Sustainable Design Opportunities & Events

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Sustainable Design Opportunities & Events

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  • Workshops at Illinois Makerslab

    Current workshops at the Makerlab. Join us at the Makerlab to turn ideas into objects. Besides our open hours,  you can sign up for a variety of workshops below. If these workshops or the times don’t work for you, you can even request a private event.  Don't forget to sign up for our Newsletter to stay up to date!  

  • Sustainability Week Oct. 18-22

    Click for a roundup of October events hosted or co-hosted by iSEE and highlights from the Student Sustainability Summit, hosted by the Student Sustainability Committee (SSC) and the Student Sustainability Leadership Council (SSLC) and co-hosted by other student organizations:

  • Rescheduled Green Quad Day

    Join us on the Quad to meet a host of student- and community-led sustainability groups, from Red Bison and Illini Urban Farmers to the Prairie Rivers Network and Karma Trade! You can also check out past projects that the Student Sustainability Committee has funded through the Illinois Green Fund! This event is part of the Student Sustainability Summit.10 a.m.-4 p.m. | Oct. 12 | U of I Quad

  • 'TED Talk: Eco-Edition' - A Sustainable Economy

    6 p.m. | Tuesday, Oct. 19 | Register. Explore what goes into a sustainable, beneficial economy. Participants will view a prerecorded TED Talk by Kate Raworth, “A healthy economy should be designed to thrive, not grow.” SWATeam Clerk Alexa Smith, senior in Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences, will then lead a guided discussion! 


  • 2021 RFP: iSEE Offers Seed Funding for Interdisciplinary Research Teams

    The Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE) is announcing a call for proposals to support interdisciplinary research projects on topics related to sustainability, energy, and environment. The iSEE seed funds are available to promote research collaborations among faculty and scientists across campus that will improve their potential for attracting external support.The goal of the funding is to enable interdisciplinary research teams working in any of the five thematic areas of interest to iSEE to collect preliminary data or other information and to develop a strong proposal that can be submitted for external funding through the Institute in 2022-23.The proposal must involve applicants from at least two different disciplines and two different departments and is limited to a maximum of $30,000 for a year. The key factors that will be considered in the selection process include:Scholarly merit, innovation, and substantive interdisciplinarity of the proposed research;Need for collaboration and how well the team is suited to tackle the problem at hand;Potential impact of the proposed research initiative on the field;Potential to develop a large-scale (>$1M), externally funded research program;Productivity of the applicants and quality of their scholarship;Comprehensive plan to pursue external funding with identified opportunities which the applicants will pursue; andThe fit to at least one of iSEE’s five research themes and interest in a longer-term engagement with iSEE to develop research programs in this area.Successful applicants will be expected to submit external funding proposals related to this seed funding through iSEE in 2022-23. iSEE will provide personnel support for proposal development and post-award management for projects that receive external grants to a competitive external funding source over the course of the following year. Recipients will also work with iSEE to communicate the findings of their research, publications, and other outcomes through the Institute website on an ongoing basis. Support will be provided in the form of a research assistantship for graduate students at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, postdoc time, data purchase, and/or travel.iSEE will provide administrative support for development of large proposals. Successful external funding proposals submitted through iSEE will not affect indirect cost recovery to the home department of the PI.

  • Environmental Leadership Program

    The Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) is a cutting-edge program launched by the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The program is designed to prepare Illinois undergraduates for leadership roles in the sustainability field.

    The ELP focuses on developing the students’ communications skills around environmental problems, mobilizing social resources, and implementing plans for sustainable change. The program also provides students with networking opportunities with leaders in various fields in the environmental domain. This will prepare students for careers in both the public and private sectors. The introduction of the ELP is one of the key educational objectives in the Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP) 2020.

    After piloting two successful workshops in Spring 2021 focused on environmental policy and corporate sustainability, iSEE is launching the first version of the program in Spring 2022! Participants will learn about the policy-building process at the local and state levels, develop real-world environmental policies linked to the current legislative session, engage with local and state government officials, and present their policy proposals to an audience of legislative staff and decision-makers in Springfield and Urbana-Champaign.


