Registration open for 15th Annual Sustainable Communities Workshop, hosted by UF/IFAS staff in Sarasota County

Sessions to be online, with Transforming to New Ways Forward the event theme 

Image courtesy Sarasota County UF/IFAS

Registration is open for Sarasota County’s 15th Annual Sustainable Communities Workshop, an Oct. 29 online event that has been planned “to showcase strategies for healthy, resilient, thriving communities,” the county has announced.

Under the Transforming to New Ways Forward theme, the webinar will draw together residents of all ages, business owners and employees, nonprofit leaders, and government officials “to learn about environmental, economic, and social aspects of sustainability,” a news release explains. “Featured speakers and panelists will discuss the latest sustainability strategies, resources, and best practices to forge a new way forward for our community,” the release adds.

Previously held as an in-person workshop, the 2020 event will transition to a webinar setting “for enhanced safety and access,” the release points out.

“This year’s online format allows us to gather a larger audience and connect them to featured speakers from anywhere in the world,” said Sophia Moundous, sustainability outreach coordinator with Sarasota County University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension and Sustainability, in the release. “The variety of speakers will bring different perspectives to the table that will inspire communities to transform to a new way forward,” she added in the release.

Sarasota County, like much of the rest of Florida, “continues to see rapid population growth and development, increasing stresses on everything from health systems to natural resources,” the release continues. “Against that backdrop, the annual workshop offers insight on approaches to create lasting, more-equitable communities,” the release says.

Interested persons may register at for the 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. workshop. Featured speakers follow:

  • Cheryl Holder, interim associate dean at Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine at Florida International University and co-chair of Florida Clinicians for Climate Action. Holder works “to increase climate literacy and enhance awareness of the impact of climate change on vulnerable populations.”
  • Leyla Acaroglu, “award-winning designer,” UN Environment Programme Champion of the Earth, sociologist, entrepreneur, and founder of Disrupt Design, the UnSchool, and the CO Project Farm in Portugal, who leads presentations around the world on activating positive social change.

The $10 workshop cost (students pay $5) provides online access to the day-long event featuring expert speakers, breakout sessions and networking opportunities, the release notes. Another option allows persons to donate funds for tickets for people needing financial help to attend the workshop, with any remaining funds to be allocated to a carbon-offset project. Sponsorship opportunities are available.

For more information and to register for the event, visit or call the county Contact Center at 861-5000.