Workshop to focus on the “Roots of Sustainability” for a better future

Registration is now open for the 16th Annual Sustainable Communities Workshop, “Roots of Sustainability!” This online event is scheduled for Wednesday, November 10 from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m to showcase strategies for healthy, resilient, thriving communities.


About the workshop

Under the “Roots of Sustainability” theme, the virtual conference will draw together residents, students, and community members of all ages, sectors, and walks of life to learn about environmental, economic, and social aspects of sustainability. Featured speakers and panelists will discuss the latest sustainability strategies, resources, and best practices, while focusing on the roots of sustainability.

Like many areas of the world, Florida is experiencing impacts related to natural resources, climate change, and rapid population growth. This workshop offers expert insight on approaches to create lasting, healthy communities that address these issues, among many others.

Benefit from our online setting

The event’s virtual setting enables enhanced safety and access and allows for a larger and broader audience to gather because participants can join from anywhere in the world. Hosting the event virtually also significantly lowers the carbon footprint by reducing the amount of travel, food, materials, and waste typically produced at in-person events.

Don’t miss this year’s low prices!

The $10 workshop cost (students pay just $5) provides online access to the day-long event featuring expert speakers, breakout sessions, and networking opportunities. Attendees can virtually visit sponsor booths and connect with businesses, community groups, and individuals from the local area and other locations. There’s also an option to donate a ticket that will go to attendees that request financial assistance. Please contact us at to request a sponsored (donated) ticket.

See what we have in store for this year’s event

Register at for the 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. workshop for information on climate change and resiliency, water quality, social equity, and more. Featured speakers include:

  • Meg Lowman, called the “real-life Lorax” by National Geographic and the “Einstein of the treetops” by Wall Street Journal, is an author, explorer, scientist, arbornaut (translation: treetop explorer!), mom, and change-agent for conservation. She has devoted more than four decades to exploration and research on treetop secrets, as a global pioneer of canopy science and public science communication. Meg also directs the TREE Foundation, which built the Myakka River State Park canopy walkway, and her recent projects include creating a UNESCO world heritage forest site in Malaysia and partnering with Ethiopia’s Coptic priests to save the remaining church forests. Learn more at


  • Rob Greenfield is an activist and humanitarian dedicated to leading the way to a more sustainable and just world. Dubbed the “Robin Hood of modern times” by France 2 TV, he embarks on extreme projects to bring attention to important global issues and inspire positive change. Hewing closely to Gandhi’s philosophy of “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” Rob believes that our actions really do matter and that individuals and communities have the power to improve the world around us. Learn more:


  • Tai Simpson, known as “The Storyteller” in the Indigenous language of the Nez Perce Tribe, serves as an organizer for the Indigenous Idaho Alliance and works as a Social Change Advocate with the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence. As an antiracism activist and community leader, she uses contemporary and traditional Indigenous storytelling to depict the lens of “old ways” and how they protect the sacred, build strength in the community, and keep nature in balance. These principles support her work to champion radical inclusion, equity, and liberation. She has a TEDxBoise talk exploring Indigenous beliefs as the basis for empowering community. Learn more at


Sustainable Community Events

Prior to the Sustainable Communities Workshop event on Wednesday, Nov. 10, we have several exciting site visit opportunities to sustainable projects in our community.

Cynthia Barnett Book Signing 11/6 from 4-6pm: Please join Sarasota County UF/IFAS Extension and Sustainability at the Florida House Institute on Saturday November 6 from 4:00pm-6:00pm for a fascinating program on seashells, the animals that build them, and what they have to tell us about the changing oceans. Learn more and register here:

Robinson Preserve Expansion Paddle 11/9 from 4-6pm: Join us for an easy paddle along the newly restored shorelines of the Robinson Preserve Expansion! Participants will learn about the design, ongoing habitat improvements, and future plans for this new addition to Manatee County’s preserve system while enjoying a relaxing evening on the water. Learn more and register here:

Celery Fields Sustainability Day 11/11 from 9am-12pm: Come out and meet the organizations that are bringing Sarasota County to the forefront of sustainability. Tours will be given in four 20-minute segments and will last 1 hour and 20 minutes total. You’ll get a chance to see the Sarasota Audubon Certified LEED Gold Nature Center, Sarasota Audubon’s Native Gardens, START/Veterans for Common Sense Micro-Forest and get a boardwalk tour from Stocking Savvy. Learn more and register here:

Healthy Water Regenerates All Workshop 11/9 from 1:30-3:30pm: This dynamic intergenerational workshop will be hosted, both live and virtually, from the Sarasota School of Arts and Sciences on November 9, from 1:30-3:30 pm. Sponsored by a Sarasota Bay Estuary Program Partner Grant, participants aged 10 and up will join small teams to explore ways that people, shorebirds, clams, seagrass and microalgae can collectively contribute to increasing the health of water benefiting all. A registration link will be available soon. For more information contact:

Exhibitor Opportunities

There are two ways you can virtually participate as an exhibitor this year, and both are free. You can host a Virtual Expo Booth, or have your organization’s sustainability efforts showcased in our Sustainability Partners Listing. Interested in learning more about these options or becoming an exhibitor? Please contact us for details at or 941-861-5000.

Sponsorship opportunities

Sponsorship opportunities are still available. To view opportunities and sponsorship benefits, please visit our online sponsorship application.
Sponsorship Application (Due Oct. 10)

Finally, thank you to Gulf Coast Community Foundation (Green), Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation (Green), Transition Sarasota (Gold) and Southface Sarasota (Gold) for being sponsors of the 16th Annual Sustainable Communities Workshop. We are grateful to all our event sponsors. To view the full list, please visit

Learn more and register today

For more information and to register, visit or call the Sarasota County Contact Center at 941-861-5000.


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Posted: September 24, 2021

Category: Conservation, Natural Resources, Water
Tags: Conference, Natural Resources, Pgm_Sustain, SCW, SCW2021, Sustainability, Sustainable Communities Workshop, Workshop

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