Justin Southwick spends time “Across the Pond”

Justin at Freewatt Renewable Energy, UK

This summer, Justin Southwick was honored by being selected for Rotary International’s Group Study Exchange (GSE) program. The scholarship funded a month-long immersion program focused on cultural and vocational exchange. Hosted by northeast England’s Rotary District 1270, Justin’s itinerary included meetings and site visits with government officials, architects, builders, educators, and entreprenuers pursuing sustainable business models. In 2012, British awardees will explore their careers while hosted by Rotarians in Middle Tennessee.

“I noticed a lot more urgency around resource efficiency and climate change than we’re used to in Tennessee,” said Justin. “Solar incentives twice ours, vehicle efficiency three times ours, landfill rates ten times ours, net zero-energy housing codes by 2016. Some differences were driven by Kyoto while others come from a legacy of being a crowded island closely connected to the rest of the world. Spending time in another country was critical to show where we’re behind, and where a focus on efficiency and innovation can help us catch up and lead.”

At Wilmot, we’re always looking for ways to broaden our knowledge and bring unique solutions to your sustainability programs. Contact us for more information on how to put Justin and the rest of our team to work on your next project.

About Rotary International’s GSE program:

The Rotary Foundation’s Group Study Exchange (GSE) program is a unique cultural and vocational exchange opportunity for businesspeople and professionals between the ages of 25 and 40 who are in the early stages of their careers. The program provides travel grants for teams to exchange visits in paired areas of different countries. For four to six weeks, team members experience the host country’s culture and institutions, observe how their vocations are practiced abroad, develop personal and professional relationships, and exchange ideas.