75 attendees comprised of professors, students, and local professionals. The conference featured multiple hands-on workshops, including a session where attendees wired and created their own solar powered USB chargers to take home. The conference also included a wide variety of presenters, from local nonprofits to water utility commissions. All in all, the day was filled with many intriguing and critical conversations on growing sustainability issues in Southern California and beyond.

Left - testing out handmade solar phone chargers. Right - mixing up biodiesel.