Conferences, Eco-entrepreneur, Entrepreneur, Green Business, Stories from the trenches, Sustainable Business

Chicago Green Business Conference 2007 (2)

Headergreencalogo_2 The conference organisers, Alisa Gravitz & Denise Hamler are brilliant at forcing networking upon the group. Somehow even the quietest wallflower ends up meeting a ton of people through speed networking and other activities. They are quite brilliant.
So in no time I had met and ate and partied with some great new people. All good friendships start at the bar (serving organic beer no less) Evan from Food for Thought was wearing a New Zealand America’s Cup sweatshirt so I thought I better make sure he wasn’t a kiwi, otherwise there wouldv’e been sauce on the floor…He wasn’t and he is a mad sailor so instant mateship. He was with his colleague Tim and then there were three. Evan & Tim are in the jam business and have the first Fair Trade certified spreads. Then Craig joined us. He is launching an online affiliate program with a twist and he races cars, so we essentially had a blokes dream team – sailing, fast cars and beer (and sustainable business interests). Then Jody, Evan & Tim’s organic coffee company mate joined. OK, so we lost the boys club but that’s OK. Then Rebecca from Green Clean rocked up and now we were five. Then Tara decided to come over for a yarn. She is launching a new green business. We coached her a little and she has smartly decided to discard the URL “” and go for “” – it has a softer edge…
So with a crew of six, it was dinner time. We ended up at a great Japanese hole in the wall with four more ring -ins including Mimi and her son from Grocer’s Daughter Chocolate (good rule of thumb, always hang close to chocolate makers at these conferences…) and Leif Utne who is the Publisher of World Changing and is the son of the Utne’s of Utne Reader fame. So after some gyoza and edamame, we discovered that amongst us, there were no less than three folks who had adopted little ones – from the US, Guatemalas and Korea and a fourth writing a book about adoption. I felt like the third wheel. After beer and sake we were instant mates and it was nye nye time.

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