Sustainability Lecture Series

The Lydick Corridor: How Preserving Ecosystems Grows a Sustainable Future - Preserving our heritage, both our history and ecology, is vital to connecting people to our natural resources. Learn about the unique, valuable, and ecologically rich ecosystem of Lydick Bog and how it's preservation and subsequent conservation is based on - and relies on - relationships and partnerships across the Michiana community.

*See slides from the presentation HERE

Scott Namestnik is a botanist and co-founder of Orbis Environmental Consulting. He has more than 17 years of experience managing projects and conducting floristic inventories, quantitative flora surveys, plant community mapping, invasive species surveys and mapping, and plant species of concern surveys and mapping. He also is experienced with setting up and conducting mitigation wetland monitoring projects and has conducted numerous aquatic plant surveys. Another aspect of Scott’s services is providing plant identification training workshops. In addition to his experience focused on the flora, Scott also conducts wetland delineations and other site assessments, and he participates in avian and other wildlife surveys. Scott also prepares natural area management plans and provides other technical writing services. He is recognized for his expertise in Midwestern/Great Lakes terrestrial and aquatic vascular plants, and his written work on the flora has appeared in several peer-reviewed journals including The Michigan Botanist, Phytoneuron, Proceedings of the Indiana Academy of Science, and Rhodora.

The Three R’s of Electronics Recycling - Electronic waste is challenging to manage because it is the fastest growing segment of refuse in the world. Learn how Green Earth Electronics, located in St. Joseph, Michigan, services the tri-state area of Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois by finding ways to re-use, refurbish, and recycle unwanted electronics. Learn how unwanted electronics are processed as they strive to meet a zero landfill objective, run a profitable business, addresses environmental concerns, and help residents, schools, and businesses properly dispose of their items.​

Jim Grandholm is founder and President of Green Earth Electronics Recycling and Lake Michigan Asset Solutions. Green Earth's primary focus is on the recovery of unwanted computer and IT assets for the purpose of 1) recovery for reuse, 2) recovery for parts, and 3) dismantling for proper recycling. Green Earth has been able to divert millions of pounds of electronics that would have traditionally gone to the landfill into either a reuse stream or recycling stream. Jim is actively involved in both the recycling and sustainability movements and participates on a number of boards and committees. 

*No Video Available

**View slides from presentation HERE

Climate Change - Is it Real? Regardless of the validity of climate change, there are many scientists that believe that the emissions we are putting into the air are affecting the climate and the weather patterns. There are international policies starting to shape international progress toward recognition and reduction of climate change. There are also programs being developed at regional, national, and state levels to combat the effects of climate change including carbon markets.  Maureen will provide an overview of the policies that are in place or in development to address climate change and provide a more in depth snapshot of the history of carbon markets in North America and how they influence businesses to make changes.

Maureen Sertich is the North American Sustainability Lead for Whirlpool Corporation. In her role at Whirlpool, she is responsible for Whirlpool’s North American Sustainability Strategy and manages the sustainability initiatives for products under the Amana, Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, and Jenn-Aire Brands. Previously, she developed sustainability standards for products in the building industry, managed a university sustainability program, provided sustainability and risk assessment services for large industrial and commercial clients, and managed hazardous waste remediation projects. Maureen has held several voluntary and appointed positions including serving as a board member for the Southeast Michigan Sustainable Business Forum, serving as a member of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)’s Emerging Professionals National Committee, and providing Pro Bono consulting services through Net Impact Chicago Chapter.

Sustainability and Self-Care - Eli Williams will discuss the necessity of self-care to be a sustainable, caring activist.  She will explore the concept of “trauma stewardship” for those in helper professions, and how to get back on your feet in this troubling political climate.  As Executive Director of the South Bend LGBTQ Center, Eli’s analysis will be rooted in a larger framework of systemic oppression and liberation theory.  By sharing her personal story of living with disability, Eli’s talk will share some strategies to do the hard work while maintaining a strong sense of self and collective care.

