Thursday, November 29, 2012
In-depth dialogue: Benefit Corporations- Pioneers of a new corporate story
More information below.
Click here to register

Sustainovation and our co-sponsors: Bay Area Society for Organizational Learning, Los Altos Community Foundation, Sustainable Silicon Valley, and World Centric welcome you to 

Benefit Corporations-
Pioneers of a new corporate story

An In-depth Dialogue with

•    Aseem Das, World Centric Founder/CEO
•    Steven Mickelsen, Counsel 3 Degrees Inc
•    John Montgomery, Montgomery & Hansen, LLP

Event Summary

Join us for a conversation about the Benefit Corporations, a new California corporate form that is designed to include accountability to environmental and social values. What is a Benefit Corporation and B Certification?  How did this new form come about? Why do some companies choose to become B Certified or Benefit Corporations? How are these businesses generating social and environmental benefit in addition to profit? What are the challenges and opportunities?  What are these corporate pioneers learning? Enjoy an evening of story-telling, conversation, and learning together.
Thursday, November 29, 2012
6:30 PM -7:00 PM Networking
7:00 PM -8:00 PM Presentation
8:00PM -9:00 PM Dialogue

Location: World Centric
2121 Staunton Court
Palo Alto, CA 94306

$ 20 advance online registration (plus processing fees) $25 at the door (Cash only)
For online registration see Click here to register

Confirmed speakers:

Aseem Das, Founder and CEO of World Centric
Aseem Das is the founder and CEO of World Centric and has managed the overall operations and growth of the company since its founding in 2004.    Aseem is passionate about social and enviromental change and envisions a new breed of businesses driven by values and not profits.   Before World Centric, Aseem was an armchair activist and worked as a software engineer and architect in the area of user-interfaces, knowledge based systems and knowledge representation. He has worked at NASA, Boeing, TIBCO, Vertical Net and other software companies and holds a M.S. in Computer Science.
Steven Mickelsen, Counsel 3 Degrees Inc
Bio coming soon.

John Montgomery, Montgomery & Hansen, LLP
John is committed to accelerating the growth and success of his clients' businesses using a blueprint distilled from working with some of Silicon Valley's most successful, venture capital financed companies. John works primarily with high potential entrepreneurial teams and applies the law to help them realize their visions. John also assists clients in mergers and acquisitions and has helped his clients buy and sell businesses in transactions involving companies like Cisco, Intuit and Google. John's experience in having closed hundreds of M&A transactions empowers his clients to focus on the critical process of integrating the businesses and their people to ensure a successful outcome. John also advises established companies on improving their corporate governance in alignment with the principles of Conscious Capitalism.
In addition to being a frequent speaker on venture capital at such forums as the Future Salon, Haas School of Business and NexGen, he also leads continuing legal education programs about the process of raising venture capital.
Having practiced corporate law in Silicon Valley since 1984, John has represented clients in connection with venture capital financings, public offerings and mergers and acquisitions. Prior to co-founding M&H, John was the co-chairman of the venture capital practice at Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison, LLP. Earlier in his career, John was a corporate attorney at Baker & McKenzie, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and The Cooper Companies.
John holds a B.A. from Stanford University and a J.D. from Northwestern College of Law, Lewis & Clark College.

Past Events 2012 Below:

Tuesday, October 30, 2012   
Crowdfunding---pushing the envelope with collaborative funding  
In-depth dialgoue with
Jenny Kassan, CEO Cutting Edge Capital
Sustainovation and our co-sponsors the
Bay Area Society for Organizational Learning, Shareable, and World Centric welcome you to

pushing the envelope with collaborative funding

an In-depth Dialogue with J
enny Kassan, CEO Cutting Edge Capital

Event Summary

All around us new models of business have emerged with the explosion of the internet and social media. With  economic and environmental challenges in our future, new approaches & platforms to raise capital for start-up ventures are too on the rise.

