Published on September 3rd, 2013 | by Susanna Schick2
Women In Green Forum 2013 | The True Revolutionaries
September 3rd, 2013 by Susanna Schick
While a bunch of rich white men were off in the desert getting their freak on, a few hundred women gathered in a Beverly Hills conference room to politely discuss how they’re actually changing the world. The Women in Green Forum began in 2009, and now holds events in both Los Angeles and Washington, DC. The 2013 Los Angeles speakers included game-changer Kabira Stokes, founder of Isidore Recycling.
She may look like any model/actress/entrepreneur you’d meet in LA, but she’s a lot smarter than most. Isidore Recycling solves two crises at once — e-waste, 75% of which goes into landfills in the US (hey vandals, why not go to the real dumps to get that gold?). The other 25% gets recycled, but usually offshore, and not always in the best working conditions. Speaking of work, what’s the most unemployable population in the US? That would be ex-convicts. 25% of the world’s prison population is in America. That means 25% of the world’s population is about to have a really hard time reintegrating into society. Which is why Isidore primarily employs people who’ve been incarcerated.
Another speaker of note included Kim Matsoukas, Sustainability Manager at Vans. She gave us a fascinating peek into her previous role, at Interface carpet. We were shown that it’s important for sustainability managers to share the wealth — to let their colleagues in other departments carry out some of the tasks related to sustainability. This also serves to give the company’s sustainability goals more long-term traction, as they become part of Business As Usual.
Dr Sylvia Earle was granted the 2013 Trailblazer award for her work in creating Mission Blue. When Dr Earle won the TED Prize in 2009, her wish was to galvanize everyone to do what they can to protect the oceans. Out of that was born Mission Blue. The Youth Trailblazer award went to Aarushi Walia, Youth Representative, Alliance for Climate Eduction (ACE). She helped her school save $40,000 by simply getting them into saving energy.
Ford brought its C-Max Hybrid and Fusion Energi along for people to take for a spin. Ford’s plastics specialist Dr Ellen Lee, was also a speaker. I interviewed her and reported on the presentation she gave on the search for affordable, sustainable alternatives to virgin PET, which you can read here.
The full Women In Green Forum agenda is here.