Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Last Thursday representatives from RNSI attended the West Coast Green 2009 Conference. West Coast Green is a conference focused on environmental innovation in the building industry. Along with the usual tradeshow floor offerings, the conference hosted an overabundance of classes and seminars focused on education of eco-friendly construction practices. The conference was chock-full of interesting organizations vying for face time and growth in the green building sector. These organizations ran the gamut from traditional construction companies reforming their practices to disruptive technology producers aiming to save the world. Some of my personal favorites were Ideabuilders, North Cal Wood Products,and Driptech.

The ability to network with and learn from these organizations is what drew RNSI to this conference. Environmental protection is currently the vehicle of two of our enterprises (Mattress Recycling and Energy Efficiency Retrofit). While at the show we were able to connect with other organizations in the green space and develop our network. We are excited that at least one of these connections will blossom into a customer for our recycling program. But not only did we meet potential business partners, we also learned of exciting new trends in the industry. It is impressive the speed with which companies are adopting green practices. It took a while for the snowball to get going but it is truly picking up speed.

The West Coast Green experience was valuable for Rubicon National Social Innovations. The success is obviously manifested in the partnership we came away with, but other wins occurred as well. The conference was a valuable opportunity to make contacts with the visionaries who are changing the building industry. Additionally, it laid the seeds for future innovations and projects. Disruptive innovations could provide us with excellent opportunities to fulfill our mission, to employ the hardest to employ populations. West Coast Green was also an excellent chance to update ourselves with the technological advances that are changing construction. Our presence at the conference heightened the importance of being in the bay area, a great hub for environmental and social enterprise work. The connections and collaborations here are great for incubating ideas that we can then scale nationally.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Given the current employment environment, community colleges and other post-secondary institutions are being called upon to play an even greater role in helping young adults gain the skills needed to qualify for work. A new report from Workforce Strategy Center (WSC) and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation titled “Employers, Low-Income Young Adults and Postsecondary Credentials,” highlights programs in 14 communities that are successfully addressing the challenge of providing disadvantaged young adults with the technical and postsecondary education that may qualify them for skilled positions. For the full report visit www.workforcestrategy.org.