Melissa Everett's Professional Site

A sustainability maven explains what she actually does for a living…

Programs I Offer

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Real Green Jobs Now:  A thorough, thought-provoking look at the “full-spectrum green economy” – yes it’s clean energy and advanced building…and transportation… and water-efficiency….oh yes, and recycling with all the industries that arise from it… You can run a bike shop or design irrigation systems or be a marketing manager for a cool roofing company – for starters.   This presentation for campuses, career support groups, professional societies and personal growth settings covers the spectrum, outlining strategies for finding your way in – or ahead.

It Isn’t (Just) About the Climate: Change When Life Depends On It:  With climate change moving faster, and looking worse, than scientists thought even as recently as the release of An Inconvenient Truth, the U.S. faces an ironic reality.  In spite of orchestrated denial campaigns, a majority of the population is still alarmed or concerned about climate change, while staunch deniers are only about 7% of us. And yet, we are nowhere close to a World War II style mobilization to reduce the risk and prepare ourselves for unavoidable change, as scientists have called for.  What is it about human nature that gets in the way?  This presentation lays out the needed changes for our cities, towns and villages, and explores the human factors that get in the way of coordinated action, including our trouble with pattern recognition and what Abraham Maslow called “the psychopathology of the ordinary.”   It opens up discussion of psychological strategies that spark effective action, drawing on the frameworks of community-based social marketing, innovation diffusion, peak performance and organizational learning.  The case is made that building an effective response to climate change – faster – is not so much about winning the argument, but about helping people to feel part of the change process.  Designed for concerned audiences who may or may not be involved in climate action.


Making a Living While Making a Difference.  This classic workshop is available in lengths from 2.5 hours to 3 days.  It can be adapted for special focus such as:

  • Working Your Values in a Scary Economy
  • Making a Living While Making a Difference in Creative Careers
  • Making a Living While Making a Difference in Technology
  • Making a Living While Making a Difference in Service
  • Making a Living While Making a Difference in Business
  • Making a Living While Making a Difference After Your Military Career

Engaging Your Community:  Building Social Capital for Climate Action and Sustainable Development.   This new, 3-hour workshop is for civic and political activists who want to expand their tool kits for reaching the public and building strong organizations.  Topics include analyzing social networks to identify trust leaders, intelligent use of conventional and social media, and skilful use of large group discussion formats such as The World Cafe.

Geographies of Our Lives:  Guiding Your Work Life by Sense of Place.  This workshop helps career and job changers to examine the role of geography and sense of place in their choices.  The unprecedented mobility of our society has created exciting options but has also fragmented the land with roadways, fragmenting many families and social networks as well. Conventional wisdom says we have to go where the work is.  But when do we defy that, or at least negotiate with it? When is it preferable to change careers rather than leaving your community?  How do we make our family and social lives more coherent by honoring our connection to place as we make career decisions?

Placemaking in a Changing Climate (with Phil Myrick, Project for Public Spaces, and other colleagues).   Designing the places where we live and work, so that they are beautiful and welcoming to people and commerce alike – this simple idea is re-emerging to guide the revitalization of our marketplaces, waterfronts, bikeways, and neighborhood centers, in order to preserve and highlight local assets like historic buildings, urban gardens and waterfalls, or public art. Today, as climate change presses us to “re-localize” our lives and protect our local resources, the art and science of placemaking are evolving to meet new needs.  Landscape architecture is joining urban design and economic development to create strategies for cooling city centers; keeping water on the land; growing food, fiber, fuel and ornamental plants for local use; and making wise choices about the use and protection of flood-prone land.  This workshop  outlines these principles and introduces a set of “tools for transformation” for context-sensitive, asset-based planning and urban design.  Can be tailored to local interests, and last from 2.5 hours to 2 days.

On all workshops, pricing is flexible. Two month minimum lead time is requested. Group size 10 – 40. Sponsoring organization is responsible for all publicity and for ensuring that minimum group size is achieved, since peer to peer support is an essential feature of the workshop. Cancellations must be processed at least two weeks before workshop date. Workshop requires a comfortable room with flexible seating, allowing for circular and small group arrangements, tables for materials, LCD projector/ screen setup, white board.


Written by melissaeverett

August 21, 2011 at 8:53 pm

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