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Straus Institute and Palmer Center to Host Sustainability Symposium

Pepperdine's Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution and Geoffrey H. Palmer Center for Entrepreneurship and the Law will host "Taking it Upstream: Collaboration, Consensus Building, and Sustainable Development: A Green Leadership (Un)Conference" on September 25 at the Drescher Graduate Campus in Malibu, California.

Featuring more than 40 distinguished speakers and panelists, the symposium will be a forum for green-minded community leaders, agencies, planners, architects, developers, engineers, attorneys, and citizens to explore best practices for using collaboration, consensus building, and other enhanced civic engagement techniques to create more sustainable communities and manage potential land use and environmental disputes.

The (un)conference is the brainchild of environmental attorney and mediator Steve Zikman (LLM '09), who was a Straus Fellow last year. "We have entered a new era in governance - one that demands greater transparency, collaboration, and participation," says Zikman. "To be successful, leaders (both public and private sector) will need to learn and hone the skills necessary for this new policy-making world. Approaches based on consensus building, mediation and more robust forms of public engagement - especially when implemented early in the process - can help manage potential and existing land use disputes, and create more sustainable communities."

The event will feature interactive "Sustainability Roundtables" that will focus on communities, transportation, zoning and development controls, construction and design, infrastructure, and resources. "The roundtable discussions aim to capture the wisdom of all attendees," says Zikman. "To that end, we will feature an engaging gathering of individuals to frame the discussion and facilitate the day's dialogue."

Visit the (un)conference Web site.