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NEW YORK: Bard College

Organizer: Roberta Fernandez

In New York, second year Bard College students came together to figure out how to get the local Solar Jobs Act to pass the legislature. Divided in four groups, one for each of the sides of the Sustainability Compass, they worked their way through the different levels of the Pyramid during a two-day workshop.

The solutions they proposed included: creating YouTube videos and outreach campaigns, a training program in NY community colleges and vocational schools, a public-private partnership program with grocery retailers called “Solar Produce,” and two solar installation competition programs (“Solar Up!” and “Power by the People”). “Solar Up!” was the idea that gathered the most votes within the group.

Melissa P., one of the participants, reports: “At the end of the second day, as we all stood in a circle reflecting on everything that we had learned and experienced together, there were multiple mentions of appreciation for the new set of tools, new perspective for how to tackle work and life problems, and acknowledgment of how much easier this process was for us, coming from the same education and similar values, than it might be in a different context.”

Read the full account of this event on the Bard College blog »


SENEGAL: Cabinet Espere

Organizer: J.F. Fillaut

The first known Pyramid workshop in West Africa was organized by Cabinet Espere, an Affiliate of AtKisson Group. Cabinet Espere has been working with colleagues in Sénégal these past few years to develop a variety of very creative programs. For this Pyramid, they focused on the question of waste management in African cities, with a special focus on plastic. Participants were “stakeholders involved in urban waste management in African cities: city, county, government, local communities, recyclers, university, financial partners, NGOs, international cooperation officials.”

JF Fillaut reports:  “The capstone agreement was : environmental education !!! In Africa, people do not care about waste and their consequences related to health, environment… At the end of the Pyramid process, we agreed to spread environmental education, everyone with his/her own power of leverage.”

UPDATE: Pyramid group photo

Where it All Began: GIN Manila 2012

On 17 February, the global Pyramid 2012 campaign was officially launched with Alan AtKisson’s keynote address at the annual conference of the Global Issues Network in Manila, the Philippines. Over 400 students worked in 20 parallel groups, using Pyramid to explore solutions to 10 global sustainability issues. For a slideshow of student photos, see:  GIN Manila Photo Album

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IRELAND: The Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT)

Facilitator: Clifford Guest

Fourth-year university students at LIT used Pyramid to investigate a wide range of global sustainability issues their possible solutions, ranging from water and sanitation issues in the developing world to problems in the global financial system, and how they all linked together. Building a creative and natural Pyramid out of willow rods from a university tree plantation, they plastered its sides with their insights, and came up with a long list of ideas for accelerating sustainable development, including:

  • Invest in green technology
  • Empower communities on how to make sand dams
  • Develop more small scale organic cultivation
  • Promote more Education for Sustainable Development
  • Bring back the Irish “Meitheal” system
  • Build more community level resilience
  • Create new indicators of progress
  • Shift from neoclassical to ecological economics

Their full report is available for download:

Download the LIT Tipperary Pyramid 2012 Report

BANGLADESH: American International University, School of Architecture

Facilitator: Anika Nasra haque

Anika wrote: 

I am happy with the outcome of my workshop conducted with my students in Dhaka. I took two days prior conducting the workshop, one day for discussing the procedure, the other day for making the model. Then on 16th February, I conducted the final workshop from 8.30  a.m. to 6.30 p.m. The students were really motivated to work on this model after the introductory session before the workshop. And the model was a good one, the students applied their architectural creativity while making it, they made it with coloured acrylic sheet and put an electric light inside it.

The central challenge thrown to them was ‘ Urban Water Logging’, which is the most urgent urban problem faced due to climate change in Dhaka city. The outcome was really interesting… ‘A HYDRAULIC CITY’.


I will write to you in details regarding the workshop next week. Some photographs of the event are attached herewith. More to come with the report.”


WASHINGTON DC: Sustainable Mobility

The first Pyramid ever to be built in Washington DC was facilitated by Marc Oslthoorn (a graduate of the ISIS Academy Master Class) and Eva Clymans. They created a blogsite to document the event:  click here to visit it.

The following is re-posted from that site, which has a great slide show and more background details on this workshop.

Yesterday [Saturday, 18 February 2012], a little over 5:30 pm, when the venue had already officially closed, we reached a capstone agreement and put a star-spangled banner on top to finish off a successful Pyramid workshop in Washington, DC!

Result: thesis competition for transit system optimization
Our group had come together to address the mobility challenge: how can mobility in DC be made sustainable for all? At the end we reached the following agreement: we propose a thesis competition among mathematical students studying at DC area universities, to optimize route and timetable design of the area’s bus services for better accessibility, simplicity and overall efficiency. Interested students, organizers, university departments, transit organization or sponsors are encouraged to contact us. You’re not alone.

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ZIMBABWE: Belvedere Technical Teachers’ College

Organizer: Tracy Madyangove

This group in Harare, Zimbabwe focused on waste management issues on the campus of their college. Oraganizer Trace Madyangove had been a participant in an international training for educators with Alan AtKisson, financed by the Swedish aid agency SIDA, and adopted Pyramid for use in her classes. For Pyramid 2012, she gathered members of the Peer and Environmental Educators Club on campus. They first conducted an audit of the challenges facing that campus, and chose waste management and hygiene as the most urgent issue needing attention. Their Capstone Agreement committed the group to improvement projects (more information will follow soon). Congratulations, BTTC Harare!

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