Archive | Inspire Speakers Series

Courtesy of  Hood Design Studio

When Art Creates Community

Urban landscapes represent both the unique ecological challenges of the built environment and the identities of the communities that shape those spaces. Redesigning this landscape to incorporate the natural world not only improves the sustainability of the urban area, but it can also help strengthen the communities that live and work in those spaces. Three […]

Continue Reading
Before_I_die_I_want_to_write_an_album._(6123412737)

Before I Die, I Want to Create Places that Matter

Pittsburgh is a city of places. Every cobbled alley has witnessed life, each precariously perched house somehow forming a part of our collective memory. It is tempting to understand the built environment as the realization of urban plans and architectural schematics. And in many ways, stones and concrete shape how we interact with space, where […]

Continue Reading
biophilia

Biophilia: Designed by Nature

Biophilia literally translates to love of life and the living world; the affinity of human beings for other life forms. E.O. Wilson coined the term in 1984, but it’s a concept that we all inherently understand. Biophilia explains why we feel more relaxed in nature, why all of our senses are fully engaged when we […]

Continue Reading
MF & house crop

Michelle Fanzo: On Storytelling and the Power of Place

Michelle Fanzo has worn many hats throughout her illustrious career, working in international development, urban sustainability, and public health. After traveling the world multiple times over, she now returns as the executive director of AIA Pittsburgh.  Despite her overwhelming accomplishments, we couldn’t help but ask this former journalist about the power of a truly good story. […]

Continue Reading
35660018250_cc47ccc882_k

Social Change: Refinanced

In the 21st century, industry took a pause. Post-Cold War growth marked capitalism as the most productive economic system, but some of its most fundamental practitioners were beginning to rethink their relationships with the communities they served. Corporations, banks, and private funds responded with initiatives as varied as corporate responsibility offices, sustainable business certifications, and […]

Continue Reading
'_1905_(3195497966)

A Toast to Civic Dialogue

2017 has been a rough year for the world. Just this month, wildfires, hurricanes, and civil war competed for international attention, as if suffering can be measured in degrees of trauma. No one has been untouched by hardship, and there is a palpable weariness in the public conscience. Devastation on such a scale would seem […]

Continue Reading
Photo by Rebecca Hale/National Geographic

Environmental Justice & Civic Conversation

“I believe we can change the world if we start listening to one another again.  Simple, honest, human conversation.  Not mediation, negotiation, problem-solving, debate, or public meetings.  Simple, truthful conversation where we each have a chance to speak, we each feel heard, and we each listen well.”  — Margaret Wheatley On January 17, 1971, John […]

Continue Reading
hawken-portlock

From Gloom and Doom to Hope and (Climate) Change

The Inspire Speakers Series season finale exemplified the goal of the entire program – to share, engage, connect, and inspire action. Internationally acclaimed environmentalist, author, and sustainability pioneer Paul Hawken, along with Dr. Joylette Portlock, president of Pittsburgh nonprofit Communitopia, delivered motivating, science-based, solution-focused inspiration to a sold-out audience of more than 200 people last week. […]

Continue Reading