McKibben Lecture

Bill McKibben Kicks Off 3rd Annual SSU Sustainability Days Oct. 18
September 16, 2016
bill mckibben giving a lecture

Bill McKibben, climate change journalist and founder of, kicks off the third annual Sonoma State University Sustainability Days with a keynote address on Tuesday, Oct. 18 at 7:30 p.m. in Weill Hall at the Green Music Center. A day of presentations, panels and activities around sustainability follows on October 19 in the Student Center.

"We are thrilled to have Bill McKibben, famed environmentalist and winner of the Gandhi Peace Award, with us to kick off Sustainability Days," says Sonoma State President Judy K. Sakaki. "His participation in this event underscores Sonoma State University's commitment to sustainability."

Sustainability Day has grown this year into two days, with an evening kickoff lecture and farm-to-table dinner followed by a day of events in the Student Center. Tickets for McKibben's talk are free for Sonoma State students, faculty and staff, $20 for general admission. Admission is free for all for events on October 19 in the Student Center. Parking on campus is $5-$8.

The events on October 19 in the Student Center include student, faculty and staff presentations and panel discussions with community representatives and agencies working in the field of sustainability. Topics include local jobs in sustainability; sustainability in the classroom; students organizing for sustainability; faculty and staff efforts toward sustainability at Sonoma State; and recognition of the University's Sustainability Champions.

Live music and other activities take place in Seawolf Plaza outside of the Student Center, 5-7 p.m. There will also be a screening and discussion of the film "Catching the Sun," a documentary staring Van Jones and others on the race to lead the clean energy future, beginning at 7 p.m. at the Student Center.

Sustainability Days is just one example of Sonoma State's commitment to the environment. In addition to offering many academic programs and classes focused on the environment and sustainability, the University supports composting on campus and in dining facilities, uses sustainable cleaning products, applies water conservation methods in dining and landscaping, and strives to employ sustainable practices throughout campus. In 2014, SSU Campus Recreation received a Green Business Certificate from the Bay Area Green Business Program. Last year's Sustainability Day featured a standing room-only keynote speech by David Orr in the Student Center Ballroom.

About Bill McKibben

Bill McKibben is an author and environmentalist who in 2014 was awarded the Right Livelihood Prize, sometimes called the "alternative Nobel." His 1989 book, "The End of Nature" is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change, and has appeared in 24 languages; he's gone on to write a dozen more books. He is a founder of, the first planet-wide, grassroots climate change movement, which has organized 20,000 rallies around the world in every country save North Korea, spearheaded the resistance to the Keystone Pipeline, and launched the fast-growing fossil fuel divestment movement. A former staff writer for the New Yorker, he writes frequently for a wide variety of publications around the world, including the New York Review of Books, National Geographic, and Rolling Stone.

Schedule of events

Tuesday, Oct. 18

The Kitchens in the Student Center
5-8 p.m.
Farm-to-table dinner

Weill Hall at the Green Music Center
7:30-8:45 p.m.
"Winning the Climate Fight--but Fast Enough?" Keynote with Bill McKibben

Wednesday, Oct. 19

Student Center Ballroom B
11-11:55 a.m.
Focus on Community: Challenge or Opportunity? How Climate Change leads to Vibrant Community

Grand Ballroom 
12-12:55 p.m.
Focus on Students: Building a Career in Sustainability

Seawolf Plaza
12-12:45 p.m. 
Open Mic: My Turn to Talk About Climate Change!

Recreation Center Sustainability Tours
Noon, 1 p.m., 4 p.m.

Ballroom B
1-1:30 p.m.
Connecting the "dotts"-Ignite! Presentations

Ballroom C/D
1-1:50 p.m.
On the Way to Sustainability: Germany's Energiewende (Energy Revolution)

Grand Ballroom
1:30-2:15 p.m.
Focus on Equity: Who is Sustainability For?

Ballroom B
2-2:30 p.m.
Connecting the "dotts" - Ignite! Presentations

Ballroom C/D
2:30-3:15 p.m.
Focus on Faculty: CALLS Grants Panel

Ballroom B
3-3:30 p.m.
Connecting the "dotts" - Ignite! Presentations

Grand Ballroom
3:30-4:15 p.m.
Focus on Students: Seawolves, Lets Talk -- What Sustainability Means in Your Life!

Ballroom B
4-4:30 p.m.
Connecting the "dotts" -- Ignite! Presentations

Student Center Ballrooms
4:30-5:15 p.m.
Annual "Sustainability Champions" Recognition

Seawolf Plaza
5-6 p.m.
Open Mic: My Turn to Talk About Climate Change!

Seawolf Plaza
5-7 p.m.
Sustainability Fair

Seawolf Plaza
6-7 p.m.
Black Sheep Brass Band

Ballroom B
7-9:15 p.m.
Film screening: "Catching the Sun"

Seawolf Plaza
7:30-9 p.m. 
Film screening: "The Lorax"

Media Contact

Nicolas Grizzle