Sustainability 3.0: Redefining Green
by Toby Barazzuol on Friday Sep 24, 2010

Next week is an event called "Sustainability 3.0: Redefining Green" that I'm really proud of and excited about.  It's the third annual sustainability expo hosted by the Strathcona Business Improvement Association (SBIA), a local organization I've been a board member of for over 6 years, and vice-chair of for 4.  Last year, Sustainability 2.0 featured Majora Carter from Sustainable South Bronx and the year before at Sustainabilty 1.0 our current Mayor Gregor Robertson gave the keynote.  I typically donate 20% of my time towards community building, so seeing events like this come to life is particularly rewarding and it helps to reinforce the social mission of Eclipse Awards.

As you would expect, Sustainability 3.0 will address the business case for sustainability - why it's important and why companies should care.  The keynote speaker this year will be Bob Willard - thought leader and author of three books including The Sustainability Advantage.  The event will also feature shorter Pecha Kucha-like presentations by Kira Gerwing, city planner for Vancouver's Downtown Eastside;  Brian Dodd, executive director of United We Can and SOLEfoodMark Trotzuk, CEO of Eco-Apparel;  and Sophie Agbonkhese, Vancouver's first BIA sustainability coordinator.  There will be ample time for networking, as well as a green marketplace showcasing products and ideas from progressive Strathcona companies like Saul Good Gift Co, Agro Cafe, bullfrogpower, Gulf & Fraser Financial Group, and of course Eclipse Awards.  The refreshments at these events has become legendary, and this will be no exception with the amazing One Planet Catering providing delightful local food and drink.  We'll also be launching the Strathcona Resource Exchange, an innovative new program that allows business to exchange unused resources, while also creating green jobs.

More importantly though, Sustainability 3.0 will highlight that there is indeed a movement happening in Strathcona. Companies are locating here to become part of this unique community, and they are learning that working in collaboration is better than working in competition.  A single company can only become so green on its own, however once it starts to work with other organizations and truly integrate into it's community, magical things start to happen - things that can't be accomplished alone.  Beyond recycling, and changing lightbulbs, and energy conservation metrics, sustainability is ultimately about community and culture.  What do we value and celebrate as a society, and how do we want to relate to one another?  That's the thinking behind the Strathcona Green Zone.

Sustainability 3.0 - Strathcona Green Zone

In Strathcona, we've set the ambitious goal of becoming Vancouver's Green Zone - heart of the greenest city in the world.  We want to educate companies about the principles of sustainability and how they can apply them to strengthen their own organizations.  However, we also want them to look outwards to see how they can collaborate with other businesses, residents and artists.  We are creating a community that will attract like-minded businesses and organizations to the area, and supporting them with unique services and celebration.  The strongest and most interesting ecosystems are also the most diverse, and this is no different with communities.  Here in Strathcona we value diversity and collaboration, business and the arts - and we use sustainability as the framework to draw them all together.  Best of all, there is room for everyone to participate, contribute, learn and connect!

Sustainability 3.0 is a free event and open to all (click here to register), with the purpose of inspiring the communities of Strathcona, the Downtown Eastside, Vancouver and beyond.

The event will be held at the historic Japanese Language Hall from 3-7pm on Sept. 28th at 475 Alexander St. in Vancouver, BC.

You don't want to miss this one!



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