By Deniz Whittier, CNT Young Innovators
Building on past years’ success, the Young Innovators fifth annual summer fundraiser welcomed a diverse group of participants and experts. We had 40 guests attend a splendid afternoon with the weather on our side as we enjoyed locally- and ethically-sourced treats and insightful conversations.
We kicked off the event with an overview of actions planned by CNT stakeholders for improving current climate and transportation challenges. Special guests included staff from organizations such as the City of Evanston Sustainability and Resilience Office, Bike Lane Uprising, The Climate Reality Project, and EarthShare.
Participants were introduced to the sustainability action plan for Evanston – the first city in our state to establish a carbon neutral goal. Bike Lane Uprising shared their vision to track down bike lane obstruction, as well as their work with a developer in Illinois to help transportation planning for a new shopping district. Lastly representatives from national initiatives EarthShare and The Climate Reality Project shared about their work in hatching community action for climate change mitigation.
Homestead on the Roof was yet again a perfect background for the discussion. We enjoyed delicious food and even learned about the venue’s farming practices from the chef himself. The rooftop garden was filled with plenty of herbs and produce. The most daring Young Innovators and guests even ate some from the plants! Fitting to CNT's current work supporting green infrastructure developments, it was a great experience for attendees to walk on top of a green roof planted like a prairie with aims to retain soil moisture that had the added benefit of reducing heating and cooling costs for the building.
Special thanks to everyone who attended on Saturday; we hope that you will join the Young Innovators for CNT’s Tech Challenge finale later this year.
Deniz Whittier, CNT Young Innovators board member, works as an analyst for CLEAResult Consulting supporting utility-led energy efficiency programs across the Midwest. She has been engaged in project finance, climate change mitigation, and renewable energy since her graduate studies at Tufts University. She graduated from Tufts with her master’s thesis titled: Working Women’s Social Exclusion from the Turkish Labor Market.