Public Speaking About Sustainability

Public Speaking About Sustainability

This week I had the pleasure of speaking with the Olentangy Berlin High School Environmental Club. They were an amazing group of like-minded and committed kids and advisors. It got me thinking I should be doing more public speaking about sustainability.

More Than Just Tit For Tat

It’s important that as a society we start to reframe what it means to be sustainable. You do this for me and I’ll do this for you (or vice versa) is noble, but not ultimately sustainable. For me sustainability means you are willing to give 20% back without concern, and that you will get that back in other, diverse ways.

We forget that we live on a planet with a finite amount of resources. It’s convenient to think we are at the center of everything. But this is wrong and certainly the polar opposite of sustainable.

UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals

The reason I like the 17 UN SDGs is that it tells the story of sustainability so well. It scaffolds actions, intentions and impacts of our presence on this planet and makes it seem real. Of course we also need real and meaningful action.

This is where I want to do more work. Showing kids, communities and businesses how I strive for sustainability here at Mezzacello. Offer real practicable, replicable and contextual lessons through tours, camps, workshops and speaking engagements.

This presentation on Wednesday at OBHS Environmental was really enlightening for me. I learned more of how I felt about the topic, and I learned how the next generation is feeling about the topic. They need a road map and I can help build that.

Heading Back to the Zoo

I first gave my talk about sustainability at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium’s Teen Eco Summit. I was not prepared. I didn’t even think I was presenting, but I did.

I spoke my truth and I gave a primer on what I had come to realize about the goals of the SDGs. It was well-received. I couldn’t remember most of it, so my friend Sean helped me remember it and commit it to a blog.

At that affair is where I met Izzy from OBHS. She asked me to come to her school and speak about sustainability. So I created a slide deck called Making the UN 17 SDGs Local. Izzy was the inspiration for this.

She challenged me and made me really think about how I felt and what I was doing. I admire her and her intelligence and passion a great deal. She is a great mentor in understanding what it is I really have to give the next generation.

The other fun thing about Izzy is how wildly creative she is. This was the most interesting way to share data. I love it because it reminds me to be resourceful and it brings back a fun memory.

My mentor, Izzy at the Columbus Zoo Teen Eco Summit

This Tuesday and Wednesday, I will be heading back to the zoo to see the results of the work the ecological teams have put in. I’m excited to return and to encourage these young passionate futurists to keep pushing! I’ll let you know how it goes.

Now that I am working at Mezzacello full time, I will devote more of my attention to public speaking. Let me know what you think. There are so many topics I could touch on, but this one will always be close to my heart.

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