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“It is our right and responsibility to create a new world.”

– adrienne maree brown, Emergent Strategy

– What to expect at a summit –

Each Virtual Beyond Waste Student Summit will be comprised of 50 students from campuses all across the country, coming with all different levels of experience. We will spend the majority of the time role-playing the development of projects that build a future we want to live in. Through this, we will explore organizing tools and strategies for on and off campus campaigns. While each regional summit will be slightly different they will all have the following content. 

Presentations and Simulations will cover: 

    • The principals of circular economy

    • Sustainable business and social entrepreneurship

    • The community health impacts of plastics

    • Capitalism and the waste crisis

    • Plastic and the fossil fuel industry

    • Accessibility in the zero waste movement
    • The linear consumption economy and climate change

Hands-On Organizing Simulations

Attendees will have the option of attending any (or all) of virtual summit dates. They are encouraged to choose the ones that closely resemble a project they are involved in or want to start. With the guidance of an experienced organizer, they will be given a packet of information about their project and the surrounding circumstances and are tasked with making strategic decisions. The teams will be challenged to envision success, create roles, write proposals, develop budgets, choose strategic targets, and more.

Projects include:

Feb 6th; Creating Creative Infrastructure: Campus Compost

  • Starting a compost program on your campus can be tricky, from securing funding to figuring out how materials will flow through your campus system. In this simulation, students will work on everything from selecting the right system for their campus to creating a campus education program for a newly established compost system.

March 6th; Break Free From Plastic: Fighting for a Plastic Free Campus

  • Getting your campus president to commit to stopping the use of single use plastics is a big step for any campus trying to achieve zero waste, but how do you get there? In this simulation, students will work on getting rallying up interest from among the campus community, to hosting a signing ceremony that works to hold your campus and president accountable.

April 10th; Food for Thought: Liberating the Table

  • Food waste is often one of a campuses biggest waste stream, and one that can be easily avoided with the proper systems in place. In this simulation students will work through the early stages of building out a proposal for a new food recovery program to securing the right partnerships on campus to ensure the program thrives.

May 1st; Fashion Forward: Establishing Circular Economy

  • A campus thrift store can be a great resource for any campus community, from helping reduce clothes getting into waste stream, to creating a fun social hub on campus for students to come together. In this simulation students will work on creating a budget to get the thrift store idea off the ground to hosting an unveiling event to rile up campus excitement!


    Tools you will leave with

    Project Planning

    • Creating campaign goals
    • Navigating unexpected obstacles as a team
    • Stakeholder and target mapping to navigate on and off campus networks
    • Identifying opportunities and making strategic decisions as a group
    • Resiliency in the face of failure

    Group Facilitation

    • Working together in a small group
    • Establishing group norms
    • Delegation for quick decisions and collective accountability 


    • Creating a volunteer/new member recruitment plan
    • Developing an elevator pitch
    • Creating a social media plan and/or press release
    • Pitching creative solutions to complex problems within an existing system

    The Details

    The best way to get to a summit is secure sponsorship from your campus. Most campuses have funds or departments for student development. We have created a handy guide to help you secure funding from your campus. You can find it linked here.

    Ticket Prices

    Tickets are sold on a sliding scale at the following prices: 

    True Cost | $100
    Subsidized | $75
    Subsidized | $50
    Subsidized | $25

    We will never turn anyone away for lack of funding. If you want to attend a summit but do not have the funding please reach out to our Ramiro, PLAN’s Director of Events at We will support you in every way we can!

    Sign me up!

    Step 1: Check out our Eventbrite page!
    Step 2: Have a conversation with PLAN Staff about how many students from your campus you would like to bring.
    Step 3: Use our support tools to secure funding from a department on campus. 
    Step 4: Work with us to figure out all of the other details: which summit is right for you, who else would be right for this, etc..
    Step 5: Attend your virtual summit!