First Ever Green Telesummit Planned to Help Bring Industry Out of the Red


When the economy crashes, the knee-jerk reaction delivers a painful blow to the design industry. How many  remodeling and decorating projects have been put on hold? How many clients tell their designers they can’t spend another dime?

Showrooms in design centers throughout the country are struggling to hang on due to inactivity. The industry trickle-down effect dries up the business for architects and interior designers, especially in the middle-income sector which is playing it safe while riding the tide.

Does that mean no new appliances, landscaped yards, carpets or lighting? Not entirely. In many cases, homeowners are going the green route which also means the more energy-efficient and cost-saving path to boosting their environments without over-investing.

With that in mind, a Denver, Colo. firm is launching the first online Green Design Summit June 29-30. Gail Doby, co-founder of the Denver-based Design Success University, is hosting the two-day educational series, which is expected to draw 800 to 1,000 participants, according to ASID. Industry pros will enlighten participants with knowledge of how to go green stylishly. Plus, we all know green marketing is the new key to success.

“The green training may help these professionals’ finances to stay in the black,” observes Doby, who has lined up 10 speakers immersed in different realms of the eco-renaissance.


Gail Doby, co-founder of telesummit

They include authors, like Cassie Walker, The Green Office Handbook, Michael Port, Think Big manifesto –  Think you can’t change your life? Think Again, and Penna Bonda, green blogger for Interior Design Magazine and author of Mother of Green Interiors.

Also lending guidance are eco-friendly product designer Robin Wilson,  HGTV star Libby Langdon, and Tom Hamilton, Senior Product Manager for Philips Color Kinetics.

Tickets go on sale June first for the summit ($297) being delivered by webcast beginning both days at 11 a.m. EDT. Members of the home industry aren’t the only ones who will benefit from the huge endeavor.

Proceeds will aid the town of Greensburg, Kansas, which was leveled by a huge tornado in 2007. May 4 was the second anniversary of the disaster. It  was commemorated by townspeople with a dedication of the first LEED Platinum John Deere dealership.

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, left, and Gov. Kathleen Sebelius along with Mayor Bob Dixon take a walking tour of Greensburg, Kan., on Wednesday

As in post-flood New Orleans, this small city is using its rebuilding effort as an opportunity to green public facilities, including the city’s theater and museum.

Greensburg Mayor Bob Dixon says his city will greatly benefit from five percent of the telesummit’s profits, in addition to a request for material donations being sought by the design summit organizers.

“We’d like to see Greensburg become the eco-tourism capital of the world,” says the mayor. ” Companies can bring their customers here to see sustainable building products and all kinds of eco-friendly businesses.  We want to be a living laboratory.”

Images: Orlin Wagner, AP;

Luanne Bradley

Luanne Sanders Bradley is the West coast Editor at EcoSalon and currently resides in San Francisco, California.