Host a 2016 Climate Leadership Summit

UPDATE (1/20): Each host site may request a $500 grant in their proposal.

Students and campus communities nationwide are providing leadership to address energy challenges and climate change. Defend Our Future and NCLC want to elevate and inspire innovative approaches student bodies are taking by cohosting five regional Climate Leadership Summits in spring 2016. The Summits will provide a forum for students, higher education leaders, local business, and public officials to share information for working on sustainability issues on their campuses. Each Summit should include representation from other campuses, whether they are from around your city, state, or multiple states.


We will select five hosts from an application process. Below is the checklist for submitting a complete application. Ideally, the Summits will take place in late March through mid April. 

  • Proposal Overview
    • This should detail your interest in hosting a Summit, your student leadership role and affiliations on campus, your Summit’s intended outcomes, potential partners, overview of the event, and proposed dates
    • Resume of Lead Applicant
  • Stakeholder Endorsements
    • Must include SGA president (if not self), president of student environmental organization (if not self), and a key administrator (i.e., sustainability director, president, provost, etc.)
  • Planning Outreach List (i.e., who you plan to invite including other schools and non-campus stakeholders)
  • Budget for Summit
    • This should include overall costs of the event (i.e., catering, participant travel, materials, etc.) and may include an assessment of existing funds already secured versus how much you may need contributed for a successful Summit.
    • You may request a $500 grant to support any event costs


Senior staff and experts from Defend Our Future, NCLC, Environmental Defense Fund, and others active in the issue will review applications. Ultimately Defend Our Future will select final hosts. Proposals must have clear, attainable goals. We are most interested in Summits that will bring unique stakeholders together, foster future collaboration, and generate a sense of student leadership on issues related to climate change.

Sample Agenda

You may follow this sample agenda or develop your own entirely. We always like creative ideas!

9:30 am – 10:30 am : Panel/Roundtable with students and administrators from local universities discussing best practices and innovative ideas for helping students create change on campus

10:45 am – 11:45 am:  Headline Interview (University President or other high ranking administration official)

11:45 am – 1:00 pm: Working lunch

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm: Panel/Roundtable with local elected officials, partner organizations and corporate partners discussing importance of work that’s being done to combat climate change.

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm: 2nd Headline Interview (Governor, Administration official or celebrity influencer) 

To apply, email your application materials to by 10:00 PM EST on January 24th, 2016 with your campuses’ name clearly denoted in the subject line and accompanying attachment(s).

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