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Environment Set Free
Simone Syed   Nov 5, 2009   Ethical Technology  

I am proud to announce that this Sunday, November 8, the BIL Unconference Series will present its first ever SustainaBIL, taking place from 11 am to 7 pm at ASU’s SkySong facility in Phoenix, Arizona.

This one day ad-hoc conference will focus on upcoming trends in sustainable emerging technology, recycling, green ideas, collaboration, activism, and most importantly, it’s a great outlet for those who wish to share and implement their ideas for a healthier and more sustainable environment.

SustainaBIL organizers Brian Shaler, Todd Huffman, Mark Weinberg, Bill Erickson, and myself, Simone Syed, are excited to have the opportunity to bring together friends and participants from a variety of backgrounds to share thoughts on improving building, transportation, communication and quality of life from economic and technical standpoints. I am especially looking forward to the collaboration and brainstorming that is bound to happen as those who identify as tech/geek/bioprogressive and those who relate more to the eco-conscious/green/sustainable sphere mingle and learn from each other in a fostering environment. As movers and shakers with an eye to the future and the possibility it provides, it is the responsibility of our bioprogressive ilk to contribute and create for a better tomorrow, so….

Come and join us in a celebration of diversity, convergence, and the human spirit either in person or online! Although BIL is free, we would really appreciate that participants reserve a spot online. We also really appreciate donations, sponsorship, and any extra help you can provide. BIL will be live streamed from SkySong, with speaker videos posted online for your pleasure as we can. As we obtain equipment to use, we will post the site where you can find us.

Would you like to speak? You can contact us at:

We also have a Facebook group, a Facebook event page, and a Twitter id, where you will find speaker lists and topics, as well as news on the conference.

What is BIL?

I am an organizer for the BIL UnConference Series—self organizing, emergent conferences that help spread the word about world changing, inspiring, community boosting, people helping, and generally geeky ideas. At BIL, we don’t have attendees, we have participants. Everyone who shows up is expected to contribute something, whether it be in the form of a lecture, set-up, take-down, bringing food, helping with technological aspects, or whatever else looks like needs doing! Participants call themselves BILders, and in their every day lives, seem to be especially concerned about open-source and DIY everything, transparency, technology, the arts, science, the environment, and making the world a generally more awesome place to live.

BIL began as a way to schmooze with TED speakers in Monterey, California, in 2007. Fellow BILders Cody Marx Bailey, Todd Huffman, Bill Erickson, Tyler Emerson, and yours truly, Simone Syed, realized that as much as we loved the TED lectures, we simply could not afford it. Hanging out in bars and waiting for TED’sters to arrive felt a little ‘groupie-like’, though, and it seemed like people who were willing to make the trek to begin with had some really interesting ideas on their minds. We called ourselves BIL to play off of TED and to foster excellent adventures to be had, and basically found a venue across the street from TED.

The format seemed to work: we were able to get over 300 participants and 30 speakers, as well as blurbs on WIRED and NPR. The next year, when TED moved to Long Beach, California, of course BIL followed. We converged on California State University Long Beach with over 500 amazing participants and over 100 lectures.

BIL has grown and evolved into a beautiful series of lectures; with each new BIL we obtain new speakers and participants, locations, themes, support, press, and an ever growing list of ways to make the experience more enjoyable and fluid. With three BILs already behind us, we are looking forward to sharing the six that are already on the docket for the upcoming year!

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