Bloom 8

November 14th, 2013

8 speakers. 8 minutes each. Bloom! is Seattle’s showcase evening of innovative speakers working in sustainability- “sustainability” as it applies socially, environmentally, and/or economically. Each Bloom, we curate a collection of lightning talks from leaders in the community, with plenty of networking opportunities and cocktails. Bloom speakers have covered the likes of nuclear power, food forests, bike shares, and cupcakes. Our most recent event was November 14th, and our next Bloom will be early next year- subscribe to our newsletter and stay tuned for Bloom 9!

We’ll be livestreaming again for our next event! Videos of each of the past Bloom speakers are up on our YouTube channel, BloomSeattleVideos. Get your TICKET for November 14th!

Do you have an interesting story at the intersection of local, sustainable, and innovation? Read here to learn more about what we’re looking for. Or, are you interested in sponsoring Bloom? We’d love to hear from you!

Joel Solomon

Joel Solomon, Renewal Funds, Chairman

Joel Solomon is Chairman of Renewal Funds, Canada's largest social venture capital firm. Launching in 2013, Renewal3 and the Instinct Fund now build upon the legacy of aligning money with values established by Renewal2 and Renewal Partners. Joel serves as a Senior Advisor with RSF Social Finance and speaks frequently throughout North America, including a recent TEDxVancouver talk. He is a founding member of Social Venture Network (SVN), Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), the Tides Canada Foundation, and is board chair of Hollyhock.

David Gordon

David Gordon, The Bug Chef

David George Gordon is an award-wining author, freewheeling naturalist, and bug chef. Topics of his 19 books range from watching gray whales and bald eagles to appreciating cockroaches, coral reef fishes and geoduck clams. The New York Times called his Field Guide to the Slug "gripping," citing its "almost breathtaking" account" of snail sex. Gordon has been featured in Ripley's Believe It or Not, National Geographic Kids, The Wall Street Journal, and Time magazine. He's been a guest on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, ABC's Nightline, and The View. Gordon has been a guest speaker at the American Museum of Natural History, the San Diego Zoo, California Academy of Sciences, the Smithsonian Institution, Yale University and Singapore's Food Fest. He's also showcased his bug-based cuisine at elementary, middle and high schools in 32 states and four foreign countries.

Sean Koenig

Sean Koenig, ChangeStream Media, Director of Operations

Sean Koenig is the co-founder of ChangeStream Media, a Seattle-based nonprofit that uses digital storytelling to improve the lives of disadvantaged populations worldwide. Through innovative approaches like puppet skits, music videos and mixed-media volunteer packages, he has organized dozens of campaigns including teaching organic farming techniques in Cambodia, building pride in the Haitian LGBT community, and encouraging condom use in Honduras. His upcoming project in Colombia will provide young women from rural areas with video cameras and training so they can speak out about their hopes and challenges.

Luanda Arai

Luanda Arai, Manager of Network Advancement, Catalyst Kitchens

Luanda Arai is the Manager of Network Advancement at Catalyst Kitchens, a collaborative network of organizations with a shared vision to empower lives through job training, self-generate revenue through social enterprise, and nourish bodies and minds through quality foodservice. With 50 members nationwide, the network is on track to provide training to more than 2,500 individuals in 2013 – while also serving 7 million meals to disadvantaged individuals and self-generating over $20M in social enterprise revenues. Originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Luanda has lived in the Seattle area for the last 16 years. She combines her passion for social justice with experience in program development, food services and facilitation to help nonprofits have impact on joblessness, poverty and hunger.

Greg Belding

Greg Belding, Rice Fergus Miller Architecture and Planning, Principal

Greg Belding focuses on sustainable, community based projects integrating design and high-performance to create building environments that support the wellbeing of occupants, the community, and the environment. Greg graduated with a degree in architecture from the University of Oregon and is a licensed architect, with over 24 years of experience, in the state of Washington. Greg is design principal on award winning and LEED certified projects throughout the Puget Sound Region. He is a LEED accredited professional, co-director of sustainability at Rice Fergus Miller, and serves on the board of the Cascadia Green Building Council.

Kevin Wilhelm

Kevin Wilhelm, Sustainable Business Consulting, CEO and Author

Kevin Wilhelm is the one of the world’s preeminent business consultants in the field of sustainability and climate change. He is the CEO of Sustainable Business Consulting, a Seattle-based consulting firm focused on demonstrating the bottom-line business benefits of sustainability and then leading companies through successful implementation. Kevin brings nearly two decades of experience working with businesses ranging from Fortune 500 multinationals to medium-sized businesses. His clients include Nordstrom, REI, The North Face, Alaska Airlines, Redbox, Expeditors,, Puget Sound Energy and more than 75 others. Previously he wrote the acclaimed Return on Sustainability: How Business Can Increase Profitability and Address Climate Change in an Uncertain Economy, and he is a professor at the Bainbridge Graduate Institute, where he teaches various courses on sustainable business.

Burt Hamner

Burt Hamner, Hydrobee SPC, Founder

Burt Hamner is a Seattle entrepreneur now launching his second micro-hydropower company, Hydrobee SPC, using the world's first portable USB hydropower turbine to provide power off the grid, in any area with fast-flowing water. His first company, sold early this year, was a hydropower company manufacturing hydrokinetic turbines for irrigation canals and water treatment plants. With four global cleantech awards and three patents pending, Hamner has worked for the Washington Department of Ecology, the City of Seattle, and the Seattle District Corps of Engineers. He has consulted on sustainability for industry in 15 countries for the US Agency for International Development, Asian Development Bank, and the United Nations and holds Master's degrees in Business Administration and in Marine Affairs from the University of Washington. He is husband to Dr Annette Ghee, a senior scientist for World Vision, and proud dad to their daughter soon graduating from Yale. Burt has six guitars and only has time to play the first half of any song.

Liz Bullard

Liz Bullard, Seattle Children's PlayGarden, Founder and Executive Director

Growing up as one of nine children in the 60's and 70’s in South Bend, Indiana, “Go play outside” was a daily command. Over the past twenty years working as a Speech-Language Pathologist, Bullard was often confronted by the sad reality that “playing outside” was not so simple for children with special needs. In 2002, in an effort to ensure that all children have a safe and supportive place to play outside, she founded the Seattle Children’s PlayGarden. In June of 2010 the dream became a reality in the form of a new $2.4 million facility located at Colman Playfield. It is the first program of its kind in the country located in a public park. Bullard completed her undergraduate and graduate work at Indiana University and moved to Seattle in 1986 to work as a speech language pathologist for 20 years in school, hospital and clinic settings. She is now the Executive Director of the Seattle Children’s PlayGarden.