Part of the reason why I love Summer of Solutions is that I’m learning an incredible amount by doing hands-on work that includes gardening, speaking at community meetings, and building and painting at Spokes bike center. As much as I am empowered by these learning experiences the value of classroom learning cannot be discredited. In fact, one of the most remarkable aspects of the Summer of Solutions Twin Cities program is our EXCO class, Climate Solutions, Economic Renewal, and the Energy Transition.
EXCO, Experimental Community Education of the Twin Cities, offers free classes that anyone can teach or take in order to build a community around social change. Summer of Solutions’ own Timothy DenHerder-Thomas teaches Climate Solutions, Economic Renewal, and the Energy Transition. My favorite part about this class is that I never know what exactly to expect, but I am sure to leave feeling awakened by the conversations that are shared.
For example, our first class was spent sharing our experiences with community and the environment and I left with a feeling of camaraderie with my fellow Summer of Solutions Twin Cities participants. One class was spent labeling all the climate changes we’ve ever heard about on a giant world map… I have to admit this particular lesson left me slightly depressed, but I was glad to learn all that I did about strange weather phenomena, fossil fuel dependency, and more. During my favorite lesson (so far at least!) we shared our ideas of what would convince the world that a sustainable, green economy can work. The brainstorming, collaborative thinking, and creativity I experienced during that class left me feeling so invigorated and excited to be a part of the environmental movement.
Overall I’m thrilled to indulge in so many different avenues of learning through Summer of Solutions Twin Cities!