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Guest Speaker Recap: Paul Valva


October 6, 2016


The CES was brimming with students, alumni, parents and faculty at last week’s Sustainability Guest Speaker Series, which featured Paul Valva ’76. The talk provided an engaging and interdisciplinary discussion on the built environment, climate change, and how to make waves in our community.


Paul brought a great deal of knowledge and experience to his presentation, as he has received a Master in Strategic Leadership Towards Sustainability from the Blekinge Tekniska Hogskola in Karlskrona, Sweden. In 2006, Paul was trained as a member of Al Gore’s The Climate Project to educate the public about climate change. Currently he serves as an advisor to Paul Hawken’s Project Drawdown in addition to acting as a principal with the Valva Realty Company – a third generation family-owned real estate brokerage company located in Oakland.


This speaker series session introduced attendees to the critical relationship between the natural environment and human based infrastructure. Paul captured imaginations with the vast possibilities of future technologies such as transit oriented development, vertical access wind turbines, Tesla powerwalls, LED lighting, and even plastic roads – which all provide creative solutions in urban design and building construction. The presentation also tackled how to break down barriers that impede sustainability and reinforce climate change. Guest were invited to think about environmental stewardship and common psychological reactions to this challenging issue. Paul concluded the discussion by developing a case for sustainability that guides others towards change through education, inspiration and a shared responsibility.


The semester will continue to feature a wealth of guest speakers, including O’Dowd alumni, parents and greater Bay Area community members. The entire O’Dowd community is invited to join us for these talks, which take place from 1:50 – 2:50 p.m. on the following dates: 11/17, and 12/1.

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