International Sustainability Conference To Be Held At University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee


Sister Cities Association of Sarasota has teamed with the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee and the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce to host a major three-day conference on “Sustainability Through Renewable Energy & Aquaculture” Nov. 13-15, 2013 in USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Selby Auditorium, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail.

The goal of the conference is to bring together both professionals and students from Florida and internationally with Sarasota’s Sister Cities in a forum based on Sustainability.

“One of the major missions of Sarasota Sister Cities Association (SCAS) is to foster international relationships through exchanges in areas of business, culture and education,” stated SCAS President Beth Ruyle Hullinger. “SCAS’s objective is to develop respect, understanding and cooperation through citizen diplomacy.”

The conference will focus on three individual topics:

  • Sustainability, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Nov. 13
  • Renewable Energy Alternatives, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Nov. 14
  • Sustainability of Ocean & Water Resources, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Nov. 15

Topics covered will include:

  • Sustainability – exploring sustainability concepts; sustainable communities; sustainability management; sustainable agriculture, and water sustainability.
  • Renewable Energy Alternatives – exploring new developments in solar energy; photovoltaics; fuels from biomass, and ocean wave technology.
  • Sustainability of Ocean Resources – exploring closed circuit, non-polluting aquaculture, sustainability and profits in aquaculture  and aquaculture of giant prawns, sturgeon, and caviar.

Attendance is open to the public, but requires registration.  Full registration for the 3-day conference is $75.  An option for attending select daily sessions is $30 per day.   Lunch is included for those with paid registrations on Nov 13 and 14. To register for the conference go to:

College and high school faculty and students may register for the conference at no cost by contacting Dr. Raymond Young, Conference Chair at  Lunch will not be provided to those attending the sessions at no cost.

Information on speakers:

The conference will involve presentations by international universities from six of Sarasota’s Sister Cities (Dunfermline, Scotland; Merida, Mexico; Perpignan, France; Tel Mond, Israel; Treviso Province, Italy and Xiamen, China); seven Florida universities or colleges; three regional businesses; plus the Florida Department of Energy; the U.S. Department of Agriculture; the National Oceanographic & Atmospheric Agency and Mote Marine Laboratory.

The introductory speaker for the Sustainability sessions Nov. 13 will be Patrick Sheehan, director of Florida’s Office of Energy in Tallahassee. Other speakers for this session will represent the Institute for Eco-Municipality Educations & Assistance in Cambridge, MA and Umea Sweden; the Province of Treviso, Italy; The Walt Disney Company, Orlando; the Patel School of Global Sustainability at the University of South Florida (Tampa); State College of Florida; New College of Florida; the University of Florida; and Ringling College of Art & Design.

Keynote speaker for the Renewable Energy sessions on Nov. 14 will be Energy Consultant and Lecturer Michael Alexy.  Other presentations will be made by representatives of the University of Perpignan of Perpignan, France; the Florida Solar Energy Center of the University of Central Florida; the U.S. Department of Agriculture; the Brilliant Harvest Company, Sarasota; Carnegie College & Whitlock Energy Collaboration Center of Dunfermline, Scotland, and Safrema Energy of Lakewood Ranch.

Keynote speaker for the Sustainability of Ocean & Water Resources sessions on Nov. 15 will be Russell Dunn of the National Oceanographic & Atmospheric Agency (NOAA).  Other presentations will be made by representatives of the University of the Yucatan of Merida, Mexico; Jimei University of Xiamen, China; the Israeli Institute of Technology; Mote Marine Laboratories, and Florida Organic Aquaculture of Fellsmere, FL.