Chicago Sustainability Leaders Network members gathered at the first network meeting of 2016 on February 29th at Openlands. Thanks to Openlands for graciously offering their space!
This meeting launched the 2016 year with great enthusiasm towards new initiatives. In keeping with the desire for CSLN to be a self-sustaining network, members welcomed the new shared leadership team members, Melanie Eckner (north), Simone Alexander (southwest), and Quilen Blackwell (south). The team is looking forward to continuing to build the CSLN as a strong voice representing communities across Chicago.
The rest of the meeting was spent dialoguing in a World Cafe about three topics for 2016: the Integrated Network for Social Sustainability (INSS) conference in June, the policy working group, and potential for collaborative projects. Each topic accounted for a different component of the CSLN's mission. Members see the INSS conference as a vehicle to engage directly with residents who aren't traditionally involved in sustainability. The policy group's work reaches a different level by engaging with aldermen and policymakers to create more equitable and accessible structures. Collaborative events impact members own understanding of each other's work, as well as bringing new community members to the conversation.
Working groups will move forward with each area and report their progress by the next CSLN meeting in April. If you are interested in the policy group, INSS planning team, or have an idea of a theme for members to mobilize around, contact Samantha at firstname.lastname@example.org.