The Salata Institute Sponsors Six Student-Led Projects Across Campus 

Through its Student Organization Funding Pilot Program, the Salata Institute is supporting six student-led projects. The purpose of the program is to promote collaboration among student organizations that jointly undertake climate or sustainability programs, projects, or events.
By Oona Gaffney

The Salata Institute’s Student Organization Funding Pilot Program is awarding six grants of up to $2,000 to student clubs working together on new initiatives, including the creation of new climate literary journal and a plant-based food fair. A total of thirteen different student organizations are involved in these projects. The purpose of the program is to promote collaboration among student organizations that jointly undertake climate or sustainability programs, projects, or events. Learn more about each of these initiatives, and the clubs leading them below. 

Clean Energy Policy Project at the Massachusetts State House 

Participating Organizations: Harvard Undergraduates for Bipartisan Solutions, Harvard Undergraduate Clean Energy Group (HUCEG) 

These two groups are pooling their resources to create opportunities for students to engage in policy research and contribute to the drafting of legislation on clean energy in Massachusetts. This partnership will leverage the HUBS political network while drawing in knowledge of clean energy among HUCEG’s membership. Together, the two organizations will conduct a policy analysis, generate policy recommendations, and hold workshops with a sponsoring elected official. The students will write policy memos and host a dinner to deliver their final presentation and recommendations to the sponsoring official.  

Sustainability Treks: Understanding Sustainable Industries and Business Models 

Participating Organizations: Climate Leaders Program for Professional Students, Harvard Business School Sustainability Club 

The two organizations will organize field trips to learn more about industries in the current sustainability ecosystem and companies innovating the climate-tech space. The two groups have proposed trips to biomass and wood chop facilities, waste to energy sites, and circular economy start-ups that are changing business models in consumer spaces. The outings will allow students to explore these industries more deeply, and to learn from practitioners working in the climate and sustainability space. The trips will also facilitate interaction and discussion among students, facilitating deeper connections between students from different schools and expanding Harvard’s network of future climate leaders.  

Food for Thought: A Plant-Based Food Festival 

Participating Organizations: Plant Futures Club (Harvard College), Harvard Law School Animal Law Society (Harvard Law School), GSAS Student Center Wellness Group (Graduate School of Arts and Sciences) 

The three groups will host, Food for Thought: Envisioning a Sustainable Food System, a plant-forward food festival highlighting the diversity of plant-based foods. The purpose of the event is to raise student awareness about the environmental impacts of the food system and the importance of plant-forward diets for reducing food-related emissions. The festival will invite local restaurants and plant-based food companies to campus to share their products and stories with students. The event will also feature a notable keynote speaker, who will lead a discussion around how plant-centric food systems offer accessible, immediate, and powerful levers to address climate change, personal health, animal welfare, and social justice. 

The Wilder Lecture Series: Saving Half the Earth for the Climate and Biodiversity 

Participating Organizations: Harvard Extension School Environment Club, Harvard Extension School International Relations Club, Harvard Extension School Management and Finance Club 

The Wilder Lecture Series aims to educate the Harvard Community about natural climate solutions that address the biodiversity crisis. The theme of the series will be the concept of “nature-positive,” a global mission to improve the state of nature by 2030 by reversing biodiversity loss. The monthly lecture series will allow students to learn from Harvard Extension alumni and conservation leaders about becoming nature positive. Speakers will include representatives from conservation organizations, including The Wilderness Society, Half-Earth and the E.O. Wilson Foundation, Tompkins Conservation, and the World Wildlife Federation. 

Climate Literacy Magazine 

Participating Organizations: Resource Efficiency Program (Harvard College); Harvard undergraduate Clean Energy Group (HUCEG); Harvard Climate Coalition (Harvard College) 

These organizations seek to create a new, long-standing publication that will connect and engage students, informing them about the climate crisis, and inspiring action. The leading organizations expect to include creative nonfiction, opinion editorials, poetry, short-form fiction, and art, each inspired by an underlying environmental theme. The new publication will amplify voices from environmental justice communities and share thought-provoking content that laments the present state of the climate crisis, warns against a potential future if no action is taken, or imagines an improved future. 

Climate Symposium Workshop Event 

Participating Organizations: Harvard Business School Sustainability Club, Circular Economy Symposium (Graduate School of Design) 

These two groups will plan a Circular Economy Symposium, bringing together students from across campus to participate in a collaborative interdisciplinary learning experience. The three-day event will feature key guests including Partner and Managing Director Michelle Lee from IDEO and Google’s Head of Startup Ecosystem and circular economy expert Matt Ridenour. The event will integrate a new workshop component, a step away from speaker-heavy programming, by inviting attendees to spend a day engaging in collaborative and interactive learning experience between students and experts, guest lectures, and speaker panels.