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Speaker Lineup 2012

12:00pm “Welcome and GreenChoice Proclamation from the Mayor”

Lee Leffingwell, Austin Mayor. Mayor Leffingwell welcomed citizens to Austin Earth Day Festival 2012 and read the city’s GreenChoice proclamation to demonstrate Austinites commitment to the environment in their personal and professional lives.

12:10 “Welcome to Earth Day at Mueller”
Gregory J. Weaver, Executive Vice President of Catellus Development Corporation. Mr. Weaver leads the 700 acre development project at Austin’s Mueller, the sustainable mixed-use urban village in the heart of Austin, as well as a variety of other Catellus development projects around the U.S..

12:20 “Sacred Sustainability”

Wesley Thoricatha, Co-founder of Creation Flame, aka the “Church of Awesome”, and a visual artist. Join the co-founder of Creation Flame for a non-denominational spiritual welcome to Earth Day. Reconnecting with our natural environment is both a spiritually sacred act, and a necessary step for humankind to find a sustainable footing on this Earth. Why not choose health, reverence, healing, harmony, and balance? It is truly a Win-Win situation for all Life!

12:40 “How Food Can Strengthen Neighborhood Ties”

Hoover Alexander, Soular Food, Goodness from the Garden. Hoover Alexander’s cooking roots run deep through Texas, just like the flavors in his food. As a fifth generation Texan, born and raised with family throughout, including small townships like Pilot Knob, Manchaca and Utley Texas, Hoover and his cooking are inspired by Texas itself. The different flavors on his menu are representative of the many cultures and people who make up the great state. Hoover’s relationships with the farmers, who grow crops with their hearts and hands, allow him and his staff to serve fresh, natural, comfort food, on his tables everyday. What he gets from the farmers he is able to pass down to his customers with a special personal touch.
1:00 “Rethinking Austin’s Bright Green Future”
Lucia Athens, Chief Sustainability Officer, City of Austin. Get inspired to rethink how we live, work and play to help secure Austin’s bright green future. Athens will share an exciting announcement related to a major new sustainability initiative at the City. Then, be sure to visit The Rethink Arena at the festival, to discover more — including 40 ideas for how you can action.

1:20 “Food & The Environment, Saving the Planet One Bite at a Time”

Mason Arnold, Founder of Greenling. There are many things we can do for the earth and Sustainability. But the most impactful choices we make for the planet, above all, is what we decide to eat. Food is the largest industry in the world. It is core to our culture, society, and will largely determine the fate of the planet. Learn about this impact and how to eat for Sustainability.

1:40 “Living Systems and the New Economy” Kathy ZarskyDirector at HOLOS, Biomimicry Specialist. Biomimicry, the discipline of applying nature’s principles to solve human challenges, provides the means to achieve both environmental and economic goals. Central Texas is home to a diverse community of disciplines, industry and research that, if connected, could stimulate biomimicry enterprise and serve as a catalyzing force within the greater global economic paradigm shift. We need to inspire the next generation of world-builders‚ engineers, research scientists, chemists, architects, city planners, etc., to borrow nature’s successful design strategies, developed over 3.8 billion years, in creating products and processes for a sustainable future.

2:00 “Waste Not, and THRIVE!”

Brandi Clark Burton, Founder of Austin EcoNetwork. Discover ways we can consume vastly less and be more fulfilled. From products and packaging to food, water and energy, there are millions of dollars on the table from potential savings as we work to eliminate the concept of waste. Explore the the possibilities to REthink, REprioritize, REdesign, REduce, REuse, REeverything, all before REcycling!

2:20 “Try Transit!”

John-Michael Cortez, Director for Community Involvement for Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The biggest area of opportunity to reduce your carbon footprint is likely your personal transportation. Learn why YOU should dump the pump, and take advantage of the cost savings and stress reduction of using transit. Learn practical tips for going car-free or car-lite by incorporating a variety of alternative forms of transportation into your daily lifestyle. Public transportation (Bus, Rail, Van pool) + Bicycles + car2go and more!

2:40 “Natural Building for Austinites”
Gayle Borst,
Executive Director of Design Build Live and Architect/Biologist founder of Stewardship, Inc. Learn how local, natural materials such as clay, straw, and limestone can be used to build deep green structures from bread ovens to entire houses! Discover how YOU can enliven and beautify your home and yard with versatile, nontoxic materials from the earth.


3:20 “Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of SOS”

Brigid Shea, Co-Founder of Save Our SpringsManaging and protecting our water resources is one of the most critical issues facing Texas today. As our population increases, human demands for water will grow. But we still need to ensure that there is adequate water for agriculture, industry and the environment. Decisions made now will have far reaching consequences for the livelihood of our region.

3:40 “Design for a Vulnerable Planet”
Fritz Steiner, Dean of the School of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin and author of the above title! “Business as usual” is no longer sustainable. Ways to improve how we live on this planet while minimizing our impact on it‚ a call for innovative new design that fosters regeneration and resilence.
4:10 “The opposite of courage is not cowardice — it’s conformity. Even a dead fish can go with the flow.”
Jim Hightower, America’s #1 Populist

Our main stage was MC’d by Reed Sternberg & Connie Leavy, comedy juggler, with some crazy surprizes.


5:00 The speakers finished and made way for Za Boom Ba, an interactive drumming experience that 1,000 people will be able to participate in!