The 2020 Sustainable Enterprise Conference will be May 7, 2020 at SOMO Village.

We've deployed a new webite for the Sustainable Enterprise Conference at

Oren's blog

Notes for SSU EMBA

Some notes from a discussion with SSU Executive MBA.

Getting involved with the 2014 Sustainable Enterprise Conference

Information on the wine session from the Sustainable Enterprise Conferenece
Sustainability in the Wine Industry: A Delicious Solution

Some endorsements and why we do this work:

Ceres is the investor advocacy organization:

Here's the article on global sustainability standards

Introducing the Sonoma County Food Action Plan that drives much of this year's program:

Here's the Oliver's Market "go local" analysis:

For every $100 spent at Oliver’s on local goods versus buying the same goods at a national or regional chain, there is at least a 32% larger economic impact on Sonoma County. 

Nick Papadopoulos - Endorsements

“I’ll tell it to you straight up peoples: SEC 2013 was a game changer for my social venture Prior to SEC 13  we were wild-eyed innovators hustling to achieve that magic mix of support, resources, traction and luck that all start-ups struggle to find. It was tough, we felt a bit isolated, and, being in the first mover position, it was hard to find our entrepreneurial compass and roadmap.

That all changed at SEC 2013. We were so fortunate that Amy’s Kitchen sponsored our attendance at SEC 2013 and we jumped all over it. We entered with ambition, looking to learn as much as possible and start building our network. I knew it was a special opportunity not to waste. I was absolutely floored at how accessible folks were. Everyone I ran across, even the elected officials and “experts” from Google, Codding Enterprises, Mark Nelson and other world-class ventures took the time to listen and help. Many took tangible steps to help.

Dr. William S. Silver - Endorsements

“The Sustainable Enterprises Conference acts as an accelerator for sustainable businesses.  It is a place where the business community comes together to not only explore new innovations in business practices, but also to create new connections and partnerships.  It is the strength of this network that creates a strong and powerful value chain for sustainable businesses in our community.”

“As the Dean of the School of Business and Economics at Sonoma State University, it is my responsibility to have the pulse of business activity in our community.  There is no better program for understanding what the North Bay’s most exciting companies are doing, than the Sustainable Enterprises Conference.”

Dr. William S. Silver

Professor of Business Administration
School of Business and Economics, Sonoma State University

Silicon Valley Manufacturing

Here's a great infographic on Silicon Valley Manufacturing, from the San Jose Economic Development Board.

Manufacturing in Silicon Valley
by stedas.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web's largest information design community - Visually.

Cotati Creek Critters

Here's the 2012 report for Cotati Creek Critters about our carbon offset:

This year, as well as taking care of 2,000 previously planted native and trees and shrubs, by weeding, mulching, pruning, etc., volunteers also planted another 350 new trees and shrubs further downstream.  And despite reduced funding, we did start some new outreach and educational initiatives.  One of these was the beginning of a partnership with the St. Joseph’s Health Care system to expand our outreach to the local Latino community.  We also began a new partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of Rohnert Park. First, our SSU interns helped to organize a trash pick up day along the upper reach of the Laguna for boys and girls from the Club.  Then, one of the interns gave a presentation at the Club about how children can better take care of their own local creeks. And lastly, when we organized a “Rethinking Plastics” evening in conjunction with Green Sangha, the speaker also gave a much-appreciated child-friendly presentation to the Boys & Girls Club, about the impacts of plastics on the environment.  These are the kinds of small-scale, local efforts that funding like this from SEC helps CCC to catalyze - helping to make a connection for children with the environment around them, and empowering them to get more involved.


Jenny Blaker
Outreach Coordinator
Cotati Creek Critters

Liberty Valley Doors Green Business Certification

Enjoy this segment from Green Business leader Mike Pastryk of Liberty Valley Doors.

Liberty Valley Doors recently completed its Green Business Certification and is now reaping the rewards. See what owner Mike Pastryk and his son Stephen have to say about the path to certification and savings.

Key Points:
-- LVD has reduced its waste stream by an impressive 85%!
-- Over half a million dollars in rebates and tax breaks financed a rooftop PV solar installation 
-- The Rediscovered Door Line not only recycles wood, but brings in customers looking for explicitly sustainable products

A letter on optimistic inspiration

I received this letter today from a long time North Bay sustainability advocate. I think see described the intention of the program to inspire, educate and motive into action.

