ECO News, Events, Jobs and More October 14, 2013


October 14, 2013

Happy Monday ECO members and fans. We hope you had a fabulous weekend.

To stay on top of all our new and events do not forget to check out and join our listserve or forward to a friend

*Follow ECO on Facebook and Twitter*

Hope to see you at an event soon,

Your ECO Board

And now for your moment of Zen: Elephants understand what it means when you point at stuff


Social Enterprise Bootcamp’s Pitch Night: DEADLINE TONIGHT
Applications are now open to find the next great social entrepreneurs at Social Enterprise Bootcamp’s Pitch Night. Apply for a chance to pitch your social enterprise, and win cash and other prizes, on November 15th in New York City.

What is Pitch Night?

Pitch Night is a chance for social entrepreneurs to pitch their ventures to a panel of esteemed judges for a chance to win cash prizes, consulting and technical support. Of the applicants, ten entrepreneurs will be selected to pitch.
Pitch Night is on Friday, November 15th, from 6:00–9:00 PM at MFA Design for Social Innovation at SVA NYC (132 W 21st St, 5th floor). Each participant will be given two minutes to pitch his or her idea, followed by three minutes of Q&A with the judges and members of the audience.
What is Social Enterprise Bootcamp?
Social Enterprise Bootcamp is an annual event hosted by Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), New York University’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service and MFA Design for Social Innovation at SVA NYC. Social Enterprise Bootcamp teaches business and design skills in a series of hands-on workshops for current and aspiring social entrepreneurs and innovators.

How do I apply?

Fill out the application ( by October 14th. All applications will be reviewed on a set of predetermined criteria by the review committee and all applicants will be notified via email by October 21th. Finalists will be invited to pitch on November 15th before the panel of judges.


Conversation with Fundacion Pachamama
Tuesday, October 15

6:30pm – 8:00pm

Knox Hall 208

Join us in conversation with native and indigenous leaders from Ecuador leading Fundacion Pachamama which is dedicated to creating an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, human presence on our planet.

Belen Paez, the President of Fundacion Pachamama, and her colleagues will share their work to protect the cultural and biodiversity of the Amazon Rain Forest which includes:
•  changing the constitution of Ecuador to recognize the rights of nature;
•  working with the government to change the measures of societal success based on “Buen Vivir”, prosperous living for all;
•  working with both the indigenous men and women leaders to modify millennia-old traditions in order to promote maternal and community health

Carolyn Buck Luce, co-founder of Imaginal Labs and an adjunct professor at Columbia University teaching “Women and Power ” will moderate this exciting event to learn more about the Pachamama Alliance.

Sponsored by the ISHR Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Program, Gender and Public Policy Specialization, Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race


Opportunity to influence speakers at Center for Global Energy Policy
The Center for Global Energy Policy has reached out to ECO to learn about the interests of our members in the energy field. This is an opportunity to influence who will be speaking at Columbia in the spring semester. If you have individuals or organizations in mind that you would particularly like to hear from, please email Laura Sundblad at by the end of the week (Oct 18), with the following information:
Organization of interest:
Individual of interest (if applicable):
Areas of interest in energy policy:

Earth Institute Travel Grant Program – Deadline October 18th

What: The Earth Institute, Columbia University, allocates funding to support travel for current Columbia University students who are engaged in research projects dealing with issues of sustainable development and the environment. The Earth Institute’s travel grant program provides students with the opportunity to build on their academic work for their degree programs and apply their knowledge to real-world situations by traveling overseas to conduct original fieldwork research. Awardees must use the money to cover the cost of travel for research being conducted for a course that helps them meet specific degree requirements at Columbia University.

When: Applications are due by 11:30PM on October 18.

The travel grant program, which is offered once per semester, funds individuals rather than projects, and the maximum travel grant award is up to $750 per person. Each member of a research team may apply individually for funding, and there is no limit on the number of people who may apply from any one project group. Qualified applicants must submit a detailed budget, cover letter resume and a letter of endorsement from a faculty member online.

For more information please click here or email Nathan Rudder at

Swedish American Chamber of Commerce Annual Green Summit on Sustainability and the Food Chain
What: SIPA has secured six tickets for students for the Swedish American Chamber of Commerce Green Summit featuring Johan Rockstrom, Jeff Sachs and a host of leading sustainability experts. Princess Madeleine of Sweden will be there too! For more info, see pages 3-4 of the attached document. *Note that the gala dinner is not open to students, unless you are willing to pay for a $495 ticket.
When: October 23, 8:00AM – 4:00PM
Where. 399 Park Avenue (Citi)
To Register: Email Laura Sundblad ( expressing your interest. 

Discussion with Sascha Lafield on Market-based Solutions for Environmental Problems

What: Market-based Solutions for Environmental Problems: Discussion with Sascha Lafeld, Founder and Board Member of  First Climate AG

When: Monday, October 21, 6-7 pm.

Where: TBC

Join ECO and SEA for a discussion with Sascha Lafeld, Founder and Board Member of  First Climate AG. Mr. Lafeld will present on an innovative public-private partnership to bring water solutions to water-challeneged areas. For more information, please see:


Book Talk with Bill Hewitt
What: Bill Hewitt: A Newer World – Politics, Money, Technology, and What’s Really Being Done to Solve the Climate Crisis
When: Thursday, October 24th at 7:00 PM
Where: Book Culture, 536 W 112th Street
More info:  The book contains material from interviews with Columbia University community members, Michael Gerrard and Gavin Schmidt.  It has endorsements from Bill McKibben and Elizabeth Kolbert and a number of positive reviews including from the American Library Association.  More about these  here.


