Symposium 2017

Join GBI as we host our 10th annual symposium:

Future Technology and the Emerging Green Economy

Come hear experienced speakers discuss building a sustainable future through the intersection of advancing technology and innovative policy.

Date: April 14, 2017

Time: 9:00 am -6:00pm

Location: White Stag Block, 70 NW Couch St, Portland, OR 97209

See below for information on the breakdown of the day!

MAIN2 (002)


8:00 am – 9:00 am: Registration & Breakfast

9:00 am – 10:10 am: Green Transportation Panel Discussion

Electric vehicles are powered through a rechargeable battery, breaking the norm from the traditional inefficient combustion engine. These vehicles are on the rise throughout the nation, and they are more efficient, accelerate faster, and offer an environmentally friendly transportation alternative.

However, barriers to entry remain. The panelists will discuss policies and initiatives throughout Oregon and the Pacific Northwest to eliminate these barriers, and make electrification viable, while also focusing on the integration of electric vehicles on the personal and mass transit level, efforts to create the needed infrastructure and charging stations, as well as the legal and policies blocking and promoting these technologies.


Jeff Allen: Executive Director of Drive Oregon
Jeff Allen became the first Executive Director of Drive Oregon in December 2011. Jeff’s executive career spans some twenty years, serving as Executive Director or Organizational Development Consultant to nonprofit organizations including the Crater Lake Trust, the Small Diameter Stewardship Collaborative, the Rogue Valley Workforce Development Council, and the Sustainable Valley Technology Group, Southern Oregon’s first business incubator. From 1996-2006, Jeff served as Executive Director of the Oregon Environmental Council (OEC). Under his leadership, OEC nearly quadrupled its budget and staff while strengthening its reputation for creative, collaborative problem solving and effective advocacy. Jeff’s previous environmental policy work includes projects in Europe, at the state level, and with national non-profit environmental groups including the Center for Clean Air Policy, the Environmental Law Institute, and the Union of Concerned Scientists. He holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Michigan. Jeff enjoys cycling, fishing, wine, and spending time with his wife and two children.

Andrew Dick: Director of Connected and Automated Vehicles at the Oregon Department of Transportation
Andrew Dick is the Connected, Automated, and Electric Vehicle Advisor for the Oregon Department of Transportation. In this role, he facilitates the agency’s Connected and Automated Vehicle Steering Team, which tracks new advanced vehicle technologies that are approaching commercial deployment and evaluates how they may affect the safe and efficient operation of the transportation system. Previously, he spent seven years working on electric vehicle policy and program implementation for the ten states that have adopted the California Zero Emission Vehicle program. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Political Economy from Colorado College.

Rick Wallace: Senior Policy Analyst, Oregon Department of Energy
Rick Wallace is a Senior Policy Analyst at the Oregon Department of Energy in the Planning and Innovation Division and serves as the agency expert on alternative fuels, infrastructure and vehicles in the transportation sector. Rick also served as Coordinator of the Columbia Willamette Clean Cities Coalition for eleven years and now serves as a board member of the coalition. The coalition promotes the use of domestically produced transportation fuels and fuel efficiency. Rick has accumulated seventeen years’ experience developing, marketing and administrating conservation and renewable fuel programs. Previous to his work in energy Rick worked 14 years in the aerospace/defense industry as an engineer.

Brendan McCarthy: Local, State and Regional Environmental Policy Manager at Portland General Electric
Brendan McCarthy is the local, state and regional environmental policy manager for Portland General Electric. PGE is an investor-owned electric utility serving more than 849,000 customers in Oregon. In his role, he develops policy initiatives, performs stakeholder relations, monitors issues and advocates for PGE in legislative and regulatory contexts in Oregon, Montana and the Pacific Northwest. He was instrumental in the adoption of Oregon’s renewable energy standard, emissions performance standard and various solar initiatives. He has been with PGE since March 2006 and before that worked for the Office of Legislative Counsel in the Oregon Legislative Assembly, focused on drafting legislation in the environmental and natural resources areas. He also has experience working on local, state and Congressional political campaigns. He holds a BS from Penn State University and a JD from the Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College in Portland.