Sewer Pipes That Think: reducing pollution in the St. Joseph River with intelligent sewer systems - There are more than 700 cities across the country that release a combined yearly average of more than 800 Billion gallons of raw sewage to rivers and oceans. These releases, called Combined Sewer Overflows (CSO), occur because the sewers that were designed to carry both storm water and wastewater get overwhelmed during storm events. Typical solutions involve cost prohibitive solutions such as building large storage tanks or separating the sewers. This talk will explain how South Bend has used Internet of Things and Big Data to transform its aging sewer system into the smartest sewer system in the country and how it has reduced hundreds of millions of gallons of sewage from contaminating the St. Joseph River.

The road to adaptive reuse: The integration of sustainable design, the triple bottom line, and technology in the Studebaker Redevelopment Initiative – The Renaissance District, an 80 city block area that surrounds the former Studebaker campus, is the site of significant efforts being made to work with neighboring businesses and non-profits to improve the economic and social condition of the people who live in the District. These efforts include establishing pathways for employment in the district, beautification with native trees, and educational opportunities for under-represented minorities. Combined, these efforts seek to become a national model for large scale economic development that integrates the triple bottom line and reshapes the local and regional economy.  Learn more about the community engagement efforts for the Renaissance District and the Studebaker Redevelopment Initiative, an effort to transform 1.1 million sq ft of historic manufacturing space into the Midwest's largest mixed-use technology campus. 

As a 2012-13 Sustainability Fellow, Willow Wetherall launched Ignite Michiana, events which showcase South Bend’s revitalization. Since 2012, she has produced or facilitated over 75 unique events, engaging 25,000+ people, and generating over $200,000 in revenue for local businesses and non-profits. Willow Wetherall, a Maine native, has planted roots in South Bend.  She is the executive director of Ignite Michiana and produces events to promote South Bend revitalization. Her tireless work promoting South Bend culture and business initiatives has earned her a SoBe Award from Downtown South Bend for her commitment to city revitalization, and recognition for outstanding community engagement by the Women's Entrepreneurship Institute of St. Mary's College. 

Doing Business Right: Working Towards Zero Environmental Health and Safety play a large role in running an efficient, sustainable, and responsible business. Learn how a multinational company works to develop a culture of safety and personal responsibility and how that work positively impacts the bottom line, protects the environment, and promotes healthy lifestyles.

Sustainable Design Strategies - Kil Architecture Planning, based in South Bend, is a general practice that includes planning and architectural design for new construction along with historic rehabilitation and retrofit.​ Greg Kil, founder of Kil Architecture / Planning, will describe the design and funding approaches utilized to turn a once vacant building into artist lofts that have received the highest Emerald Rating NGBS Certification.

Greg Kil, NCARB, AIA, became a licensed Architect in the state of Indiana in 1984 and graduated from the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture with Master of Architecture with a focus on Urban Design in 1987. He founded Kil Architecture Planning, which employs a staff of eight personnel and recently celebrated 25 years of business and service to the Michiana Community. The diverse projects conducted by Kil include: Notre Dame Center for Art & Culture; River Rock Apartments, Mixed Use Apartments and Commercial/Retail, Mishawaka, IN; and Uptown Artist Lofts Apartments and Commercial/Retail in Michigan City, IN. 

Brewing Up Sustainability: How a Neighborhood Coffee Shop became an Incubator of Innovative Action - The Local Cup is a community-based coffee shop in the Near Northwest Neighborhood of South Bend. Learn about the history of this social entrepreneurial start-up, and how it supports sustainable action and development in the neighborhood.

Building for Nothing: The Story of Net Zero Homes How can we live better for less and on less? Buildings use the most energy and contribute the most greenhouse gases across all sectors in our society. Learn how we can do better by building smarter so we can live lighter. Dwayne will share his journey towards Net Zero Homes, Net Zero Tiny Homes, and how and why he wants to build more of them internationally and in Michiana. His vision and innovative spirit are focused on sustainability, could reshape the way we live, work, and play.

