|Cape Cod Community
Excerpt from Dawn Hingen, "Center for Sustainability
Looking to Join Forces with CCCC," The Mainsheet, October 22, 2003.
Allen Larson, president of the Cape Cod Center for Sustainability, would
like to see his center set up shop at Cape Cod Community College. . . .
Larson, who is also a
member of the CCCC board of trustees, hopes to get a working group of
people together as soon as possible to start assessing the various options
of bringing the center to campus. He says it is important that this
group of people come from faculty, students, and staff.
"The long-term goal is to
establish a chair at the college that would connect the many things the
college already does that fall into the context of studies that comprise
sustainability," says Larson.
Larson envisions a
community thinktank on campus, made up of experts in various academic
disciplines. Some of the disciplines included would be environmental
sciences, economics, statistics, health, and social services. The
thinktank would provide a "gateway of fresh respectful dialog" while
considering local issues, Larson said.
According to Larson, "The
goal is to present for public consideration the kind of information that
would help shape how the public assesses policy questions and
private-sector proposals that are part of our community dialogue here on
the Cape and islands."
He points out that the
college already operates in ways that make it a leader and innovator in
related areas. Also, it is home to a host of people with varied opinions
derived from their varied social and economic backgrounds. These actors
add up to the campus's being a great place for the Cape Cod Center for
"The Center for
Sustainability is an excellent match for our mission, and we look forward
to talking with the leaders of the center to find and develop the ways in
which we can work together," CCCC president Kathleen Schatzberg says.
"This will help us accomplish our mission to serve our community in
environmental protection, in economic and workforce development, and in
educating those who will help our hospitals, schools and other social
agencies respond to community needs."
Space is the only concern
Schatzberg has concerning this proposal. "Housing the center at the
college is an excellent idea and would involve very minimal space
initially," she says. "As both the college and the center continue to
grow, we need to be planning how we will handle the increased need for
Excerpt from Allen Larson, "My
View," an op-ed, Cape Cod Times, October 27, 2003.
Nearly ninety days ago, on July 30, the Cape Cod Times asked in its
editorial whether the Cape Cod Center for Sustainability possessed the
attributes that define a flourishing organization: "a clear mission,
community support, a vast army of local volunteers, leadership, deep
pockets." It also asked whether the center could enlist support from
"other community organizations, the business sector and local and regional
government." The editorial frankly stated that our "overly philosophical
mission rarely intersected with concrete action." Whew.
Since the editorial
appeared, we've considered these questions carefully. We mailed
questionnaires to past supporters and people familiar with our programs
and interests. We met formally with the heads of local businesses and
nonprofit organizations. We talked informally with people on the street.
We used Internet search engines to study what others do elsewhere. And as
we did these things, we kept in the back of our mind the suggestion that
we needed to take more "concrete action" consistent with the fundamental
mission of our organization to encourage economic and social development
in a way that also sustains the environment and our natural resources.
Since the end of August,
we have assessed whether we can more effectively fulfill this mission by
establishing a sustainability center at Cape Cod Community College. After
all, the college faculty and students possess the range of academic
expertise and interest necessary to any objective assessment of the
potential impact of public policies and private-sector proposals on our
environment, our economic development, our social welfare, and our quality
We considered the
viability of a sustainability center with input from the college's
administrators, faculty, students, and staff. On October 17, we took a
leap of faith and formally pledged to the college that we would work to
establish the center by raising money and developing a more formal and
complete business plan. Our purpose is to build on the college's existing
capacity to gather data and conduct independent, unbiased studies relevant
to any consideration of economic, social, and environmental issues that
affect the Cape and islands.
sustainability center that utilizes the college's existing curriculum as
its academic base can complement the application of these course studies
and also encourage efforts to define ways to link environmental and social
sciences, with business and liberal arts offerings. Outside the curriculum
context, a nonpartisan and unbiased center could also bring together key
leaders and people from across the political spectrum to share information
and examine how we might best resolve economic, environmental, and social
Reactions to the first
presentations we have made regarding this proposal to groups both at the
college and in the Cape community have been positive and encouraging. . .
The signs are just as
encouraging outside the college that businesses, individuals and nonprofit
organizations will support this initiative. In addition to our pledge to
raise money to establish the center, we will also convene a working group
to develop a business plan outlining how the center will evolve. Already,
we have received positive responses in both of these areas. We have
received specific pledges totaling fifteen thousand dollars at the same
time that people expressed an interest to join the working group . . . .
The spirit and drive to
succeed that typify the students who attend the college will catalyze the
center with energy, enthusiasm, and a commitment to this place. The
support and guidance that the administration and faculty offer will add
complementary experience and mature guidance. And this venture will
flourish to the extent that we connect it to the Cape and islands
March 07, 2006