Wednesday, July 1st

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.


Join us June 10th in Woodlawn for the next CSLN Meeting
How are we moving forward?  

CSLN Network Meeting

Wednesday, June 10th



William Hill Gallery and Garden

6442 S. Dorchester Ave
Join the group as we discuss the implications of renewing the funding proposal to Boeing, new working group initiatives, and a shared leadership structure.
Do you work or live  near Woodlawn and/or care about sustainability in Chicago but haven't been involved yet? No problem- This meeting will be designed to include new and old members in an engaging dialogue. 

Meeting will include a tour of the 

RSVP today!



The location is accessible to public transportation and conveniently located off the Metra (ME line) at 63rd Street South Shore Line, #6 bus towards 79th/South Shore.

June 4th: Policy Working Group Phone Call 

The  Policy Working group's next order of business is to identify the focus areas of all CSLN members to identify 2-3 themes to share with Karen Weigert at the next City Round Table Friday, July 17, 11am-12pm, location TBD. Time is still being worked out - visit the doodle poll 


Caitlin has prepared a spreadsheet for CSLN members to edit their information and self-identify categories that describe their initiatives. Find the spreadsheet here, and contact Caitlin as This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions or concerns. 

Please update your data by Tuesday, June 2nd!
Announcement: Jenny Hirsch is moving to Atlanta
Jenny has accepted a new position at the Georgia Institute of Technology(Georgia Tech) to launch and direct a new initiative on sustainable communities, starting in August. After having spent 15 years living and working in Chicago, she and her family will be moving to Atlanta. Her last day working with the ICA and CSLN will be May 29th. 

Though saddened by her departure, the ICA is excited for Jenny and the prospect of all that can be accomplished from this new initiative. We hope you will join us in saying goodbye & good luck to Jenny at the June 10th CSLN Gathering taking place at the William Hill Gallery and Garden in Woodlawn. 


Find more information about the Just Space series at the CSLN website!