Portland, Oregon is often recognized as one of the greenest cities in America. The city has plans for peak oil and climate action and policies to address recycling and sustainable urban development, so it makes sense that Portland will host the sixth annual Living Future unConference, a forum for leading minds in the green building movement seeking solutions to the most daunting global issues of our time. The unConference kicks off TODAY, and the agenda is packed with interactive presentations, tours, and experiential activities designed to encourage a “hopeful embrace of the planet’s economic, ecologic and social challenges, and offer solutions addressing these challenges at the building and city scale.” Inhabitat will be on the scene to bring you highlights from this year’s exciting program.
Living Future offers more than the usual trade show and networking opportunities — attendees can jumpstart their unconference experience with a microbrewery bicycle tour of three breweries, including Oregon’s oldest craft brewery and a solar powered brew haus. Other fun and unusual items on the itinerary include a small house tour, an afternoon of disc golf, a musical interpretation of Silent Spring, and a sustainability-themed trivia hour.
To keep the energy up and the carbon footprint low, conference goers will be treated to local eats from Portland’s burgeoning food cart scene. The city’s finest food carts will be offering up culinary delights in zero-waste reusable to-go containers from GO Box, an innovative startup that is working to reduce disposable container waste from Portland’s street vendors — currently 60,000 to go containers (including the recyclable and compostable kind) are carted to the landfill from downtown Portland alone.
Speakers include world-renowned environmental leader and physicist Dr. Vandana Shiva, CEO of the International Living Future Institute and creator of the Living Building Challenge Jason F. McLennan, and corporate social change consultant and author Carol Sanford. The overarching theme for this year’s conference is “women reshaping the world.” Education Sessions fit into one of a dozen tracks including the following themes: Business of Green, Sustainable Materials, Community Action and Engagement, Net-Zero Water, Existing Building Renewal, Neighborhoods, Architectonics, Building Leadership, and Women in Green. For a full list of speakers and topics, visit the program schedule.
Stay tuned for more from Living Future 2012.