Student Roundtable with Nobuo Tanaka, former Executive Director of the International Energy Agency
Thursday, November 7, 2013
12:45 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

International Affairs Building, Room 1512
The Center on Global Energy Policy is hosting a private student roundtable with distinguished fellow Nobuo Tanaka, the former Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA). Tanaka will discuss his career trajectory, his experience leading the IEA, and his perspectives on key global energy issues facing the world today. An open discussion will follow.To ensure fairness given limited space, seats will be awarded to interested students based on a lottery system. If you are interested in entering the lottery to attend the roundtable, please email Ke Wei ( by 5pm on Friday, October 25th. Students who are then selected via the lottery will be notified.

Please direct any questions to:


The Green Program
What: The GREEN Program is a short-term experience which combines hands-on education, adventure, service learning, cultural immersion and global networking to create an unparalleled learning experience in Iceland & Costa Rica. This program becomes a launchpad for the future innovative leaders of tomorrow.

When and Where:
Costa Rica 12 days Summer and Winter, 9 days Spring – Five forms of renewable energy, action-packed adventures, cultural immersion, memories for a lifetime all in paradise.

Iceland 10 days Summer, 8 days Winter and Spring – Noted as the greenest country in the world, Iceland is an untapped reserve of energy and adventure. We have partnered with Reykjavík University’s Renewable Energy and Sustainability Master’s Program (REYST) and the School of Science and Engineering to provide quality insight into the industry from the leading innovators.

More Details: Upon completion of the GREEN program you will receive:
-Experiential Education visiting several renewable energy facilities
-Service Learning through community service projects in impoverished areas
-Adventures such as surfing, glacier & jungle hiking or tectonic plate snorkeling
-Cultural Immersion in local indigenous tribes, eco-lodges or animal rehabilitation reserves
-Entrepreneurial inspiration developing your own green venture
-Access to our alumni network with job opportunities and industry connections
-Custom letters of recommendation based on your capstone project
-Transferable academic credit awarded by Reykjavik University

For more information and to apply, Click Here


Save the Date: The 9th Annual Columbia University Energy Symposium

Friday, November 22, 2013

“The Future Now: Energy Progress in the 21st Century” is the guiding theme of this year’s Energy Symposium, organized by students of CBS and SIPA. Several hundred participants will explore how key drivers are impacting the energy business and policy-making and how innovation can deliver the necessary energy progress to avoid a looming energy crisis. The energy challenges discussed cover how shifting geopolitics of oil and gas are impacting the energy industry, how private capital can be unlocked to scale up renewables, how 1.3bn people can gain access to modern energy services, how the utility of the future will look like, how water stress is impacting the energy business and how we can build more resilient energy architectures.

Among this year’s speakers figure Kenneth Cohen, Vice-President, Government and Public Affairs, ExxonMobil Corporation, Daniel Esty, Commissioner for Energy and Environment, Connecticut; Richard Kauffman, Chairman NYSERDA, Fred Krupp, President, Environmental Defense Fund, Sergej Mahnovski, Director, Sustainability and Long Term Planning, Office of the Mayor of New York City, Kevin Parker, CEO of Sustainable Insight Capital Management, and other energy leaders.

To learn more about the Symposium, please click here:

Registration will open soon!


NYC Recycling Reminders!

After years of confusion about plastics recycling in New York City, Mayor Bloomberg announced earlier this year that “… if it’s rigid plastic, any kind of rigid plastic, recycle it.”

The NYC Recycles website provides the following examples of rigid plastics that now can be recycled – with containers rinsed before they placed into a bin:

  • plastic bottles, jugs & jars
  • rigid plastic caps & lids
  • rigid plastic food containers (yogurt, deli, hummus, dairy tubs, cookie tray inserts, “clamshell” containers, other plastic take-out containers)
  • rigid plastic non-food containers
  • rigid plastic packaging (“blister-pak” and “clamshell” consumer packaging, acetate boxes)
  • rigid plastic housewares (flower pots, mixing bowls, plastic appliances, etc.
  • bulk plastic (crates, buckets, pails, furniture, large toys, large appliances, etc.)

Stay tuned for how SIPA is going to better advertise these new rules on our own bins!



Previous Postings

Mayor’s Greener, Greater Buildings Plan Intern
The New York City Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability seeks a Greener, Greater Buildings Plan intern to assist with energy benchmarking implementation and analysis. Working with a Policy Analyst, the intern will manage large datasets, coordinate analysis with academic partners, conduct internal data analysis, write and edit report content, and coordinate outreach to assist building owners with benchmarking compliance requirements.

Required Skills: Applicants must have a proven record demonstrating management, analytical, and communication skills. Proficiency in Microsoft Excel is required; InDesign or other graphic design skills are preferred. Experience related to green buildings and energy efficiency a plus, but not required.

Position Details: Expected working hours are part-time (12-15 hours a week) to full-time (Monday-Friday, 9AM-5PM). The New York City Mayor’s Office internships are unpaid positions. External activities include fieldtrips, volunteering opportunities, and networking events. Please see the full job posting at, or contact for more information.



In Indonesia, Environmentalists See a Disaster in the Making


Despite Climate Concern, Global Study Finds Fewer Carbon Capture Projects


Drought-hardy Barley Could Save Your Beer



Steve Engler
SIPA Environmental Coalition (ECO) Communications Director
MPA Candidate (2015), School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University

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