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The Environment Featured Prominently at the CGI-U Summit

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The ReGeneration is on the move! To make it easier for customers, Dell employees and stakeholders to find and participate in our conversations about the environment, we’re moving the best of our ReGeneration.org blog over here to Direct2Dell.  You’ll find the same great posts about what’s news in “green” business and technology, along with the green tips so many of you tell us you love. Join the conversation!

Former President Bill Clinton delivers the opening address of CGI-U I’ve spent a good amount of time this weekend checking out what’s been happening at the Clinton Global Initiative’s University Summit here in Austin.   CGI-U was launched last year for university students to gain the skills and knowledge that will help them tackle the global problems of today (and tomorrow) with practical, innovative solutions.  Lucky enough to be armed with a press badge (alas, my student days are long past), I poked my head in several of the working and skill sessions devoted to a variety of modern society’s big challenges, and have been suitably impressed with the questions and ideas that resulted from those meetings.

Student at the session discuss the big questions and challenges posed by the environmentAmong the global challenges we face is the environment, and frank discussions about our current situation and potential solutions permeated the summit.  Enough so, in fact, that an environmental component was found in every issue that was being explored, from economic empowerment for the developing world to global health to hunger. Of course there were sessions devoted exclusively to sustainability, and I had the good fortune to sit in on one of these, titled Energy and Climate Change: The University as Laboratory – Towards Carbon Neutral Communities.  The big question of the session was “How do we scale up?” (i.e. How do we take all the good work being done on campuses around the world-some of which has been reported here-across the world and apply them to the world), but some other challenges presented themselves as the students and panelists started delving into the issue.

Dieter Saloman, Lord Mayor of Freiburg, Germany (a city renowned for it’s green initiatives) and one of the panelists featured in the session, said that one of the biggest challenges we’re going to have to overcome to bring about real changes for the environment is to bring a diverse range of people together to solve a problem that effects all of us, and in this spirit, I’d like to hear your thoughts on a few of the questions that came up. 

Here were a few of the questions that really got me thinking:

-What new innovations or practices do you think are going to play pivotal roles in the future of the environmental movement?
-Will our current economic woes hurt or help the cause for sustainability?
-How do we expand the environmental movement to include people who may not otherwise see how it effects them?
-How do we take the great eco-ideas and innovations we’ve been hearing so much about out of the campuses and laboratories that spawned them and into the masses?

Tough questions all, and no easy answers for sure.  Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.  Looking forward to hearing from you!

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