Be the Change – An IonE Student Retreat

Be the Change: An IonE Student Retreat

Shift your Perspective – Build your Community – Expand your Skillset 

Saturday, September 16th
9AM – 4PM, Breakfast Lunch and Dessert Bar
312 Bruininks Hall

Gather with students passionate about sustainability, environment, and human rights issues for a day of inspiration, connection and skill development.  All activities are geared towards inspiring, connecting, and teaching new techniques to students who want to make positive change in the world.  FREE and open to all University of Minnesota students. This event is full – but has a waitlist, add your name here.

Hosted by Acara & Sustainability Education at the Institute on the Environment (IonE)


9:30-11:00   Change is Happening: Do you know your role and goals? – an Interactive Workshop with Phyllis Braxton In a current polarizing highly political environment, now, more than ever it is imperative to know your role and get clear on your goals in how you will return to “the work,” at the intersection of differences.”

11:00-11:15  Break
11:15-12:00  “Action groups”:

  • Sustainability Network Coalition-facilitated by Will Macheel, Sustainability Committee Director, Minnesota Student Association
  • What do you want to do about Climate Change?-facilitated by Jessica Hellmann, Director of the Institute on the Environment and Aaron Carlson (Aaron is a senior double majoring in Chemistry and Environmental Engineering, and is also a member of the Student Unions and Activities Board of Governors.)
  • Acara Alumni: How can Acara Support you this year?-facilitated by the Acara Student Board
  • Acara Honors Changemakers Program-facilitated by Megan Voorhees and Chetana Guthikonda
  • Finding my place on campus – led by Mary Hannemann, join this action group to talk about the plethora of options to connect with others on campus.
  • Other groups may be proposed at the retreat (If you want to propose an action group meeting now, please feel free to let us know so we can add it to this schedule!)

12:00-12:45  Lunch and Introduction to Institute on the Environment by Jessica Hellmann
12:45-2:00 Tips for Hosting Successful Groups – an Interactive workshop with Dave Ellis Ever wonder what makes groups successful?  Join Dave for an engaging, interactive session on things you need to consider that will drive learning, engagement and innovation when hosting diverse groups of all sizes.
2:00-2:15    Break and Dessert Bar
2:15-3:15    Leadership Skills Workshops

  • Personal Sustainability – Facilitated by Kimberly Byrd. How do we stay sane in a world that’s gone crazy? Join us as we learn about the adaptive cycle and the true nature of resilience. Together, we will consider the potential traps of burnout, anger, and anxiety, and explore techniques to strengthen connections to ourselves, our own values, and our communities. You will leave inspired and fully aware of the unique opportunities this remarkable moment in history offers to all of us as leaders.
  • It’s your time! – Manage it to get more done while avoiding burnout. Join Elizabeth Turner, ​sustainability-focused ​architect​, founder of Precipitate, and instructor for Sustainable Communities (SUST 4004), in thinking about how to align your time with your values. This workshop will explore creating the time & space to use your time effectively​, share best practices for time management,​ and include opportunities for thinking and writing​ to develop your time management approach for the new year.​​
  • Project Management – Join Becca Leighton, the University of Minnesota student who launched the Nutritious U food pantry last year, as she leads a workshop on creating sustainable change on campus. Becca, together with the team she assembled, held two pop-up food pantries last year and will have a permanent location starting this fall. This workshop will include steps to assess a need, refine a vision, identify champions and implement a plan and helpful tools to launch your idea into action on campus.
  • Public Speaking and Presentations Skills – It’s tough to Be the Change if your communication skills are below par. Join Shanda Demorest, an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota, co-founder of Health Students for a Healthy Climate, and a practicing nurse, in this interactive session aimed at building your public presentation skill set. Whether you are an introvert, an extrovert, or an ambivert, you need to share your ideas clearly, passionately, and with purpose.

3:15-4:00    Closing Session and Call to Action

Generously funded by the C. Charles Jackson Foundation