What People Say about
on Sustainability
and the Natural Step Framework:

This is a great seminar that could fill in an auditorium – it was straightforward and energetic. The facilitation was fresh, enthusiastic and original. It made it easy to embrace and wrap around my own life. You took a “necessary” subject and presented it in a hopeful and optimistic manner. I will train co-workers on the viability of these principles.
– Bart Potenza, VP, Candle Café/79, NYC  May 20, 2005

For a strategy person like myself, this program makes so much sense and will enable business to be more competitive and responsive.
– Janet Morgan, Director of Non-Profit Services, RSM McGladrey, NYC  May 20, 2005

I will think differently about everything I touch, buy, use, taste and see.
– Lauren Pace, Communications Supervisor, Eileen Fisher, Irvington, NY May 20, 2005

The seminar was wonderful! Thanks for your insights and inspiration and sharing your wealth of knowledge and experience.
– Director, Social Responsibility, ABC Home and Carpet, NYC May 20, 2005

What will I do or think about differently as a result of the seminar? Everything. Getting the juices flowing for what I want to do with my life.
– Catherine Fordham, Eileen Fisher, Inc. Irvington, NY  May 20, 2005

Thank you so much for the wonderful Natural Step Framework Seminar and for providing a path to sustainability that is not overwhelming, but completely possible for all of us to use in all aspects of our lives. I had such a wonderful time learning from you and my fellow classmates. The brilliant ideas that came out of our last project were inspiring and energizing. It is easy for me to visualize the seeds of all of the ideas growing into large, beautiful, photosynthesizing plants! Thank you for your fantastic, efficient and caring teaching method that brought us so far along the path in such a short time.
-- Brenda Adams, Mediator - Resolution Consultant, Minneapolis  October 27, 2004

The seminar helped solidify my thinking about the concept of sustainability, and gave me good ideas to put into action, both personally and professionally.
– Jim Newman, Managing Partner,  Newman Consulting Group, Bloomfield Hills, MI  November 4, 2005

I’ll find a way to use the Natural Step Framework process and principles to help educate my colleagues on the growing business case for sustainability and the underlying trends which make it necessary to embrace sustainability. Keep up the great work. You’re doing the Great Work of the universe!
– Rick Plewa, VP, SMSBF, Comerica Bank  November 4, 2005

This workshop gave me a renewed sense of optimism that sustainability is possible and it is GREAT to see examples already happening. I will live my life from the ground up – do these things and spread the message day to day. I totally loved the poetry and quotes with a spiritual, human needs emphasis.
– Sarah Hines, Graduate Student, Erb Institute at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI   November 4, 2005

Terry is an excellent spokesperson and presenter. As a result of the seminar I’ll make my own home more eco-friendly and socially responsible and bring “the message” to our business and clients.
-- Lanny White, VP, Creative Change Associates, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI  November 4, 2005

As a result of the seminar, I will further integrate sustainability into my thoughts and action, as well as bring ideals to my daily interactions in order to influence my immediate network.
– Michael Horn, University of Michigan Erb Institute, Ann Arbor, MI  November 4, 2005

I now have more faith that I can do concrete things to make change and be part of a big effort.
– Duane Peterson, Ameriprise Financial, Minneapolis, MN   November 16, 2005

The seminar was illuminating and gave me hope. I will add this to my life.
– Yogiraj Achala, Namaste Yoga, Minneapolis, MN  November 16, 2005

I’ll think differently with regard to the fact that it’s possible for individuals to make a change. This was an important experience in my life.
– Anonymous  November 16, 2005

I feel better knowing how to say things, as much as what to focus on. What was most valuable for me was the articulation of things felt, but not easily communicated with others; it provides a common orientation for further discussions. There is no us and them (for or against).
– Greg Lessard, Student, Minnesota State University Mankato  August 17, 2005

I have a lot more hope now and have a much better idea of how I can be impactful. It was very inspirational.
– Sheila LeGeros, Senior Marketing Manager, International, Tennant Company, Minneapolis  August 17, 2005

Thank you for inspiring me to promote sustainable living to my friends and family. You have provided a framework for everyone. I feel more enlightened and inspired to promote sustainability as a feasible and intelligent option, if not a necessity to living.
– Tiffany Finley, Denison University, Granville, OH  August 17, 2005

An outstanding framework to apply to so many issues and problems. Thank you!
-- Jim O'Dowd, Caring for Creation, New Paltz, NY  June 27, 2005

This was a wonderful, empowering workshop. What was most valuable to me was knowing about the positive changes happening in the world as a result of the Natural Step Framework. As a result of the seminar I will change my occupation.
– Mary Joiner, New Paltz, NY Schools, June 27, 2005

I got really great information I will pass on in my company and with family and friends. I now have many short and long-term plans personally and professionally.
-- Melissa Brown Blaeuer, Manager, KPMG LLP, Woodcliff Lake, NJ  June 27, 2005

This is essential for the leadership of any group. Change can happen with small and large groups towards a common vision.
– Charlie Blumstein, Board Member, High Falls Coop, Olivebridge, NY   June 27, 2005

Thank you so much for your inspiration, positivity and commitment to sustaining life and all that is holy upon our planet and beyond! Most valuable was the overall knowledgeability of Terry! He consistently provided clearly articulated and informed responses to people’s questions. This seminar was incredibly helpful as our team sets out to evaluate the sustainability of our retreat centre.
-- Tali Weinberg, Elat Chayyim Retreat Centre   June 27, 2005

