By Alexander Landa
On Monday night, together with International Living Future Institute (ILFI) we held an awesome pre-mixer to get everyone hyped up for ABX 2016! We were honored to have Amanda Sturgeon, their CEO, come out from Seattle (as she would be at ABX this week) and share some words of wisdom with our packed room of green building leaders. It was really a rogue's gallery of who is working on the most aggressive green building design and implementation.
Thank you to the Living Building Collaborative, New England, and our colleagues who helped to organize the evening. We had some great locavore beers & ciders, huge app platters, and a ton of hot food from a local Indian restaurant. Thank you to Workbar Cambridge for hosting us in their main hall. People came from Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut and of course Washington!
Much of the night was filled with networking, sharing stories and strategies, and planning out the future of the USGBC MA Chapter for the coming months. Later on in the evening, the USGBC MA Chapter Board Chair, Shawn Hesse of emersion DESIGN, gave a thoughtful speech on how we can use recent events grow our mission and our industry further – rather than take a step back. The world needs green building more than ever. It's time for us to step up and step out even more as leaders!
After that, Jim Jones of Skanska took the mic to echo Shawn's statements on us needing to engage with the broader community of practitioners, especially the building operator crowd. He has been working on an intitiative linking us with YouthBuild to develop a new track for them – beyond the construction trades and into trainings for high-tech building operating systems.
Finally, Amanda Sturgeon of ILFI closed off the night, discussing how ILFI and the work we are doing in New England as the Living Building Collaborative, is challenging what it means to be working on sustainability in our built environment, and what Living Buildings can do to really propel the industry forward. Let's look forward to doing more with ILFI and the various Living Challenges and the component criteria systems organized as “petals.” Stay tuned for our “PetalPalooza” this summer!