In its inaugural event last year, Greenovation was a student ideas competition to influence the future sustainable design of the new Student Center renovation. This year’s event, which includes a formal proposal submission process and a project showcase with expert judges, is taking place during Homecoming Week on Tuesday, October 25th. Money from corporate and campus sponsorships, including the Office of Campus Sustainability, provides a funding source to award a winning project that will be implemented on campus.
The Office of Campus Sustainability had the chance to interview Natalie Leonard and Eleanor Thomas, the chairs of the SGA Sustainability Committee who are leading the implementation of the second annual Greenovation event. They were both involved in last year’s event and explain that the focus for this year is to empower and inspire students to envision and implement their own ideas that make Georgia Tech a sustainable campus.
What is Greenovation?
Greenovation is a funding initiative hosted by Georgia Tech’s SGA Sustainability Committee, enabling the timely implementation of student-led projects that offer feasible, innovative ideas for improving Georgia Tech’s sustainability efforts. Upon submitting proposals, students will receive feedback from a screening committee prior to evaluation by a judging panel at the Greenovation Proposal Showcase. Located in the Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons, the Proposal Showcase will engage the student body through a “student-choice” vote and incorporation with Homecoming Week. Feasible and innovative student proposals will be allocated funding and an advisor, working with the Office of Campus Sustainability to implement a pilot program within the upcoming year.
What was the inspiration for developing this event?
As illustrated from the Sustainability Survey administered by our committee this past spring, and discussed at this fall’s Georgia Campus Sustainability Network Conference at Emory, a majority of Georgia Tech’s students believe that their “individual actions can impact the environment” yet are unaware of how to become involved in campus sustainability. Striving to bridge the gap between these attitudes and actions, Greenovation is comprised of three key goals: 1) empowering the student body to achieve and implement their own proposed ideas, 2) engaging students currently uninvolved in sustainability-related initiatives, and 3) promoting and progressing towards a future green fund. While initially established as a case competition for designing and renovating campus infrastructure, Greenovation has since broadened to all aspects of campus sustainability and will exemplify how funding from a student green fee would promote these student-led projects.
What is different about this year versus last year?
In order to account for the results of the Sustainability Survey, Greenovation has been opened to accept all student body ideas and projects relating to social, economic, and environmental sustainability. Through expanding the call for proposals, the revised initiative redirects focus toward areas of need and improvement the student body has identified, rather than on the projects driven by administration or staff. Equally as important, Greenovation will provide a plan for long-term, timely implementation, showcasing an efficient process for establishing pilot programs within our campus and serving as a model for other areas of campus improvement.
How will Greenovation make campus more sustainable?
As students are able to identify problems with campus sustainability and propose ideas for solutions, they are huge advocates for promoting campus change. Greenovation establishes a platform for these students to display their creativity and knowledge and directly encourages them to improve sustainability at Georgia Tech, reinventing the places they live, work, and play each semester. Regardless of the approach applicants take, the fruit of Greenovation stems from enabling students to bridge the gap between wanting to make a difference and having the knowledge and resources to do so. Potential projects could include systems to reduce waste, implement renewable energy on campus, monitor energy impacts, create outreach and learning opportunities, and many more.
How can students get involved?
Join us for the Greenovation Proposal Showcase, a celebration of student sustainability! On Tuesday, October 25th from 4:30 to 7:00pm, the Proposal Showcase will be hosted on the third floor of the Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons. Throughout the gallery space, posters will be mounted highlighting projects related to improving sustainability efforts across Georgia Tech’s campus through social, economic, and environmental innovations. Students can come vote for their favorite project, helping to choose which proposals should receive funding and advisement while earning points for Homecoming Week.
Greenovation Proposal Showcase Details:
Name: Greenovation Proposal Showcase
Description: Join us for a celebration of student sustainability! Throughout the gallery space, posters will be mounted highlighting projects related to improving sustainability efforts across Georgia Tech’s campus through social, economic, and environmental innovations. Registered as a Homecoming Event, come vote for your favorite project and help choose the team that will receive funding to pilot their idea!
Date/Time: Tuesday, October 25th from 4:30 to 7:00pm
Location: Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons, 3rd Floor Gallery
Sponsoring Organization: SGA Sustainability Committee