Planet & People: Connecting Climate Change, Social Innovation, & Inspiration featuring Paul Hawken & Dr. Joylette Portlock


May 19, 2016 @ 5:30 pm7:00 pm | Food, Drinks, Networking start at 4:30 pm

Elsie H. Hillman Auditorium at the Kaufmann Center, 1825 Centre Ave.

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About the Event:

Paul Hawken, an inspiration from the beginning to start something like the Inspire Speakers Series, is finally joining us in Pittsburgh! You don’t want to miss this rare opportunity to hear from one of the top pioneers in sustainability.  This event features thought-leaders who are tackling climate change in a positive way that engages people, inspires social innovation, and presents solutions.

One of the most transformational people in the sustainability and business fields, Paul Hawken will share his newest endeavor with Drawdown, a positive, solutions-based approach to addressing climate change that maps, measures, and models the beneficial financial and atmospheric impact from reducing carbon in the atmosphere.

Dr. Joylette Portlock will share her work with Communitopia, a nonprofit based in Pittsburgh that focuses on climate change communication. Joylette stars in a series of funny, short web videos on climate change for the general public, called “Don’t Just Sit There, Do Something!

More About Our Speakers:

Photo credit: Raymond Baltar
Photo credit: Raymond Baltar

Paul Hawken, an environmentalist, entrepreneur, and author, was recently named one of the top three Pioneers of Sustainability along with Professors Peter Senge and Michael Porter. His work includes starting ecological businesses, writing about the impact of commerce on living systems, and consulting with heads of state and CEOs on economic development, industrial ecology, and environmental policy. He has appeared on numerous media including the Today Show, Larry King, Talk of the Nation, Charlie Rose, and has been profiled or featured in hundreds of articles including the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Washington Post, Business Week, Esquire, and US News and World Report.  His writings have appeared in the Harvard Business Review, Resurgence, New Statesman, Inc, Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, Mother Jones, Utne Reader, Orion, and many other publications.

He authors articles, op-eds, and peer-reviewed papers, and has written seven books including four national bestsellers. His books have been published in over 50 countries in 30 languages, and include:

  • The Next Economy (Ballantine 1983),
  • Growing a Business (Simon and Schuster 1987); the book serves as the basis of a 17-part PBS series hosted and produced by Paul that explored the challenges and pitfalls of starting and operating socially responsive companies; the PBS series was shown on television in 115 countries and watched by over 100 million people
  • The Ecology of Commerce (HarperCollins 1993); a national bestseller and voted #1 college text in 2013 on business and the environment by professors in 67 business schools
  • Blessed Unrest (Viking, 2007).
  • Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution (Little Brown, September 1999) co-authored with Amory Lovins, has been read and referred to by several heads of state including President Bill Clinton, who called it one of the five most important books in the world today.
  • He is currenlty writing Carbon, The Business of Life, to be published by Viking/Penguin.


Paul has founded several companies, including:

  • Some of the first natural food companies in the U.S. that relied solely on sustainable agricultural methods;
  • OneSun, an energy company focused on ultra low-cost solar based on green chemistry and biomimicry.
  • Drawdown, which he is a co-founder. Working with over two hundred scholars, students, universities, companies and n0n-profit organizations, it defines and describes one hundred rigorously researched, state-of-the-shelf technologies that reduce and sequester greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Drawdown, both the book and an interactive website, maps, measures and models the beneficial financial and atmospheric impact they deliver over the next thirty years and describes how to achieve drawdown—a year-to-year reduction in carbon in the atmosphere.


Portlock-headshot (1)

Dr. Joylette Portlock is the President of Communitopia, a nonprofit based in Pittsburgh that focuses on climate change communication, where she stars in a series of funny, short web videos on climate change for the general public, called “Don’t Just Sit There – Do Something!”.  She has a degree from MIT and a Ph.D. in genetics from Stanford University; she now works to give the public important scientific information it can use. She has worked on environmental issues at the local, state, and federal level, and has been focused on global climate change since 2007. Dr. Portlock is a Huffington Post blogger and also currently serves on the Allegheny County Board of Health.


4:30-5:30 — Food, Drinks and Networking (featuring beer from East End Brewing Company and food from Bistro To Go)
5:30-6:45 — Lectures by Paul Hawken & Dr. Joylette Portlock
6:45-7:00 — Question and Answer
7:00-7:15  — Book Signing with Paul Hawken

Child Care During the Lecture

We are thrilled to be offering mindful and engaging supervision for children ages 5 and up in partnership with the Environmental Charter School! There is no charge for this service for up to two children per attendee, but space is limited. We will also provide children with dinner in addition to learning activities. If you are interested in this option, please email Andrew Ellsworth with your child’s name and age after registering yourself.

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