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– Mission –

In Spring 2020, PLAN is piloting an initiative to co-host regional summits at four campuses across the United States. These summits will bring together student leaders to address waste on their campuses and its impacts on the broader community, to collaborate on waste solutions for their regional communities, and to receive training in leadership and organizing skills necessary to accomplish this.


The Beyond Waste Student Summit will:

  1. Connect students in their regions, strengthening local relationships.
  2. Help students build strong leadership skills and develop projects to address waste on their campuses that are rooted in the understanding of the intersectionality of systems of oppression.
  3. Spread the message that “Nobody Can Do Everything, But Everyone Must Do Something.”

    – What are the “Points of Intervention”? –

    With 60 percent of global greenhouse gas output coming directly from the stuff we consume, it is clear that climate change, waste, and the social inequities that result are not issues in isolation from one another. Rather, these global woes are symptoms of a collectively flawed system: the Linear Consumption Economy. The hand-me-down of current affairs can leave our generation feeling overwhelmed and powerless. Fortunately, there are many points along this economic model at which we can intervene.

    Challenging the Consumption Economy: The Beyond Waste Student Summit Each summit will be comprised of around 100 students from local campuses who are coming from all levels of experience with on and off campus organizing. While each event will be slightly different depending on the capacity and interest of the host campus, attendees can expect some of the following:

    Hands-On Organizing Simulations:

    Students will be given the choice of 10 hypothetical organizing scenarios. They will be encouraged to choose the one that closely resembles a project they are involved in or want to start (ex. Starting a composting project on campus, supporting a local plastic bag ban…). With the guidance of an experienced organizer, they will be given a packet of information about their project and the surrounding circumstances and tasked with making strategic decisions. Through several rounds, they will present their plans to a panel of decision-makers who will push the hypothetical scenario along with new challenges and opportunities. With each round, the teams will be challenged to create roles, write proposals, develop budgets, choose strategic targets, and more.

    Keynote Speaker or Panel:

    A local organizer or community leader can open or close the event with some grounding in local environmental justice work. Some of the great speakers we have worked with in the past can be found on the speakers tab.

    Tools Sessions:

    From building a social media plan to understanding positionality, these tools sessions will provide some basic tactic and strategy for organizing. Held in traditional workshop format, they will engage attendees in both hands-on and informational sessions.

    Local Connections:

    Regional connections with peers and mentors are at the core of long-lasting, effective organizing networks. Student attendees will have the opportunity to connect to each other as well as local community leaders.