(Sustainability and Environmental Health Initiatives for Kuwait Places of Higher Education)


The Green Campus Initiative project is supported by the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences through the Kennedy School of Government. It will bring together faculty and researchers at Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard Graduate School of Design and from Harvard’s Green Campus Initiative with academic colleagues and scientific organizations in Kuwait and the region interested in the environment and sustainable urbanism.
With lessons learned from ongoing sustainability research in the region and the successful Green Campus Initiative at Harvard, we have commenced a two-year research project to specifically investigate key factors for sustainability in Kuwait Academic Institutions, commencing with three institutions representing different categories of higher education. Kuwait University, PAAET and the Australian College of Kuwait have agreed in principle to participate in the initial explorations and discussions. The research program will continue with a further Harvard Team Field Trip to Kuwait from September 28 to October 3, 2013, during which time a Public Presentation and Conference will be held at the Dasman Institute from 9.00 AM to 3.30 PM and to which we invite your participation.

The primary objective of this Conference will be to broaden the understanding of the opportunities to advance sustainability in Kuwait through an open exchange of ideas and experiences, including identifying relevant incentives and potential barriers to a National Green Campus Initiative. The secondary objective would be to establish a network of international participants with a focus on the Gulf region that would meet regularly to continue to share information and experience on the Green Campus Initiative.

To achieve these objectives, we wish to reach out to a range of Kuwait and select regional entities through invitations to academic, ministerial, planning and research institutions, and private industries interested in sustainability and well-being to engage in a joint learning opportunity and exchange ideas to support the emerging Kuwait GCI program. This conference is structured to focus on the progress of the three Kuwait institutions, as supported by sustainability experience at Harvard University; and a presentation by the International Sustainability Campus Network (ISCN). In addition we will invite representatives from other universities in the region as well as relevant, public institutions & private commercial entities active in sustainable services.

Project Objectives:

• Continue collaboration regarding green campus initiatives between faculty and researchers at Harvard University and Kuwaiti academic & scientific institutions and public/private entities interested in advancing sustainability in Kuwait and the region;

• Identify key sustainability indicators for Kuwait and develop a set of sustainability principles for Kuwait Academic Campuses;

• Promote and provide cross-institution relationship building and discussion to understand and address local motivational and behavioral forces that can foster or impede sustainability programs;

• To introduce the International Sustainability Campus Network (ISCN) and provide academic seminar opportunities for Harvard, Kuwaiti and other regional academic centers to engage in discussions and projects related to sustainable urbanism and the development and evaluation of potential green campus initiatives in Kuwait and the region. Identify and organize a local team of “Sustainability Leaders” in Kuwait and the region who can champion Green Campus Initiatives.

• In collaboration with Kuwaiti administrators, faculty, researchers, students and other organizations provide a preliminary feasibility report on how to establish a National Green Campus Initiative, including specific programs for one or more selected campuses as case studies and to appraise the possible application of similar programs in the region.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Main Auditorium, Dasman Diabetes Institute
Preliminary Program
(Plenary sessions moderated by Harvard University)
9:00 – 9.15 am. Opening Remarks by Dr. Kazem Behbehani,
Director General, Dasman Diabetes Institute
9.15 – 10.00 am. Introduction to the Green Campus Initiative – Nader Ardalan & Leith Sharp, Harvard Team
10:00 – 10.45 am. Presentation of International Sustainability Campus Network (ISCN)
by Professor John Spengler, Harvard School of Public Health and Bernd Kasemir, Program Manager of ISCN;
Presentation by Chris Silva about Qatar Foundation and regional partnership possibilities

10.45 – 11:30 am. Panel One: Discussion by Three Kuwaiti Institutions:
Dr. Adnan Al Anzi, Kuwait University; Dr. Ali Khuraibet, PAAET;
Dr. Sa’ad Al Omari, Australian College of Kuwait

11:45 – 12:00 pm. Break & Noon Prayer

12:00 – 1:00 pm Panel Two: Discussions by other local & Regional Universities:
AUK, GUST, Arab Open Univ., AUM, KAUST

1:00 – 1:30 pm. Panel Three: Discussion by Supportive Public & Private Entities;
KISR, Kuwait Municipality, EPA, Corporate Representatives

1:30 – 2:30 pm. Concluding Remarks & Discussion on Next Steps:
KFAS & Dasman Institute
2:30 – 3:30 pm. Lunch



Nader Ardalan is a practicing architect and author with over five decades of award winning international experience. He is currently Senior Research Associate at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and Senior Editor for the Gulf Sustainable Urbanism Research Project. As a former Fellow of the Harvard Center for Middle Eastern Studies, in 2010 he and Prof. Steven Caton, Anthropologist, were the recipients of the now published Kennedy School Kuwait Fund Research Grant entitled: New Arab Urbanism: The Challenge to Sustainability and Culture in the Gulf. Mr. Ardalan is currently the Projector Director of the new Kennedy School Kuwait Fund Research Grant entitled: Green Campus Initiative for selected academic institutions in Kuwait.
As President of Ardalan Associates, LLC, he is a practicing expert in the field of Environmentally Sustainable and Culturally Relevant Design. From 1994 to 2006, Mr. Ardalan lived in Kuwait and served as Senior Vice President and Director of Design at KEO International Consultants. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Carnegie-Mellon University and a Masters in Architecture from the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University. He has been a Visiting Professor at Harvard, Yale and MIT and a founding member of the Steering Committee of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
Leith Sharp has spent 20 years driving sustainability into the core business of higher education. Ms Sharp established one of world’s first campus sustainability programs in 1995 at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia. Ms Sharp was the founding director of Harvard’s Office for Sustainability leading Harvard to become a global leader in campus sustainability. Ms Sharp was the founding executive director for the Illinois Green Economy Network, a partnership of 48 community college presidents targeting green economic growth. Ms Sharp was the founding Chair of the Sustainability Futures Academy, an international collaboration driving executive leadership development for sustainability. Ms Sharp consults with universities and other organizations around the world and has taught change leadership for sustainability at Harvard University for the last 10 years, earning numerous commendations for distinguished teaching performance. For her work Ms Sharp has received numerous awards internationally. Ms Sharp has an engineering degree (UNSW) and a master of education (Harvard).

THOMAS E. VAUTIN (By correspondence)
Tom Vautin served Harvard University for 32 years in several key leadership positions, most recently as acting Vice President for Administration (now Campus Services), before retiring in 2010. His responsibilities included the executive direction of 1600 employees in a large group of university service departments, including facilities operations and maintenance, engineering, utilities and energy management, environmental health and safety, parking and transportation, real estate services, and hospitality and dining. Additionally, Mr. Vautin worked closely with faculty, staff, and students to organize and co-chair the Harvard Green Campus Initiative (now the Office for Sustainability), one of the earliest environmental sustainability programs in higher education in the United States. In 2008, he co-chaired a joint task force of faculty, students, and administrators to develop an aggressive strategic plan to reduce the University’s emissions of greenhouse gases.
Mr. Vautin also served Harvard for twenty years as chief executive officer of the Medical Area Total Energy Plant, a large cogeneration facility that provides district heating, cooling, and electric power to the Harvard Medical School and six major teaching hospitals and research facilities in Boston. His prior work included engineering and design of utility power plants. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in Massachusetts, and holds a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Maine. Since his retirement from Harvard, Mr. Vautin has remained professionally engaged in environmental sustainability and facilities management.