We just returned from the great city of Chicago, site of the 2008 Green Business Conference and Green Festival. Wow, what a wonderful urban center and series of events! We arrived (Sharon Rowe and I) on Wednesday night so we missed the first day of the conference but we were there bright and early on Thursday for an action-packed, mind-altering (in a thought versus …you know …way) day and night of ideas, connections and conversations.

If you own a business in the “green” space and don’t attend these conferences you’re really missing something. Denise Hamler and her crew are amazing connectors who put people together because they understand synergy and sharing!! The content of the conference included everything from sustainable, authentic messaging to actual talks with real people who were growing huge enterprises in this growing market.

Sharon Rowe, Ec0-Bags’ founder and CEO, lead a session called “True Confessions: Sourcing and Scaling Up in an Exploding Marketplace.” Her packed room was full of entrepreneurs who were hoping to grow their companies as part of this national trend towards healthy, organic and sustainable products! Sharon was great; approachable, humble, funny & willing to share what worked and didn’t work. She took questions for a long time after she finished speaking and several people hung out afterwards, too.

This was a wonderful opportunity for Sharon to share the Eco-Bags story, which is really about one person’s desire to make her own life easier (by not bringing home plastic bags from the store) and turning that “problem” into an opportunity. More to come…and call us if you want her to come and speak for you!

We also heard from Sara Snow, a celeb in the eco-world, who has a popular show on Planet Earth. Sara comes from a longtime green family and she’s a dynamic, young and positive face in this brave new world of label reading, going green and making smart food choices. Check out her site at www.sarasnow.com. Bryan Welch, who founded and leads a publishing group that includes Mother Earth & several other great magazines, spoke about optimism & authenticity. WOW. He’s dynamic, fun and intense—and he had the funniest PowerPoint ever.

Okay, enough for now. Suffice to say that it was a great learning/connecting/reinforcing/invigorating couple of days. Getting out of the office to meet other people engaged in these types of ventures is KEY.

And props and a big hug to our new friend, Lisa, from Bark for Peace (www.barkforpeace.com) whose vegan, 100% organic dog treats (also edible by humans) were a smashing hit with the dogs in our house.