GreenBuild 2008 – Opening Plenary

This morning’s opening plenary began with a short welcoming speech from Thomas Menino, the Mayor of Boston.  Rick Fedrizzi took the stage next with his usual high spirited and motivational talk.  I enjoy listening to him and believing what he has to say.  He then introduced Archbishop Desmond TutututuHe is a surprisingly funny, charming and down to earth speaker.  Immediately he was able to reach out and grab the audience with his wit.  Check out the introduction and beginning of his speech in the vodpod video.  While I thought his speech jumped around a bit and had several different messages I did take away a few poignant thoughts.  See the second video for an excerpt.

I think my favorite quote of the day was Tutu saying “You are the craziest nation I know.”  He was referring to the contridiction between the struggle with civil rights in this country and our new president elect.  His talk on human rights and this country’s race relations somehow directed itself towards sustainability.  He compared the two several times and said that our struggles were not all that different from those struggles.

One of the great features of the conference is that you can view the opening plenary by visiting Greenbuild 365.  The quality is much better than mine and you can see Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s entire speech.  Another great resource available to you.

After the speeches the African Children’s choir preformed once again with a great couple of songs and dance.  They are a special group of young children.

This year the opening session was mush shorter than last year.  It seemed as if something was left out.  Most everyone agreed that the shorter program was a welcomed change.  There was no major announcement concerning LEED 2009 (I am expecting that tomorrow) at least not yet.  There was a bit less pomp and circumstance than last year (thank you).

After the shortened opening plenary, I along with the 10,000 in attendance ventured into the expo. (30,000 total for GreenBuild) There are just so many great products this year.  I was happy to see a few that had gotten lost in the shuffle last year.  I will post on the products coming up……..


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