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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

Speaker Topics 2012 Conference

One Planet Cafe

The 2018 SEC event will incorporate features of World Cafe, Open Space and Un-conference events with the One Planet Cafe. We'll have tables set set up with paper, pens, and participation guidelines. Throughout the day we'll post topics for discussion with a table moderator. You can lead a discussion on a topic you think is important by submitting to lead a One Planet Cafe table top conversation. Table top topics will be posted at the event.

Boardroom Panel Sessions

We offer these sessions during the day in a more traditional format of a moderated panel of North Bay experts.

How do we foster innovation and sustainable economic opportunities in our region? How do we re-think education to prepare people for a quickly changing economy? What can you do to find your path or build your path? Start with a sense of place, add some personal exploration, churn in some hands-on skills, mix in some entrepreneurship principles and productivity practices, toss in some social media skills, add a healthy dose of sustainability perspective, mix with community, and voila!
Green teams can be tricky business. Usually, they are made up of people from all over an organization, and they have to compete for other priorities - both in the team and in the organization. Join partners from CircadiaOne - Susan Briski, Genevieve Taylor, and Terry Taylor - to explore ways that you can help your dream green team rock and roll - and get results that really make a difference.
In October of 2011, Governor Brown signed AB-913 creating the California Green Business Program to offer free, third-party verification for organizations that meet high environmental standards. In this workshop, you will learn about the process of obtaining a California Green Business certificate through your local county agency, including the tools and resources available that will aid and financially support your efforts. You will hear stories from North Bay businesses which have achieved Green Business certification in Sonoma County and will provide practical advice on how to get started and successfully complete the certification process while reducing overall expenses and reaching the green consumer.
With a global economy that is still so far from operating in a sustainable way, can we even imagine a world in which 10 billion humans can live within the means of our planet to support? Entrepreneurship is regarded as an answer to many of the world’s economic, social and environmental woes, from poverty alleviation and regional economic development to reduction of dependence on fossil fuels and the way out of recession for developed countries. Can we innovate our way to sustainability? As a teacher of sustainable business, a scholar of entrepreneurship and a practitioner of venture acceleration, John Stayton will explore the wild, rapidly transforming world of business creation and the emerging model of collaborative entrepreneurship, in which small companies collaborate to achieve continuous breakthrough innovations.
California now permits a new corporate form specifically tailored for triple bottom line for-profit companies. In addition to earning profit, benefit corporations have a purpose of creating a material positive impact on society and the environment with greater transparency than traditional corporations. They may also adopt specific benefit purposes, such as assisting low-income or underserved individuals or communities, promoting economic opportunity for individuals or communities, preserving the environment, and improving human health. This presentation by the co-chairs of the California legal working group that drafted the law and led the legislative effort will explain how to become a benefit corporations and why the new law is so critical for sustainable enterprises.
Our future economy and our national security depend on creating new clean energy jobs in California and throughout the country, and reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. Assemblymember Huffman is a champion for distributed renewable energy solutions, and believes community-based energy initiatives such as Marin Clean Energy and the community choice aggregation plan under consideration in Sonoma County are important strategies for accelerating the development of renewable energy sources and creating local clean energy jobs. You'll hear about the latest pending legislation to improve California's economy and protect our environment.
Since the oil crisis of the 1970s, California has been shifting to a cleaner more productive economy. Pioneering public policy including energy efficiency standards, the renewables portfolio standard, the cap on emissions and vehicle emissions standards, are supporting the growth of new markets for products and services that help us achieve our environmental goals. Results from Next 10's 2012 Many Shades of Green report reveal that California’s Core Green Economy showed greater resilience at the height of the recent recession than the economy as a whole.
How does an organization track and report on performance using economic, social and environmental indicators? Which ones should they use to satisfy and inform management, employees, customers, suppliers, and industry watchdogs/analysts? How can an organization use performance reporting to change behavior and affect policy and strategy? Participants will learn the top 10 metrics including energy, waste, water, GHG, community engagement, employee and customer satisfaction/perception/retention, supplier green practices, product footprints, eco-certifications.
The Sonoma County Energy Independence Program is a recently established program known for its financing options for energy efficiency, renewable generation, and water conservation projects in your homes and small businesses. Less known is the establishment of the tool lending library for residential and commercial performance professionals. We will present some of the tools available from the library and how they have been helping local professionals expand the capability for energy efficiency auditing and what it means for building owners. Jane Elias from Sonoma County who manages the tool lending library will explain the program goals and tools available. Daniel Smith from Zero Energy Associates will provide examples of how these tools are used in residential energy audits giving homeowners the decision making tools to move towards Net Zero Energy homes. Ted Tiffany from Guttmann & Blaevoet Consulting engineers will show how these tools have helped shape energy efficiency project opportunities in the commercial sector.
We examine successful green leadership and environmental sustainability through the lens of Adam Smith's seminal work, The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759), where he writes, "they are lead by an invisible hand to make nearly the same distribution of the necessaries of life...and thus without intending it, without knowing it, advance the interest of the society." Learn how modern leaders use the three forms of capital (natural, human and financial) as central tenets of a redefined "invisible hand" to lead successful sustainability initiatives in the workplace, change attitudes and enhance the effectiveness of green business models.
