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TEDx event ignites conversation

  • Sean Lancaster, professor in Grand Valley's College of Education, discussed going paperless in the classroom.
  • Carl Erickson, president of Atomic Object, discussed sustainability in the workplace.
  • Aquinas College's Bruce Nazer discussed sustainability in nonprofit curriculum.
  • More than 300 people attended TEDxGrandValley.
  • Corey Anton, professor of communication studies.
  • Maureen Wolverton, assistant chair of liberal studies.

Posted on October 27, 2010

Going paperless, the importance of community service, and facility energy consumption were all topics of discussion at Grand Valley's first TEDx event, themed “Sustainability - a GRAND Tradition.”

The event, part of Sustainability Week, drew more than 300 students, faculty and staff members on October 26 at the Cook-DeWitt Center.

Presentations were given by 18 Grand Valley alumni, faculty, students and community members. Sean Lancaster, professor of education, encouraged those in attendance to use less paper. “Ten to 20 percent of paper printed from the downtown campus is left on the printer and never collected,” said Lancaster.

Recent Grand Valley graduate John Spencer worked on sustainable computing practices as a student, and stressed the importance of continuing to research and develop computing methods that will lower energy use and space requirements.

Other presentation topics included consumers' purchasing decisions, farming practices, alternative energy and fostering sustainability in the workplace.

Grand Valley alumna Betty Gajewski is an environmental sustainability advocate. “The past is a reference for a future. Sustainability will require your patience, persistence and your time,” she said.

Webcasts of the event will be available at


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