Students make a Local Impact with the help of NIx | Net Impact

Students make a Local Impact with the help of NIx

Local Impact NW attendee asks question

This year we’re bridging the gap between our annual conference and the many independent events hosted by our chapters.  We’re calling it NIx and providing our chapters with the tools and skills they need to put on bigger and better regional events.  The first NIx, Local Impact NW, took place February 26th and 27th. (Photo credits: Hunter Frerich and Sarah O'Sell)

Local Impact NW

“The millennial generation has been labeled lazy, selfish and glued to technology,” Local Impact NW's website quotes conference coordinator Hannah Bouscher-falseGage. “We have formed Local Impact Northwest to prove those claims wrong and show the world that WE are the generation that’s going to step up and create a better future for the generations to come!”

The two-day event was held at the end of last month on the Western Washington University (WWU) campus in Bellingham, Wash. The collaborative effort between the WWU chapter of Net Impact, the nonprofit Spark Clean Energy WA, and Net Impact Central resulted in students, businesses and other local organizations coming together to learn about and discuss ways to make a difference. 

Networking, Action-Oriented Workshops, and more

As part of this mission, #ItStartsWithUs was the slogan for the weekend. The event kicked off on Friday night with a networking dinner in downtown Bellingham. The following day attendees chose from a variety of panels and workshops, all of which revolved around four central themes: engineering and design; social entrepreneurship and marketing; energy and the environment; and climate and social justice. Leaders in the industry discussed topics such as the water cycle and how to manage your own water footprint; ways that airlines could be more green; rights for farm workers; and how to incorporate the strategies of purpose-driven companies into your own life.

The WWU chapter of Net Impact is only about a year old and so this was the group’s first big event. By all accounts from the team coordinators, it went well.

“It was truly a beautiful thing to see students and community members walk out of a session shining bright with new perspectives and action-inspiring conversations,” said WWU Chapter President Kate Thompson, comparing the effect to her own feeling, after she attended a Net Impact national conference. “I'd do it all again in a heartbeat to share that kind of empowerment."

Added WWU Chapter Vice President Callum Dickerson: “The conference gifted me with the opportunity to share my excitement about sustainability’s existence not only in business development, but as a driver for creating a quality life.”

You, too, could host a NIx conference in your town! Look for more information on the blog next winter, when the application process opens back up.