Sustainability is a hot topic. People are interested in trying to meet their own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to do the same. But many may not know how to incorporate it into their lives. The Art of Conversation Sustainability Summit on Thursday, November 17th at the Hopkinton Center for the Arts (HCA) hopes to stimulate conversation, spark ideas and generate excitement on this topic. The free summit will include presentations by local experts on sustainable gardening, infrastructure, investment and legislation, plus a chance for residents to network with each other.
“We found that there is clearly an interest in this topic,” said John Galego, founder and president of Hopkinton-based Atlas Wealth Strategies, which has hosted individual speaker sustainability presentations over the past year and is sponsoring the summit. Noting that previous presentations have been well-received and generated a lot of excitement, Galego said, “There are a lot of different facets to this. We wanted to create a bigger forum, a summit style, to really start this with different communities and focusing on different aspects of sustainability.”
Kelly Grill, HCA’s executive director, noted that the summit is part of a series the center started before COVID and hopes to continue quarterly. “There are so many factors involved in sustainability that we felt, rather than going back to individual lectures, we would bring all these people together to have a summit and get feedback on what direction people are interested in for future presentations,” said she.
Four speakers will be featured at the summit. Peter Mezitt, president of Weston Nurseries and president of the Massachusetts Nursery and Landscape Association, will talk about sustainable gardening. Sustainable infrastructure will be discussed by Scott Richardson, AIA, LEED AP and principal at Gorman Richardson Lewis Architects in Hopkinton. Both speakers have previously presented individual sustainability talks at HCA.
They will be joined by Leslie Samuelrich, president of Green Century Capital Management, a 30-year-old Boston-based personal finance firm that helps clients save for the future based on their values while protecting the planet . She will talk about sustainable investing.
The fourth speaker will be Massachusetts state representative Jeffrey N. Roy (D-Franklin), Norfolk’s 10th district, who has represented Franklin and Medway since he was first elected in 2012. He most recently helped draft a compromise bill that mandates the steps the community needs. to be taken to have net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The legislation was approved by the House and Senate and signed by Governor Baker this summer. Roy will be speaking on sustainable legislation.
The summit will begin at 6pm with a social hour of conversation, beer, wine and food. Attendees will have a chance to meet the sustainability-minded vendors at that event – 9 Mile East Farm, Solect Energy, Black Earth Compost and the Hopkinton Sustainable Green Committee. The speakers will then give their presentations, followed by questions and answers with the audience.
“After the talks, everyone is invited to stay for networking and more conversation,” Grill said.
“This is a place where you can come and meet like-minded people,” Galego said. He noted that at the last summit, the informal discussions after Mezitt’s last individual presentation “was when the magic happened,” when those in attendance made new connections and collaborations around sustainability.
Although The Art of Conversation Sustainability Summit is free, those who plan to attend are asked to register by visiting the HCA website, HopArtsCenter.org, or by calling 508-435-9222. HCA is located at 98 Hayden Rowe Street in Hopkinton.