By Lew Blaustein
The Power of Partnership, the theme of the sixth annual Green Sports Alliance Summit, permeated its Opening Day at Houston’s Minute Maid Park, home of the Astros. The morning Thought Leadership Forum and the lunch-time Women, Sports & the Environment Symposium were as much about the ideas on how to advance the impact of the Green-Sports movement generated by small groups of attendees from diverse backgrounds and disciplines as they were about the presenters on the dais. Here are the highlights.
THOUGHT LEADERSHIP FORUM
Joe Khirallah, Green Sports Alliance Board Member, Founder and CEO of Green Bear Group and emcee for much of this year’s summit, began the proceedings with a challenge to each of the attendees: Make at least three new, real partnership contacts during the three days and, over the next year, turn at least one into a real partnership. Joe then put us to work as each of the 10-12 tables were tasked with delving into why partnerships in the Green-Sports world makes sense and how organizations go about making those partnerships work. Then a lucky volunteer from each table shared a story of an actual partnership that actually worked.
My table offered a mix of already existing partners—Susie Tomson, Sustainability Director of Land Rover BAR, the team trying to win Britain’s first America’s Cup (2017 in Bermuda), and to do so while reducing its carbon footprint, Ian Ellison, Sustainability Director at Land Rover and Jill Savery of 11th Hour Racing, Land Rover BAR’s Exclusive Sustainability Sponsor—along with a diverse and talented group of new potential collaborators, including Eric Moncrief, host of iHeart Radio’s Atlanta-based “Green Guy Show”, John Marler, Senior Director, Energy and Environment of AEG (he presented our case study of his company’s partnership with Schneider Electric on the building of the new, LEED certified T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas), Warren Gorowitz and Troy Smith from Phoenix-based Ewing Irrigation Landscape and Supply, sustainability strategist and consultant Kathleen Hatch.
*The “Early Bird” rate ends August 1.