Best of SOS: Alisa Gravitz

This past spring, Sustainable World Coalition co-produced the 2nd annual Spring of Sustainability (SoS), the largest virtual sustainability gathering ever. SoS brought the “best and brightest” leaders in sustainability to the world through teleconference dialogues.

Each week, in our Best of SoS feature, we review one of our favorite episodes. Like what you see? Head over to our upgrade page for a special offer to own the entire Spring of Sustainability series. 

Screen Shot 2014-05-22 at 8.25.09 PMOn May 29 at 
Spring of Sustainability, we got a great tour of the coming green economy from Alisa Gravitz, President and CEO of Green America, the national green economy organization. 

She equated “green” with social and economic justice, community and environmental health. And it’s growing fast: In every sector of the economy there are green solutions growing faster than their counterparts.

Green is also a set of values – community, diversity, honoring nature – and we need an economy that is driven by these values. Hence the rigorous Green America certification of green businesses, as measured across many parameters of social and environmental responsibility. 

What we do as a society is driven by the economy, so it’s crucial to set up the systems right – in such a way as the local community benefits and nature is protected. This means addressing some fundamental structural aspects, such as requiring the reporting of “externalities” – the negative impacts of a business that goes unaccounted for.

Green America is now focused on energy, food and finance, because they are clear that if we can fix these 3 sectors of the economy, the rest will follow.

What gives her hope is the power of humanity coming together to turn around huge challenges – just as Alisa witnessed people coming together to restore Lake Erie after it had been declared “dead” by scientists.

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About Arami Matevosyan

Blog Coordinator for the Sustainable World Coalition - Sustainable Environmental Design Major, City & Regional Planning Minor at University of California, Berkeley. Passionate about urban ecologies and sustainable retrofitting with the concept of biomimicry and symbiotic relationship between the built and unbuilt environment.

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