I spent this weekend in San Francisco at the annual Green Festival, a meeting of the minds of eco-friendly businesses, thinkers, and merchants. It was inspiring and invigorating to be around such passionate, intelligent people. I was particularly impressed with a number of small businesses full of real entrepreneurial spirit and creativity.
Sometimes, in these places, the best thing to do is keep your eyes and ears open. So many good ideas and thoughful enterprises in one place!
I shared the mainstage with people like Arianna Huffington, Jim Hightower, festival organizer and activist raconteur extraordinaire Kevin Danaher, Hazel Henderson, U.S. presidential candidate Dennis Kucinch, and British journalist Greg Palast. And while they were inspirational, there were even more remarkable people in the exhibit booths.
There was Art & Revolution, who bring creativity like dance to real global issues; Mother Jones magazine; Birdland Ranch Eco-Fashions, which makes stylish(!) clothes out of sustainably farmed hemp, flax, and linen; a smattering of great organic tea and coffee companies; and some truly innovative ideas for green home building and home decorating.
I was especially encouraged to see how many enterprises are betting on hemp. I have always said that hemp is the future - a sustainable plant that can be used for food, fuel, clothing, building materials and how much more we have yet to imagine.
Kevin Danaher gave us the exciting news that the next Green Festival - organized jointly by Global Exchange and Co-op America - will be held in Washington D.C. in 2004, just a month before the U.S. presidential election.
Jim Hightower was right when he said that we all have our own passions and our own agendas, but the one thing we must all work together for this year especially is to ensure that George W. Bush leaves the White House next year. Maybe we can all be there as it happens, a united green front.