Compostmodern: Fertile Ground for Creating a Sustainable Future

Since 2004, Compostmodern has been a venue to create “fertile ground for sustainability.” A conference for sustainable design, Compostmodern is an interdisciplinary gathering of some of the best and brightest thinkers eager to explore new avenues in design and innovation to help create a society that responds positively to its social and environmental responsibilities.

Founded and sponsored by the San Francisco chapter of AIGA and the AIGA Center for Sustainable Design, Compostmodern is a conference that gives “fertile ground for sustainability,” providing a symposium for designers, manufacturers, and business leaders to meet, exchange ideas, and get inspired as they explore real-world opportunities for “transforming products, industries, and lives.”

All Hands on Deck

“The biggest thing I took from the conference was that we must no longer think and act on the ‘it’s all about me’ attitude and way of life. If we are going to save the planet, ourselves, and our children, we must think more socially. We must end the drive of individual ownership of every single thing and begin to think of our selves as users and borrowers. We must share. We must be transparent. We must act now.” (just one of the many comments left from previous participants of Compostmodern)

In a world faced with such daunting challenges, one that stands in the crossroads of transition from one era to the next, there is no time for narrow focus or willful ignorance of all the possibilities around us to work together to create a better, sustainable future. Now, as never before, we must ask ourselves if “business as usual” is working. The answer is plain. It’s all hands on deck to work for progressive change. Compostmodern is that fertile ground that creates “the bloom of a thousand new flowers.”

Speakers for 2009

This year’s roster of speakers for the February 21 event at the Herbst Theater in San Francisco include:

  • Michel Gelobter – Climate Strategist and Founder of Cooler.
  • Saul Griffith – Inventor and Co-Founder of a several innovative companies, most recently Makani Power
  • Nathan Shedroff – Design MBA Chair, California College of the Arts
  • Allan Chochinov – Editor-in-Chief, Core77
  • John Bielenberg – Founder, Project M
  • Dawn Danby – Sustainable Design Program Manager, Autodesk
  • Eames Demetrios – Filmmaker/Writer, Kymaerica
  • Emily Pilloton – Founder, Project H Design
  • Pamm Dorr – Hale Empowerment & Revitalization Organization (HERO)

Emcee for Compostmodern is Joel Makower, Chairman and Executive Editor of

For those not able to attend Compostmodern in person, the entire event will be webcast. Organizations and groups can also host a webcast viewing event at their location.

Tickets for the Compostmodern are available online. Cost for the all-day event range from $50 for students to $80 for general admission.

Three workshops are also available:

  • Teaching Scale with Eames Demetrios
  • The world’s fastest crash course in product design with Allan Chochinov
  • Sustainable Design Roundtable with Marc Alt & Phil Hamlett

Tickets for the workshops are $10 each

Video of 2008 Compsotmodern speaker Adam Werbach, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi S

Tom is the founder, editor, and publisher of and the TDS Environmental Media Network. He has been a contributor for Triple Pundit since 2007. Tom has also written for Slate, Earth911, the Pepsico Foundation, Cleantechnia, Planetsave, and many other sustainability-focused publications. He is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists

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