As I got up this morning, made my local organic breakfast in a day-lit kitchen, took a shower with my handy egg-timer, and walked the 10-foot commute to my home office with a self-satisfied saunter, I was playing with the idea of whether or not to go to the Sustainable Enterprise Conference (SEC) on May 11th.  I have been to this conference before and dare I say know the drill.  Short of raising sheep to upholster my furniture, is there anything more you can teach me about sustainability?   Can I really justify the money and time the conference takes?  I may not always act on all my eco-knowledge, but do I really need another conference on sustainability?  Being 6-months pregnant, this conference also sounds like a backache waiting to happen. Myriad reasons to skip this conference emerge (and kick me twice in the ribs) as I stare at the registration page.  

A Focus on Education

As part of our Sustainability in Schools program, this from Len Greenwood:

From Drop Outs to Graduates – A New Vision for Career Training in Public Schools

We can have no sustainable business or healing of this injured planet or people until we first and foremost have a healthy and sustainable public education system. At the moment, we do not. In this working session, Len Greenwood and students from the Montgomery H. S. Green Career Program will explore the new vision of a dynamic union between the Sustainable Business community and Public Education, especially within Vocational training courses.

We will examine the drop out rates in California and across the nation. We will explore how establishing exciting new Career training programs like the Green Career Program at Montgomery can keep students engaged in their education and revamp entry level education and jobs for the Green Workforce. We can assist in establishing an intelligent, motivated and world-aware graduate who is both advocate and activist for a healthy and economically viable planet.

Support Community-powered Local Clean Energy

Climate, energy and community concerns meet to encourage Sonoma County Supervisors to further explore the community owned renewable energy in Sonoma County. I received this call to action from Woody Hastings at the Climate Protection Campaign:
Please come show your support for community-powered local clean energy on Tuesday, April 10th at 10am when the Sonoma County Water Agency Board will decide whether to proceed with Sonoma County's Community Choice Energy program - Sonoma Clean Power ( 
The Board will vote on taking the first steps for an Implementation Plan and a Joint Powers Authority to run the program.
Representatives from the environmental, business, and labor communities will be on hand to speak in support of Sonoma Clean Power. We need you there to stand in support with us. The meeting will occur at the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, 575 Administration Drive, Santa Rosa.
For more information visit Sonoma Clean Power on Facebook or contact Woody Hastings, 707-525-1665 ext.117 (
You'll find plenty of information the Climate Campaign website.

The Story of Broke – Annie Leonard

Annie Leonard lays it our clear and concise – we need to change the way our tax dollars are spent. With over $1 trillion dollars to spend each year, our government can have a big influence in shaping the future of our economy.


Sustainable Enterprise Conference - May 11, 2012

Another great success! We will return...

Thanks to your overwhelming support the the 7th Annual Sustainable Enterprise Conference will take place May 11, 2012. With over 400 registered attendees at the 2011 event we continue to grow as a community and influence in the economy. Show your support on our community pledge page.

Another Landmark Bill introduced by Assemblymember Huffman

Governor Brown signed AB 361 into law. This image from the 2011 Sustainable Enterprise Conference where Assemblymember Huffman advocates for the importance of AB 361 establishing the Benefit Corporation in California.

Today that Bill was signed into law.

Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 361 today to spur the creation of high quality jobs in California through benefit corporations. The legislation, introduced by Assemblymember Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael), creates a new class of corporation in California called benefit corporations that are legally required to pursue the creation of a material positive impact on society and the environment, while meeting higher standards of accountability and transparency. Current law requires corporations to prioritize the financial interests of shareholder over the interests of workers, communities, and the environment.

In his article from the Huffington Post, Jay Cohen Gilbert breaks it down:

benefit corporation legislation is important because it builds the legal infrastructure for a new economy that is more inclusive, resilient and sustainable.

Many people and much work involved here, but especially thank you to Assemblymember Huffman for his leadership.

Working with the Green Community in Sonoma County

I am blessed to work with some amazing and wonderful people in planning the conference. I am inspired daily by the way people in the green community care for the environmant and work together creating a better future.

This includes our volunteers. When I asked one of our volunteers, Greg Zirbel, if he wanted to contribute to our carbon offset raffle, here's what he offered:

I would like to donate one of my Historic birdhouse feeders that resembles what was the St. Francis winery in Kenwood. This original birdhouse was made from the recovered redwood barn wood from what was once the largest pig farm in Sonoma County, the Ress Pig Barn of Cotati, CA. Many of Sonoma's giant Sequoia were cut down in the early 1900’s, to help turn Sonoma County into the “chicken capital of the world”. I regretted seeing all this old growth redwood go to waste, in Sonoma Counties' condemned barns. By recycling old redwood, NeatTweets is excited to be preserving a part of history.

