Brent Suski
3 minute read

Apply by January 23 to host one of these special IMPACT sessions.

The West North Central regional communities at USGBC are currently accepting conversation corner host proposals for IMPACT 2019, taking place April 9 in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

IMPACT is a USGBC regional event in the Midwest featuring educational sessions covering all aspects of sustainable design, construction and operations practices for buildings and communities, including their impact on people, the environment and the economy—locally and nationally.

In 2019, IMPACT will be co-located with the Green Schools Conference and Expo. The two events will be hosted together for the first time in Saint Paul, with GSCE being held April 8–9, and IMPACT on April 9.

The West North Central region includes the following USGBC integrated communities: Central Plains, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri Gateway, Nebraska Flatwater, North Dakota and Wisconsin.

Application are due at 11:59 p.m. CST, Wed., January 23.

What are Conversation Corners?

Conversation Corners are 20-minute hosted mini-sessions, aimed at catalyzing conversation among IMPACT attendees. Topics focus on critical issues and concepts in sustainable design and construction and help maximize educational opportunities during IMPACT through peer-to-peer learning.

As a host, you’ll have five minutes to introduce a sustainability concept to attendees of your corner. Then, by asking thought-provoking questions, you'll give your audience 10 minutes to consider what you’ve posed to them. Conversations can happen among attendees, or between the host and attendees. As the host, you will monitor conversations and ensure that attendees remain on topic. In the last five minutes, you’ll bring the group back together for reflection.

Conversation Corners are eligible for CE credits through GBCI for LEED, WELL, and SITES credential holders. To earn a credit, attendees must participate in three full 20-minute sessions, and the content presented by the hosts must be tied to the built environment and be noncommercial. Visual presentations are not allowed.

Topics of interest

With Conversation Corners, we seek to enhance the knowledge of our members and others interested in design, construction and operational practices, as they relate to promoting green building best practices, LEEDv4.1 and other certifications. The IMPACT steering committee has identified the follow priority themes and topics:

  • Global, regional, local: Our role and the interconnected effects of climate change on the built and natural environment.

    Suggested topics: Messaging climate change to clients, net zero, shifting conversations to focus on carbon, de-politicization of climate conversation, carbon economics, commercial activism, climate research, resilience.

  • Current and future water issues within the Upper Mississippi Watershed.

    Suggested topics: Future of water on the north coast, role of the built environment in mitigating the gulf dead zone, reasons to be efficient when we have an abundance of water, how to become water positive.

  • Is the market enough?: The role of policy and global commitments in addressing the climate crisis.

    Suggested topics: Cop24 reflection, local leaders/global gain, mayors pledge, Paris Agreement, PACE Financing, 2030 commitments, city and county benchmarking ordinances, personal actions.

  • Closing the loop: Considering materials, waste and greenhouse gas emissions in the modern world.

    Suggested topics: Life cycle assessment, Health Product Declarations, Environmental Product Declarations, zero waste, compost programs, materials and resources categories in LEED, local materials.

  • Regenerating and sustaining the health and vitality of all: The role of equitable and affordable housing in sustainable built environments.

    Suggested topics: Design for affordable housing, Minneapolis 2040 plan, challenges in implementing affordable housing, the role of policy, recent successes.

Feel free to propose other topics for consideration as well.


  • Applications due: 11:59 p.m. CST, Wed., January 23
  • Application review: January 23–Jan 28
  • Host selection: January 28
  • Notification of proposal acceptance: February 1

Submit a Conversation Corner Host Proposal