Sustainability is profitable. If McDonalds can do it, then I can do it, too.
– Anonymous  June 27, 2005

Anything is possible. I appreciated the community of learning, as well as the diving to the depths of environmental impacts and the rise to the transformation necessary for change. I will now build the opportunity to vision, including the creative perspective of Manfred Max-Neef.
-- Laura Rauwerda, Senior Environmental Quality Analyst, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Grand Rapids, MI  November 2, 2005

As a result of the seminar I know how to reorganize my thinking and action.
-- Gary Burbridge, Director of Sustainability, Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Rapids, MI November 2, 2005

The seminar was very concrete, inspiring and credible. I appreciate being able to spread the materials.
– Anonymous, Grand Rapids, MI  November 2, 2005

I will use the framework when solving problems and creating processes and systems.
-- Kelly Losey, VP, Sustainable Business Forum and EHS Manager, Cascade Engineering, Grand Rapids, MI  November 2, 2005

Terry Gips is a great presenter and keeps interest well. The seminar motivates me to do more in my life.
-- Jessica Eimer, Center for Sustainability at Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, MI  November 2, 2005

What was most valuable? Everything, from learning the principles of the Natural Step Framework, to being introduced to good literature sources, to meeting people in this community working towards the same vision as myself. I always knew we needed to make some changes, but was pessimistic about the extent that they could be carried; not after hearing about Sweden! There is real hope.
– Anonymous, Grand Rapids, MI  November 2, 2005

I’ve read so much bad news – it’s so hopeful to look directly at these problems and see the real possibilities to turn our systems around. “Don’t worry…be happy,” is no longer a sustainable (or responsible) way to live!
-- Mark Sulander, Minneapolis  May 17, 2005

Sustainability for Everyday! For every level from personal to global.
– Kristen Koeppen, RegRelief, St. Paul, MN  May 17, 2005

This seminar took me from despair over our country’s situation to Hope. It altered by approach to my publishing career in terms of re-evaluating electronic publications.
– Karen Engelson, Editor, St. Paul, MN  May 17, 2005

Thanks so much! I think the content of the training is excellent and Terry clearly has great capacity to bring this work to anyone.
– Emily Puetz, Eden Prairie Schools, MN  May 17, 2005

Report on the Jewish Leadership Seminar on Tikkun Olam, Sustainability and the Natural Step Framework
February 9 and 15, 2005


Brief Overall Summary

At both seminars we had a total of 27 different Jewish leaders (including 4 Rabbis) representing 16 different institutions and all branches of Judaism. At the first seminar we received 6 written evaluations and 2 phoned in ones, all of which gave it an overall rating of good (12%), very good (12%) or excellent (75%). At the second seminar we received 5 written evaluations, all of which gave it an overall rating of good (40%) or excellent (60%). Comments from the evaluation forms are included below.

Comments from Participants

“I learned so much. I’d like these ideas presented at the next Chabad international conference.”
-- Rabbi Mendel Feller, Principal Chabad Lubavitch Education (Orthodox), St. Paul, MN

“Now I’m really charged. Sustainability, which is a lot to deal with, is broken down into smaller, doable parts for me, like cleaning materials and paper. There are so many little things that have no or little cost.”
-- Harold Troup, member of Property Committee of Temple Israel (Reform) and Hennepin County Senior Property Management Specialist

“Thank you for your seminar on the Natural Step. I appreciate the work you are doing and enjoyed learning about the program. It seems like there is enough material for a weeklong retreat! I would like to move forward on bringing some of these ideas to the synagogues and organizations…I think we should get the Minnesota Rabbinical Association rabbis together…Let’s have a day time meeting for rabbis and executive directors/facilities managers…From the MRA’s perspective, this is a wonderful opportunity to partner with the JCRC, take a public position on an important issue that effects all movements equally, etc. So I see this as a win-win.”
– Rabbi Alexander Davis, Beth El Synagogue (Conservative) and Co-Chair, Minnesota Rabbinical Association

“I was most impressed. I got so much out of the presentation. A fabulous job was done distilling a lot of conceptual stuff and getting to the practical.”
-- Kevin Olson, Program Director, St. Paul Jewish Community Center, St. Paul

“It’s a great presentation. It has everything: quotes, humor and depth. It’s beautiful. You’re so sincere and you inspire people. I loved the seminar and how Jewish history and tradition was incorporated into today. I love all the funny comics and spirituality. It’s very spiritual, moving, and deep.”
-- Lisa Witchell, member of Temple of Aaron (Conservative), St. Paul, MN and Founder, Recyclaholics

“I had an aha moment. Sustainability is everywhere in Torah. And without it, nothing else works. It helps me understand what’s really important. Living in harmony with the Earth is the first thing in keeping with what Torah would have us do. Without bread there is no Torah, but without Earth there is no bread. Consequently, I will run Mayim Rabim and my house differently. We’ll act in the shul with the Natural Step Framework with Torah.”
– Peter Nickitas, Attorney in private practice and Board Member and Chair, Tikkun Olam Committee, Mayim Rabim Reconstructionist Congregation (Reconstructionist), Minneapolis

“This is more than just about greening synagogues. It’s about walking on Shabbat and not consuming. We can go back to our traditions.”
-- Dan Trockman, member of Adath Jeshurun Synagogue (Conservative), Minnetonka, MN and high school biology teacher.

Inside SA



Natural Step