Seeing the Big Picture


Seeing the Big Picture

What might a biologist, an NGO president, a policymaker, a pediatrician, an architect, a chemist and a polar explorer all have in common? After all, by the very nature of their work, each is highly specialized and focuses on a very defined expertise.

Collectively, though, they are destined to provide one of the most comprehensive perspectives on global environmental stewardship and sustainable development ever gathered in one place, at one event.

Welcome to EnvironDesign®8, a conference you have heard and read much about during the past seven years. Thousands of participants share in our heartfelt belief in its purpose and the positive outcomes it can achieve. This year is no different, except perhaps that because of our keynoters, we anticipate that the upcoming conference will be the most rewarding yet. Here's the line-up:

  • Brainstorming with brittlestars
    Janine Benyus, Life Sciences writer; author, Biomimicry
    Since her wildly popular address two years ago, Benyus has continued her work in biomimicry, the science that seeks well-adapted solutions by echoing nature. As a biologist at the design table, Benyus will discuss bio-inspired products that enhance rather than deplete the earth, sparking a no-excuses design revolution.

  • The 10-50 solution to climate change
    Eileen Claussen, president, Pew Center for Global Climate Change
    Too often, the debate over greenhouse gas emissions reductions focuses on near-term actions versus long-term investments in technology—when both are necessary. Claussen will explore the changes needed 50 years from now to effectively address climate change, as well as vital interim policies to get us there.

  • The environment in the 21st century
    Bruce Babbitt, former Secretary of the Interior and Governor of Arizona
    In preserving America's heritage—from the Statue of Liberty to Alaska's Arctic Wildlife Heritage—Babbitt has made it his duty to protect the beauty and integrity of our national parks and federal lands. As a visionary policymaker, he advocates for a deeper and complex movement called "American Restoration."

  • Prognosis poor, surgery stat!
    Dr. Richard Jackson, pediatrician and senior advisor, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control
    Jackson will explore critical health dangers that medicine can't help, but you can. Focusing on the environment were we spend nearly all our time—the "built environment"—Jackson reveals why architects, planners, builders and landscapers are as especially important to the prevention of diseases as any health specialist.

  • World of abundance
    William McDonough and Michael Braungart, co-founders, McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry
    McDonough's and Braungart's cradle to cradle design framework celebrates the abundance inherent in both the natural world and human creativity. Learn how this approach is being implemented by individuals, companies, communities and countries, and how economically, socially and ecologically profitable business strategies are allowing diverse peoples to strive together for mutual benefit.

  • Leadership on the edge
    Robert Swan, Polar explorer and environmentalist
    A polar explorer and environmentalist, Swan is the first man ever to walk unsupported to both the North and South Poles, drawing attention to the environmental crisis confronting both the polar and world ecologies. His message is a universal one: it is possible to achieve your goals and fulfill your ambitions in both your personal and professional life through engaged leadership.

    Divergent perspectives? Absolutely—yet jointly their messages will underscore how efforts in many different fields are intertwined to achieve a shared long-term goal. These keynotes also provide the necessary "big picture" view that frames the conference's 40 workshop sessions devoted to subjects such as Green Theory, Green Design, Green Business Practices, Communities, Case Studies, Energy, Materials, Health & Safety, Future Trends, Sustainable Mobility, Electronics, Eco-Industrial Development and a special track focusing solely on Minnesota Initiatives. (See pages 47 to 51 in this issue or visit for complete conference details.)

    Won't you join us in Minneapolis from April 21 to 23 as we explore the environmental advancements being made, and celebrate the people who are making them? Our global environmental dilemmas have no short-term fixes; EnvironDesign8 provides us all with the critical information and inspiration needed to craft winning strategies for the long run.

  • Katie Sosnowchik
    Editorial Director