I learned so much and made so many unbelievable connections with people at this conference that it’s difficult to know where to start. I was inspired by the folks from Theo Chocolate and Endangered Species Chocolate, who started their companies with “heal the world” DNA built into the business plan. Their companies are helping build sustainable agricultural practices across the world, paying the farmers a living wage regardless of the ups and downs of the cacao market, and producing outstanding (and yummy) fair trade products that have shelf space in major retail locations.
I’m a self-confessed “light green” person. I’ve come into this space open to learn, without claiming that I’m LOHAS (which apparently is an adjective, a noun and a demographic category). I’m not sure where else I’d find a panel that features Wal-Mart’s sustainability guy and a Whole Foods 3o-year vet, both talking about GMOs, company-wide initiatives and the movement of “green” into the mainstream!
Chip Conley, owner of the Joie de Vivre Hospitality, talked about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and how that relates to employees loving where they work (the key to any hotel’s success). His book arrived in my mailbox today and I’m sure there’s a lot to learn in there about being mission driven. We are mission driven, at Ecobags, but his message about refining and really knowing the message hit home.
I loved hearing about Planet Green’s new programming and getting to “meet” some of the personalities whose shows will be featured on the new channel. My favorite was Jodi Murphy , whose show features pre-demolition auctions that move fixtures, cabinets, flooring and more to new homes rather than leaving them for the wrecking ball and the landfill! She inspired me to see if our local middle school will go through that process before it’s demolished in the late summer.
One of the highlights was the plastic bag man, brought to the conference by our friends at ChicoBags! Andy, Heather and Chrystall were so great to talk with, too!
I could go on and on…but won’t. Tell me what your favorite part of the conference was!