On The Table 2014

May 12th, marked On The Table 2014. 6 USGBC EPs and 5 industry professionals discussed the future of Chicago during Chicago Community’s On The Table 2014 event.

The idea of hosting the event at Design Cloud was to spark creativity; to be in a space that allows your mind to escape to the realm of impossibilities. Dhruti Patel and Miki Sankary were the hosts for the night. The idea to pursue hosting a table stemmed from Miki’s definition of sustainability and her mission of connecting people together who have similar visions. That definition also sparked the genesis of The Generation Green Project. The project focuses on connecting organizations, the City of Chicago, our communities and schools to address the bigger issues of material reuse. The project will be launching its first workshop with the Rebuilding Exchange in July with Simeon School.

The On The Table event was a great opportunity to get professionals connected to emerging professionals, and together address our communities’ key issues and problems. Dhruti picked the topics of discussion based on her definition of sustainability which is connected to the concept of resiliency and the idea of resilience engineering. Dhruti believes sustainability and resiliency go hand in hand, and she is on a mission to bring that concept to the business world through strategic change management; economic development needs to be resilient development.

A strong, vibrant, dynamic community is a resilient community. The event was the perfect opportunity to consider Chicago’s infrastructure, the issues of climate change to come in 2040, and its struggles to achieve resiliency and regeneration as well.

The night started off with introductions from Jennifer Choi (Design Cloud), Miki Sankary (USGBC EP Outreach Chair), and Dhruti Patel (USGBC EP Chair). Guests were allowed to mingle and network with each other, and were asked to rotate every 3 minutes. The idea was to get everyone comfortable with each other so they could openly speak their mind during the round table discussion.

During the round table discussion, Dhruti moderated, and took notes via a mind mapping tool. The goal was to capture the connections between ideas and how they all relate back to resiliency and communities. Dhruti’s mind map is available below, and it truly captures the diversity of the conversation.

Lyndl Schuster – River Trails School District 26
Michael Bloom – US GSA
Mike Skiba – Omni Ecosystems
Anne Nicklin – Building Materials Reuse Association
Thomas Napier – US Army Corps of Engineers

Emerging Professionals:
Miki Sankary
Juanita Garcia
Sia Xeros
Michael Schussler
Nicole Miller

Dhruti Patel

On The Table Discussion Questions:
1. How do you contribute to sustainability in Chicago? What is your ingredient? What does sustainability mean to you and to Chicago?

2. What is the economic impact of your ingredient? Thinking in terms of the ‘single bottom line’ concept, how does you ingredient contribute to the economic sustainability of your industry in general, your community, Chicago, and your career?

3. What factor of sustainability should Chicago focus on and why? How do you envision Chicago in 2040?

4. Provide a list of priorities for Chicago. What are we doing today to influence Chicago in 2040?

 5. How are you inspired by the people sitting around you? How will it have an impact on your community? How will you make your community resilient?



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