  • Thursday, Sept. 23: Art, Empathy, and Climate Change Online Discussion

    What role can empathy play in combating climate change? Join Cultural Programs of the NAS on Thursday, Sept. 23, at noon EDT for a conversation on Zoom with a group of scientists, artists, and filmmakers as they discuss why empathy is important for motivating individuals to take action as well as for forming effective interdisciplinary collaborations to address complex issues related to climate change. They will share approaches and tools they use that help create empathy. Featuring photographer James Balog, American University (AU) Museum at the Katzen Arts Center current exhibiting artist Diane Burko, AU professor and environmental scientist Kiho Kim, and AU professor and filmmaker Maggie Stogner. For more information and to register, click here.

  • Solar House Tour!

    10 a.m.-3 p.m. | Saturday, Sept. 25. The Illinois Energy Association's annual Solar House Tour will feature several Champaign County homeowners, including iSEE affiliate. The event includes in-person tours, outside viewings, and Zoom recordings.

  • Sustainable Decision-Making, Ted-Talk Eco-Edition

    6 p.m. | Wednesday, Sept. 29 Participants will watch a prerecorded TED Talk by Catherine Mohr, "The Tradeoffs of Building Green," then join in a thought-provoking discussion led by Ann-Perry Witmer, research scientist.

  • Join the Climate Strike!

    Noon | Friday, Sept. 24 | U of I Quad . Students for Environmental Concerns (SECS) is leading a climate strike on Friday to demand action on climate change! Participants will meet at the Alma Mater statue, march around the Quad and down Green Street, then reconvene for speeches at the Alma Mater. The event ties in with a Global Climate Strike organized by the youth-led group Fridays for Future to demand intersectional climate justice.

  • Upcycled Fashion Design Project Fellow

    Apps due Oct 1. Project Phoenix is an Illinois student initiative to give high school students a platform to highlight their fashion design interests and create their own upcycled clothing brands! The group offers one- to two-hour weekend workshops to teach Champaign-Urbana high school students applicable fashion and graphic design skills and provide opportunities in business and entrepreneurship. U of I students can sign up now to be a Project Fellow! 

  • "Climate Change and the Virtues of Pessimism" | Symptoms of Crisis Series

    September 23, 7:30 PM • Levis Faculty Center | Room 108. HRI's “Symptoms of Crisis” event series launches Sept. 23 with a talk by Roy Scranton, author of "Learning to Die in the Anthropocene: Reflections on the End of a Civilization." Scranton is an English professor and director of Notre Dame’s Environmental Humanities initiative. Attend in person at Levis Faculty Center or view live on YouTube at

  • U.S. EPA Campus Rainworks Challenge

    Green Stormwater Infrastructure design competition for colleges and universities; Multi-disciplinary team lead from UIUC won this national competition in 2017; Cash prize to top two teams in each category. Dr. Art Schmidt  ( is willing to help serve as faculty mentor and can coordinate among interested students & faculty.

  • Fall 2021 Applications are Open for the Illinois Impact Incubator

    Apply by Sept 20. The Illinois Impact Incubator is a co-curricular incubation program for students (all majors, levels) who have a passion to develop an idea or early-stage venture focused on social or environmental impact. All types of ventures are welcome (e.g., nonprofits, social enterprises, social businesses). Includes a structured Impact Bootcamp startup curriculum with workshops, curated  resources, peer feedback, access to mentors and expert advisors. Members are eligible for seed funding and micro-grants to support stakeholder discovery, prototyping, and pilot projects. Individuals or small teams may apply. 

  • Green Town Rockford: Free webinar on Building Equitable & Sustainable Communities

    Thursday, September 30, 10-11:30am. The climate crisis is upon us. GreenTown Rockford will address how climate solutions and equity go hand-in-hand to create a healthy, sustainable Rockford Region for all. Topics Include: Building locally equitable and sustainable food systems; Affordable housing and net-zero developments; Energy assistance programs. Speakers: Lindy Wordlaw, Elevate, Chicago, IL ; David Pope, Oak Park Residence Corporation, Oak Park, IL ; Reverend Marvin Hightower, Mount Zion Baptist Church, Rockford, IL ; Bryant Jones, Twin Cities Relief Initiative, Minneapolis, MN