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Empower youth to catalyze community sustainability.


Learning should be relevant to solving actual community challenges.


The age of apprenticeship to real-world learning.


In chemistry, if you add an agent to a mixture the whole thing changes.


We focus on community-scale policy and performance measures. 


Meeting the needs of the current generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs.

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Sustainable Systems College
Ambassadors work as professional diplomats, connecting ideas and people, from school green teams to student government, from school districts to local government, from local nonprofits and civic groups to businesses, from the present to the future.



Our year-round Ambassador training program is called "Sustainable Systems College" because we practice college-level thinking and problem-solving. Ambassadors develop skills in policy analysis, performance assessment, project management and public speaking so that we are as professional as possible in working with our community to solve real problems.


Over 180 hours of professional training. We meet for 3 sets of week-long training sessions in June, July and August, and once a month during the academic year to share progress on our work plans and continue building our professional skills. 


Ambassadors grow with our program over multiple years through high school graduation and beyond including an emerging college and alumni program.

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We train ourselves in Policy Analysis because it is important to understand the framework for sustainability decision making in our local government, school districts, communities, and businesses.


We train ourselves in Performance Assessment because it is critical to know if our school district, community or local government is making progress towards the sustainability policies they have adopted. And we need to assess our own projects against these larger policy and performance frameworks.


We train ourselves in Project Management because, as we assess the larger policy and performance frameworks, we can see where the gaps are and then develop projects to drive collective impact. We develop professional work plans, build teams, and practice facilitation skills to set goals, manage time and resources effectively, and measure progress.


We train ourselves in Public Speaking because once we understand the policy frameworks and performance measures, and develop projects to fill in the gaps, we need to communicate our results to people who need to know…. including our peers, parents, teachers, community stakeholders and local policymakers.

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Sustainable Systems College: Over 180 hours of college-level training each year with a focus on learning one or more of our Signature Projects.
2050 Workout: Before school starts each year, we engage 100 student leaders in a sustainable systems thought experiment to forecast how to achieve 100% sustainability in our own communities by the year 2050, backcast, then develop action plans for the new school year. 
Fall Kick Off - Impact Project Design Training: We launch each school year with a youth-led Kick Off in each district to coach peers on leadership strategies for designing impact projects, leveraging data collection & stakeholder reporting. Here are some of our project management tools & frameworks

  1. Our classic work plan template to help you plan the work & work the plan like a professional project manager

  2. Our handy checklist for School Green Team Capacity Building 

  3. King County Green School Program

  4. Washington Green Schools

Public Speaking Workouts: Across King County, we facilitate dynamic public speaking workshops. Students find the power in their voice in context of sustainable systems thinking, the intersectionality of equity, environment & economy. At least 2 of these workshops are intergenerational, working with our coaches & partners to model learning across generations, jurisdictions & community sectors. 
Earth Month Assemblies: Student Ambassadors lead school-wide Earth Month Assemblies to update our peers & faculty on data-driven, positive trends in sustainable community conditions, including reports on current developments within our schools, school district, city & county government, & at the regional & global scales.  
Community Sustainability Summits: In the late spring of each year we co-convene a series of community Sustainability Summits to report progress, compare assessment data across sectors & develop Collective Impact Projects based on 3 criteria:

  1. Easiest action to accomplish in 12 months.

  2. Engages the greatest number of diversity of people.

  3. Generates the biggest measurable impact.

Positive Trend Updates: Through impact project design & data tracking, Ambassadors update local decision makers and key stakeholder groups on what’s working, who’s leading, and how collective impact can be enhanced, resulting in a continuous exchange of learning across generations, jurisdictions & community sectors. Communication strategies include social media campaigns, case study publication via professional networks, blog posts, classroom seminars, community presentations, conference keynotes and video production. 

Community Impact Mapping: Several times a year we update place-based project reports on our community impact mapping website developed in partnership with Mapseed.



Our Sustainable Systems Coaches support systems thinking and applied problem-solving in a continuous exchange of learning across generations, jurisdictions & community sectors.


Through the modeling and advice of our Coaches, Ambassadors develop a deep understanding of current policy frameworks & performance measures for how to track and report improvements in sustainable community conditions.


Our coaches also help us learn about career opportunities and the many personal pathways of how people developed as people from high school to their current career.

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