Eco Entrepreneurship and Leadership: The Growing Influence of Inspired Environmentalists

posted Jan 12, 2012, 7:32 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Jan 17, 2012, 8:39 AM ]

Calling all creative thinkers and future entrepreneurs! Whether you plan to start your own business or bring innovation to your first job, learn how to find your niche in the growing green economy with five eco innovators’ secrets of success.

How is a commitment to sustainability compatible with large-scale business? How can environmentalism play into community activism? How will modern media and globalization further environmental initiatives? How can we inspire others to adopt green habits through entrepreneurship?

Learn all this and more with Denise Mari of Organic Avenue, Kalia Lydgate of the Marion Institute, Kyle Smitley of Barley and Birch, Robin Ingenthron of Good Point Recycling, and Gregor Barnum of 7th Generation. It all begins on Monday, January 16!


Symposium Speakers


DENISE MARI, Passion with Purpose

Monday, January 16 @ 4:15, in The Orchard

Denise Mari is the founder of Organic Avenue, a rapidly expanding New York City-based organic juice cleanse company that combines her love for healing, sustainability, and entrepreneurship. Denise is committed to a “live, organic, vegan” lifestyle and to the sustainability of people and planet. 

Denise will share her philosophy of "Passion with Purpose" and believes everyone can and should dream big and take leaps of faith. She will show how ordinary people can achieve extraordinary results by building businesses that impact lives and change the world for good.


KALIA LYDGATE, Reclaiming Economics for Life

Tuesday, January 17 @4:30, in The Orchard

Kalia Lydgate is a 2005 graduate of Wesleyan University and the Co-Founder of P.O.W.E.R. (People Organizing for Wealth and Ecological Restoration), an initiative based in New Bedford, MA, that develops innovative, whole-systems solutions for environmental, economic and social justice challenges. 

Kalia will speak about her work in the green jobs movement, which is based on principles of anti-oppression and eco-feminism. She believes that the destruction of the Earth is intimately intertwined with all forms of social oppression, from the domination of women, to racism, to colonialism.

ROBIN INGENTHRON, Fair Trade Exports with Geeks of Color

Wednesday, January 18 @ 4:30, in Axinn 105

As the founder of Good Point Recycling here in Middlebury, Robin Ingenthron works to recycle e-waste throughout New England in environmentally sound ways. He also collaborates with struggling communities in Mexico, Ghana, and Peru to create fair trade recycling jobs.


KYLE SMITLEY, From Surfer to Social Entrepreneur

Wednesday, January 18 @ 7:30, in The Orchard 

Kyle Smitley is the owner and founder of barley & birch, an American made, 100% certified organic clothing line for children that pledges to give over half of its profits to environmental and social causes around the globe. 

Kyle will discuss her journey from a 22-year old surfer with no industry experience to a current law school graduate juggling a multi-million dollar company and a new charitable foundation. She will explain her commitment to socially and environmentally responsible business and how she built a business while a student and amidst the worst economic climate since the Great Depression.


GREGOR BARNUM, Bringing the Ideal to the Practical Through the Theory U Innovation Process

Thursday, January 19 @ 4:30, workshop at 7:30, in The Orchard

Gregor Barnum is the previous Director of Corporate Consciousness at Seventh Generation and is currently building CommonWise, a business dedicated to creating community wealth and wellbeing through worker owned businesses supported by anchor institutions. 

Gregor will explain the Theory U innovation design process and how he used the process as one of the founders of Seventh Generation. He will also provide a hands-on workshop that will allow students to explore their own business ideas, projects, and questions. He will lead students in building the actual prototype of a potential design.



All-Raw Dinner (Monday, Jan 16 @ 6:00, Atwater Dining Hall)

Lunch with Kalia Lydgate (Tuesday, Jan 17 @ 12:00, Presidents Dining Room)

Environmental Messaging Workshop (Tuesday, Jan 17 @ 7:00, Hillcrest 200)

This workshop will bring together innovative eco-minded students and members of environmentally-oriented student organizations to share strategies for effectively communicating environmental ideas. Four professors/administrators (Jack Byrne, Michelle McCauley, John Maluccio and Jon Isham) will offer their expertise and collaborate with students to help us optimize our initiatives.

Dinner with Kyle Smitley and Robin Ingenthron (Wednesday, Jan 18 @ 6:00, Ross Fireside Lounge)


Brought to you by Olivia French, Midd RSCs, FAM, MCAB, and the Environmental Council!