Greg Dotson (J.D., ’95), vice president for energy policy at the Center for American Progress, joined the faculty of the University of Oregon School of Law in 2016.  Dotson will remain connected to American Progress, continuing on as a senior fellow. A twenty-year veteran of energy policy-making in Washington, D.C., Dotson’s work focuses on finding solutions to the nation’s energy and environmental challenges. Dotson served as Rep. Henry A. Waxman’s lead energy policy staffer from 1996 until Waxman’s retirement from Congress in 2014. During his time on the Hill, Dotson was the lead staffer on the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (the Waxman-Markey Bill), a comprehensive climate change and energy bill that passed the House of Representative in June 2009. He also worked on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996 and the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 among other laws.  Dotson was also engaged in congressional oversight and investigations, including inquiries into the politicization of climate science, the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster, hydraulic fracturing, and the energy market abuses of Enron. At American Progress, Dotson has produced a number of white papers, authored opinion editorials, hosted panel discussions of experts and government officials, and testified on energy and environmental policy before the House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Dotson graduated from the University of Oregon School of Law in 1995 with a concentration in environmental and natural resources law. He earned his undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech.

10:20-11:30: Green Energy Panel Discussion 

Green energy is often talked about, but rarely fully understood. As concern continues to rise over the implications of climate change, green energy has been touted as the key greenhouse gas reducer in the industrial world. But how do we implement these technologies? How to we promote them and are they viable alternatives?

The panelists will focus on the laws and policies in place in Oregon and throughout the Pacific Northwest that aim to integrate renewable green energy into the electric system. Highlights will include Oregon’s SB 1547 and its Community Solar provision, net metering, smart grid, effects on electric rates, and storage concerns and possibilities.


Irion Sanger: Energy and Utility Attorney
Mr. Sanger’s legal and consulting practice focuses on energy, administrative, and public utility law. He represents energy trade associations, municipalities, electric cooperatives, irrigation districts, end-use industrial and commercial consumers, investor owned natural gas and water utilities, and renewable and cogeneration electricity producers. Mr. Sanger advises hydro, biomass, geothermal, wind, solar, cogeneration, and other electricity generators on a wide variety of transactional matters, including negotiating power purchase agreements, interconnection agreements, wholesale power sales, resource development and sales, and other matters. He has a lengthy background representing end-use industrial, commercial, and irrigation customers in all facets of retail rates and service quality. Mr. Sanger represents clients in energy and utility matters before state and federal courts, state public utility commissions, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and the Bonneville Power Administration. Mr. Sanger is also an adjunct instructor at Lewis and Clark Law School, and in Portland Community College’s Paralegal Program. Mr. Sanger previously practiced with the law firm of Davison Van Cleve.  He represented industrial energy users, qualifying facilities, trade associations, and public utilities on regulatory and litigation matters before state and federal regulatory commissions and courts.  Mr. Sanger also worked as a law clerk in the energy and public utility field for both the law firm Duncan, Weinberg, Genzer, & Pembroke and the Bonneville Power Administration, and as a law clerk on migrant farm worker issues for the Oregon Law Center. Mr. Sanger graduated from Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon in 2000 with cum laude honors and an Environmental Law Certificate, and from World College Institute of New College of California in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in the Humanities with an emphasis in International Environmental Studies.

Melissa Powers: Professor of Law at Lewis & Clark Law School
Melissa Powers is a Jeffrey Bain Faculty and Professor of Law at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon. In 2014-2015, Melissa was a Fulbright-Schuman Scholar researching Denmark and Spain’s renewable energy laws. Melissa is also the founder and director of the Green Energy Institute at Lewis & Clark Law School, an organization that designs policies to a transition to a 100% renewable energy system.Melissa’s research focuses on energy reform, climate change mitigation, and pollution control. She is a co-author of the books Climate Change and the Law and Principles of Environmental Law, and several articles and book chapters focused on climate and energy law. Melissa has taught several times as a visiting professor at the University of Trento, Italy, and has also visited at Kangwon National University, Republic of Korea, University of Navarra, Spain, and the University of Maine. She received the Leo Levenson Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2012.She is also on the boards of the Northwest Environmental Defense Center, Power Oregon, and the Environmental Law Collaborative, and she is a member scholar of the Center for Progressive Reform.Melissa received her J.D., magna cum laude, from Lewis & Clark Law School in 2001, and her B.A. in environmental sciences from the University of California at Berkeley in 1992.

