Your guide to the coolest eco events
that you must attend, support or at least tweet:

Green Festival

April 10-11, 2010

San Francisco, CA

The Official Why:

Join us at the nation’s premier sustainability event, where you will see the best in green. Enjoy more than 125 renowned authors, leaders and educators; great how-to workshops; cutting-edge films; fun activities for kids; organic beer and wine; delicious vegetarian cuisine and diverse live music. Shop in our unique marketplace of more than 350 eco-friendly businesses—everything from all-natural body care products and organic cotton clothing to Fair Trade gifts and beautiful kitchen tiles made from renewable resources.

The EcoPop Why:

Co-sponsored by Global Exchange and Green America, Green Festival really is the grand dame of all the green festivals and has the serious green cred to back it up.  For one thing, Green Festival is the only green event that screens exhibitors for their commitment to sustainability, ecological balance and social justice using Green America’s green business standards. Green Festival also offsets 100% of its electricity emissions with clean, renewable energy.  Organizers claim that this San Francisco event will be unlike anything they’ve done before.  There’s a Fair Trade Pavilion, Green Design Pavilion, Eco Fashion Show and a Green Careers & Education Pavilion—good idea for these crazy economic times.  Of course the real fun is in the Green Marketplace where you can shop for a fab eco birthday present for me. Yes, I’m an Aries.  A few things on my list: EarthLust water bottle, a Jinky’s skirt made from recycled saris,  and anything from jonano.  Thanks!



Fast Company: Innovation Uncensored Conference

April 21, 2010

New York, NY

The Official Why:

Fast Company’s Innovation Uncensored event embodies the ethos of our brand and represents the culmination of our work throughout the year. Innovation is at the core of everything we do. Every day on our website and in each issue of the magazine, we explore innovative groundbreaking business solutions across every industry.

With this event, we give attendees live access to top business visionaries and the companies to watch, with the goal to learn from and to be inspired by their practices and insight.

The event itself is a great conversation/debate starter, but the greater value is in taking attendees inside these stellar companies and teaching them something they don’t know: surprising stats, smart techniques, best practices. Because in the end, we have an ulterior motive: inspiring attendees to lead their companies to make next year’s Most Innovative Companies List.

The EcoPop Why:

First of all, this is one of my favorite magazines. I tear more pages out of it and re-tweet their articles more than any other.  When it comes down to it, we’ve got to innovate our way out of this environmental mess and a few of the companies doing it are featured in Fast Company’s 50 Most Innovative Companies list like Good GuideFirst Solar, PG & E and Walmart. Yes, Walmart.  Speaking of, Walmart’s SVP of Sustainability, Matt Kistler will be featured on a panel with Jeffrey Hollender, Chief Inspired Protagonist of Seventh Generation about Sustainable Capitalism.  Please dear God, somebody videotape that.

 

 

Earth Day

April 22, 2010

Planet Earth

The Official Why:

It’s the 40th anniversary of Earth Day people! I’ll be listing EcoPop picks in a special Earth Day post. Stay tuned!

 

Social Enterprise Summit

April 28-30, 2010

San Francisco, CA

The Official Why:

A new sector is emerging with the primary purpose of addressing social, environmental and economic challenges of our time. The growth of social enterprise has the potential to be a defining innovation of this century. Don’t miss this international forum advocating for increased social impact through social enterprise. Join over 600 social entrepreneurs in San Francisco to learn, grow, be inspired, make new connections from around the globe and become part of this expanding movement.

The EcoPop Why:

First of all, what is social enterprise?  According to Wikipedia, “social enterprises are social mission driven organizations which apply market-based strategies to achieve a social purpose. The movement includes both non-profits that use business models to pursue their mission and for-profits whose primary purposes are social. Their aim – to accomplish targets that are social and or environmental as well as financial – is often referred to as the triple bottom line.”  Hot damn, turns out EcoPop is a social enterprise! Organized by the Social Enterprise Alliance, the summit is packed with panels and case studies for non-profits, entrepreneurs and investors.  A few sessions that caught my eye include a case study on the DC Central Kitchen and a panel titled “Engaging all Sectors-Can systems thinking help us gain traction?” If you saw Valerie Casey’s keynote at SXSWi, then you know she seems to think so. The session is moderated by Alan Webber, founding editor of Fast Company Magazine (considering I’m a Fast Company groupie, that pretty much makes him Mick Jagger in my book) and focuses on how “blowing up old categories and embracing systems thinking can lead to the development of sustainable solutions that deliver real results in addressing deep-seated social, economic, and environmental problems.” Let me just say (Beavis & Butt-head style),  that when it comes to old categories and mental models,  I like to blow things up.

GreenNet 2010

April 29, 2010

San Francisco, CA

The Official Why:

GreenNet is a one-day conference examining how the tools created in the Internet, computing and IT revolutions will be crucial for fighting climate change. Whether you’re in a corporation looking to learn about best Green IT practices or you’re an entrepreneur looking for your next venture, GreenNet in San Francisco is a must-attend event that will allow you to take away the best ideas, contacts and thinkers in this space.

The EcoPop Why:

Hello, Jerry Brown is speaking! JERRY BROWN!  Brown is the current Attorney General of California, former Mayor of Oakland (I hella ♥ Oakland) and former governor of California (in his 30s) who is now running for governor of California again at the ripe age of 71.  Brown has a solid green agenda and has always supported renewable energy.

Other notable speakers include Bill Weihl, Google’s Green Energy Czar and  Bill Mckibben who will be leading a conversation about how 350.org’s social media campaign empowered people to fight climate change.  It certainly inspired me to march around in the rain.

To put it simply, this is a conference that both Ford and Greenpeace attending. That’s either crazy or genius.  I’m thinking crazy genius.


Ferdinand’s Ball

April 29, 2010

Louisville, Kentucky

The Official Why:

Ferdinand’s Ball is a fundraiser created in honor of Ferdinand, the 1986 Kentucky Derby Winner sent to slaughter in Japan after making millions while racing and becoming horse of the year. Join celebrities, athletes and community leaders at this elaborate red carpet gala in Ferdinand’s honor, where we will raise awareness and funds so that legacies like Ferdinand can retire in peace and with dignity on a beautiful farm in Georgetown, Kentucky.

The EcoPop Why:

This kick-off to Derby weekend gala benefits Old Friends, a farm that provides a dignified retirement to thoroughbreds whose racing and breeding careers have come to an end.  I learned about the event from Beth Doane, founder of Rain Tees who is also one of the organizers and a lover of animals. The organizers don’t mention on their site how they feel about the sport of horse racing but I’ll tell you what I think: it stinks. I’ve never been able to watch an animal perform for humans whether it’s a “sport” or a circus but the industry certainly won’t end tomorrow so this is a great trot in the right direction toward treating these animals humanely.   The event itself features live music, gourmet food, open bar and the presentation of the Ferdinand Award.