Posts tagged ‘Community-building’

Coordinator Update: Skype Meeting with Tongji Team

by Vi Nguyen, Coordinator

I had the opportunity to meet a few of the members from the Tongji team this morning (but last night for them). The key take-away from the meeting in regards to the coalition is that for Tongji, they are in it for the communication. They hope the Coalition will be able to foster a sharing of useful ideas and exciting projects.

They were definitely excited to share some of the initiatives going on in Shanghai at Tongji University! They’re trying to tackle waste by training students on how to conserve water, e-waste and paper. In the coming months, they’ll be providing more details and visual updates for you.

Another exciting thing is that for the past year, our team at Tongji hasn’t been able to access the old website–but on this new wordpress portal–they finally have access! So you’ll be seeing more posts from them.


October 9, 2010 at 7:38 pm Leave a comment

Coordinator Update: Interview w/ Nasser Brahim

by Vi Nguyen, Coordinator

Again, in following through with trying to gain a deeper understanding of the Coalition, I had a chance to interview Nasser Brahim. Nasser is a Master of Environmental Management (MEM) Candidate at the Yale School of Forestry. He was the Coordinator of the Coalition last year so I had a lot to learn from him! You can watch him talk about his engagements in the environmental movement!

Here are the three take-aways I took from Nasser:

  • The website is valuable–it is the space through which the idea-sharing can take place.
  • We must find a way to get more traffic to this website so it becomes a real-live communication space.
  • Participation in the Coalition is an underlying problem. Our teams had trouble reporting on time.

Similar to what we hope to do with Matt’s suggestions, Nasser’s suggestions will be very useful as we try to troubleshoot and improve the Coalition.

Thanks, Nasser!

October 7, 2010 at 5:07 pm Leave a comment

Coordinator Update: Interview w/ Matt Ramlow

by Vi Nguyen, Coordinator

In a past post, I mentioned that I wanted to gain a deeper understanding of the Coalition and connect with those that had been instrumental to the Coalition’s functioning last year. One of those people is Matthew Ramlow. I had the chance to speak with him over a meal and I wanted to share the three key take-aways with you!

Matt is currently a senior at Yale University, very involved in on-campus environmental initiatives at Yale. Specifically, Matt was at Cop15 and attended the meeting with the original Coalition members. He had been the Yale point-person for the collaboration with MIT on one of the projects presented at Cop15 during the Coalition Conference. He’s been a leader of the Yale Student Environmental Coalition (YSEC) and actively competes on Yale’s Crew Team. From the conversation with him, I took away three things:

  • The Coalition is important–but students are busy so all this ‘trading of information’ might not work out as we hoped or be as useful as we think.
  • The teams included in the Coalition were at varying stages and had various strengths. This may make it difficult to collaborate, but it is also a great opportunity for the teams to share their experiences and expertise with each other.
  • Having teams with more than one person is incredibly incredibly important.

We will be keeping these things in mind as we build a stronger Coalition. Thanks, Matt!

October 5, 2010 at 4:34 pm Leave a comment

Coordinator Update: Cop16 in Cancun

by Vi Nguyen, Coordinator

With 38 days left until the Cop16 conference in Cancun, we are trying to set up a meeting with the Coalition members in conjunction to the Cop16. Here was our pitch:

EVENT DETAILS: The Yale Climate and Energy Institute and the Yale Office of Sustainability will host a 1-day conference for about 50 attendees, consisting of student groups from universities around the world. The conference will include peer-to-peer evaluations and bonding, workshops, presentations, and debates by student groups representing the different universities. Policymakers and experts in attendance in Cancún will offer insights on student projects and hold a Q&A session for students to ask current leaders about their experiences.


  • Video report of workshop day
  • Analysis of pre & post survey of usefulness of workshop for attendees
  • Two mid-year reports on the activities of the Coalition

Many of the Coalition members are anxiously waiting to hear the news of whether our pitch was successful! We will keep you updated as news come in.

September 28, 2010 at 4:24 pm Leave a comment

Coordinator Update: Coalition 2010-2011

by Vi Nguyen, Coordinator

After getting acquainted with the Coalition under the guidance of the Assistant Director of the Yale Office of Sustainability, Melissa Goodall, I was ready to get started!

Melissa has asked me to take the lead on this year’s initiatives to develop a report on progress to-date, enhance communications between teams, and explore more dynamic platforms for our online community. After orienting myself with this project and the work that our teams have been doing, I am incredibly excited to get involved! I plan to be very accessible, and hope that we will make great connections in the year to come! One of the first thing I wanted to do was start to get to know the people who participated in this Coalition. As I meet them (and their projects)–I’ll keep this blog posted!

September 28, 2010 at 4:02 pm 2 comments

Project Updates: Yale’s Progress

from Yale University | Connecticut, USA

by Matt Ramlow

Yale has completed the first phase of its dual project with MIT by compiling a list of 88 different environmental initiatives throughout the different departments at Yale. We then began to sort the projects into our major 3 sub-categories; built environment, behavioral, and communications projects. Yale has also drafted a preliminary survey to interview each of the projects and gather information regarding the development, funding, work hours, participation, goals, transparency, savings/reductions, and level of success of each project. Our next step is to continue to collaborate with MIT to create a final draft of the survey that can be administered across both campuses. We hope to have this completed in early April so we can conduct our interviews before the end of the spring semester (mid May) and start to gather the data from the different projects.

To view the Project Database and Preliminary Survey Questions, click on the following link.

April 2, 2010 at 9:36 pm 1 comment

Project Highlights: Green Residence Competition

from University of British Columbia | British Columbia, Canada

The team will work with students, staff, faculty members and the UBC Sustainability Office to design and implement a resource consumption competition in UBC’s junior residences. They will be launching this competition in the fall semester of 2010.

The competition will be piloted in Totem Park Residence for first year students. The project will draw on the readings of energy and resource monitoring devices to create a friendly competition that will ideally be delivered every year in Totem and hopefully expand to other residences as well.

The purpose of the competition is to:

  • Reduce consumption of campus resources (water, electricity and steam)
  • Engage students in sustainability learning and practice and
  • Measure the impact of real time monitoring and the use of promotions and incentives to reduce the consumption of resources.

On university campuses, the vast majority of energy consumption takes place within buildings. The environmental and financial consequences of this consumption are considerable. For example, in 2009 UBC consumed over 3.8 million cubic meters of water, 330 million kg of steam, 150,000 gigajoules of direct natural gas and 185 million kWh of electricity, at a cost of approximately $24 million per year.

With approximately 8,000 students living in residence on UBC campus, a substantial percentage of total campus resource use takes place within dormitories. In residential settings, it has been demonstrated that 50% of energy use depends on lifestyle choices, while the balance depends on physical characteristics of buildings and building equipment. Students living in dormitories have a high degree of lifestyle control over electricity and water use. Personal choices, such as how long they shower and whether they leave lights, stereos and computers on have the potential to reduce energy and water consumption. Residence halls are therefore an obvious target for conservation measures.

The measurable goals of this project includes measuring the competition impact, which will be measured in terms of consumption reduction, cost savings, and impact of real-time monitoring and incentives on behavior. During the project design phase, they will be working with student, staff and faculty stakeholders to design the competition and develop our indicators of project success.

April 2, 2010 at 9:08 am Leave a comment

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