Rebecca Smith: Senior Policy Analyst at the Oregon Department of Energy
Rebecca Smith is a Senior Policy Analyst at the Oregon Department of Energy, where she serves as the program administrator for the Oregon Renewable Portfolio Standard. In addition to the RPS, she focuses on emerging renewable energy technologies and markets and the state’s electricity resource mix. She currently chairs the Portfolio Options Committee, an advisory body to the Oregon Public Utility Commission for the state’s voluntary renewable power programs. Prior to joining ODOE, Ms. Smith worked on greenhouse gas mitigation policy and project development, corporate climate risk management, and energy efficiency in the built environment at organizations including Earth Advantage Institute, Det Norske Veritas, and EcoSecurities. She has an M.P.A in environmental science and policy from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and a B.A. from Grinnell College.

Jason R. Salmi Klotz holds a J.D. and Masters of Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School. Jason has worked for the Vermont Public Service Board, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and the California Public Utility Commission. For these entities he worked on wholesale market development, demand side management, facilities siting and greenhouse gas regulation. Jason worked for Bonneville Power Administration where he was responsible for the initiation of the Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project. Prior to his current role as Climate Change Lead for the Oregon PUC, Jason worked for the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance as their Senior Policy Advisor. Jason is a published author of several papers on the nexus of environmental concerns and energy regulation. Jason is also currently an Adjunct Instructor of energy policy and law at the University of Oregon School of Law in Eugene Oregon.

11:40-12:40: Economics of a Green Economy Keynote

Sustainability is the global goal, but is it economically viable? Come learn about the economic viability of a green economy.

Michael Russo: Professor of Sustainable Management at Lundquist College of Business
Michael V. Russo is the Lundquist Professor of Sustainable Management at the Lundquist College of Business at the University of Oregon, where he served as the Founding Director of the Center for Sustainable Business Practices. Mike’s academic research focuses on the interaction of environmental, social, and political influences and entrepreneurship. Mike has won a number of research and teaching awards, including the Moskowitz Prize in Social Investing, the oikos Sustainability Case Writing Competition Grand Prize (twice), and a Silver Nautilus Book Award for his 2010 book, Companies on a Mission: Entrepreneurial Strategies for Growing Sustainably, Responsibly, and Profitably.  He has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the Dreyfus Foundation, the University of California Energy Institute, and the Strategic Research Foundation. Mike’s faculty website is

12:50-1:30: Lunch 

Regular, VG and GF options provided

1:30 pm -2:40 pm: Urban Agriculture Panel Discussion

A large component of sustainability is in changing the way we produce and consume food. How do urban areas provide fresh, local and organic food? How can local policies and initiatives provide needed resources that are also economically affordable? Learn about initiatives and policies aimed at creating urbanize agriculture to remove transportation costs and emissions.


Angela Goldsmith: Oregon Sustainable Agriculture Land Trust
Angela Goldsmith is a property owner, urban farmer, and community organizer. Over the past ten years she has worked with Oregon Sustainable Land Trust, Urban Farm Collective, and Portland Fruit Tree Project. Establishing Fargo Forest Garden in 2008 was her first headlong dive into food forestry design, as well as Portland’s first Depave Project. In the years since she has obtained a permaculture certification. Then she earned an advanced permaculture certification, wherein she designed a 640 acre permaculture plan for an orphanage farm in Mexico. She received her permaculture teaching certificate in 2015. Angela’s volunteer efforts in design and installation at other permaculture sites have resulted in the installation of a water reservoir (at the orphanage), installation of a new Gresham Food Forest, planting of fruit trees at Greeley, a free-for-all food forest and establishing Wildwood View Gardens in St. Johns, her new urban homestead. She volunteer teaches student groups and permaculture apprentices and leads tours at Fargo Forest Garden and in St Johns, Portland. There she has a new small orchard, a greenhouse, registered bird habitat, chickens and honeybees, as well as growing a truck garden that trades labor hours for food grown in conjunction with other urban farms in the collective. She is a mother of 3 amazing daughters and wife to an active transportation expert in urban planning, all who support her efforts. For work, she owns and manages Goldsmith Properties working with the tenants to maintain and keep affordable their units, using social permaculture principles, of course.

