Engineering Management & Systems Engineering;
School of Engineering & Applied Science

Power Shift Representatives and EEM Students Discuss Climate Change

.During the spring 2009 semester, Greenpeace members Lauren Gwynn (University of Richmond) and Elizabeth Donahue (University of Central Florida) met with EEM students to discuss “Power Shift,” a grass root initiative addressing climate and clean energy policy.  The meeting was part of the convergence of 10,000 young people on Washington D.C. to take a message of bold, comprehensive and immediate federal climate action to Capitol Hill.

The effort is intended to leverage momentum built through the Campus Climate Challenge and the electoral engagement campaign Power Vote to encourage political leaders to take action in these critically important areas.  Power Shift not only is delivering its message of change to elected officials, but also is strengthening the climate and clean energy movement by infusing the nation's young leaders with new ideas, skills, connections with each other, and opportunities for employment and action. .

In the fall of 2008, hundreds of thousands of young people mobilized to vote and demand bold solutions to the defining issues of its generation. The Power Vote campaign collected 341,127 pledges to vote and demand our leaders create millions of green jobs, invest in a clean energy economy, cut global warming pollution immediately, end our dependence on dirty energy, and re-engage as a leader in the international community. 

Power Vote helped turn out the record 24 million young voters who decided this election and develop the skills of grassroots leaders to engage in the political process.   

Power Shift 09 is focused on the following objectives:

  • Encouraging the new administration and Congress to pass bold, comprehensive energy and climate legislation.
  • Preparing leaders for the international climate negotiations in December 2009 to ratify a strong global climate agreement - one that allows all communities to participate and benefit.  
  • Developing a comprehensive strategy a shared vision to facilitate the development and implementation of individual and group action plans for local, state and national campaigns.
  • Strengthening the bonds between diverse youth constituencies while training young people to help develop the skills needed to create one movement that tackles climate change, environmental injustice, and economic failure.
  • Understanding the magnitude of both the challenges and opportunities presented by the climate crisis and exploring capacities to create transformative change.

More information about Power Shift can be seen at