FORWARD Symposium

FORWARD Symposium: Enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy and prosperous Louisiana for all.

By Alejandra Guzman

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The economic and social success of our community is dependent upon how well we can create balance and promote sustainable practices in the business and public sectors, education, and society in general. To achieve this, we must rely on a foundation of awareness and education on the matter.

Organizations around the world, such as U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), are taking a leading role in these efforts. This organization with an international footprint promotes a movement of community leaders, professionals, businesses and innovators working to accomplish healthy, efficient communities, and to develop equitable buildings.

I have the honor of serving as a board member for the USGBC Louisiana chapter. Our group´s mission is to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated, enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy and prosperous Louisiana for all.

One of our signature programs is the FORWARD Symposium and for the past three years it has focused on engaging a diverse community of forward thinking leaders who will be key to moving the state towards a more resilient future.

The event is open to USGBC member and non-member business professionals, environmentalists, architects, educators, nonprofit leaders, economic developers, and students. Participants will be able to collaborate and explore what is happening across the state in the subject of sustainability. Among some of the preferred topics for this year will include coastal restoration, LEED for cities, equity as a growth strategy, and healthy communities. Another highlight of the program includes the Women in Sustainability Empower (WISE) Breakfast, which is designed to engage the audience in a robust discussion with prominent female leaders in the field of green building, urban development, community revitalization, and equity and inclusion.

During the symposium participants will also learn about the USGBC Louisiana Green Schools Initiative. This includes a yearly competition in which we encourage schools to undertake a green project to make their school and communities a healthier place to live, learn, and grow. Our objective with this initiative is to bring awareness and educate our youth on the benefits of green building and environmental stewardship by participating in hands-on experimental projects.

During our 2017-2018 cycle, we were able to reach 7,400+ people in 21 parishes and 91 schools across Louisiana. We are excited to continue this work and trust that our programs will help inspire people across our state to act by enabling an environmentally, socially responsible, healthy and prosperous Louisiana for all. To find out more about the FORWARD Symposium visit https://usgbclouisiana.site-ym.com/

 Until next time!

The 3rd Annual FORWARD Symposium will take place on Friday, October 19, 2018 at the Tulane University Lavin-Bernick Center.

Alejandra Guzman

Writer/Escritora 

Economic Development/Desarrollo Economico

@aleguzman

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Publisher's Note

I moved to the United States almost 20 years ago, and as a sports fan, I couldn't stand the fact that I did not understand how American football worked.

It was impossible not to get infected by the passion and the love New Orleanians have for the boys in the Black and Gold, so I made it a point to learn the basics and join the fun of watching the beloved Saints play.

I was lucky to suffer with a weak team only for a few years, and I was fortunate to be part of the WHO DAT Nation when they made it to the Super Bowl in Miami.

Even though the Super Bowl we wished for this year did not happen, our team gave us a great season, and off the field, many Saints players are doing so much for this community through their foundations and giving back some love to their fan base. Today, The Saints continue to be an essential driving force of our community.

It is amazing what passion and pride can do for the city of New Orleans. The Saints gave us an incredible season! I know we’ve had a few weeks of coping, and many people have decided to party away from television sets the night of the championship game, but I still want to thank the New Orleans Saints for all the joy they gave us this last season.

Like most of you, I'm always proud to yell out loud WHO DAT!

AnaMaria