Steve Cohen: Manager, Food Policy and Programs City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
In 2004, Portland, Oregon became the first U.S. city to hire a Food Policy and Program Manager and Steve Cohen was selected to create an innovative agenda. His work in the City of Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability focuses on all aspects of a sustainable food system including land use planning, climate change, food security, economic development, purchasing, education, and waste reduction and prevention. Steve has worked with Oregon direct-market farmers for over 40 years and has extensive experience in purchasing, distribution, and marketing for major regional, national, and international food and beverage companies. He has played key roles in establishing festival markets, performing arts venues, and community spaces in Oregon.

Anne Brask: Planner and Urban Designer for the San Francisco Planning Department
Anne Brask is an Urban Designer and Planner at the San Francisco Planning Department for the Citywide Division. Growing up in Portland, Oregon established her deep love of of the outdoors and her desire to improve a city’s health through more connections to nature. Anne graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago with a Bachelor’s of Architecture and specialization in Landscape Architecture, before moving to San Francisco to work for the Planning Department. For the past four years she has worked on various projects in topics of Sustainability, Urban Design, and Long-Range Policy. Most recently, Anne has led the Better Roofs Ordinance, worked on the Urban Forest Plan, and helped draft the City’s Urban Design Guidelines. Anne sits on the Bicycle Advisory Committee for San Francisco, is a novice beekeeper, and makes greeting cards in her spare time.

Harper Keeler: Director of the Urban Farm
Harper received his degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Oregon in 1995, and has been involved with the Urban Farm since 1992.  He has taught as an adjunct instructor beginning in 2001 and has been directing the Urban Farm since 2008.  He earned an M.L.A. in 2011 centering on experiental, place-based education within the pedogogy of Landscape Architecture. He was central to the creation of the Food for Lane County Grass Roots Garden Project, and with the expansion of Urban Farm-related programs into the Eugene-Springfield area. His Professional Practice is centered around his work with the Eugene based Design-Build Firm, Daichi Landscape.

Professor Michael Fakhri is a faculty member of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center where he co-leads the Food Resiliency Project at Oregon Law. He is currently working on questions of how Inuit seal hunting in the Arctic is defining the relationship between international trade law and concepts of sovereignty.Prof. Fakhri is also a Conversation Leader with Oregon Humanities where he facilitates state-wide public conversations about meanings of fair and free trade. He has given talks at Harvard Law School, Princeton University, Brown University, Cornell University, London School of Economics, University of Cambridge, the American University of Beirut, and the American University in Cairo. Prof. Fakhri received his doctorate from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, LL.M. from Harvard Law School, LL.B. from Queen’s University, and B.Sc in biology from the University of Western Ontario. Prior to pursuing graduate studies, he began his legal career with one of Canada’s leading business law firms, later shifting to a practice in social justice advocacy.

2:50 pm – 3:50 pm: Urban Development Keynote

How do all of these moving parts come together to create a sustainable city? The 2017 Green Business Initiative Symposium will conclude with keynote address on how all the various aspects can come into play in urban development to create economic growth in sustainable cities.

Nico Larco: Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Oregon
Nico Larco is an Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Oregon and is a Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Sustainable Cities Initiative, a nationally and internationally awarded, multidisciplinary organization that focuses on sustainability issues as they relate to the built environment.  Professor Larco’s research focus is on sustainable urban design and how technological advances are changing city form and development.  He recently developed the Sustainable Urban Design Framework that organizes the range of urban design elements and approaches related to sustainability. Professor Larco has received numerous national and international awards for his work and was recently a Distinguished Fulbright Scholar in Spain.  He has published in journals such as the Journal of Urban Design, the Journal of Urbanism, and the Journal of Architecture and Planning Research.  His work has been the subject of articles in the New York Times, Forbes, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and the Financial Times of London.  He is a licensed architect and has worked professionally in the fields of Architecture, Urban Design, Planning, and Development.

4:00-6:00: Networking Reception

Dinner-style appetizers and beverages provided