Mischa will present examples of how sustainable brands are telling stories about their people, practices and offerings that help them connect with their customers and supporters in a meaningful way. Stories are how humans connect with one another. Sustainable brands can utilize storytelling to make human connections with their customers and supporters and gain their trust and support, which ultimately leads to increased market share, sales and success. Using documentary stories ensures that brand communications are authentic, engaging and impactful.
How do you make the change that you want to make in the world? How do you expand your business in a climate where everyone else is contracting? Articulating your powerful vision galvanizes both employees and customers into action. This presentation will discuss the seven critical things you need to do grow your business. In this presentation you will learn about: 1.) How to articulate your powerful, big vision 2.) 7 secrets of increasing market share now 3.) 3 strategies that will attract new clients
What is the vision of sustainability for the local restaurateur? One part hospitality, two parts light industry, restaurants offer a near-perfect assortment of top-shelf sustainability issues: from food systems and energy efficiency to water, waste and composting--nearly every major sustainability challenge exists in the restaurant industry. Attendant each of these challenges are sustainability solutions specifically customized to the needs of the restaurateur and yet… This lively iHub talk explores the forces at play that keep restaurateurs from developing an inspired, integrated and profitable sustainability vision for the future.
The AB 32 Scoping Plan identifies a cap-and-trade program as one of the strategies California will employ to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that cause climate change. Jasmin Ansar will talk about AB 32 and the cap and trade program. Dr. Ansar will describe the key features and likely impacts of these policies for California in the short and long term. In particular she will consider the economic ramifications for California businesses and suggest that these policies will be a catalyst for California businesses to innovate and take a leadership role in the emerging technologies of the future.
How important is it to buy local and just how does that affect the economy? Professor Robert Eyler will discuss his recent study of Oliver’s “Go Local “ strategy. The study for the North Bay Economic Development and Innovation Accelerator shows a significant economic impact on Sonoma County stimulating employment and local incomes while generating taxes that benefit the entire region.
We’ll hear from three businesses that have embraced sustainability and renewable energy and turned the challenges of supply chain, energy, jobs, and the environment into opportunities. We include the retail success of Guayaki Yerba Mate and how their mission of market driven reforestation is building an organic energy drink brand and works to “actively restore the forest to increase biodiversity.” You'll hear how Infineon Raceway added on site renewable energy to it's operations and is pursuing low carbon racing, and how Community Fuels is reducing GHG and bringing energy jobs home.
Public Banking Institute's Executive Director Marc Armstrong will guide us through a discussion that will make the case that public money (tax revenues, fees) should be placed in public institutions for the benefit of the public. He will also bring a review of the systemic peril of compound interest, the money creation powers of depository banks, and a review of the only public bank in the USA — the Bank of North Dakota.
The science of “downscaling” forecasted global change scenarios has just evolved to the point where we can discuss local climate projections for Sonoma County and its watersheds. What do the models suggest the climate of the future might be like in our own backyard? How much uncertainty is there? What are the implications of climate change for our conservation lands, farms, streams and rivers, and local communities? Building on collaborative cutting edge climate assessment work for the region, Dr. Micheli will summarize implications for our natural resources and emerging approaches to innovating climate adaptation strategies at the community scale.
The information age has brought with it host of problems for the human body: stress, anxiety, arthritis, back pain, heart failure and depression to name a few. But it doesn’t have to be this way. We can live in grace with technology by reframing how we work. In this workshop you will learn how to manage your email inbox and social media to reduce anxiety and increase productivity. Discover new ways to work including standing desks, mobile offices and simple exercises that will increase your focus and help you accomplish important goals. Whether you work at home or from a cubical, this workshop will show you that how you work is as important as the work itself.
The localization movement has been gaining momentum for nearly ten years. In cities throughout North America, local residents and business owners are defining their sense of localness. But how deep within the general population has it penetrated to affect real change? The kind of change that will roll back the market share gains made by global corporations over the past 60 years. Sonoma County is probably considered an area where the residents are very likely to support localization initiatives. It is, after all, number one in local independent retail market share among similarly sized population centers. Still, over 50% of our banking deposits are with the major non-local banks and less than 15% of our food retail purchases are with locally owned retailers selling locally grown or made goods—and that's being number one. Terry will present the concept of import replacement strategy and the rewards card program as the means of cultivating new habits within our consumer culture. How do we change the behavior of the 80% of the population that is ambivalent, or worse, resistant to rational appeals based upon local economic multiplier studies?
The field of sustainable development is a rapidly evolving multidisciplinary set of ideas that provides context for re-framing all human activities, from community planning, to our interaction with the natural environment, to small scale and system level reform of financial markets, to the ways that businesses earn their social license to operate. Presidio Graduate School President and CEO, and its Interim Dean of the Faculty, will discuss the implications of this evolution, and the future opportunities, to reassess and transform the way that sustainable development is taught in institutions of higher education.
The North Bay enjoys national recognition for having some of the most bold and innovative efforts for reducing GHG emissions. These include Marin Clean Energy, the City of San Rafael’s award winning Climate Action Plan and execution efforts, Sonoma’s SCEIP, the ground breaking PACE financing program, SMART train, innovative land use policies and the planned Sonoma Clean Power start-up. What have these initiatives and others accomplished so far and what do they promise in the future? A panel of leading practitioners and policy makers summarize impacts and plans, as well as translate how business leaders can become successful “climate capitalists”.