No Video Available

Sustainability and Innovation Lecture Series

Lecture Series graphic

Free and open to the public, this series features sustianabilty and innovation leaders in South Bend and the region.
All events take place Wednesday evenings from 7:00-8:30pm in Wiekamp Hall Rm 1001 on the IU South Bend campus. (map)

  • Jan 20: Angie Nelson, Public Affairs Director, NIPSCO 
  • Jan 27: John Harris, Principle, a5 Branding and Interactive
  • Feb 3: TJ Kanczuzewski, President, Inovateus Solar 
  • Feb 10: Jan Pilarski and Chris Tidmarsh, Directors, Green Bridge Growers 
  • Feb 17: Doug Way, VP of Administration and Management, 1st Source Bank
  • Feb 24: Therese Dorau, Director, South Bend Office of Sustainability 
  • Mar 2: Boniface Njuguna, Founder, Green Youth Foundation
  • Mar 9: Dave Case, President, DJ Case and Associates
  • Mar 16: Spring Break
  • Mar 23: Becky Reimbold, Proprietor, Just Goods
  • Mar 30: Greg Koehler, Manager, Purple Porch Co-op 
  • Apr 6: Robert Colangelo, President, Green Sense Farms 

Join us as we hear from leading experts, followed by a panel of local experts for a lively discussion. Network with others from the community committed to sustainability.

Time and place: 7-8:30 PM, Alumni Room, Administration Building (map)

  • November 17th – James Hansen, "Why I must speak out about climate change"
  • February 23rd – Clint Smith, "Celebrating resilience: Reframing the narrative around our students"
  • April 6th – Chris McKnett, "The investment logic for sustainability"

The Virtual Lecture series is made possible by generous support from NIPSCO

Experience the best sustainability thinkers and practitioners and hear from local professionals, educators, and activists. Four evening events are planned for the 2013-14 academic year and are FREE and open to the public.
Each “lecture” will be presented virtually, via a TED talk or popular public talk by leaders in their field.  Joining these nationally and internationally known speakers will be people from local businesses, government, organizations, and education who are taking similar approaches to the featured speaker in their efforts to grow a sustainable Michiana.
A reception and networking period will follow.

Download the flyer HERE

Monday, April 14, 2014

Featuring Majora Carter - Local Eco-Entrepreneurship
IU South Bend Alumni Room 
Local Panelists: James Summers, The Summers Group; Boniface Njuguna, Green Youth Foundation; Tara Gilchrist, Better World Books

March 1, 2014

IU South Bend
TEDxManhattan "Changing the Way We Eat" 

2014 Schedule

IU South Bend Education and Arts Bldg, Rm 1011

9:30 - 10:00  Set up of displays, informational tables

10:00            Event opens

10:30            Webcast begins

Entertainment: Jen Chapin band

Intro - Brian Halweil, Editor, Edible East End; Publisher, Edible Manhattan and Edible Brooklyn

Peggy Neu, President, The Monday Campaigns

Intro - Kathy Lawrence, Program Director, School Food FOCUS

Michael Rozyne, Executive Director, Red Tomato

Speaker Intro - Tama Wong, Principal, Meadows and More

Megan Miller, Founder, Bitty

Film clip - Steve Ritz, Founder, Green Bronx Machine         

Intro - Maisie Ganzler, Vice President, Bon Appetit Management Company

Andrew Gunther, Program Director, Animal Welfare Approved

David McInerney, Co-Founder, FreshDirect 

Dr. Lance Price, Professor, George Washington University; "Foodborne Urinary tract infections (FUTIs): a new paradigm for foodborne illness"

Intro - Bill Yosses, Executive Pastry Chef, The White House

David Binkle, Director of Food Services, Los Angeles Unified School District

12:30 - 1:30               LUNCH break (Webcast offline)

BYO lunch or RSVP to join organizers for lunch - Take a short field trip to the 5th Floor of the Schurz Lirbary on the IU South Bend campus to see the display of the Lexicon of Sustainability Food and Farming in America exhibit.

