Webster University’s Annual Sustainability Conference Explores Strange Connections

Feb. 16, 2015

ST. LOUIS (FEB. 16, 2015) - In Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” Trinculo laments “misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.” This year’s Sustainability Conference on March 27 and 28 at Webster University will focus on the strange bedfellows created in the fight for sustainability. The conference’s theme is “Strange Connections,” and it will explore the seemingly disparate partners who join forces when working on a common environmental problem.

The keynote speaker will be Col. Mark “Puck” Mykleby who will explain how security companies and the military are concerned about climate change, as they see that issue as a bigger threat to the United States than terrorism or economic competition from China. Mykleby’s speech will be at 4 p.m. March 28 in the Community Music School auditorium on the home campus. A reception will be held afterward.

“We live in a more holistic environment than our initial perception reveals,” said Greg Gunderson, vice president and chief financial officer for Webster University. His department has spearheaded several sustainability initiatives at the University, including the recent installment of solar panels on several buildings. “The fact is a change in the environment can have a domino-like effect that impacts economics, health and security. I look forward to hearing what all of our guest panelists have to say about the subject.”

Mykleby is co-director at Strategic Innovation Lab, Case Western Reserve University and a retired Marine Colonel with a distinguished military career.  He will present his sustainable vision and strategy for the nation as the keynote speaker. In the speech, he will explain how he believes that the biggest threat facing America is not terrorism or economic competition with China, but rather the United States’ ability to become sustainable in the future and identify the connections between sustainability, terrorism and economic challenges.

During the two day conference other panels also will be held exploring different subjects of the same “strange connections” theme. A full schedule of events will be released soon.

Tesla Motors has announced that it will display one of its cars during the conference. In addition, food trucks from Chris' Smokehouse, Sarah's Cake Shop, Holy Crepe! and Pyro Pizza will be on campus to sell lunch and snacks to participants and also demonstrate the sustainability of having a mobile restaurant come to the customers rather than having the hundreds of customers drive to the restaurant.

The cost for attending this year’s conference is $40 for the general public, $15 for students, and free for any Webster University student, faculty or staff. For more information and to register for the conference, visitwebster.edu/sustainability/conference.

With its home campus in St. Louis, Webster University (www.webster.edu) is the only Tier 1, private, non-profit U.S.-based university providing a network of international residential campuses and a robust online learning program. Founded in 1915, Webster University’s campus network today includes metropolitan, military and corporate locations around the world, as well as traditional campuses in Asia, Europe, North America, and Africa. The university is committed to delivering high-quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence.

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