PROGRAMMING

Venn Host Interview: How Sustainability and Community Go Hand in Hand

By

Alicia Briggs

– VOL. 7

At Venn, working together to connect neighbors, strengthen local economies and give back is what we’re all about. A great way to do just that is to get involved in local sustainability efforts. Below we chat with Venn Host Gali Sheskin on why sustainability matters and how you can help today. 

Everywhere we look these days, the topic of sustainability seems to come up. There isn’t a community in the world that isn’t being affected in one way or another by environmental changes, which can be overwhelming to think about. The good news though, is that real change doesn’t just start with us – it starts with our communities. When we come together, we can create sustainable, lasting changes that have a noticeable impact within our own community and form deeper connections.

Image of sustainability and community

In Venn Neighborhoods around the world, community leaders create opportunities for Neighbors to make a positive environmenal impact. 

That’s exactly what our Venn Host, Gali Sheskin, is doing in Tel Aviv. Gali volunteers for an energy group called Ignite the Spark. “Ignite The Spark specializes in the energy world and, in particular, renewables. That’s an amazing process and I feel we are working to make the world a better place,” she says. 

Gali’s interest in sustainability started with seeing the consequences of our “fast world, full of FOMO and material,” and how it’s affecting the environment and depleting valuable resources. She also recognizes that the more people who come together to work in sustainability, the more solutions we can collectively come up with. 

It’s no surprise then that Gali is also part of a sub-community at Ignite which aims to get women involved in sustainability and energy. 

“A female community is important to empower and strengthen the entrepreneurs, researchers, and those interested in this world. It is important to me to empower women in places that are [traditionally] considered ‘masculine’,” she explains.

Gali has always been passionate about learning about communities, people, and what inspires movements. Having studied anthropology, sociology, and urban planning, her passion for community involvement is what drew her to working with Venn.

“Throughout history, we’ve seen that great revolutions have only succeeded because they were part of an organization — whether that’s a student union or a Facebook group…”

Sustainability and community go together, says Gali. “We see throughout history that great and long-term revolutions and changes have only succeeded because they were part of an organization – whether it is a student union or a Facebook group,” she says. “To be able to drive a big move like changing perception and environmental policy, a big movement of people is needed and only a big community with a common ideology will be able to drive it.”

Gali has seen the impact of community work through her women’s group. “The community is growing day by day and women are finding a place to express themselves, find jobs, and increase the local ecosystem of renewable energy,” she explains. They also collaborate with the Municipal Sustainability Center to do various activities around the neighborhood like composting or creating community gardens. 

Most recently, they hosted a Zoom event with another community of women in energy based in the United States. “It was really significant because women from the community talked about their work, and were able to network. I was happy to have the opportunity to be a part of something big.” 

Image of sustainability and community tel aviv

In September, Gali organized a secondhand market for Venn neighbors and community members. It was an opportunity to give second life to lightly used goods and cut down on local waste.

In addition to her work in energy, Gali has seen lots of meaningful local action in her neighborhood of Shapira. “There are so many options,” she says. “You can start separating organic and regular garbage, do second-hand events, a community garden or connect with existing communities and make collaborations with them, which will bring their knowledge to your community.” 

Whatever you choose to do, be sure to share with your Venn neighbors. Because the actions you take will surely ignite others around you to also make an impact. A great way to start? Post a comment in the Life at Venn app and get the conversation started.

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