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On October 17, 2018 Congresswoman Susan Davis, State Assemblymember Todd Gloria, and representatives from SDG&E joined Balboa Park staff, volunteers and colleagues at the Balboa Park Sustainability Forum. Each year, the event features an educational panel on a relevant sustainability topic, and the Balboa Park Sustainability Awards are presented to organizations that apply for recognition of a sustainability-focused project completed in the last year. In this, the 10th year of the Cultural Partnership Sustainability Program and the 5th year of the Sustainability Forum, the theme of the event was “People, Planet, [Non] Profit”, reflecting how the bottom line of a business is no longer just “profit.”

Writer John Elkington coined the term “triple bottom line” which more holistically focuses a business’s goals in three areas – social, environmental, and financial – with the focus on equal parts “People, Planet, Profit.” To transfer this principle to Balboa Park and the nonprofits that operate here, the Sustainability Program modified the triple bottom line to “People, Planet, [Non] Profit” for this event’s theme and educational discussion. Keynote Speaker Dr. Jonathan Foley, Executive Director at Project Drawdown, explored the role of the nonprofit in environmental responsibility and how that affects their business resiliency. Panelists Dr. Emily Young, Executive Director at The Nonprofit & Philanthropic Institute at the University of San Diego; Josh Dean, Executive Director at The San Diego Green Building Council; and Erika Katayama, Director of Exhibits at The San Diego Museum of Man dug deeper into the benefits of nonprofits taking a stand-in caring for the environment and how the benefits are much more than just doing good for the world. The panel discussed topics like attracting donors, employee satisfaction, and the responsibility of arts & culture nonprofits, especially museums, as pillars of the community.

The Balboa Park Sustainability Awards were presented at the close of the event. The finalists were:

  • San Diego Museum of Man
  • Museum of Photographic Arts

And the Winners for 2018 were:

  • San Diego Youth Symphony for our internal composting efforts
  • San Diego Civic Youth Ballet for their sustainability-themed Fairy Tale Village

For more about sustainability in Balboa Park, visit:

San Diego Youth Symphony