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GreenSummit grows in second year

September 04, 2008

When he organized last year's first GreenSummit on ASU's Tempe campus, Chris Samila never imagined that anyone but students would come, and perhaps residents of Tempe and Phoenix.

But they did come, and the summit was so successful that Samila, a student majoring in global studies and political science at ASU, has planned a second summit, set for Sept. 5-6 at the Phoenix Convention Center.

This year’s event, expected to attract over 10,000 people, showcases the latest innovations and ideas from renewable energy, to green building, green living, transportation, and more that will help make our world more sustainable.

The event will feature a keynote address by ASU President Michael Crow at 9 a.m., Saturday, Sept 6.

“The goal of the summit goes beyond conserving paper,” Samila says. “It is designed to be a catalyst for change.

“Around the globe, massive changes are occurring. The need to become more in balance with our natural environment has catalyzed the growth of an exciting array of new innovations and opportunities, which you will learn about at the GreenSummit,” Samila says.

“The term ‘green’ has come to represent a common blueprint for citizens, businesses and governments for how we can move towards a more sustainable future. The GreenSummit is designed to greatly accelerate this movement.”

The GreenSummit will have a number of components this year. There will be a two-day conference for both professionals and consumers, offering more than 100 educational sessions, and an exhibition hall with more than 120 exhibitors with cutting-edge green products and services.

There also will be networking events, a green industry career fair and green building tours around the Valley.

Samila expects more than 10,000 people to attend, including a delegation from Eastern Europe that the U.S. Department of Commerce is bringing to showcase American innovations and ideas revolving around sustainability.

“This year, we have organized the Green Innovations Expo into 10 categories to help manage the expansive and complex idea of sustainability,” says Samila. “These categories help define the diverse variety of ideas, products and research in order to highlight how sustainability affects your personal and professional life.”

The categories include Green Building Design, Green Chemistry Materials, Business Products and Services, Renewable Energy, Transportation, Greener Computing, Fashion, and Beauty among others.

Samila says people often ask him how he has the time to produce such a large conference, in record speed, while he is still an undergraduate student.

“My answer is that I'm a ‘permanent senior’ at the moment. I hope this will be a permanent career for me.”

Samila says he already is planning to hold a GreenSummit in Atlanta next year, and he has his sights set on other cities in the United States.

“The GreenSummit has grown to the largest sustainability-focused event in state history – and one of the largest in the United States,” says Samila.

For the complete GreenSummit schedule and registration information go to, or send an e-mail to General Admission price is $20; Students can attend for $15.