2017 Conference at SUNY Cortland

2017 Conference at SUNY Cortland

SUNY Cortland and the NYCSHE Conference Steering Committee are pleased to announce that the 2017 annual State of New York Sustainability Conference will be held on Wednesday, November 15 and Thursday, November 16, 2017 at SUNY Cortland in Cortland, NY.  This gathering has evolved from the SUNY Sustainability Conference, which was held annually from 2011 until 2015.  Beginning in 2015, it was expanded to include all higher education institutions across New York State to facilitate networking and information sharing.

Who should attend?

  • Sustainability Officers
  • Energy Managers / Utility Managers / Central Plant Engineers
  • Faculty
  • Students
  • Eco-Reps
  • Facilities Management staff
  • People from private, public, and non-profit organizations with knowledge and resources to share with people in higher education.
  • Representatives from companies that market sustainable services and products to higher education institutions

Questions regarding the 2017 conference?  Contact: sustainability@cortland.edu

2017 Keynote Presentations

We are pleased to host Peterson Toscano for two keynote presentations. Peterson describes himself as “A quirky, queer, Quaker performance artist and scholar.”  As a performance artist and scholar, he has used humor and storytelling for over 10 years to connect with audiences about complicated and contentious topics.  He is now applying his unique style of personal narrative mixed with grounded scholarship wrapped up in zany characters to help people better understand the many aspects of climate change.

Wednesday Lunch: There’s Something Funny about Climate Change

During lunch, Peterson will delight us with excerpts from his lively stand-up show where he shares creative and oddball approaches to the world’s biggest problems. “He skillfully transitions into multiple characters and seamlessly draws the connections between climate change, human rights, history, oh and coffee.  Hilarious, thoughtful and full of hope, Peterson models fresh approaches in communicating climate change”

Wednesday Evening: A Queer Response to Climate Change, What Would Walt Whitman Do?

Wednesday evening, activist Peterson Toscano will take on the issue of climate change, and will do so with humor, heart, and with a view to saving the humans. Drawing on his hilarious characters, Peterson makes connections between LGBTQ issues, environmental justice, and climate change. Filled with hope, Peterson will give you a positive vision of the future as he inspires you to take your role in it.

img_0133Peterson expertly weaves in the story of Walt Whitman, who in his 30s was adrift in life and art until he had a soul shaking experience that jarred him into becoming the most inventive poet of the 19th Century. But he didn’t stop growing and coming out. Another jarring experience transformed him into a loving nurse tending the wounded young Civil War soldiers.

Peterson writes about Whitman’s ability to time travel, something Peterson does in this presentation–right before your eyes.

Discover your role on our new earth and learn how LGBTQ folks and communities already have experiences and resources that we can draw on in the midst of our current and growing climate crisis. It’s time for the ultimate makeover!


Thursday Lunch: The Three Dysfunctions of Sustainability

We are pleased to announce that our Thursday Keynote is Erik Foley, Director of Sustainability and Director of Learning and Development in Executive Programs at Penn State’s Smeal College of Business.  His focus is on growing businesses via social innovation through research and education for undergrads, MBA’s and current professionals. Erik is the author of the Sustainability Planning Guidebook released 2014 while he worked at the Sustainability Institute. He is currently working on a book Lorax MBA: Hard Business Lessons on the Way to Saving the Planet, which explores his unique experience and career as an environmental and social justice activist who went to a traditional business school.





Click to view Concurrent Education Session Descriptions!

2017 State of New York Sustainability Conference Overview

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

6:00 p.m. – ??    Pre-conference Informal Social at the Central City Bar and Grill (M & D Deli) located at 17 Central Ave, Cortland, NY

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

9-11:30 a.m        SUNY Sustainability Coalition (SSC) Members Breakfast Meeting

10:00 a.m           Registration Opens

11:00 a.m.          Exhibits Open

11:45 a.m.           Lunch and Keynote: Peterson Toscano:  ”There’s Something Funny About Climate Change”

1:40 – 5:00 p.m.  Concurrent Sessions

5:30 – 6:30 p.m.  Evening Keynote: Peterson Toscano: ” A Queer Response to Climate Change: What Would Walt Whitman do?”

6:30 – 9:00 p.m. Evening Reception and Planetarium Shows

6:30 – 9:00 p.m. Student Dinner Gathering

Thursday, November 16, 2017

7:30 a.m              Exhibits Open

7:30 – 8:30 a.m.  Breakfast

8:15 – 12:10 p.m.         Concurrent Sessions

12:15 2:00 p.m. Lunch and Keynote: Erik Foley “Sustainability 3.0”

2:15 – 5:00 p.m. Post Conference Session: NYSERDA REV Campus Challenge Public Feedback Forum


Call for Presentations has closed.  Concurrent session topics include: Climate Resiliency, Youth Engagement in Climate Justice, Art and Sustainability, Repairing our Foodshed, Student Driven Sustainability Projects, Carbon Pricing Strategies and the REV Process, and staff and student sustainability engagement.

Conference registration information

Online registration available here.  Please note, this will take you away from a NYCSHE.org site to a registration specific site.  Please come back here for updates on the conference.

We have Three Registration Options:


You can register for both days: $150 / $50

You can register for single day: $90 / $25

and Vendor

If you have been a vendor supporter of the conference in the past, or new to NYCSHE, please consider being a vendor this year.  More information here.

In order to better understand who is attending, please let us know if you identify as a Campus Sustainability Coordinator and or a Campus Utility Manager or Campus Energy Manager when registering.

Hotel Accommodations:

Cortland, NY has many options, currently we have rooms blocked at the following hotel until Nov. 1.

Country Inn & Suites – Located in Cortland by the route 281 entrance to SUNY Cortland’s campus.  There more typical hotel rooms for $104 and suite rooms for $114 available for guests that bring tax exempt forms.  Reference the SUNY Cortland Conference when calling.  Phone:  607-753-8300  Address:  3707 West Road, Cortland, NY 13045


SUNY Sustainability Coalition Pre-Conference Meeting:

Prior to the start of the conference, the SUNY Sustainability Coalition will be meeting from 9 AM to 11:30 AM.  We encourage all SUNY Sustainability Officers to attend this meeting!

Staying Connected:  If you haven’t done so already, sign up to become a member of NYCHSE here.

Thanks to our conference sponsors!