Now in its seventh year, the annual gathering of Living Building Challenge project teams and their kin—known as Living Future—has really hit its stride.
Photo Credit: Eden Brukman, ILFI
The annual Living Future event rotates between Vancouver, Seattle, and Portland, the three hubs of Cascadia Green Building Council, which is a chapter of both the U.S. and Canada Green Building Councils and a program within the relatively new International Living Future Institute (ILFI). (Jason McLennan, CEO of the Cascadia GBC and ILFI, is not one to follow the rules, and his organizations routinely flout the policies of their parent organizations.)
In line with that anarchistic theme, Living Future is not a “conference,”—it’s an “un-conference,” which is both a narcissistic gesture (we’re too cool to like conferences) and a welcome invitation to explore alternative formats for sessions, meals, and parties. In food-truck-happy Portland, for example, instead of serving us lunch in the hotel, Living Future gave everyone coupons for lunch at one of the dozens of nearby food carts.
They even took advantage of Portland’s innovative GoBox service to eliminate disposable containers. The inconvenience of having to go out and get lunch was offset by the treat of getting outside and engaging with the local (off-beat) culture.
The theme this year was “Women Changing the World,” and the conference did a nice job of exploring feminist perspectives without making (most of) the men feel threatened.