Last week I had the honor of attending the Fortune Brainstorm Green Conference in Laguana Niguel, Calif.. Having just returned from a memorable trip to Sao Paulo, I was a little overwhelmed (as was my American Express Card), but went anyway, wondering exactly what I might gain from attending this event. I soon realized, however, that this particular conference was incredibly important to everything I am now doing, as well as being the perfect follow-up to Sao Paulo.
I was especially stirred by the first session on “The Future of Climate Policy,” speakers for which included Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund, and Connie Hedegaard, Commissioner for Climate Action of the European Commission. It touched on the need for new phraseology to galvanize the population at a time when terms such as “climate change,” “global warming” and “greenhouse gases” have become kind of old hat, eliciting a ho-hum response from the public (my observations, not theirs).
I have long maintained such new approaches were urgently needed, not only in regard to climate issues but by the organic industry as well. We simply have to find fresh and imaginative ways to arouse the consumer, just as the advertising business does when it wants to create renewed enthusiasm for familiar products. And doing that will require having to get out of the conceptual rut we seem to have fallen into — a difficult proposition, to be sure, but one I am convinced is the only way we can have a real impact on people who are preoccupied with more immediate concerns.
That, in essence, is what I have been working on since returning from Sao Paulo. So besides giving me a chance to enjoy a congenial get-together with like-minded individuals, the Fortune Green Conference was very much a validation of my current thought process and the direction in which it is taking me. I’ll have more to say in upcoming blogs on both this conference and what I hope to accomplish in the coming months to help facilitate a makeover of the Green Movement.