Inspire Speakers Series

Join Green Building Alliance and Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens for the return of the Inspire Speakers Series! This monthly lecture circuit features nationally renowned experts in various fields of sustainability, as well as local specialists who can share experiences from the environmental front lines in Western Pennsylvania.


>> Thursday, May 15

National Guest: Col. Mark Mykleby, Senior Fellow, New America Foundation

Mark Mykleby is a retired U.S. Marine Corps colonel and graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy.  Now a senior fellow at the New America Foundation, he is working towards a “grand strategy of sustainability” for our nation in the 21st century.

Local Guest: Bill Peduto, Mayor of Pittsburgh


Follow along on Twitter #inspirespeakerspgh


Past Events this Season:

The Art of Environmental Health One Artist’s Attempt to Bridge the Gap Between Art, Science, and Community Action

National Guest: Natalie Jeremijenko, Faculty, NYU Steinhardt
Natalie is an artist and engineer who strives to make the sometimes abstract issue of environmental health more achievable.  She blends art, engineering, environmentalism, and biochemistry to create real-life experiments that enable social change.

Local Guest: Bobby Vagt, President & CEO, Heinz Endowments


The Power of People Uncovering the Human Potential in Achieving True Sustainability

National Guest: Jim Hartzfeld, Former Managing Director, InterfaceRAISE & Former Chair, USGBC
Jim is a pioneer in the sustainability industry, having worked with legendary Ray Anderson at Interface – one of the first U.S. companies to full integrate sustainability into its culture.  Jim offers a successful example of true leadership and a “do-it-yourself” attitude towards making real change happen.

Local Guest: Bill Strickland, President & CEO, Manchester Bidwell Corporation


How Schools and Community Institutions Can Utilize the Surrounding Community to Enhance Education and Engage Our Youth

National Guest: David Sobel, Faculty, Antioch University
David Sobel is the “father of place-based education” and shares insight into ways that we can all find inspiration from place and by keeping our “feet in the clouds.”  David demonstrates how we can all learn from our surroundings.

Local Guest: Jane Werner, Executive Director, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh


Urban Acupuncture Redefining Community Vitality

National Guest: Bob Berkebile, Principal, BNIM Architects
Bob is a pioneer in regenerative design and in green building.  A founding member of the U.S. Green Building Council and of AIA’s Committee on the Environment, Bob has been recognized by the Heinz Foundation for his role in promoting green building practices.

Local Guest: Amy Piccirilli, Sustainability Coordinator, YMCA


Spreading a Message of Sustainability Through Silence and Action

National Guest: Dr. John Francis, Author, Planetwalker: 22 Years of Walking. 17 Years of SilenceJohn Francis spent more than 20 years walking and sailing around the world to spread a message of sustainability – for 17 of those years, he didn’t speak a word!

Local Guests: Patty DeMarco (CMU and the Rachel Carson Homestead), Mike Schiller (Green Building Alliance), and Students from the Environmental Charter School.


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