ConveneNV Celebrates Nevada’s Sustainability Momentum and Creates Even More
ConveneNV, ImpactNV’s annual sustainability summit and signature event, was held on the afternoon of May 19th at Bally’s Las Vegas for an audience of 150 of Nevada’s sustainability leaders. This year’s theme was “Building On Our Sustainability Momentum” and the program was carefully planned by the ImpactNV Board of Directors to celebrate the sustainability momentum created by our state’s leaders over the past decade(+) while also addressing the urgent need for accelerated action created by the pandemic, inflation, drought, warming, critical housing issues, diversification challenges, education and more. Further, it was incredibly important for us that the program connected the dots between social, economic, and environmental sustainability for our state in a way that made the intersections and inter-reliance of all issues apparent and comprehensible. Our speakers did not disappoint and I am incredibly proud of the passion, shared data, conversations started, and continued work revealed throughout the afternoon of our most successful ConveneNV to date!
Senator Chris Brooks, was the perfect Master of Ceremonies for the event. He framed the day with a discussion on sustainability, resilience, and the lessons learned from his past work in the private and public sector and the need to examine the diversity and funding of our systems, infrastructure, resources, ideas, etc. to truly seize upon opportunities to create a more sustainable Nevada. Watch highlights from Senator Brooks’ opening here.
Next we heard keynote addresses from Treasurer Zach Conine and Jan Jones Blackhurst. Treasurer Conine discussed the best ways to move our state forward and improve the quality of life for all Nevadans now and in the future. Especially, the need to create better systems to be more resilient in good times so that we can better weather the hard times. Jan Jones Blackhurst continued this message with a very direct call to action for change. Harkening back to 1990, Jan discussed the issues and priorities of the state and how we have measured up over the past 30 years. Despite some progress, Jan emphasized the need for: collaboration instead of competition, a measurable plan, accountability, and focus in order to become the community we truly want to be.
Our panels delved much deeper into the theme of “Building on Our Sustainability Momentum” via a social, economic, and environmental lens. Our “Building On Our Social Sustainability” Momentum panel discussed the changing social fabric of the Silver State via the intersections of healthcare, housing, and human trafficking. The “Building on Our Economic Sustainability” Momentum panel showcased a very candid and transparent discussion of the health, competitiveness, and strategic economic development changes needed to our state’s economic sector statewide. Our “Building on Our Environmental Sustainability” panel celebrated Nevada’s noteworthy successes in clean energy and water conservation while also recognizing the need for additional leadership, innovation, and action to address increasing climate imperatives.
Finally, Senator Brooks came back for closing remarks to summarize the day’s program of turning obstacles into opportunities and progress into momentum by recognizing just some of the momentum already created by the efforts of leaders in the room over the past decade and the model our community and state have employed thus far that can provide encouragement to us all for the work to be done ahead.
In terms of the work ahead… ImpactNV recognizes that ConveneNV is a unique opportunity for convening and generating energy and making space for critical discussions but it also creates a responsibility for us to follow-up and accelerate change. We are working on that follow-up now and will reach out soon for ways for the community to stay involved.
I am extremely proud of the event this year, my board for all of their hard work, and the role ImpactNV gets to play in convening these important discussions. Thank you to all of our speakers for their expertise, candor, and passion. Thank you to our sponsor and host, Caesars Entertainment, for a beautiful venue and seamless event as well as to NVEnergy and MGM Resorts International for their generous support. Thank you to everyone who attended and we look forward to working with you over 2022 on continued momentum towards improving the sustainability of our state and seeing you all again in 2023!
Lauren Boitel is the Executive Director of ImpactNV, a statewide sustainability NGO convener and coalition builder that drives systemic change around economic, environmental, and social sustainability in the Silver State. Lauren has 12 years of experience as a Sustainability Professional in Southern Nevada and teaches Sustainability & Entrepreneurship for the Lee Business School at UNLV.