I figured that for this project I would create numerous birdhouses and let them sit and weather for years before I would accept my art project as complete. I wanted to create another ghost town of my own. If I let them weather for years, getting rained on, sitting in the heat of the summer sun and letting the wind and fog work on them, I’d have a collection of historical miniatures that resembled an abandoned town as was Bodie, the second largest city in California in it’s time. Then I’d have completed my art project.

Call to Action from the American Sustainable Business Council

I recieved this call to action from David Levine of the American Sustainable Business Coalition.

Join B Lab and American Sustainable Business Council in Sacramento on May 3rd to support Benefit Corporation Legislation in California (AB 361 – Huffman)

Benefit Corporation Legislation AB 361 (Huffman) is being heard before the California State Assembly’s Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, May 3rd at 9:30 am in Sacramento. The path to passage begins with a physical demonstration that businesses want Benefit Corp legislation. The May 3rd committee hearing is the first and last chance for Benefit Corporation legislation to move forward this year. Your help is critical. It’s simple: when asked by the chair of the committee, each of you will in turn stand up, state your name, company and one or two sentences on why you support Benefit Corporation Legislation.

May 3rd Agenda

8:30 – Short welcome and photo opp on steps of the Capitol with AB 361 sponsors Assemblymember Huffman, Assemblymember Blumenfield, and Senator Leno.

9:30 – Assembly Judiciary Committee Hearing on AB 361 (Huffman) Benefit Corporation Legislation.

11:30 -1:00 – Lunch with Assemblymember Huffman. We’ve arranged for wireless access for all of us who need to stay connected throughout the morning.

Attend the 6th Annual Sustainable Enterprise Conference

Here's what you'll get when you attend the 6th Annual Sustainable Enterprise Conference:

#1 The latest clean energy news from Assemblymember Jared Huffman, Panama Bartholomy, the Deputy Director, Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the California Energy Commission (CEC) and Liz Yager, Energy & Sustainability Manager for Sonoma County.

#2 Compelling economic justifications for corporate responsibility and ecological sustainability from Maggie Winslow, Ph.D., Interim Dean at Presidio Graduate School and Joey Shepp, Director of the Green MBA program at Dominican University of California with additional sessions featuring B Corporation and RSF Social Finance.

#3 Organizational management workshops designed to help you implement sustainability strategies and grow your enterprise.

#4 Exhibits from the businesses, agencies and organizations working for a green and proserous North Bay.

#5 Ample time for networking with North Bay leaders dedicated to helping businesses, nonprofits, and other organizations transition to economic, environmental and social sustainability.

#6 A locally sourced and organic lunch and a closing wine reception.

A Time for Sharing

In this inspiring TED Talk Rachel Botsman makes the case for collaborative consumption and explains how a generation of Digital Natives are more inclined to share. She makes reference to Time Banks and Micro Lending as examples of collaborative consumption.

She proclaims "a rediscovery of collective good" and "technology makes sharing frictionless and fun" and is persuasive in making the case that we seek the experience rather than the stuff.

Rachel Botsman: The case for collaborative consumption

Palm Drive Hospital - Green Day

Palm Drive Hospital hosted today's Green Day event titled "Improving Sustainability in Health Care." This was an opportunity for the Hospital Green Team to report on sustainability initatives that have been implemented in different departments, including the kitchen, housekeeping and waste management. Many of these program were based on a sustainability report prepared by the Green MBA program at Dominican University of California in Marin County.

I was honored to share a room with Health Care Professionals at Palm Drive Hospital as we enjoyed the presentation by Dr Barbara Sattler. She drew light to the alarming number of toxins in our environment and the even higher rate of exposure for hospital workers. In California, we're just beginning to address the best practices for Pharmaceutical Waste management. Learn more at the CalRecycle Pharmaceutical Drug Waste program, please visit

Free Public Forum on Single-Use Bags

Moderated by Sonoma County Supervisor Mike McGuire, this forum addresses a growing environmental issue impacting our community.

Santa Rosa City Council Chambers
90 Santa Rosa Avenue, look for the signs
February 2, 2011   8:45AM

Doors open 8:15AM - Adjourn 11AM. We’ll hear from a variety of presenters & consider the pros and cons of reducing or banning single use plastic bags.

