Our Agent of Change Leadership Training




Join us to explore strategies, tools, and first steps for starting a sustainability initiative.


Next Training: Program year that begins July 1, 2017
Location: Downtown Portland


If you would like to receive a notice, please fill out the interest form below.





About The Training

This no-cost, five-session training takes place over the course of eight weeks. Offered to groups of about 15 adults, cumulative enrollment exceeds 1200 over the years. During the training, each participant develops a plan to effect change in a personal “circle of influence” and, in consultation with other participants, takes first steps to implement it. After completing the training, through our Agent of Change Network, participants receive ongoing education, inspiration, and support.


 "A training such as this is absolutely needed in our community. In measurable and immeasurable, small and large, ways participants’ efforts have mitigated damage to the planet by changing peoples’ consciousness and behavior. Perhaps the greatest contribution of the training is instilling the belief that everyone is a leader who can influence changes that promote sustainability.”- Agent of Change Training Participant

What is a Circle of Influence?


A circle of influence is a local group where people interact with each other, face-to-face, over time.  Examples include schools, neighborhoods, workplaces, faith centers, and other organizations. Within the circle, the Agent of Change works to move the culture to a deeper shade of green.


Who can be an Agent of Change?

This training is for anyone in the Portland area who would like to take action or to become more proficient. Each of us has the ability to effect positive change if we have the passion, dedication, and tools.

I am continually inspired by my fellow Agents of Change who are leading hundreds of eco-projects in schools, workplaces, neighborhoods, and elsewhere. Trained by the Center for Earth Leadership, they are an incredible asset to Portland as they propel us further toward a truly sustainable culture.”  - Jaylen Schmitt, Agent and Eco-School Network Parent

About the Agent of Change Network


Through our Agent of Change Network, we provide ongoing support for those who have completed the leadership training.  The network organizes regular large and small-group gatherings and educational events, field trips, workshops, training seminars, and reading groups. Examples:


  • Large group gathering with featured speaker Alan AtKisson, international sustainability expert, on his innovation-diffusion theory for change.
  • Small group evening conversation on how to recruit and motivate volunteers.
  • Field trip to Tabor Tilth Farm, a working permaculture farm on a small city block.

Collective Impact

As Agents of Change each work to effect change in a personal circle of influence, collectively they are changing the culture of the broader community or city.  Examples of change at the circle level include the following:


  • Neighorhood.  Steve creates a neighborhood tool-sharing library.
  • Office.  Alison forms a green team at work that sets all computers, printers, and copiers to go to sleep after 15 minutes of inactivity.
  • School.  Amy forms a bicycle train led by parents so that children can bike to school safely.
  • Organization. Suzanne transforms the Portland Old Time Music Gathering into a zero-waste event with washable glassware and flatware and a system to compost food scraps.
  • Center of Faith.  Michael leads a green team at church that conducts a regular collection event in the parking lot for neighborhood residents to drop off electronics and other hard-to-recycle items.
  • Living Complex. Leslie arranges to have her apartment complex add food waste collection to the recycling options.
  • Profession.  Dick takes steps to create the Sustainable Future Section of the Oregon State Bar.}

Registering Your Interest

If you would like to be contacted the next time the training is being offered, fill out the interest questionnaire below.  There is no cost.

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