Harnessing a Valuable Natural Resource – Students

2018-08-15T11:00:54+00:00 April 22nd, 2013|K-12 and Higher Education, Sustainability Management|1 Comment

As community energy and climate action planning continues to evolve and become more central to how communities think about their futures, it may be we are leaving out a powerful stakeholder group that could have considerable influence in implementing these plans. We think about getting all the right people and organizations at the table to influence goals, identify strategies for achieving those goals, and target resources for implementing the strategies. But are we overlooking a powerful community resource by not including students in this round-table? It’s remarkable how influential students can be and even how they are able to mobilize around efforts that are meaningful to them. Furthermore, students are quickly becoming a go-to source to meet volunteer needs partly as a result of the growth of service-learning in higher education.  Is it that students simply have greater passion …or are they less encumbered by form, function, protocol, and budget restraints? Whatever the reason, we should be tapping this resource. Students today are business owners, institutional drivers, and civic leaders tomorrow. They have a stake in the planning process because these plans are their future.