Emerging Professional Jacqueline Langhals writes about her experience at Convergence 2015, USGBC Conference in San Diego.
On June 28, USGBC kicked off Convergence, its national conference, in San Diego, CA. USGBC Central Ohio had three representatives, (Lisa Laney, Leah Morgan, and myself) able to attend and network with other USGBC members from across the globe. This was my first time experiencing USGBC on a national level--and the experience was life-changing. Never before have I been surrounded by so many passionate, intelligent, and driven individuals all trying to better the world by making our built environment more sustainable. The four days were filled with business meetings, forums, presentations, awards, hands-on sustainability projects, and inspiring conversations. It was emphasized that USGBC is not just an organization, but a movement. I must say, if the world is filled with more people like I met at Convergence, this movement is only going to continue to grow.
I attended Convergence as a member of the Emerging Professionals National Committee (EPNC) to learn about USGBC’s new product: ADVANCE. ADVANCE is a platform of products to help all communities and ADVANCE participants gain access to USGBC’s professional network and resources. Simply put, it connects skilled volunteers with community-based organizations in under-served areas in order to truly promote green building to all. It is USGBC’s vision that “buildings and communities will regenerate and sustain the health and vitality of all life within a generation.” ADVANCE is our way to continue working toward that goal of bringing green buildings to everyone. It provides opportunities for those new to the industry to gain experience and learn more about sustainable practices. For those that have been in the industry longer, it gives them a chance to give back to a cause that they care deeply about. For the community organizations (i.e. non-profits, community centers, faith-based organizations, etc.), it enables them to build and operate a sustainable building that they would not have had the resources to do before. There is a place for everyone with ADVANCE.
My experience at Convergence has led me to be even more excited to help this movement. If you are interested in being a part of ADVANCE or know of a local project and/or person that could benefit from ADVANCE, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.