Greenbuild International
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Greenbuild Fall Events Lead To Virtual Conference, in Four Acts

Sept. 2, 2020
This month, two more online summits continue the march toward USGBC's first international virtual conference in November. Here, CEO Mahesh Ramanujam explains the four-part plan.

By MAHESH RAMANUJAM, President and CEO, U.S. Green Building Council

WASHINGTON, DC, SEPTEMBER 2, 2020 -- Earlier this year, amid the changing landscape of a pandemic, USGBC launched its ambitious and relevant new vision—one where healthy people in healthy places equals a healthy economy. And while a vision can serve as a compass, for it to become the true North Star guiding the future of this community, it must also reflect the realities we face today.

In other words, every vision is only as evident as the values that inform it.

Each year, we showcase the inherent value in being a member of USGBC and the green building community at our annual Greenbuild International Conference and Expo. Throughout all the workshops, panels, speakers and in-person gatherings, the sense of camaraderie is always what I look forward to the most. It is that togetherness that enables us to uncover and address the values that must continue to inform our work. To speak candidly, though, when we sat down to discuss this year’s program, the idea of trying to recapture that magic virtually felt daunting, to say the least.

So, we asked ourselves a difficult but important question: As purveyors of healthy, productive, inspiring spaces—as an organization carrying the Silver, Gold and Platinum standard in green building certification—what value are we uniquely positioned to provide in a virtual space?

To realize a world with healthier people, healthier places and a healthier economy, we have to more deeply explore our three tenets of sustainability—business, resilience, and health and wellness. But we also must find creative ways to amplify voices in these fields and identify topics that tackle the concurrent obstacles of COVID-19 while preparing us for the world we will face in its wake.

In an effort to answer this unprecedented question, and to surmount the obstacles surrounding this year’s event, we set out to create an unconventional, in-depth, outside-the-box program. This year’s Greenbuild will not be only a one-time, three-day conference. In addition, we will be hosting a four-part comprehensive series of events that will cover how, at its core, bringing USGBC’s new vision to life means bringing value to your projects, companies and communities.

Without compromising on safety and security, attendees can delve into a variety of topics and have more flexibility through on-demand sessions. Three virtual single-day summits in September and October and our world-renowned three-day conference in November will provide you with an experience unlike any before.

Green Business Summit | Sept. 10

Everything you need to know about the business side of sustainability

A healthy business is a prerequisite for healthy buildings, and our Green Business Summit is designed to help you successfully connect those practices. The summit is a master class on green business, outlining the latest developments in smart buildings, decarbonization, circularity and exploring what it means to be a leader in the field of sustainability. From a keynote panel on the future of corporate sustainability to sessions on everything from data-driven green storytelling to navigating the dual mandates of investors and clients, your experiences at this summit will help you navigate organizational change, address resiliency risks, make the financial case for green building and examine mental health in the workplace.

Resilience Summit | Oct. 1

Raising the standard of resilience by putting green first

The intersection of public health, healthier building practices and a healthy economy is becoming more obvious and pressing by the day. But to ensure our work is a commitment to change and not a surrender to all the concurrent crises society is facing, we have to explore and implement resilient systems. Our Resilience Summit will provide access to the newest research and technology around resilience-enhancing designs, materials and methods—including sessions on climate risk and resilience strategy and community planning around equity and raising the standard of living.

Global Health and Wellness Summit | Oct. 22

Bringing industry leadership together to discuss how healthy, accessible spaces are being redefined

Healthier building means healthier lives. But that means wellness is for builders, not just for buildings. The penultimate experience in the 2020 Greenbuild series, our Global Health and Wellness Summit, is a day of educational sessions about investing in health to improve performance and productivity, an examination of best practices around cognitive function and a look at how LEED (and rating systems like the WELL Health-Safety Rating) are ensuring that community health and social equity go hand in hand for maximum impact.

Greenbuild Virtual | International Conference and Expo | Nov. 10–12

Our largest annual event for green building professionals

"Healthy People in Healthy Places Equals a Healthy Economy" comes full circle at our annual conference, and the culmination of this year’s Greenbuild series of events. This cutting-edge virtual experience will include all the key elements attendees and partners have come to expect from our physical event. Collaborative education sessions, valuable networking, continuing education, virtual booths, future-focused talks and our keynote speech from Christiana Figueres, architect of the Paris Climate Agreement, will help you uncover your role in USGBC’s timely new vision.

Whether you can attend one or all of the events, our work together has never been more important, and the need to share our best practices never more vital. Please join us in what stands to be our most pressing, inspiring and valuable Greenbuild to date.

Discover what “healthy people in healthy places equals a healthy economy” means to you.

Discover the value USGBC’s new vision has in your own work and in your life.

And discover how and why our new equation can improve your profit margins, your productivity and your commitment to a reimagined and resilient future for all of us.

Please use my friends-and-family discount code, MAHESHFF10, when registering to receive 10% off conference passes.

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As president and CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and Green Business Certification, Inc. (GBCI) since fall 2015, the author leads a community of 13 million people that’s growing every day. A graduate from India’s Annamalai University with a degree in Computer Engineering, Ramanujam couples a strong background in technology and innovation with his goal of building healthier communities and democratizing sustainable living. Follow him on Twitter at @m_raman.