The Grist reader party in San Francisco on Friday was a smashing success. Over 300 eco-glitterati packed into the art gallery, and they were resplendent: young, urbane, and utterly destructive to every caricature that’s ever attached to the word “environmentalist.” A reporter who was there researching a story on Grist, speaking afterwards, was moved to exclaim: “I can’t believe how hot everybody was!”
We drank organic vodka from Square One, organic beer from Bison Brewery, organic juice and mixers from Sambazon and Guayaki, and wine from Organic Vintners. Scrumptious, locally grown organic food came from Organic Chef Catering. The plates were 100% sugarcane fiber and were composted after the party, along with food scraps. Clif Bar provided, well, Clif Bars, as well as $2 per guest to build a new wind farm on tribal lands in South Dakota — thus making the event carbon neutral. Flexcar donated five free memberships as raffle prizes.
About a dozen volunteers helped at the door and with clean-up — rock stars all. And big props to Grist marketing manager Brendon Smyth, who pulled the whole thing together with aplomb.
For my part, I got to meet a dazzling array of smart, passionate, humbling folks. As is my wont, I’ve forgotten about half the names (damn organic vodka!). But there was:
Jamais Cascio, late of Worldchanging, now of Institute for the Future (and his lovely wife Janice). Aimee Christensen, who’s done all kinds of stuff, including blogging for us for a brief time, now working on environmental strategy and investment for the Google.org folks.
Adam Browning is a Gristmill contributor, a relentless campaigner at VoteSolar, and, unless I’ve completely lost my sense for these things, a lady killer. John Siman from Culture Change is starting a sail transport network in preparation for the oil crash. Tom Athanasiou from Eco Equity is working on a model for Greenhouse Development Rights. Lars Kvale from Resource Solutions had smart things to say about the Wind Power Card controversy — maybe he’ll stop by and comment!
Siel, aka Green LA Girl, is just as fabulous as you’d expect; she’s got a post up on the party with a few pictures. Elsa from The Greener Side is kinda shy, but you can just tell she’s wicked funny (she’ll write for us one day or I’ll bring down her inbox trying). Ysanne Spevack of OrganicFood.co.uk is delightful in that way Brits tend to be.
Anthony Ravitz is the facilities project coordinator at Google, and
he’s responsible for their enormous new solar installation — along with his cute, charming female companion from corporate sustainability, whose name I’ve deplorably forgotten (starts with a D?). (UPDATE: Anthony has written to inform me that his female companion is Robyn Beavers of Google’s Corporate Environmental Programs. She, it seems, is responsible for the solar installation. Anthony is the cute, charming sidekick. Glad we got that sorted!) Jason Mark is an urban farmer whose acreage is plopped right down in the middle of San Fran, and oh yeah, he writes for us too sometimes. Frequent Gristmill commenter Meander was there, though our conversation was all-too-brief — the only commenter I met, to my knowledge. Where were y’all?
Special shout-out to Gregory Dicum — periodic Grist contributor, author of The Coffee Book, freelance writer and photographer, possessor of a truly strange and varied resume, ace conversationalist, and fine drinking companion — for showing me around SF.
Here at Grist we have a vision: a 21st century green, unburdened by past stereotypes, hip, savvy, funny, young, and smart. We work our tails off trying to get there, and we’re never really sure how far we’ve come. Seeing all these informed, impassioned, and, yes, hot people in one room, knowing we brought them together … it’s a huge shot in the arm. Thanks to everybody who made it.