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review: MiaGreen Overview

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A review of the second day opening session at the MiaGreen Expo & Conference held in Miami FL on February 25-26, 2010.

A review of the second day opening session at the MiaGreen Expo & Conference held in Miami FL on February 25-26, 2010.

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  • 1. miagreen overview 1 review: MiaGreen overview When looking at a map, I find it actually shocking to see just how geographically close Florida is to a huge part of Latin America. What to many in Mexico, Central and South America seems like a world away is really just a few hours’ flight over some water. From Los Angeles, it takes us close to six hours by plane to reach Miami; from Caracas, Venezuela, Miami is just three hours and fifteen minutes away. It is not surprising, therefore, to have heard José García-Pineyro, the Executive Director of MiaGreen, state that his goal is for MiaGreen to become the green convention of the Americas. The 2010 MiaGreen Expo & Conference held last week at the Miami Beach Convention Center was only the second annual event of that name. The inaugural event took place in June of last year. José and his team deserve great credit for pulling off the second event less than a year after the first one, and the change in date was made with long-term growth in mind. The 2011 Conference is already scheduled, and it will continue to be held at around the same date henceforth. Not having been there for last year’s event, we cannot comment on whether the attendance improved. From several comments that we heard, Friday, February 26 appears to have been the most attended of the two days, and we saw about 150 attendees gathered at the opening session, though I did notice that more kept trickling in throughout the morning. The expo floor, though small compared to the Greenbuild goliath, provided a decent selection of various industries: there were some building materials (our obsession with bamboo appears to continue unabated), several solar panel options (no significant developments in efficiency yet), and many lighting companies, where LED took center stage. One section was so bright, it was actually difficult to get through it. Unfortunately, because of the limited time that we had on the expo floor, we were walking it at a time when several of the exhibitors had already closed up shop, so we didn’t really get to see everything. One aspect that we definitely noticed and by which we were impressed is that there appeared to be no obvious connection between event sponsors and exhibitors and the educational portion of the conference. While we absolutely understand the need for conferences to seek out sponsorship funds, we are nevertheless annoyed every time there is an “educational” session that turns out to be little more than a product pitch by a sponsor. We encounter this constantly, from local to national events, but MiaGreen appears www.threadcollaborative.com ➜ threadcollaborative 11250 morrison street no. 201, north hollywood ca 91601
  • 2. miagreen overview 2 to have completely avoided any obvious “pay to play” conflicts of interest. Everything was maintained quite educational only. Due to preparations for Kevin’s own presentation that day, we were able to attend just four sessions, as opposed to the six we had on our tentative list. I will provide reviews of the first three in separate posts. The fourth that we attended closed out the day for us. It was a session titled Capitalist vs. Environmentalist, which I was predisposed to liking, as I am sure the rest of the audience was as well, since it was really a father-son act intended to be cute and funny. Theirs was basically a presentation about how companies can go about designing, implementing, and evaluating their internal sustainability plans. It was a very entry-level look at the topic, where they proposed ways to determine an appropriate time- frame, what tasks to consider, and what strategies to implement so as to accomplish goals and overcome hurdles. They expressed the importance of getting employees, customers, and the community at large involved in some way, and reinforced the point that sustainability is a continually evolving goal, where there is always room for improvement. I found that to be a rather apt closing note. In general, we really enjoyed our day at the conference and hope that it continues to draw attendees from all over the Americas – already, Spanish could be heard in every room. There is a lot of knowledge that has yet to make it beyond U.S. borders, so if the MiaGreen team focuses on gathering high caliber educational opportunities, the international attendees will undoubtedly be there. We wish the team the best of luck as they gear up for the 2011 event. The dates have already been set: March 3 & 4, 2011. So... mark your calendars! www.threadcollaborative.com ➜ threadcollaborative 11250 morrison street no. 201, north hollywood ca 91601