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N A T I O N A L   T O W N   M E E T I N G
for a
S U S T A I N A B L E  A M E R I C A

Across America, communities, businesses and organizations are finding new ways to balance economic, social and environmental goals. To find out about these innovations and to discover new ones, join us for the National Town Meeting for a Sustainable America (NTM) May 2-5, 1999 at the COBO Convention Center in Detroit, Michigan. This landmark event will catalyze a national movement toward sustainable development, with events in Detroit, Michigan and Points Across America.

Sponsored by the President's Council on Sustainable Development (PCSD) and the Global Environment & Technology Foundation (GETF), the NTM will showcase best practices that promote sustainability around the country. The program will emphasize building individual and institutional capacity so that best practices can be replicated elsewhere. The NTM will focus on sustainable solutions that are available today and ways that you can take advantage of them. The program will include the ninth annual National Awards for Sustainability, hosted by Renew America and the PCSD.

Why a National Town Meeting?

Momentum is building for the notion that America can prosper economically without sacrificing the environment and quality of life. The National Town Meeting will highlight the work of communities, businesses and individuals who are offering new solutions to help America grow in a sustainable way. The NTM will highlight the work of these Americans and will offer solutions to America's sustainability challenges.

Why should I participate?

The NTM is expected to be the largest U.S. event of its kind, with activities in Detroit and many communities across the country. We expect to reach millions of Americans with extensive national and local media coverage. The NTM program features a variety of learning and networking opportunities that highlight the vital issues that must be addressed to create a sustainable America. The event will launch a "sustainability best practices" movement, provide training tools to replicate these practices and track and measure the impacts of new approaches.

Planned activities include:

  • A sustainability exhibit hall to showcase tangible examples of sustainable development;
  • A national roundtable for business, state, federal and community leaders to discuss their views;
  • Visits to local business and industry facilities employing sustainability techniques;
  • Interactive learning sessions in which attendees can engage each other in discussing what works;
  • A food court that will provide food products grown through the use of sustainable agriculture techniques;
  • National Awards for Sustainability Program hosted at the Henry Ford Museum; and,
  • Continuous cultural activities to point out that sustainability practices fit into the American way of life.

Who will attend the NTM?

Over 3,000 people are expected in Detroit, with thousands more participating in Concurrent Events through satellite links and the Internet. The audience in Detroit will include leaders in business, communities, government, academia and many others who are seeking practical information about how sustainable practices can benefit their communities or businesses.

How can I participate?

  • Come to the National Town Meeting
    Plan to come to Detroit May 2-5, 1999, to participate in the National Town Meeting. Visit the NTM website and register to indicate your interest in attending the NTM. Upon registering, future mailings will be sent to you.

  • Share Your Strategies that Promote Sustainability
    Selected organizations which have submitted a proposal as of January 25 will present their projects in the program's learning sessions. The program will emphasize building individual and institutional capacity so that best practices can be replicated elsewhere. If you will not be included in the program, but would like to be considered for inclusion in a database of best practices, look for instructions in the Get Involved section of the NTM website (fyi, it may be under construction). Another way to share your experience is to actively participate in appropriate program sessions.

  • Host an Affiliated Event in Your Community
    Affiliated Events offer organizations and communities engaged in sustainable development the opportunity to become an active part of the National Town Meeting. If you are already hosting a sustainable development event or want to plan an event, be it a large conference, an Earth Day event, a community workshop or classroom activity prior to May 2, 1999, you may want to join with the NTM network by being designated as a Journey to Detroit event. Your efforts will be highlighted on our website and showcased at the National Town Meeting. In addition, many events are being planned across America to coincide with the May meeting. These Concurrent Events will be able to access audio and satellite downlinks from the Detroit NTM, allowing participants at local events to be actively involved in the proceedings in Detroit. Additional details and the Affiliated Events Count Us In form are available in the Points Across America section or by e-mailing eventsntm@getf.org.

  • Be an Exhibitor
    Showcase sustainability efforts of your business, organization or community. The NTM Exhibition Hall will present an interactive learning environment adventure that engages participants and provides an orientation to sustainable development. It will also include special exhibits that showcase where we live, learn, work and play (i.e., a sustainable home, office and ecosystem). A marketplace for exhibitors from business, academia, government and non-government organizations will also be featured. We are seeking exhibitors for each of these categories. If you are interested in exhibiting at the NTM, details are available online or by contacting exhibitntm@getf.org.

  • Make a Commitment
    Commitments for a Sustainable America will allow people, businesses, and communities to show that economic growth, environmental protection, and social equity go hand and hand. All commitments have one thing in common - they demonstrate that people can improve life in their neighborhoods, communities, country, and the world. These actions will be the building blocks for a more sustainable future. Commitments come in all shapes and sizes - anyone can make a commitment and make a difference. The NTM will showcase these commitments and set an example for thousands of people and organizations. Media coverage will provide high visibility for your effort. For more information, visit the Get Involved section of the NTM website, or email commitntm@getf.org.

What will I take home from the NTM event?

In addition to the connections with sustainability leaders from across America, you will receive:

  • Specific ideas and tools to jump start sustainability initiatives of your own;
  • Methods of team building to solve sustainability challenges;
  • A resource directory; and,
  • An on-line connection to sustainability networks throughout America.

Who is sponsoring and planning the NTM?

The NTM is co-sponsored by PCSD and GETF. Co-chairing the effort are Carol Browner, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Ray Anderson, Chairman and CEO of Interface, Inc. The event is hosted by the City of Detroit, Wayne County, General Motors Corporation, and MOSES (Metropolitan Organizing Strategy Enabling Strength). The planning process for the NTM has involved leaders from American business, not-for-profit organizations, academia, community and government organizations.

How can I get more information?

For more information, please explore the NTM website or call 1-888-333-6878.