Posted by: climatecollaborative | April 22, 2009

MODELS for the HCC – Discussion topic for the Monday Meeting

An important part of the agenda for the upcoming HCC meeting is a discussion we’ll be having about the future of the HCC.  With the year winding down, this year’s final report wrapping up, and the summer coming on, it’s time to think about how to make the HCC more useful for students and for administrators.
We started out with the basic goal of facilitating communications between student leaders and between student leaders and administrators.  As you have all seen, there’s been some exciting discussions, ideas shared, and collaborations begun, but there are also clear limitations to what the HCC has been able to do. 
We’ll discuss this more fully at the meeting, but we ask each of you to bring thoughts, ideas, and comments on this issue to the meeting, after reading some of the possible models for the HCC proposed by your fellow HCC members listed below.  What have been our limitations?  Where are their opportunities for growth and the best application of our energy and resources?  

HCC 2.0 or the “Harvard Sustainability THINK TANK.”  Use the collective power of the HCC to generate BIG IDEAS that can excite non-traditional supporters for the “exciting and empowering” environmentalism that can result in the fundamental and huge changes that will be necessary to get to 30%.  This wouldn’t be about just bringing student leaders together, but about bringing the brightest and most creative students into one room on a regular basis to brainstorm and generate the transformative ideas that we need.   

CURRICULAR CHANGE and a BROADER FOCUS – Craig Altemose points out that all academic campuses are responsible for only 3% of national emissions, so Harvard needs to expand its vision of what it can do for the environmental movement if it really wants to have an impact in the grand scheme of things.  Seeing as we’re in the business of education, curricular change should become the main focus of the HCC, with “every course in every school discuss[ing] sustainability and how the topic of the course will affect and/or be affected by global climatic disruption.”  Furthermore, students should “engage in off-site externships weatherizing low-income homes, designing sustainability plans for local businesses, improving efficiency in government buildings, doing community workshops on energy savings tips, etc.  In short, find ways for the HCC to use its influence both on- and off-campus at the local, state, federal, and even global levels.

REGIONAL HCC – Dave Lewis suggests that we may have “tapped out” talking to each other during our dinner series.  Why not expand the membership to include other schools so that we can learn from our peers at other institutions?  One day conferences, and other forums for sharing knowledge beyond Harvard, as a school such as the FAS might have more income with Williams College, for example, than the HDS. 

COMMUNICATIONS – The HCC needs to maintain its focus on inter-school communications at Harvard.  Rather than trying to tackle too much by expanding outwards or changing the mission, the HCC has perhaps been valuable precisely because it seeks to do only one thing, which is to bring student environmental leaders together and to go from there. 


These models are not necessarily mutually exclusive, and could all be adjusted to better fit the realities of our membership.  Please take a look and come with your thoughts and any other models that may not even have been discussed yet.  Feel free to get the discussion started on the blog.  We’ll take notes and bring them to the meeting. 
Thanks all and see you on Monday at 7.  The current issue of the NY Times Magazine ( has some relevant articles that might be worth checking out, as food for thought.



  1. Solid web site / Hope to visit soon=D

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