I am very honored to be a partner, contributor, and panelist for the 9th edition of the Green Me Film Festival. This year it will take place at the CinemaxX (Potsdamer Platz) in Berlin from Friday 29th of January until Sunday the 31st. This year’s focus is set on the thematic trio Ocean- Life-Water.
Over 30 featured films and documentaries addressing the following topics: Ocean, Life and water will be screened. This year’s festival features several special highlights such as Academy Award-Winner “Racing Extinction”, Emmy Award Winner documentary “Mission Blue”, which exposes legendary oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle’s work.
Ron Finley’s “Can You Dig This” which is a personal favorite documentary as it focuses on my dear friend and colleague, Ron Finley or otherwise known as the Gangsta Garner and explores the urban gardening revolution taking place in South Central Los Angeles.
In addition to fantastic films that will be screened, there will be discussion panels which include the film directors, experts and environmentalists to discuss topic relevant issues and sustainability.
Our younger audience will be delighted to see productions such as “Ponyo”, a Japanese animation movie or Oscar Nominee movie “Song of the Sea”, perfectly suited for a family day. Children up to 14 years old are admitted free of charge.
The Green Me film festival is a non-profit event and was put together with the help of its partners and the team of volunteers. The festival does not receive any state subsidies.
This year, Auma Obama, sociologist, germanist and expert on environmental questions gave a moving speech as the documentary The Salt of the Earth received the Green Me Award for best documentary. Auma Obama and the German minister for environment Barbara Hendricks presented the award to the awe-inspiring film director, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado.
On a personal note, I am particularly fond of this sustainability festival and received the Green Me Award for my international work in sustainability, specifically my work in Germany in the renewable energy field. I have implemented many wind and solar farms throughout the Country since the early 90’s and helped to create the first feed-in-tariff program. I was very honored to have received the award from both the German Consulate General Los Angeles and the Green Me Film Festival for my ecological and sustainable achievements.
Framed by the 2013 State of Green Business report, GreenBiz Forum defines the trends, challenges and opportunities in sustainable business today. This year, the GreenBiz Forum will feature two events in New York (Feb 21-22) and San Francisco (Feb 27-28), engaging stakeholders across industries, sectors, and regions to discuss how, and how well, companies are addressing sustainability challenges and opportunities, in a comprehensive view of the state of green business today.
The program will include keynote interviews, “One Great Idea“ presentations, GreenBiz Guru small-group consultative sessions, hands-on workshops on how to apply Forum concepts — and, as always, peer-to-peer collaboration and networking. Participants include corporate sustainability professionals, government leaders, policy makers, academics, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, service providers, nonprofits, and regional economic development and business organizations. Get an edge on emerging trends affecting sustainability professionals, and come away with actionable ideas you can apply in your own organization or practice.
“Click here for more information & use discount code gbf13gcc for 10% off your registration!“
The beginnings of a wind farm in Los Angeles? Is it possible? As someone who has worked in the wind industry since the 90’s, I have seen the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful with regards to proponents and opponents of wind energy. And sometimes, very rarely, an opportunity appears where the best of what wind power has to offer can be realized in ways that can educate, inspire and directly benefit a community in need.
I am currently involved in just such an opportunity as part of a school bond program. As a first step, I am conducting a wind feasibility study for a school in Los Angeles County within the Glendale Unified School District. This very progressive school is home to special needs students, ages 6 to 22. It is also a public school and, as such, represents a possible proof of concept for a larger program that could benefit the entire Los Angeles County public school system. The renewable energy technologies potentially implemented on this new construction project could include solar thermal for the therapy pool, photovoltaic for the parking structure and roof and wind turbines atop of a 1000 foot ridge just tucked in behind the school.
Creating a net zero energy public school would be a remarkable accomplishment. Currently, our goal is provide enough energy to mitigate 80% of the energy demand of the school. Even at this rate, the financial benefit would be immediate and applicable system-wide. Although the utility company does not have net metering, meaning you cannot sell excess energy that the school would produce back to the grid, it does open the door to this possibility.
There is hope that, through the success of pilot projects like this, more utility companies will provide incentives and rebates for community and school wind initiatives. Also, and perhaps just as significant, this project has the potential to serve as a real world example for students to learn about and experience first hand the science of wind power resulting in increased awareness and advocacy among students of all ages as well as inspiring and even developing the industry’s future leaders.
I know this is a once in a lifetime project on so many levels and I am grateful to be a part of it. The true hero in this project who I must acknowledge is the Principal of the Special Education Department at New College View School/Facts Program in Glendale; Macre ‘Jay’ Schwartz. She reminded me that to teach in a progressive school you must teach within a progressive environment.
Please follow me as I chronicle this inspiring story and let you into the world of possibilities, such as building the first wind farm in Los Angeles for a school.
I look forward to hearing about Nature vs. Nurture, game-changing technologies, new expectations and implications of the hyper-connected consumer, innovation, disruption, CSR vs. ROI, sustainability, economic policies and much more.
I will chronicle the conversations I hear and those I participate in with the event having over 700 influential founders, executives, investors, bloggers, business owners, technologists, artists, educators and foundations changing the face of business today.
If you have any questions you would like answered, please contact me and I will make sure that they are answered.
Personally, I love traveling to San Francisco. As they say, if you’re alive, you can’t be bored in San Francisco. If you’re not alive, San Francisco will bring you to life.”
Elena Christopoulos is Interim President Green Chamber of Commerce, a certified sustainability professional; marketing & communications Expert, political advisor and passionate environmentalist.
Elena divides her time between the US, Canada and Europe working on diverse alternative energy and clean tech projects and political campaigns. In early 2000, she implemented the first urban turbine in North America located in downtown Toronto. She brought the first urban turbine to Southern California for the Los Angeles Community College District as an Energy Program Manager for a $6 billion bond program and has advised on the Cape Cod offshore wind farm.
Click here to listen to the Live Audio Interview & read more on this topic.