We Are the Stewards of Our Planet’s Future

10th Annual Leadership Summit on Sustainable Design Hosted by the Design Futures Council

I’ve recently had the privilege of attending several important and inspirational conferences dealing with sustainable design and how designers, architects and engineers can work together to protect the fragile health of our planet.  The Leadership Summit on Sustainable Design, held in Boston earlier this month, was one of the most stirring and motivating of all.

The Design Futures Council, an interdisciplinary network that explores global trends, challenges and opportunities to advance and shape the future of the industry and the environment, sponsors the Annual Summit.  Limited to a delegation of 100 leaders in the field of architecture, design and construction, the event was convened to identify change drivers, analyze emerging data and explore innovation in sustainable design.

The First Leadership Summit and the Nantucket Principles

There are certain achievements in my life in which I take the most pride:  one of these is my participation in the very first Leadership Summit on Sustainable Design, held on Nantucket Island nine years ago.  At that three day session, the Nantucket Principles were developed, providing a philosophical, strategic and tactical path toward sustainable design.  Since that first session in Nantucket, the Summit has been held throughout North America, in St. Louis, Boston, Santa Fe, Austin, Vancouver, Chicago and Atlanta.

We knew then, and believe today, that the planet can become healthier, greener and more abundant.  We have pledged ourselves to that goal, to engage, to listen, to learn, to educate, and to act toward a strong sustainable model.


I invite you to join us in our work by engaging in holistic living, embracing sustainable principles, and challenging limiting beliefs wherever you find them.

All the Summit speakers gave incredible and moving presentations, some of my favorites among them were:

  • Michael Graves, a DFC Senior Fellow, who recognized students and emerging leaders
  • Natalia Allen, a design futurist, who spoke on Weaving Sustainability and Technology
  • Ed Mazria, a DFC Senior Fellow, who talked about Leadership Toward 2030, What We Are Learning About Our Biggest Challenges
  • Bob Berkebile, a DFC Senior Fellow, who talked about Redefining Design and Practice:  Journey to Regenerative Design
  • William Kamkwamba, a self-educated Malawian inventor, who gained fame in his country when in 2002, he built a windmill to power electrical appliances in his house in Masitala using blue gum trees, bicycle parts and materials collected in a local scrapyard.  His story is told in his inspirational book, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind:  Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope, written with journalist Bryan Mealer. http://www.amazon.com/Boy-Who-Harnessed-Wind-Electricity/dp/0061730327


Important Points to Ponder

  • Could climate change be happening much faster than some scientists claim?  What would be the result?  James Hanson, director of the Goddard Institute at NASA, talks about it in this video.  Watch it! http://bigthink.com/jameshansen

Thank you for taking the time to read and share these important topics.  As the Design Futures Council declares, we are not waiting for an economic upturn or new regulations.  We are not waiting for someone else to lead.  We will act.  I hope you will too.

Living on the Edge

I love the energy and inspiration created when a group of people, all committed to a common cause, gather to share information and plans for action.  At  Living on the Edge, a Coastal Communities Conference held on Nantucket on September 29th and 30th, participants focused on the impact of how we use our waterways, the land/sea interface, and ways to knit together the shared edges between the blue water, the near shore, and the watershed.

By exploring new approaches and applying what we learn, we can help protect and preserve the health of our coastal communities.  The goal is to create a coastal waters management strategy that ensures that the sea remains healthy, and maintain the beauty of our oceans and our coastlines.

We were very fortunate to be able to screen a sneak preview of a wonderful new film, Ocean Frontiers:  The Dawn of a New Era in Ocean Stewardship. The movie promises us a new way of thinking, and a new way of living, in concert with the sea. It includes stories and stunning footage from seaports and watersheds across the country, from Boston Harbor to obscure little fishing communities in the Pacific Northwest, from the Florida Keys to the Mississippi Delta.

I encourage you to visit the movie website at www.ocean-frontiers.org to watch a trailer, purchase the dvd, and find out what you can do to get involved with protecting our oceans.

Nantucket Arts Festival Week

Autumn has been my season for attending conferences and leading seminars on several thought-provoking and important topics.  I was gratified to be invited to speak this month at the Nantucket Arts Festival Week.  Hosted by the Nantucket Arts Council, this wonderful group is an advocate for the arts on the island.  Its goal is to preserve our lively cultural scene and its life-enhancing effect upon the community.

I was pleased to be able to share my presentation, Holistic House ™, with a group of people who wanted to know more about sustainable design at the Afternoon Artist’s Talk Show Series.  I believe that a healthy home is the ultimate luxury, and there are many ways to achieve that goal.  Whether building a new home, remodeling an existing one, or simply redecorating, there are healthy products, paints, finishes, and furniture to choose from that can make a difference in your health, and in the health of your family and friends.

My Holistic House ™ presentation also covers the importance of pristine indoor air, eradicating mold, and non-toxic household cleaning products.  I love to talk about sustainable design—my favorite subject—so I’m available for presentations for groups.

Contact me at info@dujardindesign.com for more information.