Autumn-Winter 2019 Lunch Series

Ideas Sketch


Our monthly lunch series brought together cross-sector community partners, faculty, students and staff to drive collaborations that build sustainability and resilience in the North Bay Region across these systems. Each vegetarian lunch started with a short presentation on an existing collaboration that provides a stepping off point for attendees to share their aligned activities and informally discuss next steps needed to reach regional goals. Topics include Local Food & Food Security, Aligning Organizational Climate Efforts with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Partnerships between Large Organizations & the Local Municipalities and Cracking the Nut on Scope 3 Emission Reporting.

Past Lunch Series events included:

March 11, 2020 - Identity, Voice and Belonging in Local Landscapes:

Laura Watt is Professor of Geography, Environment and Planning, who explores the history of protected landscapes to bolster their long-term sustainability in terms of both natural and cultural systems.  In contrast to most land policy research, she uses landscape as a tool for understanding the complex interactions between people and their environments, tracking historical changes in protected areas as indicators of shifting social dynamics and structures. She is interested in the interplay between public and private ownership in protecting rural landscapes.  Much of her research work has been done at Point Reyes National Seashore, examining the impacts of National Park Service management on the local ranching landscape.  

Katy Spanos is Senior Staff Counsel to the California Department of Water Resources (DWR). DWR was the first state agency to create and meet a Climate Action Plan, and Katy co-chaired their CEQA Climate Change Committee. In 2014, DWR published the Agriculture and Land Stewardship (ALS) Framework and Strategies, which are tools developers can consider for projects that will affect agriculture or other working lands, e.g., water supply and flood management. Katy led the three year ALS workgroup, which worked with local interests in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to identify the concerns and benefits for project developers to consider. The ALSP approach calls for a comprehensive and integrated multi-disciplinary and collaborative process that integrates the planning for a specific project with regional and landscape planning to provide a sustainable and resilient future. Critical to the success of this process is an inclusive and open dialogue with landowners and local representatives.

Omar Gallardo is Diversity and Outreach Director for Sonoma County Land Paths and Sonoma State alum, who fosters belonging in and a greater connection to nature for all ages within our Latino community. He educates local communities to explore the beauty of Sonoma County, lead a healthier lifestyle through gardening and being outdoors, take care of and respect Mother Nature. As he was recently described when given the Leader in Environmental Justice and Equity Award, “he is passionate about connecting people both to the land and to each other, while building community and staying true to his roots. With humanity and grace, he has excelled at community organizing, expanded the diversity and relevance of Landpaths’ programs and led countless youth to share his love of the land.”

February 12, 2020 - Aligning Climate Efforts with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The SDGs have been called, “the closest thing that the world has to a strategy”, and private, non-profit and public organizations are increasingly aligning their environmental and social efforts around them. Claudia Sisomphou the President of the Sonoma County Chapter of the United Nations Association USA, will lead our discussion. The UNA-USA convenes conversations around United National sustainable development goals and advances local engagement in helping to achieve the SDGs. She will be joined by Sherry Huss, Senior Advisor to the Future Food Institute (FFI), a global non-profit focused on "creating a more sustainable future of food while understanding technology’s role in closing the gaps in our food system”. FFI and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) are partnering to "promote food innovation to…accelerate…achieving (the) SDGs”. Sherry has led visiting FFI-FAO teams in exploring the resources and organizations of Sonoma County. SSU representatives will comment on higher education’s role in meeting the SDGs, and we invite North Bay businesses who are leading a newer trend to align their climate work with the SDGs. For those not already doing so, this is a helpful tool to see which SDGs align with your mission, goals and objectives.

January 8, 2020 - How Do We Achieve Resilience in Housing?

Caitlin Cornwall of Sustainable Sonoma and Oren Wool of the US Green Building Council Redwood Empire will highlight the process, challenges and lessons learned on the path to build resilience infrastructure in a socially inclusive and “place-based” way in downtown Santa Rosa, Sonoma Valley and broader Sonoma County. Magali Telles, Executive Director of Los Cien and SSU alum, will join them to share her perspective on resilience and housing.

December 11, 2019 - Regenerative Economic Development

Exploring the collaborative links between the diverse sectors of the North Bay (and as part of the international Regenerative Communities Network) driving a regional effort, as well as metrics to model and analyze the development of local regenerative economic, private & municipal markets for key resources.

Community Partner: Dan Noble, who builds projects, programs, product lines and enterprises that regenerate biological resources. He integrates market research, technology, business strategy and channel development of water, organics and energy systems to build local organics value cycles.

Our vegetarian lunch in December will be catered by Oliver’s Market. Please RSVP by December 9th to ensure we have enough food and drinks.

November 13, 2019 - Brown Bag Lunch

Join your fellow resilience builders for a brown bag lunch and informal conversation.

October 23, 2019 -Local Food & Food Security

Current campus-community partnerships and the role large institutions play in creating and supporting local food sources and increasing food security.  
Vegetarian lunch will be catered by Taqueria Sol Azteca. Please RSVP by Monday, October 7th (21st for postponed date) to ensure we have enough food and drinks.