2018 Agenda

Executive Leadership Institute at Duke University: Sustainable Communities

The goal of this workshop is to provide an executive level primer on community sustainability in the context of fundamental theories and real-world best practices.  We have designed a pre-post assessment project to help you explore a sustainability challenge in your own community.

Pre-Workshop Assignments

  • Due Jan. 8, 2018 – Submit Pre-Assessment Analysis.  Pick a sustainability-related challenge or hot topic that relate to your job or your municipality.
    • Review the pre-readings (item #3) and/or this chart for ideas of sustainability categories
    • Describe this challenge or hot topic using the “Pre-Assessment” column of the “Defining your Project” template (attached).  Submit the Pre-Assessment document via email to Laura Lipps (Laura.lipps@duke.edu).


  • Feedback by Jan. 16, 2018 – Duke will provide you with the following:
    • Dr. Christopher Wedding, course instructor, will select three (3) of the submitted projects and assign teams of 3-4 members to continue assessment on them as a group upon arrival at Duke University.
  • Due Jan. 17, 2018 – Review the pre-reading materials before arriving on campus. These resources provide US and global context for why sustainability matters, and what some communities are doing regarding best practices in this area.

Workshop Assignment: Duke Sustainable Communities Challenge

All participants will be responsible for contributing to the “Post-Assessment” and “Next Steps” columns for their group project.  Each group will give a 15-minute final presentation followed by a Q&A session on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018.  The goal is to change and improve the scope of the sustainability challenge or hot topic, and its related solutions, benefits, and opportunities.


 Revised Workshop Agenda

Friday, January 19, 2018

Locations for today’s sessions will vary.  Please see agenda items for details.


8:30 – 9:30 am            Breakfast at Hotel & Transit to Duke University (provided by NFBPA)

9:30 – 10:00 am           Welcome and Logistics – Laura Lipps, Executive Education Program, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University

10:00 am – 12:00 pm Introduction to the Duke Sustainable Communities Challenge with Christopher Wedding.  Location: Duke University LSRC Rm A158.

12:30 – 2:30 pm          Transit to Beyu Caffe. Lunch and Learn: How to Grow a Successful, Sustainable Business – with Dorian Bolden, Owner. Location: Beyu Caffe, Durham, NC

2:30 – 4:30 pm            Transit from Beyu Caffe: Durham by Bus and Campus Tour; Chapel and Bookstore Visit

4:30 pm                      Group Work on Sustainable Communities Challenge

7:00-10:00 pm            Optional (on your own): Ticketed Jazz Performance at Beyu Caffe


Saturday, January 20, 2018

All of today’s sessions will take place in the Levine Science Research Center at Duke University, Room A158

8:00 – 9:00 am            Case Studies in Green Building and Solar Finance – Christopher Wedding

9:00 — 10:15 am         Duke Sustainable Communities Challenge Working Session. ELI participants have an opportunity to collaborate and develop their case studies and presentations.Christopher Wedding

10:15 – 11:15 am        Check-in on Sustainability Challenge Projects

11:15 – 11:40 am        Next Steps and Leadership Reflection – Christopher Wedding

11:40 – 12:00 pm         Lunch, Wrap-up, & Evaluation – Laura Lipps, Nicholas School of the Environment


Post – Session Follow up Proposal

Climate Change Recording — In place of the session planned for Friday morning on Climate Change, Greenhouse Gas Accounting, and Carbon Offsets, a recording will be made available to the ELI participants, or participants may participant in a live virtual session held via WebEx (day/time TBD pending student and instructor schedules).  Recording scheduled to be released via email before January 29, 2018.

Final Projects — Based on the information acquired from the Friday and Saturday sessions, the Climate Change recorded session and independent literature reviews and other information that each of the three ELI groups may obtain on their own, the group will prepare and submit their case study post-assessment projects to the University via a PPT template (to be provided by Dr. Wedding) by 8am EDT, Monday Feb. 5 to Dr. Wedding at gcw8@duke.edu.  Groups should feel free to include any additional insights in the Comments section of each slide, as needed.

Dr. Christopher Wedding will review the three groups’ project submissions and provide feedback.

Each group may schedule a short conference call (no more than 20 – 30 minutes) to present their findings to Dr. Wedding during one of the times below:

    • TBD pending Dr. Wedding’s schedule

This part of your Duke engagement will be complete after the team conference calls with Dr. Wedding.


– Each group will give a 15-minute presentation, followed by 10 minutes for questions and answers

– A Power Point template will be provided by the professor



– Identify your Sustainability Challenge and why it was selected

– Provide background information from “the field”

– Review your pre-assessment submission from Jan. 8th

– Reflect on the educational content provided by Duke and describe how these impacted the post-assessment of your Sustainability Challenge; the goal is to show a “delta” between how you thought about it before vs. after your time at Duke exploring new ideas, case studies, and tools

– Talk about tangible next steps (e.g., monthly for the next 6-24 months) for your Sustainability Challenge, assuming that it was your responsibility starting next week


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *