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The Green Education of Our Future Leaders

The most important thing we can being doing today is educating our kids and future leaders on sustainability and environmentalism.

 

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I wanted to write this week about how important I believe education is in order to transition into a new way of operations in our corporations, communities and homes.     Last week, a friend sent me an interview  with President Bill Clinton from Digg.com on Earth Day.  The first question was “How can we best engage our nation’s youth on the issues surrounding climate change?”

 

President Clinton replied that empowering our youth to green their schools, create organic schoolyards, develop sustainability curriculum was the most important thing we should all being doing today.

 

It was no coincidence that during that same week I had spend time to Peg Watson, of the Green Schools Alliance, Rachel Gutter, from the USGBC LEED for Schools and Laura Seydel and her team from the Captain Planet Foundation (developing organic school yards). 

 

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I also believe it was no coincidence that I received an email from the Dean of my Business School alma mater, Goizueta Business School, telling us that we had dropped in the US News and World Report Rankings.  My question back to him was “where is sustainability in the curriculum?”    

 

As a part of a book project I am working on, I had the benefit to meeting with Hunter Lovins to discuss the future of our country and planet.  Hunter, founder of Natural Capitalism Solutions, has consulted with many major organization such as Walmart and the U.S. Department of Energy, but it is during this time that she is spending much of her focus as a founding professor at San Francisco’s Presidio Graduate School.   Hunter knows that what Bill Clinton has said is true and also believes that sustainability is the most important discipline we can be teaching our future corporate CEO’s today.

 

I wanted to use this week’s blog to feature the work of one very diligent social entrepreneur, Tom Feegel and his organization called Green My Parents.  I asked Tom to tell me about the program and his overall mission.   Tom writes:

 

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GreenMyParents is a revolutionary, nationwide program to help young people teach their peers and parents how to work together to help the economy, earn

money at home, and save the planet through simple, everyday actions.

 

Launched Earth Day 2010, this movement enables youth to bring their insightful perspective on how to reduce their parents’ use of resources and save money at home to make a huge difference in saving the planet and

securing their future. Based on the book, Green My Parents, available on

Amazon.com http://amzn.to/GreenMyParents

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Our youth environmental leaders will be equipped with the tools and resources to train and educate an additional group of 100 peers each about

eco-friendly actions they can take in their own homes with their families.

 

By continuing the cycle of recruiting another 100 kids, GMP aims to bring together one million students in an effort to save the planet.  Operating with the family pocketbook in mind, kids will find environmental allies in their parents as they work together to bolster family savings, help the economy, and save the planet by conserving home resources through following

and completing “eco assignments.”  From reducing water and energy usage to cleaning with non-toxic products, families are estimated to save at least $100, which brings the collective savings of American families to an estimated $100 million over the course of a year.

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Environmental Charter High School (ECHS), an award-winning college-prep PUBLIC charter school in Los Angeles, has learned

this week that we are recognized by The White House and the Department of Education for academic excellence and has been named a finalist in President Obama’s Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge.

 

To vote for ECHS http://bit.ly/Vote4ECHS

 

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ECHS  is one of six public schools selected to compete for a presidential commencement address from Obama, the only school

in CA and the only environmental school.  The Commencement Challenge invited the nation’s public high schools to submit applications. 

 

“At ECHS  the question is not whether you will go to college.  It is which college will you go to?” said student Jordan

Howard, is the editor of GreenMyParents, and a senior at ECHS. Jordan is a fantastic representative for the student body of ECHS, and her web site is

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http://jordaninspires.com/

 

Thank you Tom!

 

I believe this work is very relevant to the readers of FastCompany magazine.  It is from THIS work and THIS training that we are going to find the next wave of innovative leaders and the very people who will help us retool our corporations to safely and responsibly operate in the world.   When I met with Rachel Gutter last year to discuss her work with the USGBC, she told me that the kids today are sustainability literate.  They know no other way.  They are engaged in solutions and operate with a collaborative world-view approach.    From what I have learned from Tom, this is not only true, but the vital skills needed as we transform business.