Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Green Networking and Another Very Green Week

Hello friends! Last week was an incredibly green week from a community involvement and networking perspective. In these trying economic times you must network, network, network!


I attended a local food forum hosted by Bon Appetit and Entrepreneurs for Sustainability and attended by over 400 participants (I was the only suit in the audience). I met many interesting and diverse folks - a couple of African American urban farmers, an Amish farmer, a budding organic baker/entrepreneur, an amazing producer of cheese made from grass-fed cows (once you go grass-fed, you never go back), a government agency that trains developmentally disabled people to work on farms, a green energy consultant and a green insurance agent to name a few. Whew! Amazing what you can accomplish in two hours. We all made a commitment to eat at least 10% of our food from local sources and to work with schools and our cities to promote urban gardening and access to good food for our children. My favorite quote from the evening "Imagine young people walking home from school and picking fresh sweet tomatoes and juicy berries from a front yard, peaches off of a tree on the tree lawn (as opposed to cellophane wrapped sugar and corn syrup laden garbage food from the corner store)." Visuals are powerful motivators. Check out my tweets for a play by play of the evening.


Munched on the yummy organic locally sourced goodies from the baker I met on Thursday. Met with a municipality that was really into recycling and met another public entity that was seriously thinking about buying a windmill to supply their energy needs.

Saturday Morning

Attended an event for high schoolers and their parents/teachers which promoted entrepreneurship through application of science. Lecture 1) Polymer research and applications to address the world's energy and fresh drinking water problems (top 2 threats to humanity in next 50 years). Also discussion of using fossil fuel alternatives like coconuts, switch grass and soy to create polymers (rubber, styrofoam, plastics, etc) Lecture 2) Alternative energy research and NASA, facilitated by NASA Glenn Director, Dr. Woodrow Whitlow (a very gracious, accomplished and distinguished black man). The aerospace arm of our government has dozens of alternative energy research projects in place around the nation, including some options I never heard of - wave currents, biomass from algae, underwater power and hydrogen fuel cells. My overall impression of this lecture-NASA knows something we don't and is serious about finding energy alternatives for a reason. My tweets.

Saturday Evening

Partied at the Emerge event held by the Green City Blue Lake Institute (GCBL), an organization seeking to promote a more sustainable future for Greater Cleveland. I was going to wear my new H&M white organic cotton shirt, but opted for zebra print instead - that choice caught the attention of a photographer with the local paper (I will post image next week). This green event was attended by a diverse group of over 200 professionals - environmentalists, scientists, professors, attorneys, gardeners, publishers, artists and green bankers (me). I was pressing the flesh and networking like crazy! I was especially pleased to find a greater number of African Americans in attendance this year. One of the 2009 goals of GCBL is to "achieve greater social and economic diversity of people in the sustainability movement". Hey GCBL! We need to talk.

Well that is a recap of my very green week. I encourage you to get out at green events in your community (check out the event calendar on this blog) and represent. They are looking for you.

1 comment:

Quiskaeya said...

Wow what a green week it was! You really went to some neat events and met so great people. :)