The Environmental Media Association (EMA) will host its first-ever annual EMA IMPACT Summit on March 23-24. This conference will feature prominent figures in the entertainment and entrepreneurial community coming together to find positive and innovative solutions to the world’s environmental issues.
The timing of this industry conference is impeccable. With the election of Donald Trump, we are seeing the emergence of alternative facts, a ban on the Environmental Protection’s Agency social media and website, and government-appointed officials who are not right for the position (cough cough Scott Pruitt). Hosting a conference dedicated to collaborating on solutions for our ecological crisis during a time of need helps the appearance and reliability of their brand. It shows that the EMA is dedicated to improving the environment through innovative business solutions and media relations. In addition, their brand is taking action. They are contributing to positive discourse and opening up the floor for discussion in a large publicized manner.
In an article from Velvet Chainsaw, a business consulting site, Jeff Hurt describes the importance of industry conferences and learning from each other with the phrase, “We participate, therefore we are.” Essentially, this phrase sums up the idea of social learning and engaging with others to further understand a concept or issue. Applying this idea to the EMA’s conference is crucial. Environmental issues are not black and white. They are a huge gray area that is three-dimensional, conceptual, and involves different aspects of society. For example, the implementation of The Dakota Pipeline touches on cultural, economical, and environmental issues and is a problem that is going to take a variety of different approaches to solve. Bringing together a diverse group of influential people in society allows for different experiences and perspectives to contribute to a larger social issue.
“IMPACT is a natural next step to expand what has always been EMA’s sweet spot: bringing together the most innovative and creative minds across industries to collaborate, educate and drive solutions that can appeal to investors and environmentalists alike” says EMA president Debbie Levin. Finding solutions that appeal to everyone is the hardest part of solving the environmental crisis. Its a delicate balance, especially with businesses, to continue turning a profit, create products in a sustainable way, and support environmental causes.
Patagonia, a company that somehow manages to do all three, just released their 2016 Environmental + Social Initiatives booklet to change the idea that doing business and protecting the planet are diametrically opposed. They manage to use their entire company as a tool for environmental and social activism, and still turn a substantial profit. Finding solutions like this one comes from collaborating with like-minded companies with a similar goal. The sharing of ideas between individuals and organizations is pertinent to creating a sustainable society.