Back at it! This blog has been on FIRE these last few days! Over 1200 hits in the last 48 hours, as compared to 40 in the same time period during a regular week. I’m very happy to see that all of you are stopping by on a regular basis.
Wednesday morning started off with the Opening Plenary. We heard from a variety of speakers, including representatives from the Center of Green Schools, the Co-Founder of Twitter, the Founding Chairman of USGBC; Rick Fedrizzi, the President of Kohler Co., as well as Mika and Joe from “Morning Joe”. There were many things to take away from each of the speeches, but I believe that one of the most important is that this is our time and that what we are doing is right. Not only because of the climate crisis but because society is demanding a change. One of the main talking points that Rachel Gutter, head of the green schools program at USGBC, made was “Where we learn matters.” It took a bit for me to grasp this, but after a bit it really started to resonate with me. If a student doesn’t feel comfortable at school will he or she excel to the highest possible level? Most likely not. The Center of Green schools has as a personal mission to make every school in America a Green school, thus creating an environment conducive to learning and personal growth.
Following the Opening Plenary the scholarship awardees convened together to meet with LEED Fellows. These professionals are architects, engineers, construction managers, etc. that are at the highest level of LEED certifications. It was reassuring to hear the different options that someone with a degree in architecture has. Very many of the LEED Fellows had started off with an architecture degree, however after practicing for a few years became immersed in sustainability either gradually, or all at once. Some of these former architects have even gone on to creating their own LEED consulting firms, something that I had never even imagined possible.
Next up was one of my favorite sessions…for various reasons. It was titled “Green Building Gets Social: Sustainability and Social Media” This session was all about what I’m doing right now. Tweeting, blogging, Facebook-ing as a means of branding. I use this blog to help keep those who are back home updated, as well as a way for potential employers to connect with me at a more tangible level, as opposed to just seeing a series of bullets on my resume. A part of the session was tweeting questions and the sorts with a specific hash tag. The speakers announced that there would be a raffle at the end of the session and that the tweets would serve as a “ticket”. I tweeted once. Believe it or not, I won! I will be building a custom Herman Miller Mirra Chair and they will ship it to my home…we’re talking about a $700 chair without any options. I’m still shocked that I won, much less the biggest prize!
The next session was one based on Urban Transformation and the path to High Performance in an urban setting. What caught my attention the most here was the process that one had to go through to be able to brand a name, push an idea and get enough backing to eventually make it happen.
Last up was Happy Hour in the expo halls. This had the potential to be a great networking opportunity. Being from the New England area and attending the conference in San Francisco did not facilitate my job of finding companies that were near to me. However, if nothing else, it certainly served as practice on how to present myself to potential employers.
Dinner was at Blondie’s Pizza, a place pretty close to the hotel. Perhaps the best pizza I’ve ever eaten. Soft dough, but cooked all the way through, and just the right amount of sauce!
Pheww! That was a long one. Check out the pictures below, they’re in chronological order of how my day went.