Audience members at Jack Morton Auditorium with Tony and Doreen Schultz

The GW Sustainability Collaborative is committed to elevating critical issues by facilitating thoughtful and, sometimes, challenging conversations. Sometimes on our own, and more often with external partners, we organize events on campus that address a range of sustainability challenges.  Given our central location, we also strive to feature new voices to help bring their experiences and aspirations to the policy arena. 

GreenGov Tom Vilsack

GreenGov Symposiums

GreenGov is a Council on Environmental Quality initiative focused on federal energy and sustainability efforts. For two years in a row, we co-hosted Symposiums that brought together federal sustainability stakeholders from across the country. You can view the proceedings at and

Local Foods Walter Robb Scott Allshouse

Local Foods Impact Conference

With USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service, we hosted a conference on how to best measure the impacts of local food investments, improve coordination across USDA agencies, and evaluate the extent to which disparate local food investments are complementary and reinforcing. You can view the proceedings at

Urban Ag Symposium

Urban Agriculture Symposium

With AGree, Michigan State University, and the University of the District of Columbia, we hosted the Urban Agriculture Symposium bringing together policy makers, academics and practitioners with a focus on the role of Urban Agriculture in the forthcoming 2018 Farm Bill. You can view the proceedings here. 

sust plate

Food as Culture

Chef José Andrés, Jamaican Ambassador Ralph Thomas, and European Union Ambassador David O’Sullivan sat down with Kathleen Merrigan for an evening lecture as part of the Sustainable Plate class. You can read more about it here.

Restaurant plate

The Restaurant Plate

Chef José Andrés, Neighborhood Restaurant Group Founder Michael Babin, Hank’s Oyster Bar Chef de Cuisine Theary So and Washington Post food writer David Hagedorn sat down for an evening lecture as part of the Sustainable Plate class. You can read more about it here. 


Clean Cookstoves

Chef José Andrés, president and CEO of World Food Program USA Rick Leach, director of the Global Women’s Institute Mary Ellsberg, CEO of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves Radha Muthiah, sat down with Kathleen Merrigan for an evening lecture as part of the Sustainable Plate class. You can read more about it here.

Pope Francis in Washington DC

The Francis Effect

The Gelman Library and the Sustainability Collaborative brought together three researchers to assess the political impact of Pope Francis' 2015 visit to Washington, his speech before Congress in particular. You can view the proceedings here.

Flint Teach-in at Gelman Library

The Color of Water

With the Africana Studies Program and the American Studies Program, the Sustainability Collaborative hosted a teach-in at Gelman Library to discuss the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. You can read more about it here.  

Joe Glauber at the Food Tank Summit

Food Tank Summits

The Sustainability Collaborative co-hosted the inagural Food Tank Summit in 2015 and the 2017 Food Tank Summit, "Let's Build Better Food Policy." The partnership will continue this year as Tthe Sustainability Collaborative will again host the 2018 Food Tank Summit at Jack Morton Auditorium on February 28, 2018. Read student reflections on last year's summit here. 

Planet Forward Summit with Frank sesno

Planet Forward Summits

The Planet Forward Summit convenes annually over two days at GW. Planet Forward brings together more than 350 students, storytellers, global leaders, innovators, and scientists from around the world to examine, celebrate, and reward inspiring stories of solutions that can move the planet forward. Read about the 2017 Summit and check out the report from the 2016 Summit.

Sustaining sustainability in the Trump years

Sustaining Sustainability in the Trump Years

After the 2016 election, this convening allowed students to voice their concerns and to get a better sense of where environmental progress is still possible. In small groups and through a community discussion, students asked questions and offered suggestions on how GW could better equip them to contribute to these efforts.