1:00-1:30                  Local Food Activiists speak and share to educate and involve attendees in local ways they can change the way they eat.                                                                                 

1:40                 Session 2:  COLLABORATE (Webcast online)
                         Education and Arts Rm 1101

Video - San Van Aken - Tree of 40 Fruits, Artist

Intro - Stefani Bardin, Faculty, The New School

Matt Moore, Family Farmer, Artist, Activist, The Digital Farm Collective

Intro - Peter Lehner, Executive Director, NRDC and NRDC Action Fund

Regina Bernard-Carreno, Assistant Professor, Baruch College, CUNY

Performance/Local Speaker

Intro - Ann Cooper, Founder, Food Family Farming Foundation

Sunny Young, Director, Edufood Consulting

Intro - Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director, Food & Water Watch

Virginia Clarke, Executive Director, Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders  

Intro - LaDonna Redmond, Founder, Campaign for Food Justice Now

Alison Cayne, Owner, Havens Kitchen

Intro - Elizabeth Meltz, Director of Food Safety and Sustainability, Batali/Bastianich Hospitality Group

Nikki Silvestri, Executive Director, Green for All          

BREAK             3:40 - 4:00               (Webcast offline)

4:00 - 4:15      Local Food Activists speak and share to educate and involve attendees in local ways they can change the way they eat.                                                                                                

4:20                 Session 3:  GROW    (Webcast online)


Intro - Mitchell Davis, Executive Vice President, James Beard Foundation

Myra Goodman, Co-founder, Earthbound Farm; "In Praise of Big Organic"

Intro - Kerry McLean, Director of Community Development, WHEDco

SaruSaru Jaramayan, Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United); "Labor in the restaurant industry"

Intro - Cheryl Kollin, Founding Principal, Full Plate Ventures

Clint SmithClint Smith, Educator, Parkdale High School

Intro - Peter Hoffman, chef owner of Back Forty and Back Forty West

Chellie Pingree, Congresswoman, U.S. House of Representatives (Maine)

Intro - Kenneth Cook, President and Co-founder, Environmental Working Group

Tom Colicchio, Chef, Restaurant Owner, Head Judge “Top Chef”, Cookbook Author; "Hunger and Food Policy"

Performance & Event Conclusion

10:00 AM - 10:30 AM


10:30 AM - 12:15 PM

Session 1 - INFORM
Topics: Food justice, Food and faith movement, Saving seeds, Foraging

12:15 PM - 1:15 PM
Lunch Break
*Tastings made from locally/regionally sourced ingredients will be provided during the lunch break by the LaSalle Grill.

1:15-1:30 PM
Local Speakers 

1:30 PM - 3:20 PM
Session 2 - EDUCATE 
Topics:Marketing food to children, Food waste, Energy and Agriculture

3:20 – 3:40 PM
Local Speakers & Break

4:00 PM - 5:40 PM
Session 3 - EMPOWER
Potential Topics:Young farmers, School food, Farm to Freezer

TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. TEDxManhattan "Changing the Way We Eat" will take place in New York City and webcast LIVE in South Bend. During breaks from the liove webcast out of Manhattan, there will be time for attendees to meet each other and look for new synergies and new ideas to help bolster the sustainable food movement.

TEDxManhattan 2013 Speakers (short list)

  • Fred Bahnson 
  • Ann Cooper 
  • Maisie Greenawalt
  • LaDonna Redmond
  • Gary Hirshberg 
  • Anna Lappé
  • Peter Lehner
  • Simran Sethi 
  • Karen Washington 
  • Bill Yosses 
Please check back for information on the next lecture series.