Saturday, February 6th

Last updateFri, 01 May 2015 4pm

 About the Project

The Mission: Accelerating Sustainable Initiatives in Chicago’s 77 Community Areas 

Community-based sustainability initiatives are taking place across the metropolitan area of Chicago. These, however, are often relatively isolated activities with limited interaction between them. Though many organizations, foundations, companies, and government agencies have programs and resources to assist local sustainability efforts, many communities are unaware of these opportunities or unfamiliar with ways to access them.

The Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA) is the organizing sponsor of “accelerate 77” and created the program in order to increase the role and positive impact of local community actions. Our underlying strategy is to IDENTIFY current sustainability initiatives in all of Chicago’s 77 community areas; CONNECT them with one another to inspire new ideas, practices, self-consciousness and motivation through peer interchange; and COLLABORATE with residents in systematic learning, planning, and collective action.

It is anticipated that the project will thereby ACCELERATE  sustainability in a bottom-up fashion driven by practical action, expanded imagination, and greater organizational capacities among local groups. A key part of the accelerate portion of the mission is the emerging Chicago Sustainability Leaders Network (CSLN) which is a diverse, intergenerational group working on a wide vareity of issues in communities across Chicago who are passionate about learning from one another and working across communities for widespread, lasting change.   

Having your profile submitted is a requirement to participating in the city roundtable discussion!

Mark Your Calendar for 2015 CSLN Meetings! 
2015 meeting dates are every other month on the second Wednesday, 4:30-7:30 , as always at different locations. Dates are April 8thJune 10thAug 12thOct 14th and Dec 9th.

cslnRSVP today!

Review & Renew: a Celebratory Network Gathering

December 3rd, 6:00-8:00PM

ICA GreenRise
4750 N. Sheridan Rd.

Fall marks the anniversary of the CSLN as well as the end of the calendar year. Considering all the action that has happened in the past year, the December network gathering will take time to review successes and future plans in five main areas of network activity and celebrate the year with a lighthearted party.

  • Optional 3:30-5:30- ICA GreenRise Youth Hub Day -- see below for details
  • 6:00-7:00 - Document, discuss, and plan the successes and/or action step for 2016 in the following areas: collaborative activities, regional hubs, shared leadership, policy/city round table, and forums.

7:00-8:00 - Networking and celebratory reception.

Centering on Youth: ICA GreenRise Sustainability Hub Day

December 3rd, 3:30-5:30PM

ICA GreenRise
4750 N. Sheridan Rd.
RSVP today!

In the past year, ICA GreenRise has hosted numerous sustainability events to establish itself as a north side sustainability hub, including collaborative CSLN activities and Uptown hub days promoting sustainable behaviors through skill shares. In developing "best practices," it has been more effective to design events for particular interest groups, like the Intentional Communities Hub Day on October 5th. For the last hub event of 2015, ICA GreenRise will be focusing on youth, with skills shares and workshops designed to provide accessible and actionable sustainability trainings for youth, as well as youth-led workshops. CSLN members are invited to bring their expertise and their communities, especially those focused on youth and/or interested in becoming a hub. 

Email Samantha at ssainsbury [at] to find out more information about partnering and attending the event. 

Celebrating the Is it Just Space? Series

Over the course of 6 months, CSLN members and their communities have planted milkweed, explored the historic and natural features of Montrose Harbor, discussed what makes a space welcoming and how to construct welcome spaces, built a garden, and rode bikes through 5 communities. Thanks to all partners and participants for helping make this series possible!