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Dickinson College to Host and Livestream National Higher-Ed Sustainability Summit, Oct. 5

Be.Hive Image

Be.Hive image

Interactive event to bring to campus Impossible Foods CEO, dozens of other sustainability leaders, experts on behavior and the environment and hundreds of students from around the nation

by Matt Getty

Dickinson College is partnering with the global nonprofit Rare to host an interactive summit Saturday, Oct. 5, exploring how colleges and universities can best promote sustainable behaviors and fight climate change. BE.Hive on Campus: Climate Change Needs Behavior Change will bring together more than 420 campus sustainability leaders, behavioral scientists and student advocates from 46 colleges—as well as actor and comedian Ravi Patel and representatives from Patagonia, AASHE and others—for an interactive, high-energy summit of how to go beyond sustainability education and create lasting behavioral change.

“We are excited to host and to have helped plan the summit,” said Neil Leary, director of Dickinson’s Center for Sustainability Education. “The fact that CEOs, scientists, students and environmental advocates are coming to Dickinson for this important conversation demonstrates Dickinson’s leadership in sustainability education and sustainable campus operations.”

Educators, students and campus sustainability professionals interested in attending can register now to secure a spot. The event also includes a Behavior-Centered Design Challenge on Oct. 4 through which teams will be challenged to design real-world sustainability solutions focused on the issues facing our campuses. Top teams will have the chance to pitch their ideas on stage at the BE.Hive summit the following day to win a $1,500 cash prize.

The BE.Hive summit is in large part a result of Dickinson’s collaboration with Rare, which grew out of the college’s Rose-Walters Prize initiative. That partnership between the college and the nonprofit, which uses behavioral science to promote and enhance sustainability, kicked off when Brett Jenks, Rare president and CEO, received the 2017 Sam Rose ’58 and Julie Walters Prize at Dickinson College for Global Environmental Activism. The annual $100,000 prize was created to focus attention on the need to reduce the impact of human lives on the planet, particularly given the rising population predictions for this century. 

During Jenks’s visit to campus, he met with student leaders, participated in class discussions and led a workshop on using insights from behavioral science to motivate people and communities to adopt behaviors that benefit people and nature. Jenks emerged from the residency so inspired that he opted to use the Rose-Walters Prize money to create the Center for Behavior & the Environment, one of the driving forces behind the summit.

“I decided immediately that we should put this money to use on a new idea at Rare, which is to bring together the best behavioral insights from social psychology, from neuroscience, from behavioral economics,” said Jenks. “The idea is to connect the dots between what makes humans tick and what the world needs to be more sustainable so that we can help advance conservation efforts all over the world.”

Rare held its first BE.Hive summit with National Geographic in Washington, D.C., in March 2019 to connect those dots with representatives from NASA, the World Wildlife Fund and others. BE.Hive: On Campus builds on the momentum created in D.C. and brings it to Dickinson to focus specifically on how behavioral psychology can promote sustainability on college and university campuses.

“This is a great opportunity for students, faculty and higher-education professionals interested in sustainability to learn how to harness behavioral design and psychology to make a real difference on campus and beyond,” said Lindsey Lyons, assistant director of Center for Sustainability Education, who attended the first BE.Hive summit and played a key role in bringing it to Dickinson. “BE.Hive isn’t just a conference where you listen to speakers and bring home some information. Attendees will begin translating science into practice and leveraging the best behavioral insights and design thinking approaches to tackle some of the most challenging issues on our campuses. It’s time that we do more than educate and begin to build lasting, effective programs of change. Please join us in this one-of-a-kind event.”

Learn more about BE.Hive on Campus: Climate Change Needs Behavior Change, or register now to attend.

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Published August 29, 2019