  • Mary Munat, Chair, Sonoma County Single-Use Bag Forum
  • Ernesto Olivares, Santa Rosa Mayor
  • Shirlee Zane, Sonoma County Supervisor
  • Mike McGuire, Sonoma County Supervisor
  • Carol Misseldine, Green Cities California Coordinator
  • Robert Bateman, Roplast Industries
  • Kevin Drew,  SF Dept. of the Environment
  • Patrick Carter, So. Co. Waste Management Agency
  • Charles McGlashan, Marin County Supervisor
  • Susan Houghton, Safeway - Dir of Public Affairs and Gov't Relations

Free bag exchange, solutions & opportunities, networking, Q&A, resource sharing… Paper bags are included in the discussions!

Platinum – North Bay Corporation
Gold – Sonoma Compost, Whole Foods Market
Silver – Global Materials Recovery Services, Taylor Maid Farms Coffee, Oliver’s Market, Sonoma County Supervisor Mike McGuire,

A feel good moment from Bioneers founders Kenny Ausubel and Nina Simons

Bioneers founders Kenny Ausubel and Nina Simons optimistic words for our future:

The Shift Has Begun: Nina Simons and Kenny Ausubel from Bioneers on Vimeo.

"But now is not the time for despair. The ground is moving beneath our feet, and we are in a breakthrough moment. All across the world the shift is becoming palpable and gaining momentum."

Simplifying and Greening your Holidays

Today I received this note from Janet Beazlie, a member of the conference steering committee:

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

How's your holiday stress level? On November 13, I offered a workshop about simplifying and greening your holidays and was surprised at how much fun we all had reducing our stress levels as well as coming up with strategies for creating Earth-friendly, heartwarming and low cost ways to celebrate this holiday season. Also we had lots of fun collecting and arranging evergreens and herbs for decorations. Afterward I e-mailed everyone a Green Your Holiday Resource Guide.

People were so enthusiastic about the experience that I decided to offer two more sessions in my Forestville home on this Saturday, December 4th from 10 AM-1 PM and Saturday, December 11th from 10 AM-1 PM.

We will have lots more pre-cut and gathered herbs, natural cones and evergreens so you can make decorations for your door, gifts and trees. We will also offer hot seasonal drinks with baked goodies and snacks. And I will send you the Green Your Holidays Resource guide.

EventBrite Events

The Sustainable Enterprise Conference uses EventBrite Events to manage attendee registration. The service worked very well in 2010 and we especially liked the robust coupon features. The attendee email tools are easy to use and included in the service fees and if you don't charge for your event the are no service fees.

Follow this link to learn more: about EventBrite

(this is an affiliate program and proceeds offset registration fees)

2010 Conference Highlights

Sustainable Enterprise 2010 at Sonoma Mountain Village in Rohnert Park, CA featured over 40 speakers and 300 attendees enjoying a day of inspiring speakers and Bay Area green business networking.

Don't miss this unique opportunity to spend the day with pioneering nonprofits, stimulating academics, inspired officials and innovative professionals. While we're getting ready for 2011, enjoy the photos and have a look at our 2010 speaker list.

Local and State Energy "Upgrade" leaders present at North Coast Green

I attended the North Coast Green Summit in Ukiah where I had the pleasure of hearing Panama Bartholomy speak about the launch of Energy Upgrade California - - it should be live on the website any day. This state program is designed to accelerate energy efficiency retrofits by providing a central database for financing, rebates, certified contractors, jobs, job training, marketing and outreach all in one place. There's a very large outreach program planned at the state level to stimulate consumer action.

As pointed out by Kevin Gilleran, Gilleran Energy Management, these incentive programs are pro jobs and pro energy efficiency, creating an instant win for local economies and long term savings for all. There was concern raised about the effects that Prop 23 could have on the growing clean tech and energy efficiency sectors so get educated before November.

From TED - Derek Sivers: How to start a movement

This video needs very little explanation and rather nicely makes me smile.

Update from Cotati Creek Critters - our Carbon Offset Partner

Each year we donate generously to a local community-based organization that is restoring a local creek through tree-planting and other projects. We feel that this community based carbon offset balances our desire to mitigate the conference carbon impact and serve local needs. Join us.

From Jenny at Cotatit Creek Critters:
Meanwhile, I’d like to just let you know a little about some of our activities and achievements over the last year or so, since approximately the time of the last conference.

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