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Sustainability festival features series of events for whole community

Michael Crow delivers the opening address to the 2014 GreenBiz Forum, a part of
December 04, 2014

The eyes, ideas and imagination of the sustainability world will turn to Arizona in February as Arizona State University hosts the second annual Sustainability Solutions Festival at venues across the greater Phoenix area.

Themed “(re)imagine your world,” the Sustainability Solutions Festival is convening a series of events, Feb. 16-21, that are targeted at a wide variety of audiences – from families and the ASU community to film buffs and leaders of industry.

“Our charter states that ASU assumes fundamental responsibility for the economic, social and overall health of the community it serves. Hosting the Sustainability Solutions Festival to highlight innovative ideas and technologies is an example of our institutional commitment to our global community,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow.

Featured partners for the Festival are GreenBiz Group and The Sustainability Consortium, along with additional partners at the city of Phoenix, Arizona Science Center and the Arizona SciTech Festival.

“We are delighted to welcome back to Arizona so many incredible thinkers, courageous business leaders, dedicated practitioners and distinguished scholars who are making substantial global impacts,” said Patricia Reiter, executive director of the Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives. “Last year attendees showed us how to find a better way. This year, we are challenging them to reimagine those ideas and practices throughout the week’s engaging activities, events and meetings.”

Events during the weeklong celebration include:

• The annual GreenBiz Forum, Feb. 17-19, at the JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, framed by the annual State of Green Business Report. Distinguished speakers include executives and sustainability officers from Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, Target, Levi Strauss & Co. and The Sustainability Consortium. The ASU community can also participate by attending the forum’s shadow conference, GreenBiz U, taking place on the Tempe campus.

• Family Day at the Arizona Science Center on Feb. 16, where families and students can ponder their sustainability solutions.

• Documentary screenings, for film buffs and lifelong learners, Feb. 17 and 19.

• The Sustainability Solutions Celebration, at the Desert Botanical Garden on Feb. 18, where sustainability leaders will recognize and congratulate young innovators.

• The Sustival – the festival’s culminating event, Feb. 21 – where participants can gather to listen to local bands, enjoy local food and (re)imagine our shared impact on the world.

"ASU’s Sustainability Solutions Festival has emerged as a can’t-miss annual event, an unparalleled assemblage of ideas, spirits and talent," said Joel Makower, GreenBiz Group chairman and executive editor. “We are proud that the GreenBiz Forum has become a key part of the festival. Our respective events complement each other and bring to all audiences – corporate, academic, community and others – a full picture of what it means to build a sustainable world."

The Sustainability Solutions Festival is a program within the Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives, a unit of the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability at ASU. Supported by a generous investment from the Rob and Melani Walton Fund of the Walton Family Foundation, the Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives are designed to utilize the brightest minds in sustainability science and practice to develop scalable solutions to and provide practical education about sustainability challenges throughout the globe.

For more information about the festival, visit