C2C Bard Fellowship: What's your Sustainability pitch?

On a rainy Saturday in December, I joined an all-day workshop with a global community of like-minded Environment enthusiasts. We were all from different walks of life, different majors, and different parts of the world – the only two things uniting us were our shared passion for Sustainability and the title of soon-to-be Bard C2C Fellows. Helmed by Dr. Eban Goodstein, Director of Bard’s Center for Environmental Policy (Williams alum, class of 1982!), C2C is an abbreviation of Campus to Congress/Capitol/City Hall/Corporation. The program is about reaching out to graduate and undergraduate students to enable and empower them to transform their sustainability endeavors into pragmatic steps. Leveraging the fields of policy, education, non-profit, business, and arts – sustainability is made attainable and accessible.

The fellows are supported throughout this journey. During the fellowship, we were guided on drafting and polishing a pitch for how our personal journeys inform our environmental action and the change we want to make in the world . We were told two secrets about storytelling and persuasion, both of which are helpful skills for fundraising and coalition-building (to learn these secrets you will have to attend the program!), and were then given the opportunity to practice our pitches with each other. It was a very interesting experience for me. Having to trace my journey and root my advocacy in my personal story jolted me into the urgency of action. But it also helped me reflect and learn more about myself. It was fascinating to connect the dots and recognize our individual journeys in our activism and passion for the environment. We had to tap into our emotional history to tie it into the broader history of climate injustice.  I was voted for as one of the top 6 pitches in the fellowship – which also greatly helped me with my imposter syndrome in the Environmental Advocacy community!

Once we complete the training and officially become C2C fellows, Dr. Goodstein becomes our lifelong career advisor – we just need to book an online appointment, and he will help us with anything Sustainability related. His support for our journey extends to our education and beyond by informing us of how to create a career in the field of sustainability. C2C Fellows become a part of the national network with access to continuing educational and professional opportunities, including dedicated scholarships to attend Bard’s Graduate Programs in Sustainability: Masters of Science degrees in Environmental Policy,  Climate Science and Policy, the Masters of Education in Environmental Education,  and the Bard MBA in Sustainability.

Beyond the community – something we desperately need in this field – and all the perks, the fellowship was a reaffirmation for many of us to keep following our passion and keep fighting for our causes. The fellowship focused on reimagining pragmatic steps for the environment, and we did so by mailing our Spring semester professors to do a Global Teach-in. Through this, the professors can give a 15-minute talk on how their field is contributing to combating climate change and invite an expert in their field to interact with the class for another 15 minutes to #makeclimateaclass. So if you want to do that too, reach out to me, and I can share my draft email with you! That is a small call to action I leave you with, besides applying for this wonderful, life-changing opportunity. Lastly, I would implore you to reflect on your own Sustainability pitch – to redirect, refocus, and get reenergized for the cause!

Love & Peace,

Saumya Shinde ‘26

Zilkha Center Zero Waste Intern