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 2016 Sustainable Communities Workshop

​​The 11th Annual Sustainable Communities Workshop – "Paths to a Sustainable Future" – will bring the community together to discuss and plan future priorities. Our expert speakers will provide up-to-date information on community strategies and resources as well as best practice from other communities.


Jon Thaxton, with Gulfcoast Community Foundation, speaks at the 2015 Sustainable Communities Workshop.
Residents, business leaders, institutions, government agencies, and organizations will gather to learn from knowledgeable speakers and panel discussions. Topics to be discussed include:
  • Valuing Nature
  • Strategies for Smarter Growth
  • Building Community Resilience
  • Edible Innovations
The morning keynote speaker will be Tampa Bay Times reporter and native Floridian Craig Pittman. Pittman is a four-time recipient of the Waldo Proffitt Award for Distinguished Environmental Journalism in Florida. He twice won the top investigative reporting award from the Society of Environmental Journalists.
Ridhi D'Cruz, the associate director of the non-profit City Repair Project in Portland, Ore., will deliver the afternoon keynote address. D'Cruz supports various community-building and neighborhood initiatives. Initiatives encompassing myriad issues, including diversity, cultural sustainability, homeless advocacy, social permaculture and "Placemaking."


This year, workshop attendees will be interacting with local groups working on sustainability actions. Creating pathways to a sustainable future requires participation from everyone to identify and implement innovative and appropriate solutions that support community needs.

Meet our speakers, visit our exhibitors, learn, network and enjoy organic and local food. Participate in discussions and network with community action groups to help develop sustainability plans for the future.​


Register now to join us at this annual popular and interactive workshop.
Early Bird registration is $35 per person until Nov. 1, with standard registration $45 from Nov. 2 until Dec.
  • The student rate is $20.
 Your registration fee includes continental breakfast, lunch, and afternoon break refreshments, catered by a local green business partner serving fresh, local, healthy, delicious food.

 Learn more

​For information about the 2016 Sustainable Communities Workshop, call 941-861-5000 and ask for the Sustainable Communities Workshop or email us at

 Event details

  • 11th Annual
    Sustainable Communities Workshop
  • Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016
    8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida Event Center,
    4740 Cattlemen Road,
    Sarasota, Fl.  34233

Here's what attendees had to say about the 2015 workshop:

  • "Excellent workshop. All great speakers."
  • "Good networking venue. Provides a "recharge"; it's inspirational. Sustainability touches everything – all aspects of life."
  • "Second year participating/attending and again, Loved it! Great speakers, topics and conversation."
  • "Using the brainpower in the room to create plans for (impacts) in our community is refreshing and a positive outcome of the conference."
  • "As usual – fantastic workshop. Looking forward to next year."
  • "Well done. Affordable and educational."

 Past Sustainable Communities Workshops


 Organizing Partners

The Office of Sustainability is a branch of the UF/IFAS Extension and Sustainability Department.

Sarasota County, Florida
TTY: 7-1-1
or 1-800-955-8771
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