Spring Lecture Series

The Finger Lakes Community Development Center hosts an annual Sustainable Community Development Lecture Series, each open to the public. The local and national speakers tell their stories of innovation, research, and entrepreneurship, offering insights about sustainability and its realization in a particular community application.

In addition to the presentation and a period of questions and responses, many speakers provide guest lectures while on campus and meet with students in small groups for in-depth discussions about sustainable community development issues or critiques of student work.

Speaker topics address our core areas of sustainable communities including: built environment, energy, waste management, water, food and agriculture, technology, and community development.

Spring 2015

Monday, February 23, 2015
“Sustainable Communities and Resilience to Weather Disasters”
Eric Ameigh, Project Coordinator for the City of Boulder, Colorado
Steve Griffin, CEO of the Finger Lakes Economic Development Center in Penn Yan, NY

Monday, March 9, 2015
“Sustainable Consumerism – From Electronics to Apparel”
Dr. Callie Babbitt, Assistant Professor, Golisano Institute for Sustainability at the Rochester Institute of Technology
John Eades, Owner, Vere Sandals

Monday, March 30, 2015
“Sustainable Food and Beverages in the Finger Lakes: A Historical View”
Laura Winter Falk, Author of Culinary History of the Finger Lakes

Monday, April 13, 2015
“Meeting the Challenge of Communicating Sustainability and Climate Change”
Award-winning journalist and NPR radio host Steve Curwood

Steve Curwood

Previous speakers and lectures:

“Realizing Community Visions - the Role of the Community Design Center”
Monday April 14, 2014
Joni Monroe, Executive Director, Rochester Regional Community Design Center
Moderator: Ervin Kosta, Assistant Professor of Sociology/Anthropology

“Biomimicry and Resilience Science for Homes and Communities”
Monday, March 31, 2014
Kevin Stack, Founder and CEO, Northeast Green Building Consulting, LLC and Josh Stack, Attorney and Counselor of Law, Northeast Green Building Consulting, LLC
Moderator: Susan Cushman, Director of Introductory Biology Laboratories, Department of Biology & Research Scientist, Finger Lakes Institute

“Addressing Food Justice in the Finger Lakes and Beyond”
Monday March 10, 2014
Rachnas Vas, President & CEO, Quench and Nourish, Elizabeth Henderson, Farmer, Agricultural Justice Project & Patty Love, MALS, PDC, Program Director & Founder, Lots of Food and Rochester Permaculture Center, Owner, Barefoot Edible Landscape and Permaculture
Moderator: Robin Lewis, Visiting Assistant Professor, Environmental Studies

 “Sustainable Energy at Cornell University and SUNY ESF”
Monday March 3, 2014
W.S. (Lanny) Joyce, PE, CEM, Director, Energy Management
Mike Kelleher, Executive Director Energy & Sustainability, SUNY ESF
Moderator: Tom Drennen, Professor Economics (Chair) and Environmental Studies

Rebels with a Cause film
February 17, 2014
Panelists Jason Yots, President & CEO, Preservation Studios; Kyle Crandall, President, Beechwood Neighborhood Coalition; and Todd Taylor, Passionate Engaged Citizen, Geneva NY
Moderator: Gabriella D'Angelo, Assistant Professor, Architectural Studies

“Breaking Down Silos to Make Human Settlements Sustainable”
April 22, 2013
Doug Farr, President & CEO of Farr Associates Architecture and Urban Design and author of “Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design with Nature” shared his approaches to sustainability and presented insights and case studies of some of the world’s most sustainable places and projects.

Steve Griffin

“Science and Technology’s Role in Sustainability”
April 8, 2013
Rob Englert, President of Ram Industrial Design and D-Build
Susan Noble, Executive Director at Cornell Agriculture & Food Technology Park

Energy and Waste
March 11, 2013
“Burn it or Bury it” with Khris Dodson, Senior Program Manager, Environmental Finance Center at the Syracuse Center of Excellence and “Black Oak Wind Farm Update” with Marguerite Wells
Project Manager and Vice President of Black Oak Wind Farm, LLC; co-owner of Motherplants, Ltd.

The Built Environment
February 18, 2013
“The Dwelling Circle: Human Relatedness as a Green Technology” with Susan Cosentini, founder and owner of New Earth Living, and “Rochester Subway” with Michael Governale, founder and director of Reconnect Rochester

SPECIAL PRESENTATION: Dr. David Orr and the Oberlin Project
“Sustainable Community Development - How colleges and universities can influence local community development, sustainability and economies”
December 10, 2012
In addition to this presentation, Dr. David Orr, Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics and Special Assistant to the President of Oberlin College spoke to different Sustainable Community Development stakeholder groups about HWS's sustainability curriculum, community engagement, town-gown relationships, and the challenges in establishing collaborations among several organizations.

Sustainable Community Development in Action
April 2, 2012
with Catherine Tumber, author and Research Affiliate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Patrick Cullina, former Chief Horticulturalist, High Line in New York City; and Josh Cerra, Professor at Cornell University.
Moderated by Pat McGuire, Interim Provost and Dean of Faculty, HWS

“Science and Technology’s Role in Sustainability”
March 12, 2012
With Michael F. Coia, CEO Seneca BioEnergy and Ryan Fitzgerald, Corporate Development Manager of e2e Materials.
Moderated by Lisa Cleckner, Director of the Finger Lakes Institute

“Regional Solid Waste Management”
February 13, 2012
With Cynthia Hsu, Solid Waste Activist and John Sheppard, Supervisor for Town of Seneca
Moderated by Darrin Magee, Hobart & William Smith Colleges Department of Environmental Studies

“How the Built Environment Impacts Our World“
January 30, 2012
with Dennis Andrejko, Professor at Rochester Institute of Technology, Dirk Schneider, Owner of Chaintreuil | Jensen | Stark Architects, LLP, and Christopher Resig, N.K. Bhandari, Architecture & Engineering, P.C
Moderated by Jeffrey Blankenship, Hobart & William Smith Colleges Department of Architectural



Tap into the Finger Lakes Community Development Center

We welcome the interest of our community, including local planning boards, community leaders, academic collaborators, and interested citizens.

Lisa Cleckner
FLI Director
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
300 Pultney Street
Geneva, NY   14456
(315) 781-4381




Join Our Mailing List


Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.