ReCharge 2013: Focus the Nation trains green business’s best and brightest
By Andy Giegerich
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Maria Jantz and Nolan Rutschilling were two students who hit Mt. Hood last week from Kansas (Jantz) and Ohio (Rutschilling) for Focus the Nation's ReCharge event. The activities featured intense team-building exercises designed to steer college students into the renewable energy realm.
The future of sustainability took center stage last week in a rustic lodge nestled within Mt. Hood's formidable shadow.
That’s where Focus The Nation gathered 18 college students, each of whom plan to work within the clean energy sector after they graduate, for the increasingly prestigious ReCharge program. Students attending ReCharge collected information from experts who know the activism ropes and business leaders from some of Oregon's most noted green companies.
The idea behind ReCharge, as well as a key tenet behind Focus the Nation, is to train students on the machinations of renewable energy from one of four standpoints: Students are assembled into groups of technicians, innovators, politicos and storytellers. ReCharge, in its third year, took place at the Mazama Lodge on Mt. Hood.
Hundreds of students apply to be “delegates” at the event, with this year’s participants arriving from as far away as South Florida. Representatives of Stanford, Duke and Ohio State University also attended ReCharge.
During the activities, Focus the Nation’s representatives and business leaders implored students to stay committed to clean energy throughout their pending careers.
When the students return to their campuses, they can apply the lessons to their ongoing activism and business education efforts.
“ReCharge brings all the academics, all the politics and all the idealism down to earth,” said Garett Brennan, Focus the Nation’s executive director. “It makes the scope of our challenge real. Pulling the energy story on our planet back into balance with natural and social systems is super complex. It is not black and white and it certainly can not be limited to a mindset that is tied to the timelines of campaigns in election cycles or growth targets in quarterly earnings.”
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