What is crowdfunding? How does this form of funding complement others? Why do some start-up ventures care?  How did it get started?  What needs does it address? What are the possibilities? What are the barriers? What is the JOBS Act? How is it evolving? What’s next?  Please join us for an exciting evening of networking, learning together, and conversation.

When: Tuesday, October 30, 2012   
Registration and Networking start at 6:30 PM; Presentation at 7:00 PM , Dialogue at 8:00-9:00 PM

Location: World Centric, 2121 Staunton Court, Palo Alto, CA 94306

Registration: $15 advance online registration (plus processing fees), $20 at the door (Cash only)
Click here to register

Speaker Bio

Jenny is CEO of Cutting Edge Capital, a consulting firm that helps small businesses raise community capital and pioneers tools for a more inclusive and values-driven economy.  Jenny Kassan is also an attorney at Katovich & Kassan Law Group, a law firm that serves social enterprise.  Her legal practice areas include small business start-up and financing, securities regulation, nonprofit law, and cooperatives.

Jenny earned a masters degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of California at Berkeley and earned her J.D. from Yale Law School.  She worked for eleven years at the Unity Council, a nonprofit community development corporation in Oakland, where she served as staff attorney and managed community economic development projects including the formation and management of several social ventures designed to employ and create business ownership opportunities for low-income community residents.

Jenny is the President of Community Ventures, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the economic and social development of communities.  She also co-founded the Sustainable Economies Law Center, a nonprofit that provides legal information to support sustainable economies.  She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Post Carbon Institute, Sustainable Business Alliance, HatchLab, Inc., and Local Ecology and Agriculture Fremont (LEAF).

Media sponsors

June, 2012

Sustainovation and our co-sponsors: Acterra, Bay Area Society for Organizational Learning, Community Environmental Action Partnership (CEAP),  Continuing the Conversation, Green Town Los Altos,  Los Altos Community Foundation, Mountain View Coalition for Sustainable Planning, Social Innovation Design, Sustainable Silicon Valley, Transition  Palo Alto, and World Centric welcome you to 

Greening Silicon Valley:
Successes, Challenges, & Opportunities

An In-depth Dialogue with

•    Steve Attinger,
Environmental Sustainability Coordinator, City of Mountain View
•    Erin Cooke,
Sustainability Manager, City of Cupertino
•    Phil Bobel
,Public Works Assistant Director, Environmental Services City of Palo Alto
•    Demetra J. McBride, Director,
Office of Sustainability and Climate Action, Santa Clara County Office of the County Executive
Guest moderator Peter Drekmeier, Former mayor for the City of Palo Alto

Event Summary

What do you imagine a sustainable city will look like in the future? Where are the opportunities to collaborate and innovate? How might cross sector partnerships play a role? What are the challenges? How do counties and cities collaborate to accelerate positive change?

Please join us for an exciting evening together. The panelists will provide an overview of recent sustainability efforts in Santa Clara County, Cupertino, Mountain View, and Palo Alto including accomplishments, proposed programs, challenges, and opportunities.  Attendees will have time to ask questions, discuss what’s needed now, and how we can work together to create sustainable communities.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

6:30 PM -7:00 PM Networking
7:00 PM -8:00 PM Presentation
8:00PM -9:00 PM Dialogue


World Centric
2121 Staunton Court
Palo Alto, CA 94306

$15 advance online registration (plus processing fees)$20 at the door (Cash only)
For online registration go to:

About the speakers:

Steve Attinger
, Environmental Sustainability Coordinator City of Mountain View, California
Steve has over 15 years experience in sustainability program development, strategy, product marketing, and training, spanning the public, private, and non-profit sectors. He has worked with startup and multi-national companies, including a position in Zurich, Switzerland. Steve is the first Environmental Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Mountain View. As well as creating a longer-term strategic plan for the City, he has successfully led several tactical initiatives: a solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), a residential retrofit rebate and financing program funded through the City’s ARRA stimulus funds, city and community greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories, council-approved GHG reduction targets, green building and purchasing policies, a 60-member citizen Task Force, an internal Green Team, and a bottled water policy. Formerly, Steve was the Founder of Tapfire, a consultancy that designed organizational sustainability programs. Steve has spoken on sustainability for businesses, conferences, radio programs, cities, and universities, and holds an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School.

