Portland, first week

The travel started when the plane took off from Barajas early in the morning. Thirteen hours later the EOI group was in Portland, Oregon, one of the most sustainable cities in the US.

After a day touring the city and getting used to the jet lag, we met Howard Feldman,Executive Director of the EMBA in Nonprofit Management program at the Pamplin School of Business at the University of Portland, who would accompany us for the rest of the trip. Toguether, we visited Columbia Sportswear, where Scott Welch, the Global Corporate Relations Manager, explained the efforts Columbia is making on sustainability and responsible business practices from product creation to consumer all over the world. That same afternoon Bill Barnes, Professor of Economics, gave a really interesting presentation about Sustainability as a competitive advantage and the backcasting concept.


Later on we visited the Portland University’s campus guided by Meredith Dickinson and its sustainable solutions, such as light sensors, renewable energies or composting.

On Tuesday 28th we visited Portland Purple Water, a social enterprise committed to water conservation, with Jason Garvey, who showed us the importance of using what we need from what we have and how to act at local scale to reach improvements for the whole society. In the university, Renee Heath, Associate Professor of Organizational Communication, Persuasion and Leadership explained the importance of knowing the stakeholder’s opinion and dialogue with them to solve problems.

Kate Regan met the EOI team with her class of Spanish’ learners who chatted in Spanish with us to practice and presented their view of the Spanish economic crisis. In the afternoon Val Fishman, Vice President of the Climate Business Group “Bonneville Environmental Foundation” and explained how they find innovative, high-impact solutions to some of the nation”s most pressing energy, carbon and freshwater challenges.

In our leap day we went to the university to listen to Sean Denniston, from New Buildings Institute, giving a presentation on International Green Building Codes, to Regina Hauser, former director of Natural Step USA, a private consultant that give advice to the  companies to behave in a more sustainable way. After that we met Thor Hinckley, of Portland General Electric, who informed us about the renewable energies in US.

On Thursday 1st of March, we went walking to the Ecotrust Building, a marketplace that fosters the ideas, goods, and services of a conservation economy reconstructed from a warehouse for the goods of the industrial economy. In that same building we had lunch in Hot Lips Pizza, a sustainable company committed to the energy efficiency, renewable energy, electric delivery vehicles and sourcing locally and organically, meeting its owner David Yudkin in the university where he talked us about the challenge of being sustainable in the pizza world.

In the evening we asisted to the amazing basketball game Portland Trailblazers vs. Miami Heat at Portland Rose Garden, where we had a really nice time! Let’s go Blazers!




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