West Coast Green – How my life changed this week

West Coast Green conference

Wow, what an excellent conference! A game changer. I have to thank my friends over at Village Green Energy for hooking me up with a free pass. I’ve been so passionate this movement as long as I can remember… ever since 6th grade when I messed around with electromagenetic fields and plants. Early education for me was all ecology and environment, and that followed with rigorous economics in college, which I didn’t quite understand myself until now. Having not gone into banking with my degree and now seeing the state of the economy I was like shit… but David Suzuki put it so clearly… it’s (eco)nomics. I can’t believe I never recognized that. I automatically associated economics with the greedy, short-sighted mentality of Wall Street that focuses solely on the bottom line and exploiting the market for cash and egoic status. Yet you realize the bottom line is not the statement of cash flows or the balance sheet… it’s the fuckin planet. Ecology + Economics = . This conference was absolutely buzzing! People were feeling alive and connecting and touching each other like I’ve never seen in my life. We all knew the green revolution is ready and about to change the world in a big way.

Keynote speakers at West Coast Green

The keynotes were superb with Al Gore, Jerrry Brown, and David Suzuki really leaving a moving impact on me. Nobody was afraid to go deep. Sure there was plenty of talk about innovations or green building or policy changes.. but more so people were incredibly open about spiritual and conciousness based changes that are going to take place around the world to solve this crisis. Sarah Susanka even brought the crowd to tears with her moving presentation. It’s so much bigger than green or solar or oil… it’s about enlightening the human race that we are one and we share the same spirit with each other and with the world as a whole. I found it to be quite the religious experience to be at this conference. A few others being recently when I went into the wild of Alaska for a few weeks and when I saw the Dalai Lama speak in Bethlehem, Pa.

Aside from the heavy stuff, there were tons of innovative companies doing everything from cutting edge solar installs, to green acrhitecture consulting, to new age battery storage, smart grid stuff, efficiency software, New Resource Bank (which is exploding with business during this banking crisis… lol gotta love it!) and sooo much more. You had builders, utility reps, entrepreneurs, mad scientists, engineers, and everyone was so open and loving and connecting. I was blown away… it took me 3 full days to digest it all.

There were also brilliant seminars and panels, the best one for me being the State of Investing in Clean Tech, where partners from KPCB, Foundation, Sigma, and DFJ (all the big Menlo Park firms) talked about what companies they’re investing in and what technology is working… and yet something was different. These are VCs and of course money is there first concern, but with this clean green movement we are finally going to enter into a phase of social… or better yet … where we benefit the environment and the social welfare of all while making a shitload of money and creating a shitload of jobs. This is an unprecendented opportunity in economic human history. Create a concentrically cyclical supply chain and pass the prosperity around the world. I was inspired by the VCs stories of how they’re going green in their own lives and their deep personal commitment.

A few themes from the conference to leave you with:

1) Nature to the grid baby – , health, architecture

2) Ecology + Economics = Sustainability (Eco-Capitalism)

3) Sky power will fuel the earth

4) The only thing special about humans is our foresight… our ability to see and shape the future. So lets use it.

5) A new connected conciousness is emerging that will limit the individual ego that has evolved and scorched our earth with fragmented, disjointed, greedy agendas. The only chance at eternal life is if we live together as one.

6) Be the change you want to see in the world!

In my humble opinion, these are unprecedented and magical times in the history of our race and our planet. There’s no better place to be then right here, and right now.

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