Phil Bobel, Public Works Assistant Director, Environmental Services City of Palo Alto
Phil Bobel is the Environmental Services Division Manager for the City of Palo Alto, focusing on wastewater treatment, water pollution prevention, zero waste programs, and residuals management. Before that, he worked in air, water, waste and pesticide programs at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in San Francisco. Mr. Bobel holds Masters Degrees in Environmental Engineering and Public Policy from Stanford and Cornell universities, respectively; and is a registered Professional Engineer.

Erin Cooke, Sustainability Manager for the City of Cupertino, California
Erin has worked to build organizational capacity and empower stakeholders in processes to address local, regional and global environmental issues in the public, private, and nonprofit sector for nearly ten years. As Cupertino’s Environmental Affairs Coordinator, Erin works inside the City Manager’s Office to bring environmental awareness across departments divides and engage staff, students and residents in activities to achieve greenhouse gas reductions and resource conservation goals. In this capacity, and also serving as the Co-Chair of the Public Sector Climate Task Force convened by Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network, Erin teams with community partners and neighboring jurisdictions to formulate policies and design programs including trainings, audits, retrofits and grants that track and reduce energy consumption, while yielding significant cost savings. Prior to serving in her current role with the City, Erin earned a Master of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University and supported the environmental initiatives of numerous organizations including the Conservation Law Foundation, Goddard Institute of Space Studies, National Park Service, New York Department of Environmental Conservation, The Canyon’s Ski Resort and Massachusetts Department of Protection.

Peter Drekmeier, Former Mayor for the City of Palo Alto
Peter Drekmeier has been working on local, state and global environmental issues for 25 years.  In 1989 he returned to his hometown of Palo Alto to work on the international Earth Day 1990 campaign.  He then co-founded Bay Area Action (now Acterra), followed by several other organizations, including Environmentalists Against War and the Stanford Open Space Alliance.  He served on the Palo Alto City Council from 2006-2009 where he focused on issues such as climate protection, zero waste and green buildings.  More recently, Peter has been a leader in the campaign to convert Palo Alto’s organic waste into green energy and compost.  He currently serves as the Bay Area Program Director for the Tuolumne River Trust.

Demetra J. McBride, Director, Office of Sustainability and Climate Action, Santa Clara County Office of the County Executive
Demetra J. McBride joined the County of Santa Clara in November 2010, following a national search for a Director to lead the County’s then-newly established Office of Sustainability.   The Office of Sustainability is tasked with the County’s inter-governmental, regional, state and national efforts relating to sustainability, climate change, energy and adaptation.  Key projects for the Office, include  a highly-successful Energy Upgrade California program funded initially through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA),  a PG&E-funded multi-jurisdictional project to develop current greenhouse gas inventories and climate action plans for government operations and community, and the recent award by the California Strategic Growth Council to the Office of Sustainability based upon its proposal, Silicon Valley 2.0, a regional climate action and adaptation plan for reliable infrastructures, optimal ecosystem services, a healthy population and an a resilient economy.

McBride previously served as a Manager for Green Infrastructure and Sustainability at Sarasota County, FL, and is an attorney licensed to practice in the States of New York and Florida.  She serves as a Board member for the Green Government Executive Council of the National Association of Counties (NACo), the Local Government Sustainable Energy Coalition (LGSEC), and the Climate Action Task Force of Joint Venture Silicon Valley; is a member of the national Urban Sustainability

January, 2012

Sustainovation and The Silicon Valley Innovation Institute (SVII) are collaborating in January to bring you:

How to Design an EcoCity: An Interactive Dinner Presentation with Dr. James Caldwell

When: Wednesday, January 4, 2012 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Bay Cafe, Palo Alto Golf Course
1875 Embarcadero Rd
Palo Alto, CA 94303

Event Description

While US legislators argue about whether or not the EPA has the constitutional right to regulate air pollution, a massive ecological design experiment is taking place across the Pacific. For China, the world's most highly populated country and heavily industrialized economy, the stakes are high to develop and implement an integrated sustainability framework for their cities.

