Amherst, MA – Hitchcock Center Executive Director Julie Johnson will speak at the Net Positive for Higher Education Symposium sponsored by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI). Her talk on June 26th is entitled Engaging Stakeholders and Funders in Creating a Living Building and will share Hitchcock Center’s process of building constituent support in the Living Building process.
For the past 17 years, Julie has worked to strengthen the impact and reach of the Hitchcock Center for the Environment’s mission to foster a greater awareness and understanding of our environment and to develop environmentally literate citizens. She has kept the Hitchcock Center at the forefront of leadership in environmental education through careful strategic planning, financial stewardship and partnership development.
Over the last seven years, this has involved managing the development of a new Living Building Challenge environmental learning center (pending Living Certification), which brought together a design-team of over 35 individuals, 300 funders, 100 staff, board, volunteer and community stakeholders, and a major new partnership with Hampshire College. Completed in 2016, the Center’s new living building now serves over 10,000 people from over 75 communities, 9 states and 5 countries annually. Julie attributes the Center’s success in completing this pioneering new building to its dedicated staff, committed board, and engaged community, but also recognizes her important role as a visionary leader and bridge builder in keeping the programmatic, financial and operational needs of the organization in balance. In 2017, Julie received the Green Giants Award from the Western Massachusetts American Institute of Architects.
The International Living Future Institute, which implements the Living Building Challenge, is sponsoring the Symposium for the first time on the East Coast, a result of the highest level of leadership and design in living buildings in the western MA region.
Campuses in Western Massachusetts—Hampshire College, Smith College, and Williams College—are on the forefront of transformation. These institutions, with others including the Hitchcock Center for the Environment, have been early adopters of the Living Building Challenge and the Living Community Challenge.
The Net Positive for Higher Education Symposium will highlight these campuses and projects and their holistic, multi-generational approach to sustainability, resiliency, health, innovation, and equity. Attendees will explore case studies from these campuses to understand the design, development, and implementation of these living laboratories toward communities that are socially just, culturally rich, and ecologically restorative. The symposium is for campus planners, sustainability directors, faculty/educators, administrators, operations staff, policy professionals, and design and construction professionals.
Symposium attendees, from across the country, will have an opportunity to tour the Hitchcock Center on Monday, June 25 from 3-5pm.
Julie Johnson, Executive Director
Hitchcock Center for the Environment