IASBO members gather in Vancouver, B.C., 2004

The eleventh gathering of the International Association of Sustainability Businesses and Organizations (IASBO) was held May 6-8 in Eugene, Oregon, USA . . . Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information.

BACKGROUND

The International Association of Sustainability Businesses and Organizations (IASBO), was started for the purpose of networking, support, collaboration and education . The first meeting was held for the Pacific Northwest Chapter (IASBO-PNW) in March 2000 on San Juan Island, Washington State, USA, and attended by leading governmental, nonprofit and private sector champions of sustainability in the Pacific Northwest bio-region. A W.I.S.H. cosponsored this initial effort with Ecotrust for the Pacific Northwest chapter. The IASBO-PNW was a test case to see if the support and interest for such a gathering had merit . . . .and hands down the attendees voiced that it did. The design of the gathering was to have quite a bit of open space, in an attractive retreat setting, attached to a weekend, in order to optimize the experience and options for the participants. The participants responded positively to not having a tight structure (e.g. presentations by "experts") which allowed them to have ownership in the day and maximize their value and needs. The second gathering of these businesses and organizations, with an expanded invitation list was held in Victoria, British Columbia in September 2000. See article in TIDE POOL by Derek Reiber (posted 10-6-00) www.tidepool.org/features/sustainability.cfm.

IASBO MEETING IN VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA

The tenth gathering of the International Association of Sustainability Businesses and Organizations (IASBO) – Pacific Northwest was held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, October 29-31, 2004. This gathering, an initiative of A W.I.S.H, brought together those in business, government, non-profit (NGO), and universities working on sustainability topics for a peer-exchange weekend retreat. This tenth gathering was co-hosted by the British Columbia Building Corporation. For more information, contact Michael Karp at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

IASBO TRADE AND NETWORKING EXPEDITION

The A W.I.S.H International Association of Sustainability Businesses and Organizations (IASBO) had its first Trade and Networking Expedition to Mexico December 7-11, 2004. A delegation of sustainability representatives from the Pacific Northwest of the United States and Canada travelled south to discover what is happening in sustainability in Mexico and to forge new business and personal relationships among our Mexican counterparts. Led by A W.I.S.H board of directors Christopher Allen and Jorge Kanahuati, the group explored sustainability efforts in Mexico City, an organic honey production facility in Morelos state, and an agro-ecology project (Las Canadas) in the cloud forest region of Vera Cruz state.

A W.I.S.H.'s interest is to have similar, but unique, chapters in other geographic regions of the world linked with a common identity. That allows for the options of worldwide, continental, bio-regional or "guild" conferences, as well as web site, clearinghouse functions, etc. Some may only have the interest in networking on a more local level, others on a larger, broader scale. In any case, this is a decentralized approach that leans toward achaordic model.

BENEFITS

There are thousands and thousands of small businesses, governments, non-profits involved with sustainability work of some kind. The media and existing networks do not do a good job of highlighting this work and consequently too many people in this field feel alone and unsupported. Most often, they feel that they are doing their work in isolation, do not know of the other entities out there doing similar work or looking for outsourcing to progressive companies, consulting with those who have the resources, clustering by affinity groups, etc. The ability to assemble periodically with those of similar values, to get "recharged" by clustering with others doing progressive work, to feel supported, and to network, educate, and collaborate with new and different partners is the key benefit for the association.

NEWS

October 6, 2003
NCAT CO-SPONSORS IASBO SUSTAINABILITY MEETING (Source: NCAT web site
www.ncat.org)

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) was one of the sponsors for a meeting of the International Association of Sustainability Businesses and Organizations (IASBO) held September 26-28 in Missoula, Montana. NCAT has been active in the group for several years. Staff members have attended a number of previous IASBO gatherings, and were eager to help host a meeting in NCAT's home state.

Roughly 45 people attended the two-and-a-half day event, with nearly half of the participants coming from Washington and Oregon, one from as far away as Mexico City, and the remainder from Montana. The meeting opened with a walking tour of Missoula's historic downtown and visits to a sustainable, affordable housing development, an urban sustainability demonstration center, and a not-for-profit urban farm. Friday night participants gathered at the historic Florence Hotel for a delicious – and sustainably sourced – dinner.

Saturday and Sunday's presentations from local and regional experts looked at how sustainability could be – and is already being – integrated into the economy, government, and social equity. Highlights included overviews of Washington and Oregon's Sustainability Executive Orders, a look at the changing demographics of Montana's economy, a glimpse of Montana's possible hydrogen future, and a lively conversation about low-income housing and energy issues. In addition, Steve Loken, founder of the Center for Resourceful Building Technology (now an NCAT project) gave a presentation related to sustainability in building. Open space – a planned opportunity for networking and follow-up sessions – filled out a schedule that also included a field trip to the Missoula Farmers' Market, meals and breaks.

The International Association of Sustainability Businesses and Organizations (IASBO), was started in 2000 for the purpose of networking, support, collaboration and education. The IASBO gatherings typically draw a third of their participants from the business world, a third from nonprofits and a third from local, state and federal government agencies. The organization has met in locations around the Northwest, from Portland, Oregon to Whistler, British Columbia. This was the first IASBO meeting held in Montana. NCAT Sustainable Communities program manager Jeff Birkby and program specialist Mike Kustudia were part of the planning committee for the Missoula IASBO gathering, and NCAT hosted a conference break as part of its sponsorship. Other sponsors included homeWord, the Missoula Sustainable Business Council, the Human Resource Council, and Chris Allen & Associates.

 

For information on partnering with A W.I.S.H.
for a chapter of IASBO in your geographic area,
please contact Michael Karp at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or
telephone in the USA (360) 724-3215.