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Social Entrepreneurs' Meetup Feat. GTECH: How Hard is Creating a Green Job?

Andrew Butcher will tell us how hard it has been to create a green job in this city. He’s the Executive Director of GTECH (Growth Through Energy & Community Health) which works in Larimer, the North Side, and all around Pittsburgh, doing land reclamation (it seems they’ve planted around 35 fields of sun flowers which clean lead-ridden soil, along with stormwater management installations, along with a massive city-wide land cleanup partnership called SPARC), cooking oil waste reuse, consumer education & organizing around green economy-building--Larimer is where they're based and where I've personally seen them active at the Larimer Community Gardens, with the Larimer Green Team and Grow Pittsburgh, while branching out into places like the North Side with their Ambassadors program. Here at the start of a Natural Capitalism-style new green industrial revolution, it can be tough to get footing—we’ll see how they did it, what they plan to do with it, and just how much of a strain it was. More info here.

And we'll have plenty of time for QA during & after, and time for networking & conversation due to the informal style of open space meetings. :)

The big description from last time:


2nd Tuesday of the month, 7-9:30pm; Revv Oakland, 122 Meyran Ave. Oakland, PGH; Use the Meyran Ave. entrance to the right of the frozen yogurt place, and walk up the stairs and to the left; Hosted by TransitionPGH

Description: This is a meetup for Transitioners, social entrepreneurs and regular entrepreneurs alike to network, discuss their ideas, and even start planning projects together in the Revv'sgraciously-donated meeting space! We’ll run this Open Space-style (agenda, tentative, below) with short introductions moving quickly into breakout groups.

More detail: Pittsburgh has far too many social businesses, non-loss nonprofits, and community organizing success stories not to talk about them—Construction Junction'ssalvaged building material warehouse, Stormworks' rain barrels, GTECH's vacant land reclamation, GrowPGH'surban farming, the Larimer neighborhood'sbid for $30-million-plus in federal and local grants, the Environmental Finance Collaborative’s 4-organization split CFO, and all sorts of new ventures will all be up for discussion here.

International successes like Grameen Bank and books like Reinventing Fire & Natural Capitalism are welcome discussion topics, too!

Expect a repeating event which we can improve if you give us your opinion on what’s working and what to change. I hope to get a balanced mix of successful entrepreneurs, first-time entrepreneurs, idea people, and so on, from all backgrounds: corporate offices, nonprofit, neighborhood activist, academics, new-age hippie farmers, and whatever else.

Later, if project ideas or business ideas come up that need more discussion, post a description to (where, if your idea has traction, it will be announced to the whole group) or the Pittsburgh Entrepreneurs Meetup. Before or after that we can at least give you contact info to set up more meetups at local libraries, universities, churches, and (hopefully!) the Revv.

Why TransitionPGH supports social entrepreneurship: Partly because authors of books like Natural Capitalism and Climate Capitalism make the case that we're at the start of a new Sustainability-Industrial Revolution, where those who stand to make the most bottom-line profit are those who act like they're terrified of climate change & ecological collapse (regardless of what they believe). TPGH backs this in our own neighborhoods through networking events, films, speakers, classes, and more, trying to connect as many people to businesses and practical initiatives as possible. Supporting social entrepreneurship is a stepping-stone to our ultimate goal: a community-wide initiative in every neighborhood and town in and around Pittsburgh, striving to cut fossil fuel use as much as possible by relocalizing their economies as much as possible.

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  • james k.

    I'm actually bummed I missed. I wanted to share some information. But, alas my health is more important. Anyone in the group working with Social Wellness Health Media?

    April 10, 2013

  • Gerry R.

    I have gone to several P E meetups but this was my first time attending the Social E meetup. Well, the speaker was 45 minutes late and Justin did everything except a song and dance to keep us in our seats until GTECH arrived. In fact, in an effort to fill time, at one point during the delay I was actually presenting to the group!

    Despite the confusion I could not have imagined a better use of my time than by attending the meetup. Justin did an amazing job of honoring our time and providing information and resources that were relevant. Also, the impromptu format led to better interaction with the attendees. This really did help to put the "Social" in my Social Es' Meetup.

    Well, after Andrew's 45 minute delay, he finally showed up sweating and panting and somewhat dazed in very nice business attire. He quickly pulled himself together and explained that his tardiness was the result of him securing funding for his Green Biz. A perfect example of the difficulty with green jobs.

    April 10, 2013

  • Martin T. Smyczek I.

    Arrgh, I've had some last minute changes and I will not be able to attend.

    April 9, 2013

  • james k.

    I am out due to health commitment. C U Nex tim

    April 9, 2013

  • Albert S.


    April 9, 2013

  • Justin T.

    Andrew told me he may be some minutes late from a funder meeting--I'll do an introduction and I'll have some questions for arrivals as they come in, plus we can network and all, till about 7:20 or so.

    April 8, 2013

  • james k.

    I'm tentative. Great Subject for a Republican Business Owner. Can't wait.

    April 3, 2013

  • james k.

    I should note my attendance is dependent on schedule.

    April 3, 2013

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