Dr. James Caldwell has spent the past year consulting to city of Nansha, China on exactly this topic. At this dinner he'll share the story of working with the policy makers and urban planners of Nansha to develop a Green Specification System for the city.

He will compare Nansha with several other eco-city developments in China where he consults and reveal the insights gained from co-organizing and co-hosting a Chinese Mayoral Delegation that came to the Bay Area to compare Eco-City development efforts here with their own in China.

Come on out to dinner and expand your innovation worldview!

This event is a collaboration between Sustainovation and Silicon Valley Innovation Institute (SVII).
6:00 PM - Doors Open (Networking)
6:45 PM - Dinner is Served
7:15 PM - Program Begins
9:00 PM - Wrap-up

To register go to:

Previous 2011 event:

and our co-sponsors Bay Area Society for Organizational Learning, Continuing the Conversation, PLANT!, and World Centric welcome you to

In Great Company
-growing a great company-what you can do today-case example with Veritable Vegetable-

A conversation with Patti Lee-Hoffmann, Author of In Great Company and
Bu Nygrens, Co-Owner Veritable Vegetable

Event Summary
Join us for a conversation with Patti Lee-Hoffmann, author of the new business book In Great Company and Bu Nygrens, co–owner of Veritable Vegetable—one of the great companies highlighted in the book. Patti will share her insights from her research with companies that thrived in great recession. Learn more about their leadership, culture, environment, community that enabled them to thrive.

Along with Patti, industry pioneer in the organic foods business Bu Nygrens will talk about Veritable Vegetable, the company mission, way of work, and opportunities and challenges that face the organics movement.  The evening will include time for networking, presentation, and dialogue among participants.

Monday April 25, 2011
6:30 PM -7:00 PM Networking, 7:00 PM -8:00 PM Presentation, 8:00PM -9:00 PM Dialogue
About the speakers

Patti Lee-Hoffmann
Patti is the author of a new business book, In Great Company which profiles 11 companies engaged in businesses hardest hit by the Great Recession, yet which continued to thrive nonetheless. She is
a co-founder of Triage Consulting Group, a national consulting firm in the field of healthcare. For the last several years, her company has been named to the list of the best medium-sized companies to work for in America by the Great Place to Work Institute. Last year, Women’s Initiative named Patti Business Woman of the Year.
Vigilant environmentalists, her two daughters, ages 11 and 9, refuse tangible birthday and Christmas presents.
Bu Nygrens
Bu Nygrens is co-owner and Purchasing Manager of Veritable Vegetable, located in San Francisco, California. Established in 1974, VV is the nation’s oldest distributor of certified organic fruits and vegetables. Since joining in 1978, Bu has contributed to the company’s reputation for integrity, advocacy and leadership.  Woman-owned and operated, VV serves organic farms and independent retail businesses throughout California, Hawaii, and the Southwest.  Veritable Vegetable promotes equitable and sustainable food systems for all people.

Location: World Centric, 2121 Staunton Court, Palo Alto, CA 94306
Registration $15 advance online registration, $20 at the door (Cash only)

For online registration information go to

Sustainovation (a project of Plant!--formerly Conexions--a non-profit organization) is dedicated to inspiring environmentally and socially sustainable business practices.  Our mission is to promote sustainability as the driver of business innovation in Silicon Valley and beyond.  We envision a new industrial revolution led by the principles of sustainable design and development.  Through educational events, we form and inspire networks of innovators who share the belief that sustainable practices are essential to business success and the future of the world we share.